Two Koreas exchange warning shots near maritime border amid tensions

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North Korea fired 10 artillery shells off its west coast on Monday, the North’s official KCNA said, in response to South Korea’s warning shots fired at a North Korean boat that crossed the two Koreas’ maritime border.

North Korea fired 10 shells of multiple rocket launchers at around 5:15 am (-1day 2015 GMT) after the South Korean military fired warning shots at around 3:50 am citing patrol activities, a spokesman for the General Staff of the North’s Korean People’s Army said.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it sent back a North Korean merchant vessel that crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto sea boundary between the two Koreas.

“The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army …ordered to fire 10 shots from multiple rocket launchers to sternly send back the enemy’s vessel,” the North Korean spokesman said in a statement carried by the KCNA.