News / Asia

    North Korea Renews Threats

    North Koreans dance together beneath a mosaic painting of the late leader Kim Il Sung during a mass folk dancing gathering in Pyongyang, April 11, 2013.
    North Koreans dance together beneath a mosaic painting of the late leader Kim Il Sung during a mass folk dancing gathering in Pyongyang, April 11, 2013.
    VOA News
    Despite ever increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula, students in the North Korean capital broke out into dance Thursday.

    Young people in Pyongyang wore suits and traditional dresses as they performed folk dances to celebrate the anniversary of leader Kim Jong Un's appointment to the country's top party post.

    But on state-run television, news readers issued new threats of impending war, saying "our arms are ready to fire and the exact coordinates are input to the warheads. Once we push the button, it will be fired, and the strongholds of our enemies will be turned to a sea of flames.''

    A U.S. Army soldier gestures to a fellow solider as they participate in annual military drills in Yeoncheon, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, April 11, 2013.A U.S. Army soldier gestures to a fellow solider as they participate in annual military drills in Yeoncheon, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, April 11, 2013.
    x
    A U.S. Army soldier gestures to a fellow solider as they participate in annual military drills in Yeoncheon, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, April 11, 2013.
    A U.S. Army soldier gestures to a fellow solider as they participate in annual military drills in Yeoncheon, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, April 11, 2013.
    U.S. and South Korean forces remain on heightened alert for a possible North Korean missile test, and in London foreign minister from the Group of 8 (G8) issued a communique condemning Pyongyang's "current aggressive rhetoric."

    Earlier, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the time has come for North Korea to calm down.

    "This war rhetoric is not in any way acceptable, and the G8 has a united position on this. We are all convinced that this escalation of war rhetoric needs to end," he said. "It is about level-headedness, de-escalation, and it is unacceptable that North Korea's escalation creates so much tension in this situation."

    South Korea's defense ministry said Thursday it is fully prepared to deal with a North Korean launch. Spokesperson Kim Min-seok, insisted the military is ready to intercept any rocket.

    "Our military is concerned a North Korean missile launch can threaten our territory and our people's safety, so we are preparing a full defensive posture," he said. "Also, we are preparing so that when North Korea launches the missile, we can immediately figure out where it is heading."

    Kim said Seoul believes the launch could occur on or before the Monday birthday of North Korea's late founding leader, Kim Il Sung. The date is one of the most important on the North Korean calendar.

    But the defense ministry refused to comment on a report by Japan's Kyodo news agency, which quoted an unnamed Tokyo defense official as saying a North Korean missile launcher was in a "raised position."

    Despite concerns, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told lawmakers Thursday that all of North Korea's actions appear to be a ploy for the sake of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    He said, "I think first and foremost it's to show that he is firmly in control in North Korea."

    North Korea is believed to have moved several mid-range missiles to its east coast in preparation for tests to demonstrate its ability to strike American targets in the region.

    Officials believe the missiles include the previously untested Musudan, which has a longer range and could potentially reach South Korea, Japan, or the U.S. territory of Guam.

    Meanwhile, South Korea is suggesting dialogue with the North could help reduce tensions. The South's Unification Ministry Thursday called on Pyongyang to engage in talks over the closure of a joint industrial center.

    South Koreans arrive with their belongings from North Korea's Kaesong at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2013.South Koreans arrive with their belongings from North Korea's Kaesong at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2013.
    x
    South Koreans arrive with their belongings from North Korea's Kaesong at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2013.
    South Koreans arrive with their belongings from North Korea's Kaesong at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2013.
    North Korea this week pulled its workers from the Kaesong industrial zone, placing in doubt the future of the last remaining sign of economic cooperation between the two wartime foes. It earlier blocked South Korean access to the center.

    On Thursday, Taiwan became the first country to warn against traveling to North Korea. A foreign ministry statement urged citizens to delay non-essential trips to the country because of the unpredictability of the security situation.

    South Korea's central bank, however, reassured investors that the threats pose no immediate threat to Seoul's economy, which is Asia's fourth largest.

    • North Korean children hold up red scarves to be tied around their necks during an induction ceremony into the Korean Children's Union held at a stadium in Pyongyang, April 12, 2013.
    • Two military officers admire displays at a flower show featuring thousands of Kimilsungia flowers, named after the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, Pyongyang, April 12, 2013.
    • South Korean soldiers stand guard at an observation post near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which separates the two Koreas in Paju, north of Seoul April 11, 2013.
    • Female North Korean soldiers patrol along the banks of Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, April 11, 2013.
    • A North Korean man blocks his face with his hand from being photographed as he and other residents take a ferry in Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, April 11, 2013.
    • People take part in an oath-taking before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on Mansudae Hill in Pyongyang, April 10, 2013. (KCNA)
    • Anti-North Korean protesters release balloons with peace messages on the Grand Unification Bridge leading to the North near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, north of Seoul, April 10, 2013.
    • South Koreans arrive with their belongings from North Korea's Kaesong at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2013.
    • Visitors look at the industrial complex in Kaesong, North Korea, through binoculars at Dora Observation Post in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, South Korea, April 9, 2013.
    • A South Korean military vehicle passes by gates leading to the North Korean city of Kaesong at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, April 8, 2013.
    • An elementary school teacher orders her students to leave as they watch South Korean housewives denounce annual South Korean-U.S. military exercises, near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, April 8, 2013.
    • South Korean army soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence near the border village of the Panmunjom, in Paju, South Korea, April 8, 2013.
    • North Korean military dogs run to a target with a portrait of South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin during a military drill, April 6, 2013. (KCNA)

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora