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All kicking between N/S Korea


Montse

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South Korea says it has returned fire after North Korea fired around 200 artillery shells at one of its border islands, reportedly killing one marine.

 

The South's military was placed on its highest non-wartime alert after the shells landed on Yeonpyeong island.

 

North Korea has not yet commented on the incident, in which three marines and two civilians were also injured.

 

Correspondents say this is one of the most serious since the Korean War ended without a peace treaty in 1953.

 

There have been occasional cross-border clashes since, but the latest incident comes at a time of rising regional tension.

 

North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong-il is believed to be ill and trying to engineer the succession of his youngest son. And on Saturday, North Korea showed off what it claimed was a new uranium enrichment facility - potentially giving it a second route to a nuclear weapon.

 

The move prompted the US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, to rule out the resumption of six-party talks on resolving the nuclear issue.

 

South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Hee-jung also said it was investigating a possible link between the artillery attack and recent maritime exercises near the western sea border earlier on Tuesday.

 

It also comes just over a month after North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's youngest son, Kim Jong-un, was appointed to senior political and military posts, fuelling speculation that he was being prepared to succeed him.

 

'Illegal firing'

A spokesman for South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korean artillery shells had started falling in the waters off the island of Yeonpyeong at 1434 (0534 GMT). Some landed directly on the island.

 

The South's military immediately fired back some 80 rounds in self-defence, Col Lee Bung-woo added.

 

A resident on the island, where between 1,200 and 1,300 people live, told the AFP news agency that dozens of houses were damaged, while television pictures showed plumes of smoke rising above the island.

 

"Houses and mountains are on fire and people are evacuating. You can't see very well because of plumes of smoke," a witness on the island told YTN television station. "People are frightened to death."

 

The military said one marine was killed and three others were injured, according to South Korea's YTN television. Two civilians were also hurt.

 

The South Korean military has also deployed fighter jets to Yeonpyeong, lies near the disputed inter-Korean maritime border, about 100km (60 miles) west of the Korean Peninsula.

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However, President Lee Myung-bak urged officials attending an emergency cabinet meeting to try to prevent any further escalation.

 

A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said that both countries should "do more to contribute to peace".

 

"What's imperative now is to restart six-party talks as soon as possible," Hong Lei told a news conference in Beijing.

 

The impact has already been felt on financial markets, with both the Korean won and the Japanese yen falling in value.

 

This western maritime border, also known as the Northern Limit Line, has been the scene of numerous clashes in the past.

 

In March, a South Korean warship went down near the border with the loss of 46 lives. International investigators say a North Korean torpedo sank the ship, although Pyongyang has denied any role in the incident.

 

Since then relations between the two neighbours have remained tense

beeb

:wacko:

Edited by Montse
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this is never going to end well. Hopefully the chinese will reign in the North Koreans as they'll want to avoid millions of them streaming across the border if a war breaks out. but with American forces stretched, and Kim Jong-il not in the best of health, the danger is he might want to go out in a blaze of glory

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I think a lot also depends on whether or not South Korea decides (after talking with America, Russia etc) that they're going to take a stand. Technically the two countries are still at war but incidents like this have happened (and fairly recently too there was a border flare up in 2009 and that ship sunk earlier in the year) and South Korea have, to a degree, let it go.

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or have a nuclear bomb and a massive army

 

Do they have air power? you never hear sophisticated aircraft mentioned, just millions upon millions of formation marching troops.

 

I wonder if they still fall under Chinese protection, or will that alter as the Chinese economy becomes ever more entwined with the West.

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Do they have air power? you never hear sophisticated aircraft mentioned, just millions upon millions of formation marching troops.

 

I wonder if they still fall under Chinese protection, or will that alter as the Chinese economy becomes ever more entwined with the West.

 

 

they do have air power, probably a lot more than the south. the Reason that China are protecting them, is that they know if it goes off, they will have literally millions of starving and desperate north koreans fleeing over the border. it suits them, and the russians, who also share a land border, to keep the status quo

 

if you want a good boook on the situation, "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty " by Bradley Martin is probably the best book to read. it is very heavy going in places though, but gives a pretty balanced assesment (as balanced as i've read anyway) of the way things are on the Korean Peninsula

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if you want a good boook on the situation, "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty " by Bradley Martin is probably the best book to read. it is very heavy going in places though, but gives a pretty balanced assesment (as balanced as i've read anyway) of the way things are on the Korean Peninsula

Cheers for that, been wanting a book on this for ages.

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Cheers for that, been wanting a book on this for ages.

 

 

also worth reading Aquariums of Pyongyang. its harrowing, about a guy who was taken with his family from a privaleged house in the capital, shoved in a gulag, and is thus far the only person to have escaped from a gulag and out of the country. i have a heap of books on North Korea , i'll go home tonight and hoak them out and maybe send you some to save you forking out for them

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also worth reading Aquariums of Pyongyang. its harrowing, about a guy who was taken with his family from a privaleged house in the capital, shoved in a gulag, and is thus far the only person to have escaped from a gulag and out of the country. i have a heap of books on North Korea , i'll go home tonight and hoak them out and maybe send you some to save you forking out for them

 

Have you read Nothing To Envy?

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