News / Asia

North Korean Media Urge 'Great War' Ahead of South Korean, US Elections

A screenshot of the Korean Central News Agency website shows the state-run media site's warning to South Korea and the United States. (VOA)A screenshot of the Korean Central News Agency website shows the state-run media site's warning to South Korea and the United States. (VOA)
x
A screenshot of the Korean Central News Agency website shows the state-run media site's warning to South Korea and the United States. (VOA)
A screenshot of the Korean Central News Agency website shows the state-run media site's warning to South Korea and the United States. (VOA)
TEXT SIZE - +
North Korea’s state-run news agency has published new warnings to South Korea and the United States, threatening a “great war.”
 
The Korean Central News Agency’s website, adorned with blinking red stars and scrolling photos and news streams, splashed the warnings across its front page in bright green:

- "Let’s Realize the Nation’s Desire for a Great War for National Reunification"

- "We Will Mercilessly Punish Aggressors, Provokers through National Actions"

- "U.S. Imperialists and South Korean Lee Myung Bak Regime Should Not Act Reckless"
 
The messages appeared just days after North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Kil Yon told the United Nations that a hostile U.S. policy toward Pyongyang has turned the Korean Peninsula into the world's most dangerous hotspot.
 
Sung-Yoon Lee, a North Korea expert at Tufts University’s The Fletcher School, said both the U.N. speech and the KCNA warnings are part of a well thought out strategy to remind voters in both South Korea and the U.S. that Pyongyang is a priority.
 
South Korea is holding a presidential election in December, just a month after the United States, and the frontrunner is Park Guen-hye, a member of the conservative ruling party that has taken a hawkish stance toward Pyongyang.
 
“By creating a mini headache, by causing problems, North Korea expects to be rewarded, not just with attention but by creating a political need in Washington and Seoul to take care of the problem,” Lee said.
 
He added that there is a high probability North Korea could start a naval skirmish in the coming weeks to provoke South Korea in an effort to sway the election toward the opposition.
 
“The effect on South Korea is usually apprehension about further escalation and war breaking out. Instead of blaming North Korea, South Koreans are prone to blaming their government  - the current government - that has taken a more hardline approach to North Korea than its predecessor,” he said.
 
South Korean navy patrol ships fired warning shots last month toward six North Korean fishing boats that crossed the disputed Yellow Sea border between the two countries. Pyongyang does not recognize the border.
 
North and South Korea are still technically at war, since their 1950 to 1953 conflict ended in a truce. The de facto peace has been strained by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests, moves Pyongyang says are in response to Washington’s hostile policies.
 
Six-party negotiations to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program have failed and, in recent years, taken a backseat to the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and unrest in the Middle East.
 
North Korea hasn’t made any military provocations since leader Kim Jong Il died last year and was succeeded by his youngest son, Kim Jong Un. For all the traditional belligerent rhetoric directed toward South Korea and the U.S., North Korean state media has also taken great care to depict the new leader as different from his father, showing him visiting school children, an amusement park and and attending a concert with his wife.
 
But Lee said North Korea will have to do more than just paint a reformed image of its young leader to prove the country truly is reforming. Until then, he said, the U.S. and South Korea likely will be hoping the North doesn’t start another crisis - at least until their elections are over.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid