In S. Korea, Clinton Denounces North's Provocations The secretary of state visited South Korea amid rising tensions with the North, calling on Pyongyang to halt its provocations while announcing plans for joint military exercises with the South "to deter future attacks." Hostilities have reignited on the Korean peninsula after Seoul accused the North of an attack on a ship that killed 46 sailors.
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In S. Korea, Clinton Denounces North's Provocations

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In S. Korea, Clinton Denounces North's Provocations

In S. Korea, Clinton Denounces North's Provocations

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.


From Seoul, Doualy Xaykaothao has this report on Secretary Clinton's visit.

DOUALY XAYKAOTHAO: During a joint press briefing with South Korea's foreign minister, Hillary Clinton said the U.S. and South Korean militaries have announced plans for joint exercises.

S: And we will explore further enhancements to our posture on the peninsula to ensure readiness and to deter future attacks. The United States is also reviewing additional options and authorities to hold North Korea and its leaders accountable.

XAYKAOTHAO: Clinton called on North Korea to halt its provocations and its policy of threats, and take steps to fulfill its denuclearization commitments and comply with international law.

S: North Korea can still choose another path. Instead of isolation, poverty, conflict and condemnation, North Korea could enjoy integration, prosperity, peace and respect.

XAYKAOTHAO: Her comments come against the backdrop of South Korea announcing measures to punish the North for the alleged attack, including stopping trade with North Korea, stopping the North's cargo ships from using its shipping lines, and after a six-year suspension, the South also began rebroadcasting radio propaganda across the heavily militarized border. North Korea, in turn, began broadcasting its own propaganda. This was heard today near the heavily militarized border between the North and South.


XAYKAOTHAO: (Foreign language spoken)

XAYKAOTHAO: During a media tour to Panmunjom, a South Korean soldier warns visitors about security at the DMZ.

XAYKAOTHAO: OK, now we are approaching the Joint Security Area and Checkpoint Charlie. This checkpoint is made 24 hours a day, and regulates all traffic in and out of the Joint Security Area. As I told you before, the Joint Security Area - the tension is higher, like the highest ever, so you'll be able to feel the tension with your skin. So during the tour today, please do not point at them or make any gestures toward the North Koreans. Or do not try to communicate with the North Koreans, please.

XAYKAOTHAO: Off the bus, you can see and hear the calm of the border.


XAYKAOTHAO: When the media tour is over, visitors can stop at Imjingak, a tourist site just below the DMZ.


XAYKAOTHAO: A South Korean love song plays from a vendor trying to sell old CDs and DMZ memorabilia. Chung Seong-chun is 65 years old. He's a guide, and he says he's not worried at all - that tourists aren't concerned about North Korea threatening an all-out war.

MONTAGNE: (Through translator) As I was saying, when people get annoyed, they tense up, so they threaten a war. But they think, too. They wouldn't do things without thinking.

XAYKAOTHAO: But back in Seoul, at South Korea's war memorial, 23-year-old Kim Byeong-hee says he's very concerned.

MONTAGNE: (Foreign language spoken)

XAYKAOTHAO: For NPR News, I'm Doualy Xaykaothao in Seoul.

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