UK & World News

  • 29 April 2014, 12:09

North Korea Holds Live-Fire Drills Near Border

North Korea has carried out live-fire drills in two areas near the disputed Yellow Sea border with the South, which told its island residents to take cover in shelters.

The Pyongyang regime fired artillery close to the Northern Limit Line (NLL) but no rounds appear to have landed south of it.

The drills came hours after North Korea told Seoul of the areas near populated South Korean islands where it would be conducting the exercise.

Last month, it carried out similar drills close to the NLL,firing more than 500 artillery rounds, including over 100 that landed south of the border.

The move led to the South firing 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 was drawn up by the US-led UN Command without Pyongyang's consent after the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with a truce rather than a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula still technically at war.

The North has refused to recognise the line as the sea border and has periodically challenged the South by violating it and demanding a new border be set further to the south.

The existing line curves northwards, effectively isolating five remote, South Korean-controlled islands from the mainland.

The furthest of those islands is closer to Pyongyang than Seoul.

The South has increased its military presence on the islands after four people died during the 2010 bombardment of Yeonpyeong island by the North, which it said was in response to its rival's artillery drills.

Seoul officials have claimed the North could be preparing for its fourth nuclear test and US President Barack Obama recently warned Pyongyang against such a measure.

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