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November 25, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young resigned after the handling of the deadly North Korean artillery attack, Yonhap news agency said on Thursday.
North Korea opened artillery fire on the South’s Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea Tuesday, killing at least two South Korean marines and two civilians. Sixteen others were injured, along with three civilians. The South retaliated and warned of further strikes. The North later accused South Korea of attacking first.
The agency said South Korean President Lee Myung-bak accepted Kim’s resignation.
The Korean Herald said Kim stepped down because of the recent series of incidents and for the Armed Force’s disputed response to the North ‘s attack.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope on Thursday the United Nations Security Council in the near future will make a statement on the armed conflict.
South Korean media said heir-apparent Kim Jong-un and his father, Kim Jong-il, visited the military base from where the South Korean island was shelled shortly before the attack.
A top U.S. military official, Admiral Mike Mullen, called for international pressure on North Korea, including on the part of China.
“The one country that has influence in Pyongyang is China and so their leadership is absolutely critical,” he said.
The attack is the second incident in the tense Yellow Sea border area this year. In March, a North Korean submarine was alleged to have torpedoed a South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, causing the loss of 46 lives. (*)
MOSCOW, November 25