PYONGYANG, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday lashed out at the South Korean military and government for a "series of severe hostile acts" over an alleged violent incident involving a DPRK fishing boat.
"The group of gangsters of the South Korean navy will pay a dear price for their shuddering atrocities," said a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in a rare organized press conference in the capital Pyongyang, with participants including ambassadors and diplomats from dozens of countries, and representatives of U.N. organizations in Pyongyang.
According to the spokesman, a peaceable DPRK fishing boat lost its route as a result of engine breakdown on Thursday night. He said South Korean warships then crossed the maritime military demarcation line and intruded into his country's territorial waters, firing more than 50 bullets and beating DPRK sailors into comas.
However, the South Korean Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) said on Friday the DPRK boat had crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea, sailed into South Korean-controlled waters and has been repatriated.
The NLL was drawn unilaterally by the U.S.-led U.N. Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The DPRK refuses to acknowledge the line and demands a new border be drawn further south.
The spokesman added that the Korean Peninsula was in a "severe situation" owning to the DPRK-targeted joint military exercises staged by the United States and South Korea, with nuclear war hardware involved.