News / Asia

Japan Preparing 'Worst Case Scenario' for North Korea Nuke Test

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks to VOA's Steven Herman, Tokyo, Japan, February 4, 2013.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks to VOA's Steven Herman, Tokyo, Japan, February 4, 2013.
Japan's government is indicating it is preparing for all contingencies that would result from North Korea conducting a third nuclear test.  

Japan's top government spokesman has told VOA the international community is making full preparations for another threatened North Korean nuclear test.

South Korea has warned the North it faces “grave consequences” if it goes ahead with another nuclear test.  Seoul has not explained what measures it might take, but some observers say South Korea may punish the North with some kind of military action.

In a VOA interview, Japan's chief Cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, was asked how Japan views the possibility of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula flaring into open conflict.

Suga said the government's job is to always protect its people's lives and assets, and Japan is doing its best in that regard.  He said Tokyo “will deal with the worst case scenario the Japanese people might face.”

He did not elaborate.

But the top spokesman pledged Japan will work closely with its partners in the long-stalled direct talks with North Korea - China, the United States, South Korea and Russia, as well as the U.N. Security Council - to apply more sanctions against Pyongyang, if required.

North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.  Those were believed to be plutonium-fueled devices.

Pyongyang has promised another nuclear test of a “higher level.”  Some scientists and analysts suspect North Korea will either try to increase the yield of the explosion or fuel the device with highly enriched uranium.

Such a detonation is widely anticipated, at any time, based on satellite imagery of the site where the reclusive country conducted its previous two underground tests.

In maneuvers being viewed in part as a timely show of force directed at Pyongyang, the United States and South Korea are holding a three-day naval drill off the east coast of the Korean peninsula. It includes a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine and a South Korean destroyer equipped with the advanced Aegis combat system.

North Korean state media have characterized the joint exercise as preparations for a pre-emptive attack on the country.

The foreign ministry of China, which is North Korea's sole significant remaining ally, is urging “all sides not to take any action that will increase regional tension.”

Concern about the security of the Korean peninsula has been rising since December when Pyongyang launched a rocket and satellite into space in defiance of U.N. sanctions prohibiting it from utilizing ballistic-missile technology.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Multimedia Baltimore 'Victory Rally' Follows Charges in Detainee Death

Baltimore mayor says "my goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary." More

UN Denies Child Sex Abuse Cover Up in CAR

UNHCR says senior official suspected of leaking report suspended for breaching rules More

Nepal Officials Slammed Over Aid Response

VOA News has compiled from various organizations complaints from across Nepal of bottlenecks at customs, repeated harassing inspections of aid convoys and seizure of goods More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dorolis
February 04, 2013 11:49 PM
The North Korea continues the nuclear test,and we all see Japan is taking measure to react the threaten of the NK.
In China,the chinese government keeps silence,it's easy to know that the government is hesitating to react.As the number of cyber attack from Beijing growing,the US government and many online security insititutions become more and more ,ahh,well,danger?The eyesight of the world aims at the China,and chinese government keeps the alliance.
The JKF said NK is the catalyst of the chinese power up.I don't think so.Recently,the chinese government is facing the air pollution and the shortage of the resources.They should solve domestic problems.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
February 04, 2013 9:43 PM
China continues to lose further influence in North Korea; in reality, NK will end up turning against China, because China is a country that no longer is willing to support the rapid advances that NK is making in strategic weapons, especially their nuclear weapons; for the ovbious reason, and that is that these weapons endanger China and its population. The more NK pushes, the more that a tremendous arms race will come about, such an arms race also endangers China. We are already seeing many alliances being forged to offset NK's ICBM ambitions, and the same alliances, by extension, will offset China's power. NK is in essence acting as a catalyst to power up Eastern Asia, and China has already powered up Western Asia. The potential for a big confrontation is rapidly increasing, such a confrontation will spill into China and end up hurting China's national interests. NK is bad news for everyone, because it acts unpredictably. Unfortunately more resources will be wasted in an arms race nobody needs.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs