North Korea has issued a threat to halt U.S. and South Korean military maneuvers following an artillery exchange between the North and South on Tuesday. North Korea has promised war is imminent if the U.S. and South Korea do not comply. North Korea's offical Korean central News Agency reports that the situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war."
Large parts of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong were devastated and four people were killed following an air raid of explosives launched by North Korea on Tuesday. The attack is a result of an unresolved maritime border dispute between the North and South since the Korean War Conflict 60 years ago. A border created by the United Nations in 1953 is unrecognized by the North Korean goverment as the country considers the waters surrounding Yeonpyeong as the country's territory.
Military officials from the North claimed the seige on Tuesday was "precisely aimed and hit the enemy artillery base" to protect governmental interests within North Korea. The North also promised another "shower of dreadful fire" if military operations continue. Officals within Washington have condoned the attack and are making preparations to send a nuclear powered aircraft carrier to the Yellow Sea on Sunday to assist in joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. Many fear the North will see this manuever as a "major military provocation" per newspaper reports.
Chinese officals have protested any military activity within a 230 mile zone along its coast and in areas south of Yeonpyeong.
The island of Yeongpyeong was home to 1,300 civilians who have since fled the now flattened region.