News / Asia

China Steps Up Pressure on Koreas

Disputed Area between North and South Korea
Disputed Area between North and South Korea

China stepped up pressure on North and South Korea Saturday to exercise self-restraint to ease what it says are "extremely precarious" tensions on the Korean peninsula.

China summoned ambassadors from the two countries to voice its concerns about South Korean plans for live-fire artillery drills from an island the North shelled last month, and the North's vow to strike back even harder than it did last month if the South carries out the exercises.

South Korea delayed the drills on Yeonpyeong Island on Saturday because of bad weather, but a military official said it still expects to stage them on Monday or Tuesday. He said South Korea has a "right to conduct" its military drills.

China, North Korea's chief ally, said it was "firmly and unambiguously opposed" to any actions that would escalate tensions in the region. China's state news agency Xinhua quoted Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun as saying that "bloodshed and conflicts" would lead to a "national tragedy of fratricide" between the two Koreas.

North Korea has accused the United States of creating a "human shield" for the South Korean exercises by sending 20 U.S. soldiers to assist in the drills. North Korea said the Korean peninsula will "explode" if the training drills are carried out.

The United States says that South Korea has a right to conduct the drill. Russia has voiced "extreme concern" over the exercises and called for a Saturday afternoon meeting of the 15-member UN Security Council to discuss the situation.

South Korean marines carrying rifles conducted routine patrols on Saturday on the island, located 11 kilometers off the North Korean shoreline. But no warnings have been issued for residents to evacuate.

Several bloody naval skirmishes have occurred in recent years along the western sea border. But North Korea's November 23 assault on Yeonpyeong was the first by the North targeting a civilian area since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The North does not recognize the sea border in the region drawn by the United Nations.

Four people were killed on Yeonpyeong in last month's incident, including two civilians.

The governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, is visiting Pyongyang on a private mission to try to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.  He says the situation is a "tinderbox."

The CNN cable news network says the veteran negotiator and former ambassador to the United Nations on Saturday provided the North Koreans with an undisclosed set of proposals aimed at quelling the situation. The network said it was unknown how the North Koreans responded.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged North Korea to show restraint and called on both Koreas to reduce tensions.
z

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid