North Korea fires artillery near maritime border with South

North-Korea-fires-artillery-near-maritime-border-with-South .    SEOUL,  North Korea fired artillery in what appeared to be a training exercise being held near a disputed maritime border, prompting a South Korean evacuation order.

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A South Korean marine stands guard a road on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, on December 22, 2010. North Korea fired rounds of artillery during what appeared to be a training exercise near the disputed maritime border with the South early Saturday. UPI/Keizo Mori | License Photo















According to South Korea military, North Korea carried out the firing exercise at around 7:20 a.m. on Saturday local time, Yonhap reported.

The training was taking place west of Jangsangot in the North Korean province of Hwanghae, according to officials.

It was not clear how many rounds North Korea fired, but a South Korean eyewitness said judging by the magnitude of the flash and explosion that accompanied the firing, Pyongyang fired about three to four artillery rounds.

North Korea has built live-fire training facilities on coastal islands and beaches proximal to the South, and in 2010 shelled a South Korean island, killing four South Koreans and injuring 19.

South Korean residents on Baengnyeongdo Island and fishing vessels were ordered to evacuate, in case of contingencies.

Military officials told local newspaper Herald Business there have been no identifiable trends since the artillery firing, but that the army is maintaining “preparedness.”

In early February a North Korean patrol boat crossed a disputed maritime demarcation line, causing South Korea’s military to fire warning shots at the vessel.

The boat crossed the Northern Limit Line less than two days after Pyongyang launched into orbit the Kwangmyongsong-4, an earth observation satellite.

By Elizabeth Shim