Monday, November 29, 1999

North Korean ships cross sea border, South fires shots

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Seoul, May 16 (DPA) Two North Korean naval boats crossed into South Korean waters Saturday, but retreated after warning shots by the South Korean navy, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sunday.Military officials said a North Korean boat crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea at 10:13 pm and ventured 2.2 km South Korean waters, Yonhap news agency reported.It said the North Korean boat retreated back across the maritime border about 30 minutes later, the South navy had sent a warning communication.Another North Korean patrol boat crossed the sea border less than an hour later, about 2 km into South Korean waters, the report said. It retreated minutes later after the South's navy fired two rounds of warning shots.Officials said it was the first time since the sinking of a South Korean warship near the western sea border March 26 that a North Korean vessel has violated the NLL.The de facto maritime border was drawn by a US military commander at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in a truce. The North claims that the line should be drawn farther south, the report said.

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