North Korea throws grenades: South Korea orders evacuation of islands

“The North Korean military fired more than 200 rounds of gunfire at the Jangsan-got areas in the northern part of Baengnyeong and the northern parts of Yeonpyeong Island between 9am and 11am today (1am to 3am CET), a Korean official said.

South Korea's civil servants said on Friday that the missiles landed in the Yellow Sea, north of the border. No damage was done by the grenades. South Korea's military responded with its own firing exercises using self-propelled howitzers and other artillery. The Defense Ministry demanded in a statement that North Korea “immediately cease these activities”.

“Preventive Action”

Yeonpyeong said the request for residents to seek shelter was a “preventive measure” – the evacuation order was later lifted. The island is located twelve kilometers south of the North Korean coast. Yeonpyeong was the target of North Korean artillery fire in 2010. 4 people died then. An official later announced similar measures for Baengnyeong Island.

North Korea: “Natural Reaction”

North Korea later said the artillery drills on the west coast were a “natural response” to large-scale military operations by the South Korean military and would have no impact on the security of the South Korean islands, North Korean state news agency KCNA said. . Pyongyang has previously spoken of “irresponsible military maneuvers”.

South Korea and the United States recently held a week-long military exercise near the Korean border. South Korea said on Thursday that the joint heavy weapons combat exercises are designed to test and improve combat readiness by simulating an enemy attack. The exercises started on December 29 and concluded on Thursday.

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Kim has called for expanding rocket launcher production

According to state media, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called on Friday (local time) to expand the production of rocket launchers – preparation for a “military confrontation” with South Korea and the United States. As North Korean news agency KCNA reported on Friday, Kim's call came during a factory visit.

Earlier, the US government announced that North Korea had recently supplied Russia with ballistic missiles and rocket launchers, some of which were used in recent attacks on Ukraine.

South Korea: People must go safely

North Korea fired more than 200 bombs near two South Korean islands on Friday, South Korea's defense ministry said. Residents of the islands were asked to evacuate.

US: Supply to Russia “Significantly Increased”

Some of the rockets and rocket launchers were used in the attacks on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday. Kirby called it a “significant and disturbing escalation” in Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

Kirby announced that the US and its allies would now bring the matter to the table at the UN Security Council. He insisted that North Korea's arms sales to Russia violated UN sanctions imposed on the East Asian country.

AP/Yuri Katopnov

Kim and Putin at a meeting in Russia last year

According to Kirby, one of the North Korean missiles was fired over southern Ukraine on December 30. The projectile landed in an open field in Zaporizhia area. On January 2, the Russian Armed Forces used “several” North Korean missiles in powerful airstrikes. The US had already reported that North Korea had supplied weapons to Russia in the past few months.

South Korea and US end joint military exercises

Amid sharp criticism from North Korea, South Korea and the United States held a week-long military drill near the Korean border as planned.

It is still a state of war under international law

The Korean peninsula has been divided for decades and is still at war under international law. After the Korean War there was no peace treaty, only an armistice. At the time, the United States intervened in the war in the South within the framework of the United Nations, while the Soviet Union and, above all, China intervened on the side of the communist North.

North Korea has maintained its Stalinist system, including the cult of personality, for decades; It is well equipped, but a large section of the population lives in abject poverty. Since the 1980s, South Korea has embarked on a democratic path and developed into a high-tech country.

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