South Korea says the 31 North Koreans who crossed the inter-Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea on Saturday have expressed no intentions to defect to South Korea.
A government official in Seoul said that because there were no children on the boat, it is highly likely that the vessel drifted southward by accident.
The official said Seoul will treat this case in line with its principle of respecting North Koreans’ wishes on whether they want to remain in the South or want to return to the North.
The 31 North Koreans, 20 of whom are female, crossed the Northern Limit Line in waters northeast of the border island of Yeonpyeong at 11 a.m. on Saturday on a five-ton wooden fishing vessel.
South Korean authorities expect that completing the investigation into the matter will take time due to the relatively large number of North Koreans who were on the boat.
Source: KBS World
S.Korea Proposes Working-level Talks with NK
South Korea has proposed that the two Koreas hold a working-level meeting at the truce village of Panmunjeom at 10 a.m. on February eleventh to discuss preparations for high-level defense talks.
The Defense Ministry in Seoul said it made the proposal to North Korea in the name of Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin in a telephone message Wednesday morning*.
The preliminary meeting is aimed at setting the agenda for the high-level military talks that North Korean Defense Minister Kim Yong-chun proposed last Thursday*.
South Korea plans to demand that North Korea take responsible actions regarding last year’s sinking of South Korea’s “Cheonan” naval vessel and the shelling of the South’s Yeonpyeong Island.
The Defense Ministry will also urge the North to take steps to prevent a recurrence of such provocations.
Source: KBS World
*this was written in January, but as the 11th is approaching, I thought it'd be a good update.
S. Korea Demonstrates Prowess in Winter Sports Again
South Korea has highlighted its status as a leading player in winter sports. South Korea had its best-ever Winter Asian Games in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan this year, winning 13 gold medals, 12 silver medals and 13 bronze medals. It is worth mentioning that the nation earned four gold medals in snow events such as alpine skiing and cross country, while rising stars turned in solid performances in ice events as well. South Korea demonstrated its potential to further elevate its status as a winter sports powerhouse. And this could lead the way for PyeongChang to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
South Korea had set a goal of winning 11 gold medals to finish third in overall medal standings at the 2011 Winter Asiad. Korean athletes fought hard to surpass their initial goal of securing 11 gold medals and fiercely competed with Japan for the second spot in the medal race until the very end of the competition. South Korea eventually came in third, following host country Kazakhstan and Japan, but it was a better-than-expected result for Korea.
South Korea clinched fifth place at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games last year with six gold medals, six silvers and two bronze medals, the best result ever in its Winter Olympics history. At the time, South Korea emerged as an ice sports power by expanding its scope into long-track speed skating and figure skating. Previously, short-track speed skating events had been South Korea’s sole area of dominance. At this year’s Winter Asian Games, the nation moved beyond ice sports and successfully expanded its presence into snow sports.
On another positive note, a number of promising athletes appeared in short-track and long-track speed skating events and figure skating, boding well for the future of Korea’s winter sports. If the rising stars continue to cultivate their abilities and accumulate wider experience, they will surely be able to post good results at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Given South Korea’s athletic prowess at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2011 Winter Asian Games in Astana and Almaty, as well as the successful hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 World Cup finals, and the Group of 20 Summit in 2010, it’s fair to say that Korea is more than competent to host the Winter Olympics. We hope to see the Olympic torch for the 2018 Winter Games glow in PyeongChang.
Source: KBS World