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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

    Former USFK chief urges 'asymmetric' retaliation for future N.K. provocations

    SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- A former commander of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) on Friday called for powerful military retaliation to future provocations by North Korea and a temporary ban on all engagements with the regime to punish it for its recent deadly attack on a South Korean island.

    The Nov. 23 artillery strike on the western border island of Yeonpyeong in the Yellow Sea killed four people, including two civilians, and wounded 18 others. It also destroyed dozens of houses and wiped out large areas of the island's forests and fields.

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

    China issues warning over US-S.Korea-Japan talks
    (AFP) – 7 hours ago


    BEIJING — China, after being snubbed in its call for six-way talks on North Korea, has warned the United States, Japan and South Korea not to "intensify confrontation" at a meeting next week in Washington.


    North Korea's nuclear-armed regime last week launched a deadly artillery attack on South Korea and boasted about a new uranium reprocessing plant, deepening international concern about its intentions.


    China, under pressure to bring its ally to heel, proposed to hold multilateral talks in Beijing in early December.


    But that was rejected by the United States, South Korea and Japan, which will meet themselves in Washington on Monday.


    "We'll keep a close watch on this meeting," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement issued late Thursday.


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


    "We expect the three countries to take into account regional peace and stability and Korean peninsula denuclearisation and give a positive consideration to China's proposal" for emergency six-way talks, she added.


    Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have pressed ahead with major naval drills in a show of force against North Korea, prompting China Thursday to assail countries "who brandish weapons" while rejecting its own call for dialogue.


    Beijing has proposed a meeting of the six envoys to stalled negotiations on North Korea's nuclear drive, which bring together the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.


    But US Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said China needs to "step up" pressure on North Korea and that its call for the six-nation talks "will not substitute for action".


    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will meet the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea in Washington, said Thursday she had consulted with senior Chinese and Russian officials ahead of the meeting.


    "The US is very concerned about North Korea and we want to work with countries in the immediate region" she said, listing China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.




    Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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

    Japan, US launch largest-ever military drill

    12/3/10 TOKYO, Dec 3 (KUNA) -- Japan and the United States kicked off one of their largest joint military exercises on Friday amid tensions on the Korean peninsula following Pyongyang's November 23 attack on a South Korean island that killed four people.

    The exercises, which mobilize over 34,000 personnel, 40 vessels and 250 aircraft from Japan's Self-Defense Forces, along with some 10,000 personnel, 20 ships and 150 aircraft from the US military including the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington, began at the US naval base in Nagasaki Prefecture, western Japan. Code-named "Keen Sword," the eight-day drills are to continue at bases across Japan, as well surrounding waters and air space.

    Although the maneuvers were planned before North Korea's deadly artillery attack on the island in the Yellow Sea, they come amid increasing uncertainty over the military situation in East Asia. South Korean senior military officials join the 10th joint Japan-US drill as observers for the first time. The drills also follow the four-day US-South Korean military exercises wrapped up Wednesday in the Yellow Sea.

    Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said the exercises are "normal training" held every two years aimed at maintaining and further improving Japan-US capabilities for joint operations. "Changes in the security environment in surrounding Japan are naturally taken into consideration, but we are not targeting any particular country," Kitazawa said. The maneuvers include the detection, tracking and interception of incoming ballistic missiles, base security, close air support, live-fire training, maritime defense and search and rescue.

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

    New defense minister to decide when to stage firing drills in Yellow Sea

    SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense ministry said Friday it will delay its decision on the date for live-fire artillery drills planned in waters off a western border island bombed by North Korea until after the inauguration of the new defense minister.

    "The timing of the planned live-fire drills on Yeonpyeong Island will be decided after the new defense minister takes office," a senior ministry official told reporters, adding the drills could be held "by the end of this year at the latest."

    North Korea attacked the inhabited island of Yeonpyeong near the tense Yellow Sea border on Nov. 23 with artillery, killing four people. The North justified the assault by claiming that its military had reacted only after the South's troops on the island held live-fire drills and fired into its waters, the usual logic its regime has used as an excuse for past shellings into the waters across the maritime border.

    South Korea's military said its harmless, regular drills at the time of the North's attack were conducted on its side of the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL), the maritime border drawn by the United Nations that Pyongyang does not acknowledge.

    The South's government and military came under fire for being too weak in responding to the North's daylight attack on Yeonpyeong, prompting President Lee Myung-bak to replace his defense chief.

    Defense Minister nominee Kim Kwan-jin, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), attended a parliamentary confirmation hearing and will likely take up his post on Saturday, according to ministry officials.

    In addition to the planned drills on Yeonpyeong, the JCS said it will "soon" hold live-ammunition artillery drills across the nation as it pledged tougher retaliation for any future aggression by the North.

    The South's military is closely watching North Korea's armed forces and gearing up to cope with possible future provocations by the North, including an attack against anti-Pyongyang propaganda loudspeakers in border areas or South Korean warships patrolling the Yellow Sea.

    "Ahead of the drills, we are checking countermeasures against North Korea's further provocations and deployed weapons to launch a counter-strike if the North provokes again during the drills," the official said.

    The North's artillery attack on Yeonpyeong also injured 18 people and destroyed dozens of houses, marking the North's first attack on a civilian area since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

    Senior government officials in Seoul, including the chief of the National Intelligence Service, have warned that Pyongyang is likely to repeat an attack against the South.

    In one of the most likely attacks, the North may shoot down loudspeakers the South has set up at the border to broadcast anti-Pyongyang messages, a military source here said.

    The North also may fire its coastline artillery or surface-to-ship missiles at South Korean patrol ships near the Yellow Sea border, according to the source.

    At the confirmation hearing earlier in the day, Defense Minister nominee Kim told lawmakers that he will "thoroughly retaliate" and use fighter jets to bomb North Korea if it provokes again.

    "If the enemy attacks our people and territory again, I will use force to punish the enemy to make sure it doesn't even dare to think about it," Kim said.

    This week, South Korea and the U.S. wrapped up four days of large-scale naval maneuvers in the Yellow Sea as a pointed warning against North Korea.

    The U.S. and Japan began Friday their largest-ever military exercise in southern Japanese waters close to South Korea. South Korean military officers are taking part in the U.S.-Japan drills as observers.

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

    Largest-ever Japan-U.S. defense drills begin

    Friday 03rd December, 03:55 PM JST
    TOKYO —

    Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military began their largest-ever joint drills Friday with the South Korean military taking part for the first time as an observer amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    The 10th staging of the drills since 1986 will run for eight days at bases across Japan, as well surrounding waters and air space. The drills follow the four-day U.S.-South Korean military exercises held through Wednesday in the Yellow Sea on the heels of North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island late last month.

    ‘‘Naturally, we take into consideration changes in the security environment in surrounding areas, but with this, we are not targeting a specific country,’’ Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said to reporters at the Diet building when asked about the significance of the latest exercises.

    The exercises will also contribute to strengthening cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States, Kitazawa said.

    Some 34,000 personnel, 40 vessels and 250 aircraft from Japan’s ground, maritime and air self-defense forces, and around 10,000 personnel, 20 ships and 150 aircraft from the U.S. military are to engage in training maneuvers in mock military attacks on Japan.

    The vessels include the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the George Washington, which also participated in the U.S.-South Korean exercises, and the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Aegis-equipped destroyers.

    The drills center on a ballistic missile attack, with Aegis destroyers equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors of both countries being deployed to the Sea of Japan off the Noto Peninsula in central Japan and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 ground-to-air missiles mobilized at bases from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

    The SDF and the U.S. side plan to coordinate the detection, tracking and interception of a simulated ballistic missile aimed at Japan without actually firing any missiles, while F-15 fighter jets from Komatsu base near the peninsula will also practice air defense maneuvers.

    Several South Korean military personnel are to board a U.S. Aegis ship to observe the missile defense training.

    In the Pacific off Okinawa and other Nansei islands stretching in southwestern Japan, the George Washington and Japan’s ‘‘flat-top’’ destroyer capable of carrying 11 helicopters are to engage in antisubmarine and air defense drills to defend remote islands from invasion.

    When the U.S. and South Korean militaries conducted joint drills in July in the Sea of Japan after the fatal sinking of a South Korean warship in March, for which North Korea is blamed, the Japanese MSDF took part as an observer.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N.K. overwhelmingly superior to S. Korea in asymmetrical forces': gov't data

    SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has an overwhelming edge over South Korea in terms of asymmetrical forces with more than 200,000 special warfare troops, according to South Korean government estimates released in recent days.

    Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said during his confirmation hearing on Friday that the North's asymmetrical forces such as strategical weapons, submarines and special warfare forces were increasingly becoming a "serious threat" to the South Korean military.

    "An additional attack by the North using its asymmetrical strengths is the most serious threat as of now," Kim said.

    The North is believed to have about 200,000 special warfare troops while South Korea has only 20,000, according to a recent report by the ministry to the National Assembly.

    The North is also believed to have some 150 missiles, about 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons agents and the capability of producing five to eight nuclear weapons with 30 to 40 kilograms of plutonium in storage. The South, however, has only 50 missiles and no nuclear or chemical weapons.

    Due to its overwhelming inferiority, the South Korean military is depending on its combined forces with the United States to cope with the North's asymmetrical threats, the ministry said.

    It also said the military has raised its alert status on cyber warfare readiness, called "Infocon," a notch from fifth to the fourth level, facing growing cyber threats from the North following its artillery attack on a South Korean border island on Nov. 23.


    Tension has increased since the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island near the tense border on the Yellow Sea killed two marines and two civilians.

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

    S.Korea's new defense minister visits Yeonpyeong

    South Korea's new defense minister has visited Yeonpyeong Island, which was targeted by North Korea's artillery attack last month, and pledged not to allow any further provocations by the North.

    Kim Kwan Jin, former head of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, took office on Saturday.

    His predecessor, Kim Tae Young, quit amid fierce criticism of his confused explanations about the country's military response to North Korea's shelling of the border island on November 23rd.

    Later in the day, the new minister flew into Yeonpyeong Island on-board a military helicopter. He visited a local administrative office and inspected houses destroyed by the North's attack.

    Speaking to reporters, Kim admitted that there were problems in the response by South Korean military and vowed to take strong measures to ensure that the North would not make more provocations.

    Kim also said the military intends to hold drills on the island as soon as the weather permits.

    Artillery exercises are also planned in other locations across South Korea, for about one week starting on Monday.


    Sun, 05 Dec 2010 07:15:00 +0900(JST)
    (JST: UTC+9hrs.)"

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

    N. Korea warns against further military drills in tense waters

    SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Sunday warned against South Korea's plan to resume fire drills and hold more joint exercises with the United States in waters near their tense western border, saying nobody can predict the consequences of the drills.

    "The political situation on the Korean Peninsula is reaching an uncontrollable level due to provocative, frantic moves by the puppet group," the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a "commissioned" report. "Should a full-scale war break out between the North and the South, this will have grave influence on peace and security on the peninsula and elsewhere in the region."

    The KCNA did not mention who "commissioned" the report, but it is believed to be the all-powerful National Defense Commission or other military authorities.

    North Korea attacked the inhabited island of Yeonpyeong near the tense Yellow Sea border on Nov. 23 with artillery, killing four people. The North justified the assault by claiming that its military had reacted only after the South's troops on the island held live-fire drills and fired into its waters, the usual logic its regime has used as an excuse for past shellings into the waters across the maritime border.

    South Korea's military said the drills were harmless and regular, and that at the time of the North's attack were being conducted on its side of the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL), the maritime border drawn by the United Nations that Pyongyang does not acknowledge.

    Citing Seoul's plan to resume live-fire drills and discussions with the U.S. to hold additional joint military drills within this year in waters off Yeonpyeong Island, the North threatened, "Nobody can predict how the situation will deteriorate in the future."

    "The U.S. and South Korean puppets should not act rashly, mindful of possible consequences of their military provocations," the report stressed.


    sshim@yna.co.kr"

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

    N.Korea lashes out at S.Korea drill

    SEOUL - NORTH KOREA on Sunday denounced a planned naval firing drill by South Korea, the latest in a flurry of exercises by Seoul after Pyongyang's deadly attack on a South Korean island last month.

    The state-run Korea Central News Agency called the South's upcoming drill, scheduled to take place off all three coasts of the peninsula from Monday to Friday, 'an effort to trigger a war.' South Korea's military has earmarked 29 places for the drills, including one of five frontier islands near the tense maritime border on the Yellow Sea, according to coordinates given by Seoul.

    'The enemy's provocative madness has been driving the situation in the Korean peninsula into an uncontrollably extreme state... no one can expect how the situation will develop in the future,' it said.

    South Korea has staged a series of military exercises, including a massive four-day joint naval drill with the US last week, amid high tension following the North's shelling attack on Yeonpyeong island on November 23.

    Two marines and two civilians were killed by the North's first bombardment of South Korean civilians since the 1950-53 Korean War, which also destroyed dozens of homes and set forests ablaze.

    The North has accused the South of firing first. KCNA said on Sunday the communist country is for now 'trying to remain calm and restrained' amid the military build-up in the South. But it also cautioned a possible 'all-out war between the two Koreas would have grave impacts not only to the Korean peninsula but also to the peace and stability of the whole region.' -- AFP"

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

    North Korea says South's drills "provocative"


    By Jeremy LaurencePosted 2010/12/05 at 2:57 am EST

    SEOUL, Dec. 5, 2010 (Reuters) — North Korea warned its tough-talking neighbor on Sunday against holding more firing drills near a disputed maritime border off the west coast of the peninsula, accusing the South of being "hell-bent to set off a war."

    Seoul has sharply increased its rhetoric over the past week, prompted by growing protests and public opinion polls critical of the conservative government's perceived weak response to last month's deadly shelling of Yeonpyeong island.

    South Korea's military says it is preparing to stage more live-fire drills in the disputed area, possibly as soon as Monday, enraging Pyongyang, which said last month's attack was set off by a similar drill when the South fired artillery shells into its waters.

    The South said those drills were harmless and regular, and that they were conducted on its side of the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL).

    Tensions have risen to their highest level in decades on the divided peninsula after the attack, which came days after the North's revelation it had made significant advances in its nuclear programme.

    The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan on Sunday left for Washington to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss North Korea. They are expected to produce a statement condemning Pyongyang's actions.

    China, the North's only major ally and the chair of stalled international nuclear talks with Pyongyang, is not invited. However, the Washington troika are expected to discuss Beijing's proposal for emergency regional talks on the crisis.

    North Korea disputes the NLL near Yeonpyeong, a sea border established by the United Nations, without Pyongyang's consent, at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

    The South is "loudly advertising that they would fire shells into the territorial waters of the DPRK side from Yeongpyeong island, i.e. in the same direction they did when committing the recent provocation," the North's KCNA state news agency reported.

    "This indicates how frantic they have become in their provocative acts ... (the South) is so hell-bent on the moves to escalate the confrontation and start a war that it is behaving recklessly, bereft of reason," it said.

    The South's new Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin has vowed to hit back hard against the North if provoked again, saying Seoul will respond with bombs and air power next time.

    The South's leaders say they expect the North will stage another provocation, continuing its strategy of antagonizing Seoul with small-scale military attacks.

    Analysts say they expect the North will stage increasingly bigger actions, but doubt the situation will escalate into a full-scale war. Other measures could include missile and nuclear tests, which have already been punished with U.N. sanctions.


    MINISTER DECRIES TEPID RESPONSE

    Last month's attack marked a significant upward tick in its provocations as it was the first time the North had hit a civilian area on South Korean soil since the end of the Korean war. Among the four killed were two civilians, and dozens of homes were destroyed.

    Defense Minister Kim, a retired general, toured the island dressed in fatigues after officially taking office on Saturday.

    "This incident happened because our military had responded (to North Korea's actions) in a tepid manner so far," said Kim, who took the job after his predecessor was criticized for not striking back firmly against the North after the sinking of South Korean warship in March and the Yeonpyeong attack.

    Analysts say Pyongyang's moves could be driven by a number of factors including internal politics and its time-honored practice of using threats and violence for leverage to win aid at talks.

    Two years ago, North Korea walked out of aid-for disarmament talks - which had brought together the two Koreas, host China, the United States, Japan and Russia.

    Pyongyang said its wanted to restart the talks, and has won the backing of Beijing and Moscow, but Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have said they will only return to the negotiating table when the North shows it is sincere about denuclearizing.

    After a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months aimed at restarting the six-party talks, the North criticized Seoul and Washington for refusing to return to dialogue and now believes it may have been rushing the process.

    In November, the North revealed it had thousands of operating centrifuges at a uranium enrichment plant, giving it a second route to make an atomic bomb and raising proliferation concerns.

    North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests to date and is believed to have enough fissile material from its plutonium-based programme to make between six and 12 bombs.

    (Editing by Ron Popeski)
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 5th, 2010 at 13:40.

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

    Military ordered to exercise right to self-defense if attacked by North: defense minister

    SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new defense minister said Monday his military has been ordered to exercise its right of self-defense should the country come under North Korean attack again, toughening up his pledge of retaliation following the North's deadly artillery strike last month.

    Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, who took office Saturday after his predecessor quit amid mounting criticism for the country's feeble response to the North's attack on a front-line island on Nov. 23, said the right of self-defense means "we can immediately retaliate if North Korea provokes first."

    The remarks by Kim, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicate the right of self-defense will be applied separately from the rules of engagement to allow the military to respond faster and with more muscle.

    The current rules of engagement, jointly governed by U.S. troops stationed in the South, are more focused on preventing a military skirmish with the North from escalating to a greater conflict.

    "The principles for the rules of engagement are not applied to the right of self-defense," Kim told reporters. "The extent to which we invoke the right of self-defense is until the enemy surrenders its will for provocation."

    As for concerns that South Korea's tough retaliation may lead to an all-out war, Kim played down such a possibility, saying North Korea isn't ready for a full-scale war because of its moribund economy and internal instability due to an ongoing power transfer from leader Kim Jong-il to his youngest son.

    Two civilians and two marines were killed by the North's Nov. 23 artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, marking the first assault on a civilian area in South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War. Eighteen others were injured, and dozens of homes were destroyed.

    About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the Korean War that ended with a ceasefire, not a peace treaty."

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

    NORTH KOREA WARNS AGAINST FURTHER MILITARY DRILLS

    Write 2010-12-05 12:32:40 Update 2010-12-05 13:47:57




    North Korea has warned against South Korea's plan to resume fire drills and hold more joint exercises with the United States, stating that no one can predict the consequences of those drills.

    The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sunday said in a "commissioned" report that the political situation on the Korean Peninsula is reaching an uncontrollable level due to provocative, frantic moves by what it called "the puppet group" in the South.


    The report said that should a full-scale war break out between the North and the South, it will have grave influence on peace and security on the peninsula and elsewhere in the region.


    The KCNA, however, did not mention who "commissioned" the report.


    The KCNA also warned that the U.S. and South Korean puppets should not act rashly, mindful of possible consequences of their military provocations.
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 6th, 2010 at 03:21.

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

    The things are going from bad to worse in the Korean peninsula


    December 5. 2010 Juch 99
    KCNA Warns against US-S. Korean Puppet Group's Rash Acts

    Pyongyang, December 5 (KCNA) -- The Korean Central News Agency is authorized to release Sunday the following report:

    The south Korean puppet group, far from drawing a lesson from the deserved punishment it faced for its reckless firing of shells into the territorial waters of the DPRK side around Yonphyong Island, is getting more frantic in military provocations and war moves under this pretext.

    The puppet group staged the largest-ever madcap combined exercises together with the U.S. in waters of the West Sea of Korea with its nuclear carrier flotilla involved right after the shelling incident on Yonphyong Island. It plans to stage large-scale combined naval maneuvers with huge armed forces of the U.S. Seventh Fleet including its nuclear submarines involved in the near future.

    It noisily announced that firing exercises would be staged at 29 places in the East, West and South seas of south Korea simultaneously from Monday.

    Taechong Island, one of the five islands in the West Sea very close to the territory of the DPRK, is included in them.

    The puppet forces are loudly advertising that they would fire shells into the territorial waters of the DPRK side from Yonphyong Island, i.e. in the same direction they did when committing the recent provocation. This indicates how frantic they have become in their provocative acts.

    "They are getting very busy massively introducing latest weapons including MLRS and missiles into Yonphyong Island to reinforce the fire power and installations and stage a take-shelter drill.

    The puppet military war-like forces were reported to have already worked out the so-called "retaliatory plan" which calls for sparking off an armed clash after getting on the nerves of the DPRK militarily and taking a large-scale counter-action under this pretext and designated Yonphyong Island as an ignition point to put it into practice.


    This indicates that the Lee Myung Bak group is set to orchestrate the second Yonphyong Island incident at any cost and ignite a war come what may under this pretext.

    The puppet group is so hell-bent on the moves to escalate the confrontation and start a war that it is recklessly behaving, bereft of reason.

    The war-like forces including the new puppet defence minister vociferated about the "principal enemy" and the like while daring take issue with even the leadership of the DPRK. They blustered that they would make a "precision strike" at artillery positions of the DPRK and "reduce them to ashes" by modifying the "rules for battles" and setting in motion all the war means including aircraft. They went the lengths of letting loose outbursts that they would use the defence positions on the five islands in the West Sea as springboards for attack from which to strike the strategic targets deep inside the territory of the DPRK including Pyongyang.

    The frantic provocations on the part of the puppet group are rapidly driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula to an uncontrollable extreme phase.

    No one can predict to what extent the situation will deteriorate in the future.

    The DPRK is now maintaining a maximum self-possession and self-control.

    If an all-out war breaks out between the north and the south, it will seriously affect peace and security not only on the Korean Peninsula but in the rest of the region.

    Public opinion at home and abroad and the parties concerned are called upon to pay a serious attention to the daily worsening situation on the peninsula and properly understand who is a provocateur and who is a defender of justice.

    The U.S. and the puppet group would be well advised to stop acting rashly, pondering over the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by their reckless military provocation."
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 6th, 2010 at 03:35.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    This important story seems to have fallen off the MSM's radar screen. Go figure.

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

    Exacly Ryan Ruck, I can't believe that the MSM is quiet about this. I remember that weeks before the US invade Irak in March 2003 everybody was talking about, even here in Brazil.

    But now, it's incomprehensible. In my view, it's much more important than, say, the questions about the nuclear program of Iran, basically because, the DPRK already HAS the BOMB!
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 6th, 2010 at 09:53.

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

    From the Blog The Marmot's Hole


    We’ll bomb N. Korea if they provoke us again: next defense chief

    by Robert Koehler on December 6, 2010

    South Korean defense minister-designate told a parliamentary confirmation hearing Friday that if North Korea launches another provocation, the South would counterattack using aircraft:
    South Korea’s next defense chief threatened Friday that jets would bomb the North if it stages another attack like last week’s deadly shelling as he outlined a tough new military policy toward the rival neighbor.
    [...[]
    Lee’s nominee, Kim Kwan-jin, told a parliamentary confirmation hearing that further North Korean aggression will result in airstrikes. He said South Korea will use all its combat capabilities to retaliate.
    “In case the enemy attacks our territory and people again, we will thoroughly retaliate to ensure that the enemy cannot provoke again,” Kim said. The hearing is a formality as South Korea’s National Assembly does not have the power to reject Lee’s appointment.
    Like the part about air strikes, don’t like the part about “thoroughly retaliating to ensure that the enemy cannot provoke again,” as you’d need to have boots on the ground in Pyongyang to do that.
    Anyway, Kim’s comments made North Korea slightly upset:
    The North’s official Korean Central News Agency issued a statement yesterday accusing the South of staging a series of “frantic provocations” including the Defence Minister’s remarks.
    “The frantic provocations … are rapidly driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to an uncontrollable extreme phase,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang.
    An uncontrollable, extreme phase! Boy, that doesn’t sound good.

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

    North Korea Shelling Probed as War Crime by International Criminal Court



    The International Criminal Court has started a preliminary war-crimes investigation following North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island last month and the sinking of a South Korean warship earlier this year.

    After receiving communications alleging that North Korean forces committed war crimes in the territory of South Korea, the prosecutor will evaluate whether the incidents fall under the jurisdiction of the court, according to a statement today by the Hague-based ICC.

    The statement referred to the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, allegedly hit by a torpedo from a North Korean submarine on March 26, killing 46 people and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on the Nov. 23, leading to the death of South Korean marines and civilians.

    Nicola Fletcher, spokeswoman of the Office of the ICC’s Prosecutor, wasn’t immediately available for comment.

    Tensions have risen on the Korean peninsula since North Korea’s attack on Yeonpyeong island. South Korea’s military began live-firing drills off its coastline, prompting North Korea to issue the warning that the South risked “catastrophic consequences” with its plans.

    Established under the 1998 Rome Statute, a treaty signed by representatives of 106 states during a UN conference, the ICC is the only permanent tribunal for prosecuting individuals responsible for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world. Other preliminary examinations include Afghanistan and Ivory Coast.

    To contact the reporters on this story: Fred Pals at fpals@bloomberg.net; Jeroen Molenaar in Amsterdam at jmolenaar1@bloomberg.net
    To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling in Paris at jhertling@bloomberg.net
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    KOREA TENSION MAY GO OUT OF CONTROL, HU TELLS OBAMA
    By Arshad Mohammed and Michael Martina 34 mins ago

    WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Hu Jintao warned U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday that Korean tensions risk spiraling out of control as the U.S., Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers met to discuss how to deal with North Korea's shelling of the South two weeks ago.

    Analysts said Hu's comments showed greater urgency over the mounting tension and an attempt to avoid the perception Beijing is siding with its ally Pyongyang against the United States, Japan and South Korea.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was meeting her counterparts from Seoul and Tokyo in a series of meetings in Washington on Monday to discuss the North Korea situation.

    The White House said Obama, in a telephone call with Hu, urged Beijing to work with the United States and others to "send a clear message to North Korea that its provocations are unacceptable.

    Admiral Mike Mullen, the top U.S. military officer, will leave for Seoul on Monday evening for meetings with South Korean security and military officials.
    "The principal message is to the South Koreans that we continue to stand by them in the defense of their territory and for the stability of the peninsula," said Captain John Kirby, a spokesman for Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    "I don't think anyone thinks we're in an emergency situation right now ... That said, it's still tense."

    The International Criminal Court's prosecutor said it had opened a preliminary investigation into whether North Korean forces committed war crimes in South Korea, ramping up pressure on the isolated government in Pyongyang.

    China, the host of stalled international nuclear talks with Pyongyang, was not invited to the U.S.-Japan-South Korea talks in Washington. But the three are expected to discuss Beijing's proposal for emergency regional talks on the crisis.

    SOUTH KOREA STARTS EXERCISES

    "The phone call itself could be an attempt to avoid the perception prior to the meeting between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan that it is those three countries on one side facing off against China and Russia on North Korea," said Sun Zhe, director of the Center for U.S-China Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

    The conversation between Obama and Hu took place as South Korea started live-fire naval exercises, 13 days after North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong island close to a disputed maritime demarcation line.

    "Especially with the present situation, if not dealt with properly, tensions could well rise on the Korean peninsula or spin out of control, which would not be in anyone's interest," Hu said, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.

    "The most pressing task at present is to calmly deal with the situation."
    China faces calls from the United States and its allies to do more to curb impoverished North Korea after the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong island, which killed two South Korean civilians and two soldiers.

    While Beijing has not apportioned blame for the incident, Hu said China expressed "deep regret" about the deaths.

    "We need an easing, not a ratcheting up; dialogue, not confrontation; peace, not war," Hu was quoted as telling Obama.

    Hu's comments could also illustrate why China has been hesitant to put pressure on the North, possibly fearing an implosion of its isolated ally as it goes through a leadership transition.

    A draft of the statement to be issued by the U.S., Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers -- reported by Japanese broadcaster NHK -- said the three nations expect China to press North Korea to fulfill "responsibilities that had been set in the six-party talks" on abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

    The statement would also condemn the attack, NHK said.

    Tensions on the peninsula have risen to their highest level in decades after the Yeonpyeong attack, which came days after the North revealed it had made significant advances in its nuclear program.

    "China is gravely worried about the situation on the peninsula because if large-scale conflict were to erupt on its border, China would face enormous political and strategic problems," said Shi Yinhong, director of the Center on American Studies at Renmin University.

    Analysts say Pyongyang's latest provocations could be driven by factors including internal politics and its repeated use of threats and violence for leverage to win aid at talks.

    Two years ago, North Korea walked out of aid-for-disarmament talks that had brought together the two Koreas, host China, the United States, Japan and Russia.

    Pyongyang has said it now wants to restart them and has won the backing of Beijing and Moscow. But Washington, Seoul and Tokyo say they will return only when the North shows it is sincere about curbing its nuclear ambitions.

    NORTH SEES SOUTH AS "HELL-BENT"

    South Korea began the live-fire naval drills in disputed waters off the west coast, ignoring Pyongyang's warnings that they showed Seoul was "hell-bent" on starting war.

    The South's military said exercises were due to take place in the vicinity of the tense Northern Limit Line (NLL) but not near Yeonpyeong island as part of drills at 29 locations around the peninsula.

    The North justified last month's attack -- the first of its kind on a civilian area on South Korean soil since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War -- saying the South had fired artillery rounds into its waters.

    The South said it had been conducting regular drills in the area but that they were harmless and on its side of the NLL.

  19. #279
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    NORTH'S NEW MIDGET SUBS ARE TORPEDO EQUIPPED
    Korea JoongAng Daily - In association with International Herald Tribune
    December 07, 2010

    North Korea’s new midget submarines feature torpedo launch tubes, according to South Korean intelligence sources, suggesting that the North is planning more torpedo strikes.

    According to sources, satellite imagery examined by South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials have shown 4-meter-long (13.1 feet) torpedo launch tubes attached to North Korea’s new line of “Daedong-B” minisubmarines. Intelligence authorities from both countries had suspected that satellite images showed launch tubes attached to the submersibles. An intelligence tip later confirmed that they were for lightweight torpedoes.

    The Daedong-B model is said to be 17 meters long, 4 meters wide and 2.2 meters high. One special characteristic of the midget submarine, intelligence sources said, is the rear of the vessel, which is shaped like a ramp to easily enable agents to get on and off.

    North Korea has also been holding exercises with the new submarines.

    “Intense military exercises with the midget submarines were conducted by North Korea in July and recently while South Korean and U.S. troops were holding joint exercises,” a South Korean intelligence official said, adding that the drills were aimed against South Korean vessels.

    Based on the evidence, intelligence authorities believe North Korea is now capable of carrying out attacks with its minisubmarines, along with its Yono class submersibles, which the South Korean government believes the North used to sink the Cheonan in March.

    North Korea has not made any direct threats to attack the South with its torpedoes since March, which it did on a regular basis before the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan.

    However, North Korea’s preference for torpedoes is well-known, and they have been the weapons of choice for Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong-il.

    In April 2007, North Korea’s state broadcaster Korean Central Television (KCTV) showed Kim Jong-il instructing marines in a military drill involving torpedoes. The “Dear Leader” was reported to have “laughed with vigor” and immensely approved the torpedo training. Kim was said to have mounted a torpedo-equipped submarine himself and “went out to the wild seas” with the seamen.

    North Korean propaganda claims that its torpedo boats sunk the U.S.S. Baltimore in 1950, although the U.S. battleship was never deployed in the Korean War. On the day cited by North Korea for the attack, the U.S.S. Juneau and two British warships destroyed several North Korean torpedo boats escorting supply vessels without any significant return fire from the North Koreans.

    By Lee Young-jong, Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr

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

    Delay in Korea Talks Is a Sign of U.S.-China Tension
    By MICHAEL WINES and DAVID E. SANGER
    Published: December 6, 2010
    The New York Times - Asia Pacific

    BEIJING —President Obama and President Hu Jintao of China talked by telephone on Monday about North Korea, culminating 13 days of effort by the White House to persuade China’s leaders to discuss a crisis that many experts fear could escalate into military action.

    Administration officials say they have no evidence Mr. Hu was ducking the call, which the Chinese knew would urge them to crack down on their unruly ally, a step Beijing clearly is highly reluctant to take amid a leadership succession in North Korea. White House officials insisted that the long delay was simply the result of scheduling problems.


    But in Beijing, both Chinese and American officials and analysts have another explanation: the long silence epitomizes the speed with which relations between Washington and Beijing have plunged into a freeze. This year has witnessed the longest period of tension between the two capitals in a decade. And if anything, both sides appear to be hardening their positions.


    “The issues that used to be on the positive side of the ledger are increasingly on the negative side of the ledger, starting with North Korea,” Bonnie Glaser, a China scholar at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an interview last week. “I don’t think this is easily repairable, and I think we’re going to have a fairly cold relationship over the next two years, and potentially longer.”


    Mr. Obama came into office seeking just the opposite: a new rapprochement with a rising power whose deep economic ties with the United States all but demand closer diplomatic ones. But the days when the White House spoke of a “G-2” that would manage the world economy and more, a phrase that preceded the first meeting between Mr. Obama and Mr. Hu in the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009, are long over.


    Instead, he faces a problem very similar to the one Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described in March 2009 during a lunch with Kevin Rudd, a China expert who was then Australia’s prime minister, according to a cable recounting their conversation that was in a newly released trove of WikiLeaks documents.


    Mrs. Clinton was said to have asked Mr. Rudd, “How do you deal toughly with your banker?”‘


    The latest bad sign is that cooperation on managing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, which began with considerable promise in 2009, appears to have disintegrated.


    On Monday, Mrs. Clinton was scheduled to convene an emergency meeting in Washington with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts about both the North’s shelling of a South Korean island last month, and its recent disclosure of a new nuclear facility that potentially expands its nuclear arsenal. China, the only nation with real sway over the North Korean leadership, will not be there.


    To the contrary, China’s strategy on North Korea is at odds with that of Washington and its allies. In Monday’s telephone call with Mr. Hu, the White House said, Mr. Obama said North Korea’s new enrichment facility flouted commitments it made during the six-party talks on curbing its nuclear program, and urged China’s help in sending “a clear message to North Korea that its provocations are unacceptable.”


    One former Chinese official with close ties to the government dismissed the American approach last week as characteristically legalistic. The former official, who would not be named because he is not authorized to speak on the topic, said China’s strategy is to reassure the Koreans about their security, not lecture them about diplomatic obligations.


    Indeed, China’s strongest public reaction to last month’s shelling of South Korea has not been to condemn the North, but to criticize Washington’s response — joint war games with South Korea that put the American carrier George Washington and its strike force in the Yellow Sea, off China’s borders.


    After Mr. Obama’s national security team met last Tuesday night, administration officials began saying that the United States would conduct more military exercises near North Korea and China should the North engage in further provocations. It was an unmistakable message to Beijing that failing to rein in its ally would only increase an American military presence that China loathes.


    But the lack of cooperation on North Korea only hints at the deterioration in the U.S.-China relationship.


    In another leaked diplomatic cable, the American ambassador to Beijing, Jon Huntsman, wrote last January that the United States faced “a challenging year ahead” in relations with China, adding: “We need to find ways to keep the relationship positive.”


    Instead, two successive meetings between Mr. Obama and China’s top leaders in recent months have yielded little change in China’s management of its currency. A China-based attack on Google computers early this year riveted attention on Beijing’s potential for cyberwar, and provoked nasty exchanges on the two nations’ concepts of free speech. In public and private, China bitterly accuses the United States of engineering the award in October of the Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, in an effort to undermine its government.


    And those are but lowlights of a year in which Chinese officials have railed loudly and publicly against what they consider to be American efforts to smother their rightful emergence on the global stage.


    No outsiders can peer inside the black box where Chinese policies are made. But rumors abound that Beijing’s leadership decided in the last year that the United States’ faltering after the 2008 economic crisis had handed Beijing an opportunity to seize the global initiative.


    “They feel the ball is at their feet,” one well-connected Chinese political analyst, who did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said in an interview. “The economic crisis was the main thing. China could really say ‘no’ to the U.S.”


    By comparison, he said, Washington has little leverage over Chinese policies.


    There are doubtless other factors at work. China’s domestic Internet is being bombarded by ardent nationalists whose sheer volume of comments may sway official policy. The government faces a difficult succession in 2012 — one in which the safe route for every contender for power is to hew to solidly pro-China ideology.


    Nor are Americans ready to accept a world in which their top-dog status is at considerable risk.


    “A lot of America hasn’t caught up with the fact that China now can say no more often,” said Russell Leigh Moses, a Beijing-based analyst of China’s leadership. “When you’ve got a 6-year-old and he throws a whiffle ball against a window and it bounces off harmlessly, nobody thinks anything of it.


    “But when he’s older, and he throws a hardball, you’ve got a broken window.”


    The difficulty in connecting Mr. Obama and Mr. Hu is reminiscent of the last moment of deep tension between the two countries in early 2001, after a Chinese fighter collided with an American spy plane trailing just off the Chinese coast, sending the American plane and its crew into an emergency landing on Chinese soil.


    President George W. Bush spent more than a week trying to get his counterpart, Jiang Zemin, on the phone. The Chinese — clearly trying to sort out how to handle the crisis — declined to take the call until their internal debate was over. The American crew was eventually returned; the Chinese sent the plane back in a box, after disassembling and inspecting every component.


    Several current and former American officials, as well as foreign diplomats, say they suspect that this time, the Chinese leadership is still debating how to balance its interest in propping up North Korea with their interest in preventing more incidents or another nuclear test, which would be North Korea’s third.


    But the outside world may never know, particularly after candid discussions about North Korea between American and Chinese officials have been revealed in WikiLeaks documents.


    “The Chinese don’t like talking about this stuff,” one senior American official put it two weeks ago, after the North revealed its new nuclear site. “And they certainly don’t like talking about it over the phone.”

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