It looks like North Korea is using its troops as political pawns again.
Ahead of an Obama visit to South Korea, a North Korean vessel intruded into South Korean waters for the 22nd time this year.
Stories from both sides seem to differ, but it seems the North Korean vessel ignored warning shots.
Then someone fired directly first. It’s the Koreas’ first naval clash in seven years.
Bloomberg: The North Korean vessel ventured 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) into waters claimed by South Korea at about 10:33 a.m. local time today, triggering a two-minute exchange of fire that left 15 holes in the South Korean vessel, according to the military. The North’s ship returned across the border in flames after it was badly damaged in the exchange, Yonhap News reported, citing a government official in Seoul it didn’t identify.
North Korea said its patrol ship was attacked first by South Korean warships while on “routine guard duty” in its own waters and demanded an apology.
This is a small reminder of how volatile the situation can get, even though North Korean provocation is pretty common. Luckily it appears nobody was seriously injured on the South Korean side. Unfortunately there might have been casualties for the North. The risk with these situations is that one day you could have a few more casualties than the public can bear, sparking a more tense situation.
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