SEOUL is on a high state of alert following the shelling of a South Korean island by North Korean forces at 2:34 p.m. there today. Yeonpyeong, whose administration is disputed by the North, is inhabited, and there are unconfirmed reports of civilian injuries. Scores of houses are on fire. Two South Korean soldiers were killed.
South Korea’s response was to return fire, and scramble F-16 fighter jets to the scene, though President Lee Myung-bak also ordered South Korean forces not to escalate the situation.