North Korea fires artillery shells towards South’s islands, prompting evacuations

North Korea has fired more than 200 rounds of artillery shells into the sea near a tense maritime border and towards two South Korean islands, which Seoul called “an act of provocation”.

On Friday, residents on the islands of Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong were ordered to seek shelter due to an unspecified “situation”.

South Korea’s military said the firing caused no civilian or military damage, adding that all the shells landed on the northern side of the sea border.

“This is an act of provocation that escalates tension and threatens peace on the Korean peninsula,” said Lee Sung-joon, a spokesperson for the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The defence ministry in Seoul said: “We sternly warn that North Korea bears full responsibility for this escalating crisis and strongly urge them to immediately cease these actions.

“Our military closely tracks and monitors the situation in close coordination with the United States and will take appropriate measures in response to North Korea’s provocations,” the ministry statement added.

However, the defence ministry was yet to confirm whether the evacuation order was a response to Pyongyang’s artillery fire or Seoul’s military drills.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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