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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid