Conflict rises in the Koreas

Megan Newman, ‘Doah Editor-in-Chief
April 2, 2014

You could cut the tension in the Korean peninsula with a knife after North Korea announced a live-fire drill Monday, Mar. 31 to be held at the maritime border shared with South Korea. The Yellow sea maritime border line has been long disputed between the Koreas, as such the area has been the site of a number of military conflicts in the past. Despite the South’s warning that they were prepared to fire back, the North proceeded with the drill.

According to The Guardian, during the more than three hour conflict North Korea fired over 500 rounds, 100 of the artillery shells landed south or the maritime line. South Korea responded by firing 100 rounds of artillery shells into North Korean waters. No shells were fired onto land or any military installations by either side.

North Korea’s drill is likely a response to the annual joint military exercises between the South and the US. As US relations have gotten better with the South they have declined with the North. It is fairly typical for the North to hold such drills however they rarely give any announcement or prior notice to the South. The Associated Press suggests that the drill was a demonstration of the North’s discontent with the relations between the South and the US, who still have about 28,500 troops stationed in the South to ward off the North.

On Tuesday, Mar. 31 South Korean authorities discovered a crashed unidentified drone on Baengnyeong island. The drone went down at about 4 p.m. local time, about an hour after the conflict ended. The drone has been taken for further analysis. It is highly suspected that the drone departed from the North, however further investigations are needed. The size and shape of the drone are similar to drones recovered from the North in the past, however the gas-powered engine on this drone was made in Japan and other parts of the drone were produced in China.

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