On Nov. 27, 2001, North Korean soldiers opened fire across the demilitarized border zone at a South Korean guardpost. South Korean soldiers responded with fire, though none were killed from either side. Another exchange of fire would not be recorded until July 23, 2003.
Despite the Nov. 27 incident, two days later the United States reaffirmed it would provide humanitarian assistance to North Korea and desired to resume talks.
And even after President George W. Bush in January 2002 characterized North Korea, along with Iraq and Iran, as part of the so-called “axis of evil,” Secretary of State Colin Powell reiterated that Washington was willing to resume dialogue with the North at "any time, any place, or anywhere without any preconditions."