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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid