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Military criticized for `ineffective` response to attack

Military criticized for `ineffective` response to attack

Posted December. 03, 2010 10:52,   


A dispute is rising over whether South Korean forces effectively responded to North Korea’s Nov. 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, with the South firing back 80 shells from K-9 self-propelled guns.

The ruling and main opposition parties in the South are even clashing over the points of impact of the 80 shells.

The National Intelligence Service released Thursday satellite pictures of Mu Island, from which the North fired shells at Yeonpyeong, at a meeting of the South’s parliamentary intelligence committee. The pictures were taken by the South’s multipurpose satellite Arirang-2 and another commercial satellite.

Intelligence also sent the same pictures to ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Kwon Young-se, who chairs the committee. Quoting an analysis of the photos, he said the North had two groups of barracks on Mu.

On the 15 shells South Korea fired at Mu from K-9 self-propelled guns, Kwon told reporters, “According to the satellite pictures, the 15 shells were dropped on barrack areas and 10 of them fell within a 50-meter radius of them,” adding, “Many North Korean soldiers must have been killed since the kill radius of the K-9 is 50 meters.”

“A closer look at the pictures also showed that two shells were dropped within a 2-meter radius of the barracks.”

At a meeting of the party’s supreme council, floor leader Kim Moo-sung mentioned the points of impact of 30 K-9 shells fired at Gaemeori, from where the North fired rockets.

“We confirmed the places where 14 shells fell through satellite pictures. No shells struck North Korean cannons and all 14 shells fell on rice fields nearby,” Kim said.

This means South Korean forces damaged barracks on Mu only.

A leading party member also said, “We are trapped in a frame of fear created by North Korea,” adding, “Unless we make the North fearful with a strong response, we cannot get out of this frame.”

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