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Morning Security Brief: Koreas Engage in Artillery Fire, China Cracks Down on Terrorism, And Missing Flight Search Continues

By Megan Gates

► South Korea retaliated against North Korea this morning after its northern neighbor conducted a live-fire military drill and hundreds of shells fell into South Korean-controlled waters near Baengnyong Island, The New York Times reports. “Earlier on Monday, North Korea had told the South that it would conduct live-fire military drills in seven zones along the maritime border, which hugs the southern coast of North Korea,” the report said. “Then its artillery pieces and multiple-rocket launchers rolled out of shoreline tunnels and fired 500 shells and projectiles between 12:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.” Approximately 100 of the shells fell into South Korean-controlled waters and in retaliation, South Korean marines fired 300 K-9 self-propelled artillery pieces into North Korean waters. Artillery exchanges like this are not unusual in the area, but “they raised fears that the often-repeated cycle of peace overtures followed by military provocations was resuming on the Korean Peninsula,” the Times said.

► In response to an attack on a train station where 29 people were knifed to death by extremists, China announced it will crack down on video and audio recordings that promote terrorism, religious extremism, and separatism, according to Reuters. “The notice, published by judicial, cultural, and public security organs, said it is forbidden to spread such video and audio recordings on the web, via mobile phone, on social media, and online marketplaces, among other means,” Reuters reports. Chinese authorities are especially concerned about the region of Xinjian, which they say is home to separatist militants who are motivated by religious extremism.

► Objects originally thought to belong to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 turned out to be fishing equipment, according to an announcement by Australian officials today. Australia is leading the search effort to find debris from the flight, which is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but so far no wreckage has been recovered, reports USA TODAY. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the search would continue and did not put a time limit on the operation.

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