SEOUL, May 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday convened an unscheduled meeting of security ministers after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired artillery shells, which landed in waters near a South Korean naval ship sailing around the disputed maritime border.
President Park chaired the security minister meeting for about an hour in the morning to discuss how to respond to the recent series of DPRK provocations, presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook told a press briefing.
Attending the meeting were ministers of foreign affairs, unification and defense along with presidential secretary head, foreign affairs and security secretary, the first deputy director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the deputy national security adviser to President Park.
Park dismissed top presidential national security adviser Kim Jang-soo and NIS director Nam Jae-joon Thursday to regain public trust in the government, which has been under harsh criticism for bungling rescue operations in the ferry Sewol disaster.
During the meeting, Park expressed "very strong regrets" over the DPRK provocation, which came at a time when the country has been buried in deep grief for the maritime disaster.
The ferry Sewol capsized and sank off the southwestern coast on April 16, leaving more than 300 people, mostly high school students, dead or missing.
Park instructed the officials to maintain a thorough readiness for possible provocations, strengthen a joint defense posture with the United States and boost cooperation with related nations such as China, the spokesman said.
The unscheduled meeting was held after the DPRK shot couples of rounds of artillery shells toward South Korean territorial waters and two shells landed in waters just about 150 meters away from the South Korean naval ship on a patrol mission near the inter- Korean sea boundary called the Northern Limit Line (NLL).
The South Korean navy fired back several rounds in response to it. No damage and casualties have been reported.
The NLL is an inter-Korean maritime boundary set by the United Nations after the 1950-53 Korean War occurred. The DPRK has never recognized the sea border and has claimed it should be redrawn farther south.
SEOUL, May 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Friday denounced the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s denial of its responsibility for the artillery shells that fell in waters near a South Korean naval ship sailing around the disputed maritime border.
Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a routine press briefing that the DPRK sent a notice earlier in the morning and claimed it was irrelevant to the provocative artillery fire in the previous day. Full story
SEOUL, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday fired several rounds of artillery shells toward waters in South Korea, and two rounds fell near a South Korean patrol ship sailing around the western maritime border.
"Two shells landed near our boat patrolling in our territorial waters near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) at around 6 p.m. (local time)," a South Korean defense ministry official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. "Our boat fired back several rounds of shells in response to it." Full story