WTF! North Korea fires Artillery on South Korea

I know...not food related, but this sounds sorta serious: This is from the BBC.

'Artillery fire' on Korea border

North Korea has fired artillery shells across its western maritime border, prompting return fire from South Korea, reports say. 

Some of the shells landed on a South Korean island, witnesses say.
A television station said some houses on the island were on fire, and Yonhap news agency said that four South Korean soldiers had been hurt.

South Korea has issued its highest non-wartime alert in response to the incident, the defence ministry said.
The incident comes days after North Korea revealed it had a modern uranium enrichment plant.
Earlier, the US ruled out more denuclearisation talks while Pyongyang continued to work on the facility.
'Illegal firing'  South Korean officials said several rounds of artillery landed on Yeonpyeong island, near the disputed inter-Korean maritime border to the west of the Korean Peninsula.

"A North Korean artillery unit staged an illegal firing provocation at 1434 PM (0534 GMT) and South Korean troops fired back immediately in self-defence," a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.
A resident on the island told the agency that dozens of houses were damaged, while television pictures reportedly showed plumes of smoke rising above the island.

This western maritime border has been the scene of numerous clashes between the two Koreas in the past.

In March, a South Korean warship went down near the border with the loss of 46 lives.
International investigators say a North Korean torpedo sank the ship, although Pyongyang denies any role in the incident.

Since then relations between the two neighbours - who have not signed a peace treaty since the 1950-53 Korean War - have been very tense.

Maybe it has to do with the US shunning talks with North Korea?

And this is from Yahoo News:

SEOUL, South Korea – The United States and its partners have pushed North Korea for years to abandon its atomic ambitions, but the North has conducted two nuclear tests and now claims it has 2,000 centrifuges producing uranium for a new reactor.

Critics say this shows that U.S. policy of shunning direct talks with North Korea until it agrees to abide by past nuclear commitments is not working; these critics say North Korea, for its part, is determined to win Washington's acceptance that it is a nuclear power.

North Korea launched nuclear and missile tests last year. The Obama administration has not held direct, official talks with Pyongyang since an international finding that a North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors.

U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials have called on North Korea to acknowledge responsibility for the sinking and express a sincere willingness to disarm before talks can resume. North Korea denies it launched the torpedo that sank the warship.

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