S. Korea beefs up defenses after sea clash with N. Korea
MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - South Korea has deployed a new destroyer to enhance the protection of its western sea border following a recent exchange of gunfire between one of its warships and a North Korean patrol boat, the Yonhap news agency reported.
The South Korean news agency quoted on Thursday an unidentified military official as saying that the Choi Young missile destroyer will join another destroyer in patrols near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a de facto boundary between the two Koreas.
The 4,500-ton Choi Young was commissioned by the South Korean Navy in 2008. It is armed with a 127-mm gun, anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.
A North Korean patrol vessel crossed on Tuesday the disputed sea border, prompting the South to fire warning shots. According to the South Korean Navy, the communist state's boat, which fired back, "suffered considerable damage," but no casualties were reported on either side.
This was the first clash in seven years along the demarcation line set unilaterally by the U.S.-led UN forces after the Korean War ended in 1953.
Pyongyang does not recognize the NLL, and the two Koreas are technically still at war as they have not signed a peace treaty.
In 1999 and 2002 deadly clashes along the NLL killed at least six South Koreans and dozens of North Korean sailors.
Nonlethal armed incidents have also occasionally taken place in the area.
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