News / Asia

North Korea Threatens 'Physical Response' to Maneuvers

North Korea is threatening a "physical response" to scheduled U.S.-South Korean naval maneuvers beginning Sunday in the Sea of Japan.

The outburst Friday was the latest shot in a war of words that eclipsed other issues at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi.

On Friday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described North Korea as an "isolated and belligerent" regime engaged in a "campaign of provocative, dangerous behavior." Earlier this week, she announced new economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

Furious response

North Korean spokesman Ri Tong Il responded furiously at the 27-member forum, describing the planned exercise as a threat to his nation's sovereignty and a reminder of 19th century gunboat diplomacy.

He said, "There will be a military response against the threat imposed by the United States militarily."

Clinton defended the military exercise, saying it would demonstrate America's commitment to the defense of South Korea.

Why hold exercises?

The exercise was organized in response to the sinking in March of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. An international investigation concluded the ship had been torpedoed by a North Korean submarine, but the North denies any responsibility.

A statement prepared for approval by all the countries at the forum expressed concern about the sinking but did not specifically blame any country.

The spat between the United States and North Korea diverted attention from other issues before the 27-member forum, which is hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and embraces other interested countries including China, Russia, Japan, North and South Korea and the United States.

Those issues included promised elections in Burma, the first in 20 years. ASEAN members have been pressing Burma to ensure the elections are free and fair.

Obama invitation

Clinton repeated that message Friday and urged the ASEAN members to remind Burma of its obligations to comply with international non-proliferation measures. She expressed concern about reports that North Korea is helping Burma develop its own nuclear program.

Clinton also urged regional leaders to resolve long-standing disputes over a chain of islands in the South China Sea, especially between China and Vietnam.  She said Washington is concerned the disputes will interfere with maritime commerce.

Clinton said U.S. President Barack Obama will invite ASEAN leaders to Washington for a summit to take place later this year.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid