News / Asia

    N. Korea Warns Against War Games in Rare News Conference

    North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong speaks at a press conference held at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing, China, Jan. 29, 2014.
    North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong speaks at a press conference held at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing, China, Jan. 29, 2014.
    VOA News
    North Korea's ambassador to China warned South Korea and the United States Wednesday against upcoming joint military drills on the peninsula.
     
    In a rare news briefing in Beijing, Ambassador Ji Jae Ryong told selected journalists that Pyongyang is committed to denuclearization. But he said the North wants South Korea and the United States to compromise on the annual drills, which last year sparked heightened tensions and threats of nuclear war from Pyongyang.
     
    “This time, we once again suggest that South Korea stop immediately without questions, all hostile military actions with foreign powers which opposes people of their same nationality,” Ji said. “Facing this, I pointed out that South Korea should make up their political mind to stop so-called defensive annual joint-military exercises such as the Key Resolve and Foal Eagles [drills] starting from the end of February."
     
    Washington and Seoul have said the drills, which are one of the largest such military exercises conducted each year, will go forward.
     
    The North routinely denounces the annual drills that occur around March as a prelude to an invasion. Seoul and Washington say they are primarily focused on honing defensive capabilities.  
     
    Lu Chao, director of the North and South Korea research center at China's Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, said  Wednesday's news briefing was a way for North Korea to amplify its warning over the drills.
     
    “Statements by the National Defense Commission carry much authority within North Korea,” Lu said. “At the moment, the South has not responded positively to the proposal, and that is why the North is increasing publicity on it.”
     
    The North frequently issues public statements that mix threats with more conciliatory gestures, making it difficult to discern whether Pyongyang is ratcheting up tensions. Lu said Wednesday’s briefing was no exception.
     
    “Just looking at one statement is difficult to tell what measures North Korea will take in the future, and whether it will carry on provocative actions against the South.”
     
    Last year, in a sequence of events that analysts say highlighted the unpredictable nature of the North's regime, leader Kim Jong Un made appeasing comments about wanting to improve relations with the South but shortly afterward he ordered a nuclear test in defiance of U.N. resolutions.
     
    South Korea was more upfront in advocating for its right to hold drills, and said it will continue the military exchange as long as the North continues to develop nuclear arms.
     
    Ambassador Ji also said the North agrees to restarting the six party talks, a series of multilateral negotiations aimed at resolving tensions in the peninsula.

    The talks stalled in 2009, after the North had already agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and nuclear programs in exchange for aid and security guarantees.
     
    As a precondition for resuming negotiations, the United States has asked that Pyongyang take verifiable steps to dismantle its nuclear program. So far, the North has refused.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: rick from: san francisco CA
    January 29, 2014 9:05 PM
    They will do nothing! If they launch any attack on the US or any of its allies, they will get "a full retaliatory response" that President Kennedy mentioned in 1962, and suffer total annihilation. AND THEY KNOW IT!

    by: Max from: South Africa
    January 29, 2014 4:05 PM
    Millitary drills between US and South Korea are not aimed at North Korea as it claims. US has conducted drills with many countries and not provoking neigbours.It is doing this in case of eventualities.And it doesn't pinpoint a country as a target.N Korea must come to join the world community. It must comply with UN on nuclear and US drills with S Korea mustn't be an excuse to defy UN on nuclear production.

    by: MikeBarnett from: USA
    January 29, 2014 2:44 PM
    The main problem is that a legal state of war exists with the US and South Korea on one side against North Korea on the other side. The Korean War ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. In any military maneuvers, large numbers of troops are in motion. If those maneuvers are conducted within artillery range of North Korean forces, North Korea has a legitimate reason to fire on the maneuvering troops because they represent a possible threat for overrunning the North Korean forces. One logical solution would be to conduct the exercises far from North Korea's artillery, and the exercises merely need similar terrain that can be found in other parts of the Korean Peninsula. A more logical solution would be to negotiate, sign, and ratify a peace treaty to end this war after 63.5 years.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora