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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid