Seoul Accuses North Korea Of Firing Artillery Shells At Its Ship

Seoul Accuses North Korea Of Firing Artillery Shells At Its Ship

By Dirk Godder

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired artillery Thursday near a South Korean warship on patrol near their disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Two shells went into the water near the corvette 9 miles south of Yeonpyeong Island, and the crew responded with several shots of its own into North Korean waters, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Residents on Yeonpyeong were told to take cover in air raid shelters, but no one was hurt and no property damage was reported.

The exchange of fire occurred two days after South Korea fired warning shots at three North Korean military vessels that had crossed into South Korean waters also off their west coasts.

North Korea’s military warned Wednesday that all South Korean ships could become targets for an attack.

North Korean patrol boats frequently cross the border, which was established by the United Nations after the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea does not recognize that border and has said it should run south of Yeonpyeong.

The border area has seen numerous clashes between warships from both Koreas, and in 2010, North Korea bombarded Yeonpyeong with artillery fire, killing two South Korean soldiers and two civilians.

Yeonpyeong lies 7.5 miles from North Korea’s coast and two miles south of the sea border.

AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je

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