News / Asia

South Korea Says Defense Minister Target of 'Terror'

Threatening letter with white substance, determined to be flour, mailed to South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, ROK Ministry of National Defense, undated.
Threatening letter with white substance, determined to be flour, mailed to South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, ROK Ministry of National Defense, undated.
At a time of heightened tension on the Korean peninsula, South Korea's government says its defense minister has been targeted in what it is calling an attempted act of “terror.”

South Korean officials say they are taking seriously a parcel containing a threatening letter sent to Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin.

The letter, which was sent with a white powder that turned out to be flour, threatens the defense chief with unspecified punishment if he harms the dignity of North Korea.

Kim, known for his tough stance towards North Korea, has warned Pyongyang its military would be destroyed should it attack the South.

The language of the letter is identical to that in hundreds of leaflets which were discovered last Friday near the defense ministry. The flyers vowed Kim would be punished for his stance toward the North.

In recent weeks, North Korea's state-run media has mentioned the defense minister by name as a top enemy.

Threats containing similar language were e-mailed last Friday to South Korean journalists who write about foreign affairs and national security. Lee Seok-young, director of the defector-operated Free North Korea Radio outlet, received one such e-mail.

While defector 
groups are often targets North Korean criticism, Lee says, this is the first time the broadcaster received such an e-mail.

He says the e-mail is an unprecedented warning rather than a routine threat and that staff members are now being very cautious about their security and movements, but that they will never stop their activities.

The delivery of the powder and letter to the defense ministry comes a day after threatening flyers were found at the site of a vandalized cram school [private exam-preparation school] in the city of Daegu.

Five leaflets, found at a language institute named the American Cultural Center, warned “no single American will leave this country alive if Washington wages another war here.”

The pamphlets were signed in the name of a group authorities say is unknown to them: the Anti-American Fascism Struggle Committee.

Police say surveillance footage shows two masked men inside the school building who hurled bottles filled with flammable liquid, causing a small explosion.

The school is privately owned by South Koreans and has no connection to the U.S. government.

Media reports say soldiers of the 50th division of the South Korean Army have been dispatched to guard the outside of the nine-story building where the school is located.

In recent months, North Korea, both in the name of high-level state organs and in official news dispatches, has disseminated a stream of invectives declaring war against the rival South and threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States.

Steve Herman

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

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid