Tension flares in Korean Peninsula

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 08:18 PM PDT


Tension flared in the Korean Peninsula when both sides exchanged fire on the disputed waters yesterday. North and South Korea fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other's waters in a flare-up of animosity that forced residents of five front-line South Korean islands to evacuate to shelters for several hours.

The exchange of fire into the Yellow Sea followed Pyongyang's sudden announcement that it would conduct live-fire drills in seven areas north of the Koreas' disputed maritime boundary. North Korea routinely test-fires artillery and missiles into the ocean but rarely discloses those plans in advance.

The announcement was seen as an expression of Pyongyang's frustration at making little progress in its recent push to win outside aid.

North Korea fired 500 rounds of artillery shells over more than three hours, about 100 of which fell south of the sea boundary, South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. South Korea responded by firing 300 shells into North Korean waters.

No shells from either side were fired at any land or military installations, but Kim called the North's artillery firing a provocation aimed at testing Seoul's security posture. There was no immediate comment from North Korea.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jonathan Lalley called North Korea's actions "dangerous and provocative" and said they would further aggravate tensions in the region.

Monday's exchange was relatively mild in the history of animosity and violence between the Koreas, but there is worry in Seoul that an increasingly dissatisfied North Korea could repeat the near-daily barrage of war rhetoric it carried out last spring, when tensions soared as Pyongyang threatened nuclear strikes on Washington and Seoul in response to condemnation of its third nuclear test.

MH370: We won't apologise!

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 02:07 AM PDT

NO! We won't apologise. The missing Flight MH370 was not our doing. It was beyond our comprehension and very unprecedented.

Why must we apologise to the relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the plane? We didn't kill them, we are not murderers. If PM Najib, Defense Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin or other Malaysian leaders apologise, it will be tantamount to confessing murders!

We treated them fairly and like gold. We shared their sorrow and sadness over the incident but blaming Malaysia (we have our citizens too aboard MH370) was a bit overboard.
Dozens of angry relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing flight MH370 have demanded that Malaysia apologise for its handling of the investigation as they arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Beijing on Sunday.
About 50 more family members joined those who had earlier flown to Malaysia, saying they hoped to get more information from officials in the capital. Around two-thirds of the 239 people on board the flight were Chinese.
As the hunt enters its fourth week, search crews are no closer to finding the plane, which disappeared on 8 March after diverting from its scheduled flight path as it headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Ten ships and as many aircraft were scanning a vast area of the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, far off the western coast of Australia.
"We want evidence. We want the truth. We want our relatives," the group chanted in Chinese as they staged a protest at a hotel near the Malaysian capital, holding banners reading: "We want evidence, truth, dignity" in Chinese, and "Hand us the murderer. Tell us the truth. Give us our relatives back" in English.
Representing the relatives, Jiang Hui said they wanted Malaysia to apologise for what they see as mistakes in its initial handling of the disaster and Monday's declaration that it had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean with the loss of all lives. They argue that conclusion – based on radar and satellite analysis – was premature given the lack of physical evidence.
I believe Najib or Hisham will not do that. They know the consequences of 'admitting full responsibility' by apologising to them.

And we never hide the truth nor had we kept secrets of the search and rescue (SAR) operations - now entering its third week - from day 1 till today. The Chinese demand equates Japan's apology for mass murders they committed in China during World War 11.

But we are not... (repeat)... NOT MURDERERS!

Read this story about dozens of people perished in a US landslide, and none of the victims' families blamed the government or other authorities. To them, a mishap remains a mishap, unless they point fingers at the God!
Arlington (United States) (AFP) - The confirmed death toll from a huge US landslide rose from 18 to 21 on Sunday, while four more bodies were located but not counted in the official tally, authorities said.
Thirty people remain missing after a rain-soaked wall of mud, trees and debris crashed down onto the edge of the town of Oso, in Washington state, on March 22.
A few survivors were found immediately after the mudslide, but none since the day of the catastrophe.
The number confirmed dead has hit 21, Snohomish County officials said, but is set to rise again once four more bodies that have been located are recovered and formally identified by the county's Medical Examiner's Office.
But what is the Chinese' end game here? Are leaders in Beijing really supporting the interests of the mourning families? Perhaps, but something else might be at play.

Tolerating protests where demonstrators bellow wildly and irresponsible chants like 'the Malaysian government are murderers' suggest that China senses an opportunity to claim the high ground from a rival for territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China has proven quite adept at getting and keeping such moral trump cards in its back pocket. Don't be surprised if the country's Communist Party leaders make a big deal of their Flight 370 grievance the next time they find themselves in a dispute with Malaysia.

However, I hope it doesn't has to drag diplomatic relations into the incident as both countries need each other, socially and economically.

On May 25, 2002 China Airlines Flight 611 disintegrated in mid-air and crashed into the Taiwan Strait 20 minutes after taking off from Chiang Kai-shek Airport to Hong Kong, killing all 225 people on board, almost all were Chinese nationals.

They didn't blame anybody, neither did they blame the airline.

In MH370 incident, we equally share their grievances. They government, with the help of 26 countries, will continue efforts to locate the Boeing 777-200 and bring home the remains of the victims.

Many Malaysians wept for them but none blamed the authorities for the incident. If the Chinese show such an attitude, sorry... we cannot take it!

If they are not satisfied with the way SAR is conducted, may as well they go there themselves. Sometimes, it doesn't pay to be nice!


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