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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid