North, South Korean forces trade fire; 2 South Korean marines dead (video).

In a sharp escalation of hostility along their disputed sea…

In a sharp escalation of hostility along their disputed sea border, North and South Korean forces traded fire Tuesday, a deadly skirmish that jacked up diplomatic tensions in a volatile region.

Two South Korean marines were killed and 15 South Korean soldiers and civilians were wounded when the North fired about 100 rounds of artillery at Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, South Korea authorities said, according to the South Korean Yonhap news agency.

South Korea’s military responded with more than 80 rounds of artillery and deployed fighter jets to counter the fire, defense officials said.

Firing between the two sides lasted for about an hour in the Yellow Sea, a longstanding flashpoint between the two Koreas. In March, a South Korean warship, the Cheonan was sunk in the area with the loss of 46 lives in a suspected North Korean torpedo attack.

This latest action occurred during South Korean maritime military drills.

In Seoul, the South Korea government swiftly denounced the action as an “indisputable armed provocation against the Republic of Korea. Making matters worse, it even indiscriminately fired against civilians. Such actions will never be tolerated.”

Source: CNN

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