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North Korea Fires Artillery Shells Near South Korean Islands – Seoul

Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in decades, after Kim enshrined the country's status as a nuclear power into the constitution while test-firing several advanced ICBMs.


People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of North Korea’s artillery firing, at a railway station in Seoul on January 5, 2024. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

 

North Korea fired more than 200 artillery shells near two South Korean islands on Friday, Seoul’s defence ministry said, with an evacuation order issued for residents on one of them.

“The North Korean military conducted over 200 rounds of firing today from around 09:00 to 11:00 (1200 to 0200 GMT) in the areas of Jangsan-got in the northern part of Baengnyeong Island and the northern areas… of Yeonpyeong Island,” a defence ministry official said at a briefing.

Yeonpyeong local officials told AFP that civilians had been asked to evacuate, describing the order as a “preventative measure”.

South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island is situated in the Yellow Sea. It is located approximately 80 kilometres west of Incheon and 12 kilometres south of the coastline of Hwanghae Province, North Korea.

READ ALSO: North Korea’s Kim Orders Military To Prepare For Possible ‘War’

This handout photo taken on January 5, 2024, and provided by the South Korean Defence Ministry shows South Korea’s K9 155mm self-propelled howitzer firing during a live-fire exercise at a base on Baengnyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea after North Korea fired an artillery barrage. (Photo by Handout / South Korean Defence Ministry / AFP)

 

Pyongyang fired a barrage of 170 artillery shells onto Yeonpyeong island in November 2010, killing four people including two civilians in the first North Korean attack on a civilian area since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in decades, after Kim enshrined the country’s status as a nuclear power into the constitution while test-firing several advanced ICBMs.

At Pyongyang’s key year-end policy meetings, Kim warned of a nuclear attack on the South and called for a build-up of the country’s military arsenal ahead of armed conflict that he warned could “break out any time”.

In 2023, the North successfully launched a reconnaissance satellite, after receiving what Seoul claimed was help from Russia in exchange for arms transfers for Ukraine.

AFP