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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history 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