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Thread: Korean Peninsula On The Brink Of War

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    South Korea Experiences a Stirring for Revenge

    Jean Chung for The New York Times
    Displaced Yeonpyeong Island residents Saturday at In Spa World, a bathhouse and entertainment center converted into a refugee shelter after North Korea fired artillery shells at the island.

    By MARTIN FACKLER

    Published: November 27, 2010







    INCHEON, South Korea — The explosions from North Korean artillery shells sent Hong Kwang-sun and other members of his construction crew rushing into the basement of their half-finished building on Yeonpyeong Island. As he ran, he saw two workers still standing outside just as another round of blasts engulfed the construction site in flames.

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    The next day, searchers found the two men’s bodies. They were burned beyond recognition.
    “We never thought they would attack civilians,” Mr. Hong said Saturday as he and other survivors sat somberly drinking soju, an alcoholic beverage, near a makeshift shrine to the two men in this South Korean port city. “North Korean soldiers have full stomachs from our support, and now they repay us by firing at us. Next time, we should repay them by shooting them back.”
    The South did shoot back, but many Koreans consider the limited response feeble compared with the hourlong artillery barrage on Tuesday, in which North Korea rained about 180 shells on the island, killing the civilians and two South Korean marines.
    The ferocity of the attack — and the deaths of the civilians — appear to have started a shift in South Koreans’ conflicted emotions about their countrymen in the North, and not just among those who were shot at.
    After years of backing food aid and other help for the North despite a series of provocations that included two nuclear tests, many South Koreans now say they feel betrayed and angry.
    “I think we should respond strongly toward North Korea for once instead of being dragged by them,” said Cho Jong-gu, 44, a salesman in Seoul. “This time, it wasn’t just the soldiers. The North mercilessly hurt the civilians.”
    That is not to say he or other South Koreans will really push for a South Korean strike; people south of the border are well aware that the North could devastate Seoul with its weapons.
    But the sentiments reflect a change of mood in a country where people have willed themselves to believe that their brotherly ties to the North would override the ideological chasm between the Communist North and capitalist South.
    The attack seemed to challenge one of the underlying assumptions of a decade of inter-Korean rapprochement, which had slowed but not stopped under President, Lee Myung-bak: that two nations’ shared Koreanness trumped political differences, making a return to cold war-era hostilities not only undesirable but impossible.
    “I never thought they would attack us people of the same race,” said Hong Jae-soon, 55, a homemaker who fled Yeonpyeong with most of the island’s other 1,350 residents after the attack.
    She said she was in her kitchen peeling ginger to make kimchi, the spicy fermented vegetables that are both Koreas’ national dish, when she heard distant booms. As the roar got louder, and the ground began to shake, she ran outside and saw that a house four houses away from hers had been blown into rubble.
    “We learned you cannot trust them,” she said.
    Chung Young-ae, a 72-year-old fisherwoman who lived her entire life on the island, said she had been hunting for oysters in shallow water when she heard a series of booms, and looked up to see the mountains on fire. “I was 12 during the Korean War, and we saw planes fly overhead, but nothing like this happened,” she said. “This was worse.”
    She said she cowered for two days in a cold, dark bomb shelter without blankets and with only bread to eat, until fleeing on a boat to Incheon. She expressed the torn feelings of many South Koreans —anger and a fear of escalating hostilities.
    “They’re evil, they’re millipedes that should be crushed,” she said of the North Koreans. “No, we can’t fight them. But we shouldn’t help them anymore, either.”
    Like many islanders, she said that while Yeonpyeong had been her lifelong home, she could never go back, for fear of being attacked again. Since the attack, all but a handful of the island’s residents have fled to the mainland.
    About 500 were packed Saturday into In Spa World, a hangar-size bathhouse and entertainment center that had been hastily converted into a refugee shelter. Inside, islanders slept on the floors or lined up at a makeshift soup kitchen set up by the volunteers from the Korean Red Cross.
    Choi Byung-soo said he was sitting at home with friends eating lunch when his neighborhood suddenly erupted in explosions. The blasts blew out his windows. When they ventured outside, he saw a car flipped on its back, and a half dozen columns of black smoke rose from the town. After arriving in Incheon, Mr. Choi was hospitalized for hearing loss, throat damage from the smoke and anxiety attacks.
    “This was a civilian neighborhood, like Seoul,” said Mr. Choi, 34, an online marketer.
    He, too, recommended a cutoff of aid to the North, as did the construction worker who watched his colleagues die, Mr. Hong.
    “If we had not fed them, they would not even be able to hold their guns,” he said. “We shouldn’t attack them, because we have become a democracy, and I can still remember when we were still like them, poor and eating out of cans. But if we give them any more money, they’ll use it to kill us.”
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    US, South Korea Begin Military Exercises

    VOA News 27 November 2010
    [IMG]http://media.voanews.com/images/480*300/ap_south+_korea_marine_480_eng_27nov10.jpg[/IMG] Photo: AP

    A South Korean marine mans a check point along the coast of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010.

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    The United States and South Korea have begun four days of joint military exercises in the waters off the Korean coast, in an effort to deter North Korea from launching further attacks across its border with the South.

    An American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, is leading the drill, which comes just days after North Korean forces shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two marines and two civilians.

    North Korea's state-run media has criticized the drills, warning the two Koreas are on "the brink of war."

    Earlier Saturday, China launched a flurry of diplomatic activity to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula after North Korea's shelling of the island.

    China has warned it opposes any "unilateral military act" in the area without its permission, referring to the U.S.-South Korean drills.

    Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN (in an interview due to air Sunday) that, as North Korea's closest ally, China has as much at stake as anyone if the region is destabilized.

    North Korea leveled new accusations at South Korea Saturday, charging Seoul was using the civilians on the island of Yeonpyeong as a human shields.

    The North's official Korean Central News Agency also said if there were civilian deaths, they were "very regrettable."

    During a funeral Saturday for the two marines killed in Tuesday's attack, South Korean Marine commander Lieutenant General Yoo Nak-joon vowed a "thousand-fold" retaliation against the North. The comments to hundreds of high-ranking politicians, generals, religious leaders and civilians were also broadcast nation-wide.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N. Korea deploys SA-2 surface-to-air missiles near Yellow Sea border

    SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has deployed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles to its west coast near the Yellow Sea border with South Korea as U.S.-led naval drills got underway in a show of force against the North's deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island earlier last week, government sources said Sunday.

    "(The missiles) appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near the Northern Limit Line (NLL)," the source said on customary condition of anonymity, referring to the Yellow Sea border.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    US, S. Korea Push Ahead With War Games



    • Images: US, South Korea Push Ahead With War Games






    DAVID GUTTENFELDER, Associated Press
    Posted: 8:16 pm EST November 27, 2010Updated: 9:00 pm EST November 27, 2010
    YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea -- The United States and South Korea began joint war games Sunday, as South Koreans demanded vengeance over a deadly North Korean artillery bombardment that has raised fears of more clashes between the bitter rivals. The North, meanwhile, worked to justify one of the worst attacks on South Korean territory since the 1950-53 Korean War. Four South Koreans, including two civilians, died after the North rained artillery on the small Yellow Sea island of Yeonpyeong, which is home to both fishing communities and military bases. North Korea said civilians were used as a "human shield" around artillery positions and lashed out at what it called a "propaganda campaign" against Pyongyang. It claimed the United States orchestrated last Tuesday's clash so that it could stage joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea with the South that include a U.S. nuclear powered supercarrier - enraging the North and making neighboring China uneasy. China sent a senior official, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, to Seoul on Saturday for talks with Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. Dai, accompanied by chief Chinese nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei, discussed Tuesday's attack and international talks on ending North Korea's nuclear programs, it said. The North Korean attack on an area with a civilian population marked a new level of hostility along the rivals' disputed sea border. Only eight months ago, according to the findings of a South Korean-led international investigation, a North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean warship in waters farther west, killing 46 sailors. The aggression could be linked to the North's attempt to strengthen its government as it pursues a delicate transfer of power from leader Kim Jong Il to a young, unproven son. It also may reflect Pyongyang's frustration that it has been unable to force a resumption of stalled international talks on receiving aid in return for nuclear disarmament. The attack laid bare weaknesses 60 years after the Korean War in South Korea's defenses against the North, which does not recognize the border drawn by the U.N. at the close of the conflict and which considers waters around Yeonpyeong as its territory. The skirmish prompted President Lee Myung-bak to replace his defense minister on Friday. At a funeral Saturday near Seoul, South Korea's marine commander, Maj. Gen. You Nak-jun, vowed a "thousand-fold" retaliation for the attack. Dignitaries and relatives laid white flowers at an altar for the two marines killed. The mother of one of the victims fell forward in her chair in grief. Passers-by paused at Seoul's main train station to watch funeral footage on a big screen. "Once the enemy attacks us, it is our duty to respond even more strongly," said student Jeon Hyun-soo, 19. "The South Korean people want this." Elsewhere in Seoul, about 70 former special forces troops protested what they called the government's weak response and scuffled with riot police in front of the Defense Ministry, pummeling the riot troops' helmets with wooden stakes and spraying fire extinguishers. North Korea's state news agency said that although "it is very regrettable, if it is true, that civilian casualties occurred on Yeonpyeong island, its responsibility lies in enemies' inhumane action of creating a 'human shield' by deploying civilians around artillery positions." The North said its enemies are "now working hard to dramatize 'civilian casualties' as part of its propaganda campaign." South Korea was conducting artillery drills Tuesday from the island, located just 7 miles (11 kilometers) from North Korea's mainland, but fired away from the mainland. The North said it warned South Korea to halt the drills on the morning of the attack, as part of "superhuman efforts to prevent the clash to the last moment." The North said that Sunday's planned U.S.-South Korean war games showed that the United States was "the arch criminal who deliberately planned the incident and wire-pulled it behind the scene." The war games, which involve the USS George Washington supercarrier, display resolve by Korean War allies Washington and Seoul to respond strongly to any future North Korean aggression. However, Washington has insisted the drills are routine and were planned well before last Tuesday's attack. The drills kicked off Sunday morning when ships from both countries entered the exercise zone, an official with South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said on condition of anonymity, citing office rules. David Oten, a spokesman for the U.S. military in South Korea, said U.S. ships were still steaming toward the area and the drills would not officially begin until later in the day. North Korea on Saturday warned of retaliatory attacks creating a "sea of fire" if its territory is violated. The South Korean president told top officials "there is a possibility North Korea may take provocative actions during the (joint) exercise," and urged them to coordinate with U.S. forces to counter any such move, according to a spokesman in the president's office who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing official protocol. Washington and Seoul have pressed China to use its influence on Pyongyang to ease tensions. China is impoverished North Korea's biggest benefactor and its only major ally. On Friday, the North conducted an apparent artillery drill within sight of Yeonpyeong island. The warning to Seoul and Washington came as the top U.S. commander in South Korea toured Yeonpyeong island to survey the wreckage from the rain of artillery three days earlier. The North's artillery barrage Tuesday destroyed civilian homes as well as military bases on Yeonpyeong Island. Lee has ordered reinforcements for the 4,000 troops on Yeonpyeong and four other Yellow Sea islands, as well as top-level weaponry and upgraded rules of engagement. Most of the islanders fled to the mainland after the barrage set off fierce blazes that destroyed many of their communities. It will take six months to two years for island communities to rebuild, disaster relief official Kim Sang-ryul said. Soldiers assembled toilets Saturday for temporary shelters being built on the island by teams of relief workers. Some South Koreans criticized the government for leaving Yeonpyeong inadequately protected. "Military-wise, the emergency facilities should have been prepared for something like this, so I think the South Korean military must reinforce them," said Kim Min-yang, a 27-year-old company employee. "I also think we need more dialogue with North Korea." ___ Kim Kwang-tae reported from Seoul. AP writers Ian Mader, Foster Klug, Hyung-jin Kim and Kelly Olsen in Seoul, Christopher Bodeen in Beijing and Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N. Korea deploys SA-2 surface-to-air missiles near Yellow Sea border

    SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has deployed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles to its west coast near the Yellow Sea border with South Korea as U.S.-led naval drills got underway in a show of force against the North's deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island earlier last week, government sources said Sunday.

    "(The missiles) appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near the Northern Limit Line (NLL)," the source said on customary condition of anonymity, referring to the Yellow Sea border.

    South Korea and the U.S. on Sunday launched large-scale naval drills off the Korean Peninsula's west coast, far south of the border where four people were killed and 18 others wounded in Tuesday's surprise attack on Yeonpyeong Island.

    The Soviet-designed SA-2 missile has a range of between 13 and 30 kilometers. Other missiles on the North's west coast, such as the Samlet and Silkworm with ranges of up to 95km, have also been put onto launch pads, the source said.

    "The military is preparing for the possibility of further provocations as the North Korean military has deployed firepower near the NLL and is preparing to fire," the source said.

    (END)

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N Korea warns against US war games


    • From: AFP
    • November 28, 2010 1:05PM





    A South Korean Marine stands guard in front of tanks at a military base on Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea / Source: AFP



    NORTH Korea warned of "unpredictable consequences" if the United States and South Korea go ahead with naval exercises in the Yellow Sea.

    The USS George Washington aircraft carrier and its battle group were planning four days of exercises with South Korea from as a show of force after Pyongyang stunned the world with its artillery strike that hit homes on a disputed island.
    The planned drill has also heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, which regards the Yellow Sea as its own ancestral waters and has refrained from condemning its communist ally Pyongyang over the attack.
    Washington has stressed that the manoeuvre is "defensive in nature", was planned before North Korea's attack, and is not aimed against China.
    But North Korea's official KCNA news agency issued an ominous warning: "If the US brings its carrier to the West Sea of Korea (Yellow Sea) at last, no one can predict the ensuing consequences."
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    Tuesday's attack - the first shelling of civilians since the 1950-53 Korean war, which Pyongyang says was provoked by a South Korean military exercise - has plunged the peninsula into its worst crisis in decades.
    China's state councillor Dai Bingguo, the country's top foreign policymaker, travelled to Seoul and held talks on the situation with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, Beijing's official news agency Xinhua reported.
    Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also held phone talks with his Japanese and Russian counterparts.
    The government of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has come under intense pressure from the opposition, newspapers and veterans' groups to take a tougher line against the regime of Kim Jong-Il.
    General Yoo Nak-Joon, the commander of South Korea's Marine Corps, grimly pledged to "repay North Korea a hundred- and thousand-fold" for the deaths of two marines, at their funeral ceremony televised nationwide.
    "We'll engrave this outrage deep into our bones," he said.
    Hundreds of mourners including the prime minister, marines and weeping relatives paid their last respects to Sergeant Suh Jung-Woo, 22, and Private Moon Kwang-Wook, 20, who died along with two civilians.
    They filed past their portraits to lay flowers and light incense at an altar decorated with white chrysanthemums, before three rifle shots echoed for their final salute and their bodies were buried at a national cemetery.
    KCNA said two civilian deaths from Pyongyang's artillery strike were "if true... very regrettable" but charged they had been used as "human shields" by being placed near artillery positions.
    Mr Lee in a security meeting warned that "there is a possibility that North Korea might commit wayward acts during the exercise," according to Hong Sang-Pyo, senior secretary for public affairs at the presidential Blue House.
    The newly named defence minister, Kim Kwan-Jin, had earlier pledged a tougher response in case of another North Korean attack, vowing that "we need to hit back multiple times as hard", a news report said.
    Kim, 61, a former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replaced Kim Tae-Young, who resigned over criticism that South Korea was too soft in its reply to the attack, firing artillery shells but not launching air strikes.
    In Seoul, about 1,000 South Korean marine veterans held a rally, burning the North Korean flag and portraits of Kim Jong-Il and his son, the 27-year-old heir-apparent Kim Jong-Un.
    One demonstrator, Lee Kwang-Sun, said the elderly men in camouflage uniforms "are ready to rush to the frontline if we are asked to do so."
    Many newspaper editorials demanded an urgent military overhaul.
    The Korea JoongAng Daily said "the military's credibility and potency has become highly questionable as it scurries and scrambles in the face of bolder provocation from the North".
    The Korea Herald said that "the South should secure overwhelming firepower and allow fighter jets to launch counter-attacks against the North's attacks".
    The Korea Times argued that "the sacking of defence minister Kim Tae-Young should be the start of the wholesale revamping of the troubled military".
    It added: "Without cheering soldiers amid reform, the nation will face the repetition of humiliation in the face of North Korea's military adventurism."
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    US, South Korea begin naval manoeuvres in tense region
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Seoul, November 28, 2010
    First Published: 07:54 IST(28/11/2010)
    Last Updated: 07:55 IST(28/11/2010)

    The US and South Korea Sunday began major naval manoeuvres in the Yellow Sea, five days after North Korea's attack on a South Korean island escalated tensions in the region. A spokesman for the general staff of the South Korean military in Seoul confirmed that the exercise had started. The four-day
    display of air and sea forces is intended to send a strong signal to communist North Korea to back down.

    Ten warships are taking part, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

    The manoeuvres are taking place away from the disputed maritime border between South and North Korea, in an area near the coastal city of Taean, about 150 km south of Seoul.

    North Korea, which as usual condemned the joint troop operations as a provocation, warned the two countries of unforeseen consequences if the programme went forward.

    China expressed concern about the military exercises in the Yellow Sea. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pressed her Chinese counterpart Saturday to "make clear that North Korea's behaviour is unacceptable".

    On Tuesday, North Korean artillery attacked South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island near the two countries' disputed maritime border, killing two South Korean soldiers and two civilians. South Korea answered in an hour-long exchange of fire.

    Seoul has refuted North Korea's insistence that South Korea fired first. It was the most violent incident since the end of the Korean conflict (1950-53.)
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Top Chinese official abruptly visits to S. Korea amid tension

    2010-11-28 11:43

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    A top Chinese official made a previously unannounced visit to South Korea on Saturday and held talks with Seoul's Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, an official said, amid high tensions over North Korea's deadly artillery strike on a South Korean island earlier this week.

    Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who traveled together with Beijing's chief nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei, discussed Tuesday's attack and six-nation talks on ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs during a dinner meeting with Kim, the foreign ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

    Dai's trip came a day before South Korea and the United States are set to launch massive naval exercises in the Yellow Sea in response to the North's bloody shelling Tuesday of the South's Yeonpyeong Island, which killed four people, including two civilians, and wounded 18 others.

    China has expressed concern about the maneuvers that will involve the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

    Beijing is very sensitive about such drills in waters close to its territory, and strongly protested earlier this year when Seoul and Washington announced massive anti-submarine exercise plans in response to North Korea's sinking of a South Korean warship in March. (Yonhap News)
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Report: U.S., South Korea begin war exercises

    [Updated at 9:22 p.m.] North Korea deployed surface-to-air missiles to near its Yellow Sea border with South Korea as joint U.S. war exercises with the South were set to get under way on Sunday, South Korea's official Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed government sources.

    "[North Korea's missiles] appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near" North Korea's Yellow Sea border with South Korea, the source said, according to Yonhap.

    South Korea and the United States began assembling ships for joint war exercises Sunday off the west coast of the Korean peninsula in the Yellow Sea, a source at the South Korean Joint Chiefs told CNN.

    FULL STORY

    [Original post, 7:51 p.m.] South Korea and the United States have begun war exercises off the west coast of the Korean peninsula, according to South Korea's official news agency Yonhap.

    "The drills started around 6 a.m. Sunday with the USS George Washington joining our warships in the Yellow Sea," an official at the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff told Yonhap.

    North Korea had warned of unpredictable "consequences" if the United States fulfilled its vow of deploying the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to the Yellow Sea for joint military maneuvers with South Korea.

    Earlier this week, North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island, killing four South Koreans. North Korea said the South provoked the Tuesday attack because shells from a South Korean military drill landed in the North's waters. South Korea was holding its annual Hoguk military drill when the North started its shelling, and the South returned fire.

    The U.S.-South Korean exercises were planned months ago and are meant to underscore strong ties between South Korea and the United States, defense officials from both countries have said.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Fox news reporting right now that NK has deployed SAM's near the Yellow Sea border. Also people are being told to go to shelters on the island that was already hit originally.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    yes

    Not good at all
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    NKorea deploys missiles

    NKorea places missiles in Yellow Sea
    SEOUL - NORTH Korea has placed surface-ro-surface missiles on launch pads in the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday.
    It said also the reclusive state had moved surface-to-air missiles near frontline areas.
    The reports came as the United States and South Korea began joint military exercises in waters west of the Korean Peninsula in the face of opposition by regional giant China and threats of'consequences' from Pyongyang. -- REUTERS




    People on island ordered to take shelter
    YEONPYEONG ISLAND (South Korea) - ARTILLERY fire was heard near a South Korean border island on Sunday soon after people there were ordered to take shelter in bunkers, reports said.



    'The sound of artillery fire was heard at the island and signs of shelling... have been detected,' Yonhap news agency quoted a military official as saying.
    There was no immediate official confirmation.



    YTN said some North Korean artillery units seemed to have opened fire towards the island.



    Minutes earlier, the military had ordered people on Yeonpyeong island to take shelter, an AFP photographer said. North Korean artillery units bombarded the island last Tuesday, killing two civilians and two marines.



    The photographer said he was sharing a bunker with military and police officers, residents and reporters following the loudspeaker warning. Hundreds of other villagers fled after last week's shelling, which raised tensions worldwide. -- AFP






    SEOUL - NORTH Korea has deployed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles near its disputed Yellow Sea border with South Korea, a report said on Sunday as a major US-led naval exercise began further to the south.



    The missiles appear to be targeting the South's jet fighters flying near the Northern Limit Line which marks the border, Yonhap news agency quoted a government source as saying.



    The defence ministry declined to comment on the report.
    South Korea and the United States Sunday launched a naval drill far south of the border, where four people were killed and 18 wounded in Tuesday's surprise artillery bombardment by the North of Yeonpyeong island.



    The ageing Soviet-designed SA-2 missile has a range of 8-30km).
    Other missiles on the North's west coast, such as the Samlet and Silkworm with ranges of up to 95km, have also been put onto launch pads, the source was quoted as saying. -- AFP
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    By Jeremy Laurence

    SEOUL | Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:28pm EST

    SEOUL (Reuters) - The U.S. and South Korean militaries have started a large-scale exercise off the west coast of the peninsula on Sunday, just days after North Korea fired a barrage of missiles at a South Korean island.

    The nuclear-powered USS George Washington is participating in the exercise from Sunday to Wednesday.

    Here are some questions and answers about the exercise:

    WHY CONDUCT JOINT EXERCISES?

    The exercises are held primarily to send a message to North Korea that the U.S. military stands by South Korea. These combined drills are also an overt show of force.

    Washington says large-scale drills, which started after the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March, are designed to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive behavior must stop.

    The U.S. and South Korean militaries are vastly better equipped than the North's, and experts say they would quickly win any war. The North's force of over a million troops easily outnumbers the U.S.-South Korean contingent, but its equipment is old and it barely has enough fuel to fly its fighter jets. The exercises also serve to underline the gap in technology.

    HOW OFTEN AND WHERE ARE THEY HELD?

    South Korea and the United States regularly hold combined exercises each year, but after the sinking of the Cheonan they agreed to stage a series of large-scale military drills. This weekend's exercise will be their third of these extra combined maneuvres, and the second to take place off the west coast where the Cheonan was torpedoed in the Yellow Sea. North Korea denies responsibility for the attack.

    A joint drill in July involving the aircraft carrier the USS George Washington was initially planned for the Yellow Sea off the peninsula's west coast, but after criticism from China it was moved to areas off the east coast.

    This weekend's drill had initially been scheduled for late last month, just before the G20 summit in Seoul, but was postponed due to scheduling problems.

    WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SENDING AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER?

    The participation of 97,000-ton nuclear-powered carrier from the U.S. 7th Fleet is the ultimate show of strength. Carriers have a become a symbol of the United States' position as a superpower.

    The carrier strike group includes 75 aircraft and 6,000 sailors. These massive vessels, essentially mini cities at sea, have found an important role as the "forward military presence" of the United States.

    WHY DOES THIS UPSET NORTH KOREA SO MUCH?
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N.Korea warns will attack if territory violated


    SEOUL | Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:54am GMT

    SEOUL Nov 28 (Reuters) - North Korea will carry out military attacks again if the United States and South Korea violate its territorial waters, Pyongyang's state KCNA news agency said on Sunday.

    The report came as the United States and South Korea began joint military exercises in waters west of the Korean Peninsula in the face of opposition by regional giant China and threats of "consequences" from Pyongyang. [ID:nTOE6AR00L] (Reporting by Cheon Jong-woo; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    North Korea has placed surface-to-surface missiles on launch pads in the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday, as the United States and South Korea began joint military exercises.



    The agency said also that Pyongyang had moved surface-to-air missiles to frontline areas. The North’s offical KCNA news agency warned of retaliatory action if its territory was violated.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Good, fast paced thread of info here:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-...posts?page=110

    Also they're updating headlines here:

    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/0200000001.html

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N Korea deploys missiles near South border: reports

    By Stephen McDonell and wires
    Updated 42 minutes ago
    North Korea has warned that the South's war games risk pushing the peninsula to the brink of war.





    North Korea has reportedly deployed missiles near the South Korean border as naval exercises get underway.
    Naval war games are underway today off the west coast of South Korea.
    The exercise includes the use of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington.
    North Korea has warned that such games risk pushing the peninsula to the brink of war.
    According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, North Korea has deployed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles near the border.
    The report suggested that the missiles appear to be in place to target the South's jets flying close to the frontier.
    These Soviet-designed missiles have a range of between 8 and 30 kilometres.
    The naval exercises were already planned prior to North Korea's artillery attack which killed four people and injured 18.
    The USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of more than 6,000, will be accompanied by at least four other warships.
    South Korean president Lee Myung-bak told ministers and aides to be ready for further "provocation" by the North during the drill.
    "There is the possibility that North Korea may do some unexpected action, so please perfectly prepare against it through cooperation with the Korea-US joint force," Mr Lee was quoted by a spokesman as saying.
    North Korea's KCNA news agency said on Saturday (local time): "If the US brings its carrier to the West Sea of Korea at last, no-one can predict the ensuing consequences."
    - ABC/Reuters
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Thanks. Checking it out.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    TYhey are reporting there have been missiles fired by NK into the Yellow sea... wtf?
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Seems like alot of info being updated very fast on the net...looks like everyone is expecting this to go down.

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