News / Asia

S. Korean Spy Chief: N. Korea Likely to Attack Again

General Hwang Eui-don (R), Chief of the General Staff of South Korean Army, checks the fence of the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas as he patrols with Army soldiers in Paju, South Korea, 01 Dec 2010
General Hwang Eui-don (R), Chief of the General Staff of South Korean Army, checks the fence of the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas as he patrols with Army soldiers in Paju, South Korea, 01 Dec 2010

South Korea's spy chief says North Korea is highly likely to attack the South again, following its deadly shelling of a South Korean island last week.

The Yonhap news agency says South Korean National Intelligence Service director Won Sei-hoon predicted another North Korean attack when he testified before a parliamentary committee Wednesday.

Yonhap quotes ruling party lawmaker Rhee Beum-kwan as saying Won told the committee that North Korea attacked Yeonpyeong island on November 23 to distract attention from its internal problems.

Rhee quotes Won as saying North Korea's leadership faces growing public dissatisfaction with the poor state of the economy and its plans for a transfer of power from Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il to his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.

A U.S. military official says a major U.S.-South Korean naval exercise in the Yellow Sea that wrapped up Wednesday sent a message to North Korea's leaders of deterrence against further attacks.

The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington on Monday to discuss "recent developments on the Korean peninsula" and their impact on regional security.

The State Department says Clinton's three-way talks with South Korea's Kim Sung-hwan and Japan's Seiji Maehara will demonstrate what it calls the "extraordinarily close coordination" between the three allies and the U.S. commitment to regional stability.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Wednesday all parties in the region should avoid inflaming tensions and keep calm and exercise restraint. Beijing has criticized U.S.-South Korean naval exercises in the past, calling them a violation of what it claims as an exclusive Chinese economic zone.

In an interview with VOA's Korean Service, U.S. Rear Admiral Dan Cloyd rejected the Chinese criticism, saying the four-day exercise was intended to demonstrate freedom of movement in international waters. South Korean defense officials say another major exercise with the United States could be held as early as this month.

Diplomats at the United Nations say China is blocking Western efforts to condemn North Korea in the U.N. Security Council for attacking Yeonpyeong island and developing a uranium enrichment facility.

The diplomats say Beijing is refusing to approve a draft Security Council statement containing language that would "condemn" North Korea and accuse it of "violating" U.N. resolutions.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang said Beijing decides its position on such issues "based on the merits of each case" and "does not side with any party."

South Korea's Korea Times newspaper quotes President Lee Myung-bak as saying Wednesday that China should play a positive role in addressing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Seoul and Washington have been pressing Beijing to restrain Pyongyang. China is North Korea's main economic and diplomatic supporter.

China's top legislator Wu Bangguo held talks with his North Korean counterpart, Choe Thae-bok, in Beijing Wednesday. Wu said the Chinese government is committed to developing what he called friendly and cooperative relations with Pyongyang. Wu and Choe made no mention of the current tensions in the region.

North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA accused the United States Wednesday of adopting double standards on nuclear issues. KCNA said Washington labels North Korea and Iran criminals for nuclear activities Pyongyang says are peaceful while helping U.S. ally Israel to develop nuclear weapons.

Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear armed state in the Middle East but neither confirms nor denies such a capability.

In the November 23 incident, North Korea fired more than 100 artillery rounds at Yeonpyeong, located near the disputed western maritime boundary of the two Koreas. The attack killed two South Korean Marines and two civilians and caused widespread damage.

South Korea retaliated within minutes by shelling North Korean positions across the maritime border. Pyongyang said its shelling was in response to a South Korean exercise involving artillery fire from the island into waters it claims as North Korean.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs