Talk:Northern Limit Line

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Which border does the north propose?[edit]

The article is missing information about the alternative sea border proposed by the north. Arn't there any? -- iGEL (talk) 18:23, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

The article itself does not give much information about it, but it does link to a KCNA article (Google cache of English article · Google cache of the same article in Korean) that has all the details. While I haven't searched for maps, there's one here and another one at 0:27 in this video. HTH, schönen Gruß, Wikipeditor (talk) 13:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The red "B" line in the mapbox purports to show the "Inter-Korean MDL in the Yellow Sea" mentioned in the People's Daily article. But where do we see the actual line set by DPRK? With narrow two corridors leading north to the islands, the purported line does not make sense. We need a better WP:RS to establish the nK line. --S. Rich (talk) 20:19, 21 December 2010 (UTC)17:48, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
From my reading, "West Sea Military Demarcation Line" is the most common name for the DPRK line, though there is poor consistency. eg it is used once in the South Korean MOD justification document[1], along with "Chosun Sea Military Demarcation Line" and "West Sea Demarcation Line". I've never seen "Inter-Korean MDL" or "Inter-Korean Military Demarcation Line" anywhere but a couple of Chinese news articles. Of all these names, "West Sea Military Demarcation Line" gets the most google hits (767), and I'd suggest we try to use that name for the DPRK line consistently. Rwendland (talk) 11:26, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
IMO, the differences in naming are consistent with the dubious nature of the unilaterally-contrived line. This is one of the rare cases in which inconsistent naming is not a flaw; rather it is a fuzzy logic demonstration of academic credibility as defined by WP:V. Do I need to explain this again in different words? --Tenmei (talk) 16:33, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
We have "Inter-Korean MDL" cited because it comes from an academic source -- -- Professor Van Dyke et al. Part of the confusion comes from how these terms are translated. (And note we are referring to what (and how) the North Koreans called their line.) There are basically three ways we get the particular verbage -- 1. From a straight Korean Language statement by nK, which is then translated by a non-nK source; 2. From a North Korean source in Korean Language, which is then/also translated by the nK source; or 3. From an English Language statement by the nK. Our WP:RS (Professor Van Dyke) did not tell us how he got the particular language, but what he did say was particular enough to include in quotes as we present it. The broader point is that the maritime demarcation line here is NOT a formal extension of the Military Demarcation Line. --S. Rich (talk) 17:48, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Inline citation and note consistent with this discussion thread was added here. --Tenmei (talk) 19:12, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Note this map: New York Times 11/23/2010 does not follow the red line we now see in the mapbox in our article. Because the present map (not the asserted existence of the "Inter-Korean MDL") is not supported by RS, it should be deleted.--S. Rich (talk) 22:14, 21 December 2010 (UTC)17:48, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

AH-HA! Here is an academic paper that describes the line with the weird red line deviations!! [ The North/South Korea Boundary Dispute in the Yellow (West) Sea Jon M. Van Dyke, Mark J. Valencia, Jenny Miller Garmendia]. I suspect though we are now facing a copyright problem if we take copy this info -- but really don't know enough on this aspect. In any event, if an editor can properly attribute this map/article to Professor Van Dyke, I'll be happy to delete the dubious tag.--S. Rich (talk) 22:26, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

The verifying citation from Maritime Policy journal was added to the Commons description page here. --Tenmei (talk) 00:32, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Someone has tagged Crab wars and Northern Limit Line for merging, without starting the discussion and explaining why here.

  • Oppose – the crab wars are a widely referenced set of events concerning crab fishing grounds, and stand on their own feet as notable events. --Epipelagic (talk) 04:26, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I am the proposer. Why merge? When comparing the articles, they both list the various incidents near the NLL But nothing distinguishes the confrontations. E.g., the crab fishing incidents are explained, but non-crabbing incidents are included into the crab wars article. This is a COI problem in that crab war article proponents may want their article to have greater importance and thereby include non-crabbing incidents. The best (only) way to clarify is to combine the articles.--S. Rich 12:46, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I would oppose a merger also. These are two different subjects; what would merging them achieve? The NLL is a political artefact; it's given rise to a number of incidents, which are listed without elaboration and which have their own articles. The "Crab war" is a specific dispute, involving China as well as the two Koreas. There is no real overlap there. If the Crab wars article has stuff in it that doesn’t belong, it makes more sense to trim it down; lumping it in together with another article isn’t going to sort the problem out.Xyl 54 (talk) 21:55, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Problem is, crab war editors will want every incident to be included whether or not crab fishing is part of the picture. Moreover, because the NLL exists, SK feels the right to fish up to the line and NK feels that its waters are being violated. The two articles need merger to properly discuss because they are NOT different subjects.--S. Rich 23:18, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Then the problem should be resolved in the Crab Wars article, not by foisting a merger onto an article which, so far, only you think is "not different"Xyl 54 (talk) 23:46, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not "foisting" anything on anybody. This is a proposal for discussion. In any event, only a limited number of editors have commented on my proposal -- Xyl and Epipelagic -- so the count is two to one. The opponents have not made much of a case to show how different the two subjects are. I ask other editors to weigh in. (The recommendation that the problem be handled in Crab Wars is a good one, but by making the recommendation the existence of the problem is recognized.)--S. Rich 00:10, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

NO Merge[edit]

This article should not be merged, it has the potential to be much larger and will be over time. The conflict is still technically ongoing as the territorial dispute still continues. More battles may be fought in the future but more importantly, the incident sections can be enlarged to include more specific details of the encounters. Other sections can be added as well, say one discussing the strength of the North and South Korean navies in the area. Every battle that has occurred along the NLL in the past few years is part of the crab wars, though they didn't all necesarrily involve crab fishing, they all involved North Korean ships entering into the disputed crab fishing grounds.--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 08:46, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

If this is a vote on the merger, it should be in the section above.
It's also contradictory; you don't want a merge, but say "every battle on the NLL is part of the Crab Wars". That is an argument for, not against a merger.
Which is it? Xyl 54 (talk) 12:28, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I'll read it as a vote for merger! We are now at a 2-2 tie. (LOL) Thanks.--S. Rich (talk) 17:53, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

XYL, apparently writing NO MERGE in big bold letters is too hard for you to understand. No merge means no merge.--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 08:07, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, Silence, I did, in fact, work out that "No Merge" meant you didn't want a merger. OTOH what you don't seem to have grasped is what I was asking you. The Merge guidelines state having two pages with the same scope or a large overlap are candidates for a merger; if, as you insist, "every battle on the NLL is part of the Crab Wars" (and would therefore need including on both pages), how is that a justification not to merge them?
Also, you might want to check the guidelines on shouting. Xyl 54 (talk) 00:39, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

NO MERGE[edit]

The NLL is the division between the North Korean and South Korean crab fishing zones so despite whether the Cheonan was on an exercise or not, she was still within the disputed crab fishing zone when attacked. This page can be expanded. In fact, a new incident occured today or yesterday and I am about to add information baout it. So that is 3-1 in favor of not merging.--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 08:04, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes Merge -- clear out the stubs![edit]

Here we have 2 stub class, low importance articles that discuss the same overall topic -- tensions at sea between nK & sK. And then the Crab Wars article is essentially a listing of the skirmishes, but includes ROKS Cheonan sinking as a notable example of the incidents. (Even though it is not clear that Cheonan had anything to do with crab fishing.) Instead of improving the articles or discussing the merits and dismerits of a merger, we have spats about how many votes there are one way or the other. (And I suppose I'm to blame for this because I was too eager to count a vote in favor of my proposal!) Let's look at the bigger picture and develop an article (one article) that puts these events into perspective.--S. Rich (talk) 17:37, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Again, to put is as simple as possible. The combatants do not have to be fishing for crab at the time of battle in order for the events to be considered part of the Crab wars. The incidents of the crab wars are just those fought along the NLL which is the boudry between the two crab fishing zones.--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 05:10, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I've raised the issue of what these articles are about on the other page, but I'll bring it up here. The title Crab Wars suggests a fishing dispute (like the British-Icelandic Cod War; if you are wanting a page detailing the border dispute between North and South Korea, it should (at the very least) be called that - "Border Incidents of (whatever)". As far as I can see there are two overlapping but distinct disputes here; a dispute over borders left over from the Korean War, which would be there whether there are fish in the sea or not, and a three-way dispute over fishing grounds, which would exist regardless of those countries recent history. And I think the articles we have should reflect that, not lump everything in together. Xyl 54 (talk) 00:55, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Xyl 54 I have made this point on the Crab Wars discussion page but will repeat it here for completeness. I don't think this is comparable with the Cod Wars which related to the expansion of Iceland's exclusive economic zone into what were previously international waters. In contrast North and South Korean territorial waters butt up against each other along a maritime border (the NLL) that North Korea does not accept. Fishing is just part of the overall territorial dispute between North and South Korea. Sometimes the North Koreans use fishing boats to assert their rights to the area south of the NLL and sometimes they use gunboats or, as we saw yesterday, artillery. It is for these reasons (and others) that I support a merge of Crab Wars with the NLL page. regards Mztourist (talk) 07:49, 24 November 2010 (UTC)


I agree with SRich, the whole topic should be consolidated into an NK-SK maritime border incidents page, something which is largely already covered on the NLL page. Crab Wars is just a consolidation of numerous stub articles and tries to distinguish between the issue of the maritime boundary (the NLL) and fishing rights when they are clearly all part of the same issue - North Korea not agreeing to the NLL - fishing boats and gunboats both being tools to try to undermine the NLL. If Crab Wars is really about fishing then I don't see how the Cheonan sinking or the shelling of Yeonpyeong belong there. Mztourist (talk) 13:46, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I see this discussion has been circumvented by this edit by User:Victor Victoria. I don’t see there’s a conclusion here, or any consensus on what to do, so I’ve reverted it.
So far we have had 4 people against, and 4 for, a merger (I’ve counted VV’s intervention as a vote for a merger); Does anyone feel there is a consensus, or does this actually need closing, as there is none? Xyl 54 (talk) 12:39, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
I’m not happy with pages bearing one title that have a content largely about something else; I don’t think NLL (which should be about a geopolitical artifact, its background and history,and the difficulties around it) should be overwhelmed with a growing list of those dispute summaries. OTOH I don’t think, if Crab wars is actually about border incidents in the Western Sea]], it should stay at that title.
Mz has suggested moving Crab Wars to that title, and I think that has merit; what does any one else think? Xyl 54 (talk) 12:43, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
In order to avoid someone else proceeding with a merger, I have renamed Crab Wars (with a redirect) to Korean maritime border incidents. If someone can think of a better name please change it. I have also amended the NLL incidents section by adding a ref to the maritime border incidents page and slimmed down the incidents here. Mztourist (talk) 14:50, 27 November 2010 (UTC)


User:Victor Victoria has now nominated Korean maritime border incidents for deletion, please add any comments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Korean maritime border incidents Mztourist (talk) 02:51, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

No merge with Shelling of Yeonpyeong[edit]

How can anyone think of merging this article at this time? This is a major and unique world event. If it was to be merged then people would look on Wikipedia for it and when they didn't see it they would start their own. --Andrewrutherford (talk) 08:51, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Andrew its not that major or unique, its just seems to be normal NK strategy presumably to try to force the US to return to the negotiating table on the nuclear issue or to consolidate the Kim Jong-Eun succession. The shelling of Yeonpyeong is now covered here on the Northern Limit Line page, the Yeonpyeong page, referred to on the Crab Wars page, as well as having its own page Shelling of Yeonpyeong, doesn't that strike you as excessive? Mztourist (talk) 13:56, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Western "end" of the line?[edit]

It looks like the recent edit by Rwendland provide an analysis originally published by ROK. Not that that's wrong, but it is unclear as to how far west the UNC intended the line to go when it was established back when. That is, was the NLL originally intended to extend to the "median line between Korea and China"? That takes the line out into international waters, which International Law would not recognize. (E.g., ships could not "legally" cross the line if they were East of the Median Line.) To recap, 1. The reference provided looks like an ex post facto justification by ROK to extend the NLL beyond what the UNC established. (The paper is quite technical.) 2. The edit is unclear because it implies that the line goes all the way out to the median line. Otherwise, thanks for an excellent bit of work! --S. Rich (talk) 19:10, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

That highlights an important point that we should probably cover in the article. UNC and SK do not justify the NLL by ordinary peacetime maritime delineation law - it clearly is contrary to that. The SK rationale for the NLL is "military necessity" along with the claim that UNCLOS "recognizes such exceptional cases of military necessity." Also an argument that the situation is not governed by general maritime law, but by a spacial armistice agreement, so the NLL is a political compromise that should not be governed by the Law of the Sea; as advanced on pages 212-214 of [2]. The UNC position seems a bit weaker a) "territorial jurisdiction remain in dispute", so this is not an ordinary peacetime situation yet, b) NLL is an "effective means of preventing military tension ... We urge the DPRK to recognize the practicality of the NLL by keeping its craft north of the line." As the NLL is not governed by ordinary international law, according to SK and UNC, there is no problem with the NLL being enforced at the western end beyond 12 miles, all the way out to where the Chinese EEZ starts. At some point we should try to refine that and get it into the article. Rwendland (talk) 01:26, 3 December 2010 (UTC)