SEOUL: North Korea fired a few artillery rounds during an apparent military drill near a frontline island on Saturday, a military spokesman from the South said, as tensions run high following nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang. 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 friction. “The North Korean army fired a few artillery rounds” at around 07:20 am (2220 GMT Friday) from an artillery battery at Jangsangot promontory on its southern coast near the disputed sea border between the two Koreas, a defence ministry statement said. “North Korea is believed to have conducted a military drill” north of the sea border, it said. As a precautionary measure, however, the South urged residents on Baengnyeongdo island to prepare to go into shelters and fishing vessels at sea to return to nearby ports, it said. Currently, the North Korean army shows no signs of engaging in any further provocative activities, it added. In 2010, the North shelled Yeonpyeong island near Baengnyeongdo, killing four people, in response to a live-fire drill conducted by the South near the disputed sea border.