North, South Korea Exchange Artillery Fire off West Coast
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Monday off their disputed western maritime border, Seoul scrambled jets and residents of a South Korean island fled to bomb shelters in the most dramatic escalation of tensions since 2010.
One North Korean shell landed in South Korean waters, although none hit South Korean land, unlike in 2010 when a barrage killed two soldiers and two civilians.
A North Korean shelling drill prompted South Korean marines on a nearby island to return fire shots into the water, said a South Korean official. The South scrambled F-15 fighters to patrol its side of the border, media said.
It was not clear how many shots were fired by either side, Reuters reported.
The firing came amid heightened tensions surrounding the North after the UN Security Council condemned Pyongyang for its mid-range missile launches last week, just as the leaders of South Korea, Japan and the United States met to discuss the North's arms program.
The area where the artillery exchange occurred is near the so-called Northern Limit Line, drawn up at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which the North has refused to recognize. Past clashes between the two navies in the area killed scores of sailors on both sides.