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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid