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Pyongyang fires some 200 shells, evacuations in South Korea | North Korea

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A news bulletin broadcasts images of North Korean artillery fire on January 5, 2024.

Agence France-Presse

Seoul ordered the #x27;evacuation of residents from Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong islands near North Korea after Pyongyang fired around 200 artillery shells off its west coast.

The North Korean military carried out more than 200 shots today between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. [local time] in the Jangsan-got areas of northern Baengnyeong Island and the north […] of Yeonpyeon Island.

A quote from A Defense Ministry official

Residents of these two South Korean border islands, located in the Yellow Sea, have been asked to evacuate, according to local officials. Authorities on Yeonpyeong Island told AFP that the evacuation order had been issued as a preventive measure.

We are making evacuation announcements at the moment, said a district official on Baengnyeong Island (northwest), adding that he was aware of the upcoming conduct of a naval exercise by the South Korean military.

In the wake of Pyongyang's artillery barrage, South Korea denounced an act of provocation, urging its neighbor to put an end to it and warning that it will respond with appropriate measures. p>

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We strongly warn that North Korea bears full responsibility for this escalation of the crisis and we urge it to immediately cease these actions, the South Korean Defense Ministry wrote in a statement.

Our military is closely monitoring and monitoring the situation in close coordination with the United States. United.

A quote from The South Korean Ministry of Defense

In 2010, Pyongyang fired 170 artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, killing four people, including two civilians, in the first North Korean attack on civilians since the Korean War (1950-1953). .

The two Koreas began a process of rapprochement in 2018, characterized by three meetings between Kim Jong-un and the South Korean president. ;time, Moon Jae-in.

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Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in on September 19, 2018. Since then, relations between the two Koreas have deteriorated significantly.

But relations between the two Koreas deteriorated to a low point this year after Pyongyang's launch of a spy satellite prompted Seoul to partially suspend a 2018 military deal aimed at defuse tensions.

At the end of a meeting of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in late December, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the acceleration of military preparations for a war that could be triggered at any time on the peninsula.

He had also accused the United States, in a long speech, of various types of military threats and ordered its armed forces to maintain a capacity overwhelming response to the war.

At the party meeting, the leader said he no longer seeks reconciliation and reunification with South Korea, highlighting the persistent and uncontrollable crisis situation that he said was triggered by Seoul and Washington.

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A Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile is launched in North Korea, December 18, 2023.

In 2023, North Korea conducted a record number of ballistic missile tests, in violation of numerous UN resolutions prohibiting it.

The country also enshrined its status as a nuclear power in its Constitution, and successfully tested the Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) the most powerful in its arsenal, capable of reaching the United States.

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