North Korea Fires Over 200 Shells, South Korea Evacuates Border Island

South Korea evacuates border island amid North Korean shelling

South Korea has ordered the evacuation of residents from a border island after North Korea fired more than 200 artillery shells into the sea near the disputed maritime boundary.

The shelling, which began around 9 a.m. local time, lasted for about an hour and did not cause any casualties or damage, according to the South Korean military. The military said it responded with 80 rounds of artillery fire and scrambled fighter jets to deter further provocation.

The motive behind the North Korean action is unclear, but it comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula following the collapse of nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

The island, Yeonpyeong, was the target of a deadly North Korean attack in 2010 that killed four South Koreans and sparked an international crisis.

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The evacuation order was issued by the South Korean government as a precautionary measure to protect the lives and property of the islanders, who number about 2,000.

The island is located about 12 kilometers south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto maritime border that has been a source of frequent clashes between the two Koreas.

The NLL was drawn by the United Nations after the Korean War, but North Korea does not recognize it and claims a different boundary line.

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The shelling was the first such incident since 2018, when the two Koreas agreed to cease all hostile acts along the border as part of a comprehensive military agreement.

However, the agreement has been largely ignored by North Korea, which has resumed its missile and nuclear tests and severed all communication channels with South Korea.

Priyanka Pandey writer
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