Tensions in Asia-Pacific continue to stir up the region this week, from North Korea’s firing another “warning shots” over South Korean military drills to China’s persistence to get hold of Taiwan like its dominant control over Hong Kong. Japan is also beginning to operate its SeaGuardian Drones to bolster its maritime patrolling near the surrounding coast of the country, while Australia is setting aside million-dollar worth of funding to deploy policemen in the Solomon Islands in next week’s budget to expand its leverage in the region against the growing influence of Beijing. Here are our top four stories for this week.

North Korea Sends Another ‘Serious Warning’ To South

North Korea has been barraging the South, pestering its archnemesis neighbor with a series of alarming missile live-test firings since late September. The artillery launching on Wednesday was the latest in the saga, firing over the maritime buffer zones near the inter-Korean border overnight – stating that the move was yet another “serious warning” against Seoul’s ongoing military drills.

According to news reports, Pyongyang fired more than a hundred artillery rounds off its west coast just hours after shooting over its sea off its east and west coasts. It previously live-tested short-range ballistic missiles and hundreds of artillery rounds near the heavily armed inter-Korean border last week, to which South Korea responded by kicking off its annual Hoguk defense drills.

The drill, which aims to strengthen its deterrence versus North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, is one of the many exercises Seoul has conducted aside from its recent joint activities with the US and Japan. Last week’s military exercise has “angered” the North, to which the latter responded and called them “provocations and threatening countermeasures.” The spokesperson for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) said that these “reckless provocations” must be stopped immediately before they would further escalate.

“Our Army strongly warns the enemy forces to immediately stop the highly irritating provocative act in the frontline areas,” the KPA official said.