War?: North Korea fires rounds into disputed waters

South Korean Miltary
As we previously reported on North Korea and South Korea are on the verge of something.  Wether that is a war of words or a more serious hot war, but the time line is as follows.
  1. South Korea ship sinks off the coast of North Korea killing 46 sailors. 
  2. They find a North Korean  missle in the wreckage.
  3. South Korea stages the largest anti-submarine excercise.
  4. North Korea siezes a South Korean fishing vessel.
  5. North Korea starts shooting rounds into disputed territory.
via Christian Science Monitor:
North Korean gunners fired 110 artillery rounds Monday into North Korean waters in the Yellow Sea as South Korean vessels were concluding five days of war games with an emphasis on anti-submarine warfare.
The shells all landed on the North Korean side of the Northern Limit Line below which North Korean vessels are banned, but a South Korean military spokesman said South Korean forces had “heightened their readiness posture” as a result.
The US condems this provocative measure.  One thing is certin, there cannot be this tyipe of aggressive behaviou by the dear leader without physical response.  Now that Korea has nuclear weapons, that tactical move could be unpredictable via  AFP:
"It is not a helpful sign by North Korea and this is exactly the kind of behavior that we would like to see North Korea avoid," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
Crowley said it was unclear what Pyongyang hoped to achieve by such "chest thumping" and said: "The firing of a very large number of rounds in the region is the last thing we want to see and is not the best way to reduce tension."
South Korea's largest-ever anti-submarine exercise was a show of force after Seoul accused its neighbor of torpedoing a South Korean warship in March near the contested border.
The North, which denies staging the attack that killed 46 sailors, had warned of "strong physical retaliation" against the navy drill which it described as a preparation for invasion.
"If past is prologue, are we likely to see more provocations? Regrettably, the answer is we are likely to see more provocations," Crowley said.
He added: "All we can continue to communicate to North Korea is that there will be no reward for these provocations. North Korea will continue to be isolated."
He vowed that the United States would continue to work with the international community to enforce UN Security Council resolution 1874, which was adopted in May last year and tightened earlier sanctions.
Crowley initially reacted to the shelling with a joke.
"I'm sure it resulted in a lot of dead fish and we certainly hope PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) will protest," he said.
Seoul has urged Pyongyang to free a 41-ton squid fishing boat and its crew as soon as possible after they were seized at the weekend. It was unclear whether the seizure was a response to the naval drill or just an attempt to curb alleged illegal fishing.


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