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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid