On June 29th, 2002, while Korea was amidst the heat of World Cup as the co-hosting nation, 2 North Korean patrol boats crossed the border and engaged with 2 other South patrol boats.
Intervention of North to the South was frequent; the North provocated the South by allowing its fishing ships to travel to the South below the boundary.
This time, when 2 North patrol ship traveled South beyond the boundary, the South’s navy reacted by the guideline - it warned and monitored the ship. However, the North Korean patrol ship fired at the monitoring vessel, killing the captain on the first blow.
The fighting continued on for around 30 minutes. Both side suffered heavy casualties. 6 died on the South Korean side, and 20 were injured. The South Korean patrol boat Chamsuri sank.
The analysts pointed out that North Korean patrols had an advantage in the battle. The North Korean patrols, armed with 85mm tank gun, had a definite advantage over the South Korean patrol, who was only armed with 40mm autocannons.
On the other hand, many experts view the battle as an intently planned event rather than an accidental conflict because the North Korean navy armed a patrol ship with a tank gun. It is unusual for patrol ships to attach such high-powered gun, but just the fact that a tank gun was attached onto a boat reveals that the North Korea planned the assault.
For more information about the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong, please refer to the movie “Battle of Yeonpyeong”. The movie well-illustrates the intensity at the time, and provides lots of background information about this battle.