News / Asia

    S. Korea Warns North About Attack Threats

    South Korea's President Park Geun-hye speaks to the nation at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, March 4, 2013 file photo. South Korea's President Park Geun-hye speaks to the nation at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, March 4, 2013 file photo.
    x
    South Korea's President Park Geun-hye speaks to the nation at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, March 4, 2013 file photo.
    South Korea's President Park Geun-hye speaks to the nation at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, March 4, 2013 file photo.
    South Korea is expressing concern and frustration with North Korea's continuing bellicose rhetoric, which includes threats of a preemptive nuclear strike. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has details from Seoul.


    South Korean president Park Geun-hye, speaking to graduating military cadets Friday, informed them she will “deal strongly with North Korea's provocations.”

    The president says the “current security situation is very grave” as Pyongyang presses ahead with nuclear and missile development, and threatens to nullify the 1953 armistice agreement.

    In recent days North Korea has also warned it would attack with nuclear weapons the headquarters of its enemies - which would be the United States and South Korea.

    On Friday the North's organization overseeing relations with the South (the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea) declared void a non-aggression pact with Seoul and announced the North-South hotline at the DMZ will be severed.

    At a rally in Pyongyang Thursday, a general told the crowd the military has armed intercontinental ballistic missiles and other guided rockets with various types of atomic warheads.

    Kim Min-seo, a spokesman for South Korea's Defense Ministry, says, if the North were to carry out a nuclear attack against the South “the Kim Jong Un regime would become extinct from the planet by the will of mankind, as well as South Korea.”

    A professor of North Korean studies at Seoul's Dongguk University, Kim Yong-hyun, says the latest threats from Pyongyang are clearly intended to heighten as much as possible tensions on the peninsula.

    Kim says the possibility that North Korea will take a low-intensity provocative action, such as firing short-range missiles in the vicinity of the disputed Yellow Sea maritime border (the Northern Limit Line), cannot be excluded.

    UN Security Council Resolution 2094

    • Condemns in strongest terms North Korea's ongoing nuclear activities
    • Imposes new financial sanctions to block transactions in support of illicit activities
    • Strengthens states' authority to inspect cargo, deny port, overflight access
    • Enables stronger enforcement of sanctions by U.N. member states
    • Imposes sanctions on new individuals and entities
    North Korea's threats come as the U.N. Security Council toughens sanctions against Pyongyang in the wake of its third nuclear test.

    China's backing of the fresh and tighter sanctions is seen as a sign of Beijing's increasing frustration with Pyongyang's behavior.

    China sent soldiers to fight alongside North Korea during the devastating civil war on the peninsula in the early 1950s. Beijing remains Pyongyang's sole, significant ally.

    The United States has nearly 30,000 military personnel stationed in South Korea.

    The two countries are currently conducting annual defense drills in South Korea.

    The North has called the exercises a prelude to an American nuclear strike on it. And Pyongyang's military is also reported currently to be conducting its own ground, air and sea military exercises.

    Steve Herman

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

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    March 08, 2013 5:44 PM
    With the latest Security Council resolution invoking more sanctions against North Korea, Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea does not have any friendly country. He is marooned in a sea of opposition to his nuclear armament ambitions. North Korean cancellation of non-agression pact with South Korea, severing the hot line at the DMZ, discontinuation of six nation talks and threat of nuclear attack at the US are beserk behavior of the baby dictator bewildered by isolation and helplessness. But the sincerety of China to confront North Korea on nuclear issue is still doubtful.
    In Response

    by: vn from: usa
    March 08, 2013 8:33 PM
    china is father of dictator called communist. Just worried itself being taken over by it's people.

    by: Wangchuk from: NYC
    March 08, 2013 10:15 AM
    Pyongyang is clearly trying to provoke South Korea & the USA. But we should take their threats seriously. They already invaded South Korea once before & they're prepared to do it again. The real failure here is China which has refused to be responsible and control the North Korean regime. China has the strongest influence in Pyongyang but is not doing enough to curtail their belligerence.

    by: NVO from: USA
    March 08, 2013 9:48 AM
    Starve your people, and isolate yourself from the world.......sounds like a plan! LOL.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora