America

Two Civilians Killed By North Korean Shelling

Destroyed houses are seen on Yeonpyeong

Destroyed houses on Yeonpyeong island, South Korea, a day after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells upon it, killing two South Korean civilians and two South Korean soldiers. DONG-A ILBO/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption DONG-A ILBO/Getty

The South Korean Coast Guard found the burned bodies of two men today, as they searched rubble on Yeonpyeong Island, close to the North Korean border. The AP reports the bodies were discovered at a ruined construction site at the South Korean military base: civilians also live there. North Korea fired on the island yesterday, claiming provocation by South Korean naval exercises. Two South Korean soldiers died. North Korea's government controlled Central News Agency warns South Korea's 'sinister' activity near the disputed border will always draw the same response:

Should the South Korean puppet group dare intrude into the territorial waters of the DPRK even 0.001 mm, the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will unhesitatingly continue taking merciless military counter-actions against it.

It should bear in mind the solemn warning of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK that they do not make an empty talk. There is in the West Sea of Korea only the maritime military demarcation line set by the DPRK.

That should make things interesting when the U.S. joins South Korea's naval exercises Sunday for four days. The U.S. Navy says the USS George Washington and its carrier strike group are enroute to the prearranged drill:

This exercise is defensive in nature. While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK-U.S. Alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence.  It is also designed to improve our military interoperability.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Louisa Lim interviews Yonsei University professor Moon Chung-in, who says the arrival of an American warship won't help:

Moon: What is the utility of it? Is it, what, power projection?

Lim: Do you think the North Koreans would see that as a further provocation?

Moon: Sure, and North Korea will respond in kind. North Korea is very much well experienced in that kind of projection of power by South Korea and the United States. And also, now things will get worse, because China will be very unhappy about that kind of deployment pattern.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.