American and South Korean military officials agree to deploy a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in the country to counter North Korea's growing threats and use of ballistic missile and nuclear tests.
Four U.S. F-22 stealth fighters, escorted by other U.S. and South Korean jets, flew low over the Osan Air Base in a show of force following North Korea's recent rocket launch. The Yonhap news agency reported two of these stealth planes will be deployed in South Korea "for a while."
North Korea may be preparing for an imminent thermonuclear weapon test at its Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, located in the country's North Hamgyong Province where previous tests took place in 2006, 2009 and 2013, according to a South Korean military report.
North Korea shells Yeonpyeong island, South Korea at 14:34 local time in response to South Korean shelling close to the North Korean border during military drills. The North's shelling kills two marines and prompts a military response by the South in one of the most serious clashes since the 1953 armistice of the Korean War.
North Korea responds to nearby joint United States-South Korean military exercises by stating that the acts resemble 19th century "gunboat diplomacy", describing them as "a threat to the Korean peninsula and the region of Asia as a whole".