Tuesday, November 23, 2010
North Korea Shells Populated South Korean Island- South Korea Scrambles Fighters, Returns Fire
North Korea fired artillery rounds at a South Korean military garrison on Yeonpyeong Island on Tuesday, killing a South Korean Marine and setting buildings on fire while prompting the South to return fire. The shelling took place in the midst of South Korean military exercises in the area.
South Korea's YTN TV network aired footage showing columns of smoke rising from the island of about 1300 inhabitants, with the White House issuing a statement condemning the attack while China and the Kremlin cautioned both sides against escalation.
The latest provocation from the North comes only a few days after the isolated, communist state revealed that it was enriching uranium at a facility visited by the US Special envoy on North Korean denuclearization Stephen Bosworth and about a month after an ailing Kim Jong Il announced his son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent.
In March of this year, a North Korean submarine torpedoed the corvette ROKS Cheonan, killing all 46 South Korean sailors on board.