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N. Korea issues navigation ban for military exercise

TOKYO, June 23 (KUNA) -- North Korea has banned all vessels from passing through waters off its eastern coast for 16 days starting from June 25 due to "a military exercise," the Japan Coast Guard said late Monday, cautioning Japanese ships to avoid the area during the period.
The North informed Japan via e-mail of its plan to conduct a shooting drill off the coastal city of Wonsan between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. from June 25-July 10, according to the coast guard. The ban covers an area about 450 kilometers in length and 110 km wide from Wonsan. The area includes stretches of sea from which North Korea issued two similar warnings earlier this month. It was the first time that North Korea has specified a reason for imposing a navigation ban along its coastline.
Pyongyang also imposed a similar ban before it conducted the nation's second nuclear test and fired six short-range missiles from the area near Wonsan between May 25 and 29. (end) mk.bz.
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