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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan concerned about incident on Korean Peninsula

ROC Central News Agency

2010/11/23 22:24:14

Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) Taiwan is concerned about the situation on the Korean Peninsula after North and South Korean troops exchanged fire across the border earlier Tuesday.

North Korean fired two rounds towards a frontline unit and South Korean soldiers returned fire three times.

The shooting occurred in Yeonpyeong islet, some 90km (56 miles) north-east of the South's capital, Seoul, according to reports from South Korea's YTN TV.

President Ma Ying-jeou has asked related government agencies to look at the major incident in a cautious manner, the Presidential Office said.

Ma also called off campaign activities for the ruling Kuomintang's candidates in the Nov. 27 Taipei and Xinbei municipality elections -- Hau Lung-bin and Eric Liluan Chu -- scheduled for Tuesday night.

He remained at the Presidential Office and kept abreast of the latest development on the peninsula.

The Executive Yuan on Tuesday urged South and North Korea to exercise self-restraint to reduce tensions and do all they can to maintain peace and stability on the two Korean peninsula.

Executive Yuan spokesman Johnny Chiang, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman James Chang and Ministry of National Defense spokesman Yu Sy-tue convened a news conference Tuesday.

Chiang said the armed force has maintained normal level of combat readiness, but the government is concerned about the situation and will adopt necessary measures in view of the latest development.

Chang said that most Taiwanese expatriates, businessmen and students are in Seoul or Pusan, far from the islet where the flare-up erupted.

The MOFA will maintain a "gray" (reminding travelers to watch out) travel advisory on South Korea, and there is no plan to withdraw Taiwanese expatriates, Chang added.

Meanwhile, the impact of the incident on Taiwan bourse will not be big, judging from an incident on March 26 when North Korea allegedly fired a torpedo to sink a South Korean Navy vessel, analysts predicted Tuesday. But it is likely to ease the inflow of hot money into Asia, they added.

As Samsung and Hynix from South Korea combined have a 60 percent share of world's DRAM market, the incident will have impacts on the global DRAM market, they said.

Domestic travel agencies said that as the incident did not occur at a scenic spot, they don't expect the matter to affect local tours to the country.

They said that tours scheduled for South Korea in December are now fully booked, and they have not received calls from patrons canceling the trips. (By Garfie Li, Chen Hsun-hsieh, and Lilian Wu) enditem

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