June 17, 2016 11:22
The Navy is conducting drills for a potential clash on the West Sea as North Korean fishing and patrol boats are massing on the maritime border at the height of the blue crab season.
A Navy spokesman said around 200 North Korean fishing vessels are operating near the Northern Limit Line, around 1.7 times more than last year, and they are accompanied by more patrol boats.
The regime has apparently ordered fishermen to increase their catch to deal with the food shortage in the isolated country.
The situation is compounded by fleets of Chinese trawlers that are illegally emptying waters near the NLL of marine life.
The Navy drills until Saturday involve around 20 patrol boats, Cobra attack helicopters, KF-16 fighter jets, P-3 reconnaissance aircraft and Lynx helicopters.
The North has built a new naval base in Koampo, Hwanghae Province, just around 60 km away from the NLL capable of deploying 70 hovercraft.
North Korea also built a 20 m steel tower on an uninhabited island 12 km away from Yeonpyeong Island that apparently holds sophisticated surveillance equipment to monitor South Korean military activities.
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