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Conflict on the Korean peninsula: ‘Ignore us at your peril’

IF THE world sniggered to see Kim Jong Un, with his fat-faced boyishness, thrust forward as the dictator-to-be of North Korea, it is not laughing now. A 65-minute-long artillery barrage on Nov. 23 rained down upon the tiny South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, marking the first time since the war of 1950-53 that the North has fired shells at civilian targets on land.

Four South Koreans—two civilians and two marines—were killed and about 18 injured in an onslaught that left houses and hillsides in flames. Yet South Korea’s burst of retaliatory fire, which swiftly followed, was constrained by the danger of escalation—something that it and its allies want to avoid at almost any cost, as the schemers in Pyongyang well know.

Read: Conflict on the Korean peninsula: Ignore us at your peril | The Economist.

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