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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
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 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. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid