The U.S. and Japan are conducting joint exercises in the Sea of Japan, near the coast of South Korea. Here, the USS John McCain (L) pulls alongside the USS George Washington in the Sea of Japan. MC3 David Juan Pinalez /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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This undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency via the Korean News Service on November 25, 2010 shows Kim Jong-Il inspecting the Kangso Mineral Water Processing Factory in South Pyongan province. You can see more images like this on the Tumblr blog Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things. KNS/Getty hide caption

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Smoke rises from Yeonpyeong Island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea earlier today after artillery shells fired from North Korea fell on the area. STR/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The Two-Way

'Worst Act Of Aggression Against South Korea' Since '50s

The shells fired by the North fell on an island where civilians live -- a sharp escalation in the long-simmering tensions between the two sides.

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