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

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid