N. Korea fires some 200 artillery shots into West Sea

By Park Sae-jin Posted : January 5, 2024, 14:01 Updated : January 5, 2024, 15:09

SEOUL -- North Korea has fired some 200 artillery shots into the West Sea, also known as the Yellow Sea. The shells landed just north of the Northern Limit Line, a maritime demarcation line in the West Sea that separates North Korea and South Korea.

The Northern Limit Line (NLL) was drawn initially by the United Nations Command (UNC) in 1953 during the armistice negotiations that brought a ceasefire to the Korean War (1950~1953). However, Pyongyang has continuously challenged the NLL's legitimacy, claiming a different maritime boundary.

The September 19 Inter-Korean Military Agreement made in 2018 included measures to reduce tensions in the area but the military tension between Seoul and Pyongyang has heightened since President Yoon Suk-yeol took office and showed a stern stance towards Pyongyang. North Korea's last drill in the maritime buffer zone took place in December 2022.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the North Korean military fired some 200 rounds of artillery into the West Sea from the northern areas of Baekryeong Island and Yeonpyeong Island, the northernmost islands located near the NLL, at about 9:00 a.m. (0000 GMT). The South Korean military command said that all shells landed in the sea north of the NLL and no damages were taken by South Korean civilians and the military.
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