North Korea fires Artillery at South Korea and kills two and South Korea returns fire

Wired Danger Room – North Korea fired artillery at an inhabited South Korean island and South Korea returned fire. Two South Korean marines were killed.

At least two South Korean marines are dead and over a dozen are wounded after North Korea fired off hundreds of artillery rounds at a South Korean island.

Time has coverage too.

President Lee Myung-bak ordered the military Tuesday to strike a North Korean missile base near the inter-Korean border in the West Sea if the communist country shows signs of further military provocation following its artillery attack on a South Korean island, a presidential aide said.

Lee also called for “multiple-fold retaliation” against the artillery attack during an emergency meeting with security-related ministers and military commanders, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung.

A summary of events by pzero at Reddit

SK ran navy drills, despite the standard NK warnings not to.
200 shells fired by NK, most hit water.
SK President goes underground in a bunker and says “we’ll avoid a war”
80 shells fired back by SK, all hit water, probably aimed at water.
SK President attempts contact of NK to “talk it out”. No response from NK.
SK deploys some airplanes, ships ~1300 (1700?) people off the island to safety at Inchon

2 soldiers died of injuries
2 more heavily injured
Civilian deaths not clear. A bunch of civilian injuries.
60-80 houses burning.
Korean won falls 200 points, US dollar increases 40

Rumors circulate:
1.) Kim Jong Il died, his son wanted to display power
2.) Kim Jong Il died, his son was killed by military general in an attempted power grab
3.) SK president planned it all (eh, that one always comes out of SK)

Statements issued by governments:
1.) China: Restraint urged while facts are verified.
2.) US: We strongly condemn NK, please cease fire
3.) Russia: Both Koreas have much to lose, urge cease fire. Condemns NK.
4.) (maybe related?) India puts 36,000 troops on Chinese border.
5.) NK: Warns about another pending “merciless” attack.

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