S Korea, DPRK clash in naval coast off west coast, no casualty reports on S Korean side

11:27, November 10, 2009      

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South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) clashed in naval coast off west coast of the peninsula in the morning of Tuesday, the Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) said.

File photo taken on Oct. 2, 2007 shows soldiers (Back) of the People's Army of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) walking as a South Korean soldier looking on at the truce village of Panmunjom, the border between the DPRK and South Korea. Naval forces of South Korea and the DPRK clashed off the west coast of the Korean peninsula in the morning of Nov. 10, 2009, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said, quoting its government source. (Xinhua/Gong Bing)

According to the JCS, a DPRK patrol ship crossed South Korea's Northern Limit Line (NLL) around local time 11:28 a.m. (0228 GMT) near Baekryoung Island, leading the South Korean Navy to fire warning shots for around 15 minutes.

As the DPRK vessel, ignoring the warnings, continued to sail into the southern territory, the South Korean Navy fired additional shots, it said.

The DPRK side is reportedly to have started countering shots at 11:37 a.m. (0237 GMT), and the clash lasted about 3 minutes, according to the JCS.

"No casualty has been reported on the South Korean side, and the North Korean (DPRK) vessel returned back after getting half-destructed at the clash," local media said, quoting the JCS.

Nine fishing boats were sailing near the site of the clash, but they were all moved to a safety zone, the JCS added.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, upon receiving the report of the clash, convened an emergency meeting, local news channel YTN reported.

The Ministry of Defense plans to hold a press briefing at local time 03:00 p.m. (0600 GMT).

Source: Xinhua
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