SEOUL - North Korea's military fired one artillery round into the sea near a disputed maritime border with South Korea on Saturday, causing alarm among residents on a nearby island in the South but the shell did not fly across the border, an official said.
The round, heard from the island of Baengnyeong, was likely fired in the northwestern direction from the North's shore and was probably part of an exercise, the South Korean defence ministry official said by telephone, asking not to be named.
The two Koreas are in a tense political standoff after the North's nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7. South Korea and the United States say they were grave violations of UN Security Council resolutions.
The allies are expected to begin large-scale annual military drills in early March, which the North calls preparations for war and routinely vows to retaliate.