Open main menu


  (Redirected from Yeonpyeong Island)

Coordinates: 37°40′0″N 125°41′47″E / 37.66667°N 125.69639°E / 37.66667; 125.69639

Yeonpyeong Island or Yeonpyeongdo (Korean: 연평도 pronounced [jʌnpçʌŋdo]; referred to by North Korea as Yŏnphyŏng Islet) is a group of South Korean islands in the Yellow Sea, located about 80 km (50 mi) west of Incheon and 12 km (7.5 mi) south of the coast of Hwanghae Province, North Korea. The main island of the group is Daeyeonpyeongdo ("Big Yeonpyeong Island"), also referred to simply as Yeonpyeong Island, with an area of 7.01 km2 (2.71 sq mi) and a population of around 1,300.[1]

Map of the Yeonpyeong islands and their main population centers
Map of the Yeonpyeong islands and their main population centers
CountrySouth Korea
Provincial levelIncheon
 • Total7.29 km2 (2.81 sq mi)
Revised RomanizationYeonpyeongdo

The principal population centre is Yeonpyeong-ri, where the island's ferry port is located. The other inhabited island is Soyeonpyeongdo ("Small Yeonpyeong Island") with a small population and an area of 0.24 km2 (0.093 sq mi). Several other small islands comprise the rest of the group.[1]

The island group constitutes Yeonpyeong-myeon, one of the subdivisions of Ongjin County, Incheon, South Korea.

Yeonpyeong Island is known for its crab fishery.[2]


Maritime border disputesEdit

The disputed maritime border between North and South Korea in the West Sea:[3]
     A: United Nations-created Northern Limit Line, 1953[4]
     B: North Korea-declared "Inter-Korean MDL", 1999[5] The locations of specific islands are reflected in the configuration of each maritime boundary, including
1–Yeonpyeong Island
2–Baengnyeong Island
3–Daecheong Island

Other map features
4-Jung-gu (Incheon Intl. Airport), 5-Seoul, 6-Incheon, 7-Haeju, 8-Kaesong, 9-Ganghwa County, 10-Bukdo Myeon, 11-Deokjeokdo, 12-Jawol Myeon, 13-Yeongheung Myeon

Yeonpyeong lies near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and is only 12 km (7.5 mi) from the North Korean coastline. The 1953 Armistice Agreement which ended the Korean War specified that five island groups, including Yeonpyeong, would remain under South Korean control.[6] North Korea subsequently respected the UN-acknowledged western maritime border for many years until around the mid-1990s.[7]

However, since the 1990s North Korea has disputed the NLL.[7] The North Korean government claims a border farther south that encompasses valuable fishing grounds (though it skirts around South Korean-held islands such as Yeonpyeong). North Korea's claim is not accepted internationally.[8][citation needed]

2010 bombardmentEdit

On November 23, 2010, North Korean artillery shelled Yeonpyeong with dozens of rounds at Yeonpyeong-ri and the surrounding area.[9] This shelling followed a Southern military exercise in the area. The South returned fire with 155 mm (6 in) K-9 self-propelled howitzers.[10] The shelling damaged dozens of houses as well as Southern military infrastructure and set buildings on fire.[11] Two South Korean Marines and two civilians were killed in the shelling, with eighteen others wounded.[12][13][14]

Accounts of the billowing smoke were reported in Korean and international newspapers;[15] and thick columns of black smoke rising from the island were the primary proof that the attack had occurred. South Koreans watching television saw the smoke rising from the island after it was hit.[16]

During the bombardment, most of the residents were hiding in a dugout and then escaped to Incheon on a ferry and a fishing boat. Before the bombardment, the number of the residents usually reached about 1400, but at one time it was reduced to be about 100 and it was anticipated since the remaining residents were planning to escape as well, the number would keep decreasing and it was also said that the possibility that people who reside in the island would be very scarce was relatively high. However, in March 2011, after 5 months after the bombardment, more than 80% of the residents went back to the island.

In addition, after the attack, there were weapons newly installed to strengthen the security and because ordinary citizens were banned for a time being to even enter the island, there were people guessing that the island would only remain afterwards as a military base, but to their surprise, it turned out that the number of the residents actually increased and the residents are now known to be diligently and enthusiastically working in their own fields such as crab fishery despite the tragic incident. Shelters and dugouts were newly constructed in order for them to be all able to evacuate in the case of emergencies.


  1. ^ a b 연평도 (延坪島) (in Korean). Naver Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  2. ^ Moore, Malcolm; Hutchison, Peter (2010-11-23). "Yeonpyeong Island: A history". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  3. ^ Ryoo, Moo Bong. (2009). "The Korean Armistice and the Islands," p. 13 (at PDF-p. 21). Strategy research project at the U.S. Army War College; retrieved 26 Nov 2010.
  4. ^ "Factbox: What is the Korean Northern Limit Line?" Reuters (UK). November 23, 2010; retrieved 26 Nov 2010.
  5. ^ Van Dyke, Jon et al. "The North/South Korea Boundary Dispute in the Yellow (West) Sea," Marine Policy 27 (2003), 143-158; note that "Inter-Korean MDL" is cited because it comes from an academic source Archived 2012-03-09 at the Wayback Machine. and the writers were particular enough to include in quotes as we present it. The broader point is that the maritime demarcation line here is NOT a formal extension of the Military Demarcation Line; compare "NLL—Controversial Sea Border Between S.Korea, DPRK, " People's Daily (PRC), November 21, 2002; retrieved 22 Dec 2010
  6. ^ Armistice Agreement, paragraph 13(b). "Text of the Korean War Armistice Agreement". FindLaw. 1953-07-27. Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  7. ^ a b North Korea's reckless attacks cannot be tolerated Archived 2010-11-26 at the Wayback Machine. November 24, 2010. Japanese newspaper Mainichi
  8. ^ 1. DPRK's claim is neither based on International law nor International Law of the Sea. 2. The United Nations Command insisted that the NLL must be maintained until a new maritime MDL could be established through the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission on the armistice agreement and DPRK's claim was not established through the UNCMAC.
  9. ^ Hyung-Jin and Kwang-Tae Kim (2010-11-23). "North, South Korea exchange fire; 2 marines killed". Washington Times. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  10. ^ "합참 "우리 군 대응사격으로 북한 측 피해도 상당할 것"". Chosun Ilbo. November 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  11. ^ Kim, Kwang-Tae (November 22, 2010). "SKorea: NKorea Fires Artillery Onto Island". Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  12. ^ "(URGENT) Four S. Korean soldiers wounded by N. Korean artillery fire: military officials". Yonhap News Agency. November 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  13. ^ Branigan, Tania (2010-11-23). "Artillery fire on Korean border". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  14. ^ "Artillery fire on Korean border". BBC Online. BBC. 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  15. ^ Park Si-soo. "Yeonpyeong turns into inferno," Korea Times. November 23, 2010.
  16. ^ "Energy and Environment," Salem Radio News Network, November 23, 2010.

External linksEdit