YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy is aware of a North Korean live-fire military exercise the communist nation said it will hold at sea, but isn’t commenting on whether it will affect 7th Fleet operations.

North Korea plans to conduct drills in waters off Wonsan between Thursday and July 10 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., according to an e-mail sent Monday by North Korea to Japan’s coast guard.

"We do monitor notices to mariners and airmen and are certainly aware when countries establish temporary closure areas like this," 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Davis said. He declined, as per Navy policy, to comment on any operations or say whether Navy ships will give the exercise area a wide berth.

The live-fire announcement comes following reports last week that North Korea may be planning to test-fire a long-range missile in Hawaii’s direction.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he had ordered deployment of a missile interceptor and positioned a sea-based radar system in Hawaii.

North Korea gave notice in April when it launched what it said was a satellite but both Japanese and U.S. officials believed it to be a long-range missile test.

This is the first notice described as a live-fire exercise that the coast guard has received this year, Japanese coast guard spokesman Tomoyuki Suzuki said.

The notification warned vessels not to enter an area measuring 279 miles long and 68 miles at its widest point into the Sea of Japan, known to Koreans as the East Sea.

The 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea defines a country’s territorial waters at 12 nautical miles, or about 14 miles, from the country’s low-water mark.

A nation’s limited-sovereignty contiguous zone extends about another 14 miles and its exclusive economic zone extends 230 miles beyond the low-water mark of the shoreline.

Both the U.S. and North Korea are signatories to the convention, but neither has ratified it.

Stars and Stripes reporter Hana Kusumoto contributed to this story.

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