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North, South Korean Warships Exchange Warning Shots

North and South Korean warships exchanged warning shots near a disputed sea border Tuesday, days after the two sides agreed to high-level talks that many hope could improve inter-Korean relations.

Seoul defense officials say a South Korean naval ship fired a warning shot after a North Korean vessel crossed the so-called Northern Limit Line off the western coast. The North Korean ship returned fire before retreating.

The officials, who spoke anonymously, said neither ship intended to hit one another and that no injuries or damage occurred in the early Tuesday incident.

Such incursions are not uncommon, since North Korea has never recognized the de facto Yellow Sea border, which was drawn by the United Nations at the end of the 1950s Korean War.

But the incident raises tensions ahead of high-level talks that were agreed to after senior North Korean officials made a surprise visit to the South for the closing ceremonies of the Asian Games on Saturday.

The delegation was led by North Korea’s number two man, Hwang Pyong So, who was joined by senior ruling party members Cho Ryong Hae and Kim Yang Gon.
(voanews)

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