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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Resigns

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid