October 04, 2015 17:01 UTC

In the News

Tensions High on Korean Peninsula

North Korea says it has given final approval to launch an attack on the United States.

South Korean soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence.
South Korean soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence.


Play or download an MP3 of this story

From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS.

North Korea is urging foreign embassies to consider telling their workers to leave the capital, Pyongyang, because of rising tensions. Britain says North Korea gave the warning to embassies and international organizations on Friday. The North Korean government reportedly said it cannot guarantee their safety after April tenth in, what it called, “the event of a conflict.”
The government has made a series of threats in recent weeks against South Korea and the United States.
The two countries have long enjoyed a strong alliance. For years, the United States stored nuclear weapons in South Korea for use against the North if it attacked the South. Those weapons were removed in 1991. But South Korean officials have been debating whether to have the United States redeploy the arms.
North Korea has wanted to keep its military strong. The North launched its first long-distance rocket in 1998. After a year of negotiations, North Korea agreed to stop long distance missile tests in exchange for better contacts with the United States and its allies. As part of the 1999 agreement, the North received money and food aid.
Since then, North Korea has gone back, periodically, to using threats to get more money and food. But in the past few months, the war of words has gotten louder and more threatening. Last December, North Korea launched a long distance rocket. Then, in February, it carried out an underground nuclear test.
Those actions led the United Nations Security Council to expand existing sanctions against North Korea. The Council’s decision so angered the North that this week, the government said it had been given final approval for a nuclear attack against the United States. But many military experts do not believe the North can act on the threat.
South Korea reported this week that North Korea has moved one of its missiles to its eastern coast. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin said the missile appears to have what he called “considerable range.” But he does not believe it can reach the United States mainland.
American Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is taking the threat seriously.
“Some of the actions they’ve taken over the past few weeks present a real and clear danger and threat certainly to the interest of our allies, starting with South Korea and Japan.”
On Wednesday, the United States said it plans to deploy an advanced missile defense system to Guam, an American territory in the Pacific Ocean. The move is meant to serve as a warning, but it will take several weeks for the system to arrive.
South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense has confirmed the movement of at least one missile by North Korea.
South Korea is also preparing for an attack. It has deployed two warships with radar designed to monitor missiles.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Slava from: CR
04/09/2013 11:19 AM
Is it normal, when anybody makes during two months manoeuvres along borders of peaceful state North Korea? Is it normal, if country, which has nuclear weapons and its criminal and barbaric leadership drops bombs on people in Africa for example France, is member of counsel of safety of UN and gives sanctions on somebody?

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
04/09/2013 8:17 AM
Why is it so bellicose, north Korea?

by: qiao from: china
04/09/2013 4:38 AM
I don't think the north korea is able to threat America ,it's just a joke.America just want to return back to Asian,and this a threat to all of the asian countries,the goal of America is to dominate all of the world.

In Response

by: Huy Hoang from: Vietnam
04/11/2013 5:58 AM
North Korea does not threat peace of the world. But the China is right.

by: kim from: usa
04/08/2013 2:53 PM
At this time, Korean should be careful Big Mouth such as mass media. It seems like they want a war. We need to talk for the prosperity of the Korean. Don't forget.

by: Harriet okoth from: Nairobi,Kenya
04/07/2013 7:26 PM
This is a major concern :Tensions High on Korean Peninsula is one thing that the world should take caution of because it may just lead to another world war we need to raise as countries at see how we can avoid such situations

by: HOI from: VIET NAM
04/07/2013 12:32 PM

04/07/2013 12:43 AM
North Korea's home runs should have long been nipped in the bud. They have been given enough time to boost up their nuclear expriments to its creditable range. I am afraid, if a war breaks out, China may secretly be working hands in glove with the North Korea in deafing South Korea and the United States at large. If so, America's calcualations would be off the wall. Anyway, no doubt that North Korea's heading with Nuclear arms should be brought under control, or else, it will be a great threat to all peace loving nations. But whatever be the move, it shoud be counter signed first by the U.N.O. Thank you.

by: jorge eduardo from: Venezuela
04/06/2013 3:14 PM
It is a well related news, I would like to read more about the history of this conflict in english.
thanks for its great page.

by: marcos from: Brazil
04/06/2013 3:00 AM
I don't want believe in this! North Korea is crazy!

by: wonchul lee from: south korea
04/06/2013 2:34 AM
I really don't know what made their big mouth so strong

Learn with The News

  • Audio Kenyan Church Welcomes LGBT Members

    In early September, the Anglican Church of Kenya cancelled the license of clergymen suspected of homosexuality. Some feared that Kenyan churches do not welcome homosexuals. But one location offers religious services to gays, homosexuals, bisexual and transgender people. More

  • Video Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

    California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. More

  • Video Father of Oregon Victim Says Gunman Targeted Christians

    U.S. officials are investigating an attack Thursday at a college in rural southern Oregon. Officials identified the gunman as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. They said he killed at least nine people at Umpqua Community College. More

  • Audio Cecil the Lion Could Help Protect Other Animals

    The head of the animal rights group Born Free USA says the killing of Cecil the lion put a face on issues conservation groups have been addressing for years. Current campaigns aim to stop trophy hunting and cruelty to elephants in Africa. More

  • Audio China Restricts Reporting on Guangxi Bombings

    The attacks killed at least seven people and injured 50 others. Critics say it is common for a Chinese official to try to limit the spread of bad news, especially when it happens at a sensitive time. The government also moved to restrict search keywords related to the bombings or the suspect. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: Comparatives and Superlatives

    When we want to compare things we use comparative and superlative forms. Find out some of rules and exceptions of these important forms in Everyday Grammar for this week. More

  • Video ‘The Martian’ Mixes Science, Science Fiction

    Hollywood's latest space operation gone wrong movie stars Matt Damon as an astronaut mistakenly left on Mars. The film is a hit with movie critics. But what do science critics think? More

  • The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, Part 2

    Video The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, Part Two

    We continue the story of “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane. As we told you last week, the story is based on true events. In eighteen ninety-six, Crane was traveling to Cuba as a news reporter. On his way there, his ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Crane climbed into the last remaining lifeboat. More

  • Audio Great Barrier Reef Choking on Pollutants

    The Great Barrier Reef is off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia. It is the largest living organism on Earth. However, the reef is being damaged by climate change and pollutants from farms that flow into the reef. More

  • Caffeine could help your memory.

    Audio Coffee Before Bed Does More Than Keep You Awake

    Sleep is important for our mental and physical health. But, an internationally popular drug may interfere with that. Caffeine is found in coffee and other foods and drink. Researchers now say to be careful about when you drink it! More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs