North Korea warns of 'brink of war'

2010-11-26 08:01

kalahari.com

  • South Korea
    Accessible yet packed with information, South Korea will appeal to geography students and casual... Now R567.00
    buy now

Seoul - North Korea warned on Friday that planned US-South Korean military drills are pushing the peninsula to the brink of war, as a US military commander headed to an island devastated this week by a North Korean artillery barrage.

North Korea's state news agency said drills this weekend involving South Korean forces and a US nuclear powered supercarrier in waters south of Tuesday's skirmish between the rival Koreas are a reckless plan by "trigger-happy elements" and that the manoeuvres target the North.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war," the dispatch from the Korean Central News Agency said.

The comments came ahead of a planned visit on Friday by General Walter Sharp, the US military commander in South Korea, to the island targeted by the North Korean attack to show solidarity with ally Seoul.

Evacuations


Four South Koreans - two marines and two civilians - were killed in the hour-long skirmish on Tuesday after North Korea unleashed a hail of artillery on the Yeonpyeong, but the island was quiet on Friday morning, with most residents having evacuated to the mainland.

Marines with M-16 rifles patrolled a seawall, while others gazed toward North Korea from a guard post on a cliff. Technicians worked to restore communication lines. Several stray dogs growled near destroyed houses.

The heightened animosity between the Koreas is taking place as the North undergoes a delicate transition of power from leader Kim Jong Il to his son Kim Jong Un, who is in his late 20s and is expected to eventually succeed his ailing father.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has ordered reinforcements for about 4 000 troops on Yeonpyeong and four other Yellow Sea islands, as well as top-level weaponry for the soldiers and upgraded rules of engagement that would create a new category of response when civilian areas are targeted.

He also sacked his defence minister amid intense criticism over lapses in the country's response to the attack.

In scenes reminiscent of the Korean War 60 years ago, dazed residents of Yeonpyeong island this week foraged through blackened rubble for pieces of their lives and lugged their possessions down eerily deserted streets strewn with bent metal.

"It was a sea of fire," resident Lee In-ku said on Thursday, recalling the flames that rolled through the streets of this island that is home to military bases as well as a fishing community famous for its catches of crab. The spit of land had only six pieces of artillery.

Pressure on China

North Korea blamed South Korean drills this week as the motivation behind its attack - but Lee said the South could not afford to abandon such preparation now.

"We should not ease our sense of crisis in preparation for the possibility of another provocation by North Korea," spokesperson Hong Sang-pyo quoted President Lee Myung-bak as saying. "A provocation like this can recur any time."

Washington and Seoul also ratcheted up pressure on China, North Korea's main ally and biggest benefactor, to restrain Pyongyang.

Without criticising the North, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao responded by calling on all sides to show "maximum restraint" and pushed again to restart the six-nation talks aimed at persuading North Korea to dismantle its nuclear programmes in exchange for aid. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, meanwhile, cancelled a trip to Seoul this week.

- AP

Read more on:    south korea  |  north korea
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
38 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.