N.Korean Shipping Ban Intrudes into S.Korean Waters

      January 27, 2010 09:06

      North Korea on Monday declared no-fly and no-sail zones in waters north and south of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border, near Baeknyeong and Daecheong islands in the West Sea.

      The zones are usually declared to prevent damage to civilian ships or airplanes before missiles are fired or coast artillery fire drills are staged. North Korea has usually limited itself to declaring only its own territorial waters north of the NLL off-limits to civilian navigation.

      A military source on Tuesday said information indicates that the North banned civilian navigation in waters east of Baeknyeong Island and east of Daecheong Island, the site of an inter-Korean skirmish in November, from Jan. 25 to March 29.

      South Korean military authorities are ready to respond if the North actually fires surface-to-ship missiles or ordnance from a coast artillery battery toward waters south of the NLL, which they would treat as a grave provocation. But they believe the chances are slim.

      Marine and Navy units stationed on the two islands have reportedly been ordered to intensify guard duties. "No unusual military movements have been detected in the North yet," the military source said. "The off-limits zones will pose no real problem to navigation because they are some way away from the sea routes used by ferries between the five major islands and civilian ships in the West Sea."

      • Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com
      Previous Next
      All Headlines Back to Top