Date
15 December 2017
In this undated picture, a South Korean warship is shown in the Seoul harbor. Photo: newswire.com
In this undated picture, a South Korean warship is shown in the Seoul harbor. Photo: newswire.com

North, South Korea artillery exchange spills into word war

North and South Korea moved to another front a day after exchanging artillery fire in disputed waters.

The bitter rivals launched a word war Friday, accusing each other of lying about the incident, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Pyongyang let rip by saying South Korean warships entered North Korean waters “for preemptive firing” under the pretext of intercepting Chinese vessels.

Seoul called the allegation far-fetched and a blatant lie aimed at avoiding responsibility for the provocation.

South Korea’s defense ministry said the North fired two shells into southern waters around 6 p.m. local time on Thursday. They landed near a South Korean warship which returned several rounds of fire, the report said.

The exchange led to the evacuation of residents and fishing boats of the nearby South Korean island of Yeonpyeong that had been shelled by the North four years ago.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye released a statement Friday expressing “strong regret over the provocation by North Korea” at a time when her people were reeling from the grief of the April 16 ferry sinking that left more than 300 people dead or missing, the report said.

The Yellow Sea border between the two Koreas, known as the Northern Limit Line, is a tinderbox for military conflicts because North Korea does not recognize the border, which was drawn by the US-led United Nations forces after the Korean War of 1950-1953.

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