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CHAOS IN ASIA

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Coup in Thailand, Shots Fired on Korean Peninsula
By Harold Hutchison

Asia has been rocked by two major incidents in a day, with the Thai military taking control of the country in what they acknowledged was a coup, while North Korea and South Korea exchanges fire across the border.

According to multiple media reports, the Thai military, which declared martial law two days ago, took control of the government. The country has been roiled over the last six months by violent protests that have left 28 people dead.

The Thai military had hosted peace talks for the two days of martial law, but the talks failed in efforts to reach agreement between the government once lead by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed in a 2006 coup, and supporters of the Thai monarchy. Thaksin has fled Thailand to avoid a prison sentence on corruption charges.

Meanwhile, on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean forces fired artillery rounds at a South Korean warship about 8.7 miles southwest of the island of Yeonpyeong. The South Korean vessel returned fire, while South Korean forces helped civilians on the island reach shelter.

North Korea has launched a number of attacks on South Korean and American forces since the Korean War ended with a cease-fire in 1953. Notable attacks include the seizure of USS Pueblo in 1968, and the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in 2010.