Artillery Exchange on the Korean Peninsula

Issue & Policy Briefs November 23, 2010, No. 44

North and South Korea have been involved in a significant exchange of artillery fire since 02:30 local time November 23rd, over the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL). There have been confirmed casualties on the South Korean side (two dead and 10 injured) although the information at hand is very sketchy and constantly being updated. There is also a lack of information from the North Korean side regarding causalities. Parts of the Yeonpyeongda Island that has been shelled is allegedly on fire and large material destruction has been reported; but no reports on the damage have been issued by North Korea. Both the South Korean cabinet and the North Korean leaders have met independently to discuss the crisis. Both sides seem to have unilaterally decided to de-escalate. It is unlikely that they have had any bilateral contact to discuss the issue.