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N. Korea holds live-fire drills near disputed sea border

Photo: AFP (file)

North Korea conducted live-fire drills near its maritime border with South Korea on Tuesday, one month after a similar exercise triggered the exchange of hundreds of artillery shells across the disputed boundary.

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Pyongyang conducted the drills in two areas near the disputed sea border.

The latest round of firing began at about 2pm local time (5am GMT) on Tuesday. No rounds appeared to have landed south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) border, a military official from the South said.

North Korea conducted similar drills in late March when it fired more than 500 artillery rounds near the NLL, a disputed maritime border that has been the de facto sea border since the 1950-1953 Korean war.

More than 100 rounds landed south of the border, prompting South Korea to fire hundreds of rounds back into the North’s waters.

The NLL is an extension of the land border between the two Koreas, stretching into the sea west of the Korean peninsula.

It curves northward, effectively isolating five remote South Korean-controlled islands from the mainland, the furthest of which is closer to Pyongyang than Seoul.

South Korean military officials told local residents to seek cover in one of many shelters dotted around the small fishing villages and farming hamlets on the islands, local cable news network YTN said.

South Korean increased its military presence on the islands following the 2010 bombardment of Yeonpyeong island by the North, which it said was in response to South Korean artillery drills.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

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