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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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