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3 N. Korean military ships violate sea border in succession

All Headlines 18:52 May 20, 2014

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- Three North Korean military vessels briefly crossed the western maritime border on Tuesday, prompting the South Korean military to fire warning shots to force their retreat, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

"Two patrol boats and one government ship from North Korea crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea at around 4 p.m. in succession," the JCS said in a statement.

The vessels retreated about an hour later after the shots were fired, according to the JCS.

The intrusion took place in waters near Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea's northernmost territory in the Yellow Sea that lies off the coast of North Korea's Hwanghae Province.

Drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, the NLL acts as the de facto sea border between the two Koreas.

Pyongyang does not recognize the line as legitimate, and the area has been the site of several bloody clashes between the two sides.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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