North Korea Firing Artillery Warning Shots as Tensions Rise

US, South Korea Plan Further Military Drills in Disputed Area

With the two sides seemingly on the brink of a new full-scale shooting war, reports are emerging that North Korea has fired artillery “warning shots” within visual range of the Yeonpyeong island that was targeted during their brief clash earlier this week.

The shots come as a US commander toured the island, whose military base was targeted. Both North and South Korea insist the other side fired first in the clash, which came as South Korean warships conducted war games in the disputed region of the Yellow Sea.

The US is said to be planning to participate in a continuation of the war games, in the same region where the clash took place. President Obama has promised to back whatever further attacks are conducted by South Korean President Lee, though so far indications are that the South Korean government is going to limit its reaction to a looser set of Rules of Engagement, eliminating a number of restrictions designed to prevent a major war.

Technically speaking the 60-year-old Korean War never ended, as US officials (most recently President Obama) have slammed calls to sign a permanent peace deal to end the conflict. The two sides have been at a mostly tense ceasefire for the past 57 years, however as tensions rise people increasingly fear that ceasefire may be coming to an end.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.