He south korean army fired warning shots at a patrol boat Kim Jong-un regime that crossed the de facto maritime border between the two countries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced in a statement.
The ship breached the Northern Limit Line early Saturday near the South Korean island of Baekryeong.
“Our Navy’s high-speed boat sent alert messages and fired warning shots and immediately diverted it”, he added.
“Our armed forces are prepared for various provocations and maintain a decisive combat posture while closely monitoring the enemy’s movements,” the statement added.
During the operation, some South Korean crew members were treated for injuries sustained when their ship collided with a Chinese fishing vessel.
The de facto maritime border, which has not been officially recognized by the North Korean regime, has been a focus of conflict between the two Koreas.
the army of South Korea It has fired warning shots before to repel North Korean ships crossing the sea border, but there have also been deadly clashes over the years. Seoul blamed Kim Jong-un for an attack against a South Korean warship which killed 46 sailors in 2010, but the North has denied responsibility.
The attack this Saturday occurred amid an increase in tensions in the region, due to the fact that the pace of the North Korea nuclear tests and the joint military exercises of the United States and South Korea aimed at countering threats from Kim Jong-un have intensified to levels never seen before.
Last week, North Korea launched what it described as a solid fuel intercontinental ballistic missile which, if perfected, could give the North a more powerful and harder-to-detect weapon targeting the continental United States.
Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in years, after Pyongyang declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear powerwhich eliminated the possibility of a denuclearization dialogue.
While North Korea intensified missile tests in the past year, Washington and Seoul they increased their military cooperation with joint military exercises.
For the North Korean dictator, such exercises are rehearsals for an invasion.
The South Korean government indicated last week that it believes North Korea has “unilaterally” cut off cross-border telephone communications in a moment of special tension in the peninsula due to the grand maneuvers by Seoul and Washington and the weapons tests of Pyongyang.
The last time the North completely disrupted communications was in the summer of 2020. in protest of Seoul’s alleged inaction in the face of anti-regime propaganda being sent out by activists from the South.
Another precedent for this silence took place in 2017, when North Korea broke communication several days before launching a ballistic missile that flew over Japan. The direct line between the two countries was theoretically restored four years later.
(With information from AFP and The Associated Press)
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