South Korea navy fires warning shots at boat from North

Naval ships opened fire after North Korean patrol vessel crossed disputed sea border in the Yellow Sea, officials said.

    South Korean naval vessels have been involved in a number of clashes with North Korean vessels [File: EPA]
    South Korean naval vessels have been involved in a number of clashes with North Korean vessels [File: EPA]

    A South Korean naval ship has fired warning shots to chase off a North Korean patrol boat which crossed their disputed western sea border, military officials said.

    The reported incursion on Tuesday morning came as military tensions run high across the Yellow Sea maritime boundary, a scene of sporadic battles between South and North Korean vessels, the South's defence ministry said.

    "The North Korean boat sailed into the southern side of the sea boundary but retreated after our naval ship fired warning shots," a ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency. 

    South Korea vows 'merciless' response to North's missiles

    It was not clear whether the incursion was intentional. North Korean patrol ships sometimes sail into southern waters to track Chinese vessels fishing illegally near the sea border.

    The two Koreas remain technically at war since the Korean conflict was concluded with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, and small border incidents in the past have been known to escalate swiftly.


    OPINION: The rumoured reformation of North Korea


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

    In March this year, the North threatened to fire on sight without warning at any South Korean naval vessels violating the sea border.

    Cross-border tensions have remained high this year due to a series of North Korean ballistic missile tests, nuclear threats and annual US-South Korean military exercises.

    Pyongyang sees the joint drills as a rehearsal for invasion. South Korea and the US say they are purely defensive.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.