South Korea Opens Live-Fire Exercise at Disputed Island

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South Korea’s defense ministry says its forces are conducting live-fire exercises on Yeonpyeong Island, the site of a North Korean artillery attack that killed four people in November.

The ministry said that the exercise began Wednesday morning and was scheduled to end at mid-day.

Previous live-fire exercises on the island have sparked an angry response from North Korea, which claims waters surrounding the island in the Yellow Sea near the two Koreas’ maritime border.

Pyongyang responded to a November exercise by firing more than 100 artillery shells onto the island, killing two marines and two civilians. It threatened massive retaliation against another exercise in late December, but backed off during a visit by U.S. politician and former diplomat Bill Richardson.

The South Korean artillery drill in December lasted for about 90 minutes and involved the firing of about 1,500 shells from Yeonpyeong Island.

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