Ever since fighting ended in the Korean War nearly seven decades ago, Baengnyeong has been a key location for Seoul to spy on North Korea. Yet now the island is on China’s radar.

China spooked South Korea in December by sending a warship past a self-imposed boundary near the island to probe the limits of the country’s claims in the Yellow Sea. The move, described as rare by South Korean lawmakers, comes as China’s military bolsters its presence in the disputed waters.

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