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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora