War games be­gin as ten­sions mount

SundayXtra - - CANADA / WORLD NEWS -

YEON­PYEONG IS­LAND, South Korea — The United States and South Korea be­gan joint war games Sun­day, as South Kore­ans de­manded vengeance over a deadly North Korean ar­tillery bom­bard­ment that has raised fears of more clashes be­tween the bit­ter ri­vals.

On Sun­day, the sound of ar­tillery was once again heard on the is­land. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said one ar­tillery round was heard from a North Korean mil­i­tary base north of the sea border di­vid­ing the two Koreas. It was not im­me­di­ately clear where the round landed.

The North, mean­while, worked to jus­tify one of the worst attacks on South Korean ter­ri­tory since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Four South Kore­ans, in­clud­ing two civil­ians, died af­ter the North rained ar­tillery on the small Yel­low Sea is­land of Yeon­pyeong, which is home to both fish­ing com­mu­ni­ties and mil­i­tary bases.

North Korea said civil­ians were used as a “ hu­man shield” around ar­tillery po­si­tions and lashed out at what it called a “ pro­pa­ganda cam­paign” against Py­ongyang.

It claimed the United States or­ches­trated last Tues­day’s clash so it could stage joint naval ex­er­cises in the Yel­low Sea with the South that in­clude a U. S. nu­clear-pow­ered su­per­car­rier — en­rag­ing the North and mak­ing neigh­bour­ing China un­easy.

China sent a se­nior of­fi­cial, state councillor Dai Bing­guo, to Seoul on Satur­day for talks with For­eign Min­is­ter Kim Sung-hwan, South Korea’s Yon­hap news agency re­ported. Dai, ac­com­pa­nied by chief Chi­nese nu­clear negotiator Wu Dawei, dis­cussed Tues­day’s at­tack and in­ter­na­tional talks on end­ing North Korea’s nu­clear pro­grams, it said.

— The As­so­ci­ated Press

DAVID GUT­TEN­FELDER / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A mem­ber of a South Korean mil­i­tary ex­plo­sives team re­moves a North Korean or­di­nance Sun­day from in front of a bunker.

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