A Seoul patrol boat fired warning shots due to the appearance of a North Korean patrol boat in the waters of the DPRK-ROK border line in the Yellow Sea (NLL). This is reported by Yonhap News agency on Sunday, April 16.
The NLL is the de facto border between countries. A day earlier, a DPRK ship crossed it in the area of \u200b\u200bPennendo Island, South Korea responded with 10 shots from the Chamsuri patrol ship, while the South Korean side tried to contact the “neighbors” before the volleys, but there was no response.
After a warning fire, the North Korean patrol was forced to return to its waters. It is specified that the purpose of the arrival of the DPRK patrol boat was to pursue a Chinese fishing vessel. However, as a result, Chinese fishermen collided with a South Korean ship. The incident occurred due to poor visibility, the Koreans received minor injuries.
The agency clarifies that the DPRK has not been contacting inter-Korean lines since April 7, and also refuses to recognize the demarcation line in the Yellow Sea as a maritime border.
On April 11, South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Yong-se expressed deep regret at the fact that the DPRK stopped answering daily calls on the inter-Korean communication line and military line. According to him, this is a one-sided and irresponsible step.
Earlier, on April 2, Pyongyang expressed its readiness to use its nuclear potential if provocations from Seoul and Washington go too far. They said that the DPRK would be forced to take extreme measures if other ways to contain the escalation were useless. The country evaluates this as “preparation for aggression.”
Thus, North Korea commented on the increasing joint military activities of the United States and South Korea, including the Freedom Shield headquarters exercises and the first major Warrior Shield field exercises in several years. Washington and Seoul have agreed to cooperate in the format of large-scale exercises in 2023 in connection with the nuclear threat that comes from the DPRK.
At the same time, North Korea began active missile launches as part of the exercises last year and continues to the present, despite warnings from China, Japan, South Korea and the United States. North Korea has been a nuclear power since 2005.