News / Asia

North, South Korea Trade Fire Across Maritime Border

A man watches a television news program reporting about North Korea's plan to conduct live-fire drills, at a Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March 31, 2014.
A man watches a television news program reporting about North Korea's plan to conduct live-fire drills, at a Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March 31, 2014.
VOA News
North Korea has fired artillery shells into South Korean waters, apparently in reaction to military exercises being conducted between the U.S. and South Korea.
Seoul responded immediately on Monday by shelling North Korean waters.  Officials say no shells hit any land areas on either side along the western sea boundary and no one was injured.  South Korean officials said some residents of border islands were evacuated to shelters as a precaution.

A White House official described the actions as "dangerous and provocative'', adding that the country's threats and provocations only isolate it further.
"We remain steadfast in our commitment [to] the defense of our allies and remain in close coordination with both the Republic of Korea and Japan,'' White House National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Lalley said Monday.
US-South Korea exercises

U.S. General Paul Kennedy says the joint exercises taking place about 360 kilometers north of Seoul have no political objectives.
"This exercise is not designed to act with any political situation.  It's not designed to send a message.  This is something that we have to do to interoperate with our allies," said Kennedy.
The North in recent weeks has increased threatening rhetoric and conducted a series of rocket and ballistic missile launches into waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
Pyongyang threatened on Sunday to conduct what it called "a new form of nuclear test" after the U.N. Security Council condemned the North's recent ballistic missile launches.
Nuclear capabilities

Malcolm Cook, an analyst at the Singapore-based Institute for South Asian Studies, tells VOA this could mean the North has developed the ability to build a nuclear warhead. 
"Certainly, if they were able to show the capability of weaponizing, in that sense, their new nuclear capability, that would be a significant change to the inter-regional security picture in a significant way.  The other thing they may do, are more underground tests or more than one test at other times.  I think the range of what they call new nuclear measures is quite broad, but if they were able to show that they've been able to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to put on any of their short, medium or long range missiles, then that would be a significant change," said Cook.

Cook added that Monday's artillery exchange is not as serious as the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March 2010, and North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November of that same year that killed four people.
A statement Sunday from the North's Foreign Ministry said it was intolerable that the Security Council would "turn a blind eye" to U.S. nuclear war exercises while denouncing the North Korean army's self-defensive rocket launch exercises.
After North Korea fired two medium-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula Wednesday, the Security Council condemned the launches the next day, saying they violated U.N. resolutions.
Pyongyang routinely calls military drills involving South Korea and the U.S. a rehearsal for invasion.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: ugg_ugg from: California
March 31, 2014 1:37 PM
What ever happened to----Speak softly and carry a big stick.---All we hear on the news anymore is get tuff--speak ruff and keep on doing it. You and I know to back up the tough and ruff ---It cost a lot of money---the only ones who benefit is the hidden bossed of --We supply arms to anyone at a very high price.--These are probably the same ones who are promoting all of the hate and negativity throughout the entire world. We need to find these profiteers and put them on trial--then in jail and throw away the key.
In Response

by: Edward from: Jaccksonville,FL
March 31, 2014 5:23 PM
those leaders were a lot smarter than the ones we have now, I have learned the hard way, a lot of talk usually gets the talker in trouble

by: ken from: toronto
March 31, 2014 12:52 PM
The world watches while, for several generations, the North Korean leadership is responsible for gross atrocities and against humanity. To watch and do nothing, would be to be as guilty as the aggressor. South Korea at war with a known tyrant would emerge the hero. It would be the same as America winning the war against Nazi Germany. You need a South Korean Winston Churchill.
In Response

by: moomooslice from: usa
March 31, 2014 1:55 PM
what would you say about the master behind supporting this regime the last 60 years or so ? without red china, this would not have existed !

by: this guy from: America
March 31, 2014 12:44 PM
you do realize that the US military is larger than all other military's put together righT. America also didn't just annex part of North Korea. I would say it's not quite right to compare the two. America doesn't usually country around themthreaten to nuke every county around them either, just saying. I don't like America any more than anybody else, but you just hurt your cause when you get the facts wrong.
In Response

by: John from: S Korea
March 31, 2014 5:06 PM
For the reply by far...has a stronger military than China. Not that it wouldn't be a mess of a war. But you should get the facts right. Checkout Keep in mind that you need money, oil, and other resources to fight a war.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 31, 2014 1:58 PM
Sorry guy but America has the second largest military force in the world China has the largest and they have a complete nuclear arsenal and the ally with north Korea that region is so unstable because knowone wants to wake the sleeping giant.

by: meanbill from: USA
March 31, 2014 9:53 AM
HYPOCRITICAL aren't they? .... The US and NATO make the rules, on what is right or wrong according to their own rules?
The US and the other 27 NATO countries condemn the Russian troops training on the Ukraine borders .. (YET?) .. every year (twice a year), the US, South Korea, and allies have giant military exercises on the North Korean borders?... CRAZY isn't it? .. (how the US, and the other 27 NATO countries think?) ... I just bet the US wouldn't be so belligerent, if they didn't have those 27 other NATO countries militarily supporting them, do you?
In Response

by: Wolfnut88 from: Washington
March 31, 2014 1:42 PM
HA, you're a funny guy. If you love communism so much why don't you go live with them. How many times have we (America) conducted an excercise then followed it up with an invasion?
In Response

by: GreenLine from: Las Vegas, NV
March 31, 2014 1:12 PM
@meanbill Are you forgetting about all those helpless people held prison in North Korean? Prisons that resemble small towns, where guards kill, hurt, and torture prisoners. Babies are orn into these prisons sometimes and grow up to think this is how the entire world is. And what you just said about the US and NATO; do you know you would be thrown in one of these prisons (your family too) if you had said something negative against North Korea while living in North Korea. And to answer your questions, staging drills on ones own territory or with an ally is different than Russia invading Ukraine -hard to beIieve you mentioned that. And the US would still be the world's premier power without the rest of NATO. We are a member of NATO to show that we do value the opinion of other countries and that other countries must play a hand in upholding international law as well. Be much more sensible before you defend North Korea.
In Response

by: stj from: United States
March 31, 2014 1:07 PM
Meanbill, you are forgetting with country abuses it's citizens and what country represents democracy and human dignity.
In Response

by: Brian Thomas
March 31, 2014 1:01 PM
First off. I agree the US doesn't treat every other country in the world as an equal. That comes with being world police. When someone else wants that job they can take it over. Second, no. The US's military budget is more then the next seven countries military budgets combined. So no they aren't scared if they are the only force going into war. All North Korea is a proxy country for China anyways...
In Response

by: JB from: Canada
March 31, 2014 12:59 PM
Belligerence lies with the unstable and aggressive regions. Upstart warmongering nations run by warlord dictators are the reason for democratic and stable nations to be allied together, to act as deterrents to would-be instigators of war. North Korea and Russia are despot country's of a forgotten age that will fade into obscurity as the rest of the world works together, striving for mutual existence and peace.
In Response

by: Roger from: USA
March 31, 2014 12:39 PM
North and South Korea are still at war. No peace treaty has ever been signed. Russia and Ukraine are not at war. Will they start one. Maybe that is the difference?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs