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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More