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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs