Artillery fire was exchanged between South Korean troops on the island of Yeonpyeong and North Korean soldiers. The DPRK charged Seoul recklessly fired into our sea area.
The South Korean government acknowledged firing test shots, but claimed they didnt reach North Korean territory. According to South Korean officials, artillery fire from the North killed two South Korean soldiers, wounded several other soldiers and civilians, and damaged buildings. South Korean president Lee Myung-bak ordered strikes on North Koreas missile base if the DPRK made any indication of further provocation, according to a presidential aide. Washington demanded Pyongyang halt its belligerent action.
In an official statement, Pyongyang warned that if South Korean forces enter its territory in the slightest degree it would unhesitatingly continue taking merciless military counter-actions.
Some 70,000 South Korean troops were in Yeonpyeong conducting joint military maneuvers with the U.S. Marines and Air Force, simulating an invasion of the North. The massive exercises involved 50 warships, 90 helicopters, and 500 planes. The DPRK said the maneuvers were a means to provoke a war.
South Koreas defense minister, Kim Tae Young, said November 21 that the government was considering reintroducing U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea. Seoul later said it is not officially requesting the weapons, which were purportedly removed from South Korea in the 1990s. Washington, however, does have nuclear weapons targeting the region and 28,000 U.S. troops based in South Korea.
Three days before the incident, Siegfried Hecker, former directory of the U.S. Los Alamos nuclear laboratory, said he visited a North Korean nuclear facility November 12 where he saw some 2,000 centrifuges that he believed could produce almost enough highly-enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb.
The U.S. State Department seized on this to announce it opposed resumption of talks with North Korea over ending its nuclear program, which Pyongyang has agreed to do in exchange for normalization of relations, food, and other aid. But Washington has failed to uphold its part of the agreement and has continued its military provocations and economic sanctions.
U.S. hands off North Korea!
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