SEOUL – A South Korean Navy vessel fired warning shots to drive out a North Korean patrol boat that crossed the western de facto maritime border last week, the South’s military said Sunday.
The North Korean boat crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in waters northeast of South Korea’s Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea on Saturday at 11 a.m., prompting the South Korean Navy to dispatch its Chamsuri-class patrol boat, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
After the North’s boat remained unresponsive to South Korea’s warning broadcasts and communication attempts, the South Korean vessel fired 10 warning shots with its autocannon and made the North Korean boat retreat.
The North Korean boat made the incursion as it was chasing a Chinese fishing boat, according to an informed source.
The JCS said there was contact between the South Korean vessel and the Chinese boat during the operation, and some of the South Korean sailors suffered minor injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
Tension remains high along the poorly defined border, the scene of a series of bloody naval clashes between the two Koreas. North Korea has never recognized the NLL, demanding that it be re-drawn further south.
The incident came as North Korea remains unresponsive to routine inter-Korean calls through the joint liaison office and the military hotline since April 7. (Yonhap)