BREAKING: North Korea Attacks South Korea; The White House Respo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

DEVELOPING: North Korea Attacks South Korea; The White House Responds

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is strongly condemning North Korea's artillery attack against the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

In a statement released before dawn Tuesday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs calls on North Korea to "halt its belligerent action."

He says the United States is "firmly committed" to South Korea's defense, and to the "maintenance of regional peace and stability."

The White House spokesman says the U.S. is in "close and continuing contact" with the South Korean government.

North Korea fired barrages of artillery onto the South Korean island near their disputed western border Tuesday, setting buildings ablaze and killing at least one marine after warning the South to halt nearby military drills in the area, South Korean officials said.
      
      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
      

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