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

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

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs