North and South Korea exchange fire

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The (disputed) sea line between North and South Korea.

North Korea and South Korea have exchanged fire near the disputed sea-border between the countries. There are no reports of casualties.

North Korea fired approximately thirty artillery shells into the water on their side of the border, near South Korea's Baengnyeong Island at 0900 local time (0000 UTC). The South retaliated with around 100 shots.

According to the North, it took place as part of an annual drill. The Korean Central News Agency said that the exercise "will go on in the same waters in the future".

South Korea maintains that it responded by firing at the North's shells. Later reports from the South said that North Korea fired more shells in the general direction of the disputed border some hours after the initial exchange.

This latest incident comes after North Korea declared a 'no-sail' zone off its coastal waters yesterday. It is not the first skirmish around the Military Demarcation Line – the most recent was in November 2009, when a North Korean vessel took "considerable damage" after allegedly crossing the border.