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.
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

Pakistan Among Developing Countries Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs