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

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora