tv BBC World News PBS November 23, 2010 5:00am-5:30am EST
financial strength to work for a wide range of companies from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> now bbc world news. >> north korea has fired 200 artillery shells at a south korean island killing two marines. south korea returns fire describing the attack as a violation of the 1953 arm cities and orders forces to retaliate to further provocation. the united states has strongly condemned what it calls pyongyang's belligerent action. china, russia and japan all also express concerns. welcome to bbc world news. also in the next 30 minutes from celebration to tragedy. 378 killed in a stampede of a water festival. the youngest son of aung san suu kyi is in rangoon seeing his mother for the first time in 10
years. >> united states has joined condemnation of north korea's aggression toward south korea following the shelling from north korea that has killed two south korean marines and wounded self soldiers as well as civilians. the north seems to have fired around 200 shells on yeonpyeong island then the south responded with about 80 shells. the south korean military is on the highest nonwartime alert. dozens of buildings appear to be on fire and the island is being evacuated. this confrontation is one of the worst clashes between the two countries since the war. it comes days after north korea announced it had a new uranium enrichment facility meiment our world affairs correspondent is
following the events. >> this south korea says is the result of north korea shelling of yeonpyeong island and close to the disputed border between the two koreas. south korean officials say the north fired dozens of shells to the island said to have population between 1,200 and 1,300. fires are said to be burning out of control. south koreans gathered around televisions to watch the coverage. >> i feel like he might be called up with the reserves. i can feel that war might break out seriously. i'm really scared. he thinks it is the most threatening time since the cease-fire between the two countries. it is one of the most serious outbreaks of firing since the ends of the korean war. it is already prompting the return of fire from the south according to the military and fighter jets being scrambled. it comes after revelations that north korea appears to have
taken further steps to enriching uranium and developing a nuclear bomb. an american envoy on the issue has arrived in china, which expressed concern about the exchange of firing between north and south korea. >> china's foreign ministry spokesman says the parties will contribute their share to peace and stability. after emergency meetings south korea warned the north it would sternly retaliate for further provocations saying the shelling was a clear armed provocation. the south korean military is on its highest alert and today as financial markets in the region reflect the worry and new stability, diplomatic efforts are focusing on how to prevent further escalation. >> we are monitoring what south korean state television is saying about this. when we see some of the latest
pictures we will dip into and out of that. we will flip open our switches and they flip open their pictures. we have to control over what they show but we want to show you the latest pictures. we will stay with that particular broadcast and at the same time talk to our seoul correspondent. john, when did this kick off? >> it began this afternoon. the shelling went on for an hour or so ending just before 5:00 local time, we are told by reports. and the south korean military has just finished holding a press conference here in which it has given as the latest casualty particul casualty figures they say two soldiers were killed as a result of the fire. five have been seriously wounded, 10 lightly injured and there were three civilians wounded as well. >> and everyone across the board
around the world calling for a moment of calm here, john? >> that's right. the governments in this region all are echoing those sentiments. we have heard from beijing, from tokyo, from washington as well now of course. when anything like this happens on the korean peninsula you always get appeals for calm. but i think many observers will see this particular incident as certainly one of the most serious since the end of the korean war as something out of the usual, something beyond the normal military exchanges we occasionally see between the two sides. a very worrying development indeed and of course it always raises the possibility of further escalation. so, a lot of concern in this immediate region this afternoon. >> john, i suspect you won't have seen this so bear with me as we bring this to our viewers. north korea now saying south korea fired first in this clash.
north korea sake the south koreans fired first. john, what is your reading of that? >> well, we expected some kind of response from north korea. it came fairly quickly. many observers here and certainly the south korean government would say they would say that, wouldn't they. interestingly we know the south korean military were conducting exercises in the area. there is a military base on the island at yeonpyeong and north korea had been asking the south koreans to stop those exercises. a message was sent this morning to that effect. what happened to push that exchange of words if you like into this very much more dangerous escalation don't know. but the south korean government line is very clear. it says the north koreans started this and it says it is reckless shelling of civilian target and it was a clear armed
provocation. >> the broader wider context on this, the time line here almost seems like a pattern. on sunday we had the revelations about a new nuclear facility. rewinding back to march, we had a ship sunk and personnel lost. this relationship seems to be deteriorating as the weeks go by. >> that's right. the outside world has been trying to engage with north korea over its nuclear program for many years now, of course. and it has often been suggested north korea uses tension to try to strengthen its negotiating hand. but there is a sense that things are getting slightly more serious beyond the normal exchanges of military fire we occasionally see. the torpedoing and sinking of a warship if north korea was behind that is a remarkably provocative action now the shelling of a civilian area. >> good it talk to you, john,
our correspondent it seoul. earlier i spoke to our diplomatic correspondent. i asked him why north korea might have started this latest confrontation right now. >> from their point of view it will be deterrence. they don't like it when there is military activity near this disputed border. they believe they have to deter the south to act aggressively when they believe their interests are at stake. also there is a message to the world outside. the north koreans are trying to demonstrate they are very strong. i think this is partly why they revealed this uranium enrichment facility. they are trying to get the attention of the world, notably the americans, presumably because they would like to come back into negotiations about their nuclear program but of course negotiations from their point of view that would have quite a high price from south korea and the west. >> does this fit into a pattern of behavior? >> well, in march there was a
serious incident where a south korean naval vessel was sunk. there was an international investigation and all the evidence pointed to the fact that it was sunk by the north koreans. this is an even more serious episode, the actual shelling of south korean soil although far fewer have died in this. i think 46 sailors died in the warship. the interesting thing is it is happening at a very uncertain time. we don't really know what goes on in the north korean capital t. is hard to discern what is happening there. but all indications are a process of political transition is under way from kim jong il to his son. we don't know how long that will take or if there are different factions in play or elements of the military who are unhappy with what is going on. but clearly there is uncertainty. and i think many korea watchers who follow the ups and downs of north korean regime for a long time fear that just this kind of
episode might happen during this very uncertain time. >> does this click together if you like with the revelations at the weekend about a new nuclear facility that apparently north korea has built from scratch in the past two to 2 1/2 years? >> a very impressive facility, a centrifuge facility to enrich uranium, they say to supply fuel for a nuclear power station. obviously everybody is equally worried that that could be used to furnish fuel for nuclear weapons. this essentially means north korea has the technical capability to pursue two roots, the plutonium or uranium route. we believe it has a small nuclear arsenal. i think this is all about demonstrating power, demonstrating resolve, trying to get the attention of the outside world because this is a strong company militarily but economically it is almost a
basket case. there are frequent famine,s. the level of live something very poor. it is not a successful country and it needs a lot of assistance from outside. but as i said that assistance as far as the north koreans are concerned has a very high price tag. >> our diplomatic correspondent. there were lots of people focusing on the south korean currency any way. aaron is following that. >> absolutely. the markets have fallen. any time you see any geopolitical tensions like this you have investors who run from the markets and flee to the safe havens. so we know the u.s. dollar, swiss franc and gold have risen. i was looking at the market reports and you look at a chart of gold and at the time that the world, if you will, and investors around the world heard news of the shell iing gold is 1 $1,365 a troy ounce and dollar
jumped against the euro to 136. the dollar jumped to the yen 83.63 and tpraeupg strengthened against the euro. we also know that ensuring asian pacific sovereign and corporate bonds debt has increased. the cost for south korean government debt has increased by something like 15 basis points. they are heading for the biggest rise since may of this year. and the south korean has fallen. we will see if they will implement any measures to put a lid on the fall. they will go to the safe havens. >> you are watching bbc world news. still to come images capture the moment an explosion ripped that you a coal mine in new zealand. 29 miners are still missing. >> the israeli parliament passed
a bill setting new conditions for any withdrawal from occupied territories. it requires a two-thirds majority before any land in the golan heights or east jerusalem could be creeded to syrians or palestinians. if it fails to get the majority it must be put to a national referendum t. is condemned by the palestinian government. the e.u. envoy to haiti says sunday's elections must go ahead despite the epidemic of cholera. four of 19 candidates appealed for it to be delayed to tackle the disease but the envoy said pose posen it could jeopardize political stability there. a new temple outside india has opened to worshipers in the u.k. it has taken over a decade to finish and is attracting kikhs from all over the country.
>> appearing over a gray sky line on a damp day a small part of punjab has arrived in a small part of england. this traditional ceremony marks the opening of a vast temple. the new home to 12,000 sikhs. inside a lot of people celebrating. it has brought them together after years of praying in different venues. >> it represents the feelings of the sikh community and illustrates what they can do once get together. >> people will be more prone to come in and have a look and be attracted to it. >> it is a milestone for the local sikh community who raised millions of dollars to build one of the largest temples outside india. >> i would say it is probably in
the top 5% in terms of physical size and facilities. what we are trying to do is make it into an education center for future generations. so that they will understand si sikhism, its roots, governor and practices. >> indian stone masons were brought over by the architect to keep the building authentically sikh. it has been a 13-year labor of love. >> i wanted that design to be so rich that when people come in they just feel very peaceful and the whole idea is to be serene. >> four generations of sikhs have made the small english town their home. the temple is a symbol of the growth of the community over the decades and now sikhs here hope it will be a legacy to future generations in the decades to come.
>> you are watching bbc world news. our continuing coverage of what is going on in north korea and south korea. north korea firing 200 shells at south korean island killing two marines. seoul describes it as a violation of the 1953 armistice. a statement says the south fired first. the u.s. strongly condemned the north korea be attack urging pyongyang it hold its belligerent action. china and russia expressed concern and the japanese prime minister called on his government to prepare for any eventuality. neighbors have expressed concern japan reported to be preparing for any eventuality. china and north korea staunch ally urging talks with the north. live to beijing. how is this being viewed where you are, martin? >> well, you are right in pointing out that beijing has
called for calm. that came from a fortune ministry spokesman who spoke as this incident was ongoing. we are yet to have any more official comment from beijing but you are right in pointing out during the news conference china said the six-party talks, the talks designed to end the north korean nuclear weapons program, those talks should restart. however, the u.s. representative who is in the region said that those talks shouldn't resume. so you have a difference in opinions from america and china on how to deal with north korea, particularly in regard to the country's nuclear weapons program. >> martin, thanks very much. you can get more on that story should you want it on our website. bbc daughter-in-law/news. and this story is still moving and we are tracking the developments. that exchange of artillery has now finished. all the top lines we are getting reaction worldwide as every hour
goes by. the cambodian prime minister announced a day of mourning after the deaths of more than 370 people in a stampede at a water festival in knowledge pep. the prime minister promised an investigation into the cause of the disaster. the report comes from phnom penh. >> a photographer caught the moment panic broke out and hundreds were crushed to death all suffocated. most of the pictures are too gruesome to show. thousands were crossing a narrow bridge to and from a small island in the middle of the river as the annual water festival concert was going on. a few passed out in the crush and then panic broke out. sparking the stampede. some jumped from the bridge and drowned in the river. many of those killed were women. ambulances ferried a constant
stream of the injured to local hospitals that were overwhelmed by the number of patients. >> i was stuck in the crowd for a long time and it was so hot i became unconscious. >> today the authorities were trying to establish why such a simple situation cover led to the deaths of so many people. the concert was being shown live on television so the cameras were swung around and the whole country watched the horrific scene unfold. the prime minister has launched an immediate investigation and declared thursday a national day of mourning. he described the tragedy as the worst the country has seen since the khmer rouge era more than 30 years ago. >> it was an emotional moment the but massachusetts pro democracy leader aung san suu kyi being reunited with her youngest son after 10 years. he lives here in the u.k. and he now has arrived in rangoon 10
days after his mother was freed from house arrest. he faced a prolonged wait for a visa there. many believe if his mother were to leave burma she would not be allowed to return. >> the lonely wait of an appears mother. though aung san suu kyi is never really alone these days every public appearance, even a meeting as personal as this, attracts the crowds. the moment approaches. she sees him coming. a touch, a brief kiss and gentle embrace. after 10 years, mother and son together at last. understandably reluctant to let go. aung san suu kyi is renown for her determination and courage over the long years of her struggle for freedom and democracy in her homeland. she made huge personal sacrifices. separation from her late husb d husband, two sons and grandchildren perhaps the ms. painful.
this is what opened the door to today's reunion. aung san suu kyi released from seven years of house arrest, greeted by thousands of adoring supporters. but her son missed this. he was till in bangkok waiting for his visa. all that is for now forgotten. the very public displays of emotion since her release are focused on a very personal, intimate relationship. they may struggle to find the privacy they crave but the word on the lips of them is the same. happy. >> rescue workers at the mine in installed where 29 workers have been trapped underground since friday have released closed circuit tv pictures showing the powerful explosion inside the mine. the images show the moment the blast tore through the mine. from there here is our corresponde correspondent.
>> images of the explosion are sure to be distressing for families of the missing men. they show the moment the gas bars ripped through the mine. the big question is could anyone have survived such a ferocious assault. sadly, the police believe the chances of finding anyone alive deep underground are becoming slimmer by the day. >> the situation is bleak. it is grave. and you have to understand that the risk posed by a secondary explosion is real and is as the senior police officer involved we are currently not in the position to put people on the ground we can ensure safety of the rescue crews and those that are trapped below ground. >> this is no admission of defeat but an acknowledgment that the emergency could end in utter disaster for this community. a second robot is being brought it to replace the reconnaissance device that broke down inside
the mine. it is a setback that will heap more frustration on those still clinging to hope that the 29 men have survived. the safe return of trapped miners this week in china and extraordinary survival of 33 men in chile have given new zealanders hope that good fortune can exist in the most dire of circumstances. >> 48 hours after being forced to accept a bailout from the e.u. and i.m.f. the irish prime minister under increasing pressure from opposition parties to hold an election. >> he is still on the job but only just. the irish prime minister is not just trying to see if the irish economy but keep his government in power. he wants to implement a new budget. he doesn't want a pre-christmas election. >> nobody has pushed me into anything. what i'm saying is we are focused on an issue of great
national importance, and i'm saying that the biggest statement of confidence that can be given by this country at this time is to pass this puttibudge. and this budget is the context in which we are having discussions to ensure that we have the next funding going forward. >> the prospect of more spending cuts and further tax rises has created anger in ireland. there have already been severe cutbacks here and some think another budget will make it worse. >> this government has no democratic mandate to implement this budget and really there should be no budget delivered until there is a general election and open debate about the options that are available to us. and certainly we will be saying to people this i.m.f. package should be resisted, that the bailout is not a bailout for the irish people, it is a bailout for bankers in germany, france, ireland and britain and that we shouldn't be bailing out the
international financial system at the he expense of vulnerable pensioners, students and working people in this country. >> but if ireland is going to receive a huge international bailout, it has to be seen to be cutting costs at home. people here are preparing themselves for economic pain. but there could soon be political change with an election more likely early in the new year. >> international diplomatic reaction to this new south korean and north korean crisis. these are the latest pictures. you see the of taftermath of th shelling. the ruben foreign minister calling for a halt and saying the increased tension on the peninsula represents a clau coll danger. we know the south korean
president has gone into his bunk earn and a run on the currency. items like gold and all sides are calling for calm in south korea. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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