A North Korean ship suddenly crossed the Northern Limit Line early Monday morning. The South Korean military vessel immediately responded to push away the ship, but the North criticized the action of the South and fired 10 shells from its multiple rocket launcher toward the buffer zone in the western sea. The North even made an unreasonable accusation, claiming, “(South Korea) has been staging provocative actions on top of the firing of artillery shots and cross border loudspeaker broadcasts.” The Voice of concern is growing the behavior of the North can be a forewarning to Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of the North, before he undertakes serious provocations, including conducting the seventh nuclear test.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff, one commercial vessel from North Korea (Muhopo) crossed the NLL to the 27-kilometer point from the north-western point of Baengnyeong at 3:42 a.m. Monday morning. The South Korean military carried out two warning shots before and after the crossing, but the ship continued to sail below the line, which triggered the South Korean military to fire 20 warning shots. South Korea dispatched naval vessels, fire jets, and KF-16 to the site during the process. The Muhopo then retreated after reaching 3.3 kilometers below the NLL at 4:20 a.m.
After the incident at 5:14 a.m., North Korea fired shells and violated the 9.19 Inter-Korea military agreement. Around 6:07 a.m., the General Staff of North Korea’s army issued a statement, claiming that it fired warning shots at South Korea’s navy vessel for intruding on the maritime demarcation line, making an excuse for the unidentified vessel’s advancement. The North argued that the South intruded, saying the latter crossed the demarcation line, which is unilaterally set by North Korea and is not recognized by the international community.
Attentions turn to the North’s intention to carry out the provocations immediately after the completion of the Chinese Communist Party congress. Some analyses show that North Korea is forming a foundation to carry out a nuclear test before November 8 (local time), a day of the U.S. midterm election.
Jin-Woo Shin email@example.com