North and South Korea traded fire across their disputed western maritime border on Monday, with the South\’s military saying it had responded to shells landing in its waters from a North live-fire drill, AFP news agency reported.
North Korea announced early on Monday that it would hold live-fire drills in seven parts of the border area.
South Korea says it returned fire after North Korean shells landed in its territorial waters.
The area has been a flashpoint between the two Koreas. The UN drew the western border after the Korean War, but North Korea has never recognised it.
Seoul responded immediately on Monday by shelling North Korean waters. Officials say no shells hit any land areas on either side along the western sea boundary and no one was injured. South Korean officials said some residents of border islands were evacuated to shelters as a precaution.
The North in recent weeks has increased threatening rhetoric and conducted a series of rocket and ballistic missile launches into waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
Pyongyang threatened on Sunday to conduct what it called "a new form of nuclear test" after the U.N. Security Council condemned the North\’s recent ballistic missile launches.
A statement Sunday from the North\’s Foreign Ministry said it was intolerable that the Security Council would "turn a blind eye" to U.S. nuclear war exercises while denouncing the North Korean army\’s self-defensive rocket launch exercises.
After North Korea fired two medium-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula Wednesday, the Security Council condemned the launches the next day, saying they violated U.N. resolutions.
Pyongyang routinely calls military drills between South Korea and the U.S. a rehearsal for invasion.
Source – Agencies