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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid