News / Asia

North Korea Marks Anniversary Without Missile Test

North Korea Marks Anniversary Without Missile Testi
X
April 16, 2013 1:23 AM
North Korea has marked the 101st anniversary of the birthday of its late founder, Kim Il Sung, but did not carry out a missile test that many expected. Analysts say it's too soon to know if North Korea’s recent provocations have ended. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Meredith Buel
North Korea has marked the 101st anniversary of the birthday of its late founder, Kim Il Sung, but did not carry out a missile test that many expected. Analysts say it's too soon to know if North Korea’s recent provocations have ended.  
 
North Korea celebrated the anniversary of what it calls the Day of the Sun with a festival of flowers and members of the military saluting statues of Kim Il Sung and the late leader Kim Jong-Il.
 
There were no large military parades to recognize the nation’s most important holiday.
 
More significantly, there were no ballistic missile or rocket launches, as had been widely expected.
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “Well any absence of provocative behavior or unhelpful rhetoric is a good thing in this case.”
 
For weeks, North Korea has made repeated threats of a possible nuclear attack, including against the United States.
 
Provocative remarks by the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, led to fears of a military confrontation on the Korean peninsula.  
 
But in contrast to recent tirades against its enemies, North Korea state media hardly made mention of the conflict on Monday.
 
Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said “I hope that China and others persuaded the North Koreans that it just wasn’t worth it, and we will see if that proves to be the case.  But I think it is too soon to know.”
 
Pyongyang has been angry about joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises and the latest U.N. sanctions for carrying out a nuclear test in February.
 
Analysts say it is not yet clear whether tensions are beginning to wane.
 
“We are likely to see this thing wind down, for now, although that could be proven wrong as well.  But one thing the North Koreans haven’t done in this case is kill anybody.  And I think maybe they thought through that if they do kill somebody then we have to do something back," said O’Hanlon.
 
The situation topped the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He was traveling in the region and wrapped up his trip in Japan. 
 
Kerry says Washington is willing to negotiate with North Korea if Pyongyang takes steps toward abandoning nuclear weapons.
 
“But the burden is on Pyongyang. North Korea must take meaningful steps to show that it will honor commitments it has already made and it has to observe laws and the norms of international behavior," he said. 
 
Analysts predict that North Korea will continue its missile launches and nuclear weapons tests regardless of the consequences.
 

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid