News / Asia

Pentagon Warns North Korea Against Further Provocations

Pentagon Warns North Korea Against Further Provocationsi
March 08, 2013 1:53 AM
The Pentagon is warning North Korea to stop its provocative actions after Pyongyang threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States. Defense Department officials say that despite the North’s successful nuclear tests, they doubt it is able to deliver on its threats. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Pentagon Warns North Korea Against Further Provocations
Luis Ramirez
The Pentagon is warning North Korea to stop its provocative actions after Pyongyang threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States. Defense Department officials say that despite the North’s successful nuclear tests, they doubt it is able to deliver on its threats.

Bellicose threats from North Korea are nothing new, but this is the first time Pyongyang has threatened a direct nuclear hit on the United States.

The threat comes in response to new U. N. sanctions supported by the U.S., its allies and China -- after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test last month.

"The resolution tabled today will take the U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea to the next level, breaking new ground and imposing significant new legal obligations," said U.S. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

It is also a reaction to U.S. and South Korean joint naval exercises that the U.S. says are routine, but which the North claims are preparations for a U.S. nuclear attack.

“This one is more precise and perhaps more hysterical than most previous threats coming out of North Korea.  What’s changed is that the context is a bit different this time.  North Korea has edged closer to a nuclear-tipped missile capability," said Patrick Cronin, a security analyst with the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

North Korea’s three-stage rocket launch in December and a successful nuclear test in February are reasons for U.S. officials to take the threats seriously.  

Pyongyang has made good on some of its lethal threats in the past. In 2010, it launched an artillery attack that killed soldiers and civilians on the South Korean island of Yongpyeong. That same year, a North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean navy ship, killing 46 sailors.

Analysts say that by threatening nuclear war, new leader Kim Jong Un is trying to prevent the United States and its allies from responding to North Korean provocations. They say his resolve for an all-out nuclear war with the United States is doubtful.

“That’s the calculus that’s going on here. It’s not actually about war. It’s about North Korean advantage in an asymmetrical situation where they’re outgunned by the outside powers,” Cronin said.

Although the North Koreans have tested individual components of a nuclear missile system, they have yet to show they have the capability to deliver a nuclear bomb.  

The U.S. Defense Department, in warning the North against further provocative actions, has sent a reminder to Pyongyang that it is firmly committed to defend South Korea, where 28,000 American troops and the vessels of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet stand ready.

You May Like

Afghanistan, Pakistan Leaders to Hold Icebreaking Talks in Paris

Two sides are expected to discuss ways to ease bilateral tensions and jointly work for resumption of stalled peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban officials

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: steve olson from: western minnesota
March 11, 2013 5:38 PM
Fortunately this war will be a short one.

by: Laurie from: NY
March 08, 2013 3:34 PM
"Bellicose," grandiose, hollow threats? Don't be so sure. Pentagon think heads should follow one simple piece of advice, never underestimate your enemy. There are those who are so arrogant and or ignorant they won't take threats like this seriously until bombs are bursting overhead.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
March 08, 2013 9:59 AM
Basing strategic plans on under-estimates, is not really a good way of planning. You have to look at all the relationships which N Korea has/had, including amongst them with Pak. As reported in various media over time. Dr. Khan was a known peddler of nuclear software; the fact that these issues go back 20+ yrs, is not significant, because at that time Pak was well versed in all aspects of nuclear weapons technology; and through its partnership was working on the delivery systems. Every reaction from NKorea, from most of the World's perspective, is irrational; NK has made in the past, and it is still now making decsions that are not consistent with positive outcomes for its people or any one else. NK intentions are not predictable, and SKorea's overconfidence is not really warranted..........! Let us hope it all cools down, without any incidents.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs