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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid