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Friday, June 09, 2006

North Korea Warns South Korea Over Maritime Border Intrusions

North Korea warned June 8 that its navy would take action against alleged intrusions by South Korean warships in disputed waters.

The warning follows stalled inter-Korean talks over North Korea’s demand for a new maritime border off the west coast, a flashpoint in recent years that has seen several naval clashes.

South Korea has refused to discuss the redrawing of the sea border, which was inked by the United States and its allies at the end of the Korean War. North Korea has never recognized the border.

In a statement published by state media, a North Korean navy spokesman said that South Korean warships had frequently infiltrated into its territory this month.

”The South Korean navy has perpetrated such grave military provocations as frequently infiltrating warships deep into the territorial waters of the north side in the West Sea of Korea lately,” he said.

North Korea’s navy “solemnly declares that it will deal a telling blow at any warship intruding into the inviolable territorial waters of the north side without warning,” he said.

Pyongyang scrapped symbolic trial runs for inter-Korean railways last month across the border, blaming South Korea’s military for evading a settlement to the sea border issue.

The two Koreas remain officially at war after the 1950-1953 conflict ended in a fragile armistice rather than a peace treaty.
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