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By Kim Soo Yeon
SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s military said Monday it fired warning shots at a North Korean ship that crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea, the border de facto shipping. The North also opened a “warning fire” against the South in response.
A North Korean merchant vessel violated the NLL in waters near the frontline island of Baengnyeong at 3:42 a.m. and retreated north after the South Korean navy issued warning messages and fired warning shots, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) South. .
Shortly after the announcement, the North Korean military claimed that a South Korean warship violated the western sea border and fired 10 artillery shells into the western sea from multiple rocket launchers. during his “threat and warning fires”.
The South Korean escort ship invaded the military demarcation line controlled by the North Korean military for 2.5 to 5 kilometers at 3:50 a.m. under the pretext of carrying out crackdown operations against an unidentified ship, said an anonymous spokesperson for the Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Staff said in a statement.
“The KPA General Staff once again sends a grave warning to the enemies who have even made a naval intrusion following provocations such as the recent artillery fire and the broadcast of loudspeakers on the front land,” reads the English-language statement released by the Korean Central. Press Agency.
The JCS South also said it detected the North launching 10 artillery shells, which began around 5:14 a.m., in violation of the September 19 comprehensive military agreement between the two sides aimed at reducing border tensions. . The JCS called it a provocation undermining peace and stability not only on the peninsula but also within the international community.
The warning firefight between the two Koreas came amid heightened tensions on the peninsula amid continued provocations by North Korea, including a barrage of ballistic missile tests and shelling. artillery.
Speculation is rife that North Korea may conduct a nuclear test as soon as China’s main party congress ends this weekend.
Northern ships frequently penetrated beyond the NLL, as it had long demanded that the line be moved farther south.
Drawn by the United Nations Command led by the United States at the end of the Korean War of 1950-1953, the NLL serves as the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas. Pyongyang does not recognize the border and the two sides fought bloody battles there in 1999, 2002 and 2009.