News / Asia

US, South Korea to Increase Defense Posture Against North Korea

Rep. of Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Ministry of National Defense, October 28, 2011.
Rep. of Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Ministry of National Defense, October 28, 2011.

The U.S. and South Korea have pledged to "advance combat readiness capabilities" near the disputed sea border with North Korea, warning against any future aggression by Pyongyang.  The warning came as defense leaders of the two military allies met for their annual security consultative meeting. 

Speaking at a news conference in Seoul Friday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan-jin, said provocations by North Korea similar to a pair of deadly attacks last year will not be tolerated.

The two defense chiefs announced a joint commitment to "advance combat readiness capabilities" in and around the tense, disputed maritime border off the west coast of the Korean peninsula.

Panetta pledged the United States will sustain and enhance its military presence on the peninsula and in the Asian region despite the threat of deep cutbacks in the U.S. military budget.  

"Together we will ensure a strong and effective alliance deterrence posture, including the United States' nuclear umbrella, so that Pyongyang never misjudges our will and our capability to respond decisively to nuclear aggression," he said.

Tensions have been high on the Korean Peninsula since the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship that Seoul blamed on Pyongyang, followed by North Korea's artillery attack on a South Korean border island that killed four people.  

The North has denied any responsibility in the sinking of the warship.  But Pyongyang has defended its shelling of Yeonpyeong island last November, saying it was in response to a South Korean provocation during a military exercise there.  

South Korean Defense Minister Kim calls the possibility of fresh provocations next year by North Korea "very high."

Kim says if there is such an incident, South Korea would initially respond with its own forces and then, if an expanded counter-attack is needed, additional assets of the U.S. military would be included.

The United States maintains more than 28,000 military personnel in South Korea.

Diplomats from the United States and North Korea this week held a rare second round of direct talks in Geneva. The discussions are intended to explore resuming six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

The talks - involving both Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan - have not been held for nearly three years. North Korea in 2009 announced it was quitting the talks. Subsequently it exploded a second nuclear device and test-launched additional advanced missiles.

U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta expressed doubts that talks between Washington and Pyongyang will convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programs.

Panetta and Kim on Friday expressed additional concern about North Korea's revelation last year that it now also has a uranium enrichment program.  They called the program a "grave threat," saying it gives Pyongyang a second path to making nuclear weapons.

They urged North Korea to "demonstrate its genuine will toward denuclearization through concrete actions." Both Washington and Seoul have repeatedly said abandoning nuclear weapons is a pre-requisite for resuming the six-nation talks.  Pyongyang has said there should be no pre-conditions.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
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 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.

VOA Blogs