News / Asia

South Korean President Angered by 'Inhumane' Attack

South Korean marines watch a live television broadcast of President Lee Myung-bak's speech, on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. Lee took responsibility for failing to protect his citizens from a deadly North Korean artillery attack l
South Korean marines watch a live television broadcast of President Lee Myung-bak's speech, on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. Lee took responsibility for failing to protect his citizens from a deadly North Korean artillery attack l

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Monday apologized for not protecting South Korean civilians from North Korea's artillery attack on an inhabited island, which he labeled an inhumane crime.

The president says North Korea will be made to the pay the price for any further provocation.

Mr. Lee called for national unity in a country split between hardliners demanding immediate punishment and liberals worried that an escalation of tensions could plunge the peninsula into a war.

Such a conflict could result in North Korea firing artillery onto the crowded capital, Seoul, imperiling the South's vibrant economy.

The president made no reference to China's offer to host emergency multi-national talks on the crisis with North Korea. But the South Korean president says it is difficult to expect that Pyongyang will abandon nuclear weapons and military brinkmanship.

Last Tuesday's artillery attack was the second provocative act of the year blamed on North Korea.

South Korea responded with restraint after one of its navy warships was sunk in March in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 sailors. An international investigation concluded the Cheonan was hit by a North Korean torpedo.

Pyongyang denies any responsibility for the sinking. But it does acknowledge bombarding Yeonpyeong island on Tuesday. North Korea says it was protecting its sovereignty after South Korean troops on an annual training exercise fired artillery into a disputed Yellow Sea border area.

The attack on Yeonpyeong killed two South Korean marines and two civilians.

Northeast Asia analyst Daniel Pinkston, from the International Crisis Group, says the two incidents present a dilemma for the South Korean leadership.

"This year there have been two tremendous failures in deterrence. So deterrence must be restored," he said.  "However, by demonstrating the capabilities and the cost that North Korea would pay in case of further provocation you want to do that in such a way that North Korea does not misperceive or miscalculate, and in fact you end up triggering a war because a war would be very costly."

In a show of deterrence the U.S. Navy has sent a U.S. aircraft carrier and other ships into the Yellow Sea to train with South Korea's navy.

South Korean vessels and aircraft are taking part in what military officials say is a "live fire" exercise meant to demonstrate the alliance's resolve and capability. The exercise ends Wednesday.

The North is impoverished and isolated, with neighbor China its only significant ally. North and South Korea technically have remained in a state of war since three years of combat in the early 1950's ground to a stalemate.

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid