News / Asia

South Korea Brushes Off North's 'Final Destruction' Threat

People watch a television program showing a propaganda video released by North Korea at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, February 20, 2013.
People watch a television program showing a propaganda video released by North Korea at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, February 20, 2013.
South Korea's top national security official, in an exclusive VOA interview, says there is no cause for alarm amid a fresh North Korean threat to destroy the South.

National Security Adviser, Chun Yung-woo, says he is disappointed but not alarmed by a North Korean diplomat's bombastic threat.

Chun told VOA's Korean Service Wednesday that Pyongyang routinely resorts to “violent vocabulary and expressions” to issue threats of war and retaliation. So such rhetoric unleashed at an international conference is not surprising.

At a United Nations disarmament conference Tuesday in Geneva, North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong predicted “South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction.”

Jon also said Pyongyang will take further steps in wake of its February 12 nuclear bomb test, but he did not elaborate.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Aug. 15, 2012.South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Aug. 15, 2012.
x
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Aug. 15, 2012.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Aug. 15, 2012.
North Korea has regularly vilified South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as “rat-like” and the leader of a “gang of traitors.”

Lee, limited to a single five-year term, leaves office Monday when President-elect Park Geun-hye is to be inaugurated.

In a farewell speech Tuesday, Lee surprised many by contending that people in North Korea, an isolated and highly repressive country, are changing.

Chun says Seoul cannot reveal specific evidence but that, indeed, an “important wind of change is blowing” in the North.

Chun, the presidential chief secretary for foreign affairs and security, says this is a result of various tools South Korea has at its disposal. He also says the Voice of America should get some of the credit for the change. And, Chun predicts VOA, because of its nightly broadcasts into North Korea, will play a key role in shaping the reclusive and impoverished country's destiny.

A passenger walks past a television report on North Korea's nuclear test at a railway station in Seoul February 12, 2013.A passenger walks past a television report on North Korea's nuclear test at a railway station in Seoul February 12, 2013.
x
A passenger walks past a television report on North Korea's nuclear test at a railway station in Seoul February 12, 2013.
A passenger walks past a television report on North Korea's nuclear test at a railway station in Seoul February 12, 2013.
After North Korea's recent space launch and nuclear test, Chun says stronger sanctions to be imposed by the U.N. Security Council are key to restraining Pyongyang from further provocation.

“China's stance will be the most important factor that North Korea will base its decisions on whether to conduct further nuclear tests and missile launches,” the security adviser says.

Some analysts predict North Korean officials will wait until they see the severity of the new sanctions before giving the go-ahead for a fourth nuclear test.

But Li Hong, a well-known advocate for arms control and nuclear disarmament in China, cautions that the North Korean nuclear program is a long-standing and complicated matter and the rest of the world should not insist Beijing resolve it.

“No country, not only China, even the number one -- the United States -- can't have a solution to the issue," Li said. "How can you expect China to solve this issue?”

Li, the secretary-general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, made the remark in Seoul, Wednesday, at the Asan Nuclear Forum.

China is North Korea's neighbor and sole remaining significant ally. It is also a critical source of hundreds of millions of dollars annually of food supplies and badly needed aid.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: BK_inAZ from: AZ
February 20, 2013 2:53 PM
Sounds more like the Mafia than a nation. This is nothing more than an extortion racket by a county that is building bigger guns (nuclear weapons) themselves.


by: Joseph from: Washington DC
February 20, 2013 1:15 PM
Considering the recent cyber attack/hack/data theft on multiple US utility infrastructures, by the Chinese government, I don't think China's exactly trustworthy. The US and South Korea can't afford to be blindly optimistic at a time like this.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid