News / Asia

US: 'No Justification' for N. Korean Response to S. Korean Exercises

State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley (file photo)
State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley (file photo)

The United States said Friday there would be no justification for North Korea to take military action if South Korea goes ahead with planned artillery exercises in the next few days. Pyongyang is threatening another attack on South Korean territory, more severe than the one it staged after an exercise by its neighbor November 23.

The State Department says it is advising  caution on the part of South Korea, given concern about what it terms the "current trajectory" of tensions in the region.

However, it is defending the right of South Korea to conduct military exercises within its own territory, and says there is no justification for the threats Pyongyang has made in recent days.

North Korea, through its official media, is warning that if the South Korean drills go forward, it will hit back harder than it did November 23, when it answered a live-fire exercise with an attack on a South Korean island that killed four people.

South Korea's announced plans for another exercise, sometime between Saturday and Tuesday, has triggered worry in Washington and elsewhere, and a round of diplomatic contacts by concerned governments.

Briefing reporters, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said U.S. officials "certainly trust" that South Korea "will be very cautious" in what it does. But he said it is understandable that the Seoul government wants to assure that its forces are properly trained, given recent North Korean "provocations."

"South Korea has the right to self defense, it has a right to exercise its military as it sees fit," said P.J. Crowley. "Northing that South Korea is planning is in anyway threatening to North Korea, and there's no justification for North Korea taking any action what-so-ever, should South Korea decide to proceed with this scheduled live exercise."

Thursday, Marine General James Cartright, vice chairman of the U.S. military Joint Chiefs of Staff, voiced worry of a potential chain reaction of firing and counter-strikes, if the drill is misunderstood and Pyongyang reacts violently.

Crowley confirmed that U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, was called in to the foreign ministry in Moscow to hear a Russian expression of concern about the situation.

Russia said the South Korean ambassador was also  summonded, and that Moscow asked that the exercises be shelved.

Meanwhile senior U.S. diplomat for North Korean affairs Sung Kim flew to Seoul to consult after talks with Chinese officials in Beijing led by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg.

The United States has been pressing China to use its heavy influence with Pyongyang to restrain North Korea, and Spokesman Crowley called the Beijing meeting Thursday constructive and useful.

According to China's official news agency, the lead Chinese official at the talks, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, said it is urgent that all parties prevent tensions from escalating.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs