News / Asia

    North Korea Issues Threats for Anniversary of South Korean Island Shelling

    FILE - A South Korean goverment ship (R) sails by Navy MSB (Movement Sea Base) off the South Korea-controlled island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea.
    FILE - A South Korean goverment ship (R) sails by Navy MSB (Movement Sea Base) off the South Korea-controlled island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea.
    Daniel Schearf
    North Korea has threatened to attack South Korea over military drills on the anniversary of the North's 2010 shelling of a South Korean island.  Seoul has dismissed the blustery rhetoric as routine, but political analysts warn of the possibility of repeat clashes. 
     
    On Friday, North Korea's military threatened to turn South Korea's presidential office into a “sea of fire” if Pyongyang feels like it is being provoked.
     
    The Korean People's Army threat was in response to South Korean military exercises on Yeonpyeong island.
     
    The drills mark the third anniversary of a North Korean attack on the island that killed four people, including two civilians.
     
    Pyongyang's Korean Central Broadcasting Station read the warning of attack on the Blue House, known in Korean as Chongwadae.
     
    Local media said that while three years ago the retaliatory blow was confined to Yeonpyeong island, this time Chongwadae and other bases of the “puppet forces” would be put within striking range.
     
    North Korea routinely insults South Korea's government as a puppet of the United States.
     
    Pyongyang justified the 2010 attack by claiming that the drilling South Korean forces fired into its territorial waters, which Seoul denies.
     
    North Korea still claims territory near the island as the two sides never agreed on a maritime border when Korean War fighting ended.
     
    The KPA statement glorified the 2010 island shelling, the first since the war, as a “praiseworthy event.” 
     
    South Korea's Defense Ministry spokesman, Wi Yong-sub, dismissed the bluster.
     
    Wi said that North Korea must know that its rhetorical threat only unifies the South's military and citizens' determination to punish Pyongyang.
     
    North Korea made similar threats in the past, including on the first and second year anniversaries of the attack, but did not carry them out.
     
    Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said that the lack of a formal maritime border and treaty ending the Korean War means there is always the possibility of more clashes.
     
    Yang thinks that if tensions remain too strong between South Korea and North Korea, it will be difficult to avoid a second and third Yeonpyeong Island incident. Yang also said that f it happens again, the loser will be both South Korea and North Korea.
     
    The Yeonpyeong shelling came just months after the sinking of a South Korean warship killed 46 sailors. An investigation concluded a North Korean torpedo was to blame, though Pyongyang denies that it was responsible.
     
    South Korea has since built up its defenses on the island, and vowed an immediate retaliatory strike policy targeting up the chain of command.
     
    On Friday, South Korea announced it would buy 40 F-35A stealth fighters jets from Lockheed Martin to upgrade its air force capabilities.
     
    South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that the military last month successfully fired a satellite-guided Spike missile. Yonhap reports that the Israeli-built missile is capable of precision strikes against North Korean coastal artillery.
     
    VOA Seoul Bureau Producer Youmi Kim contributed to this report.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora