News / Asia

UN Security Council in Emergency Talks on Korean Tensions

North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador Pak Tok Hun arrives at the United Nations, 19 Dec 2010
North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador Pak Tok Hun arrives at the United Nations, 19 Dec 2010

The United Nations Security Council is holding emergency talks to try to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, where South Korea is vowing to proceed with a live-fire military exercise, despite threats of retaliation from the North.

Russia called for Sunday's emergency talks in New York to send what it calls a "restraining signal" to the two Koreas, and to "help launch diplomatic activity" aimed at resolving their disputes politically.

South Korea's military says it is determined to carry out the one-day live fire drill on an island near the disputed western maritime border of the two Koreas. It says the exercise on Yeonpyeong island will take place either Monday or Tuesday, depending on when the weather is clearer.

North Korea responded to a previous South Korean live-fire exercise on Yeonpyeong on November 23 by shelling the island, killing four South Koreans.

Pyongyang calls such activity a provocation because it involves artillery fire into waters it claims are North Korean. Seoul says such exercises are defensive. North Korea says a new South Korean live-fire drill in the disputed waters will trigger a disaster.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson says his latest talks with North Korean officials in Pyongyang have made "some progress" in trying to resolve what he calls a "very tense" situation.

Speaking from Pyongyang, Richardson told U.S. television network CNN that a North Korean general he met Sunday was receptive to his proposal for setting up a hotline between North and South Korean forces. He said such a hotline would allow both sides to address issues if an incident happens.

Richardson now serves as governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico. He is on a private, four-day mission to Pyongyang to try to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula. That visit is due to end Monday.

Richardson says North Korean general Pak Rim Su also was open to his idea for a military commission to monitor disputes in and around the Yellow Sea. The former U.S. diplomat says a commission would include representatives of the two Koreas and the United States.

General Pak leads North Korean forces in a zone near the inter-Korean border. Richardson described his talks with Pak as "very tough."

South Korea's Yonhap news agency quotes a government official as saying North Korea has raised the preparedness of artillery units near the disputed maritime border.

Richardson welcomed the U.N. Security Council's decision to hold emergency talks on the crisis. He said a strong statement from the Council will provide "political cover" for all sides to avoid aggressive military action.

The foreign ministers of Russia and China discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula by telephone Saturday. Both urged Seoul and Pyongyang to exercise restraint.

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

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs