News / Asia

N. Korea Moves Missiles From Launch Site: US Officials

A man using his phone walks past South Korean soldiers wearing protective gears during an anti-biochemical terrorism exercise at a subway station in Seoul, May 7, 2013.
A man using his phone walks past South Korean soldiers wearing protective gears during an anti-biochemical terrorism exercise at a subway station in Seoul, May 7, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. officials believe North Korea has removed two mid-range missiles from imminent-launch status, in an apparent further easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Speaking anonymously late Monday, Washington defense officials said Pyongyang recently moved the two Musudan missiles from a launch site on the country's east coast.  South Korean media are also reporting the move.

Washington had for weeks warned North Korea could launch the untested Musudan missiles, which have a range of up to 3,500 kilometers and could reach several U.S. targets in the region.

Daniel Russel, the White House Senior Director for Asian Affairs, says it is premature to celebrate the move as "good news," warning that U.S. officials cannot rule out a test.

North Korea has gradually reduced the intensity of its rhetoric, following weeks of threats of nuclear and conventional attacks against the U.S. and South Korea.

It also comes just before South Korean President Park Geun-hye meets Tuesday in Washington with U.S. President Barack Obama, for talks likely to focus on Pyongyang.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, May 6, 2013.South Korean President Park Geun-hye lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, May 6, 2013.
x
South Korean President Park Geun-hye lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, May 6, 2013.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, May 6, 2013.
Park began her five-day visit to the United States at the United Nations on Monday. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the South Korean president for what he called her "firm, but measured" response to provocations by North Korea.

At a dinner event for Korean Americans held in Washington Monday night, President Park said her government is responding to North Korean threats in a "firm and calm manner" by coordinating with the international community, including both the United States and China. She said South Korea is open to establishing a cooperative relationship with its northern neighbor.

"If North Korea stops its provocations and moves toward a right path embraced by the international community, even at this moment we will open the way for the prosperity of the two Koreas through an inter-Korean trust building process," she said.

The South Korean leader is also scheduled to address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday. President Park, who is heading a delegation of more than 50 South Korean business leaders, will stop in Los Angeles Thursday to meet with Korean entrepreneurs.

White House officials say the trip is meant to reaffirm the U.S. commitment of the defense of South Korea.

Pyongyang has been upset at United Nations sanctions that were expanded in response to its latest nuclear test. It also responded angrily to annual joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

Slide show on North Korea

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Turf Institute of the Bioengineering Branch under the State Academy of Sciences in Pyongyang. (KCNA)
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a construction site of the North Korean army, May 7, 2013. (KCNA)
  • South Korean protesters wear masks of U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a rally denouncing their policy toward North Korea near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, May 6, 2013.
  • South Korean vehicles returning from North Korea's Kaesong arrive at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, South Korea, April 30, 2013.
  • A South Korean vehicle loaded with goods from North Korea's Kaesong arrives at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, South Korea, April 30, 2013.
  • A TV reporter prepares for a news report in front of an empty gate at the customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) office in Paju, South Korea, April 29, 2013.
  • An open gate at a military checkpoint of the inter-Korean transit office in the border city of Paju on April 29, 2013.
  • Media wait for South Koreans returning home from North Korea's Kaesong at the customs office near the border village of Panmunjom that separates the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, April 29, 2013.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
May 07, 2013 11:59 AM
Let us hope that the situation continues to normalize; it is certainly looking that much of the escalation in tensions, was related to demonstrating the hardness/ideological committment to the past, of the new leader... I hope that is the case, and the demonstration is over. A new approach to negotiations is clearly necessary, because an unstable Korean peninsula, is not a good outcome for anyone. The new approach, that needs to be tested, is to actually engage the new leader directly in the negotiations. Beating around the bush, with intermediaries, in my opinion will not produce real positive changes. As in other conflicts, pre-conditions will not lead to successful negotiations, pre-conditions may not even lead to any negotiations. The reality of the situation, on the ground in terms of the current status, including the nuclear weapons/ballistic programs need to be addressed, and so is the dire economic and dire human rights situation in NKorea. All these issues need to be turned into a positive direction through direct contacts and confidence building measures..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid