North and South Korea exchange fire near disputed sea border

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Seoul, Jan. 27 (ANI): North and South Korean forces have engaged in a low intensity clash by exchanging fire near a disputed sea border.

Land-based North Korean artillery targeted waters near the Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea as South Korean forces deployed anti-aircraft guns to intercept the salvo.

N o injuries were reported, and no naval vessels were said to be involved in the clash.

Sky News quoted a South Korean spokesman as saying: "When the north fired, some 20-30 columns of water shot up into the sky."

Marines responded by firing shore-based Vulcan cannon at the incoming rounds.

The western coastal waters have been the scene of bloody naval exchanges in the past.n November, a North Korean sailor was killed and a South Korean vessel badly shot up when both sides clashed in the disputed waters.

Wednesday's incident came 24 hours after North Korea declared the waters a "no sail" area, fuelling speculations that it was preparing to test-fire another short-range missile in the area.

Last month, the communist North warned South Korean shipping to avoid the coastal area, saying its artillery would stage "live fire" exercises in response to "reckless military provocations" from the South.

"North Korea will likely continue such low intensity military provocations like this in the next few months. But it is unlikely to take things to the extreme as it in general wants to maintain economic cooperation with South Korea. And its ships are out-gunned by the South," said Baek Seung Joo, of the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses. (ANI)

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