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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid