North Korea has fired artillery shells across its western maritime border, prompting return fire from South Korea, officials say. bambuser high auto insurance
Dozens in the shells landed on the South Korean island, from which plumes of smoke are climbing. At the very least 4 soldiers are said to possess been damage.
South Korea has issued its highest non-wartime alert in response.
Correspondents say it is one of the most serious incidents involving the two because the Korean War inside the 1950s.
Top leaders are set up in an underground bunker in Seoul through the incident, Reuters information agency reported.
The incident arrives days right after North Korea revealed it had a fashionable uranium enrichment plant - potentially giving it a 2nd route to a nuclear weapon.
Earlier, the US ruled out additional denuclearisation talks though Pyongyang continued to operate around the facility.
South Korean officials said artillery rounds landed on Yeonpyeong island, close the disputed inter-Korean maritime border for the west in the Korean Peninsula.
"A North Korean artillery unit staged an illegal firing provocation at 1434 PM (0534 GMT) and South Korean troops fired again instantly in self-defence," a defence ministry spokesman instructed AFP.
A resident around the island instructed the agency that dozens of houses have been damaged, though television pics reportedly showed plumes of smoke climbing over the island.
"Houses and mountains are on fire and people are evacuating. You can't see extremely effectively because of plumes of smoke," a witness around the island instructed YTN television station.
"People are frightened to death and shelling continues as we communicate," the witness said.
South Korea had deployed fighter jets for the island, Yonhap information agency said.
This western maritime border has been the scene of a lot of clashes involving the two Koreas inside the previous.
In March, a South Korean warship went down close the border together with the lack of 46 lives.
Worldwide investigators say a North Korean torpedo sank the ship, even though Pyongyang denies any part inside the incident.
Since then relations involving the two neighbours - who've not signed a peace treaty because the 1950-53 Korean War - have been extremely tense.