News / Asia

South Korea, US Prepare for Anti-Sub Warfare Drill

The United States and South Korea are preparing to hold a joint sea exercise, scheduled to begin the day before the expected opening of a rare meeting of North Korea's only political party.

South Korean and U.S. military officials say the five-day exercise is meant to send a strong message of deterrence to North Korea, and also to strengthen the general capacity of joint anti-submarine warfare, says Army Colonel Lee Bung-woo, a spokesman for the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The official North Korean newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, condemned the war games, saying they "may drive the situation to an unpredictable grave phase."

The maneuvers begin the day before North Korea's Workers' Party is scheduled to hold its first meeting since 1966, at which a leadership shuffle is expected. It was originally expected to begin by mid-September, and official North Korean media gave no reason for the delay.

Analysts speculate that at this conference Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of supreme leader Kim Jong Il, will be named to a committee post, the first step for him to eventually succeed his ailing father.

The meeting and the military exercises come as tensions appear to be easing on the Korean peninsula.

The U.S. and South Korea have held a series of training exercises as part of their response to the sinking of a South Korean warship six months ago. An international investigation concluded that a North Korean torpedo destroyed the Cheonan, killing 46 South Korean sailors. Pyongyang denies responsibility. China has joined in North Korea in denouncing the exercises, particularly this one, because it takes place in the Yellow Sea, close to Chinese territory.

In recent weeks, however, rhetoric has cooled. South Korea recently sent aid to help North Korea recover from devastating floods.

North Korea also proposed resuming a program to re-unite long-divided families. On Friday, officials from the Red Cross committees of the two Koreas met at Kaesong, just north of the heavily fortified border for their second round of talks on holding another reunion. The first discussion, a week ago, failed to reach agreement on a venue.

The two Koreas remain at war, technically. Their three-year civil war, which ended with a truce but no treaty in 1953, caused several million civilian and military casualties and separated countless families.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs