TOKYO (Sputnik) – South Korea is conducting maritime exercises off the western coast to prepare for possible North Korean provocations, the country’s Navy said in a Thursday statement.
"We are keeping full combat readiness to swiftly respond to the enemy's possible provocations in waters off the west coast," the statement says, as quoted by the South Korean Yonhap news agency.
The three-day exercise started on Thursday and involves around 20 warships. The drills aim to prepare South Korean servicemen for North Korea’s possible crossing of the western maritime border (Northern Limit Line), the Navy said.
The South Korean Navy fired warning shots at North Korea’s fishing boat and patrol boat as they trespassed across the maritime border in the Yellow Sea. According to the South Korean military, the North Korean vessels returned to the northern side immediately after the warning shots were fired.
Earlier this month, North Korea accused Seoul of violating its territorial waters and airspace and carrying out reconnaissance missions beyond the maritime border.
North Korea threatened to counteract to what it labelled as Seoul’s "military provocation."
South and North Korea are still formally at war, as no peace treaty was ever signed after the Korean War of 1950-1953.