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Thread: Korean Peninsula On The Brink Of War

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    USS Carl Vinson Deploys For Training Exercises

    USS Bunker, USS Stockdale, USS Gridley To Join USS Carl Vinson

    POSTED: 4:49 am PST November 30, 2010
    UPDATED: 9:35 am PST November 30, 2010





    SAN DIEGO -- It's a sad morning for thousands of San Diego based military families.They gathered in the cold on the pier at Naval Station North Island to say farewell to more than 5,000 sailors who are leaving on a routine deployment.The USS Carl Vinson and its strike group are set to depart at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.

    Petty Officer Kenny Kirlin couldn’t hold back the tears as he said goodbye to his wife and two children. This is his first deployment."Saying goodbye and saying hey, I'll see you next year, that’s pretty hard," said Officer Kirlin as he wiped his eyes.Even for veteran officers, leaving just weeks before the holiday isn't easy. Warrant Officer Matt Stikeoway is leaving on his 6th deployment."It's definitely tough saying goodbye to the kids and the wife. I miss my kids, I miss them growing up, I miss softball and baseball and BMX and all the stuff they do," said Stikeoway.

    The USS Carl Vinson and crewmembers of Carrier Air Wing 17, along with USS Bunker Hill, USS Stockdale, and USS Gridley will conduct a number of military operations from security to humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

    The aircraft carrier arrived in its new homeport of San Diego in April after providing humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Haiti.The deployment of the carrier group is not in response to North Korea's recent attack on a small South Korean island because the Vinson's deployment was scheduled long ago. (RIGGGGGHT!!!!!!!!!!! RD)
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  2. #242
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    South Korea Warns North Korea of Retaliation As Naval Exercises Begin
    Monday, November 29, 2010
    By Patrick Goodenough South Korean sailors return to their naval ship from the port at South Korea's Yeonpyeong island, targeted last week by North Korean artillery fire, on Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)



    (CNSNews.com) – Apologizing to the nation for failing to prevent loss of life during a North Korean artillery attack, South Korean President Lee Myun-bak on Monday vowed strong retaliation against the Stalinist state in the event of any further provocation.
    North Korean forces shelled a South Korean island near the North-South maritime border last Tuesday, killing two soldiers and two civilians and ratcheting up tensions in northeast Asia.


    In a televised statement quoted by the Yonhap news agency, Lee noted that some shells landed some 10 meters away from a school on Yeonpyeong island. “I can’t contain my anger over the North Korean regime’s cruelty that ignores even the lives of children,” he said.


    Lee pledged to “make North Korea pay the due price by all means for its provocation from now on.”


    He spoke a day after the United States and South Korea launched a four-day joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea, the body of water located between China and the west coast of the Korean peninsula.


    U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) commander Gen. Walter Sharp said the drill, which involves ships including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, should not be seen as a response to the Nov. 23 attack.


    “This exercise is defensive in nature,” USFK said in a statement. “While planned well before North Korea’s unprovoked artillery attack, the purpose of the training is to demonstrate [South Korea]-U.S. Alliance resolve, capability, and interoperability, as well as the U.S. commitment to regional security.”


    Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, speaking on CNN, linked the exercise to an earlier North Korean provocation, with sinking of the South Korean navy ship Cheonan last March. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo for the incident, which cost the lives of 46 South Korean sailors.


    North Korea responded angrily to the latest show of strength, accusing the U.S. and South Korea of pushing the peninsula to the brink of war.


    “Nobody knows what the consequences will be if the U.S. deploys its aircraft carrier in the West Sea,” the North’s official KCNA news agency said on Saturday, using the Korean name for the Yellow Sea.


    KCNA also quoted from a commentary in the regime’s mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun, which repeated its earlier claim that the artillery barrage on Yeonpyeong island was an act of self-defense


    It accused the South Korean “puppet war maniacs” of seeking confrontation under the pretext of defending the maritime border – which North Korea does not recognize – and threatened “a merciless military counterattack against any intrusion into our territorial waters.”


    China unhappy

    China also has complained about the U.S. Navy movements in its “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ), the 200 nautical mile-wide zone beyond a coastal country’s territorial waters, recognized under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.


    “We oppose any party to take any military actions in our exclusive economic zone without permission,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on the eve of the drill.
    China argues that military exercises do not comply with the U.N. treaty’s provision that military activities inside EEZs must be “peaceful.” Although it not ratified the convention, the U.S. points out that it permits free navigation in EEZs.


    “We have never adhered to somebody else’s view about expanded territorial waters – which it [the Yellow Sea] just isn’t,” Mullen told personnel at a military base in Washington State in August.


    The prospect of U.S. ships, and especially a carrier, taking part in maneuvers in the Yellow Sea has drawn China’s ire for months.


    In July the Chinese government and state media responded strongly to reports that exercises involving the USS George Washington would soon be held there in response to the Cheonan sinking.


    An exercise led by the carrier was then held east of the Korean peninsula, although the Pentagon denied they had been moved further from Chinese territory because of Beijing’s objections.


    Then in the run-up to the G20 summit in Seoul, it was reported in South Korea that planned exercises in the Yellow Sea had been canceled. The Pentagon said they had been postponed because of “scheduling” difficulties, a decision that “had nothing to do with China.”


    According to the USFK, the drill that began on Sunday involves some 6,400 U.S. personnel and 900 South Koreans. Apart from the USS George Washington, a guided missile cruiser and three destroyers are taking part, along with South Korean ships led by a destroyer. Twelve U.S. fighter and close air support planes and eight South Korean aircraft are also participating.


    ‘China could bring North Korea’s economy to its knees’

    As Pyongyang’s closest ally, China response to the North Korean attack is being closely watched.


    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the matter with her Chinese counterpart, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, by telephone on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.


    Dai, who a day earlier made an unannounced visit to Seoul, told Clinton that the immediate priority was to try to calm the current situation and reject any move that might escalate the tensions, it said.


    Also on Sunday China’s chief nuclear negotiator, Wu Dawei, called a news conference to propose that the countries involved in the “six-party” talks process – the U.S., China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and North Korea – meet in Beijing in early December to “exchange views on major issues of concern to the parties at present.”


    Designed to resolve the crisis sparked by North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, multiple rounds of the China-hosted talks were held between 2003 and late 2008, when they stalled.


    Seoul was quick to reject the Chinese proposal. A spokesman for Lee told reporters it was not the appropriate time to discuss resuming talks.


    South Korea is still unhappy about Beijing’s refusal to take North Korea to task for the earlier Cheonan sinking. When the U.N. Security Council in July finally issued a statement condemning that attack, China insisted that it not name North Korea as the culprit.


    Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Sunday China was not playing a responsible role in the region.
    “The key to this, obviously, is China,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “And unfortunately China is not behaving as a responsible world power.”


    “They could bring the North Korean economy to its knees if they wanted to,” McCain continued. “And I cannot believe that the Chinese should, in a mature fashion, not find it in their interest to restrain North Korea. So far, they are not.”


    Xinhua reports that a senior North Korean official and aide to Kim Jong-il, chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly Choe Tae-bok, will visit China for five days from Tuesday.
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  3. #243
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Simmering Korea Tensions

    November 30, 2010 - 2:56 PM | by: Greg Palkot IMJINGAK, SOUTH KOREA -- North Korean defectors gathered just south of the tense border between North and South Korea Tuesday. They sent aloft balloons carrying political messages and American dollars to those on the other side.


    Sang Hak Park fled Pyongyang ten years ago.


    “We are here to let the people of North Korea know,” he said “ the truth behind Kim Jong Il's brutality and killing of civilians.”


    On South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, which was the scene a week ago of North Korea’s killing of civilians and soldiers, security was beefed up.


    And in the Yellow Sea, joint US/South Korean naval exercises continue.


    Today’s drill: Intercepting ships carrying suspect payloads.


    Also “intercepted”and released by Wikileaks, diplomatic cables offering new insights into the relationship between North Korea and its main ally China.


    One Chinese official is said to have called North Korea’s behavior that of a “spoiled child.”


    And a South Korean official claimed China would be “comfortable” with a united Korea…that would be friendly to the US, but not hostile to Beijing.


    Still, experts today said it’s unlikely China would accept unification in the near term but a shift in Beijing’s attitude was acknowledged:


    “North Korea has become more a liability to Beijing than an asset,” Kyong Soo Lho, Chairman of South Korea’s Asia Society told us, “the younger generation of leaders there realizes this.”


    In Beijing , a top envoy from Pyongyang made the rounds. China is calling for the re-start of 6 party talks to cover various North Korea-related issues.


    South Korea, Japan and the US are not yet accepting this. But officials from all three will meet next week in Washington.


    For now, at least, Seoul and Washington are letting their militaries do the “talking”…and nudging.


    “Part of the inducement are the military exercises,” the Asia Society’s Lho added, “We are showing great restraint but it is also a show of force.”
    Hopefully for the region that “force” won’t have to be used.



    Read more: http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2...#ixzz16nSqd5Ta
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    China has 'obligation' to pressure NKorea: WHouse
    (AFP) – 36 minutes ago


    WASHINGTON — The White House said Tuesday that China had an "obligation" to press North Korea to end its "belligerent behavior" after Pyongyang boasted of running thousands of nuclear centrifuges.


    "The Chinese have a duty and obligation" to press "on the North Koreans that their belligerent behavior has to come to an end," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.


    "We remain committed to the common security of our allies in the Republic of Korea," Gibbs said, referring to South Korea by its official name.


    North Korea announced its nuclear activity one week after killing four people in its first shelling of a civilian area in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.


    China is the main diplomatic and economic supporter of impoverished North Korea, which has defied the world with two nuclear weapons tests since 2006.


    China on Sunday proposed emergency six-nation talks on North Korea. But the United States and Japan rejected the idea, saying that talks would be pointless without signs of movement from Pyongyang.


    Sensitive US cables released Monday by whistle-blower site WikiLeaks said that China doubted its own influence over Pyongyang and seemed increasingly likely to accept a North Korea absorbed by the democratic South.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    North Korea presses ahead with uranium enrichment
    Submitted by Saurav Shukla on Tue, 11/30/2010 - 19:42




    eoul/Beijing, Dec 1 : North Korea said Tuesday it was accelerating its nuclear programme, a target of global criticism.


    The isolated Communist nation's state media released first details of a recently disclosed uranium enrichment facility at its nuclear centre in Yongbyon, 100 km north of Pyongyang, saying "thousands of centrifuges" were already operating there to produce fuel for planned light-water reactors.
    The US fears that North Korea aims to use the enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.


    Political observers say Pyongyang may be putting on a show of strength in the wake of escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula. The report claiming progress in the nuclear programme came just a week after North Korea's artillery attack on an inhabited South Korean island in the Yellow Sea.


    Meanwhile, US and South Korean military forces continued large-scale war games in the Yellow Sea. North Korea reiterated its warning, via state media, that the naval exercises could lead to war. The exercises, expressly meant to send a message against North Korean aggression, are due to end Wednesday.


    According to a report by Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of North Korea's ruling Workers Party, construction of a new nuclear reactor is currently under way. The reactor and uranium enrichment facility are meant for energy production, it said.
    "To resolve energy needs, the nuclear-energy-development project for peaceful purposes will be pushed harder," the paper reported.


    The existence of the new uranium facility was made public earlier in November by US nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker following a visit to North Korea. Hecker said North Korea also intended only to build a small pilot reactor at first.


    Both the US and South Korea have expressed serious concern about the uranium facility. Depending on the degree of enrichment, uranium can be used either for civilian or military purposes.


    On the diplomatic front, China continued to seek support for its mediation efforts at easing tensions in the region. The efforts were welcomed by Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.


    In a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, Westerwelle urged China to keep using its influence on North Korea to avoid a further escalation, according to the German Foreign Ministry.


    The Nov 23 artillery bombardment of the island of Yongpyong by North Korea killed four South Koreans. On Monday, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak accused the regime in Pyongyang of inhumane conduct and warned sharply against more provocations.


    China's proposal for a multilateral meeting of itself, the two Koreas, the US, Japan and Russia is seen as the "starting point" for a reduction of tensions on the Korean peninsula, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in Beijing, adding that China hoped for a positive response.


    Under the proposal, the respective negotiators in the so-called Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear programme would gather in Beijing. South Korea, the US and Japan have either rejected the proposal outright or reacted sceptically to the invitation.


    The Chinese government will hold initial talks with the chairman of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly, Choe Tae Bok. A close confidant of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Choe arrived in China Tuesday for a visit.


    In another development, classified US diplomatic cables published by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks suggest that constant North Korean provocations have angered China. The cables also show that Washington is largely in the dark about what is going on in North Korea.


    In a US cable following North Korea's missile test in April 2009, China's deputy foreign minister He Yafei is quoted as saying that North Korea wanted direct talks with the US and was behaving like a "spoiled child" in order to get the attention of the "adult".


    Other cables, citing high-ranking South Korean sources, give the impression that China would like to abandon its North Korean ally and is willing to accept a reunited Korea under South Korean control.(DPA)
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news...201-18fz3.html


    China blocks UN action against N Korea

    December 1, 2010 - 11:34AM

    AFP
    China is blocking attempts to issue a UN Security Council condemnation of North Korea over its attack on the rival South or its new nuclear activities, diplomats said.

    The deadlock has become so great that daily Security Council contacts on North Korea since the North's deadly artillery assault on November 22 were not held on Tuesday.

    "There were no talks - neither formal nor informal - and nothing else is planned," said one diplomat on Tuesday.


    China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council which can veto any resolution. It is also North Korea's closest international ally and has only reluctantly agreed to sanctions against the Pyongyang regime.

    There has been international condemnation of the North's shelling of the island of Yeonpyeong last week, in which two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed.

    The United States and other western nations say that North Korea's parallel announcement that it is building a new uranium enrichment plant is a contravention of Security Council resolutions passed after the North's nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

    "Against the wishes of the vast majority of the Security Council members, China is blocking any action on the uranium enrichment plant and there is not much hope of any talk about the attack," said a second diplomat.

    "It says it is unacceptable to 'condemn' or even 'express concern' over North Korea. Council talks have come to a standstill.
    "It is now very likely that the Security Council will do nothing about North Korea," the diplomat added.

    No official from the Chinese mission was immediately available to comment on the Security Council negotiations.

    After the sinking of a South Korean corvette, the Cheonam, in March this year it took four months to pass a resolution which diplomats said was weakened at China's demand.

    © 2010 AFP


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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    S. Korea to strengthen rules of engagement
    Published: Nov. 30, 2010 at 7:40 AM
    SEOUL, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- South Korea will toughen its rules of engagement so troops have more control on determining the intensity of a counterattack, the Defense Ministry said.
    What, is this Vietnam again, where they decide how hard to hit them?

    Wouldn't want to do too much damage, you know?

    When you fight, you fight to win.

    Period.

    Bunch of idiots.

  8. #248
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    I think it's always good try to get the moves of the enemy, look at this:


    KCNA Official News Agency

    US-S. Korea's Escalating Moves for War Aggression against DPRK Flayed


    Pyongyang, November 30 (KCNA) -- The DPRK-targeted adventurous war maneuvers kicked off by the U.S. and the south Korean war-like forces in the West Sea of Korea on Nov. 28 may spill over into an all-out war any time, warns Minju Joson Tuesday in a signed commentary. It discloses the danger of their escalating moves for a war of aggression against the DPRK.
    What should not be overlooked is the fact that the U.S. super-large nuclear carrier George Washington is involved in these war maneuvers, the commentary notes, and goes on:

    The said saber-rattling is fraught with the danger of an all-out war which may break any moment.

    What merits a serious attention is that the above-said moves for a war of aggression against the DPRK are escalating.

    These moves bring to bolder relief their ulterior intention. What they seek is to strain the situation on the Korean Peninsula and ignite a war of aggression against the DPRK under any pretext. As a matter of fact, the south Korean military is busy working out new "rules for battles" and introducing "precision guided weapons for destroying underground facilities in the north" on the instruction of traitor Lee Myung Bak for thoroughly countering "local war" and "asymmetric combat power."

    If the U.S. and the south Korean war-like forces fire even a shell into the inviolable land and territorial waters of the DPRK, they will have to pay dearly for this.

    They would be well advised to properly understand who their rival is and stop at once their moves for a war of aggression against the DPRK.

  9. #249
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    http://english.chosun.com/site/data/...120200566.html


    Spies Intercepted Plans for Yeonpyeong Attack in August

    The National Intelligence Service intercepted hints that North Korea was planning to shell Yeonpyeong Island, three months before the arrack, it emerged on Wednesday.

    Members of the National Assembly Intelligence Committee quoted NIS Director Won Sei-hoon as saying the agency knew from wiretapping that the North Korean regime ordered the military to prepare to attack the five islands in the West Sea. He said the NIS submitted the intelligence report to President Lee Myung-bak.

    Committee members said since the North is constantly making such threats, the government apparently failed to take it seriously.



    In this satellite photo released by the U.S. private intelligence agency Stratfor, rice paddies and fields in North Korea bear traces of South Korean artillery shells. /Courtesy of www.stratfor.com

    Asked what the military and the government did, Won said it was difficult to intercept further North Korean military communication before and on the day of attack because the North used landlines rather than wireless communication to carry out operations. Any damage the North suffered in the South's counterstrike is difficult to assess for the same reason, he added.

    "There are obvious signs of further provocations by the North, which is seeking to undermine the South's national unity," he was quoted as saying.

    Based on analysis of U.S. satellite images, he said it is now clear where 45 of 80 artillery shells the South fired struck in the North -- 30 in Kaemori and 15 in Mudo.

    He separately showed a domestic commercial satellite photo of the impact points of 14 South Korean artillery shells that landed in the North.

    Committee members reportedly reacted angrily since they show impact points scattered mainly in paddy and dry fields.

    Won said the North's aim is to invalidate the Northern Limit Line, the de-facto maritime border, and turn the five islands in the West Sea into a disputed area. "The regime committed the atrocity because it badly needs a distraction as people are apparently restless due to the hereditary third-generation power succession and the dire economic situation."

    englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 02, 2010 11:45 KST

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...7499c32fb1.681

    Satellite images suggest N.Korea casualties: lawmaker
    (AFP) – 8 hours ago

    SEOUL — Satellite images indicate North Korea might have suffered considerable casualties when South Korea returned fire after the North shelled its frontline island last week, a lawmaker said Thursday.

    The National Intelligence Service (NIS) presented to parliament an image taken by the South's own satellite and another one collected by an unidentified foreign commercial satellite.

    Kwon Yong-Se, a ruling party lawmaker who chairs the intelligence committee, told reporters after the presentation that about 10 shells landed near the North's military positions on Mudo island.

    The South's shells mostly landed between two clusters of barracks about 100 metres (330 feet) apart and some came close to one of the clusters.
    "One of the shells hit the rear of the barracks. It is possible to assume considerable casualties occurred," Kwon said.

    In light of the fact that the impact circle of the South's indigenous K-9 self-propelled guns is 50 metres, the impact is believed to have been considerable, Kwon said.

    The North on November 23 fired up to 170 shells of which 80 hit Yeonpyeong island near the disputed Yellow Sea border, killing two civilians and two marines and wounding 18 other people.

    It was the first time that a civilian area in the South had been shelled since the 1950-1953 war. The attack also damaged military facilities, destroyed 29 homes and set hillsides and fields ablaze.

    South Korea in response fired 80 rounds from its self-propelled guns.
    Of these, 35 landed in the sea, 15 on Mudo island and 30 at Kaemori on the mainland, according to the NIS.

    Kwon's comments contrasted with earlier remarks by senior ruling party legislator Kim Moo-Sung.

    Kim said separately Thursday that the North's artillery positions at Kaemori apparently escaped unscathed -- citing other satellite images published by global intelligence company Stratfor.

    "(When South Koreans fired back) North Korean artillery guns had already slid back into tunnels and even a single shell did not reach the target" at Kaemori, Kim was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

    The South's military and government has been widely criticised for its allegedly feeble response to the North's attack. The defence minister announced last week he would resign.

    The South is sending multiple rocket launchers and more guns, along with extra troops, to Yeonpyeong and to four other frontline islands.
    Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    arrack, it emerged on Wednesday.
    What is that language? Engrish?
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    China's Refusal to Condemn North Korea at UN Narrows U.S., Allied Options
    By Bill Varner - Dec 2, 2010

    China’s refusal to condemn North Korea for its expanding nuclear program and its attack on a South Korean island limits the retaliatory options for the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

    “Not much can be done,” said Sue Mi Terry, deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council from 2007 to 2009.

    “China is the key, but when it comes down to any kind of action, they are not willing to play ball,” Terry said in an interview. “So I believe the situation is going to get worse.”

    China has refused to back a bid by the U.S. and Japan in the United Nations Security Council to condemn North Korea’s latest provocations, Japan’s Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida said in an interview.

    “The Chinese have always been resistant” to directly accusing North Korea of wrongdoing, Nishida said. “This is always the argument.”

    With the Security Council deadlocked, the U.S. plans to host high-level talks next week with South Korea and Japan.

    President Barack Obama’s top military adviser called on China to use its influence to persuade North Korea to end its “deeply destabilizing behavior.”

    “China shares a relationship with the North that is not matched anywhere else in the world,” Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday at the Center for American Progress in Washington.

    ‘Significant Leverage’

    “Given the aid and support China has provided to North Korea over the years, there’s significant leverage they could apply to avoiding escalation and improving this troubling situation,” Mullen said.

    Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, and Choe Tae Bok, head of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly, met in Beijing yesterday, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported. Wu and Choe, who have met three times this year, pledged to “cement legislative ties” between the two countries, Xinhua said without mentioning the current tensions.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet in Washington on Dec. 6 with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara. The meeting demonstrates their “commitment to security on the Korean peninsula and stability in the region,” the State Department said in a statement.

    Enlisting China’s Backing

    The U.S., Japan and South Korea likely will discuss how to enlist China’s backing and what further sanctions they can impose on North Korea, said Thomas Lee, professor of international law at Fordham University in New York and a former U.S. naval intelligence officer in South Korea.

    “They might have to give China something,” Lee said, noting that the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, set for Dec. 10, offers an opportunity to ease pressure in the government in Beijing.

    “They could put a freeze on some suspect bank accounts in Thailand and Malaysia,” Lee said, limiting North Korea’s access to hard currency. He said other options include a South Korea move to shut down the Kaesong economic complex jointly run by both Koreas, cancellation of humanitarian aid shipments to North Korea, and “live fire” air and sea maneuvers at the edge of the 12-mile limit of North Korea’s territorial waters.

    U.S.-Japan Drills

    More than 40,000 Japanese and American troops will begin week-long military exercises tomorrow. Fresh from maneuvers in the Yellow Sea with South Korea’s navy, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington will join a force of about 400 aircraft and 60 warships. Drills will include responding to ballistic missile attacks on unspecified Pacific islands, the Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces said in a statement.

    At the United Nations, where Ambassador Nishida of Japan said he didn’t “dare to say” that talks on a Security Council response were dead, British and Russian envoys said an accord wasn’t likely.

    “It doesn’t look like it,” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said, noting “some problems” in private bilateral talks that followed North Korea’s announcement of a new plant to enrich uranium and the Nov. 23 artillery attack on the South Korean island.

    No ‘Weak Response’

    “We are not prepared to have a weak response by the council,” U.K. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said. “There are serious violations on the nuclear side, and the shelling should be condemned if we are to make any statement at all.

    “It is disappointing because the Security Council ought to be in a position to respond to these sorts of incidents that are clearly a threat to international peace and security,” he said. “But the Security Council operates by unanimity when it comes to these kinds of statements, and there wasn’t any.”

    Earlier this year, it took the Security Council almost four months to agree on a statement condemning the March 26 sinking of the South Korea warship Cheonan, and it didn’t explicitly condemn North Korea. The statement condemned the attack without accusing North Korea and took “note” of North Korea’s denial of complicity.

    A multinational investigation reported in June that a North Korean-made torpedo caused the sinking in which 46 sailors died.

    ‘Stakes Are Going Up’

    “They sank a ship, killed 46 sailors, they killed four Korean citizens the other day” and showed foreign experts a uranium enrichment facility, Mullen said. “The ante is going up, and I think the stakes are going up, and I think the stakes in terms of stability in the region are going up.”

    Yang Tao, political director of China’s mission to the UN, said that his government was still considering proposed language of a Security Council statement on the latest incidents and that consultations haven’t ended.

    China favors handling tensions on the Korean peninsula in the format of the six-party talks among China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Russia and the U.S. China has called for an emergency meeting of that group.

    The U.S., Japan and South Korea haven’t agreed to China’s proposal, saying they want to see more concrete action by North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program before restarting the talks. Churkin said Russia was open to the six-party proposal, calling it a “positive” initiative by China.

    “Beijing’s call for consultations will not substitute for action,” Mullen said yesterday. “I do not believe we should continue to reward North Korea’s provocative and deeply destabilizing behavior with bargaining or new incentives.”

    Terry, who is now a national intelligence fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said it was likely that the U.S. would return to the talks after a face-saving interval and make a new bid at the UN to tighten existing sanctions on North Korea.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    China says North Korea ties survived "tempests"

    By Jack Kim
    SEOUL | Thu Dec 2, 2010 10:01am EST



    SEOUL (Reuters) - China, pushed again by Washington to bring North Korea to heel after last week's artillery attack on the South, told Pyongyang their relationship had withstood international "tempests."


    On Wednesday, South Korea's spy chief said it was highly likely the isolated North would attack its wealthy neighbor again. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week's bombardment threatened the stability of the region, home to three of Asia's biggest economies.


    China has refused to blame its ally for shelling the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, which destroyed dozens of houses and killed four people, or for the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in March.
    "The traditional friendship of China and North Korea has withstood the tests of international tempests and changes and replenished itself over time," Wu Bangguo, China's chief legislator, told a visiting North Korean delegation, China's main official newspaper, the People's Daily, reported on Thursday.


    None of Wu's published remarks mentioned the recent confrontation between North and South Korea, or the long-running dispute over North Korea's nuclear activities.
    Both Beijing and Pyongyang were committed to "strengthening strategic communication" and economic cooperation, said Wu.


    China, which said it would not play favorites in the dispute, has proposed emergency talks of the six countries -- the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States -- involved in North Korean denuclearization talks.


    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Moscow had expressed support for emergency consultations and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in a CNN interview that continued dialogue was "in Russia's interests."


    "Those who brandish weapons are seen to be justified, yet China is criticized for calling for talks. Is that justified?" Jiang said at a regular news briefing.


    "I also want to say that emergency consultations are not a return to official six-party talks and should therefore not constitute a problem for the relevant parties," she added.


    South Korea said again on Thursday now was not the time for talks.


    The foreign ministers of the United States, Japan and South Korea are to meet in Washington on Monday to discuss North Korea. China is not included.


    Chinese spokeswoman Jiang gave a cautious welcome to that meeting.


    "We are paying close attention as to what this meeting is actually for," Jiang said in a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website:


    "As the situation on the Korean Peninsular is highly complicated and sensitive, we expect the meeting to ease tensions and promote dialogue, rather than heighten tensions and intensify confrontation," she added.

    The director of the National Intelligence Service, Won Sei-hoon, told a parliamentary committee meeting the North was likely to attack again once a U.S. flotilla, led by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, had left the region after military maneuvers with the South.

    South Korea responded to North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong minutes later with 80 shells, and the military said some of the shells had hit a barracks possibly causing "multiple casualties," Yonhap news agency reported.


    "Satellite images show our shells landed on a cluster of barracks in North Korea, so we presume there have been many casualties and considerable property damage," it quoted a senior official at the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).


    Won revealed satellite pictures to a closed-door parliament session that showed one North Korean artillery base hit by 10 or so shells, including one that landed on the barracks, Yonhap news agency said.


    An earlier image released by a U.S. commercial satellite company showed a dozen or so shells had missed what appeared to be a North Korean artillery base inland and exploded on abandoned land.


    Currency markets briefly wobbled on specific reports of another attack before the end of the year, but South Korean stocks and the won were higher. North Korea makes threats against the South on an almost daily basis.


    Admiral Mullen said China's push for new talks was no substitute for action.


    "Beijing's call for consultations will not substitute for action and I do not believe we should continue to reward North Korea's provocative and destabilizing behavior with bargaining or new incentives," he said in a speech. "China is uniquely placed to guide North Korea to a less dangerous place."


    Some analysts say the attack was Pyongyang's attempt to force the resumption of international negotiations that could bring it aid. Others saw it as an attempt to boost the military credentials of the country's leader-in-waiting, Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of ailing leader Kim Jong-il.


    Six-party talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program were suspended in December 2008 after North Korea walked out.


    The United States and South Korea wrapped up the four-day naval exercise on Wednesday. Japan's Defense Ministry said South Korean military personnel will observe for the first time an annual U.S.-Japan joint military drill which starts on Friday.




    (Writing by Nick Macfie; additional reporting by Chris Buckley, Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina in Beijing and Yoko Kubota and Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    News from Steve Herman (W7VOA) on Twitter:


    My latest report: RTVoa Seoul: ROK military to observe huge large-scale US-Japan war games starting Friday

    PRC foreign ministry's Jiang: "To achieve results, we should start talks first."


    PRC foreign min. spokesman says "those who brandish weapons (US, ROK) seem to be justified...is that fair?"

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    This is from Korea Herald

    Seoul in panic over leaked U.S. diplomatic cables

    2010-12-02 18:24




    Days after a massive leak of U.S. diplomatic cables unveiled sensitive comments by Seoul officials, the South Korean government appears lost on how to deal with revelations that could cause tension with regional powers.

    The confidential documents were brought to public attention by online whistleblower WikiLeaks this week, unveiling the contents of private conversations between South Korean and U.S. diplomats about North Korea and other foreign policies.

    The documents not only revealed South Korea’s confidential plans in dealing with the Kim Jong-il regime in Pyongyang, but also some harsh personal opinions about officials in China and elsewhere, serving as a potential source of diplomatic tension.

    “I do not think it is appropriate for me to talk about documents of another country,” spokesman of Seoul’s Foreign Ministry Kim Young-sun said in a press briefing Monday, declining to comment further on the issue.

    But ministry officials admitted the graveness of the situation, saying they would have to discuss the matter with Washington before making a move.

    “The situation is very serious and concerning,” an official said, asking not to be named. “When such details of diplomatic negotiations are made public, the revelation itself causes problems with diplomatic trust. We are also highly concerned of causing unnecessary misunderstandings among involved countries.”

    The incident may also negatively affect diplomatic exchanges between Seoul and Washington, another official said.

    “We cannot deny the situation makes one wonder how much confidential information he or she can share with U.S. diplomats,” the official said.

    Leaked information concerning Seoul included remarks by incumbent and former Foreign Ministers Kim Sung-hwan and Yu Myung-hwan about a failed plan to hold another inter-Korean summit, mass defection of top North Korean officials to the South and a bomb found on a passenger train en route from Pyongyang to Beijing.

    The information cabled from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul also said the South Korean government estimates the ailing North Korean leader Kim to live beyond 2015 and that his communist regime would collapse two to three years after his death.

    Remarks by current national security adviser and former Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo raised concerns regarding relations with Beijing.

    According to the leaked documents, Chun called China’s chief nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei “an arrogant, Marx-spouting former Red Guard who knows nothing about North Korea, nothing about nonproliferation and is hard to communicate with because he doesn’t speak English.”

    None of the officials have made an official response to the information leakage.

    “We are deliberating how best to deal with this issue,” a senior government official said. “Overreacting could turn the situation into something worse.”

    “What is more concerning is that the information unveiled so far does not seem to be all,” the official added. “But the government does not see this as an alarming incident to national security and other diplomatic issues.”

    WikiLeaks is believed to have nearly 2,000 cables sent from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul and less than a dozen have been made public so far.

    By Shin Hae-in



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Quote Originally Posted by Toad View Post
    Spies Intercepted Plans for Yeonpyeong Attack in August
    Interesting...

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    U.S.-Japan Drills

    More than 40,000 Japanese and American troops will begin week-long military exercises tomorrow. Fresh from maneuvers in the Yellow Sea with South Korea’s navy, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington will join a force of about 400 aircraft and 60 warships. Drills will include responding to ballistic missile attacks on unspecified Pacific islands, the Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces said in a statement.
    I was not aware of this development...

    I'm a little concerned we had spy information about this attack, took NO action to prevent it ahead of time and the South lost four people to this shelling.

    If there was evidence beforehand that this was going to happen, why at least not move the people out quietly? I can see not confronting the North with the evidence, puts people in danger... but not taking people OUT of danger??? Wow.


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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Interesting commentary...I wonder who else in China feels this way?

    USS Washington comes upsetting Northeast Asia

    16:22, November 29, 2010
    Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum


    By Li Hongmei

    The past months have witnessed a succession of intensive military exercises in the Pacific Ocean and Northeast and Southeast Asia between US and its Asian allies near and off China's coasts; some scheduled, and some just hastily arranged, mostly conducted under the lead of the U.S.

    And this weekend's presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the strategic Yellow Sea again poses a test for Beijing: Should China shrilly warned against it as what happened four months ago and further aggravate the already tattered ties with Washington, or quietly accept the key symbol of American military preeminence off Chinese shores? After all, it is a time when the public concerns can no longer afford to be neglected. Any affront to China's interests or intrusion into Chinese territorial waters would probably inflame the public and require a government response.

    Even if Beijing may hold its reticence this time, partially for the sake of the heightened tensions between two Koreas following the artillery shelling last Tuesday, the U.S. gunboat diplomacy can hardly gain ground in the region where China's influence is growing to challenge the traditional American prestigious position.

    Besides, Pentagon's toughness can never rein in the "defiant" North Korea as expected. North Korea, by contrast, warned Friday that the U.S.-South Korean military drills were pushing the peninsula to the "brink of war." The deployment of USS Washington just adds fuel to the flames, breeding brinkmanship.

    Perhaps, it is true that the US is good at playing games. And US politicians are sweet-mouthed but then stab you in the back when you are not looking, much the way they are doing now---to pressure China to pick sides. The US has been, for the duration of the year, testing China's resolve over issues ranging from China's offshore ocean sovereignty, to China's core interests, to the Chinese yuan, to trade. Each time it ends up with mutual ties damaged.

    This time, it is North Korea, which the West tends to describe as China's "close ally", that the U.S. would like to take as a good chance to pounce on to "hit three birds with one stone"----driving a wedge between Beijing and Pyongyang, or at best, Beijing will abandon its wayward "close ally", otherwise China's international image could be tarnished; cornering North Korea, and out of despair, it will play a destructive role to be visible, say, conducting nuclear tests. Thus, US will readily catch the handle to clampdown its "belligerence". And meanwhile, its jittery Ally-- South Korea will never have the courage to break away from its protective embrace.

    On the one hand, the U.S. will never give up its saber-rattling behavior when it comes to handling North Korea issues, while on the other, it lays down the terms for talks forcing N Korea to stop any nuclear activities, which may be seen as the only bargaining chip by the reclusive country in return for what it needs---recognition as well as food. China is therefore caught in between as an active mediator for "six-party" talks.

    The U.S. have actually sowed discord between two Koreas, as the U.S. is reluctant to see a unified Korea, which, viewed from geopolitical prism, can not necessarily serve as a puppet to the super power.

    In a similar vein, sovereign unity and national resurgence are two missions China must accomplish. But the biggest obstacle to fulfilling those missions also comes from the US, especially from the Pentagon.

    The U.S. is also ready to topple the fledgling interactive mechanism among China, North Korea and South Korea. As a matter of fact, the three parties are already on the sound track toward interactions. China and South Korea have upgraded their relations to strategic and cooperative partnership; and North and South Korea also launched "Presidential Dialogue". Besides, both China and South Korea have respectively set up "economic zones" in North Korea. Without the U.S. meddling in, the Northeast Asia would hopefully achieve stability, if not harmony.

    But it comes again, also in "good time" to mess up the situation. Under the plausible pretext of South Korea's outrage over the shelling, the warship is coming.

    As the world's superpower with an unchallenged navy, no single nation in the world can stop the US from conducting such activity, but Washington will inevitably pay a costly price for its stinking decision.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    North Korea Boosts Rockets, Tanks; May Target Seoul, Yonhap Says


    North Korea has increased the number of multiple rocket launchers, bolstering its capability to attack South Korea’s capital, Yonhap News reported, citing a South Korean government official it didn’t identify.
    North Korea has more than 5,200 240-millimeter multiple rocket launchers, 100 more than previously estimated, Yonhap reported. The 240-mm rocket launchers have a range of 60 kilometers and can fire as many as 22 rockets in 35 minutes, according to the report.
    North Korea has also increased the number of tanks by 200 and the country’s air force has bolstered its capability to intercept planes, Yonhap said.
    North Korea fired more than 170 artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Nov. 23, some of which came from 120-mm multiple rocket launchers, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff has said. The attack, which killed four people, was North Korea’s first shelling on South Korean soil since their 1950-53 war.
    The two countries remain technically at war since the war ended in a cease-fire, rather than a peace treaty.
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 3rd, 2010 at 02:04.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Via Twitter from egalite_twitted (reporter for Yonhap News):

    "#NKorea eeriely quiet about Yeonpyeong or 'SKorea's provocation in West Sea' for 3 days. Not a single word from main news agency about it."

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