Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) N. Korea's missile firing prompts S Korea to issue first air raid alert in 6 years

All News 22:21 November 02, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with military's lifting of security alarm in 4th para)

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- The air raid warning issued for Ulleung Island early Wednesday following North Korea's missile launches marked the first such alert in South Korea since 2016.

The government issued the air raid siren for the eastern island at 8:55 a.m. after the North launched three short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.

One of the missiles flew across the de facto maritime border and headed toward the island before falling into the international sea.

The warning was lifted at 2 p.m. and downgraded to a lower-level security alarm, which was cleared eight hours later.

This photo, taken Nov. 2, 2022, shows TV news footage on North Korea's firing of ballistic missiles toward the East Sea. (Yonhap)

This photo, taken Nov. 2, 2022, shows TV news footage on North Korea's firing of ballistic missiles toward the East Sea. (Yonhap)

South Korea has issued a total of 13 civil air defense alerts, including air raid sirens, issued when an enemy attack is in progress, and security alarms, issued when an enemy attack is expected.

The first security alarm was issued for Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province on Feb. 25, 1983, when a North Korean air force pilot defected and landed a warplane at a South Korean base.

The first air raid warning came on Aug. 7 of the same year for Incheon and Gyeonggi when a Chinese pilot defected flying a MIG-21.

South Korea also sounded air raid alarms during North Korea's artillery shelling of the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Nov. 23, 2010, which killed four people, including two civilians.

The last air raid warning was issued for the western border islands of Baengnyeong and Daecheong in response to the North's firing of a long-range missile on Feb. 7, 2016.

Wednesday's warning was the first for Ulleung Island. The emergency siren blared across the island for a few minutes, sending residents scurrying into basements and shelters.

"Right after the air raid alarm sounded and we heard it was a real situation, staff members evacuated to the basement," an official of the Ulleung county office said.

"We returned to our offices three minutes later. We were very confused, because it was our first such situation," the official said.

The county office and the police station were flooded with calls from residents nervous about the rare emergency warning.

"The residents were very anxious about the news that North Korea fired a missile in the direction of Ulleung Island," Kim I-han, a village foreman, said.

Some residents complained they did not hear the siren and failed to evacuate.

Many fishing boats and passenger ships suffered disruptions. The Sunrise passenger ship, which runs between the island and nearby Pohang, delayed departure by 20 minutes due to the air raid warning.

Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!