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US defends Kim as Pompeo claims North Korean shooting was an ‘accident‘

Seoul’s military said shots from the North hit a guard post in the central border town of Cheorwan, located in the Demilitarized Buffer Zone (DMZ).  soldiers returned fire and delivered a warning in reply, in the first such military confrontation between the two countries since 2017. There were no reports of any injuries.

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“We can confirm at least the initial reports are that you‘ve described are just about right.

“A handful of shots that came across from the North. We think those were accidental.

“South Koreans did return fire so far as we can tell there was no loss of life on either side.”

A South Korean government official also said that the shots were unlikely to have been intentional.

North’s leader Kim Jong-Un made his first public appearance in 21 days. (Image: GETTY)

Seoul’s military said shots from the North hit a guard post in the central border town of Cheorwan (Image: GETTY)

The DMZ was set up after the Korean War in 1953 in order to create a buffer zone between the two countries.

At the end of the three year war an armistice was signed between the two sides and currently is the only thing preventing a resumption of hostilities, as no peace treaty was ever signed.

The shooting comes just 24 hours since the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un made his first public appearance in 21 days.

North Korean state media broadcast photos of the country’s leader attending an opening ceremony at the Sunchon Phosphatic Fertilizer Factory on Friday.

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Donald Trump said that he was “glad” that his North Korean counterpart had re-emerged (Image: GETTY)

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Donald Trump said that he was “glad” that his North Korean counterpart had re-emerged and appeared to be healthy.

The US President tweeted: “I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well!”

Speculation over Kim’s health had been rife, ever since he missed his late grandfather’s birthday celebration on April 15, with some media claiming he had even died.

Mr Pompeo would not be drawn on the issue of the issue of Kim’s health.

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The DMZ was set up after the Korean War in 1953 in order to create a buffer zone (Image: GETTY)

No peace treaty was ever signed. (Image: GETTY)

He said: “We don‘t know why he chose to miss that moment.

“We know there‘ve been other extended periods of time where Chairman Kim‘s been out of public view as well, so it‘s not unprecedented.”

“So there‘s not much I can share with you other than we‘ve seen the same images from yesterday that the world saw.”

“It looks like Chairman Kim is alive and well.”

The North Korean leader disappeared for 40 days back in September 2014, after attending a concert.

He reappeared in mid-October, with South Korea’s intelligence agency saying that he had probably had an operation on his left ankle as a result of problems with a cyst.

The North Korean leader disappeared for 40 days back in September 2014 (Image: GETTY)

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