War games begin as tensions mount
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
A member of a South Korean military explosives team removes a North Korean ordinance Sunday from in front of a bunker.