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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs