April 15, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
North Korea's military on Friday responded to President Donald Trump's renewed threats to take "care of" Pyongyang's nuclear problem amid expectations of a new nuclear test that could come at any time.
In a statement from the Korean People's Army, North Korea said it would unleash its "toughest counteraction against the United States and its vassal forces." It said it would be "merciless."
The statement called for the United States to "come to its senses and make a proper option for the solution of the problem."
VOA asked the White House press office and National Security Council about the latest comments from Pyongyang but got no response.
Tensions have deepened as the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to the waters off the peninsula and is conducting its biggest ever joint military exercises with South Korea.
Pyongyang, meanwhile, recently launched a ballistic missile and some experts say it could conduct another nuclear test virtually at any time.
The foreign ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran warned the United States Friday against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international investigation into a chemical weapons attack there.
At a meeting in Moscow, the three ministers said any further unilateral action by the U.S. in Syria would be met with "grave consequences."
The U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria's al-Shayrat airbase last Friday in response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria days earlier.
Russia has rejected accusations from Western countries that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind the chemical attack.
The U.S. says Assad deliberately launched the weapons.
This is VOA news.
The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan says the United States used a massive bomb against Islamic State affiliates in that country in order to remove a strategic road block in the fight against the terrorist group.
General John Nicholson said Friday the MOAB device was intended to help an offensive in Nangarhar province.
"This was the first time that we encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress that was constituted by the belts of I.E.D.s, the presence of tunnels and caves, and therefore this was the appropriate weapon to use at this time to reduce that obstacle to enable us to continue with our offensive operation in southern Nangarhar."
At least 36 Islamic State fighters were killed in the explosion of the largest non-nuclear device in the U.S. arsenal.
Christians around the world observed Good Friday to mark the day that Jesus was crucified. Robert Berger was on the scene where the events took place in Jerusalem.
It was a big turnout this year because the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches, which use different calendars, are observing Good Friday at the same time.
Pilgrims came to Jerusalem from all over the world, including Lindsey Bush from Los Angeles in the United States.
"I think it's an incredible experience to be able to walk down the streets that we know Christ had been walking down. And I think it's an amazing experience to be able to recognize all the Christians coming together to think about and commemorate the Savior's life and the sacrifice that He made when He was here."
Israeli police and soldiers armed with pistols and assault rifles patrolled the crowded streets of the Old City.
Robert Berger, for VOA news, Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, one British woman was stabbed to death on a train in Jerusalem. Israeli police arrested a Palestinian man in connection with that crime.
In Rome, thousands of people, including nuns, families with toddlers and young tourists, endured tight security to pray at the Good Friday procession at the Colosseum. That's where Pope Francis wearing a plain white coat presided over the traditional evening Way of the Cross procession.
Voters in Turkey will consider a constitutional referendum on Sunday whether to transform their government from one that has a parliamentary system into one that has a powerful executive central.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out Friday at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, saying it should know its place and should not meddle in what happens in Sunday's referendum.
For more on these stories, visit our website voanews.com. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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