North Korea Fires Over 200 Coastal Artillery Shells, South Korean Islands Evacuated

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Seoul, 5th January 2024: Tensions escalated on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea fired more than 200 coastal artillery shells, targeting South Korea on Friday morning. The South Korean army confirmed the attack, prompting the evacuation of residents from two South Korean islands due to an unknown situation.

In its official statement, South Korea’s army reassured that there were no reported damages resulting from the continuous shelling. The shells reportedly fell north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the maritime border that separates the two Koreas.

Residents of two South Korean islands received evacuation orders, with a text message alerting them to naval gunfire by South Korean troops commencing at 3 0600 GMT on Friday. An island official on Yeonpyeong Island, located just south of the disputed NLL maritime border, confirmed that the evacuation was carried out at the South Korean military’s request.

Reports indicate that South Korea attributes the artillery barrage to North Korea’s conduct of exercises along their disputed maritime border. This recent development recalls the 2010 incident when North Korean artillery targeted Yeonpyeong Island, resulting in casualties, including civilians. North Korea claimed the attack was provoked by South Korean live-fire exercises that intruded into its territorial waters.