- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
North Korea fires on South Korea
Obama stresses that Seoul has ‘unshakable’ U.S. backing
President Obama and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak have pledged to hold joint military exercises and enhanced training after North Korea’s military forces fired artillery against a South Korean island, prompting the South’s forces to return fire.
The two presidents agreed to “continue the close security cooperation between our two countries, and to underscore the strength of our alliance and commitment to peace and security in the region,” it added.
Mr. Obama strongly condemned the attack by the North on Yeonpyeoung island that claimed the lives of two South Korean marines and wounded dozens of others. It also set fire to more than 60 buildings and pushed the two Koreas to the brink of war.
Mr. Obama said the North must “stop its provocative actions, which will only lead to further isolation, and fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement and its obligations under international law,” the White House said.
The president was briefed by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, along with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and Army Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of U.S. Forces Korea.
Mr. Obama stressed during the meeting that the U.S. has “unshakable support” for South Korea and “discussed ways to advance peace and security on the Korean Peninsula going forward,” according to the White House.
The aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS George Washington left its home port of Yokosuka on Monday. A Pacific Fleet spokesman in Hawaii said the strike group will remain in the region and await any further tasking from senior leaders.
At the Pentagon, Mr. Gates telephoned his South Korean counterpart, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, and said the United States regarded the North Korean artillery attack as a violation of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.
The armistice agreement did not lead to a peace treaty and thus both nations remain technically at war.
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters that Mr. Gates expressed appreciation for “restraint” shown by Seoul over the attack.
The artillery strike, which began at midafternoon Tuesday on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong off the west coast, killed two South Korean marines and injured dozens of others. It also set fire to more than 60 buildings and pushed the two Koreas to the brink of war.
Dozens of artillery rounds were fired in three separate barrages. South Korea fired about 80 artillery rounds in retaliation.
The island is two miles south of the Northern Limit Line, the disputed sea border that the North does not recognize. South Korean military installations and a small civilian population are on the island.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Amid clashes, White House nixes 'lethal' Ukraine aid
- U.S. rebukes Iran's U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- U.S. missing out on big opportunities in Africa, Liberian official says
- House follows Senate in passing bill to bar Iran's U.N. pick
- Obama admin unfairly pitting China against North Korea: diplomat
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.