News / USA

South Korea Resumes Live-Fire Artillery Drills

Kim Kwang-hoon, left, a former North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea, explains North Korea's self-propelled artillery during a rally denouncing North Korea's Nov. 23 bombardment on South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong, Seoul, 13 Dec. 2010
Kim Kwang-hoon, left, a former North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea, explains North Korea's self-propelled artillery during a rally denouncing North Korea's Nov. 23 bombardment on South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong, Seoul, 13 Dec. 2010

South Korean forces are embarking on a second week of live-fire drills around the nation's coasts, disregarding a warning from North Korea that the exercises could spark a nuclear war.

South Korea is also planning civil defense drills to prepare its people for the possibility of hostilities with the North. A former U.S. intelligence chief said in an interview Sunday that he expects any further provocation from the North to spark limited military clashes.

On the diplomatic front, a U.S. military delegation was in Seoul for talks Monday, while China continues to press for emergency talks between North Korea and other regional powers.

The live-fire drills are set to run Monday through Friday at 27 sites including 15 on the Yellow Sea coast where a North Korean artillery attack killed four South Koreans last month.

North Korea denounced the artillery exercises, saying they were "bringing the dark clouds of a nuclear war" to the Korean peninsula. But South Korean officials said none of the drills would take place near the contested maritime border between the two Koreas.

The South also urged citizens to pay closer than usual attention to a nationwide civil defense drill set for Wednesday afternoon. Such drills are conducted monthly, but officials said they are seeking special cooperation in light of the increased threat of hostilities.

The French news agency Agence France Presse said the drill will focus on directing citizens to the nation's thousands of underground shelters. It said about 12 jet fighters will simulate air strikes overhead.

Former U.S. intelligence chief Dennis Blair, who just completed a visit to South Korea, said in an interview that he expects clashes to break out between the two Koreas. But he said on U.S. television that he believes the fighting will be contained because North Korea knows it would lose an all-out war.

In Beijing, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Sunday that China will be patient in pressing for six-way talks with North Korea to ease tensions on the peninsula. The United States, South Korea and Japan, which met in Washington last week, have been reluctant to sit down with China, Russia and North Korea until Pyongyang shows greater evidence of its sincerity.

Michael Schiffer, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, reiterated the United States' commitment to South Korea's security following a one-day meeting Monday in Seoul.

Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is scheduled to arrive in Pyongyang for a private visit beginning Tuesday. Richardson is currently governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
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 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 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 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 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.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

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