Posted tagged ‘North Korea’

South Korea on Alert After Military Drill

December 20, 2010

After days of worry about possible North Korean aggression over a South Korean military drill, live-fire exercises ended peacefully with no immediate retaliation.

From CNN:

North Korea said over the weekend that the drill could ignite a war and that it would respond militarily to the exercise. On Monday, North Korean military leaders said retaliation wasn’t necessary — but issued a stern warning to South Korea and the United States, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The North also agreed to a series of actions after former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson urged the country not to respond aggressively.

Those steps include allowing monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency access to the nation’s uranium enrichment facility; negotiating a deal for a third party, such as South Korea, to buy fresh-fuel rods from North Korea; and discussing the formation of a military commission consisting of representatives from North Korea, South Korea and the United States to monitor and prevent conflicts in the disputed areas of the West Sea, Richardson’s statement said.

South Korea Vows Air Raid if North Korea Attacks

December 3, 2010

South Korea’s new defense minister said his country plans to respond with airstrikes if North Korea attacks the country again.

From CNN:

“We will definitely air raid North Korea,” Kim Kwan-jin said at his confirmation hearing when asked how the South would respond if struck again, according to the official Yonhap News Agency.

Kim was appointed defense minister last week amid growing tensions on the Korean peninsula following an exchange of gunfire between the two sides.

His comments reflect a potential shift in South Korea’s policy toward provocations from the North. Previously, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak warned of severe consequences if the North launched another attack, but declined to name specifics.

Police Closing In on WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

December 2, 2010

It seems that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is close to being arrested in England and extradited to Sweden to face possible rape charges.

From the Washington Post:

The Swedish Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder and guiding spirit, must appear before a magistrate in Stockholm to answer accusations of rape and sexual harassment brought by two Swedish women.

Following the court’s refusal to hear an appeal of the warrant, Swedish authorities said they were fine-tuning a “red notice” for Assange’s arrest that is being relayed to member countries by Interpol, the international anti-crime cooperative.

Police in Britain, where Assange is believed to located, had said they could not act on the mandate without more specifics on the potential charges and the penalties Assange might face under Swedish law.

From the Associated Press:

Sweden’s Supreme Court upheld a order to detain the 39-year-old Australian for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual molestation that could lead to his extradition. The former computer hacker has been out of the public eye for nearly a month, although attorney Mark Stephens insisted that authorities knew how to find him.

“Both the British and the Swedish authorities know how to contact him, and the security services know exactly where he is,” Stephens told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, cables published to WikiLeaks’ website detailed alleged financial support for North Korea and terrorist affiliates by Austrian banks; an allegation by a Pakistani official that Russia “fully supports” Iran’s nuclear program; and a deeply unflattering assessment of Turkmenistan’s president.

Accused in Sweden of rape, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of unlawful coercion, Assange’s last public appearance was at a Geneva press conference on Nov. 5.

North Korea/South Korea on the Brink of War…

November 24, 2010

…this according to the folks in Pyongyang, one day after North Korea shelled the  South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing four people.

From CNN:

Pyongyang made the accusation through its state media, referring to a military drill that Seoul holds every year.

“The puppet group dared make an uproar over ‘a provocation’ from someone and cry out for ‘punishment’ like a thief crying ‘Stop the thief!'” the North’s KCNA news agency said.

“The Lee Myung-bak group’s treacherous and anti-reunification acts are intolerable as it vitiated the atmosphere for improving the inter-Korean relations overnight and drove the situation to the brink of war, challenging the desire of all the Koreans,” KCNA said.

 

Report: North Korea Attacks South Korean Island of Yeonpyeong

November 23, 2010

According to reports this evening, North Korea shot dozens of rounds of artillery onto a populated South Korean island near the countries’ disputed western border. Reports also state that South Korean troops returned fire.

They’ve had footage on CNN this evening and it looks like quite a few structures are on fire. Tensions are definitely high!

Credit: Korea Times

From the Korea Times:

Dozens of North Korean artillery shells landed on a South Korean border island in the West Sea Tuesday, damaging 60-70 homes, reports said.

South Korean troops fired back, the defense ministry said.

A South Korean official said artillery shells landed on Yeonpyeong Island.

The firing came amid North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility.

From the Wall Street Journal:

A spokesman for South Korea’s joint chief of staff confirmed the exchange but didn’t have details except to say “scores of rounds” were fired by the North.

The artillery—more than 50 rounds, according to island residents speaking on YTN—was fired from positions south of the North Korean city of Haeju.

The attack started at 2:34 p.m. local time, according to residents who were speaking on the TV network. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

About 1,200 people live on the island, which is 10 kilometers south of the tip of North Korea’s south coast.

North and South Korea Exchange Gunfire

October 29, 2010

It appears that North Korea fired two rounds toward South Korea at the DMZ and South Korean troops immediately fired back.

I can’t even begin to imagine how tense that area must be!

From the Associated Press:

The exchange of fire at the heavily armed border highlights the security problems faced by Seoul as it prepares to host the Group of 20 economic summit next month.

North Korean troops fired at a South Korean guard post in the Demilitarized Zone, said an official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul.

There were no South Korean injuries and it was unclear whether it was an accident or an intentional provocation, the official said. He asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The guard post is 73 miles (118 kilometers) northeast of Seoul.

The firing of the 14.5-mm rounds came hours after North Korea criticized the South for rejecting a proposal to hold military talks and vowed to retaliate.