World News

NKorea Vows 'Sledge-Hammer' Retaliation for Anti-Pyongyang Protests in Seoul

North Korea has issued fresh threats against South Korea, vowing retaliation for recent protests in Seoul that it says "hurt the dignity" of the leadership in Pyongyang.

The North's military threatened unspecified "immediate" action against the South if it did not apologize for the small Monday protests, during which effigies of North Korean leaders were burned.

The statement, read on state television Tuesday, included typically inflammatory language, vowing "sledge-hammer" revenge for what it said was the protesters' "monstrous criminal act."



"Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now as such the thrice-cursed criminal act of hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of North Korea is being openly committed in the heart of Seoul under the patronage of the puppet authorities."



The threat comes as North Koreans continue their two-day celebration of the birthday of late founding leader Kim Il Sung. Many had expected Pyongyang to mark the occasion with a provocative missile test, but the Monday anniversary passed without incident.



The South's defense ministry Tuesday called the new threats "regrettable." Spokesperson Kim Min-Seok said Seoul remains on alert for a possible missile test.



"It is still possible that North Korea will fire missiles. So we are constantly chasing up those kinds of missiles - Scud, Rodong, and Musudan missiles."



White House spokesperson Jay Carney on Monday welcomed Pyongyang's decision thus far to refrain from a missile test, but said Washington continues to monitor the situation closely in case of any provocation.

The White House also said President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye will meet in Washington on May 7 to discuss what it called the "North Korean threat," among other issues.

For weeks, Pyongyang has made repeated threats of possible nuclear attack -- including against the U.S. mainland. The situation topped the agenda of Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to the region, which he wrapped up Monday in Japan.

Kerry said Washington is willing to negotiate with North Korea for a peaceful resolution of tensions on the Korean peninsula, if Pyongyang takes steps toward abandoning nuclear weapons. But he also repeated the U.S. commitment to the defense of both South Korea and Japan.

Pyongyang has been angered by joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that it sees as a prelude to an invasion of the North. Washington and Seoul have insisted the drills are defensive.

As those drills continue, officials said a U.S. military helicopter crashed Tuesday near the North Korean border. No fatalities were reported. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

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