North Korea 'fires 200 artillery shells' as South Korea evacuates 2,000 people

North Korea 'fires 200 artillery shells' as South Korea evacuates 2,000 people

North Korea fired artillery shells towards the South

Dimitris Kouimtsidis

By Dimitris Kouimtsidis

Published: 05/01/2024

- 12:13

South Korean officials have ordered thousands of people on three islands to seek shelter

North Korea fired 200 artillery shells towards South Korea, with 2,000 people have been told to evacuate.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff say 200 rounds were fired into the water near the disputed western sea boundary earlier today.

Around 2,000 civilians on the islands of Yeonpyeong, Baeknyeong and Daecheong have been asked to evacuate.

The Korea Herald claims that a buffer zone was set up in 2018 in a bid to reduce tensions between the neighbouring nations.

Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un doesn't shy away from showing off his weapons


South Korean officials claim that the artillery fire is a violation of said agreement and launched firing drills in retaliation.

They referred to the act as a “provocative act” and that it “threatens peace on the Korean peninsula and raises tensions”.

South Korea’s Defence Minister Shin Won-sik said in a statement: “North Korea resuming its artillery fire drills inside the non-hostility zone this morning is an act of provocation which threatens peace on the Korean peninsula and raises tension.

“Our military must assume the readiness to completely wipe out the enemy so that they wouldn’t dare another provocation, and to back up the pace through strength.”


South Korean military

The South launched firing drills in retaliation


The shelling follows warnings from Pyongyang that it was building up its military arsenal in preparation for war that “could break out any time”.

It comes months after the North fully suspended a military deal with the South that had been aimed at improving relations.

This is the latest round of North Korean displays of “readiness for war”.

In August last year, a major missile test was fired from a North Korean navy corvette, with Kim Jong-un in attendance.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have heightened since the collapse of denuclearisation talks in 2019.

Since the beginning of 2022 North Korea has carried out more than 100 weapon tests.

Yeonpyeong island is home to a military base and lies just 2 miles (3km) from the disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea.

In 2010, North Korean artillery fire killed two civilians and two soldiers on the island.

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