North Korea has fired more than a hundred artillery rockets at a populated South Korean island near its western border. Two South Korean Marines were killed by the skirmish, at least a dozen more were injured and buildings were set on fire. South Korea returned fire and scrambled fighter jets.
Photos taken by Twitterer @givenjoy shows traces of South Korean fighter jets in the air as they flew over to the West Sea where the skirmish had taken place.
Just seconds after the news broke, South Koreans tweeted madly regarding possible future scenarios and evacuation plans, as well as re-tweeting news updates. Many scoured for accurate sources, as some unconfirmed rumors, such as North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had died, circulated online. Twitterers, quoting friends in the army, said the Korean peninsula was in a near-war situation. South Korea's presidential office, Cheongwadae (@BlueHouseKorea) has tried to calm public sentiment.
Choi Bong Kyu (@drumboy83): RT @breezkite: 군대에 있는 후배한데서 전화가 왔답니다.. 준비끝났답니다… 강원도쪽에 있는데.. 진돗개1호에 .. 준비다 했답니다.. 각자 집에 전화 돌리고 있나봅니다.
대한민국 청와대 (@BluehouseKorea):RT @ROK_MND: 국방부는 이번 연평도 지역에 대한 북한의 도발에 대해 자위권 행사 차원에서 즉각적인 대응사격을 실시했고, 북한의 추가도발에 대비한 확고한 군사대비태세를 완비하고 있습니다.
As traffic shot unexpectedly high throughout Korean online spaces, some Twitterers asked people to follow a guideline in tweeting the news, believing proper social networking can be utilized to maintain public order.
Mojito (모히또) (@mojito0):RT @lifedefrager: 연평도 관련 소식은 항상 보도 출처를 밝혀주시고, RT는 가급적 공식 RT를, 그리고 지금/현재라는 말 대신 현재 시각을 적어주세요. SNS를 활용해서 혼란을 오히려 최소화할 수 있습니다. RT 부탁드립니다.
As worries and anticipation came to dominate South Koreans, some Twitter users have made a self-imposed pact to themselves to not abandon the country. Many have joined this impromptu social campaign and vowed themselves to never act cowardly and yo stop hoarding foods. Among them were celebrities, such as novelist Lee Oi-soo:
함께살자 (@che1781):저도 동참하지요^^RT @koreain: 라면 생필품 사재기 피난~ 나는 이딴거 안할란다! 죽어도 같이 죽고!! 살아도 같이 살고!!^^
JooA (@bourjooa):저도 동참합니다! 비겁하게 혼자살지는 않겠습니다! RT @ostrich175: RT ..동참 !!RT @koreain: RT @tramlee[…]
이외수 (@oisoo): 나는 비록 늙었으나 아직도 총을 들고 방아쇠를 당길 힘은 남아 있다. 위기상황이 오면 나라를 지키기 위해 기꺼이 전장으로 달려 가겠다.
If an all-out war broke out in South Korea's metropolitan cities, there would be over 1 million victims. Some Twitterers like @koreain, warned people of becoming too emotional, while several others ran to join their families at such a dangerous time.
Choi Bong Kyu (@drumboy83):가족들이 일찍들어와! 라고 하기전에 알아서 들어가는게 효도RT @AgPD_Radio: (cont) http://tl.gd/745bg2
The exchange of fire has stopped for now, but the fear of impending war is unlikely to subside soon.
Update: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak ordered his military to strike North Korea's missile base if it shows any signs of additional provocation.