North Korea’s recent threat to carry out “special actions” against the South is rare and seems intended to signal the regime’s resolve to move forward with some form of provocation. The threat, however, is unlike past warnings the regime has typically issued prior to military provocations, suggesting that the North might follow through with a move other than a conventional military attack. Significantly, some aspects of the warning appear to signal Pyongyang’s commitment to follow up on the “actions” in the near future.
You are browsing the archive for South Korea.
The use of flashmobs in South Korea has evolved from “just for fun” gatherings to a means of mobilizing new media-savvy users into civic and political action. Flashmobs became increasingly political in 2004 during the run-up to the ROK general elections and reached a peak of influence in 2008, when political flashmobs helped mobilize online citizens to take part in anti-mad cow candlelight street protests. The protests lasted for over 100 days and involved millions of people. As one of the most wired countries in the world, South Korea is especially fertile ground for future flashmobs, given the fun, anonymous, and easily-organized nature of the gatherings. Facilitated by emerging media tools — such as Internet blogs, smart phones, and mobile phone text messaging — potential organizers have ready access to prospective protesters against controversial policies and developments.
Widely regarded as the most connected country in the world, South Korea has a system of government regulations over Internet use that are designed to curb “general cyber crimes” but that also limit Internet freedom. The issue of Internet freedom gained attention online following the Lee Myung-bak administration’s handling of two high-profile incidents — in 2008 related to the protest against US beef imports and in 2009 over the arrest of a prominent Internet-based critic. Aside from interest related to these two issues, netizens, for the most part, do not appear concerned over the issue. If Seoul implements new regulations in response to continued growth in cyber crimes or new technologies, such as smartphones, netizens would likely oppose them only if they go beyond existing laws or impose significant inconveniences.
November 28, 2010 in News
Large-scale, live-fire, joint naval exercises between South Korean and U.S. forces continued for a second day Monday, military officials in Seoul said. The U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington and at least 10 other U.S. ships joined forces Sunday with the South Korean navy in the Yellow Sea near the border of the two Koreas, The New York Times reported. The exercises had been announced earlier, but took on more significance after North Korea shelled a South Korean military base on the island of Yeonpyeong Tuesday and killed four people, two of them civilians. “Monday’s drills include a live-fire exercise by multiple aircraft from the George Washington, which will shoot mock targets in waters,” an official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told Yonhap on condition of anonymity.
November 23, 2010 in News
North Korea said South Korea fired first in Tuesday’s cross-border artillery duel, which killed two marines and injured 18 soldiers or civilians on a South Korean border island. “The South Korean enemy, despite our repeated warnings, committed reckless military provocations of firing artillery shells into our maritime territory near Yeonpyeong island beginning 1pm (1500 AEDT),” a statement from the North’s military supreme command said. The North’s military “will continue to make merciless military attacks with no hesitation if the South Korean enemy dares to invade our sea territory by 0.001 mm”, it said in the statement carried by the official news agency. “It is our military’s traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.”
October 4, 2010 in News
South Korean police unveiled a special security unit Monday to safeguard world leaders at November’s G20 summit, citing the threat of terrorism, North Korean disruption and massive street protests. Police have been on high alert as the country prepares to host US President Barack Obama and other Group of 20 leaders at the November 11-12 gathering in southern Seoul. National Police Agency chief Jo Hyun-Oh, at a ceremony to launch the unit, said there are reports of possible North Korean attempts to disrupt the event, and of plans for “massive protests” by local and foreign activists.
July 25, 2010 in News
The drills, code-named “Invincible Spirit” will run until Wednesday and involve around 8,000 American and South Korean troops, 20 ships and submarines and 200 aircraft. Pyongyang has also expressed its rage over new US and European Union sanctions designed to weaken the regime. The US said the exercises are designed to send a potent message to North Korea that it must renounce its “aggressive behaviour”.
May 25, 2010 in News
The order from Kim Jong-il was broadcast by a senior North Korean military, said the South’s state-run Yonhap news agency, citing North Korean observers with contacts across the border. On Monday South Korea announced it was suspending almost all trade links with North Korea – worth 13 per cent of the North’s GDP in 2009 – in retaliation for the torpedoing of its warship Cheonan with the loss of 46 lives.
May 22, 2010 in News
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemned North Korea on Friday for a deadly attack on a South Korean warship and vowed that it would not go “unanswered,” but senior U.S. officials stressed that neither side on the Korean Peninsula seems to be heading toward war. Clinton’s trip to the region is part of a whirlwind of diplomatic activity that will focus on crafting a response to North Korea’s attack on the 1,200-ton Cheonan warship in March. Clinton met with Japanese officials Friday and will see Chinese and South Korean officials in coming days.
July 9, 2009 in News
A wave of cyberattacks aimed at 27 American and South Korean government agencies and commercial Web sites temporarily jammed more than a third of them over the past five days, and several sites in South Korea came under renewed attack on Thursday. The latest bout of attacks, which affected service on one government and six commercial Web sites in South Korea, was relatively minor, and all but two of the sites were fully functional within a few hours, said an official from the state-run Korea Communications Commission.
May 28, 2009 in News
By HYUNG-JIN KIM
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea threatened military action Wednesday against U.S. and South Korean warships plying the waters near the Koreas‘ disputed maritime border, raising the specter of a naval clash just days after the regime’s underground nuclear test. In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned that Pyongyang faced [...]