North Korea showered artillery fire on an island in the south, killing two South Korea Marines and prompting a return volley of fire. Seoul put its armed forces on alert while everyone waits to see whether Pyongyang has decided to restart the Korean War:
North Korea launched a massive artillery barrage on a South Korean island Tuesday, killing two South Korean marines, wounding at least 14 others and setting more than 60 buildings ablaze in the most serious confrontation since the North’s sinking of a South Korean submarine in March.
South Korea immediately responded with its own artillery barrage and put its fighter jets on high alert, bringing the two sides – which technically have remained in a state of war since the Korean armistice in 1953 – close to the brink of a major conflagration.
South Korea called the shelling of the civilian-inhabited island of Yeonpyeong, which lies near the disputed maritime border separating North and South Korea, a breach of the 57-year-old armistice that halted the Korean War without a peace agreement.
The North fired an estimated 200 artillery shells onto the island, and the South returned fire with about 80 shells from its own howitzers. The attack began just after 2:30 p.m.
Update: Note to the Washington Post: The ship that North Korea sank was a surface ship, not a submarine. A North Korean submarine likely fired the torpedoes that sunk the Cheonan.