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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid