News / Asia

US, UN Pledge Action Against North Korea Nuclear Test

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon say North Korea's nuclear test this week must not go unpunished.

As crowds in Pyongyang celebrate what North Korean leaders call a successful nuclear test in legitimate self-defense, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the test is a direct challenge to the international community.

"I have repeatedly called on the leadership of Pyongyang to give up its pursuit of nuclear programs and to instead focus on building a better future for the country's people by addressing dire humanitarian and human rights situations," Ban said.

Ahead of talks with Ban, Kerry said North Korea is a clear threat to world peace.

"This week's test was an enormously provocative act that warrants a strong, a swift, and a credible response from the global community," Kerry said.

North Korea's third nuclear test in defiance of a U.N. resolution drew widespread criticism, including from China, which is Pyongyang's only major ally.

Kerry says China could do more to discourage North Korea's nuclear program.

But Cato Institute analyst Justin Logan says Washington has given Beijing little incentive to take a harder line against Pyongyang.

"The Chinese know that they are sort of in the cat-bird seat when it comes to North Korea.  But I think there's been not much willingness shown by Washington to do very ambitious things vis-a-vis Korea to trade off in other areas," Logan said.

For example, reducing U.S. military support for South Korea as Logan says China has longstanding concerns about what a reunified Korean peninsula would mean for its own security.

"They look down the road and say if our policies today produce in 10 years or 15 years a unified Korea with American military troops on our border, that's a problem," Logan said.

While the nuclear test further isolates North Korea, Renmin University professor Shi Yinhong says there are limits to how far China will go to help.

He says China will not support extremely wide and strict United Nations financial sanctions against North Korea because that would heavily impact Chinese trade.  So while China will keep discussing it with the United States, Bejing will not support all of those demands.

John Hopkins University professor Ruth Wedgwood says it is wrong to think China has anything to gain by helping with North Korea.

"Personally, I have always entertained the alternative hypothesis: that they kind of like having North Korea as a stick to goad us with, stick it in our eye, realize that it would be an irritation," Wedgwood said.

She says China is far more interested in expanding its reach than in reigning in North Korea.

"I think China is playing its own game here.  They have never been helpful with us on North Korea.  They are again feeling that they have a chance to be quite dominant in the region," she said.

Secretary Kerry and Secretary-General Ban say they are working with U.N. Security Council members and other allies to guarantee an appropriate response to the nuclear test.

North Korea is threatening stronger steps if necessary to counter what it says is U.S. hostility toward the communist state.

You May Like

Afghan Government: Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Died in 2013

update President Ashraf Ghani's office confirms reclusive Taliban leader died in 2013, but Taliban itself claim Omar is still alive More

Erdogan in China Amid Tensions on Uighurs, Missile System

Turkey's president has criticized China's heavy-handed policies toward Uighurs in violence-plagued Xinjiang region, where China says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists More

Critics: China’s President Using Law to Tighten Grip on Power

President Xi, who has stressed importance of 'rule of law' and law-based governance, has exerted increasingly tighter grip over society since coming to office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gavin from: S.E. Asia
February 17, 2013 11:59 PM
Whats the matter with the UN? This is a worse case scenario. North Korea is a desperate rouge nation. We cannot let North Korea develop its nuclear research any further. In fact we must force North Korea to abandon its program or tactical nukes will spread the world over - guaranteed.

The UN should slap the toughest sanctions possible on North Korea - That would be a ban on all permanent members of the United Nations Security Council from any financial or trade contacts with North Korea including delivery of oil, electricity and food. If and member on the security council breaks the sanctions and helps North Korea then that member state immediately LOSES its "power of veto" which will be transferred to the next Nation qualified so as long as they are not helping North Korea which would be India or Japan.

I see no harm in that. Certainly no harm in bringing the idea up for a vote. This will force China to quit North Korea full stop and stop the charade they are pulling by acting angry and voting in favor of UN resolutions against North Korea on one hand while propping up North Korea covertly with the other. It is a win-win resolution, if China votes for it then North Korea has a huge problem, If China votes against it then we all get to see just how sincere China is in saying it is not helping North Korea.

This resolution would only apply to the 5 permanent members so South Korea or some other nation can provide humanitarian relief and food if the North Koreans start starving to death.

by: dan from: Canada
February 15, 2013 12:40 AM
North Korea must eliminate its nuclear weapons.

by: dan from: Canada
February 15, 2013 12:12 AM
If you pay no attention to U.S. academics and listen to the academic buzz permitted on Chinese media, the sound is quite distinct: N. Korea has it coming to them. Beijing will block a U.N. increase in sanctions, but what the U.S. does has the tacit blessing of the Politburo.

Look, you can't impede N-weapons that have already been been deployed. Since the 60's the military has been quietly concerned not about missiles, but clandestine delivery. The capacity to put a more bulky nuclear device on the seabed just off Hawaii and have it float to the surface when needed is well within Pyongyang's reach. The fact is that once they set off one bomb 6 years ago, means that such a device could already be in place.

The media have to start talking to people who are willing to talk and know the full scope of the issues and logistics involved. Kim Jong-un needs his lights put out like yesterday.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs