News / Asia

    North Korea Vows New Nuclear Test 'Aimed' at US

    Punggye-ri, North Korea nuclear test sitePunggye-ri, North Korea nuclear test site
    x
    Punggye-ri, North Korea nuclear test site
    Punggye-ri, North Korea nuclear test site
    North Korea is amplifying its rhetoric about carrying out more rocket launches and a third nuclear test.

    North Korea's National Defense Commission says the reclusive state will conduct an “all-out confrontation battle” that will include further satellite and long-range launches, as well as what it calls a nuclear test of a “higher level.” It says these actions will be aimed at its sworn enemy, the United States.

    Some experts speculate the reference to an enhanced nuclear test likely will be an attempt to detonate a uranium bomb, compared to the plutonium devices North Korea tested in 2006 and 2009.

    The statement, carried by the state's official news agency and broadcast on radio Thursday, totally rejects Tuesday's U.N. Security Council condemnation of North Korea, calling it an illegal resolution concocted by the United States.

    An announcer, reading the defense commission statement, says “settling accounts with the United States needs to be done with force, not with words as the U.S. regards jungle law as the rule for survival.”

    North Korea's nuclear and missile program:

    • August 1998: Test fires Taepodong-1, its first long-range rocket.
    • September 1999: Pledges to freeze long-range missile tests amid improving ties with U.S.
    • March, 2005: Ends moratorium on missile tests, blames "hostile" policy of U.S.
    • July 5, 2006: Test fires long-range Taepodong-2, which fails less than a minute after launch.
    • July 15, 2006: U.N. Security Council demands Pyongyang halt missile program.
    • October 9, 2006: Conducts first underground nuclear test.
    • October 15, 2006: U.N. Security Council demands halt to missile and nuclear tests, bans sale of weapons
    • April 5, 2009: Launches long-range rocket that lands in Pacific. Claims success, but U.S. says no satellite placed in orbit.
    • April 13, 2009: U.N. Security Council condemns launch, tightens sanctions. Pyongyang quits six-party nuclear talks.
    • May 2009: Conducts second underground nuclear test.
    • June 2009: Security Council imposes tougher sanctions.
    • February 2012: Announces moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile programs in exchange for U.S. food aid.
    • April 2012: Launches long-range rocket, which falls apart shortly after lift-off.
    • December 2012: Launches Unha-3 rocket, and declares success in placing satellite in orbit.
    • January 2013: U.N. Security Council condemns December rocket launch, North Korea says it will conduct a third nuclear test.
    • February 2013: Conducts third nuclear test.
       
    The Security Council imposed additional sanctions on Pyongyang for its December 12 long-range rocket launch.

    The resolution came after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations on wording between the United States and China, which is North Korea's sole remaining significant ally.

    South Korea Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young says the latest statement from Pyongyang is deeply regrettable.

    Cho says North Korea is urged to “pay heed to the international community's constant warnings and not commit any further provocative acts, including nuclear tests.”

    Glyn Davies, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea issues who is in Seoul for meetings with South Korean officials before heading to Beijing and Tokyo, was asked to comment on reports citing intelligence that a nuclear test could be imminent.

    “It's not for me to predict whether they will test or not. We hope they don't. We call on them not to do it. It would be highly provocative. It would set back the cause of trying to find a solution to these long-standing problems that have prevented the peninsula from becoming reunited. I think it's very important that they don't test," said Davies.

    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
    Analysts such as Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group expect Pyongyang will ignore such appeals.

    “Many people say they will not test because there will be costs. And certainly there are costs. Pyongyang realizes that. But from their orientation it's imperative to have strength and to have powerful military capabilities. I think that factor will probably override any consideration about costs or sanctions. And so I would not be surprised to see a nuclear test," he said.

    North Korea contends its December 12 launch was a peaceful mission that placed an earth observation satellite into orbit.

    The launch was widely condemned in the international community as a violation of previous U.N. sanctions prohibiting North Korea from utilizing ballistic missile technology.

    Steve Herman

    Steve Herman is VOA's Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, based at the State Department.

    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

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Guest Response from: Wisconsin
    January 24, 2013 7:38 AM
    Note the use of "sworn enemy". Wouldn't it be better if they are forcibly denied the development of nuclear weapons? Do you think that maybe they have sworn vows to retake south korea in time?

    In Response

    by: iamhe from: New Haven CT
    January 24, 2013 12:14 PM
    I think you have fallen victim to a misunderstanding concerning the use of "sworn enemy"

    From NK's point of view.. try to understand, the US has officially declared -sworn- that NK is an enemy state.

    Given under oath: "a sworn statement" and determined to remain in the role of a sworn enemy. Having been asserted as true under oath: sworn statements by a sworn official. Avowed: a sworn enemy.

    Making such statements, and holding such positions is sure to make NK react in an unfavorable way...

    A sure fire way to make enemies, and set the stage for highly profitable US war budgets..

    by: iamhe from: New Haven CT
    January 24, 2013 7:29 AM
    I am sorry to have to say that the way in which the US frames this and handles North Korea is all wrong, and unnecessarily provocative and dangerous...
    And it does look like, and for a long time now, that the UN is controlled by the US.. The UN has never stood up against the US when it should have... hind sight shows that the UN should have stood up to the US on a number of international issues.. I sincerely believe I could do a better job in managing US relations with nuclearized North Korea, and Iran...
    In Response

    by: THARN
    January 24, 2013 11:16 PM
    Sorry to say The U.N. hasn't stood up to anyone or actually put focus on helping people under brutal regimes- The U.N. is a farce and needs to be dismantled.

    by: ben from: uk
    January 24, 2013 6:37 AM
    no where does it mention "aimed" at anyone, quit scare mongering
    In Response

    by: S from: UK
    January 24, 2013 3:06 PM
    Maybe you could learn to spell before you tell someone to learn to read?
    In Response

    by: Rick Rife from: United Staes Of America
    January 24, 2013 2:23 PM
    learn how to read. it stated that it was aimed at the United States, their srown enemy. love it or leave

    by: x4livin from: Texas
    January 24, 2013 5:57 AM
    Why are we sending money to our "sworn enemy"?
    In Response

    by: soshaljustic from: NV
    January 24, 2013 1:11 PM
    Because people in poverty need to eat and it is the clearest path to making a sworn friend. There is no need to squash a poor peoples with an overgrowth of egoistic short and bad hair leaders. The citizen people cannot help they have ignorance leading the way within a totalitarian state that would murder them if they speak out or do anything to rise up. At least some of the food trickles down to the people from the "sworn enemy" that is us.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    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