News / Asia

    Kerry Says North Korea's Leader Reckless, Ruthless

    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies  before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.
    x
    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies  before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.
    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.
    Reuters
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described North Korea's Kim Jong Un as reckless and insecure after the execution of the leader's powerful uncle, and said Kim's actions underscored a need for a unified stand against Pyongyang's nuclear program.
     
    The execution of Jan Song Thaek, considered the second most powerful man in the secretive country, showed why China, United States and other countries must work together to limit North Korea's nuclear weapons development, Kerry said in the interview on ABC's This Week program aired on Sunday.
     
    North Korean state media on Friday reported the execution of Jang. North Korea said earlier it had stripped Jang of his power and positions and accused him of criminal acts including mismanagement of the state financial system, womanizing and alcohol abuse.
     
    North Korean politics are virtually impenetrable from outside and Jang also could have been purged over a falling out with Kim or other personal reasons.
     
    “It tells us a lot about, first of all, how ruthless and reckless he is,” Kerry said of Kim. “And it also tells us a lot about how insecure he is, to a certain degree.
     
    “The insights that we have tell us that he is spontaneous, erratic, still worried about his place in the power structure, and maneuvering to eliminate any potential kind of adversary or competitor and does so obviously ruthlessly.”
     
    The top U.S. diplomat, in some of the most detailed remarks of a U.S. official since the news on Friday, said the execution was not the first under Kim's rule and pointed to the urgency of addressing the North Korean nuclear state.
     
    “It tells us a significant amount about the instability internally of the regime, with the numbers of executions,” Kerry said. “It's an ominous sign of the instability and of the danger that does exist.”
     
    The young Kim, believed to be about 30, has carried out two long-range missile tests and a nuclear weapons test in defiance of U.N. sanctions since he took control two years ago after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.
     
    The Obama administration is working with China, the closest thing Pyongyang has to an ally, in seeking help to prevent any internal upheaval in North Korea from destabilizing the Korean peninsula, U.S. officials say.
     
    Kerry, in the interview, said the nature of “this ruthless, horrendous dictatorship” and Kim's insecurities raised the stakes for China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to “stay on the same page” and push ahead on denuclearization.
     
    “To have a nuclear weapon potentially in the hands of somebody like Kim Jong Un just becomes even more unacceptable,” Kerry told ABC.
     
    Senator John McCain, a leading Republican voice on foreign policy issues, echoed Kerry's concern about the threat posed by Kim's latest behavior and called on China to step in.
     
    “They've got to rein this young man in, and they can,” McCain said on CNN's State of the Union program on Sunday.
     
    “I think it's pretty obvious this young man is capable of some very aberrational behavior and given the toys that he has, I think it's very dangerous.”

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora