South Korean Artillery Drills Ends On Frontline Island

(RFE/RL) — South Korea’s military says it has ended a live-fire artillery exercise near its tense border with North Korea.

Firing was heard for about 90 minutes from South Korean artillery that is positioned on Yeonpyeong Island.

North Korea considers the waters around Yeonpyeong to be its territory and had threatened to retaliate for any new drills.

South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun repeated Seoul’s rejection of the North’s claims to the island.

“The Yeonpyeong Island firing exercise is regular and justified, for defense of our waters and territory,” Kim said. “Therefore, this is a matter of our sovereignty.”

South Korea said it also launched fighter jets to deter any North Korean attacks during the drills on Yeonpyeong.

The island had been shelled by the North on November 23, killing four South Koreans.

Ahead of today’s drill, authorities ordered civilians on the island and others to take shelter due to concerns that North Korea could again open fire.

On December 19, the United Nations Security Council failed to agree on a statement about the Korean crisis.


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RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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