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Taiwan concerned about incident on Korean Peninsula

2010/11/23 22:24:14

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

North Korean fired two rounds towards a frontline unit and SouthKorean 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 fromSouth Korea's YTN TV.

President Ma Ying-jeou has asked related government agencies tolook at the major incident in a cautious manner, the PresidentialOffice said.

Ma also called off campaign activities for the rulingKuomintang's candidates in the Nov. 27 Taipei and Xinbei municipalityelections -- Hau Lung-bin and Eric Liluan Chu -- scheduled forTuesday night.

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

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

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

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

Chang said that most Taiwanese expatriates, businessmen andstudents are in Seoul or Pusan, far from the islet where the flare-uperupted.

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

Meanwhile, the impact of the incident on Taiwan bourse will notbe big, judging from an incident on March 26 when North Koreaallegedly fired a torpedo to sink a South Korean Navy vessel,analysts predicted Tuesday. But it is likely to ease the inflow ofhot money into Asia, they added.

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

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

They said that tours scheduled for South Korea in December arenow fully booked, and they have not received calls from patronscanceling the trips.

(By Garfie Li, Chen Hsun-hsieh, and Lilian Wu)