News / Asia

    S. Korea Confirms Relocation of North Missile

    A North Korean soldier watches the South Korean side at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South Korea, April 4, 2013.A North Korean soldier watches the South Korean side at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South Korea, April 4, 2013.
    x
    A North Korean soldier watches the South Korean side at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South Korea, April 4, 2013.
    A North Korean soldier watches the South Korean side at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South Korea, April 4, 2013.
    South Korea's defense minister is acknowledging that North Korea has moved a missile, but is downplaying concerns it could be used as part of a threatened attack. Meanwhile, Pyongyang has renewed its warning about the fate of a joint industrial complex with the South, where managers and cargo are being barred for a second day.

    South Korea Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told lawmakers Thursday North Korea has moved a missile with “considerable range” to the eastern coast of the peninsula. But Kim said it is unlikely it is a new, long-range missile that, if operational, could hit the U.S. mainland.

    Kim says the reason for the missile's movement is unknown, but could be for "testing or drills.”

    Missile range

    Japan's Asahi newspaper reports a U.S. intelligence satellite spotted what appeared to be a long-range KN-08 missile being transported on a train. South Korea's semi-official news agency quoted government sources in Seoul as saying the missile being moved is a Musudan-type medium range missile.

    The Musudan (also known as the BM-25) is a 12 to 19 meters long ground-launched missile that can carry a conventional 1,200 kilogram bomb, or could be fitted with a nuclear warhead - something analysts doubt the North could do.

    The Musudan has a range of about 3,000 kilometers, meaning it could strike South Korea or Japan.

    A statement broadcast by Pyongyang radio Thursday quoted the general staff of North Korea's army as saying the peninsula is “on the eve of explosion” of war between North and South because of U.S. military activities.

    Tensions Rising on Korean Peninsula

    • February 12: North Korea carries out third nuclear test
    • March 27: North Korea cuts military hotline with South Korea
    • March 28: U.S. B-2 bombers fly over Korean peninsula
    • March 30: North Korea says it has entered a "state of war" with South Korea
    • April 3: North Korea blocks South Korean workers from Kaesong
    • April 4: North Korea moves a missile to its east coast
    • April 9: North Korea urges foreigners to leave the South.  The U.S. and South Korea raise alert level
    • April 14: US Secretary of State John Kerry offers talks with Pyongyang if it moves to scrap nuclear weapons
    • April 16: North Korea issues threats after anti-Pyongyang protests in Seoul
    • April 29: North Korea holds back seven South Koreans at Kaesong
    • April 30: North Korea sentences American to 15 years hard labor for hostile acts
    • May 20: North Korea fires projectiles for a consecutive third day
    • May 24: North Korean envoy wraps up China visit for talks on Korean tensions
    • June 7: South Korea accepts Pyongyang's offer of talks on Kaesong and other issues
    The announcer said the White House and Pentagon were formally notified that North Korea will smash what it calls a “steadily mounting hostile” policy and “reckless nuclear threats” by the United States.

    The announcer says the North Korean armed forces have been given “final review and approval” to carry out a strike with “miniaturized, lightweight and diversified cutting-edge nuclear” weapons.

    North Korea has made similar threats in recent weeks that most analysts have discounted as high-stakes blustering.

    US takes threats seriously

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, April 3, 2013.U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, April 3, 2013.
    x
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, April 3, 2013.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, April 3, 2013.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told students at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. Wednesday, the Pentagon takes Pyongyang's threats seriously. He urged North Korea to ratchet down what he called “this very dangerous rhetoric.”

    “There is a pathway that's responsible for the North to get on a path to peace, working with their neighbors. There are many, many benefits to their people that could come," said Hagel. "But, they've got to be a responsible member of the world community. And, you don't achieve that responsibility and peace and prosperity by making nuclear threats and taking very provocative actions.”

    Hagel says the Pentagon is dispatching an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system to Guam.

    The Pacific island, home to U.S. Air Force and Navy bases, is among the locations North Korea has threatened to strike, along with South Korea, Hawaii and the continental United States.

    Kaesong

    South Korean vehicles turn back after being refused for entry to North Korea's city of Kaesong, at the customs, immigration and quarantine office in Paju, South Korea, near the border village of Panmunjom, April 3, 2013.South Korean vehicles turn back after being refused for entry to North Korea's city of Kaesong, at the customs, immigration and quarantine office in Paju, South Korea, near the border village of Panmunjom, April 3, 2013.
    x
    South Korean vehicles turn back after being refused for entry to North Korea's city of Kaesong, at the customs, immigration and quarantine office in Paju, South Korea, near the border village of Panmunjom, April 3, 2013.
    South Korean vehicles turn back after being refused for entry to North Korea's city of Kaesong, at the customs, immigration and quarantine office in Paju, South Korea, near the border village of Panmunjom, April 3, 2013.
    Meanwhile, for a second day, Pyongyang is refusing to allow any South Korean personnel or cargo to enter the Kaesong joint industrial complex, just north of the border separating the two Koreas.

    A loudspeaker carried announcements at the border crossing that North Korea has again denied permission for South Korean trucks to drive to the Kaesong factory complex.

    South Koreans manage thousands of North Korean workers producing household goods there.

    North Korea is threatening to close the facility, even though it is a significant source of hard currency for the impoverished and isolated state.

    State media quote an official committee in Pyongyang as saying closure of the Kaesong complex “is set to become a reality” if South Korea's government and conservative media continue their “bad-mouthing.”

    A spokesman for the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) says the Kaesong operation, which opened in 2004, “teeters on the brink of collapse.”


    • South Korean soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence, near the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas in Paju, north of Seoul, April 5, 2013.
    • A couple looks at a map showing the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas, at the Imjingak pavilion in Paju, north of Seoul, April 5, 2013.
    • U.S. Army Patriot missile air defence artillery batteries are seen at U.S. Osan air base in Osan, south of Seoul, April 5, 2013.
    • South Korean soldiers take part in military training near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, north of Seoul, April 4, 2013.
    • U.S. soldiers wear gas masks while attending a demonstration of their equipment during a ceremony to recognize the battalion's official return to the 2nd Infantry Division based in South Korea at Camp Stanley in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, April 4, 2013.
    • South Korean vehicles turn back after being refused entry to Kaesong, North Korea, April 3, 2013.
    • Anti-war protesters raise signs during a rally denouncing the joint military drills between the South Korea and the United States near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, April 3, 2013.
    • North Koreans attend a rally against the United States and South Korea in Nampo, North Korea, April 3, 2013.
    • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presides over a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang March 31, 2013 in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency.

    Steve Herman

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

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ali Amiri Hezavie from: Tehran
    April 04, 2013 9:52 AM
    Stop empty words ,this bungling and mess ! Shut the mouth of these despots and junks up and throw them away, into the trash bin of human,s history . Once and for all !

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora