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territo'rial wa'ters

the waters of a littoral state that are regarded as under the jurisdiction of the state: traditionally those waters within three miles (4.8 km) of the shore, but in the 20th century claims by coastal nations have extended to 12 or even 200 miles (19.3 or 321.8 km). Also called marine belt. Cf. high sea.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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