North Korea, South Korea Navies Clash off Peninsula Coast

World | November 10, 2009, Tuesday // 08:01
Bulgaria: North Korea, South Korea Navies Clash off Peninsula Coast A skirmish between naval patrols of North and South Korea occurred Tuesday. This undated handout picture shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (front) inspecting a vessel in 2008. Photo by EPA/BGNES

A skirmish happened Tuesday between naval vessels of North and South Korea off the western coast of the Korean Peninsula.

The fighting erupted when a North Korean patrol boat sailed across the so-called northern limit line drawn by the United Nations at the end of the Korean War in 1953 but never accepted by North Korea, the Yonhap agency reported.

The South Korean vessels first issued warning broadcasts, and then fired warning shots. At that point, according to the South Korean military, the North Korean patrol boat attacked their high-speed patrol boat. The South Korean ship returned the fire.

“Our high-speed patrol boat repelled the North Korean patrol boat.We are fully prepared for further provocations from the North Korean military,” the South Korean Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The damaged patrol boat retreated to North Korea, according to the news agency Yonhap. No casualties on the South Korean side have been reported, and there has been no announcement of any casualties or damages suffered by the North Korean forces.

Tuesday’s incident is not unlike the naval skirmishes between the forces and North Korea and South Korea in 1999 and 2002. It has happened just several days before the scheduled visit of US President Barack Obama to Seoul.

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Tags: North Korea, South Korea, navy, navy patrol, Korean Peninsula, skirmish, border dispute
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