News / Asia

N. Korea Shells South Korean Island, Killing Troops

This picture taken by a South Korean tourist shows huge plumes of smoke rising from Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on November 23, 2010. North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island, setting of an exc
This picture taken by a South Korean tourist shows huge plumes of smoke rising from Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on November 23, 2010. North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island, setting of an exc

In the one of the most serious flare ups since the Korean War of the early 1950s, North and South Korea have exchanged artillery fire. At least two South Korean marines were killed and several others, and some civilians, were injured after North Korea shelled a small South Korean island.

The shelling prompted South Korea to scramble fighter jets. It set off the highest peace-time alert level here, sending top government leaders into an underground war room for emergency talks.

South Korea's government calls the act a clear military provocation and unpardonable.

Presidential press secretary Hong Sang-pyo says Pyongyang must take responsibility. Additional provocations by North Korea will compel South Korea's military to forcefully retaliate, he says.

Army General Lee Hong-Ki terms the attack an inhumane atrocity. The general says the shelling clearly violates the United Nations armistice.

In Pyongyang, the evening TV newscast put the blame on South Korea, saying North Korea only fired after it repeatedly warned South Korea to halt military maneuvers on the island.

The announcer, quoting a North Korean Army statement, warns if South Korea intrudes into its territorial waters "even 0.001 millimeters" its forces will not hesitate to continue taking "merciless military counter-actions."

The United States, which has 25,000 troops in South Korea, condemned the attack, saying that North Korea must halt belligerent action and abide by the 1953 armistice.

China, Russia and Japan quickly expressed concern and appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea's military says its forces fired back with 80 shells after tiny Yeonpyeong island, 12 kilometers off the North Korean coast, was hit.

Residents on Yeonpyeong say damage is widespread.

Fishing boat captain Shin Eung-ho says a shell fell next door, but he was not home at the time. He says the island was hit by an initial barrage of 15 shells, then there was a break of 40 minutes before the shelling resumed, setting afire and destroying many homes.

Video showing plumes of dark smoke rising from the island were repeatedly shown on South Korean news.

Yeonpyeong has more than 1,000 residents, some of whom headed into bunkers. Others began fleeing in boats.

The maritime boundary nearby is disputed, and the area saw deadly clashes at sea in 1999 and 2002.

The two Koreas have remained technically at war since 1953. Their three-year civil war ended in stalemate and no peace treaty was signed.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid