Entries in Yeonpyong (2)


New South Korean Defense Minister Vows to Strengthen Military

Photo Courtesy - Yonhap News Agency(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korean leaders have named a new defense chief amid a nationwide feeling of "enough is enough" following North Korea's deadly attack on the South.  Four people were killed when North Korea fired on the island of Yeonpyong on Tuesday.

South Korea's defense minister Kim Tae-Young resigned in the wake of the attack and the earlier sinking by the North of a South Korean warship.  The new defense chief, Kim Kwang-Jin vowed on Friday to "reform" and "strengthen" the military. 

New artillery blasts by North Korea were heard Friday on Yeonpyong.  Since the shells did not cross the maritime border, it is not considered "an act of war." Pyongyang warned that U.S.-South Korean plans for military maneuvers put the peninsula on the brink of war. The top U.S. military official in the region, General Walter Sharp, visited Yeonpyong following Tuesday's shelling and said both the U.S. and the U.N. are taking this very seriously.  "We and the United Nations Command will investigate this completely and will call on North Korea to stop any future attacks."

Also on Friday, South Korea stopped an aid shipment to the North from Northern China.  Reports from Seoul indicate that while people in South Korea are going about their business, it is with a sense that the provocations by the North, rumored to be directed personally by President Kim Jong-Il and his heir, Kim Jong-Un, have gone on too long and gone too far. 

Officials in the west worry the new tensions will inflame an already complicated situation in that part of Asia, further destabilizing the region.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


South Korea Defense Minister Resigns Amid Outcry Over Attack

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young resigned Thursday, just days after an attack killed four people on a small island in a disputed territory.  A new chief is expected to be announced on Friday.

The president’s office tells ABC News that the decision to accept Tae-Young’s resignation, which was offered back in March after the sinking of a South Korean warship, is an attempt to "change the mood".

Public opinion and local media Thursday has been full of criticism that the military's response to the attack on the island of Yeonpyong was slow and ineffective.

The South Korean government has pledged to strengthen the military base on Yeonpyong Island and on other islands in the west sea and will consider land-to-land missiles that could destroy North Korean weapons in cliffside bunkers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has warned of destabilization in East Asia if North Korea continues to provoke its neighbors.

“It's a worrisome leadership in North Korea.  He [Kim Jong Il] is a very unpredictable guy, a very dangerous guy,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an appearance on The View Wednesday. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio