News / Asia

South Korea Plans Live Firing Drill from Attacked Island

South Korean Marines patrol along a beach on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, 15 Dec 2010
South Korean Marines patrol along a beach on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, 15 Dec 2010

In a move likely to further escalate tension on the Korean peninsula, Seoul's military says it will resume live-firing artillery drills from an island North Korea attacked last month.

South Korea's military Thursday said artillery training will resume from Yeonpyeong island, possibly as soon as Saturday.

Spokesman Colonel Lee Boong-wu calls the exercise routine and legitimate. He says it is meant to bolster the defenses of the country's northwestern islands, which sit below the maritime border, the Northern Limit Line.

Lee says the timing of the shelling will be announced in navigation alerts beforehand. He adds that representatives of the 16-member countries of the U.N. Command and the Military Armistice Commission will observe to see that it abides by the 1953 ceasefire agreement.

North Korea does not recognize the Northern Limit Line and claims much of the Yellow Sea now under Seoul's control.

Four South Koreans died on November 23 when North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong. During an exercise that day the South Korean military had been firing artillery into the Yellow Sea, but not toward North Korea.

The United States, in response, has held military exercises with South Korea and Japan. Pyongyang calls the drills highly provocative, saying they are bringing the peninsula very close to war.

The commander of U.S. forces here, General Walter Sharp, says more exercises will be conducted. He says they will partly focus on how to respond to provocations by North Korea.

"In light of the recent events we will seek ways to further change our exercises to address limited as well as full-scale North Korean attacks," said Sharp.

The shelling of Yeonpyeong came eight months after the sinking of a South Korean navy ship, which killed 46 sailors. An international investigation concluded the vessel was hit by a North Korean torpedo. Pyongyang denies involvement.

In 1953, fighting halted in the three-year Korean War, but since no peace treaty has been signed, the two Koreas remain technically at war.

South Korea's government Thursday expressed skepticism about reports that North Korea may allow United Nations inspectors to return to examine Pyongyang's nuclear facilities. The inspectors were kicked out of the country in 2008.

South Korean media report that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made the offer to visiting Chinese officials last week.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun says it appears, however, Pyongyang did not explicitly say it would accept inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Kim says based on Seoul's past dealings with Pyongyang, it is important for the North Koreans to demonstrate the will to end their nuclear weapons programs by taking specific actions.

Despite years of negotiations that began in 2003, North Korea has not made good on promises to end its nuclear weapons programs in return for aid and greater diplomatic recognition.

Also, the governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, began a four-day visit to Pyongyang.

The U.S. State Department says Richardson, who has made several trips to North Korea, is not carrying any official message. But his visit is seen as part of the intensive diplomacy in Asia to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Before departing Beijing for Pyongyang, Richardson said he hopes to bring about peace by persuading North Korea's leadership to stop some of the aggressive actions it has taken.

You May Like

Photogallery Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had earlier warned storm could be one of worst the city has ever faced More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid