Entries in Pyeonyang (2)


Japanese, South Korean Defense Ministers Discuss Military Pact

Photo Courtesy - Chung Sung-Jun/ Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Japanese and South Korean defense ministers met in Seoul, South Korea Monday to discuss a bilateral military pact.

In a rare show of unity, Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Japan and Korea must deepen military exchanges, while his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan-Jin, declared the bilateral relationship stronger than ever.

Japan and South Korea haven't had a military pact in place since the end of World War II, when Japan ended its colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.  While the two countries have economic and diplomatic ties, a military exchange remains sensitive because many Koreans believe Japan hasn't apologized properly for its past.

North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong Island last November may force these countries to look beyond those differences to insure safety.  Kitazawa and Kwan-Jin condemned the attacks and said both sides hoped to share intelligence, and provide support for military services.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


N. Korea Claims US Providing 'Human Shields' for South's Exercises

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korea on Saturday accused the United States of provoking South Korea into holding more military drills and threatened a violent response if it does.  Pyongyang also claimed the U.S. is using its soldiers and reporters as a human shield to prevent the North's threatened response, and warned that the shield wont work.

Last month, North Korean attacks killed two South Korean Marines and two civilians on Yeongpyang Island after the North claimed the South's military exercises off the island violated North Korean territory.  North Korea disputes the boundaries drawn after the Korean war and claims those waters as its own.

South Korea has more exercises planned and Pyongyang said Saturday, "If the South Koreans dare to carry out the live-fire drill and cross the line, the situation in the Korean peninsula will explode and a disastrous outcome cannot be avoided." 

North Korea claims the latest exercises were suggested during a visit to South Korea by an official with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and blames the U.S. for provoking the South to hold the drill.  "We will punish mercilessly and without hesitation provokers who invade our sovereignty and territory," read a statement from North Korea. "Our military does not speak empty words."

About 20 U.S. troops are on hand to provide backup to the South Korean military during the drill.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio