News / Asia

Pyongyang: 'Unimaginable Calamities' if Seoul Military Drills Proceed

FILE - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony of awarding party and state commendations to the exemplary officials, captains and fishermen in fisheries of the Korean People's Army (KPA) at the conference hall of the Central Committee of the Wo
FILE - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony of awarding party and state commendations to the exemplary officials, captains and fishermen in fisheries of the Korean People's Army (KPA) at the conference hall of the Central Committee of the Wo
VOA News
North Korea is demanding South Korea and the United States cancel upcoming annual military drills, saying that the drills, if held, will "fatally destroy" inter-Korean relations.

Pyongyang's state media warned of "unimaginable calamities and disasters" if the Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises proceed as scheduled late next month.

South Korea's Defense Ministry dismissed the threats Thursday. Spokesman Kim Min-seok warned Seoul will "mercilessly and decisively punish" Pyongyang in the event of a provocation.

"We will conduct Key Resolve and Foal Eagle Exercise as planned. If North Korea actually commits military aggression at the excuse of what is a normal exercise we conduct as preparation for emergencies, our military will mercilessly and decisively punish them," said Kim.

The annual military drills are a routine source of tension between the two longtime foes. The North views them as preparation to invade, while the South maintains they are defensive in nature.

Last year's drills came at a particularly tense period of inter-Korean relations, after Pyongyang carried out its third nuclear test. At its worst point, the North was issuing near daily threats of nuclear war against the U.S.-backed South.

Inter-Korean relations had shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, with both sides at least speaking of the need to improve ties. Both sides have also accused the other of ratcheting up tensions.

South Korea is watching the North closely following last month's execution of Jang Song Thaek, the powerful uncle and mentor of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Jang was accused of plotting a coup, raising fears of instability in Pyongyang.

Some analysts have said North Korean leaders may carry out another nuclear or long-range missile test in order to build internal unity. Seoul's Defense Ministry said Thursday it is closely monitoring Pyongyang's military movements, but said there has been "nothing out of the ordinary."

Tensions regularly flare up between the two Koreas, which remain in a technical state of war since the 1953 agreement that ended hostilities between them was only a truce.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid