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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs