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SEOUL, February 25. /ITAR-TASS/. A border guard partrol boat of North Korea has violated a sea border with South Korea in the Yellow Sea, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing the South Korean defense ministry.
The South Korean side has assessed the incident, which occurred last night, either as part of military maneuvers of the North or an attempt to put the readiness of the South Korean armed forces to the test, a spokesman for the South Korean defense ministry said, commenting on the incident.
Having crossed the sea border line, which is known as the so-called "northern demarcation line," the patrol boat of the North Korean Navy moved 23.4 kilometers deep into the territorial waters of South Korea in the area north of the border island of Baengnyeongdo. The North Korean boat returned to its territorial waters only after a warning the South Korean side had to repeat ten times.
The North Korean boat violated the border when a campaign for a reunion of the Korean families, separated as a result of the Korean War, was drawing to a close in the Kumgangsan mountains in North Korea and when large-scale exercises "Key Resolve" and "Foal Eagle", that South Korea annually conducts jointly with the United States, began in the south.
Earlier, Pyongyang had repeatedly asked either to cancel or postpone the annual US-South Korean military maneuvers.