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Russia warns of ‘colossal danger’ from Korean tensions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Tuesday warned of a colossal danger from North Korea’s firing on a South Korean island, saying the situation risked degenerating into military action.

“This is, unfortunately, not the first incident of this kind,” Lavrov told reporters on a visit to Minsk. “This is already the third case this year but the first two were isolated exchanges of fire.”

“This could degenerate into military actions. This is a colossal danger which we need to avoid with all possible means.”

North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing two people, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South’s military went on top alert.

In what appeared to be one of the most serious border incidents since the 1950-53 war, South Korean troops fired back with cannon.

Lavrov also appeared to strongly condemn North Korea for starting the exchange of fire.

“Those who started by shooting at the South Korean island… took on a great responsibility,” Lavrov said. “It is necessary to end the exchange of fire immediately.”