News / Asia

North Korea Blames US for Tensions

North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong arrives for a news conference in Beijing, Jan. 29, 2014.
North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong arrives for a news conference in Beijing, Jan. 29, 2014.
VOA News
North Korea blamed the United States and South Korea for tensions on the Korean peninsula and warned once again against upcoming joint military drills.

At a rare news conference Wednesday in Beijing, North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong described the drills as "hostile military actions."

"For this we again propose immediately and unconditionally halting all military and hostile acts involving fellow countrymen [South Koreans] in collusion with outsiders [the United States], and request that the South Korean authorities take the crucial decision of canceling Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises which they planned to stage from the end of February under the pretext of annual and defensive drills," said Ji.

Washington and Seoul said the exercises will begin next month as planned, despite the repeated warnings from Pyongyang.

Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, said Wednesday the exercises are defensive in nature.

"That relates directly to our ability to be able to respond to any contingencies. And so we will continue, on a transparent basis, to conduct these defensive exercises so that we are ready should, God forbid, any contingency arise," said Davies.

Davies, who met with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul, said the U.S. is still looking for signs North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea abandoned six-party nuclear talks in 2009. Washington has said the talks cannot resume unless Pyongyang shows it is willing to denuclearize.

Ji, the North Korean ambassador to China, said the first move must be made by the U.S. He claimed that Pyongyang has already "taken its seat on the boat for the six-party talks," and is waiting for other countries to join.

South Korea and North Korea remain in a technical state of war, since the 1953 agreement that ended hostilities between them was only a truce.

About 28,500 American troops are stationed across the border in South Korea, and the two sides regularly conduct military drills.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs