The incident also comes days after the South said it would conduct its largest-ever annual joint military exercises with the United States next month, which usually causes a spike in cross-border frictions.

"There was a single artillery fire in the North" near the disputed sea border in the Yellow Sea, a defence ministry spokesman told media.

"The shell apparently landed on the northern side of the sea border and there was no damage to us," he said.

The North shelled the island in 2010, killing four people, amid disputes over a live fire drill conducted at the South near the disputed sea border.

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