Civilian homes on Yeonpyeong Island off the coast of North Korea are in flames now as black smoke billows into the sky. The destruction is the result of a deadly artillery exchange between North Korea and South Korea, which has alarmed leaders worldwide. The death toll from the shelling between North and South Korea has not been officially established among the civilian population. However, The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that two South Korean marines are dead and 12 have been wounded.
The shelling began after military exercises were conducted by South Korea on Yeonpyeong Island on Monday. Reports suggest that the battle was initiated as a show of muscle by Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s newly appointed successor to current dictator, Kim Jung-il.
In addition to demands for independence from the South, North Korea claims that they want international recognition for their arsenal as a nuclear power.
An emergency session of the United Nations Security council will attempt to diplomatically contain tensions between the two rival nations.
Japan called the attack “unforgivable.” France, China, Australia and the United States have also condemned the military action.
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