Korean border artillery clash

North and South Korea exchange dozens of artillery shells across their tense western sea border, in one of the most serious incidents since the Korean War ended without a peace treaty in 1953.

North Korea fired dozens of rounds of artillery on Tuesday afternoon toward the bordering Yeonpyeong Island, killing two marines and injuring several soldiers and citizens. The North said it did not fire first in the incident, in response to South Korea’s military drill which was conducting firing exercises near the island.

The Koreans are in high tension since the Cheonan sinking in March, where a South Korean Navy ship was sunk in bordering waters, killing 43 marines. The South claimed that the ship had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo, though the evident was a bit inconclusive, and the North has denied the attack.

It’s an obvious message this time, loud and clear. The South might have conducted their firing exercise a bit too near to (or might have even cross) the border, but often it’s the death that counts. It seems that the South is refraining themselves from further confrontation, though I’m not sure how they will respond if the North opens fire (and kills) again. The options are limited I’m afraid.

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