News / Asia

    South Korea Halts Aid, Inter-Korean Exchanges Over Nuclear Test

    FILE - South Korean trucks with food aid prepare to leave for the North Korean city of Kaesong in Paju, South Korea, Sept. 21, 2012.
    FILE - South Korean trucks with food aid prepare to leave for the North Korean city of Kaesong in Paju, South Korea, Sept. 21, 2012.
    Kim Hwan Yong

    South Korea said Thursday that it would temporarily suspend aid to North Korea and limit inter-Korean exchanges in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear test this week.

    A South Korean Unification Ministry official who asked to remain anonymous told reporters that the latest nuclear test was a “grave measure” that had harmed peace on the Korean Peninsula and stability in the region.

    The official also said that to ensure the safety of its citizens, the government would limit South Koreans’ entry to the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where about 50,000 North Koreans are working at about 120 factories run by South Korean companies. The government will allow only South Korean businessmen and workers directly involved in the operation of the factories to cross the Korean border, according to the official.

    This was the second time that South Korea imposed partial restrictions on its citizens’ entry to the complex. In 2013, Seoul took a similar measure after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test.

    Seoul turns to propaganda broadcasts

    In a related move, South Korea resumed loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at noon Friday.

    Cho Tae-yong, a senior presidential national security official, told reporters that Pyongyang’s nuclear test was a violation of the August 25 agreement, a reference to an inter-Korean deal that calls for easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and promoting dialogue and exchanges between the Koreas.

    “North Korea’s fourth nuclear test is in direct violation of its commitments and responsibilities to the international community, such as multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Cho said.

    Psychological warfare

    The propaganda broadcasts run by the South Korean military are a key part of the South Korean psychological warfare against North Korea. The South Korean military runs about a dozen facilities scattered near the DMZ, with each facility equipped with a bank of 48 loudspeakers. The broadcasts are aimed at North Korean soldiers deployed on the border.

    According to South Korea’s Defense Ministry, the broadcasts can reach the intended target about 20 kilometers away during the night. The South Korean military plans to run several advanced mobile loudspeakers capable of reaching farther than conventional loudspeakers.

    Cheong Seong-chang, director of unification strategy at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, said Pyongyang was likely to protest Seoul’s move strongly, with possible military provocations. Cho said the military was maintaining readiness against Pyongyang’s provocations, adding it would respond to such events firmly.

    North Korea announced Wednesday that it had successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, drawing widespread condemnation from the international community.

    Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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-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