N.Korea Fires Shells into Waters Near NLL

North Korea carried out a 10-minute live-fire drill near the de facto maritime border with South Korea in the West Sea on Tuesday afternoon. But unlike in previous artillery exercises on March 31, no shells fell into South Korean waters.

At 8:52 a.m., the North Korean Army's southwestern frontline command notified its South Korean counterpart of the plan to stage the drill at two coastal bases in waters near Baeknyeong Island and Yeonpyeong Island.

At 2 p.m., the North's coastal artillery batteries fired some 50 shells from 130 mm guns with a range of 27 km and 76.2 mm guns with a range of 12 km. All shells dropped about 3 km north of the NLL.

At around 3:30 p.m. the South Korean military lifted an evacuation order for residents on the five northwesternmost islands.

The military here put K-9 self-propelled guns on Baeknyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands on standby in case any shells crossed into South Korean waters. It also scrambled fighter jets equipped with air-to-ground missiles and sent destroyers and missile boats to nearby waters.

During the earlier live-fire drill on March 31, the North fired some 500 shells, about 100 of which crossed the NLL.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 30, 2014 09:45 KST