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N. Korea Threatens South With Special Military Action

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a military parade held to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the North's founder Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang on April 15,
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a military parade held to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the North's founder Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang on April 15,

North Korea escalated its war of words against the South Korean government on Monday, when a newscaster interrupted regular programming on North Korea's central television station and forcefully read an unusual announcement from a unit of the army's supreme command.

A special operation would reduce to “ashes in three or four minutes” the supporters of South Korea's president and their bases utilizing “unprecedented peculiar means and methods," said Ri Chun Hee, a senior North Korean broadcaster. 

Pyongyang blames President Lee Myung-bak for insulting the North at a time when the country was mourning its late leader, Kim Jong Il, who died in December, and then during this month's celebrations marking the centennial of the birth of North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung.

North Korea often uses belligerent language and threatens violence against South Korean leaders. But some analysts who closely monitor the North’s bombastic rhetoric say the latest message may presage some sort of attack.

Daniel Pinkston, the senior analyst in Seoul for the International Crisis Group, says while there is no indication of a mobilization of North Korea's military, the announcement from Pyongyang is puzzling and worrying.

"I don't know what a special team could do in three or four minutes,' noted Pinkston. "Maybe some type of special operations or some type of asymmetric attack that could include cyber attacks or attacks against unexpected, unusual targets in the South, maybe attacks against South Korean targets abroad."

North Korea suffered a loss of face when its highly promoted April 13 “space launch” failed after two minutes. The North said it was trying to place a satellite into orbit. Much of the international community regarded it as a provocative ballistic missile test in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

South Korea last week unveiled a missile of its own that it says is capable of quickly striking any target in the North.

An uneasy peace has prevailed on the Korean peninsula since 1953 when an armistice was signed halting three years of devastating warfare. The two Koreas have never signed a peace treaty and have no diplomatic relations.


Steve Herman

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

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by: Elachi
May 02, 2012 11:07 AM
WHEN GOD is silence it mean jugdement human being is still the apple of GOD eyes no matter the manipulation of science.the GOOD will ever prevail over EVIL.

by: gFB
April 25, 2012 12:06 PM
Not having a army premotes pease,,as is the case here

by: JW
April 24, 2012 7:12 AM
The money the north spends on it's rediculous bids to dominate the region could feed it's people and build an eduction system that might one day give it hopes of actually being equal, much less dominating, other countries in the region. They display the foresight of a three year old, the patience of a teenager and the intellegence of a can of worms.

by: Stephen Loo
April 24, 2012 5:15 AM
North says within 3 to 4 minutes, he can flattened certain of South military base, on the hand its say that making the nuclear bombs is to generate power electricity, with such agressiveness how to could convince the World's

by: Z
April 24, 2012 3:01 AM
The N. Korea leader looks so young!

Why do they not want all the modern restaurants?

I surley don't understand why all the problems!

by: Sunny
April 23, 2012 7:23 PM
This vild and shamble NK is going to end and down its ruling in its nation.So it wants to make some troubles to the world and get
attention. Why does the NK can do it? Because they get the supports and back from China, the same vild regim.

by: Deon
April 23, 2012 5:01 PM
The time for talk and half measures are over, the north have to adapt to the changes in the world or perish as an outcast..... Restrictions and sanctions only made their senceless goverment gain more power among their followers, sooooo take stronger actions against the north! Cripple their army and remove their leaders.....!

by: William
April 23, 2012 7:55 AM
I think it is about time we give a couple of nukes to south korea and then see how intimidating the north will be, Maybe the south can catch the norths new leader in the middle of a bowel movement when they torch pongyang since he is the only one there that has a bowel movement.

by: NVO
April 23, 2012 6:56 AM
NK=SHAM! Starve your people, then crash a rocket, SHAM!

by: eclecticspot.wordpress.com
April 23, 2012 6:29 AM
Maybe this will give us good reason to bring peace to the people of the North.
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