Yeonpyeong Charred, Desolate After N. Korea Attack Tensions remain dangerously high on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea fired an artillery barrage on the South Korean island Tuesday. NPR's Louisa Lim was on one of the first ferries allowed to land on Yeonpyeong since the attack and says the fishing community is badly damaged and residents have fled.
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Yeonpyeong Charred, Desolate After N. Korea Attack

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Yeonpyeong Charred, Desolate After N. Korea Attack

Yeonpyeong Charred, Desolate After N. Korea Attack

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

She joins us now on the ferry, after a visit to the island. Good morning, Louisa.

LOUISA LIM: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: And tell us what the island is like now. What did you see?

LIM: But now this town is more like a ghost town. There were a lot of helicopters overhead, there were SWAT teams wearing bulletproof vests in the streets, and Marines, and a lot of the residents were leaving.

MONTAGNE: Well, as you say, there is a military base on that island, but tell us about those people, the civilians, who live there.

LIM: There were some people who had already fled who came back just for a couple of hours to collect their belongings and now they're back on the ferry. Most of the refugees from the island are going to the city of Incheon. At the moment, the government is putting them up in a bathhouse in the city of Incheon. But at the moment, it's not really clear what these people will do. Many of them, their homes have been destroyed. And this was a fishing village, so their livelihoods are also in doubt and they simply don't know what they're going to do now.

MONTAGNE: Now, there are joint American-South Korean military exercises scheduled for this coming Sunday. Is that causing more worries about the possibility of more friction and even possibly more attacks?

LIM: But at the same time, North Korea has been making a lot of threats, saying that the South Korean actions are taking the peninsula to the brink of war and this kind of thing. So, we really are in unchartered territory now.

MONTAGNE: And so, of course, we'll be talking you as this story moves forward. NPR's Louisa Lim on a ferry off the coast of South Korea. Thanks very much.

LIM: Thank you, Renee.

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