SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean soldier was at large late Saturday night after killing five comrades and wounding another five at the border with North Korea, South Korean media reported.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that a South Korean army private fled with a weapon after opening fire on his comrades earlier Saturday night at an outpost in Gangwon province, east of Seoul. South Korean military officials didn’t immediately return calls seeking more details.
Thousands of soldiers from the rival Koreas square off along the world’s most heavily armed border.
There was no indication that North Korea was involved. But tensions have been high recently, with North Korea staging a series of missile and artillery drills and threatening South Korea’s leader. The rivals have also traded fire along their disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea. South Korea has repeatedly vowed to respond with strength if provoked by the North.
Shootings happen occasionally at the border. Last year, South Korean soldiers shot and killed a man they believed was trying to cross from the South into North Korea.
The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. Nearly 30,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korean aggression.