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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora