Rogue nation North Korea attacked their South Korean neighbors earlier today, killing two South Korean marines. Reuters reports:

South Korea said it was conducting regular military drills off the west coast before North Korea started firing dozens of shells, but that its firing exercises did not aim to the North.

"We were conducting usual military drills and our test shots were aimed toward the west, not the north," a South Korean military official said.

North Korea said on Tuesday that Seoul had initiated firing of shells, prompting it to take an instant military action.

President Obama was reportedly called this morning at 4 am by his national security advisor, Tom Donilon, to be informed of the situation.

The White House, in a prepared statement, condemned the actions of North Korea:

Earlier today North Korea conducted an artillery attack against the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. We are in close and continuing contact with our Korean allies.

The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement.

The United States is firmly committed to the defense of our ally, the Republic of Korea, and to the maintenance of regional peace and stability.

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