SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense ministry asked journalists on a border island attacked by North Korea's shelling last week to leave by the end of Sunday, citing concerns of possible "provocative action" by the North in the wake of the South's joint naval drills with the United States.
"At this stage, it is unpredictable what kind of a provocative action North Korea will take using the South Korean-U.S. joint drills as a justification," the ministry said in a statement.
"So we ask journalists on Yeonpyeong Island to leave within today," the ministry said in a statement.
The South's military "cannot guarantee" the safety of journalists in case of North Korea's provocation, it said.
Currently, there are about 400 journalists on Yeonpyeong, which lies near the tense western sea border with North Korea.
South Korea and the U.S. on Sunday started large-scale naval drills in the Yellow Sea in response to the North's deadly artillery attack Tuesday on the island that killed two marines and two civilians.
The North's attack also injured 18 people on the island, home to a military base. Most of the residents have left the island and are at a temporary shelter on the mainland.
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