(VOVworld) – South Korean non-governmental organizations (NGOs) started shipping humanitarian aid to North Korea on Monday. The move comes after the South’s Unification Ministry early last week allowed 12 local NGOs to send goods to the North. It shows that Seoul is open to offering urgent humanitarian assistance to the North despite sanctions imposed by the United Nations and strained cross-border relations. This is the second time under the Park Geun-hye administration that Seoul has approved shipments of medicine, food, and other basic materials to the North.
The ministry said 8 other NGOs will be permitted to ship aid once the North commits that aid will be distributed in a transparent manner.
North Korea has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, images released by state media on Saturday showed, demonstrating the increased capability of its outdated navy. The images were released in the lead-up to U.S.-South Korean military exercises this spring. North Korea routinely seeks to raise tensions ahead of the annual drills, although this year Pyongyang has also offered to suspend nuclear testing if Washington calls off the exercises. The images, which were shown on the front page of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, showed leader Kim Jong Un observing the missile being fired from a small naval vessel. State media described…... [read more]
Destroyer ROKS Choe Yeong and combat support ship ROKS Cheonji of the Republic of Korea Navy sailed into Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday for a four-day port visit as part of its international voyage. The ships brought 650 personnel, including 140 midshipmen from ROK Naval Academy, on a 96-day training deployment, incorporating 12 ports in 12 different countries. Vietnam is the 11th destination. Rear Admiral Chun Jung-soo said the voyage provides the trainees with hands-on experience before they become commissioned military officers. It also aims to enhance the relationship between South Korean and the visited countries. Destroyer ROKS Choe…... [read more]
Planned high-level talks after a nearly six-year hiatus were scrapped after North Korea objected to the diplomatic rank of the South's chief delegate. North Korean chief delegate Kim Song-Hye (C) crosses the border line at the truce village of Panmunjom on June 9, 2013 (Photo: AFP) Planned high-level talks between South and North Korean after a nearly six-year hiatus were scrapped on Tuesday, a South Korean government official said, after North Korea objected to the diplomatic rank of the South's chief delegate.North Korea's earlier offer for talks came as a surprise after weeks of bombastic threats to obliterate the South…... [read more]
(VOVworld) – Top South Korean and US envoys on North Korea agreed Thursday to seek more retaliatory actions against North Korea's recent launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, Kim Hong-kyun, had a telephone conversation with Sung Kim, US special representative on North Korean policy earlier that day. They also discussed how to respond to North Korea’s resumption of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. The call was arranged the day after North Korea fired an SLBM in the East Sea, the third sub launched…... [read more]
(VOVworld) – On Wednesday, the South Korean Defense Ministry said that North Korea, at this point, has not secured the capability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead nor does it have the actual combat capability of KN-08, as it claimed in its Rodong Shinmun newspaper. It said Pyongyang needed to clarify its statement. The Ministry said the South Korean army was always in a state of readiness and would retaliate against any provocative acts by North Korea. The South Korean government will closely work with the international community on the path to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Earlier, North Korea claimed to…... [read more]
(VOVworld) – Pyongyang has sentenced two South Korean nationals to life imprisonment on charges of espionage. Pyongyang's state media agency KCNA announced Tuesday that Kim Kuk-gi and Choe Chun-gil were arrested in March and detained for allegedly collecting confidential state information on orders from South Korea's spy agency and the US. Last Wednesday Pyongyang expelled two Koreans who were accused of crossing illegally into North Korea in May.... [read more]
The South Korean Vision Care Service in cooperation with Hanoi's Soc Son District Hospital Monday kicked off a three-day program to provide free eye check-ups and surgeries for patients at the hospital. It is expected that some 300 patients will be examined and an additional 90 would receive cataract operations. Established in 2002, Vision Care's Free Eye Camp has carried out 33 projects worldwide. The non-governmental organization has examined 25,000 people and operated on 3,076 eligible patients in 11 countries, including Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kenya and India. In Vietnam, the group has held two camps at Long An and Vinh…... [read more]
A cargo ship is loaded with coal during the opening ceremony of a new dock at the North Korean port of Rajin in this July 18, 2014 file photo. Photo: Reuters/Yuri Maltsev/Files China has barred a North Korean freighter from one of its ports and South Korea announced a crackdown on individuals and companies linked to Pyongyang's weapons program, stepping up sanctions against the isolated state. North Korean general cargo ship Grand Karo arrived at Rizhao port in northeastern China a few days ago, but the port did not allow the ship to berth, said a person at the Rizhao…... [read more]
WASHINGTON - The U.S. special envoy for North Korea will travel to South Korea, China and Japan next week for consultations on policy toward Pyongyang, the State Department said on Thursday. North Korea canceled thevisit by Robert King, U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, to Pyongyang last week in a response to annual military drills last week by the United States and South Korea. King, who visited regional capitals in late August, had been expected to go to Pyongyang on what the State Department said was a "humanitarian mission" to negotiate the release of jailed American missionary…... [read more]
South Korea's peaceful "Sunshine Policy" toward North Korea failed, a government report has found, saying there have been no positive changes to Pyongyang's behavior despite a decade of mass aid and encouragement. Aid shipped to the North during the administrations of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun from 1998-2008 also failed to make a difference to the lives of destitute North Koreans, said the Unification Ministry white paper, seen by Reuters on Thursday. The policy review by current President Lee Myung-bak's government pointed to North Korea's pursuit of nuclear arms and the sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March…... [read more]