A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said in a statement Wednesday that DPRK military measures taken in the exchange of artillery fire with South Korea on November 23 were in self-defense, the official news agency KCNA reported.
According to the statement, despite the DPRK military repeatedly warning South Korea that if its shells fell into the territorial waters of DPRK, it would retaliate, South Korea still fired dozens of shells into the territorial waters of the DPRK, openly provoking the DPRK.
The DPRK immediately took self-defense measures, firing at South Korea’s artillery position the Yonphyong Island, according to the spokesman.
Although South Korea said its artillery fire was southward from Yonphyong Island, the islet is an island in the territorial waters of DPRK. Thus, no matter what it was aimed toward, all of the shells would fall into the territorial waters of the DPRK.
If the DPRK hadn’t taken any measures, it would have meant the waters around Yonphyong Island are territorial waters of South Korea, the spokesman said.
The U.S and its allies and some international institutions accused the DPRK without truth of the event, pouring oil on the flames, the spokesman added.
Despite the DPRK cherishing peace and stability on the peninsula, and keeping super self-restraint to the situation, the army of the DPRK is ready to safeguard justice, the spokesman said.
According to the KCNA, South Korea shot toward the waters of the DPRK with dozens of shells around Yonphyong Island in the West Sea of Korea at 13:00 local time on November 23.
The DPRK army immediately beat back the South Korean military provocation with determined military measures, the spokesman said.
The Supreme Command of Korean People’s Army (KPA) of DPRK issued a statement on November 23 warning the south that the DPRK would take merciless military counter-actions without any hesitation if South Korea dared to intrude into the waters of the DPRK.
According to South Korean media, the Yonphyong Island in South Korean waters suffered artillery fire from the DPRK side on November 23 and there were casualties.
It was reported that a military exercise named “Hoguk” was held by S. Korea in the West Sea of Korea from November 22 to November 30.
The DPRK and South Korea have a dispute on the borderline in the West Sea of Korea. South Korea unilaterally set a “north border” between the five islands of the West Sea and the west coastline of the DPRK, which never admitted this border. The warships of the two countries have exchanged fire three times — in 1999, 2002 and 2009.