Entries in Yeonpyeong Island (4)


South Korea Responds to North's Artillery Fire

Ryan McVay/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North and South Korea engaged in an exchange of artillery fire Wednesday close to the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea.

According to a South Korean defense ministry official, it was soldiers from North Korea who started the confrontation by firing three rounds, all of which wound up in the water, while the South responded by shooting three rounds of its own that also failed to hit land.

The hostilities are the most serious since North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island last November, killing two South Korean troops and two civilians.  Earlier in 2010, a South Korea vessel sank in the Yellow Sea, resulting in the deaths of 46 sailors.  Pyongyang was blamed for sinking the boat -- a charge it still denies.

Lately, the two countries seemed to be moving toward reconciliation as officials from both governments discussed renewing multilateral talks on Pyongyang’s controversial nuclear weapons program.

While North and South Korea have not engaged in a ground battle since 1953, the two sides are still technically at war since no formal peace treaty was ever signed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Russian Armed Forces on High Alert Over North Korea

Photo Courtesy - Yonhap News Agency(MOSCOW) -- Russia announced Tuesday that its armed forces in the east are on high alert.  This comes in light of what it calls an "inadequate situation" on the Korean peninsula as tensions have increased in recent weeks between the North and South.

The head of Russia's military said they continue to follow what is happening and have taken measures to raise the forces' combat readiness.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed his North Korean counterpart to Moscow.  In the meeting, Lavrov expressed concern with North Korea's ongoing uranium enrichment activities.  He also condemned North Korea's attack on the South's Yeonpyeong Island, which has been the source of the recent increased tension.

South Korea's top nuclear official is on his way to Moscow to discuss the disclosure of North Korea's newest uranium enrichment facility and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

Russia joined the U.S. and others in condemning the November attack, which killed four people and brought about the highest tension on the peninsula in years.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


China Seeks to Resume Six-Party Talks Amid Rising Tension in Korea

Photo Courtesy - Yonhap News Agency(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korea's Defense Ministry has ordered journalists to leave the front-line island of Yeonpyeong, citing high tension with North Korea following last week's shelling by North Korea. The Defense Ministry says "the situation is not good" on the island, with the start of South Korean-U.S. military drills in Yellow Sea waters to the south.  Remaining residents on Yeonpyeong ran to bomb shelters Sunday as the sound of artillery fire rang out.  It turned out not to be an attack, but people are very nervous, with North Korea calling the military exercises "unpardonably protective" and vowing "merciless" attacks if provoked.

China's nuclear envoy is calling for an emergency meeting of North Korean disarmament talks to discuss the tensions on the Korean peninsula. Wu Dawei says chief negotiators at the six-nation nuclear talks are being asked to come to Beijing in early December for the emergency session. He said in a statement Sunday that the international community, particularly members of the six-party talks, are deeply concerned about recent developments on the peninsula. South Korea responded in a dismissive statement, saying it will "take note" of the Chinese proposal and "study it" very carefully. 
A senior North Korean official is expected to visit China from Tuesday to Saturday.   

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Deadly North Korean Strike Pounds South Korean Island

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korea is reporting two of its marines were killed and 16 were injured after North Korea fired artillery shells at a South Korean island Tuesday.  Seventy houses were set on fire in the unprovoked attack, which led South Korea to return fire.

At least three South Korean civilians have also been hurt in the barrage, authorities report.

Artillery rounds fell near Yeonpyeong Island, a fishing village at the border between both countries that has been the center of disputes in the past.  Some rounds fell into the water but others landed on the island.  South Korean local media are quoting residents who saw 60 to 70 houses on fire after the shelling. 

Residents and South Korean troops are also trying to fight fires that have ignited on mountains.

The South Korean military has fired back and is on full alert.  The president's office has convened a national security meeting at the underground bunker.

The South Korean Navy was conducting a maritime training in that area Tuesday morning.  Analysts believe North Korea could have fired in protest to that exercise.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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