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S Korea fires warning shots to repel N Korean patrol boat

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AP) – South Korea said it fired warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat that temporarily crossed the countries’ disputed western sea boundary while chasing an unarmed North Korean vessel.

The North Korean patrol boat crossed the so-called Northern Limit Line yesterday morning while pursuing the vessel in waters near South Korea’s Baekryeong island and retreated after a South Korean naval ship fired warning shots, according to Seoul’s Defence Ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

South Korean military officials seized the North Korean vessel being chased by the patrol boat and were questioning its seven crewmembers.

South Korea’s navy has often fired warning shots to repel North Korean vessels crossing the countries’ poorly marked sea border, but there also have been some deadly clashes over the years. South Korea blamed North Korea for an attack on a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors in 2010, but the North has denied responsibility.

South Korea has patrolled waters around the Northern Limit Line for decades after it was drawn up by the United Nations (UN) command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

File photo shows South Korean Navy’s patrol ships search for survivors from the sunken South Korean navy ship near South Korea’s Baekryeong island. PHOTO: AP

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