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N Korea fires shells, misses S Korea warship in disputed waters

22 May 2014, 15:01 -- North Korea on Thursday fired shells into disputed waters near a South Korean warship on patrol south of the Yellow Sea border, South Korea's defense ministry said.

'The shells fell near our ship which has been on regular patrol in our territory, but it did not cause any damage to our ship,' a ministry spokesman told AFP.

The North's move began at 6:00 pm (09:00 GMT), prompting a response from the South Korean vessel which fired an unspecified number of rounds into North Korean territorial waters, he said.

The South Korean ship was sailing near the front-line island of Yeonpyeong, the spokesman said, adding residents on the island were advised to move to civilian shelters.

In November 2010, North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong island, killing four South Koreans and briefly triggering concerns of a full-scale conflict.

The North's military threatened Wednesday to attack South Korean warships 'without any warning' if there was even a 'trifle' violation of the Yellow Sea maritime border.

The threat came a day after a South Korean naval ship fired warning shots to stop an incursion by three North Korean patrol boats across the sea boundary.

N Korea threatens to strike S Korea warships near sea border

North Korea threatened Wednesday to launch an attack on South Korean warships without warning if there was even a 'trifling' provocation near their disputed Yellow Sea border.

A South Korean naval ship fired warning shots Tuesday after three North Korean patrol boats crossed the sea boundary. On Wednesday the North's military accused South Korea of 'an intentional grave provocation' at a time when North Korean vessels had been chasing Chinese boats fishing illegally in the area.

In future South Korean naval vessels near the border would be the target of 'precision' strikes without warning if they were involved in 'any trifling provocations', it said in a statement on the official KCNA news agency.

'We are willing to go for a showdown right now if the puppet rogue is desperate to stand face-to-face with us,' it said, AFP reports.

It is not uncommon for North Korean patrol boats and fishing boats to cross the sea border into the South.

Two North Korean patrol boats violated the sea border last month, just before US President Barack Obama arrived in Seoul for a two-day visit.

The North does not recognize the Yellow Sea border, the scene of brief but bloody naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and 2009.

In March the North fired hundreds of shells in a live exercise near the sea boundary. About 100 shells dropped into South Korean territorial waters, and the South responded with volleys of shells into North Korean waters.

South Korean ships sent warning gunshot as North Korean boats violate sea border

Naval patrollers from South Korean sent some warning gunshots across the water at North Korean military vessels that dared to cross the maritime border.

'Two patrol boats and one government ship from North Korea crossed the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea … in succession,' Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement reported by NBC.

The North Korean boats, which normally serve to keep fishing boats on the right side of the boundary, crossed into South Korean waters at 0700 GMT, the South's joint chiefs of staff said.

The incursion prompted a South Korean naval ship to fire 10 warning rounds, after which the North Korean vessels retreated to the North side of the border, it said.

Source: shells-misses-S-Korea-warship-in-disputed-waters-3746/

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