Artillery fire on Korean borderline23 Nov 2010
Dozens of your shells landed on the South Korean island, from which plumes of smoke are increasing. No less than four soldiers are said to have been damage.
South Korea has issued its highest non-wartime alert in response.
Correspondents say this is one of the most really serious incidents involving the 2 because the Korean War from the 1950s.
Top leaders are set up in an underground bunker in Seoul above the incident, Reuters news agency noted.
The incident comes days right after North Korea revealed it had a modern day uranium enrichment plant - possibly giving it a 2nd route to a nuclear weapon.
Earlier, the US ruled out additional denuclearisation talks even though Pyongyang continued to work around the facility.
South Korean officials said artillery rounds landed on Yeonpyeong island, close the disputed inter-Korean maritime border to the west of your Korean Peninsula.
‘A North Korean artillery unit staged an illegal firing provocation at 1434 PM (0534 GMT) and South Korean troops fired back without delay in self-defence,’ a defence ministry spokesman instructed AFP.
A resident around the island instructed the agency that dozens of houses have been damaged, even though television photographs reportedly confirmed plumes of smoke increasing over the island.
‘Houses and mountains are on fire and people today are evacuating. You can not see really well as a result of plumes of smoke,’ a witness around the island instructed YTN television station.
‘People are frightened to death and shelling continues as we converse,’ the witness said.
South Korea had deployed fighter jets to the island, Yonhap news agency said.
This western maritime border has been the scene of a number of clashes involving the 2 Koreas from the past.
In March, a South Korean warship went down close the border using the loss of 46 lives.
Worldwide investigators say a North Korean torpedo sank the ship, even though Pyongyang denies any function from the incident.
Since then relations involving the 2 neighbours - who have not signed a peace treaty because the 1950-53 Korean War - happen to be really tense.