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 Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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 anonymous...US...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 globalfirepower.com. 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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