Analysts in South Korea believe President Lee’s surprise call for six-party talks will bring the parties to the table since China and North Korea have both been calling in recent weeks for resumption of talks.
South Korea's statement that it intends this year to begin preparations to reunify the Koreas will likely irk China and the North, which could consider it a provocation.
South Korea's Institute for National Security Strategy warned this weekend of increasing 'unexpected moves' as North Korea's military 'scrambles to display its loyalty' to heir apparent, Kim Jong-un.
North Korea appears poised to display its nuclear weapons capability with an underground test, say experts, in a bid to keep military tensions high and force a return to talks.
Some visitors to South Korea's Aegibong Peak, where a Christmas tree stands 100 feet tall, are skeptical it sends a message of peace. North Korea has denounced the war games and the tree as 'provocations.'
South Korea launched a planned round of multi-day military exercises Wednesday, while rebuffing the North's recent conciliatory gestures.
South Koreans erected a huge Christmas tree that can reportedly be seen from the North's side of the demilitarized zone. But a sense of brotherhood has been sharply strained by the North's recent attack.
US envoy Bill Richardson said its offer to allow nuclear inspections was a 'step in the right direction.' But the US and the South note a 'string of broken promises.'
On Yeonpyeong Island and on the streets of Seoul, South Koreans say that North Korea is hoping to portray itself as a voice of reason by not responding to South Korea's artillery drills Monday.
North Korea had threatened a harsh response if South Korea went ahead with military exercises in disputed waters Monday. But it could still take action, experts say.
Even the plucky few residents who returned after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23 are fleeing ahead of South Korea's live-fire drills this week.
North Korea and South Korea have both raised the stakes in a Yellow Sea confrontation, with each side wanting to save face.
North Korea sees South Korea's plans to conduct a live-fire artillery drill this weekend as "needlessly provocative," but the US insists it is normal and necessary.
Top US officials appear to be pressing China to do more to rein in North Korean aggression. Meanwhile, the South held a major civil defense drill Wednesday.
China's highest-ranking foreign affairs official went to Pyongyang on Thursday, just after US Adm. Mike Mullen visited Japan and South Korea.
In South Korea, public support for cutting aid to North Korea has nearly doubled in the wake of the North's Nov. 23 attack on Yeonpyeong Island, a new study shows.
The US was hoping that China, the only country with diplomatic influence over North Korea, would rebuke the country for shelling South Korea last month. But China appears intent on maintaining support for Kim Jong Il.
Seoul's top general and US Adm. Mike Mullen did not formally announce a shift in rules of engagement. But South Korean analysts believe they are shaping the first possible strategy shift since the Korean War.
China's push for more dialogue and less pressure on North Korea reflects that fact China is more concerned with the economic stability of its neighbor than its nuclear program.
North Korea is fueling a debate in ruling circles in Beijing over how far China should go in backing the regime in Pyongyang.
In a phone call Monday, President Obama asked Chinese President Hu Jintao to put pressure on North Korea, even as US held military drills with South Korea.
China appears to be distancing itself from North Korea and warming up to the idea of Korean reunification, according to WikiLeaks.
North Korea boasted Tuesday to running 'thousands' of nuclear centrifuges, a week after launching a deadly artillery attack on South Korea, as China pressed for six-nation crisis talks.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan is finding his nation dependent on the US in responding to North Korea, even as public opposition to the US base on Okinawa remains high.
South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak made a tough-sounding speech today, but his critics say it comes too late. US and South Korean warships engaged in 'high-intensity' war games while NKorea makes new threats.