Tensions Up as 2 Koreas Exchange Artillery Fire

Tensions in the Korean peninsula are up again after an exchange of fire between North and South Korea left two people dead and 18 others wounded.

Reports said two South Korean soldiers were killed when North Korea fired artillery towards a disputed maritime area. The North Korean bombardment hit the small island of Yeonpyeong, which has around 1,300 inhabitants, South Korean officials said. Civilians were among those wounded by the most serious attack by the North against its neighbor since the end of the Korean War in 1953. A local television station said some 200 North Korean shells hit the island, most of them inside a military base.

The North said the artillery attack was a response to the South’s “reckless military provocation.” The South Korean military was holding military drills near the disputed maritime border before the North attacked. “Despite our repeated warnings, South Korea fired dozens of shells from 1 p.m. … and we’ve taken strong military action immediately,” North Korea said in a statement through its official news agency. South Korea fired back and sent a fighter jet to the area, raising fears of another war between the two countries.