News / Asia

S. Korea Vows Counter-Attack If North Opens Fire During Drills

South Korean military officials say they are ready to respond if North Korea carries out its threat to attack during the South's latest military drills.  The drills are part of South Korea's response to the sinking of one of its navy ships in March, an act blamed on Pyongyang.

South Korea's Defense Ministry says the exercise, which begins Thursday, will involve a submarine, a destroyer and nearly 30 other vessels, as well as aircraft. Forty-five hundred army, navy, air force and coast guard troops will be deployed.

Military officials say they will keep ships far south of a maritime border that North Korea disputes. But marines on islands near the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea will conduct live-fire exercises.

Navy Rear Admiral Kim Kyung-Sik says if North Korea makes good on its threat to open fire, South Korea "will stage an immediate counter-attack."

Admiral Kim says a close eye will be kept on the enemy. He adds South Korea's military will not tolerate provocations and is ready, during the drill, for any circumstances.

North Korea threatens "strong physical retaliation" in response to the South Korean exercise.

A respected daily newspaper in Seoul, the Chosun Ilbo, quotes a military source saying the North has repositioned some missiles near the border, posing a threat to South Korean military jets.

Defense official here say the five-day drill is the second in a series of war games to be staged this year in response to the attack on the Cheonan. The South Korean navy vessel sank in March after an explosion in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 sailors. An international investigation blames a North Korean torpedo for the sinking.

Last week, the United States joined South Korea in one of region's largest joint military exercises in recent years. The exercise in the Sea of Japan included an American aircraft carrier and stealth fighter jets.

South Korea's military had wanted to hold that exercise in the Yellow Sea, but China strongly objected because it would be close to its territorial waters.

China began its own air defense drills Tuesday. The Xinhua news agency says the five-day exercise involves 12,000 personnel in two provinces.

Later this month, the U.S. and South Korea hold an annual 10-day exercise, known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

The U.S. military say that drill is meant to ensure the allies are "fully prepared to respond to any potential provocations."

The latest military maneuvers come as the Korean peninsula marks 60 years since the start of the Korean War. Fighting ended in 1953 with a truce, but since Pyongyang and Seoul have never signed a peace treaty, they remain technically at war.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs