Tensions between North and South Korea escalated to the point of open combat off the Korean peninsula early Tuesday when navy patrol boats of the two nations swapped fire in disputed waters, according to The New York Times.

The New York Times:

The Yonhap account, citing an unidentified government source in Seoul, said fighting erupted when a North Korean navy boat ventured across the so-called Northern Limit Line, a sea border drawn by the United Nations at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The demarcation line has never been accepted by North Korea.

The South Koreans first issued warning broadcasts, then fired warning shots when the broadcasts were ignored.

“It was then that the North Korean patrol boat attacked our high-speed patrol boat,” the military’s statement said. “Our ship returned the fire.”

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