News / Asia

    North Korea: 'Time Has Come to Settle Accounts' with United States

    North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 29, 2013 shows, according to KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussing the strike plan with North Korean officers during an urgent operation meeting at the Supreme Command in an undisclosed location. (Courtesy - AFP Photo/KCNA VIA KNS)
    North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 29, 2013 shows, according to KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussing the strike plan with North Korean officers during an urgent operation meeting at the Supreme Command in an undisclosed location. (Courtesy - AFP Photo/KCNA VIA KNS)
    North Korea claims its leader has put the military's rocket forces on standby to strike the United States. It is the latest threat from Pyongyang as tension continues to tighten on the Korean peninsula.

    South Korea's ministry of national defense says it cannot confirm a report of increased activity Friday among North Korea's mid-and-long range missile units. But it acknowledges intelligence officials of both South Korean and U.S. forces have increased monitoring of them.

    The semi-official Yonhap news agency in Seoul quotes a military source saying “sharply increased movements of vehicles and soldiers have been detected recently at North Korea's mid and long-range missile sites.”

    This follows an announcement from Pyongyang quoting leader Kim Jong Un that “the time has come to settle scores with the U.S. imperialists” and the country's missile units are now on standby.

    An announcer on Pyongyang Central Broadcasting Station says the country's supreme leader in a midnight emergency meeting ratified a firepower strike plan against the U.S. mainland, American bases in the Pacific - including Hawaii and Guam - and U.S. bases in South Korea.

    The broadcast announcement said North Korea would attack should the United States “bring in enormous strategic armed forces and cause a reckless provocation.”

    A spokesman for South Korea's defense ministry Kim Min-seok, says this appears to be a North Korean propaganda exercise.

    Kim says such operational orders, as a rule, would be conveyed confidentially. But, he says, reporting it publicly to let the entire world know seems like a psychological operation.

    The emergency operations meeting in Pyongyang came in response to Thursday's flights of a pair of U.S. Air Force B-2 bombers over South Korea. The Pyongyang broadcast says the leader stated that the flights were an ultimatum that the United States “would start a nuclear war.”

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel denied the stealth bomber flights were intended as a provocation, but rather meant to assure U.S. allies in the region “that they can count on us to be prepared and to help them deter conflict.”

    The defense secretary says officials “every provocative, bellicose word and action” of the young third-generation leader who came to power at the end of 2011 has to be taken seriously.

    “We've seen some historical trajectory here on where North Korea occasionally will go to try to get the attention of the United States, to try to maneuver us into some position favorably to them, whether it's more assistance or bilateral engagement," he said. "But the fact is that this is the wrong way to go. The action that he's taken and the actions they've taken and the words he's used, it is not going to project a more responsible, accountable relationship.“

    North Korea, in recent weeks, has threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the United States.

    It is under various U.N. sanctions for its programs to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

    The reclusive and impoverished state is believed to have a small number of nuclear warheads but not the capability to effectively deploy them on long-range missiles.

    Steve Herman

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

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: vile from: us
    March 30, 2013 12:58 PM
    have you read chinese kungfu stories, young inherited Korea son will see a boy is exploded by his generals in deciding a horrible operation. Oh a pity of North Korea people...

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    March 29, 2013 1:23 PM
    Curious to see if NK can defeat US like Vietnam did before.

    Russia and China for sure are happy to see another defeat of US in Asia.

    by: Michael from: USA
    March 29, 2013 9:48 AM
    Threats in diplomacy are historically as real as any putsch would be. But the Nazis for example who tried this in Austria before the war, later were sentenced to death by Austria. This shows that from diplomacy, to act, to result, there is a free and fair exchange

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    March 29, 2013 5:32 AM
    So North Korea is playing a game? Is it failing in its dictum of 'the fear of nuclear weapon as the beginning of wisdom in the US'? The buck stops at the table of a 28yr old boy calling all the shots and making all the decisions for a country. Talk about the gods must be crazy. How cool is Kim Jong Un's head to use all this war hype to attract more incentives from the US to build more missile launchers and warheads?

    Cool enough to mobilize enough action at its country's short and long range missile sites. Cool enough to want to show his importance as leader within the region and resilience as head of NK government by threatening the world with nuclear war. But who's going to teach him that his diplomacy is outdated? Surely not Russia, not China. Maybe Iran will. Welcome to the new world order of unbridled diplomacy: Achieve what you want to achieve - by threat!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora