Satellite images indicate North Korea might have suffered considerable casualties when South Korea returned fire after the North shelled its frontline island last week, a lawmaker said Thursday.To my knowledge, North Korea has given no indication of whether it suffered any casualties or damage whatsoever, so a lot of this seems speculative.
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) presented to parliament an image taken by the South's own satellite and another one collected by an unidentified foreign commercial satellite.
Kwon Yong-Se, a ruling party lawmaker who chairs the intelligence committee, told reporters after the presentation that about 10 shells landed near the North's military positions on Mudo island.
The South's shells mostly landed between two clusters of barracks about 100 metres (330 feet) apart and some came close to one of the clusters.
"One of the shells hit the rear of the barracks. It is possible to assume considerable casualties occurred," Kwon said.
In light of the fact that the impact circle of the South's indigenous K-9 self-propelled guns is 50 metres, the impact is believed to have been considerable, Kwon said.
And while indiscriminate shelling of barracks may not have been the most strategic of responses (or the most ethical, I suppose), it would (if true) send a message to the Pyongyang regime that they cannot emerge from such brazen attacks unscathed.
And that would be serious if they actually cared about the little people even in their own country.