North and South Korea Clash at Sea

Korean Peninsula

Korean Peninsula

Naval forces of North Korea and South Korea exchanged fire at their west coast in the Yellow Sea at 11:28 AM local time (0228 GMT), November 10, 2009, Tuesday. South Korea’s Yonhap agency reported.

No casualties were initially reported but a North Korean boat was badly damaged.

A South Korean official was cited that North Korean ships crossed the boundary and that the South Korean ships fired warning shots. The North Korean ship continued sailing southwards and that is the time South Korean opened fire. The North Korean boat fired back.

The clash came eight days before a scheduled visit of US President Barack Obama in South Korea as part of his Asian tour.

The two Korean nations have disputed the actual water boundaries -known as the Northern Limit Line (NLL), between them. The Korean War, which paused in an armistice July 27, 1953, has not been officially ended though a treaty.

Previous skirmishes between the two nations occurred in 1999 and 2002. North Korean ships have also ventured into the South Korean waters. Four casualties and nine injuries were recorded in the 2002 conflict.