By Alex Jensen
SEOUL (AA) - North Korea threatened Saturday to attack any South Korean warship that intrudes into its waters -- a day after the South's navy fired warning shots to force a pair of trespassing vessels to retreat back to the North.
Pyongyang's counter came in the form of an Army statement carried by the reclusive state's official media.
"From now on, we will open direct fire on any warship of the South Korean puppet forces without warning, if it intrudes into the extension of the Military Demarcation Line of our side even 0.001 mm in the hotspot of the west sea," cautioned North Korea's statement.
The Koreas' de facto western sea border has seen numerous clashes over the last two decades, threatening to provoke a resumption of war on the peninsula.
While the inter-Korean land border is defined by a closely guarded demilitarized zone, their maritime demarcation line remains disputed. Pyongyang does not even officially recognize the current position of the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL), which was drawn up in the years following the 1950-53 Korean War.
Friday's incursion by two North Korean vessels south of the NLL was the first of its kind since early February, when tensions had spiked following the North's fourth ever nuclear test and ensuing rocket launch.
Still, Pyongyang has reached out to Seoul for talks this month -- an attempt so far rejected by South Korea on the basis that it sees sanctions as a more effective way of containing the North's rogue nuclear weapon ambitions.
North Korea's statement Saturday accused its neighbor of firing warning shots a day earlier as part of "a premeditated sinister plot to bedevil the North-South relations and further aggravate the tension on the Korean Peninsula".