South Korea has ordered the evacuation of residents from the border after North Korea “fired shots”, according to reports.
According to South Korean media, they were aiming at a loudspeaker which had been blaring anti-Pyongyang propaganda.
KBS News, a Korean state broadcaster, quoted a South Korean military officer who said shots were fired around 4pm local time, according to Reuters.
Around 80 residents in a border town, Yeoncheon, where the shell fell were evacuated to underground bunkers and other residents were urged to leave, according to a local official that wished to remain anonymous.
Baeknyeong Island, near the disputed sea boundary and the site of skirmishes in recent years, is reported to have been evacuated, according to island officials.
In a nearby city of Paju, officials told residents to remain at home.
No injuries or damage have been reported on the south side of the border.
South Korea's defence ministry said its military had returned fire in a statement on Thursday.
It said that their surveillance equipment had detected a single North Korea shell fired across the border and confirmed it had fired dozens of shells at the location of that North Korean shell.
South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye has hosted an emergency meeting at the Blue House, South Korea's presidential house, with ministers to respond the renewed border hostilities.
The North has previously said it would retaliate against South Korean rhetoric being blasted across the border, praising their democracy and criticising alleged North Korean provocations.
It has also restarted using its own loudspeaker to denounce the southern regime.
Seoul starting broadcasting against the North last week in the response to what it alleges were North Korean-laid land mines which maimed two South Korean soldiers.
The artillery exchange comes just days after South Korea and the Unites began their annual summertime military drills which North Korea calls an "invasion rehersal".
Both Seoul and Washington say the drills are "defensive".
In pictures: Pyongyang propaganda posters
In pictures: Pyongyang propaganda posters
1/10 Slogan: ‘Seed revolution is the core of agricultural development’ (1980s)
‘I’ve been to farms and seen the technical officers there checking everything is being done correctly. They do go around with magnifying glasses like in this poster.’
2/10 Slogan: ‘Let’s destroy the manoeuvres of the US imperialists’ (2006)
‘This image was around during George W Bush’s presidency.’
3/10 Slogan: ‘We build small and medium power stations by ourselves’ (1980s or 1990s)
‘It’s the same mentality as Made in Britain, reinforcing independence and self-reliance.’
4/10 Slogan: ‘Love our machines like the anti-Japanese guerrillas who loved their weapons like the pupils of their own eyes’ (1990s)
‘This is just about looking after machinery, basically. It is pure health and safety at work.’
5/10 Slogan: ‘US imperialists cannot let their children know the truth’ (1980s or 1990s)
‘You see this in some of the later ones too: the simplistic use of colour to get across the powerful image. Prior to this you saw more obvious comic styles.’
6/10 Slogan: ‘Destroy US imperialists!’ (2000s)
‘You don’t need the slogan. It’s like advertising, they know how to deliver a message well.’
7/10 Slogan: ‘Let’s increase electricity production by reconstructing thermal power stations and building large hydroelectric plants’ (late 2000s)
‘In Chinese posters subjects usually look at you directly, but in North Korean posters it’s rare.’
8/10 Slogan: Don’t be fooled by their art of disguise!’ (1980s or 1990s)
‘It’s about internal security with Japan, and the US and South Korea as the big enemies.’
9/10 Slogan: ‘Three revolutions, let’s advance the march of grand construction with Chollima [mythical winged horse] speed’ (late 2000s)
‘It’s about the building of the new railways, and she’s even got a Kimjongilia flower that represents Kim Jong-il.’
10/10 Slogan: ‘Let the exploits of the northern railway conductors shine! (2000s)
‘That’s the mythical Chollima horse with the soldier, the intellectual and the peasant to represent culture, technology and agriculture. After the Korean War Kim Il-sung used the Chollima as a way of saying, ‘We are going work at lightning speed’ and the country produced enormous amounts of iron.’
Additional reporting by Reuters and AP
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