North Korea says blasts at border were construction works

August 11, 2011 02:53

SEOUL - North Korea said early on Thursday that blasts heard from its territory that led to retaliatory warning shots from the South on Wednesday were only the sounds of building work at a construction site.

"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," KCNA state news agency reported.

In two separate incidents on Wednesday, the South issued verbal warnings and fired warning shots toward the maritime border.

South Korean military officials said it appeared the North had been conducting drills off the west coast of the divided peninsula and that some shells had landed close to the maritime border.

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