South Korean marines carry two flag-draped caskets during a funeral service Saturday in Seongnam, South Korea. Two marines were killed Tuesday in North Korea's bombardment of the island of Yeonpyeong. (Ahn Young-joon / AP)
YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea — South Korea's marines commander Saturday vowed up to a "thousand-fold" retaliation for the North Korea artillery attack that killed four just days earlier.
The threat came as efforts to halt violence in the region continued even as South Korea and the U.S. prepared to launch joint military maneuvers Sunday.
At a funeral in Seongnam, near Seoul, dignitaries and relatives placed white chrysanthemums at an alter for the two marines killed in Tuesday's attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. The attack was one of the worst bombardments of South Korea's territory since the 1950-53 Korean War.
The attack also killed two civilians.
About 600 mourners including Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik and the marine commander Maj. Gen. You Nak-jun attended the funeral for the two marines at a packed gymnasium in a military hospital as somber music sounded.
"Our marine corps ... will carry out a hundred- or thousand-fold," retaliation against North Korea for launching Tuesday's attack, You said, without elaborating