S. Korea dithers over punitive measures against DPRK

18:04, June 07, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

South Korea appears to have put a brake on its diplomatic drive to punish the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for allegedly sinking a South Korean warship, as concerns rise that Seoul's tough talk against its wartime rival might not garner enough support.

The hard-line administration of President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea announced last month a set of punitive measures against the DPRK, after a multinational probe concluded that Pyongyang deliberately torpedoed in late March the 1,200-ton South Korean corvette Cheonan near their disputed maritime border and killed 46 sailors.

The countermeasures include joint naval drills with the United States and halting further bilateral trade and exchanges. Seoul, which was quick to spin the naval tragedy as an international issue to seek support from its allies and regional powers since the immediate aftermath of the naval disaster, also began a formal process last Saturday to refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

After all the fuss here, however, political observers now say South Korea's once-uncompromising stance on punishing its northern neighbor, undaunted even by Pyongyang's threat of an "all-out war, " might actually be softening a little.

The government, for starters, has backed down on its decision to immediately resume anti-Pyongyang propaganda activities including sending propaganda leaflets to the DPRK and resuming loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts along the tense border. Neither of the plans has been carried out yet due to "political situations, " according to Seoul's semi-official Yonhap News Agency that cited an unidentified defense ministry official.

The DPRK, denying any involvement in the sinking, has threatened to shoot down loudspeakers once broadcasts resume, raising concern here over more military tension on the volatile Korean peninsula that might scare foreign investors away and deal a blow to the economy just recovering from a downturn.

【1】 【2】 【3】


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Giant red lantern lights up in Tiananmen Square to celebrate the coming National Day on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Li Xin)
  • A ceremony is held in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, on Sept. 28, 2011, to commemorate the 2,562nd birthday of Confucius (551-479 BC), a Chinese thinker, educationist and philosopher. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)
  • The world's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner for delivery arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, capital of Japan, on Sept. 28, 2011. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, whose buyer is All Nippon Airways (ANA), will implement a flight of ANA on Oct. 26 from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Hong Kong in south China. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
  • A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows what is believed to be human jawbone found inside a mass grave near Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya, Spet. 27, 2011. The NTC on Sunday said they had found a mass grave containing the bodies of 1,270 people killed by Gaddafi's security forces in a 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison in southern Tripoli. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
  • Rescue workers and local residents search for survivors after a building collapsed in old Delhi, India, Sept. 27, 2011. At least 10 people were killed and 35 injured when an old three-storey building collapsed. More than a dozen people are still feared trapped under the debris, police said. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
Hot Forum Discussion