An investigation by the UN Command in Korea says that North Korea violated its armistice agreement with the South when it shelled a South Korean island in November, according to a report circulated on Wednesday by the Security Council.
The probe also found the South was justified in firing back in self-defense.
The findings of the report were ordered by the unified command of multinational military forces operating under the UN umbrella and were contained in a letter that US Ambassador Susan Rice sent to the Security Council.
The Security Council created the command to keep the peace between the North and the South after Korean War hostilities ended.
The report says no more investigation is necessary, but recommends that officials for both sides seek a political solution to their disagreements after the shelling. It also recommends that both sides seek undisputed areas to conduct their military exercises.
The investigation found that two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed. Another 16 South Korean military personnel and 52 civilians were injured, the report says, while military facilities suffered considerable damage and some homes were destroyed.
While it appears that a South Korean counterattack struck targets in North Korea, “it is not known whether any KPA or civilians were killed or injured” the report says, referring to the North’s Korean People’s Army.
Meanwhile, US and South Korean troops yesterday completed computerized joint war games denounced by the North, but field training involving a US aircraft carrier will continue through next month.
The allies launched their annual Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills on Feb. 28. They completed the 11-day Key Resolve drill, which focused on computer-based simulations, without incident, despite Pyongyang’s threats to turn Seoul into a “sea of flames” in the event of any military provocation.
The Foal Eagle exercise involves field training that will continue until April 30, military officials said.
The two exercises involve a total of 12,300 US troops and about 200,000 South Korean service members, including reservists.
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable