South Korea Instructs Islanders To Take Shelter Following North Korea’s Artillery Firing Nearby!

On Friday, North Korea launched over 200 artillery rounds into the sea near the tense maritime border with South Korea, prompting residents of two South Korean islands to seek shelter due to an unspecified “situation.” North Korea justified its drills as a response to what it termed as large-scale military actions by the South Korean military, emphasizing that it posed no threat to the safety of South Korean islands, according to the official news agency KCNA. The defense ministry did not confirm whether the order to seek shelter was in response to North Korea’s artillery firing or South Korean drills.

Confirmed through a text message to residents, South Korean troops were reportedly set to conduct “naval fire” from 3 p.m. (0600 GMT) on Friday, according to an island official. Residents of Yeonpyeong island, located just south of the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) sea border, were directed to evacuate into shelters at the South Korean military’s request. Despite North Korea’s firing, there were no reported civilian or military casualties or damage in the South, as stated in a military briefing.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff labeled the act as provocative, escalating tensions and jeopardizing peace on the Korean peninsula. According to spokesperson Lee Sung-joon, all North Korean artillery shells landed on the northern side of the disputed maritime border. He highlighted the South’s ongoing monitoring of North Korea’s activities along its shores with U.S. military cooperation. A stern warning was issued, stating that the South would implement “corresponding measures” in response to North Korea’s actions.

Clashes Due to Water!

South Korea’s military informed the village about firing at sea by their forces, following “a situation” near the border, though it remained unclear whether it was a drill or had a different cause. Yeonpyeong, with just over 2,000 residents and stationed troops, is located about 120 km west of Seoul and accessed by ferries taking over 2-and-a-half hours.

The waters near the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) have witnessed deadly clashes, including skirmishes and the sinking of a South Korean navy corvette in 2010. In November 2010, North Korean artillery attacked Yeonpyeong island, resulting in four casualties. North Korea attributed the attack to South Korean live-fire drills that it claimed intruded into its territorial waters.

Initially established at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War as an unofficial border, the NLL dispute emerged in the 1970s when North Korea began violating the line and advocating for a southern border.

Residents of Baengnyeong island, located west of Yeonpyeong and also near the sea border, were instructed to seek shelter, according to a village official, with a population of around 4,900.

Amid rising tensions, North Korea has been issuing warnings about the Korean peninsula moving towards war due to perceived provocations by the US and South Korean militaries. Both nations have pledged robust military responses in the event of an attack.

In November, North Korea declared the invalidity of a 2018 agreement signed by the leaders of the two Koreas, aimed at de-escalating tensions and preventing accidental warfare. This came after the South announced its intention to resume drills near the border, breaching the earlier agreement to cease military exercises near the border, including sea borders.

Corresponding Drills Started by South Korea in Response to Maritime Disputes

In response to North Korea’s artillery firing near the disputed maritime border, South Korea’s military conducted “corresponding” live firing drills on Friday, as confirmed by the South’s defense ministry.

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