THREE YEARS AFTER NAVAL VESSEL SINKING, N. KOREA POSES GREATER SECURITY THREAT
Yonhap News, March 17, 2013
SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- Three years after North Korea's deadly attack on a South Korean Navy ship in the Yellow Sea that killed 46 sailors, the communist country has ratchet up tensions and is posing a much greater security threat to Seoul along the sea demarcation line that separates the two Koreas.
March 26 marks the third anniversary of the sinking of the corvette Cheonan southwest of Baengnyeong Island. An official investigative team set up by the government said a torpedo, probably launched by a North Korean mini submarine, tore the 1,200-ton ship in two in the night attack.
The provocation triggered punitive measures that effectively cut inter-Korean exchanges and economic cooperation, and forced South Korea to build up its defensive capabilities along the Northern Limit Line (NLL) that acts as the de facto border at sea.
Despite steps taken and Seoul's repeated warnings that it will strike back hard if provoked in the future, the North is now showing signs it may be ready to provoke the South once again. According to official reports, the western sea border region has borne the brunt of military provocations from the North. Of the 535 military provocations carried out since 1990, 77 percent occurred in the region. It is the site of three bloody naval battles since 1999 that resulted in the loss of life for both sides.
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