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Pyongyang, Seoul trade fire near sea border

[ 2010-01-28 13:09]     字号 [] [] []  
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Pyongyang fired artillery and Seoul responded with warning shots along their western sea border yesterday, but there were no reports of casualties and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) vowed more barrages would follow as part of a military drill.

The DPRK fired around 30 artillery rounds into the sea from its coast and the Republic of Korea (ROK) immediately responded with 100 shots from a marine base on an island near the sea border, an officer at the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said.

He said no casualties or damage were reported, and that the DPRK's artillery fire landed in its own waters while the ROK fired into the air. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

Later yesterday, the DPRK issued a statement saying it had fired artillery off its coast as part of an annual military drill and would continue doing so.

Such drills "will go on in the same waters in the future", the General Staff of the (DPRK's) Korean People's Army said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The DPRK fired more shots later yesterday but the ROK didn't respond, a ROK Defense Ministry official said, also requesting anonymity due to department policy.

The exchange of fire came two days after the DPRK designated two no-sail zones in the area through March 29.

The DPRK has sent a series of mixed signals to the ROK recently, combining offers of dialogue on economic cooperation with military threats, including one this month to destroy the ROK's presidential palace. ROK Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, meanwhile, angered Pyongyang by saying Seoul's military should launch a pre-emptive strike if there was a clear indication the DPRK was preparing a nuclear attack.

The ROK's Defense Ministry sent the DPRK's military a message yesterday expressing serious concern about the firing, saying it fostered "unnecessary tension" between the two sides.

It also urged the DPRK to retract the no-sail zones, calling them a "grave provocation" and a violation of the Korean War armistice.


1. How many artillery rounds were fired by the DPRK?

2. How many shots were fired by the ROK?

3. What date were the designated no-sail zones until?


1. 30.


3. March 29.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Pyongyang, Seoul trade fire near sea border

About the broadcaster:

Pyongyang, Seoul trade fire near sea border

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.