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.
South Korea announced that it is boosting funds related to initiatives with China. The move comes after North Korea's attack on an island last month.
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.
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.
Just as hopes were fading for the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, negotiators came to terms on prying open the South Korean motor vehicle market to placate angry US carmakers and labor unions.
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.
After North Korean artillery showered this island in the Yellow Sea Tuesday, locals say they're fearful of North Korea's latest threats of a peninsula 'on the brink of war.'
North Korea kept up its harsh rhetoric Friday, indicating that it saw upcoming military exercises as fresh provocation. US Gen. Walter Sharp toured the island area attacked by the North on Tuesday.
In the wake of the North Korean attack on a South Korean island, the sense among many Koreans is they could carry on as usual. But some warn against complacency.
North Korea shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong island Tuesday, killing two South Korean marines and injuring more than a dozen people. South Korea returned fire. Both sides claimed that the other fired first. While the South has engaged in past attacks – notably in November 2009, when it fired on a North Korean patrol boat, and in June 1999, when it sunk a North Korean vessel – history shows that Pyongyang is often the instigator. A 2007 report from the US Congressional Research Service documents dozens of provocations, ranging from low-level naval warfare to assassinations of South Korean cabinet officers. Here are seven examples of the North's military provocations over the past decade.