News / Asia

    Report Calls for Talks on Korean Maritime Boundary

    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, 22 Dec 2010
    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, 22 Dec 2010

    An international group dedicated to preventing conflict warns of the risk of a wider conflict on the Korean peninsula. The report comes a month after an exchange of artillery fire that left four South Koreans dead.

    The International Crisis Group is raising an alarm about the dispute over the maritime boundary between North and South Korea as Pyongyang appears to be preparing for a leadership transition. ICG says the volatile combination requires urgent measures to reduce the possibility of all-out war.

    In a new report the group urges Pyongyang and Seoul to accept international arbitration on the dispute. North Korea does not recognize the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea off the west coast. It was drawn by a U.S. commander in 1953 at the end of the Korean War.

    Daniel Pinkston is the Northeast Asia deputy project director for the International Crisis Group. He acknowledges that right now, South Korea will be reluctant to negotiate a change in the boundary.

    "It would be difficult politically in the South because it would almost certainly require what would appear to be concessions. And when you are talking about boundaries it appears to be a zero sum game," said Pinkston. "In the context of North Korea's recent behavior it would be very, very unpopular."

    North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong island a month ago, killing South Koreans. It said it was responding to South Korean artillery.

    South Korea has responded with a series of military exercises, including artillery training Monday on Yeonpyeong, and large war games near the land border on Thursday.

    North Korea scholars speculate Pyongyang is raising tension to bolster the image of heir apparent Kim Jong Un. He is the son of leader Kim Jong Il.

    The ICG's Pinkston says Washington and Beijing need to exercise their influence on Seoul and Pyongyang, but warns it may not help.

    "Even though influence might be strong, it is not absolute. And, at the end of the day, Pyongyang and Seoul will do what it is in their national interests, as they define it," he said. "So we can't expect, China, for example, to simply flip a switch, and as people say, rein in Pyongyang. There are limits to their influence as there are limits to U.S. influence in Seoul."

    Tensions have been rising since March when a South Korean warship in the Yellow Sea exploded and sank. Pyongyang rejects an international investigation that said the Cheonan was hit by a North Korean torpedo, killing 46 of the crew.

    A former U.S. diplomat who visited Pyongyang this month calls the Korean peninsula a tinderbox.

    Bill Richardson, the governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico told VOA's Korean Service that diplomacy is the only way out of danger.

    "The situation is so, so, tense that there's got to be some kind of diplomat movement, a special envoy from the United Nations. China needs to get more engaged," said Richardson. "Eventually the six-party talks have to re-convene and let North Korea demonstrate that they're serious about their behavior and about negotiating."

    Richardson says he has briefed U.S. officials about his visit and the concessions Pyongyang offered concerning its nuclear programs.

    Richardson says the North Koreans told him they are ready to allow international inspections of their nuclear facilities and are willing to sell a stockpile of nuclear fuel rods that could be used to make plutonium bombs.

    The White House says there is no point in returning to multi-national discussions until Pyongyang stops acting belligerently and makes good on promises to give up its nuclear weapons programs.

    The North walked out of the six-nation talks in 2009.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    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.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora