World News

North Korea says civilian deaths, if true, very regrettable

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday that if there were any civilian deaths in its attack on a South Korean island, they were “very regrettable.”

North Korea shelled the island of Yeonpyeong on Tuesday, killing two civilians and two Marines and destroying dozens of houses. It said it was responding to live fire by South Korea into its waters.

“If that is true, it is very regrettable,” KCNA said of the civilian deaths. “But the enemy should be held responsible for the incident as it took such inhuman action as creating ‘a human shield’ by deploying civilians around artillery positions and inside military facilities.”

Reporting by Cheon Jong-woo; Writing by Nick Macfie