News / Asia

N. Korea Threatens 'Pre-Emptive Nuclear Attack'

North Korea missile ranges
North Korea missile ranges
For the first time, North Korea is threatening to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.  This is the latest in an increasing series of bellicose rhetoric from Pyongyang in recent days.

The threat, attributed to a spokesman from North Korea's foreign ministry, was carried by the country's central news agency and also broadcast Thursday.

The ministry spokesman is quoted as saying that because "the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, our revolutionary armed forces will be exercising our right to pre-emptive nuclear attack against the strongholds of invaders in order to protect our supreme interest.”

North Korean Nuclear Tests

2006
  • Carried out underground at Punggye-ri
  • Powered by plutonium
  • Released radioactive materials

2009
  • Carried out underground at Punggye-ri
  • Seismic signals were consistent with a nuclear test
  • Radioactive material was not detected

2013
  • Carried out underground at Punggye-ri
  • Seismic signals were consistent with a nuclear test
  • Estimated to be more powerful than devices tested earlier
Earlier in the week, a four-star general went on television to announce North Korea next Monday would abrogate the 1953 armistice, which halted the three-year devastating Korean civil war.

​North Korea has made no secret it is incensed about fresh sanctions against it by the U.N. Security Council.  It is also expressing strong displeasure with annual military drills under way involving American and South Korean forces.

The North claims the joint exercises are a pretext to a nuclear attack by the United States.

The commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, General James Thurman, issued a statement expressing concern about Pyongyang's threat to cancel the cease-fire agreement.  He noted [that] as leader of the U.N. Command on the peninsula he is "charged to fully enforce the conditions of the armistice."

The cease-fire document was signed by military commanders from China and North Korea on one side and the U.S.-led U.N. Command on behalf of the international community.  South Korea was not a signatory.

The two Koreas have since remain divided, no peace treaty was ever written and thus Seoul and Pyongyang never established diplomatic relations.

The United States maintains more than 28,000 military personnel in South Korea.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sham from: USA
March 07, 2013 11:53 AM
The Rockefeller family will LOVE to go into this war, so they can profit from the American public by borrowing money with INTEREST from their FRAUDULENT, EVIL, PRIVATE, organization they call the "Federal Reserve Bank".


by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
March 07, 2013 11:24 AM
I hope the US and allies are going through their defensive drills and civil defense drills, especially at bases in areas under the range of NKorean fielded missile systems.
The escalation in the war of wars between N/S Korea, is not healthy. If SKorea wants to push it to the next level, then it should pick the time and place, having the element of surprise on its side; in any case word escalation is absolutely not constructive; all it does is push NKorea into a corner. US and Allies need to calm its ally, irrespective what the intentions are.


by: Lei from: China
March 07, 2013 11:17 AM
China and russia obviously don't N.K. nuclear test and cancel cease-fire document, so this sanction can be passed on U.N.


by: NVO from: USA
March 07, 2013 9:36 AM
All their so-called rocket attempts have been FAILURES. They cannot even get anything into the air. What a joke. Just another ploy by the Federal Reserve Bank to send us to war. Wake up, world. The Fed wants us in war so we borrow more money at INTEREST for their profit.


by: Michael from: USA
March 07, 2013 8:08 AM
New sanctions are strong but aren't meant to provoke such strong responses. The threats are timed with United Nation votes and the level of poverty increases with new sanctions, so the votes are deliberate because the U.N knows that provocation acts to open the isolated N Korea. Those who think sanctions will stop all nuclear tests are few. The USA will rightly bring these facts to the U.N since this might help to open N Korea in a different way (other than provocation)


by: david lulasa from: tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,v
March 07, 2013 6:22 AM
when such things,the world obviously expects something positive from russia and china..and if not,then its china and russia who are hoping that israel actually got to be removed from the map by like minded people in iran and north korea.


lulasa

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid