North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong Island

As you’re no doubt aware by now, North Korean launched an attack of artillery shells on the South Korean island, Daeyeonpyeong-do (Yeonpyeong Island), just south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) yesterday – 10 kilometres south of North Korean territory. The North claim this is in response to the South’s exercises to the west of this area and south of the NLL. Thus far, 2 ROK marines and 2 South Korean civilians have been confirmed dead from these attacks, which have become the latest and more serious provocation in recent times from the North. As usual with North Korea, whilst there are many theories and assumptions as to the reasons for this attack, no one  outside of the North Korean regime can be entirely certain of the motives for this assault.

South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak has made it known in no uncertain matter that he is angry about this attack, and he has been backed by universial condemnation of the attack by all major foreign Governments. But, with Seoul just 40 kilometres south of the DMZ and within range of North Korean artillery shells – he is stuck between a rock and a hard place in just how to deal with the ever bellicose North Korean regime.

Below is an interesting diagram from South Korean newspaper, the Dong-A Ilbo, of the timeline of events from yesterday afternoon, followed by a (very) rough translation of its meaning in English.

Timeline of events of Yeonpyeong Island attack

The diagram shows the Northern Limit Line (NLL) with North Korea above the dotted line and South Korean territory below, with (Dae-)Yeonpyeong Island being roughly 10 kms from North Korean land – an island from which the initial Northern shells came from and which the South later retaliated back towards, along with a couple of points on the North Korean mainland.

1) Between 2:34 and 2:55pm (Korean time, two hours behind AEST), the North fired shells from their island just north of the NLL towards Dae(-big)yeonpyeong Island, launching 24 shells from their 76.2mm artillery battery – shown on the top left.

2) The South fire back with their K-9 tank (shown on bottom left) shells, launching approx. 80 towards the North Korean island from which the initial attack occurred and towards the NK’s 130mm artillery batteries on the NK mainland. Meanwhile, 2 SK marines have been killed, 6 seriously injured and 10 have sustained slight injuries. {Today, 2 civilans have also been found dead from the attack}

3) Between 3:10 and 3:41pm the North fire back again, this time using the 130mm artillery batteries from their mainland.

4) 3:40pm the South Koreans scramble 4 F-15K and 4 KF-16 airplanes.

5) 3:41pm – the North scramble their own fighter jets.

6) Yeonpyeong village, of roughly 1600 residents, have 3 civilans injured, fires have broken out in several places with widespread smoke.

3 responses to “North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong Island

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