Artillery heard on South Korean island
YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea — Fresh artillery shots were heard today on the tense South Korean island of Yeonpyeong just three days after it was devastated by a North Korean attack. One report said the shots were from military drills being carried out on the nearby North Korean mainland.
The blasts came hours after Pyongyang warned that the peninsula was on the brink of war, and just after the top U.S. commander in South Korea, General Walter Sharp, toured Yeonpyeong Island in a show of solidarity with Seoul and to survey damage from Tuesday’s hail of North Korean artillery fire that killed four people.
An official at the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said several new rounds of artillery fire were heard Friday on the island, just 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of the North Korean mainland. The military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said several distant explosive sounds came from the direction of North Korea.
North Korea’s heavy bombardment of Yeonpyeong on Tuesday took hostilities to a new level because civilians were killed, prompting Washington to reaffirm plans to send a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to South Korean waters for joint military drills starting Sunday.
The North unleashed its anger over those drills in a dispatch earlier Friday on its state news agency, saying the weekend drills were a reckless move to target the North. “The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war,” the Korean Central News Agency said. (AP)