North Korea fires artillery shells, South orders island evacuation

South Korea has ordered the evacuation of civilians on Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong islands after North Korea fired around 200 artillery shells off its west coast. The Seoul Defense Ministry announced this today.
“The North Korean military carried out more than 200 attacks in the Jangsan-got areas in northern Baengnyeong Island and northern Yeonpyeong Island between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. today,” a South Korean official said at a news conference. Local authorities in Yeonpyeong said the evacuation of civilians was ordered as a “preventive measure.”
The South Korean island is located in the Yellow Sea, about 80 km west of Incheon and 12 km south of the coast of North Korea's Hwanghae Province. In 2010, Pyongyang fired 170 artillery shells at Yeonpyeong, killing four people, including two civilians, in the first North Korean attack on civilians since the Korean War (1950-1953).

South Korea's defense ministry called North Korea's artillery attacks near two border islands a “provocative act” and called on Pyongyang to stop. Seoul will take “appropriate measures” in response. “This is a provocative act that threatens peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the South Korean ministry said in a statement, calling on the North to “immediately stop these actions” and warning that it would take “appropriate measures in response.”

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