Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today issued the following statement on the shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island by North Korean artillery:
“I am gravely concerned by the North Korean shelling of South Korea. This new military provocation puts peace in the region at risk.
In this critical situation I trust that all concerned will act prudently and I welcome the efforts President Lee of South Korea is making to defuse tensions.
In this difficult situation the German Government assures the people and Government of the Republic of Korea of its support and sympathy.”
North Korea today fired several artillery shells on the maritime border west of South Korea, which is disputed between Seoul and Pyongyang. On the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong the shells killed a soldier and gravely injured a number of people, including three other soldiers. President Lee instructed the South Korean army to avoid any escalation of the situation. On 26 March 2010 the South Korean corvette “Cheonan” was sunk by North Korea, leaving 46 seamen dead.