N. Korea warns of retaliation; Seoul orders security beefed up
S. Korea government in emergency meeting; joint exercises with U.S. move ahead
msnbc.com news services
INCHEON, South Korea – South Korea’s president vowed Thursday to boost security around islands near the site of this week’s artillery attack by North Korea.
His order to beef up security came as North Korea warned of more “retaliation” if Seoul carries out “reckless military provocations.”
“We should not let our guard down in preparation for another possible North Korean provocation,” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said at an emergency government meeting Thursday.
Tag: Docudharma Times
Nov 25 2010
Nov 23 2010
North and South Korea Exchange Dozens of Artillery Shells
By MARK McDONALD
Published: November 23, 2010
SEOUL, South Korea – North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Tuesday after dozens of shells fired from the North struck a South Korean island near the countries’ disputed western sea border, South Korean military officials said.
The South Korean military immediately went to “crisis status,” said a Defense Ministry official. There were widespread media reports that Seoul had scrambled F-16 fighter jets but the official declined to confirm whether the planes were in the air.
The South Korean broadcaster YTN reported that one marine had been killed and three others seriously wounded in the shelling on the island, in addition to two civilian casualties. TV footage showed large plumes of black smoke spiraling from the island.
Nov 22 2010
High-seas piracy drama plays out in U.S. courtroom
Five Somalis accused of attacking a Navy ship await their fate in the first such trial in almost 200 years.
By Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Norfolk, Va. –
The moon was bright, the sea was calm, and the pirates easily spotted their prey – a large gray ship plodding through waves 576 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.
Three men jumped from a command boat into an open skiff and raced toward the target. They opened fire with AK-47 rifles as they neared the starboard side, hitting a mast and several life lines.
No one was hurt, and the April 1 incident normally might have drawn little notice. Somali sea bandits have attacked several hundred freighters, tankers and other merchant ships this year. They have successfully hijacked 40 vessels and their crews and held them for ransom..
Nov 21 2010
North Koreans Unveil Vast New Plant for Nuclear Use
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: November 20, 2010
WASHINGTON – North Korea showed a visiting American nuclear scientist earlier this month a vast new facility it secretly and rapidly built to enrich uranium, confronting the Obama administration with the prospect that the country is preparing to expand its nuclear arsenal or build a far more powerful type of atomic bomb.
Whether the calculated revelation is a negotiating ploy by North Korea or a signal that it plans to accelerate its weapons program even as it goes through a perilous leadership change, it creates a new challenge for President Obama at a moment when his program for gradual, global nuclear disarmament appears imperiled at home and abroad. The administration hurriedly began to brief allies and lawmakers on Friday and Saturday – and braced for an international debate over the repercussions.
Nov 19 2010
The peace prize war
Nobel ceremony may be cancelled, for the first time in 106 years, after China threatens diplomats in row over jailed dissident
By Paul Vallely Friday, 19 November 2010
For the first time in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize the award may not be handed out this year after a strenuous campaign by the Chinese government to stop one of its citizens, the jailed human rights campaigner Liu Xiaobo, receiving the honour.
Under Nobel Prize rules, the 10 million kronor (£880,000) award can only be collected by the laureate or a close family member.
The government in Beijing placed Mr Liu’s wife under house arrest as soon as the award was announced last month and his two brothers are under surveillance.
Nov 18 2010
Senate to vote again on military gay ban
Reid plans vote after Thanksgiving; White House urges passage before year’s end
msnbc.com news services
WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will call for a vote after Thanksgiving on legislation that would allow gays to serve openly in the military.
His announcement makes good on his pre-election promise to resurrect during the lame-duck session legislation that would repeal the 1993 law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
NBC/WSJ poll: Record support for gays serving openly in the military.But it remains far from certain whether the legislation would have enough votes to pass. Several leading Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, have said they oppose lifting the ban.
Nov 16 2010
Europe Fears That Debt Crisis Is Ready to Spread
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and JAMES KANTER
Published: November 15, 2010
LONDON – European officials, increasingly concerned that the Continent’s debt crisis will spread, are warning that any new rescue plans may need to cover Portugal as well as Ireland to contain the problem they tried to resolve six months ago.
Any such plan would have to be preceded by a formal request for assistance from each country before it would be put in place. And for months now, Ireland has insisted that it has enough funds to keep it going until spring. Portugal says it, too, needs no help and emphasizes that it is in a stronger position than Ireland.
Nov 15 2010
U.S. would end Afghan combat by 2014 in plan
A phased wind-down framework will be presented at a NATO summit
By Peter Baker and Rod Nordland
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has developed a plan to begin transferring security duties in select areas of Afghanistan to that country’s forces over the next 18 to 24 months, with an eye toward ending the American combat mission there by 2014, officials said Sunday.
The phased four-year plan to wind down American and allied fighting in Afghanistan will be presented at a NATO summit meeting in Lisbon later this week, the officials said. It will reflect the most concrete vision for transition in Afghanistan assembled by civilian and military officials since President Obama took office last year.
Nov 13 2010
Pacific leaders pledge to pursue free trade
U.S., China, Japan put aside differences as Obama wraps 10-day trip
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Leaders of the world’s three biggest economies – the U.S., China and Japan – all pledged Saturday to stick to free trade, apparently putting aside acrimony over currencies that has threatened to revive pressures for protectionism.
The vows against backsliding toward retaliatory trade moves came at an annual summit of Pacific Rim leaders, just a day after a fractious summit of the Group of 20 major economies in South Korea.
Nov 13 2010
Burma’s Suu Kyi tells followers not to give up hope
Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has urged thousands of her supporters not to give up hope, a day after her release from house arrest.
The BBC 14 November 2010
“There is no reason to lose heart,” she told a crowd outside the headquarters of her NLD party in Rangoon.
Ms Suu Kyi was released by the military when her sentence ended on Saturday.
World leaders and human rights groups have welcomed her release. She has spent 15 of the last 21 years either under house arrest or in prison.
On Sunday, Ms Suu Kyi’s car was surrounded by a large crowd of supporters as it approached the NLD’s headquarters.
People chanted “We love Suu”, amid thunderous applause..
Nov 12 2010
G-20 leaders not inclined to compromise
At the Group of 20 summit in Seoul, Obama’s effort to win consensus on a unified approach to boost the world economy appears doomed, raising the specter of countries pursuing their own interests.
By Christi Parsons, John M. Glionna and Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
November 12, 2010
Reporting from Seoul – President Obama appeared to fall short in his attempt to forge a unified approach to boosting the global economy as a frequently rancorous meeting of world leaders seemed set to conclude in Seoul on Friday without agreement on specific steps to avert damaging currency and trade wars.
Leaders of the world’s biggest economies showed that they were in no mood to compromise during the two-day summit. Instead, they were headed toward broad, general pledges that did little to mask their inability to find common ground for immediate action.
Nov 11 2010
Sources: Pentagon group finds there is minimal risk to lifting gay ban during war
By Ed O’Keefe and Greg Jaffe
Washington Post Staff Writers
A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1 More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.