News / Asia

Cut in Humanitarian Aid Latest Fallout from North Korean Shelling of South Korea

A North Korean ship passes between the North Korean mainland, background, and the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, foreground, 26 Nov 2010
A North Korean ship passes between the North Korean mainland, background, and the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, foreground, 26 Nov 2010

South Korea is further limiting the little assistance it allows to go to North Korea. The move comes after a barrage of artillery shells was fired at Yeonpyeong Island Tuesday. Two South Korean marines and two civilians died in the North Korean attack.

South Korea on Friday announced a further restriction on shipments of humanitarian aid to the impoverished communist North.

Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung says the move results from Tuesday's lethal artillery attack on a South Korean island.

Chun says shipments of even the most basic humanitarian aid heading to North Korea will be more strictly examined.

Seoul earlier this week announced its remaining promised flood relief to North Korea, including cement and medical supplies, was being immediately halted.

South Korea also canceled talks that had been scheduled for Thursday between the two countries' Red Cross societies. That has dashed hopes of any more reunions soon of long-separated families.

Since Tuesday's attack, South Korea has also prohibited its citizens from visiting the joint Korean industrial complex at Kaseong in the North.

This all does not sit well with a visiting United Nations official.



Concluding a five-day visit to South Korea, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights situation, requested that South Korea and other countries resume critical communication with Pyongyang as quickly as possible.

Marzuki Darusman says Tuesday's artillery exchange between the two Koreas certainly overshadowed his visit here to assess the human rights situation in North Korea, and is a setback for efforts to improve conditions in the isolated state.

"I would presume that this may have further repercussions in the short term. But it is my sincere hope that it is possible to overcome these misunderstandings and conflict soon and to recommence the dialog," said Darusman.

North Korea does not recognize the mandate of the U.N. envoy to investigate its human rights conditions.

Darusman's predecessor, Thailand's Vitit Muntarbhorn, never received Pyongyang's permission for a visit during his five-year tenure. And, the request by Darusman, a former Indonesian attorney general, last month to enter North Korea was also rebuffed.

"This would not preclude the possibility that, at some stage, such a visit could be made, one way or another," said Darusman.

North Korea is one of the world's poorest and most secretive countries.

The U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee last week called on Pyongyang to immediately end "the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights" in North Korea.  

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More