Tags: NKorrea | sea | zone | fire

NKorea Vows to 'Open Fire' in Disputed Sea Zone

Monday, 21 Dec 2009 09:54 AM

SEOUL — North Korea Monday warned South Korean ships to avoid the disputed Yellow Sea border area where a clash broke out last month, saying its coastal artillery would target the area in firing exercises.

The communist state's naval command, in a statement on official media, said the move came in response to "reckless military provocations" from the South.

Tensions have remained high off the west coast since a brief but intense gunfight on November 10 left a North Korean patrol boat in flames. There were deadly naval gunbattles there in 1999 and 2002.

The North refuses to accept the border known as the Northern Limit Line (NLL) which was drawn by United Nations forces after the 1950-53 war.

It demands the border be drawn further to the south and said Monday it would recognise only its own frontier line.

The North said waters near its maritime border have now been declared a "peacetime naval firing zone" for coastal and island artillery units.

"All fishing boats and warships are required to take security measures by themselves in that zone to protect themselves," it said.

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SEOUL — North Korea Monday warned South Korean ships to avoid the disputed Yellow Sea border area where a clash broke out last month, saying its coastal artillery would target the area in firing exercises.
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