(CNN) -- North and South Korean artillery batteries exchanged hundreds of shells across their western sea border Monday, a day after North Korea warned it was preparing to test another nuclear device.
About 100 of the 500 shells North Korea fired into the Yellow Sea strayed across the line separating the two rivals' territorial waters, the semiofficial South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. Yonhap quoted the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying the South responded by firing about 300 shells into North Korean waters and dispatching fighter jets to the boundary, known as the Northern Limit Line.
North Korean offshore firing appeared to have resumed after a lull, Yonhap reported, citing a resident of Baekryong Island, which is close to the Northern Limit Line.
"Some (North Korean) artillery fire landed in (the) southern part of Northern Limit Line but in the water," a South Korean Ministry of Defense spokesman said. "We counter-fired over the Northern Limit Line."
When asked what South Korea fired back at, the defense spokesman said, "We are not shooting at North Korea, just shooting into the sea."
The United States, South Korea's leading ally, condemned the North Korean shelling from the White House and the Pentagon.
Washington is working "in close coordination" with South Korea and Japan, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, calling on North Korea "to refrain from actions that threaten regional peace and security."
And Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon, "The provocation that the North Koreans have, once again, engaged in is dangerous, and it needs to stop."
China, the North's main patron, also expressed concern.
"The temperature is rising at present on the Korean Peninsula, and this worries us," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing. "We hope that all sides can remain calm and exercise restraint."
Kim Jong Un really is the funniest/most terrifying world figure out there right now. He's literally a child in a short, pudgy, weird-haircut having, man-boy form, which is obviously really scary seeing how he's the leader of a country with nuclear capabilities... but it's also pretty god damn entertaining. From his new "every man in the country needs to have my haircut" law to his insistence that unicorns exist in North Korea (not to mention the countless rumors of his over the top abuses of power), Kim is always good for a headline displaying his juvenile leadership style, and to me this is just another perfect example of that.
There's a solid zero chance that this "errant testing" from the North was a mistake. You can just picture Kim sitting next to the artillery while the testing is going on, knowing that the only place he can't aim is toward the South Korea border, which in turns makes it the only target he wants to aim at. After the first 400 shells get fired, that temptation just becomes too much to resist, and he can't help but adjust the crosshairs a little to the left for that last 100 shots. "Oh I wasn't supposed to fire over there? Ohhh, I'm sooo sorry, I wasn't even paying attention, those shells just got away from me..."
It's just like the time you and your brother get your first BB guns for Christmas, and your only instruction is you can't shoot at each other. There's only so many Dr. Pepper cans you can put tiny holes in before turning your sights on your annoying little sibling's calves.* You tell a kid he can't do something, you can be sure it's the only thing he wants to do. Good on South Korea for stepping up to him, which is exactly how you treat the little curiously rebellious kid. Now let's just hope he doesn't keep testing his boundaries until he starts something like, you know, a nuclear war, cus that shit's not funny ten times out of ten.
* Everyone has that same reference in their past, right?