North Korea shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong island Tuesday, killing two South Korean marines and injuring more than a dozen people. South Korea returned fire. Both sides claimed that the other fired first. While the South has engaged in past attacks – notably in November 2009, when it fired on a North Korean patrol boat, and in June 1999, when it sunk a North Korean vessel – history shows that Pyongyang is often the instigator. A 2007 report from the US Congressional Research Service documents dozens of provocations, ranging from low-level naval warfare to assassinations of South Korean cabinet officers. Here are seven examples of the North's military provocations over the past decade.
An artillery exchange Tuesday between North and South Korea may be the 'most serious incident' since the Korean War. Two South Korean soldiers were left dead.
US envoy to North Korea Stephen Bosworth arrived in Seoul Sunday to meet with South Korean officials to discuss how resume six-party talks on denuclearizing North Korea.
Despite backing of key Workers' Party officials, Kim Jong-un seems to be unpopular among North Korean citizens.
The struggle to name a successor to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il appears likely to climax in a historic conference next week. The conference, the first in 44 years, is slated for Sept. 28. Debate among North Korea’s leaders over anointment of Mr. Kim’s third son, Kim Jong-un, is widely believed to have delayed the meeting. Just because delegates will be gathering for the conference is no guarantee that it will end in announcement of a leadership lineup. Whatever the outcome, it is certain to provide fodder for speculation about the future of North Korea after Kim leaves the scene. As North Korea heads into this meeting, here is a good idea of who might be in positions of power after Kim Jong-il steps down: