Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the Office of the Prosecutor said in a release the office opened a preliminary examination after receiving communications alleging North Korea committed war crimes with its No. 23 artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, in which two marines and two civilians died, and its alleged sinking of a South Korean warship March 26, in which 46 sailors died.
South Korea has been covered by the court's jurisdiction since February 2003.
The international court also is conducting preliminary examinations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Georgia, Honduras, Nigeria and Palestine. The Office of the Prosecutor is currently investigating cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan, the Central African Republic and Kenya.
The court is an independent, permanent judiciary that investigates and prosecutes people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes if national authorities with jurisdiction are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely.