One day after South Korea staged exercises near Yeonpyeong Island marking the anniversary of North Korea's deadly shelling, the North's military threatened "a sea of fire" upon the South's presidential office, the South's Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday.
The sense of security that South Koreans had enjoyed for almost 60 years was shattered one year ago, when the North launched an attack on the civilian island of Yeonpyeong, killing two marines and two civilians.
Talks between North and South Korea collapsed Wednesday after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on securing high-level military discussions during preparatory meetings held in the border area of Panmunjom.
South Korea's president said Monday the country should respond to the attack on Yeonpyeong Island the same way the United States reacted to the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York -- by using the event as an opportunity to reflect on security and overhaul the country's defenses.
A disputed maritime border. Long-standing tensions. And Tuesday, a sharp escalation of hostilities. North and South Korea fired at each other for about an hour on an island that sits off a disputed border. The deadly skirmish raised fears of war between the two rival nations, once again spiking tension in the entire region.
While the United Nations' Security Council wrangled over growing tensions in the Korean peninsula, South Korea ordered thousands to find shelter in preparation for the South's planned live-fire military exercises, which could take place within hours, the military announced.
North Korea warned Friday it would launch a military strike against the South if Seoul goes ahead with live-fire drills near Yeonpyeong Island over the next five days, North Korea's state-run KCNA reported.
South Korea conducted its largest-ever nationwide civil defense drill Wednesday afternoon to prepare the public for a potential military attack from North Korea after Pyongyang shelled a South Korean island less than a month ago.