Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two Koreas in Naval Conflict

SEOUL, Nov 10: Navies from the rival Koreas exchanged gunfire for the first time in seven years on Tuesday, damaging vessels on both sides and raising tension just days before US President Barack Obama travels to Asia.

North Korea has often used military action to force its way onto the agenda of major diplomatic events and has been seeking direct talks with Obama’s administration while alarming global powers by last week saying it had produced more arms-grade plutonium.

The United States will announce in the next few days whether it will start direct talks with North Korea, which could kick-start a fresh round of talks with regional powers on nuclear disarmament, a US official said earlier.

South Korea denounced what it said was an incursion by a North Korean patrol vessel into its territorial waters in the Yellow Sea that sparked a brief firefight near the spot where the two Koreas have had two deadly conflicts in the past decade.

Read the full report here.

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