DPRK warns of navy conflict with S. Korea

18:26, October 15, 2009      

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The navy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) accused South Korean warships of intruding its territorial waters, warning of a military conflict, the official KCNA news agency reported Thursday, citing a statement by the navy command.

The statement, issued on Wednesday, said that South Korea had escalated military provocations in the West Sea of Korea since mid-September. On Oct.12 alone 16 South Korean warships infiltrated into the territorial waters near South Hwanghae province of the DPRK to drive away the DPRK's fishing boats which were in normal fishing operations.

The statement warned that naval clashes may break out between the two sides, and asked South Korea to withdraw its navy without delay.

The intrusions were South Korea's premeditated moves to deliberately escalate tension in the waters and deteriorate the inter-Korean relations once again, it said, adding that the DPRK will not admit the extension of the Military Demarcation Line as the sea border of the two Koreas.

The West Sea border of the two Koreas was not clearly demarcated when the Korean War ended in 1953. The American-led UN Command unilaterally delineated the sea border, but the DPRK has never recognized it.

The Koreas fought deadly naval gun battles in the area in 1999 and 2002 which killed dozens of DPRK and South Korean sailors and escalated tensions between the two states which are technically still at war.

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