PYONGYANG, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — The military of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday warned South Korea “not to make provocations” in disputed waters in the West Sea ahead of the 5th anniversary of Yeonpyeong Island artillery shellings.
A spokesman for the command of the southwestern front of the Korean People’s Army accused the South Korean military of preparing plans for provocative firings into DPRK waters on Monday, the official KCNA news agency reported.
If South Korean military fires into DPRK waters on Monday, the day that marks the 5th anniversary of Yeonpyeong bombardment, “they will experience merciless retaliation by the southwestern front units of the DPRK on the five islands,” the statement warned.
Five disputed islands, including Yeonpyeong Island, Baengnyeongdo, Daecheongdo, Socheongdo and U Island, which are located south of the maritime boundary Northern Limit Line (NLL), are now controlled by South Korea since the armistice of the Korean War, while the DPRK also claims sovereignty over them.
Two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed in the 2010 artillery bombardment of the Yeonpyeong island located near the tense western maritime border between the two Koreas. The South Korean military also returned fire
The DPRK said the shelling was a self-defense measure against joint naval exercises between South Korea and the United States near the sea border NLL, the scene of deadly naval skirmishes.