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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

North, South Korea exchange artillery fire

RIA Novosti

10:12 23/11/2010

MOSCOW, November 23 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea launched artillery fire at a South Korean island on Tuesday, injuring four soldiers and provoking a retaliatory attack from the South, Seoul's YTN television reported.

An eyewitness told the TV station that some 60 to 70 houses were ablaze on the Yeonpyeong island in the Yellow Sea. The island, which is off the countries' west coast, is populated by some 1,200 people.

A spokesman for South Korea's joint chief of staff, Lee Bung-woo told the Xinhua news agency that "South Korea fired some 30 artillery shells back in response."

The attack is the second by North Korea this year against its neighbor in the tense Yellow Sea border area. In March, a North Korean submarine was alleged to have torpedoed a South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan.

The warship sunk near the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea, causing the loss of 46 lives. An international investigation said the North was to blame, but the reclusive regime denied involvement.

North and South Korea remain technically at war, since no peace treaty was signed following the Korean War in 1953. The Demilitarized Zone between the countries is the most heavily armed border in the world.

The latest attack comes after the revelation that the North has created a new uranium enrichment facility.

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