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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora