North Korea fired at a South Korean ship today in waters near the disputed maritime border.
South Korea fired back in response.
North Korean artillery fired at least one shot which landed near a South Korean navy patrol ship south of the two sides’ disputed maritime border on Thursday, but it did not hit the vessel, a military official in Seoul said.
The official added that South Korean artillery fired at a North Korean naval vessel in response.
Residents of the Yeonpyeong island, which lies just south of the disputed sea border, were evacuated to bomb shelters, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Shelling by North Korean artillery killed four people on the island in 2010.
There was no further firing from the North following the incident soon after 6 p.m. local time (0900 GMT), the official said.
North Korea has refused to recognize the so-called Northern Limit Line that was drawn up at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War and has frequently challenged it with intrusions of ships or more recently by firing artillery near or across the line.
Earlier on Thursday, North Korea had issued its latest threat to “blow up” any South Korean warships, in an angry response to an incident earlier in the week when the South fired warning shots at the North’s patrol boats that breached the line.