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A South Korean military patrol boat fired warning shots on Saturday at a North Korean vessel that had been pursuing a Chinese fishing boat and crossed a boundary into South Korean waters.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff released a statement Sunday that confirmed Saturday's incident saying, "Our military maintains decisive battle posture while monitoring the enemy's movements in preparation for potential provocations regarding NLL (Northern Limit Line) violations by North Korean patrol boats."
The warning shots come amid already tense relations after a series of Us-South Korean joint military exercises has led North Korea to conduct a series of nuclear weapons test, including launching a nuclear warhead from a submarine and the use of what has been described as an underwater nuclear drone, according to a report by Zerohedge.
Meanwhile, a South Korean official has indicated that one of its vessels came in "minor "contact with a Chinese boat due to reduced visibility, with only minor injuries reported.
Regarding the rash of recent nuclear missile tests, the Times conducted an analysis of missile launch data by North Korea and confirmed that North Korea conducted 68 missile tests in 2022, which is 10 times the number of tests carried out in 2021.
North Korea's tests have continued, leading experts to believe that this year could see a record number of launches.
On Thursday morning a temporary evacuate-or-seek-shelter warning was issued in Japan when North Korea reportedly launched a ballistic missile toward the East Sea. It was Pyongyang's twelfth test of the year thus far.
The ongoing projectile tests have been particularly stress-inducing for Japan, another strong U.S. ally in the region.