News / Asia

Wen: China Will Not Shield Attacker of S. Korean Warship

China's number two official has assured South Korean authorities that Beijing will not obstruct justice in the sinking of a South Korean naval ship. Premier Wen Jiabao paid a state visit to Seoul on Friday, where officials lobbied him for cooperation in punishing Pyongyang at the United Nations Security Council.

A South Korean presidential spokesman quoted Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Friday as saying Beijing "will not protect" those responsible for sinking South Korea's patrol ship, the Cheonan, in March.

The Cheonan was patrolling waters west of the Korean peninsula near a maritime border long disputed by North Korea when a sudden explosion tore it in half and sunk it, killing 46 sailors. International investigators concluded that it was beyond doubt a North Korean submarine had fired a torpedo at the ship.

In a Seoul meeting with President Lee Myung-bak, Premier Wen was quoted as condemning "any act that destroys the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula."

South Korea and the United States are urging China to join them in punishing North Korea with action at the United Nations Security Council. China, however, has not directly said it thinks Pyongyang is responsible.

Eric Olander is co-director of the U.S.-based consulting firm China Talking Points. He says Chinese leaders face a difficult balancing act between their deepening relationships with Seoul and Washington, and their need to prevent instability in neighboring North Korea.

"The Chinese are seen as the glue that holds all this together, so whatever resolution they end up passing in New York will have to be broad enough and flexible enough in its language to accommodate all those objectives," said Olander.

Premier Wen and President Lee will be joined this weekend by Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on South Korea's Jeju island for a three-way summit. While the meeting originally was meant to primarily discuss economic issues, North Korea is likely to top the agenda.

Tokyo tightened its own sanctions on Pyongyang this week, restricting the flow of money to North Korea and passing legislation that empowers its Coast Guard to inspect North Korean cargo in international waters.

At the tense inter-Korean border, South Korean businessmen employed at a joint North-South industrial zone began trickling back into the South. Pyongyang says it may block access to the zone, located in the North Korean city of Kaesong.

Returning from Kaesong, South Korean worker Shin Sam-ho said tensions there are noticeable.  He says the factory zone feels tense. Instead of their usual cloth caps, he says, the soldiers guarding the zone are wearing battle helmets, in apparent preparation for combat.

South Korean Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo says South Korea will not tolerate interference with its citizens at Kaesong.

She says ensuring the safety of South Korean people is the most important thing in the zone's operation. If North Korea infringes on their safety even a little, she says, the South has no choice but to take more resolute and strict measures.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid