Sounds of artillery heard on island
Friday, November 26, 2021 1:49 AM

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(Source: Associated Press/AP Online)By JIN-MAN LEE and FOSTER KLUG

YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea - South Korean officials said Friday that artillery shots were heard on the Yellow Sea island attacked earlier this week by North Korea.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said two explosive sounds were heard on Yeonpyeong island. A military official, speaking under conditions of anonymity, said officials were trying to figure out the circumstances.

It was not immediately clear if the artillery sounds were coming from North Korea or from the island.

The sounds came as the North warned Friday that U.S.-South Korean military drills planned for this weekend are pushing the peninsula to the brink of war, and after a U.S. military commander toured the wreckage of island communities devastated by a North Korean artillery barrage on Tuesday.

AP Television news reporters also reported a third blast.

Pyongyang's state news agency said drills this weekend involving South Korean forces and a U.S. nuclear powered supercarrier in Yellow Sea waters south of Tuesday's skirmish between the rival Koreas amount to a reckless move to target the North.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war," the dispatch from the Korean Central News Agency said. "Gone are the days when verbal warnings are served only."

North Korea's army and people are "now greatly enraged" and "getting fully ready to give a shower of dreadful fire," the agency said. "Escalated confrontation would lead to a war, and he who is fond of playing with fire is bound to perish."

In a show of solidarity with ally Seoul, Gen. Walter Sharp, the U.S. military commander in South Korea, paid a visit Friday to Yeonpyeong island, where four people were killed by North Korea's artillery barrage Tuesday.

Dressed in a heavy camouflage jacket and army fatigues and wearing a black beret, Sharp walked down a heavily damaged street strewn with debris from buildings. Around him were charred bicycles and shattered bottles of soju, a kind of Korean alcoholic drink.

Sharp said the attack was a clear violation of an armistice signed in 1953 at the end of the three-year Korean War.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

 

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