South Korea has ordered the evacuation of residents living near the western border with North Korea after and exchange of fire.

Early reports say that North Korea fired a shell at a South Korean military unit early on Thursday morning. South Korea responded by firing several artillery rounds back over the border towards North Korean positions.

The South Korean National Security Council is due to hold an emergency session to discuss the escalation.

The exchange of fire comes after South Korea restarted broadcasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda from loudspeakers situated at the border for the first time in 11 years. North Korea’s army described the broadcasts as a declaration of war and restarted their own competing loudspeaker announcements at the border.

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