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)
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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs