May 16th, 2010
12:51 AM ET

South Korea fires warning shots at North Korea boats

The South Korean Navy fired warning shots Saturday night after two North Korean patrol boats crossed into South Korean waters, state media said.

The two North Korean patrol boats separately crossed a maritime border in the Yellow Sea. One retreated after receiving a warning communication from the South Korean Navy, and the other retreated after two rounds of warning shots were fired, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff told the state-run Yonhap news agency.

Tensions between the two nations have run high since the mysterious March 26 sinking of a South Korean warship in the border area. Fifty-eight men escaped the sinking ship, but 46 of the 104 crew members died.

A team of South Korean military and civilian investigators tentatively concluded in April that an explosion at close range, and not a direct hit, sank the 1,200-ton ship. A U.S. military official also said  he believes a North Korean torpedo attack was the most likely cause for the sinking.

The South Korean government has declined to explicitly name North Korea as the culprit in the attack. North Korean state media have also denied that the country has any involvement.

Saturday was the first time since the sinking of the ship that North Korean vessels have crossed the border, Yonhap reported. Both boats crossed the Northern Limit Line, the maritime border between the two states, and ventured about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) into South Korean waters before turning back, Yonhap said.

North Korea has claimed the line, which covers rich crab fishing grounds, should be drawn farther south.

The border was the scene of fatal naval skirmishes in 1999 and 2002. The two Koreas also exchanged naval gunfire in 2004 and 2009.

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Filed under: North Korea
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. PT Skipper

    The South Koreans are itching for revenge & they'll have it soon. Send those North Korean rice eaters down to Davy Jones locker.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. bjohnson

    Blow them out of water and say it was a technical malfunction...oops...

    May 16, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike from New York

    Nice to see the South Koreans standing there ground. Its about time the North knew the South wasn't their play thing anymore.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Arturo

    why a warning shot.. shoot them out of the water.. they didnt warn the souths ship before sinkimg it.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chaz

    Almost sounds like something the beginning to a Nuclear holocaust, If thibngs like this keep happening between these two countries.. Who knows..

    May 16, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jack McCrack

    Southern stink boats fire rounds at glorious Juche seafarers.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Greg

    This is just like the U.S. and the U.S.S.R used to do during the Cold War. They just like to have fun every now and then, test each other a little bit.

    If it weren't for the interference of the "Western Powers", they already would have reunited by now. I was stationed in South Korea for the U.S. Army for two and a half years, during which the 1988 Olympics in Seoul took place. This was one of the best times of my life. I was there from May of 1988 to September of 1990. Guess how many times we went on alert because of an incident between North and South across the DMZ or territorial waters? Exactly zero. I am not saying that these incidents don't actually take place, but they are always blown way out of proportion by the "Western Powers", you know, for a reporter to get a "big story" and maybe become famous. I also have officially stood on North Korean Soil, and have my certificate to prove it. I have thought many times about going back to visit; maybe next year.

    Anyways, I am excited for the day that the two Koreas will reunite; I think I will see that day. I think it will happen within the next decade. I know most of you will not agree with me or like my comment, but that is fine with me, because I know way more about this topic than any of you, and I have actually been there, and unlike you, I know what I am talking about. Have a nice day everyone.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • BrooklynJay

      I dont agree with you Greg. If you do indeed know what your talking about, you should come off a little more knowledgeable and support your reasoning behind what you are saying. For example, you cant convince the masses to think something is red if we already believe it is blue without unveiling it or proving that it is the color you say it is. Your information is unsupported and in light of the current situation, rediculous – with all due respect. The North and South had problems way before western intervention. I am not justifying the United States position in Korea, but your comment seemed too out of touch for me to ignore.

      You said you spent time in South Korea and have also traveled to North Korea – does that make you an expert on how North Korea deals with their Southern Neighbors, or for that matter, the rest of the world? I think without stepping foot in either country I seem to have a better grip on reality there than you do. I actually do think the North would like the two nations to be one again. The problem is, I dont think they want a reunification – instead, I think the North would much rather annex the South. How do you think this would work out. One country is considered by most of the world to be a rogue nation lead by a dictator and the other is a fully democratic state. If you have further information that you did not yet share that would bring me or any other readers in company closer to a higher understanding on this matter, please respond.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike Brinley

    For the last commentator. Have you ever read about the north korean expatriots who have defected? They are so controlled by there government who maintain a constant culture of fear that they can't function in normal South Korean Society.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. MattyH

    as for gregs comment , as i stated before i served at camp casey in south korea as a military policeman and know the area and its politics well also.while i will agree they blow things out of proportion there is no way the 2 koreas will ever reunite under the current political system.first kim jong il must die and be replaced by a true leader with the countries best interests in mind instead of his own personal gain while half his country starves to death , if kim jong il dies and another just like him takes his place the whole process starts over and we must wait for his successor.in addition if and when this leader of the north emerges it will take many years for the two sides to learn to trust each other again.this will all take much more than a decade.lastly i too have stood on north korean soil , though i dont think it was nearly as exciting for me as it was for you.the north is a terrible place ran by terrible human beings.to see or think any different is foolhardy and makes me wonder how truthful you are being about your so called time time there in the military , unless your a north sympathizer to which i would say by all means , go live there and see how great kim jong ils paradise is for the average man.thank you.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • BrooklynJay

      MattyH could not have put it better. I did not want to be so Frank with Greg's Testomony. It sums up what I put in my last comment.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gary

    Greg, do you wanna cry ?

    May 16, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Larry

    i agree with Greg. I'm in the ROK right now and the only thing we hear of these "incidents" comes from the US media. i think the 2 Korea's will unite, and they should. The South has a lot to gain from a workforce in need of jobs from the north, and the north has a lot to gain from the economy and technology in the south. Even the Koreas themselves aren't against uniting, the big issue is uniting under what flag?

    May 16, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. hoffa

    No one wants a war. PERIOD. The chinese would like a buffer zone in the korean penninsula from the pro-western government of south korea. If there is a war, the obvious result is a south korean victory and therefore a pro west power in complete control of the penninsula. I'd find it hard to believe that expanding China would sit on its collective hands with a western expansion of power on its immediate border (let alone what it considers its area of influence). South Korea would, after the possible use of chemical artillery shells as well as possible strikes on Seoul, now have to absorb a technically backwards, starving country of equal size. There is no way they could cope with the financial burden of both a damaged industrial center as well as a HUGE influx of hungy people from the North. The US doesnt want war because we are busy with two other wars at the moment and suffering from financial difficulties.

    Kimmy Il may be crazy but he isnt stupid. Any outright attack pushes the envelope toward eventual war but I believe Jong knows that if he is to receive aid for his people pushing that envelope now is a good idea. He'll push until he gets some form of aid (read bribe) from the international community, because he knows full well there is nothing we can do about it at the moment. The North Koreans are on borrowed time as their "dear leader" closes out on his attrocious life, the rest of the world can do little but sit back with the small hope that his son, who is european educated, can finally bring the North Koreans back to the civilized world.

    May 16, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. MattyH

    well larry you make it sound so simple.as if theres nothing but peace and love by each side for the other side.again i have to ask you the same thing i asked greg , are you sure you are in rok and not in a closet at your moms house in birmingham or something?your both speaking of and alluding to things that dont exist.the countries are only willing to come back together if they get there own way.meaning the south wants to unite and mold the country in its own fashion and the north wants the same.only problem is neithers idea of what the united korea should be like are anywhere close to the others.as i said in previous post kim jong il must pass away before any talk of a reunited korea can even begin.until then the south koreans would sooner die in a nuclear flash than submit to that sawed off runt.as for the north there view is its our way or we continue sitting here in a stalemate for another 60 years.not exactly a strong stance to begin reunification talks with is it?starting to think maybe you are both just posting to try and get a rise out of your comments?you both claim to have spent time there and/or be there now and yet you seem hopelessly clueless to the reality of the situation.as for the media coverage of what happens , i already agreed with greg , its no so much "western media" blowing it out of proprotion as much as it is we have a free media that report on what they see fit as opposed to a state run media that only broadcasts what it believes is in its own best interests.i dont know , maybe theres a 2nd south and 2nd north korea ive never been too heard of that you guys are referring to?not sure what else to make of these comments painting such a rosey korean peninsula picture ..........

    May 16, 2010 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. sam123

    The last thing we want now is North and South Korea exchanging fires. arnt we tired of fighting already ? http://www.afrowall.com posted this news earlier and i thought there werejoking.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Maria Ruiz

    Gurabo, Puerto Rico-east part of the Island. First, it felt like a shockwave, and then a fast movement. The first to notice what was going on was my Rottweiler, which quickly jumped up.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |