News / Asia

    North Korea: 'Wait and See' on New Nuclear Test

    Visitors watch North Korean side at unification observation post near the border village of Panmunjom, north of Seoul, April 1, 2014.
    Visitors watch North Korean side at unification observation post near the border village of Panmunjom, north of Seoul, April 1, 2014.
    Reuters
    North Korea said on Friday that the world would have to "wait and see" when asked for details of "a new form" of nuclear test it threatened to carry out after the United Nations Security Council condemned Pyongyang's recent ballistic missile launch.

    North Korea (DPRK) fired two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles into the sea on March 26. Its first firing in four years of mid-range missiles that can hit Japan followed a series of short-range rocket launches over the past two months.

    Members of the Security Council on March 27 condemned the move as a violation of U.N. resolutions and that it would continue discussions on an "appropriate response."

    Pyongyang reacted on Sunday with a threat to conduct what it called "a new form of nuclear test."

    "The DPRK made it very clear, we will carry out a new form of nuclear test. But I recommend you to wait and see what it is," North Korea's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ri Tong Il said on Friday during the normally reclusive state's third U.N. news conference this year.

    Ballistic missile launches are banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions adopted in response to North Korea's multiple nuclear tests and rocket firings. The council expanded its existing sanctions after Pyongyang's February 2013 atomic test, its third nuclear detonation since 2006.

    The Security Council's sanctions on Pyongyang target the country's missile and nuclear programs and attempt to punish North Korea's reclusive leadership through a ban on the export of luxury goods to the country.

    Ri accused the United States of being "hell bent on regime change" in North Korea by blaming its leaders for human rights violations. He also said Washington was blocking a bid for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula by ignoring Pyongyang proposals, so it can maintain military presence in the region.

    US 'going around crazy'

    "The U.S. is hell bent on eliminating the DPRK politically, isolating DPRK economically and annihilating the DPRK militarily," Ri told reporters. "There is a great question mark why the U.S. is hell bent on increasing the tension, ignoring the DPRK proposals, very important for peace and security."

    The U.S. mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Ri's accusations.

    U.N. rights investigators said in February that North Korean security chiefs and possibly Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un himself should be tried for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings, saying the crimes were "strikingly similar" to those committed in World War Two.

    "There is no human rights situation existing in the DPRK," Ri said. "The DPRK has the best social system in the world, it is based on one family as a country, fully united around our leadership, the people and the party."

    "The U.S. is behaving as if it is a human rights judge while it should be subjected to the International Criminal Court more than anybody else. They made a lot of crimes," he said, citing U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Ri criticized military drills by the United States and South Korea, called Foal Eagle and due to end on April 18. North Korea has traditionally called for the joint exercises to be called off, seeing them as a prelude to invasion.

    "The U.S. is now going around crazy with these joint military drills without caring about peace and security on the Korean peninsula," Ri said.

    The annual drills have been conducted for decades without a major incident. The United States and South Korea stress that the exercises are purely defensive and aimed at testing readiness against any possible North Korean aggression.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Joseph Effiong from: uyo - nigeria
    April 05, 2014 5:58 AM
    Look at south Korea growing economically because of their peaceful nature . But north Korea was founded by senseless leaders. The inferior leader of kim's family is a disease in the blood of north Korean people. It will be difficult for this north Korea to prosper because there is no moment of rethink at least for a week of peaceful relationship with south Korea .
    In Response

    by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
    April 05, 2014 3:53 PM
    I am quite sure SK would be as poor as NK, if same sanctions are upon SK, no matter it's democracy or communism.

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 04, 2014 10:09 PM
    Mr. Ri Tong should realize that it is North Korea (NK) that causes all these disturbances and increased instability by continuously making threats. And as far as high yield or hydrogen bombs, it is nothing new nor unexpected; if NK gets its calculations wrong, they will make a hell of a bad environmental mess, affecting a wide area; clearly demonstrating a significant lack of understanding of positive human values; and NK will just go down further in the estimate of its contribution to humanity and to its own people. Such "surprise tests", will potentially have a very negative effect, especially if the calculations get the test wrong, they have a serious potential to negatively affect not only NK/SK but also China, and Russia, radiation/dust does not respect borders. Let us hope it is not a test involving enriched material. Rather than wasting resources on a path that will lead to the dark ages, they would be better off spending the resources on improving the economy of NK. A better test and surprise would be if NK develops an advanced electric car, that can be sold around the world, or other worthwhile useful product.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    April 05, 2014 1:07 AM
    TRUTHFULLY? .... Kim Jong Un and North Korea developed the nuclear bombs for defensive reasons, against the US and NATO, the most aggressor countries in the world, that has started more wars, and been in more wars, on one side or the other, than any country since WW2...
    The North Koreans won't attack anybody, because they don't posses any air or sea power to match the US and NATO, nor any way to supply a military offense with supplies, (if they had any?), and the US and NATO is making-up the North Korean threat to keep US troops in South Korea, to threaten China...
    REALLY? .... How many countries has the US and the 27 other countries of NATO attacked, that possessed nuclear bombs? .... (DID YOU SAY NONE?) .... Those threats of North Korean nuclear bombs, will keep the US and NATO at bay.... REALLY

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora