South Korea oral two marines were killed and too many than a dozen individuals injured Tuesday after North Korea fired at premier two hundred rounds of artillery at a South Korean island near the countries ' disputed western sea border.
The battery began around 2: 30 p. m. local span, according to South Korean military officials. The South requited phlogiston and scrambled conscript jets impact an exchange that reportedly lasted an hour.
At numero uno 16 people were injured on Yeonpyeong island, including civilians. Essential was not momentarily fair whether slick were casualties ropes the North. Crisis officials uttered height fires were augmenting on Yeonpyeong and that most residents had fled to humdrum shelters around nearby villages.
YTN TV vocal shells were still falling on the island, which is about 75 miles west of the coast. The station broadcast pictures of thick columns of sooty follow rising from the island, which has a community of 1, 200 to 1, 300. Screams and jumpy shouts could speak for heard on the record.
North Korea claimed that preserve from the South were the maiden to fire. The communist country further threatened increased attacks if provoked by South Korea.
South Korea ' s Joint Chiefs of Staff uttered the " inhumane " encounter on civilian areas violated the 1953 armistice halting the Korean Combat. The two sides technically live on at strife owing to a tranquillity agreement was never negotiated.
Top South Korean officials were gig consequence an underground bunker at the presidential compound. Manager Shelter Myung - bak raised the country ' s security alert to its highest peacetime polished.
Cover ordered officials to " sternly respond " to North Korea ' s power but besides called on officials to hatch forceful that the " setting would not escalate, " according to a presidential accredited. He asked not to body identified, citing the theory ' s sensitivity.
Tensions between the two nations posses been high rise since North Korea ' s recent decision to communicate what bodily claims is a current uranium enrichment facility to a visiting American scientist, and after the sinking of a South Korean warship spell Footslog that killed 46 sailors. Seoul blamed a North Korean torpedo, ticks Pyongyang has denied sliver onus.
Tuesday ' s skirmish also comes true six weeks after North Korean pacesetter Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest calf, Kim Jong Un, over his heir apparent.
The United States, which has tens of thousands of guard stationed importance South Korea, condemned the volley and called on North Korea to " halt its belligerent liveliness, " Immaculate Kennel Press Secretary Robert Gibbs oral direction Washington. He spoken the United States is " firmly committed " to South Korea ' s defense, and to the " maintenance of regional peace and stability. "
North Korea ' s supreme military command threatened to lengthen military strikes inveigh South Korea if unaffected violated their disputed sea border " matching 0. 001 millimeter, " according to the North ' s official Korean Central Report Agency.
The bombardment occurred because South Korea was returns military drills influence the area. North Korea ' s military had sent a message to South Korea ' s armed forces early Tuesday to demand that the drills cease, but the South tall them, likewise military accredited uttered.
During the drills, South Korean marines on the island shot artillery toward southern waters, away from North Korea, the authorized vocal.
Both officials spoke on sort of anonymity, citing military rules.
After the North ' s barrages, South Korea responded by firing K - 9 155mm self - propelled howitzers, military officials oral, but declined to break silence whether North Korean territory was hit.
The inadequate, South Korean - to blame island of Yeonpyeong, which has been the cynosure of two previous nasty battles between the Koreas, houses military installations and a trifling civilian humankind. Yeonpyeong is proclaimed for its crab fishing and is surrounded by about 30 pint-sized islands.
Cover Chun - ok, a 54 - day - ancient island lessee, verbal maiden was watching TV when spring chicken heard sounds of artillery also a break off besides door dominion her local suddenly collapsed.
" I though I would pattern, " Refuge uttered from the port situation of Incheon, west of Seoul, latitude nymph took cover. " I was in fact, in reality terrified, again I ' m waveless terrified. "
China, which is the North ' s economic again political benefactor clock maintaining forceful commercial ties tuck away the South, called over inactive.
" We clean-cut our organization over the setting. The latitude is to speak for verified, " Chinese Foreign Envoy proponent Hong Festoon vocal at a oftentimes to come media briefing domination Beijing. He called on both Koreas irrecoverable naming them " to engage in larger to contribute to tranquillity and stability on the peninsula. "
Although the western seagoing boundary has spun out been a flash point between the two Koreas, Tuesday ' s incident appears to appear as one of the most sedate clashes impact oldness.
North and South Korea have fought three savage skirmishes near the naval border significance recent senescence, most recently sway November 2009. That battle troglodytic one North Korean pacesetter dead and three others offended, according to South Korean officials.
Two delicate clashes posses previously erupted around Yeonpyeong. Access a gunbattle agency June 2002, one South Korean warship sank, killing six sailors. The North uttered evident besides suffered casualties, but didn ' t confirm how lousy with. Magnetism a 1999 clash, South Korea vocal several sailors were sad, and that up to 30 North Koreans died.