News

    North Korea Issues Warning About South's Nuclear Summit

    Police officers talk during an anti-terrorism drill at a subway station in Seoul March 20, 2012, which was held in a preparation for the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit from March 26-27.
    Police officers talk during an anti-terrorism drill at a subway station in Seoul March 20, 2012, which was held in a preparation for the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit from March 26-27.

    North Korea is warning world leaders not to raise the issue of its nuclear weapons during a summit next week in South Korea. The reclusive country says it will consider as a "declaration of war" any statement about the North Korean issue at the Nuclear Security Summit.

    At a time when tensions are again quickly escalating on the Korean peninsula, Seoul is about to host dozens of top-level foreign dignitaries - including the presidents of the United State and China.

    The Nuclear Security Summit is intended to make it more difficult for terrorists to get their hands on materials to make atomic weapons. But it is will be overshadowed by events just across the Demilitarized Zone.

    North Korea Wednesday warned Seoul any resolution at the summit concerning its nuclear program will be a provocation “considered an act of war.”

    North Korea issue unavoidable

    Although North Korea is not an official topic at the summit, officials here say one-on-one leaders' meetings are certain to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.
    Last week, North Korea said it plans to launch a satellite into orbit in mid-April. That announcement was condemned by the international community, which asserts any space launch violates a ban on North Korea utilizing ballistic missile technology.

    The announcement also appears to unravel an agreement Pyongyang and Washington jointly announced just weeks ago, on February 29, in which North Korea would freeze some of its nuclear programs in exchange for food aid. Pyongyang, however, says the agreement remains in effect and it is inviting U.N. nuclear inspectors to return to the country.

    'Earth observation satellite'

    Leon Sigal, who formerly advised the U.S. government on strategy toward North Korea, says it is difficult to imagine future diplomacy between the United States and North Korea if Pyongyang goes ahead with its so-called earth observation satellite launch.

    "A rocket launch would be confidence-destroying. Unless it is suspended, fruitful dialogue will come to an end, I’m sorry to say," said Sigal, who was speaking Wednesday at an international conference about Northeast Asia nuclear issues.

    South Korean Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik, in a speech Wednesday at a separate international conference here said a launch - which would be North Korea's third attempt - is senseless in a country whose people are hungry and repressed.

    Grave provocation

    South Korea's point man on North Korea says it would be a grave provocation and a serious security threat to South Korea and the international community.

    Japan's government is vowing to take “all possible measures to ensure that people and property are safe” - the latest indication it might try to shoot down the North Korean rocket if it soars over Japanese territory, as indicated by its planned trajectory.

    Analysts say North Korea likely has several nuclear weapons but has yet to perfect the technology to make them small enough to place atop a missile. Nor has it demonstrated it can successfully launch such a payload.

    Diplomacy is key

    Stanford University research professor Siegfried Hecker has visited North Korea seven times. The North Koreans in 2010 revealed to him a facility to enrich weapons-grade uranium.
    At Wednesday's regional nuclear issues conference, Hecker said re-engagement and diplomacy with Pyongyang is the only way to try to persuade the North Koreans to give up their nuclear ambitions.

    "We should be able to convince them that it’s a much greater liability than it is an asset. But to do that they have to have a sense of security.  So there’s a lot of work to be done. And so, we must make the price of keeping the weapons greater than the benefits of giving them up," said Hecker.

    De-nuclearization vs. freeze

    Speaking at the same conference, the Asia Foundation's Peter Beck argued for a "reality check" in regards to North Korea's nuclear development.

    "We can’t de-nuclearize North Korea," he said. "The best we can do is a freeze. And, that’s frankly unacceptable to Washington, to Seoul, certainly for Tokyo, but that is the reality we face. North Korea attaches tremendous meaning and value to being a nuclear power. It’s increasingly tied to their identity."

    North Korea watchers are also warning of the likelihood that Pyongyang will soon follow its so-called space launch attempt with a third underground test of a nuclear device.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: ADEL ALSHEAR
    March 25, 2012 7:17 AM
    THIS IS CAN A HAVE DO TO DO WITH SPY COMINST. THIS IS HAVE DO WITH TO DO WITH COMINST . THIS IS THE HAVE CAN DO TO DO WITH POLITIC MARKS . THIS IS A HAVE CAN DOTO DO WITH POLITIC LENEN . THIS IS HAVE TO DO WITH COMINST POLITIC PARTY.

    by: HY Kwon
    March 23, 2012 5:27 PM
    most of south koreans think that reunification is almost impossible due to the big gap between two countries on many aspects. but still we dont want war because we've already seen the dreadful sights of war. we want a peaceful reunification (at least the south koreans)

    by: Akbar Ali
    March 22, 2012 8:47 AM
    To show the example of peace and disarment First the America and Russia should close their nuclear weaponse then they should preach the world for disarment. Becuase the bigeners of nuclear weapons are these two countries. So first they should close their nuclear activities and then pointed out the rest of the world.Other wise it is injustice.

    by: william
    March 22, 2012 5:25 AM
    It looks like the dear nut job has passed on, I wonder what it is like to wake up in hell and be tortured by satan, President bush called him that little pigmy, But seriously NK is a proxy for china and i say to hell with them, Let them look to china for sustanance and leave the rest of the world alone!

    by: Cha Cha Cohen
    March 22, 2012 3:50 AM
    Most of the great nations were devided in order to control and securing market for ammunitions,e.g.Korea, Vietnam, India ( to make the matter worse further division of Punjab & Bengal) etc. Mistake was made by deviding Germany in to five instead of two!

    by: Cha Cha Cohen
    March 22, 2012 3:28 AM
    What's so angelic about the countries who got them! Many of them used it on other nation! In a safe world nobody should either possess or crave for it whether they are super or meager power!Lets call for ARMS FREE WORLD! Peace be on this scorched earth!Power is a dirty word!

    by: NVO
    March 21, 2012 7:50 PM
    The NK Regime is a bunch of Buffoons, plain and simple. Why don't you hear of all the FAKE crying anymore because of the death of the Supreme Buffoon? Had these people not put on the FAKE crying, the NK Regime would have thrown them into jail, for a BUFFOON whom is in Hades, then will be in Gehenna.

    by: Joe
    March 21, 2012 11:32 AM
    "Yes Joe lets kill 8 million+ people just because their leader is insane....."

    Never said I approved of the idea - but this is how military leaders think. In the meantime, N. Korea's leader is doing a pretty good job of doing the same thing.

    by: william
    March 21, 2012 10:25 AM
    China would not allow that to happen, The only reason the north korean regime still survives is it is a proxy that china commands and is used to throw a monkey wrench into any hopes for regional peace and to present defiance against the west.

    by: mark
    March 21, 2012 6:40 AM
    and thats how a zombie outbreak would start. :)
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora