International Criminal Court to look at whether N. Korea shelling is a war crime
December 6th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

International Criminal Court to look at whether N. Korea shelling is a war crime

The International Criminal Court has opened a probe into North Korean shelling of Yeonpyeong Island last month and the March sinking of a South Korean warship, allegedly by a North Korean submarine, to evaluate if the incidents constitute war crimes, the court said Monday.

"The office of the prosecutor has received communications alleging that North Korean forces committed war crimes in the territory of the Republic of Korea," the court said in a statement. "The prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, confirmed that the office has opened a preliminary examination."

North Korean forces launched an artillery barrage that killed four people on South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island on November 23. Pyongyang accused the South of provoking the attack, which also injured 18 people, because shells from a South Korean military drill landed in Northern waters.

In March, 46 South Korean sailors died when the warship Cheonan sank in the Yellow Sea. South Korea, as well as an international investigation conducted by South Korea, U.S., Swedish, British and Australian officials, have blamed a North Korean torpedo for sinking the ship. North Korea has denied culpability.

The International Criminal Court, located in The Hague, Netherlands, has had jurisdiction over "war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide" committed on South Korean territory since 2003, the statement said.

A preliminary investigation will determine if the criteria are met for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute - the statute that governs the International Criminal Court.

The court investigates and prosecutes those accused of crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Andreas Moser

    And for that the ICC would need to decide if Yeonpeyong Island belongs to Notrh or South Korea, something that is disputed between both countries. I wonder what good it will serve to open this can of worms?

    December 6, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • The Red Shuttle ...

      USA and China have waited too much to solve the problem and THIS is the consequence! ...

      December 6, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Frank

    Dear ICC,
    Even if a war crime was committed,are you going to send Interpol to NK to arrest all involved?I for one am tired of the Kabuki Dance the international community plays with NK.

    December 6, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. L Ron Lloyd Blankinstien

    We own Norway and North Korea is part of the plan.
    We have banked all the worlds seeds on an island in Norway.
    We have removed most of the liquidity from lower income strata.
    North Korea will now bomb the South.
    Iran will bomb Israel.
    Israel will bomb the rest of the middle east.
    In one thousand years the land will be ready for fertilization .
    Thank You

    December 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mmmmm

    Excuse me, no smores about it, crispy toast villagers and houses is enough evidence a war crime took what would it take to reconize war crimes in international courts???

    December 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • JDT

      No one cares about the Sudan. Whether right or wrong, no one cares. It has no political, economic, or militaristic value. I for one, would like to see the US worry about our poor and down-trodden before we worry about Sudan, Haiti, or any other country. I'd like to go back to those pre-WWII days where we were the sleeping giant. It's time to rest.

      December 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      @JDT...we don't live on an island we live in a village. Pres. Roosevelt I believe tried that selfish approach until USA start losing ship liners transporting goods and trade. JDT be the good Samaritan and stop bypassing your beaten brother left for dead in a one prospers when selfish idiots are around...

      December 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David

    War Crimes?!? What a bunch of bullS*$t. I'm not saying NK is innocent or anything, but let's look at this. A nation (US) attacks another nation (Iraq) under the false WMD pretense and totally destroys their way of life, killing the point that the first nation (US) is hated. No war crimes are even called on. NK fires off 170 shells (provoked or not), kills four people, and they are looking to see if this is a war crime?

    What is this world coming to?

    December 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • GW

      Exactly. Read my post below.

      December 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GW

    Is firing Tomahawk cruise missles into a sovereign nation from the ocean also a warcrime?

    December 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. L Ron Lloyd Blankinstien

    We own the poor and downtrodden.They are the last toxic assets on our books.
    We ordered the government to buy them but they have refused.
    They will soon be sent to Sudan where they belong.
    The Norwegian womens Curling team will not be affected in any way.
    You're welcome.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin Brooks

    Maybe look into the USA's killings of 250,000+ civillians in Iraq and Sfganistam while chasing imaginary WMD's first. Then take a look at the USA's continued use of land mines, cluster bombs, and other ordinance that kills thousands of innocent covillians every year.

    Then take a look at North Korea's shelling of a millitary base that South Korea placed civillians near and decide who has commited war crimes.

    December 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wow

    Prosecuting the Taliban will be easy since they've already admitted and confessed to their crimes. Proves once again just how stupid they are. Are we using war crime court as a deterrant now? How about some live broadcast of Taliban trials and some footage of prison life broadcast all over the middle east so they can all see just where their terror is going to land them .... their fans are awaiting their arrival.
    Heres soap in your mouth, and maybe a few dabs of Tabasco tossed in.

    December 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    @David...the USA is not a member of the World Court. We used to be. In fact the USA helped establish the World Court to keep war criminals at bay since individual nations simply harbor their war criminals. Interestingly, the US government dropped our long-standing membership to the World Court just prior to invading Iraq. This is why the international Criminal Court doesn't bother investigating allegations of American war crimes.

    December 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. others

    didnt america steal this land from the indians and then kidnap some africans to work the stolen land. are those war crimes?

    December 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |


    December 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Raul Arellano

    Time to clean this planet of all the trash,push the BUTTON NOW.

    December 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hammer Time

    After months of research, i have found that there were WMDs in Iraq. I also investigated this Korea matter and found out that Kim Jong Il has been secretly operating with the Canadians who in turn sold all of Iraqs WMDs to Haiti........ and we all know what happen to Haiti. But a small group of muslims from Pakistan, who moved to Lancaster PA and became Amish, provided wooden cabinets to the South Korea as part of a trade deal. Now South Korea didn't want the cabinets, so they sold them to North Korea. Kim Jong Il was not very happy when he discovered that the cabinets weren't really amish, but muslim cabinets. So, Kim called upon his elite assassins...... Matt Damon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon and ALEC BALDWIN...... These celebrities are the ones who committed this attack, but it was all orchestrated by one man....... Tom Cruise and is Army of Scientologist, because we all know that Tom Cruise hates the French.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |