Yeonpyeong Island Declared Off Limits

      November 30, 2010 12:14

      Yeonpyeong Island became off limits as of noon on Monday at the request of the Marine Corps unit there after North Korea's attack on the island last week. The military banned all access to roads on the southwestern tip of the island where North Korean costal artillery positions can be seen. As a result, all reporters covering the North Korean side there had to withdraw.

      Volunteers build wooden prefabricated homes for the residents of Yeonpyeong Island at an elementary school ground on the island on Monday.

      On Monday, the second day of the joint South Korean-U.S. drills, the military deployed six more K-9 self-propelled guns and a first batch of six multiple launch rocket system vehicles on Yeonpyeong Island in the West Sea.

      The K-9 guns and MLRS vehicles were seen being unloaded and sent to their respective positions on the island that day. As a result, the number of the K-9 guns on the island increased from the previous six to 12, and the MLRS vehicles were deployed for the first time.

      After the island was under artillery attack from North Korea, military authorities decided to deploy a total of 18 more K-9 guns on the island in preparation for further attack from the North's coastal artillery guns.

      The MLRS is a weapons system with a range of 36 km that can pulverize North Korean coastal artillery positions, as it can fire 12 130-mm rockets in just 60 seconds.

      When Yeonpyeong Island was attacked, the South Korean military had only six K-9 guns on the island, with which it could respond to a fusillade of shells fired by the North Korean coastal artillery guns and multiple rocket launchers. Worse yet, it had to respond to the attack only with three of the guns during the initial stage of the attack, because three others were not working properly.

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