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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora