News / Asia

Korea Tensions Mount As South Seizes North Fishing Boat

South Korean army soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, March 27, 2014.
South Korean army soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, March 27, 2014.
VOA News
Tensions continue to escalate on the Korean Peninsula, with both sides trading allegations and South Korea seizing a North Korean fishing boat that strayed into its waters.

The South Korean military Thursday said the ship sailed nearly two kilometers south of the maritime border and refused warnings to return to the North.

The three crewmembers have been taken into custody while officials in Seoul conduct an investigation. Officials say the men do not appear to be trying to defect and want to go home.

Meanwhile, North Korea has made a blistering verbal attack on South Korean President Park Geun-hye, calling her a "faithful servant and stooge" of the U.S. and comparing her to a "blabbering" peasant woman.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do said the verbal attack, published Thursday by the official Korean Central News Agency, violates a recent agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang to avoid slandering each other in public comments.

“We find the comments deeply regrettable and lacking most basic civilities," said Kim. "We firmly call on North Korea not to repeat such rude violations [of an inter-Korean agreement].”

But Koh Yoo-hwan, a professor at Dongguk University, says Pyongyang is making the same claim against the South.

“North Koreans took [Ms.] Park’s comments as slander against them and they say it is a violation of the inter-Korean agreement,” he Koh.

The North says the attack was in response to Ms. Park's speech this week at a nuclear summit at The Hague, where she warned Pyongyang's nuclear material could wind up in the hands of terrorists or spark a colossal nuclear accident.

A North Korean government spokesman called the speech "dumb," saying Ms. Park should stop "rambling recklessly" if she wants improved relations. He also said the comments "violently trample" the agreement to stop slandering each other.

That deal was reached last month during rare, high-level government talks. It also came just before the two sides resumed reunions between families separated by the 1950s Korean War, meetings that had not been held since 2010.

Since then, both countries have made bold moves to demonstrate their military capabilities.

On Thursday, South Korean and U.S. troops began a large-scale amphibious landing drill off the southeast coast of the Korean peninsula. Nearly 15,000 troops are taking part in the drill known as Ssang Yong, or Double Dragon, which is the largest of its kind since 1993.

The 12-day landing drill is part of wider annual joint military exercises, known as Foal Eagle, which are set to last through April 18. Washington and Seoul say the drills are defensive, but Pyongyang says it views them as preparation to invade.

In its own show of military might, the North has test-fired a flurry of rockets. The latest launch occurred Wednesday, when the North launched two mid-range Rodong missiles capable of striking Japan.

The U.S., South Korea, and Japan have condemned the launch as a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibiting North Korea from testing ballistic missiles.

The Security Council on Thursday plans to hold special a closed-door meeting to discuss a possible condemnation of the launch. Some diplomats have called for additional sanctions on the North.

In the past, North Korea has responded to such moves by carrying out nuclear tests. It has completed three nuclear tests since 2006.

South Korea's defense ministry said Wednesday it is monitoring the North for any signs of another nuclear test, but said none appeared to be imminent.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
March 27, 2014 1:21 PM
You give them a couple of kilometers, and then they'll take the whole damn sea? Like the Pilgrims did, when the American Indians gave them a little land, and then the Pilgrims took the whole damn country of America from them?

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