News / Asia

    North Korea's Military 'Targets' Media Outlets in the South

    South Korean police officers stand guard in front of the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) building in Seoul, South Korea, June 4, 2012.
    South Korean police officers stand guard in front of the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) building in Seoul, South Korea, June 4, 2012.
    SEOUL -  South Korea's government is chiding the North for a specific threat made by its military against some of the media in Seoul.

    North Korea's military Monday threatened South Korea's major conservative media outlets, saying its soldiers had entered the latitude and longitude coordinates of their Seoul headquarters for possible attack.

    South Korean reports say it is unprecedented for North Korea to publicly speak of map coordinates for specific targets.

    This came in an “open ultimatum” by the general command staff of the (North) Korean People's Army.

    The message read by an announcer on Pyongyang radio and attributed to the North Korean army general staff, targets South Korean media for critical reports about recent children's festivals hailing new leader Kim Jong Un.

    The broadcast says the military has already targeted for punishment specific South Korean media outlets which it names. The announcer says such “fools, idiots and blockheads” will face retribution for criticizing the celebrations in the North.

    One television channel in Seoul had compared the ceremonies to those of the Hitler Youth of Nazi-era Germany.

    South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk says it takes the threat seriously and calls North Korea's reaction way out of line.

    Kim says the new military threat from Pyongyang is a significant challenge and provocation to freedom and democracy.

    However, Yim Tae-hee - a former chief of staff to the current South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak - says Seoul should not over-react.

    Speaking to correspondents, Yim - a declared presidential candidate of the ruling New Frontier Party - pleads for all to step back and put things in perspective. He says literally interpreting such threats could cause an erroneous move by Seoul in regards to relations with the North.

    The two Koreas have no diplomatic ties. They have lived side-by-side for decades under an uneasy truce since their devastating three-year civil war in the early 1950's.

    The South Korean capital, Seoul, with more than ten million people, is in the range of North Korean artillery.

    Professor Ryu Gil-jae at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul says a “cyber” attack against the South Korean media is more probable than a military action.

    Ryu says a competition is underway in North Korea among various entities to demonstrate their loyalty to Kim Jong Un and such belligerent rhetoric directed at the South is one part of this.

    Two provocations blamed on the North in 2010 - the sinking of a South Korean military ship and the shelling of a small island - killed 50 South Koreans, mainly military personnel. The South Korean government has warned there will be retaliation by its forces if there are any additional attacks by the North.

    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora