N Korea denies shelling near S Korea*
Thu Aug 11, 2011
North Korea has denied firing artillery shells near the Yellow Sea border with South Korea, accusing Seoul of spreading “misinformation.”
"There was normal blasting in the area of South Hwanghae Province close to the five islands in the West Sea of Korea on August 10 as part of the brisk construction of a gigantic object aimed at improving the standard of people's living," the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday, AFP reported.
South Korea's military said on Wednesday that the North had fired two shells near the flashpoint border, prompting warning shots from the South's marines in response.
"The South Korean military warmongers spread misinformation that the army of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) perpetrated a shelling 'provocation'," KCNA said.
Pyongyang connected the Wednesday incident with the impending joint South Korea-US war games scheduled to be held from August 16.
The upcoming military exercises are called the Ulji Freedom Guardian which is an annual computer-assisted simulation command-post exercise.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency says the US and the South's forces will practice targeting North Korean “weapons of mass destruction” in this year's joint war games.
The North accused the South and the US of “faking up” the Wednesday event to make a justification for the military maneuvers “at any cost” and urged the allies to cancel the exercises.
Pyongyang allegedly shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010, killing four people and injuring several others.
The North says the US and the South are trying to “strain the Korean peninsula again.”