News / Asia

    Pentagon: No Plan for Military Response to North Korean Attack

    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, center, arrives with Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, second right, in Seoul, South Korea, as the military was put on top alert after North Korea's artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, 23 Nov 2010
    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, center, arrives with Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, second right, in Seoul, South Korea, as the military was put on top alert after North Korea's artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, 23 Nov 2010

    A Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. military is not working on any specific response to North Korea's attack on a South Korean island Tuesday, but is consulting with South Korea's military about steps that could ease tensions rather than increase them. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was to speak to his South Korean counterpart to discuss the situation.

    The Pentagon spokesman, Colonel David Lapan, said that in addition to the ministerial phone call, the U.S. military command in Seoul is in close contact with its South Korean counterparts. But he said there is no particular plan for a response or for any increase in the joint U.S.-South Korean deterrent force, which includes 25,000 U.S. troops.

    "I wouldn't say that we are looking at anything in particular at this point," said Lapan. "We are still monitoring the situation and talking with our allies. I wouldn't say that there's anything that's been initiated because of the incident."

    Lapan said any military incidents on the Peninsula increase tensions. He indicated that U.S. and South Korean officials are taking a cautious approach, concerned that a military response, even after several North Korean attacks and provocative statements, might only make the situation worse.

    "We are mindful of the tensions on the Peninsula and what actions may either exacerbate or calm them. So, it's too soon now to tell what actions may be taken as a result of this."

    Separately, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell declined to speculate on why North Korea launched the attack. He told the MSNBC news channel the Pyongyang government is "extremely unpredictable," and said "they do things that you could not possibly have predicted in a rational world." Morrell also said it would be difficult to put any more sanctions on North Korea than it already has. And he added, "This is a regime that is determined to bypass the sanctions, to not abide by its international obligations."

    Colonel Lapan said no U.S. troops were involved in the South Korean military exercise on the island that was attacked Tuesday, but he said Americans have participated in that event in past years. And, he said, there is no plan to cancel expected joint naval exercises off the Korean and Chinese coasts, not far from the island that was attacked. Both Pyongyang and Beijing have said they would see such an exercise as an aggressive act.

    "We and the Republic of Korea, throughout the year, conduct exercises," said Lapan. "We always point out that these are not offensive in nature. They are to exercise our inter-operability with the Republic of Korea. And, they should not be seen as directed in a threatening manner at anyone."

    Lapan said there is still no firm plan for when the naval exercise will be held. U.S. officials have said it will include an aircraft carrier, which is among the largest and most capable warships in the world.


    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    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.
    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.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora