News / Asia

    N Korea Denounces US-S Korea Military Pact, Exercises

    U.S. aircrafts sit on the flight deck of the USS George Washington at a navy port in Busan, South Korea, Oct. 4, 2013.
    U.S. aircrafts sit on the flight deck of the USS George Washington at a navy port in Busan, South Korea, Oct. 4, 2013.
    Daniel Schearf
    North Korea denounced a U.S.-South Korea military agreement and joint exercises this week as preludes to war, and repeating threats of a preemptive strike.  Seoul and Washington said the drills, which also include Japan, are humanitarian in nature.  According to political analysts, Pyongyang's rhetoric is likely to grow worse.
     
    North Korea's state media Monday lashed out at South Korea and the U.S. for planning a strategic framework to deal with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile threats.
     
    The customized deterrence plan was finalized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel last week during an annual South Korea-U.S. security meeting in Seoul.
     
    A statement by Pyongyang's Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea described the move as a “dangerous plot of nuclear war.”
     
    Pyongyang radio read out the denunciation of the military agreement.
     
    The newsreader said if their enemies try to threaten them in the slightest, their country and people will launch merciless preemptive strikes for the final annihilation.
     
    North Korea's state media also condemned joint U.S.-South Korea maritime drills this week that include Japan and a U.S. aircraft carrier.
     
    The Rodong Sinmun newspaper claimed the exercises, despite being planned months in advance, were timed to scuttle inter-Korean dialogue and were a prelude to war.
     
    South Korea's Defense Ministry Spokesman Kim Min-seok dismissed the criticism.
     
    He said the South Korea-U.S.-Japan joint naval drill is for rescues at sea.  It is a humanitarian level drill, he said, which searches for and rescues private ships or anyone who is in distress.  He said this is not something to criticize or something that can be criticized, so they view North Korea's critique as wrong.
     
    U.S. Naval Forces Korea echoed that view in a statement read by spokesman Arlo Abrahamson. 

    “These are trilateral naval exercises that are between the U.S., the Republic of Korea, and Japan that are humanitarian in nature.  The U.S. Navy encourages interoperability training between the Republic of Korea Navy and the Japan Maritime Defense Force in order to strengthen our ties, provide collective defense and prepare for potential humanitarian operations, and enhance stability in the region,” he stated.
     
    North Korea habitually condemns U.S.-South Korea military exercises as practice for an invasion.  
     
    But North Korea in recent days has also launched a volley of rhetoric and insults at South Korea, and its leaders, after a thaw in relations once again cooled.
     
    John Delury is assistant professor of East Asian Studies at Yonsei University.  He said North Korea's young hereditary leader Kim Jong Un is still consolidating his power and legitimacy. 

    “Kim Jong Un I think needs to be particularly strong and needs to be able to present strength domestically.  So, the moment is not right to look for political will in North Korea to make tough compromises on the nuclear issue,” he said.
     
    Kim Jong Un succeeded his father, Kim Jong Il, after he died in December 2011, and is believed to be about 30 years old.

    VOA Seoul Burea Producer Youmi Kim contributed to this report.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora