North Korea has launched over 200 artillery shells off its west coast towards the buffer zone near South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, according to Seoul’s military. This provocative act occurred on Friday, between 09:00 to 11:00 local time, with shells landing in the non-hostile zone between the two countries, but not entering South Korean territory.
In response, South Korea conducted live fire drills and ordered civilians on Yeonpyeong Island and the nearby Baengnyeong and Daecheong islands to seek shelter. South Korea’s Defence Minister Shin Won-sik denounced the North’s actions as a threat to peace and stability in the region, emphasizing the need for military readiness to counter further provocations.
The incident, which South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed caused no damage, has escalated tensions on the Korean Peninsula. It follows Pyongyang’s recent declaration of enhancing its military arsenal in anticipation of potential conflict. North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, defended the drills as a natural response to South Korea’s military actions.