The international community reacted with outrage to the North Korean artillery attack, but urged caution.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the shelling and called for immediate restraint.
The United States wants a “measured and unified” approach backed by major powers including China.
Mark Toner, the US State Department Deputy Spokesman, said: “I think that everybody involved is stunned by North Korea’s provocative actions. I believe the president referred to it as ‘outrageous’, and that we are working, again, within an established framework with our partners so that we have a deliberate approach to this. We’re not going to respond willy nilly.”
Russia is also among the many countries calling for a halt to all hostilities.
“I think what happened has to be condemned,” said the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. “This could escalate into war. This is a massive danger, which must be avoided using all means available.”
Tokyo put out a statement that severely criticised Pyongyang for its attacks on civilian targets and expressed strong support for South Korea. The government called for an “immediate end to this kind of action.”
Global community slams Pyongyang's artillery attack