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South-North Naval Skirmish Renamed to Honor Lost Lives

Posted April. 09, 2008 07:06,   


The Defense Ministry on Tuesday officially renamed the June 29, 2002 skirmish between South and North Korean naval forces near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea, as the Second Yeonpyeong Naval Conflict.

A Defense Ministry official confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that “the Yellow Sea confrontation was part of our efforts to defend our NLL, just as we did in 1999. That was why we renamed it the Second Yeonpyeong Naval Conflict.”

The ministry explained that it had considered various factors such as the status level of the commemoration service, geographic vicinity, time, denotations, to name a few.

As such, the 1999 conflict near Yeonpyeong Island will be called the First Yeonpyeong Naval Conflict and the 2002 battle the Second Yeonpyeong Naval Conflict.

Another military source added, “Unlike the first incident, we sustained heavy losses in 2002 as many people considered it a failure. We had to correct that incorrect perception.”

In 2002, North Korean patrol boats, breaching the NLL, fired on South Korean naval forces. In the process of fending off the armed provocation, the South Korean navy lost six sailors and a military speed boat.

Until last year, the Second Fleet hosted the commemoration service. Beginning this year, however, the prime minister will take charge and elevate its status.