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Two Koreas Trade 'Retaliatory Measures,' But Not More Shots

Destroyed houses on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, which was hit Tuesday by artillery shells fired from the North.
Destroyed houses on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, which was hit Tuesday by artillery shells fired from the North.

One day after what's been called the " worst act of aggression" by North Korea in more than 50 years, the two Koreas "traded retaliatory measures ... with Seoul halting aid and Pyongyang nixing future family reunions," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency writes.

As Korva reported earlier, the death toll from Tuesday's shelling by the North of a South Korean island has risen to at least four with the discovery of two civilians' bodies.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and South Korea are preparing for joint war games (which had been scheduled before the exchange of fire between the North and South). The aircraft carrier George Washingtonis headed to Korean waters.

And, as The Wall Street Journalwrites, China now faces a "pivotal test" of its diplomatic role in the world. And, says the Journal, while Chinese officials publicly said little "in private ... (they) express a growing exasperation with the erratic behavior of their neighbor and their inability to engineer an opening of the North Korean society and economy,"

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.