News / Asia

    South Korea Reacts Calmly to Latest 'Ultimatum' from North

    South Korean protesters display effigies of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, and late leaders Kim Jong Il, right, and Kim Il Sung at an anti-North Korea protest on the birthday of Kim Il Sung in Seoul, South Korea, April 15, 2013.
    South Korean protesters display effigies of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, and late leaders Kim Jong Il, right, and Kim Il Sung at an anti-North Korea protest on the birthday of Kim Il Sung in Seoul, South Korea, April 15, 2013.
    The latest threat to attack South Korea came in a radio broadcast from Pyongyang in the name of the "supreme authority" of North Korea's army.

    In a statement read on air Tuesday, North Korea's military threatened unspecified "immediate" action against the South if it did not apologize for the small Monday protests, during which effigies of North Korean leaders were burned.

    Conservative groups in South Korea frequently stage such small-scale rallies, but this latest one took place on the birth anniversary of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, who is still revered there as the country's eternal president.

    Related - North Korea Marks Birth of Founder Amid Tensions

    South Korean officials bristled at North Korea's contention its ultimatum is justified by the action of the activists in Seoul.

    Cho Tai-young, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the North's argument is illogical and has no merit.  He said the South hopes the North will make a wise and correct choice.

    South Korea's Defense Ministry said it is closely monitoring North Korean military movements and maintaining a firm readiness posture. And, if North Korea provokes for any reasons, a defense spokesman warns, there will be a thorough and resolute retaliation.

    North Korea has issued a series of threats in recent weeks, promising war. It has also vowed to continue with its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in defiance of various United Nations sanctions.

    Meanwhile, a U.S. military helicopter executed what officials call a “hard landing” at a shooting range on routine flight operations near the border with North Korea.

    The helicopter caught fire after all on board evacuated.

    A media release from U.S. Forces Korea says all 21 personnel on the helicopter, including the five crew members from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit out of Okinawa, Japan, were taken to a military hospital in Seoul.

    The marines were participating in a joint exercise with South Korean forces.

    The CH-53E Sea Stallion they were aboard is the largest and heaviest helicopter flown by the U.S. military.

    In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama said he expects more posturing and "provocative moves" from North Korea over the next several weeks.  

    He told NBC's Today that while his administration does not believe Pyongyang has the capacity to put a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile, the U.S. is preparing for "every contingency."

    The threat comes as North Koreans continue their two-day celebration of the birthday of late founding leader Kim Il Sung. Many had expected Pyongyang to mark the occasion with a provocative missile test, but the Monday anniversary passed without incident.

    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    April 16, 2013 9:26 PM
    All this negativity spewing from North Korea is great!!! It proves to the world the UN Sanctions are actually working good! The actions of the North Korean leader will only dig himself deeper. He should smarten up if he knows what is good for himself and the country.

    Washington is likely laughing while taking precautions.
    They gave North Korea a chance to come clean and they didn't. Now more strengthening of sanctions on Iran would be lovely.

    by: NVO from: USA
    April 16, 2013 9:16 PM
    But who furnished North Korea with nukes in the first place?????? The CIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.