News / Asia

US Braces for North Korean Missile Launch

A U.S. Army helicopter prepares to land after a ceremony givng notice of the official return of the U.S. Army's 23rd chemical battalion to South Korea, Uijeongbu, April 4, 2013.
A U.S. Army helicopter prepares to land after a ceremony givng notice of the official return of the U.S. Army's 23rd chemical battalion to South Korea, Uijeongbu, April 4, 2013.
VOA News
The United States expects North Korea will launch one of its missiles in the coming days.

Defense Department officials told VOA they have been preparing for the possibility of a North Korean missile launch and are taking Pyongyang's threats seriously.

North Korea said Thursday that its military has been given final approval for a nuclear attack against the United States - a threat that most analysts think Pyongyang would be unable to carry out.

Related video report by Luis Ramirez:

Pentagon Readies North Korea Optionsi
X
April 04, 2013 10:28 PM
As North Korea ratchets up its threats against the United States and its allies, the Pentagon is lining up its options in case Pyongyang decides to attack. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

South Korea said it has confirmed the North has moved one of its missiles to the country's east coast, and Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin said while the missile appears to have "considerable range," it is unlikely it could reach the U.S. mainland.
 
"Looking at the missile's range, it doesn't look like it will be able to reach the American continent," he said.

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
South Korea's semi-official news agency quotes officials in Seoul as saying the missile is likely the Musudan (also known as the BM-25), a ground-launched rocket 12-19 meters long that can carry a conventional 1,200-kilogram bomb. It could potentially carry a nuclear warhead, but security analysts think that, too, is beyond North Korea's current capabilities.

The Musudan has a range of about 3,000 kilometers - far enough to hit South Korea or Japan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Pentagon is treating the threats seriously. On Wednesday, a Pentagon official said the United States will soon deploy an advanced missile defense system to the island of Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory, as a precautionary move.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday North Korea's most recent threats did not come as a surprise.

"This is just the latest in a long line of aggresive statements," she said. "These are only going to serve to further isolate the DPRK and make it harder for the international communiyt to work with them. But they have a different choice. They have a different choice and they're not choosing to take it."

Pyongyang, which is angry about recent United Nations sanctions against its nuclear program, has issued near-daily threats against Seoul and Washington, as well as Japan.

North Korean state-run television Thursday showed more mass rallies against the U.S. 

Japan's chief cabinet secretary said Japan is in close cooperation with Washington and Seoul.

Related video report by Zlatica Hoke
World Reacts to North Korea's Nuclear Attack Threatsi
X
April 05, 2013 1:23 AM
North Korea's threats to attack U.S. targets with nuclear weapons have raised concerns worldwide. Diplomatic efforts are under way to defuse the tensions, but the United States says it has strengthened its missile defense against any North Korean attack. Zlatica Hoke reports.
He said, "Japan will not be pushed around by North Korea's provocations and will continue to work together with relating countries to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions. We strongly urge North Korea that it's not in their interests to take further provocative actions."  

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich urged North Korea to tone down the rhetoric and return to diplomacy.

He said, "This radically complicates, if it doesn't in practice shut off, the prospects for resuming six-party talks to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula."

Also Thursday the future of a joint industrial complex between North and South Korea remained in question, as Pyongyang blocked South Korean workers from entering the center for a second day.

In Seoul, VOA's Steve Herman said more than 600 South Koreans spent the night at the Kaesong industrial complex, after about 200 returned home Thursday. Six Chinese nationals are also stranded there.

The Kaesong industrial zone, about 10 kilometers inside North Korea, is an important source of income for cash-strapped Pyongyang.

North Korea has responded furiously to tough U.N. sanctions meant to punish Pyongyang for its third nuclear test in February and its satellite launch in December. It is also upset at ongoing annual U.S.-South Korea military drills.

Related slide show

  • 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.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: M Lewis Hughes from: USA
April 05, 2013 2:21 PM
Hey, just send Dennis Rodman back there. If he doesn't get his besty Kim Jong Un to back off he has to stay until he does.

In Response

by: rider from: Thin Air
April 05, 2013 3:25 PM
Just send Chuck Norris.


by: Observer from: Southeastasia
April 05, 2013 11:47 AM
This young "leader" has been left out in the cold by world leaders, so he is doing a cheap drama to get their attention. He wants his name to be mentioned repeatedly in the world news of the world media as one of the strong men in the world. The wisest strategy is leave him alone to freeze in his own barbaric world.


by: bob from: Europe
April 05, 2013 6:42 AM
America Bullies best when its homeland is out of range.


by: Anonymous
April 04, 2013 9:14 PM
Wow, this report has no new information and a completely misleading title. Stop trying to force it.


by: mike from: USA
April 04, 2013 8:08 PM
Well I doubt North Korea would do anything because doing so would mean "the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of the attacker", kind of like why the USSR towards the end of the Soviet days knew they couldnt use nuclear weapons against the US and vice versa; mutual assured destruction except this time, just the attacker would suffer the most.

Whats more interesting to discuss is whether or not both Russia and China would temporarily join in on the push against North Korea by the US/Korea/Japan and more than likely, NATO.


by: Daniel from: Jersey (Britain)
April 04, 2013 6:40 PM
What a terrible headline. Scaremongering your citizens to the extreme.


by: Mark from: D.C.
April 04, 2013 2:52 PM
I would hope that V.O.A. would do a better job on its facts. On March 19, 2013, the U.S. sent B-52 bombers, not B-2 stealth bombers, over the Korean peninsula.

In Response

by: Anonymous
April 04, 2013 10:41 PM
The US sent both B-52 and B-2 long range bombers as a show of force two separate times.

In Response

by: Jerry from: NY
April 04, 2013 10:18 PM
U.S. still makes the B-52 bomber. It's just a more modern version of the original.

In Response

by: Anonymous
April 04, 2013 9:54 PM
B52s are still in service and more advanced than ever, with jet engines, search on youtube to see cool videos.

I could of sworn I seen reports of both b52s and B-2's being sent over that direction.

In Response

by: chris from: Oz
April 04, 2013 7:26 PM
Not sure you know what your talking about B52? what is this 1945?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid