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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

    U.S. urges strong trilateral alliance with Seoul, Tokyo

    Wed Dec 8, 2010 10:04am GMT




    By Paul Eckert


    SEOUL (Reuters) - The top U.S. military official said Tokyo, Seoul and Washington must build an even stronger alliance in the face of North Korean aggression, while calling on Beijing to show leadership by reining in its ally Pyongyang.


    Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, flew into Seoul on Wednesday where he also agreed with his South Korean counterpart to stage more joint military drills to deter North Korea from attacking again.


    "It is my hope that, to the degree possible, these will include participation by your neighbours and partners, in particular the Japanese," he said.


    "The goal clearly is to have a deterrent effect, so that all-out war never occurs," he told reporters, without providing details about future joint drills.


    While they are allies, relations between Seoul and Tokyo have a legacy of bitterness stemming from Japan's brutal colonial rule of Korea and a dispute over islands.


    Mullen said he was encouraged to see South Korea sending observers to this week's U.S.-Japan joint military drill and applauded a trilateral meeting of foreign ministers in Washington.


    "I would hope that we would see more trilateral action in the region in the future," he added.


    A U.S. aircraft carrier group, the military's ultimate show of strength, has been involved in its recent combined manoeuvres with South Korea and Japan. More drills will irritate China which says they are threatening and bring instability to the region.


    Mullen's trip to South Korea and Japan follows talks in Washington on Monday between Secretary of State Hillary

    Clinton and her Japanese and South Korean counterparts. All three voiced grave concerns over the North Korean attacks and called on China to use its influence to improve Pyongyang's behaviour.


    On Tuesday, Beijing hit back at the United States and its Asian allies for their refusal to talk to North Korea, saying dialogue was the only way to calm escalating tension on the divided Korean peninsula.


    But Mullen said the Chinese must do more.


    "They are a world leader and leaders must lead -- particularly to prevent crises and to prevent the kinds of destabilising activities that are very evident coming out of the leadership in Pyongyang," he said.


    "China has unique influence. Therefore, they bear unique responsibility," Mullen told a news conference in Seoul.


    He said the U.S. and South Korean militaries would avoid taking steps that would escalate into a conflict on the peninsula.


    "The North should not mistake this restraint as a lack of resolve -- nor should they interpret it as willingness to accept continued attacks to go unchallenged," he said.




    DIPLOMACY


    A series of incidents a fortnight ago -- including a deadly artillery attack and revelations of Pyongyang's nuclear advances -- have set off a flurry of diplomatic activity involving Seoul, Washington, Tokyo and Beijing.


    Next week, a former U.S. special envoy to North Korea, current New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, will meet government officials in Pyongyang, a senior U.S. official said.


    The official, who did not want to be identified, said Richardson would not be "delivering a message" on this private trip, but the Washington Post reported he had been invited by top North Korean officials involved in the nuclear programme.


    Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg will lead a U.S. delegation to China next week to try to persuade Beijing to put more pressure on Pyongyang despite Chinese fears that this may destabilise North Korea, a U.S. official said.


    Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have been lukewarm towards Beijing's proposal for emergency talks between the six regional powers, worried that they could be seen as rewarding Pyongyang for its deadly attack on a South Korean island two weeks ago.




    TEST FIRING BY NORTH


    Earlier on Monday, South Korea's military said an unknown number of artillery shells from the North fell on its side of a disputed maritime border off the west coast, adding the firing was most likely part of regular exercises.


    The South is also conducting live-fire drills in the area.


    "It does not appear to be a matter of great concern," a South Korean military official said. However, jittery markets fell on reports of the artillery firing, but within minutes local shares and the won had recovered their losses.


    Markets have for the most part ignored Pyongyang's actions in recent years, but analysts say they are now more sensitive to North Korean risk after last month's shelling of South Korean territory and Seoul's pledge to hit back hard if attacked again.


    "It has been going in a different way than before qualitatively, therefore we are seeing it as a risk that we cannot ignore next year," said Goohoon Kwon, an economist with U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs in Seoul.


    The two Koreas frequently conduct drills in the area around the Northern Limit Line (NLL) off the North's west coast. Pyongyang does not recognise the sea border which was established without its consent after the 1950-53 Korean war.


    (Additional reporting by Jeremy Laurence, Danbee Moon and Kim Yeonhee in Seoul; Writing by Jeremy Laurence; Editing by xxx)

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

    Beijing calls for emergency Six-Party Talks
    2010-12-08 08:25

    BEIJING - China on Tuesday continued to insist that dialogue and negotiations are the only correct ways to address current tensions and realize a long-lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said growing tensions have further proven the urgency of a resumption of the Six-Party Talks, which group China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia, Japan and the United States.

    "We've been calling for peace and dialogue, and we believe that as long as all the parties sit down to talk, we will eventually find the solution," he said.

    Jiang repeated that peaceful resolutions to tensions on the Korean Peninsula have consistently been China's basic point of consideration.

    While the US, the ROK and Japan have expressed their reservations to a proposed emergency meeting of the Six-Party Talks by China, the three countries held a meeting on Monday between chief diplomats to coordinate their positions on Korean Peninsula issues.

    The three foreign ministers denounced the DPRK for its recent "unprovoked" attacks, saying they had jeopardized peace and stability in Asia and warned of "severe consequences" if further strikes are launched.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added that China "has a special role to play" in terms of its influence over the behavior of the DPRK.

    In a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Barack Obama, President Hu Jintao on Monday called for calm and rational responses from all sides to prevent a deterioration of the fragile security situation on the Korean Peninsula.

    Huang Youfu, director of the Institute of Korean Studies at the Minzu University of China, noted that the three countries' rejection of China's proposal was "not wise".

    "The trilateral talks cannot resolve any concrete problems," he said. "It makes Pyongyang hold the view that the US and its two Asian friends are forming a new alliance to confront it.

    "Such (a) Cold War mentality will not solve anything."

    Huang added that China would not protect any side. "Even small details like what to - and how to - negotiate should be negotiated among all the relevant parities," he said.

    Li Qinggong, the deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, said the statement released by the three foreign ministers "neither eased the tensions on the Korean Peninsula - nor dispelled the doubts of the US and the ROK.

    "However", Li added, "it has further irritated the DPRK".

    He said the Washington meeting has hampered Beijing's diplomatic efforts and broken its plan for further coordination among the relevant sides.

    Li said it is unlikely that a regional war would happen in the near future. But, Li added, without the joint efforts of the six parties, the situation will likely get worse.

    Source:China Daily

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

    South Korea push to build 'military fortresses'

    Associated Press
    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 7 December 2010 09.15 GMT


    The president of South Korea vowed today to turn five islands along the tense border with North Korea into "military fortresses", with jobs for permanent civilian communities, including those destroyed in a North Korean artillery attack.

    Lee Myung-bak's comments came as the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff flew to Seoul to give reassurances of the US commitment to the country's defence, and as the top diplomats from the US, Japan and South Korea gathered in Washington in a show of unity. North Korea was warned to stop its "provocative and belligerent" behaviour and abandon its nuclear arms programme.

    Tensions are still high on the Korean peninsula after the 23 November North Korean shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, a tiny enclave of military bases and fishing communities along the Koreas' disputed western sea border. The attack killed two South Korean Marines and two civilians, and reduced many homes and shops to charred rubble.

    In comments posted on his presidential website, Lee said he wanted to "gradually push to make (the five frontline Yellow Sea islands) military fortresses" and to create jobs so local residents can continue to live on all of the islands.

    Most of the 1,300 civilians on Yeonpyeong Island have fled, with many now living in a public bathhouse that has been converted into a refugee centre in the port city of Incheon.

    Lee has been criticised for a military response to the shelling that was deemed too slow and too weak. He has ordered reinforcements for the thousands of South Korean troops stationed on Yeonpyeong and the four other border islands, as well as top-level weaponry and upgraded rules of engagement.

    Even while promising more fortifications on the islands, the South Korean government has worked to show worried citizens that it will also help the islanders. Many Yeonpyeong residents have said in emotional interviews that they are uncertain about whether to go back to their villages.

    Seoul has announced 30bn won ($27m) to help rebuild Yeonpyeong. The city of Incheon, which has jurisdiction over the island, has requested money from the central government to modernise shelters and buy equipment, including new boats for fishermen.

    South Korea continued previously scheduled, week-long artillery exercises. However, no drills were happening along the disputed sea border because of bad weather, military officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, according to internal rules.

    North Korea has blamed South Korean military drills conducted on Yeonpyeong on 23 November for its artillery fire. The North disputes the maritime border, drawn in 1953 by UN forces, and considers the waters around Yeonpyeong, which lies just seven miles from its shores, its territory.

    The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, meanwhile, inspected an iron and steel complex and a coalmining machine complex, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said yesterday. Kim has made a series of trips to factories since the island attack, according to the South Korean Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

    In Washington, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, met the Japanese foreign minister, Seiji Maehara, and the South Korean foreign minister, Kim Sung-hwan, to discuss the shelling of Yeonpyeong and Pyongyang's announced expansion of a uranium enrichment capability, whhich the US and others see as a defiant and dangerous step.

    North Korea has said it wants to restart international talks on receiving aid in return for dismantling its nuclear programme, but Clinton made clear that Washington, Tokyo and Seoul view a resumption of talks as tantamount to rewarding North Korea for behaving badly.

    "All agree that North Korea's provocative and belligerent behaviour jeopardises peace and stability in Asia," Clinton said.

    The South Korean chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Han Min-koo, will meet tomorrow with his US counterpart, Admiral Mike Mullen.

    The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, speaking to sailors on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, warned yesterday that provocative actions by North Korea signal potentially dangerous times ahead. Gates said no one wanted to see another war, so the US needed to "figure out the way ahead with North Korea".

    Also yesterday, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, opened a preliminary investigation on whether the shelling of Yeonpyeong and the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March constitute war crimes.

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

    North Korean 'New Military' led by hard-line general
    BY KIYOHITO KOKITA ASAHI SHIMBUN WEEKLY AERA
    December 8, 2010


    Ri Yong Ho, center, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (Korea News Service)


    The North Korean propaganda machine has repeatedly described Kim Jong Un as an artillery genius who can speak seven languages, took up a rifle when he was 3 and is capable of striking a target every time he fires.


    But a hard-line army general who represents a "New Military" with increasing influence over the North Korean regime appears to be the true architect of the Nov. 23 artillery attack on Daeyeonpyeongdo island, according to sources.


    Ri Yong Ho, 68, serves as chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army. In that post, he is North Korea's top military officer.


    A source said Ri's office is full of materials related to artillery warfare, his specialty, and that he advised Jong Un on writing his thesis while attending a military university.


    Ri was appointed chief of the General Staff from his post as commander of the Pyongyang municipal garrison in February 2009, one month after Jong Un was secretly elevated to heir apparent among the top echelons of the North Korean hierarchy.


    On September 27 this year, Ri was promoted to vice marshal, the second highest military rank. The next day, at a special meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea, Ri was named a Politburo Presidium member as well as vice chairman of the party's Central Military Commission.


    The vice chairman's post was newly established and filled by Ri and Jong Un.


    Ri's parents worked under Kim Il Sung as guerrillas resisting the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula. After Kim Il Sung established the North Korean state, Ri's father served in important positions, including head of the military's censorship committee that checked on the ideology of military troops.


    Ri's mother was close to the mother of Kim Jong Il and looked after the young Kim after his mother died.


    With Ri's promotion to chief of the General Staff, generals in their 50s and 60s who form the core of the "New Military" pushed their elders into retirement. Their emergence also coincides with a more hard-line stance taken by North Korea.


    In January 2009, a military official appeared on Korean Central Television and declared: "The government of (South Korean) President Lee Myung-bak has chosen a course of confrontation with us. We will enter into a posture of total confrontation, and our revolutionary military force will demolish them."


    Around that time, relations between the two Koreas had worsened after a South Korean woman was fatally shot at the Kumgangsan resort that had been a joint project between Pyongyang and a South Korean company.


    Although South Korea stopped its assistance to Pyongyang, the two sides held secret discussions to prepare a summit between the leaders of the two nations to break the deadlock.


    However, the two sides never reached an agreement. North Korea insisted that assistance had to be provided first, while South Korea demanded an apology and clear indications that Pyongyang was abandoning its nuclear ambitions.


    The broadcast on Korean Central Television was viewed as a threat from the North Korean military that had grown tired of delays and could be seen as a precursor to the recent shelling.


    In the following month, Ri was appointed chief of the General Staff.


    North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile in April 2009 and conducted a second underground nuclear test the following month. While there were some offerings of the olive branch in the summer that year, Pyongyang turned hard-line once again this year.


    A diplomatic cable leaked to WikiLeaks said that Kim Jong Il appeared to have a weaker grip on the policy-making process after being felled by a stroke in 2008.


    If that was true, it would make it easier for the "New Military" to immediately implement its hard-line measures.


    As South Korea prepares for a possible military provocation by Pyongyang, Ri is said to have made a broadcast that reached all homes and workplaces in North Korea.


    "What has the international community given us?" Ri said. "We no longer need dialogue with the United States. It is the resolve of Kim Jong Il to use force to resist force."

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

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010
    "Korean Peninsula Headed Toward War"




    Dr. Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, published an article on Tuesday
    in the Chosun Ilbo that begins "There is a real possibility of war on the Korean Peninsula." A little about the Dr. Victor Cha...

    Dr. Cha has a reputation for being more 'hawkish' towards the Korean situation than other policy advisors over the last several years. The advantage of being the voice of an alternative, more hawkish policy analyst over the last several years however is that all his dovish critics have an undisputed history of failure in dealing with North Korea. Dr. Cha was President Bush's top advisor on North Korean affairs, and is a former Director for Asian Affairs in the White House's National Security Council. During six-party talks under the George W. Bush administration, Dr. Cha was one of the US folks at the table with North Korea.


    The article has been reprinted in
    this CSIS blog post. The article articulates the reasons why "war is a real possibility" discussing the pressures on South Korea to act and the confidence North Korea takes actions with. Diplomats often talk about miscalculations. This article suggests the Korea situation has potentially already raced passed the point of miscalculations and is simply waiting for a trigger moment that proves it.

    Today, December 8th, 2010, was the first snow of the winter in Seoul. The winters are quite cold and have historically held through March. The weather is not a trivial consideration, because if indeed the situation on the Korean Peninsula is headed towards war, then the impact of war to civilians along the DMZ at the onset of the Korean winter has enormous ramifications. This is the worst possible time of the year for threats to homes of civilians in South Korea, which may explain to some degree North Korea's timing.


    What I find interesting are the recommendations for how to prevent the war, because it is a prescription intended to reset the calculus of all sides with more clarity. From the article:
    So what should the U.S. do? Obama’s military exercising with South Korea and Japan is the right first step. But there are two more steps. First, serious consideration should be given to augmenting U.S. troop levels in Korea. This is the ultimate symbol of the deterrence and will impose real costs on the North for its actions, who seek the removal of these forces.

    Second, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan should seek a resolution from the UN authorizing the use of force in self-defense at the next North Korean provocation. China will oppose both measures, in which case it should stop North Korea’s provocations. Third, the U.S. should enlist Russia to begin informal talks with North Korea about nuclear deterrence. The purpose of such talks would be to undercut any false notions Kim might have that a few nukes in the basement permit him to provoke recklessly. These are extreme measures but they befit the gravity of the situation.

    Lets examine all three recommendations one at a time.

    The first recommendation is to augment U.S. troop levels in Korea. As of May 1, 2010 there were ~28,500 total US force personnel in South Korea. Of that ~28,500, the Eighth United States Army has ~22,000 personnel broken down as follows:
    2nd Infantry Division .................................................. ~8,000 personnel
    19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command ............ ~4,000 personnel
    1st Signal Brigade .................................................. ....... ~3,000 personnel
    35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade ............................ ~1,000 personnel
    65th Medical Brigade .................................................. . ~3,000 personnel
    501st Military Intelligence Brigade ........................... ~3,000 personnel
    There are some additional ground forces in small numbers as part of United Nations Command which includes Marine Corps Forces - Korea and Special Operations Command - Korea. Those personnel totals are not listed here.

    The remaining ~6,500 personnel are part of the Seventh Air Force which is centered around the 8th Fighter Wing, the 51st Fighter Wing, 731st Air Mobility Squadron, 694th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron, and Detachment 1, 33rd Rescue Squadron.


    There are also about ~300 personnel assigned to US Naval Forces, Korea.


    This leads to several questions, the first being how many troops and what kind of troops? I am not sure the US Army has any available brigades right now, and to make matters worse I don't think the US Army has much equipment left on their MPS ships either. The Marines have done a good job keeping their MPS ships ready to sail, but I am not sure about the Army. Would we commit our reserve, the 3rd Marine Division, with no infrastructure in place at the start of winter? I hope not.


    Surging forces on the ground is a lot easier said than done, and while I would agree with Dr. Cha that it would send a message, the force would have to be of sufficient size to insure the message is delivered. That means at least 2 or 3 US Army combat brigade teams, and I don't believe those forces exist for purposes of strategic communications - and the cost is not trivial.


    The impact of moving US troops to South Korea would be significant, and not only for North Korea. That might actually be a good thing though. If the United States adds an additional 10,000 personnel to South Korea, and drives equipment into position - the South Korean population is going to notice real quickly. That presence of additional forces will make a significant impact to the political options for South Korea, but more likely the impact would be to limit South Korean options politically. While I agree North Korea would reevaluate their position with the reinforcement of US forces by additional Army BCTs, I don't see this as practical unless the shooting actually breaks out.


    Ultimately, the only additional military forces that can 'surge' to the Korean Peninsula will be either Navy or USAF. In my opinion, that clarifies things considerably, because now you know what capabilities you have to address the problem. Will Pyongyang be intimidated by aircraft carriers and warships? Probably not, but I do know Pyongyang seems to go ape **** every time a submarine surfaces in Chinhae or Bosan. Some naval platforms are more intimidating to North Korea than others, because North Korea has very few effective defense capabilities against some naval platforms - like submarines.


    The second recommendation calls for a resolution from the UN authorizing the use of force in self-defense in response to the next North Korean provocation. That might work as a deterrent, but South Korea doesn't need the UN's permission to defend their nation from a North Korean attack. I would support this action, but I also agree with Dr. Cha that China is likely to veto any resolution put up to a vote. While this is a practical step to increase pressure on China, I am unsure what it solves if indeed South Korea, Japan, and the US require Chinese assistance for a peaceful resolution - which for the record, is exactly how I read the US policy right now.


    The third recommendation is quite interesting, as it calls for the U.S. to enlist Russia to begin informal talks with North Korea about nuclear deterrence. That is certainly an interesting idea, but it raises the question whether it frames the confrontation between South Korea and North Korea into a context of a nuclear standoff. I am not sure the results can be predicted well if the starting point for Russia is that North Korea faces nuclear attack, and requires additional nuclear deterrence assistance from Russia. If a confrontation is highly probable, then doesn't that suggest avoiding putting confrontations into a nuclear context? I would think so.


    I believe the analysis by Dr. Cha regarding how events are unfolding is spot on, although I disagree with his recommendations for action. There are two things that I think need to be considered.


    First, will North Korea be attacking soon or will there be another 8 month pause before another military provocation? I don't believe there is any question that if North Korea attacks, South Korea will be responding very hard to North Korea. I also believe that right now, everyone believes North Korea will attack again at some point in the future. Time is an unknown right now, so it seems to me that all diplomatic efforts should be focused on extending the time between now and the next attack.


    Second, why does a message or response to North Korea need to be an overt, conventional military attack? North Korea is a paranoid, centrally controlled, tight fisted regime that is generations behind in capabilities civilians in most western nations take for granted, so why couldn't, or shouldn't, a unified response be a more irregular approach that targets the paranoia while trying to generate enough confusion to turn the regime against itself? The number of indirect, non-conventional military options available to South Korea and the US are pretty large, for example, the winters are just as cold in North Korea as they are in South Korea, and I would hate to see the heat turned off for all those elite party members in Pyongyang.


    My point is this: I agree completely that confrontation is coming to the Korean Peninsula because South Korea's stated defense policy to future attacks combined with the comfortable position of the North Koreans who feel secure behind a nuclear umbrella almost insures it. However, I disagree that this is headed towards a conventional war, because I am not convinced it is. Skirmish maybe, but major conventional conflict? Not yet.


    What we have seen in 2010 on the Korean Peninsula is more akin to a shadow war, and I would expect a lot more of that - from all sides.


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

    US Wants More Military Training with Asian Allies

    Steve Herman
    08 December 2010

    The top U.S. military officer is calling for more war games in Northeast Asia, in the wake of what he calls increased North Korean belligerence. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also appears to be prodding Tokyo and Seoul to join the United States in a three-way alliance to deter Pyongyang.

    The United States and South Korea have agreed to conduct more joint military maneuvers, in response to North Korea's shelling of a South Korean island last month.

    Following talks with top South Korean defense officials here Wednesday, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said it is time for a three-country response to Pyongyang's recent aggression.

    "It's important that we look to the future and work together, in terms of making a difference in that stability. So I would hope that we would see more interaction, more trilateral interaction and multilateral interaction in the region in the future to involve South Korea, the United States and Japan," he said.


    Mullen will hold talks in Tokyo, Thursday to make that pitch directly to Japanese leaders.

    The admiral says the U.S. remains committed to defending Seoul against attack.

    Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have rebuffed Beijing's recent call for emergency talks about North Korea.

    Mullen expressed the U.S. frustration at China's efforts to rein in Pyongyang.

    The four-star admiral says Beijing has unique influence on North Korea and, therefore, bears unique responsibility.

    "Now is the time for Beijing to step up to that responsibility and help guide the North and, indeed the entire region, to a better future," he said.

    A high-level U.S. delegation is scheduled to go to China next week to directly make that argument.

    As the top American officer held talks in Seoul, the sound of distant shelling in North Korea could be heard in the Yellow Sea, near the two country's disputed maritime border.

    The artillery firing appeared to be part of a North Korean military exercise, not a renewed attempt to hit South Korea. The South Korean military also is conducting live-fire drills in various locations this week.

    North Korea has warned renewed exercises by the South near disputed waters could trigger a new war.

    At a news conference with his South Korean counterpart, Admiral Mullen gave tacit approval to Seoul's stance that it will respond to any further shelling of its territory with air strikes on the North.

    Mullen told journalists he did not ask South Korea to exclude the option of such strikes on the North.


    South Korea's leadership has faced domestic criticism for what was perceived here as a tepid response to the November 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong island. Two South Korean marines and two civilians died in the attack."

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

    U.S. to join counterattack on N.K.

    2010-12-08 19:10

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Han Min-koo (right) and his U.S. counterpart Adm. Michael G. Mullen hold a joint news conference after their meeting at the Defense Ministry on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)























    U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael G. Mullen said Wednesday that South Korea has its own right to determine which methods to use to respond to North Korean provocations.

    His remarks came as South Korea has been seeking to take a stronger counterstrike in the case of another provocation by the communist state by exercising the right of self-defense.

    “South Korea is a sovereign nation that has every right to protect its people and to respond as it sees fit in order to effectively carry out that responsibility,” said Mullen during a press conference at the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul after his meeting with his South Korean counterpart Gen. Han Min-koo.

    “It has the right to choose the method with which they respond. Certainly there are a variety of options that South Korea has and that the U.S. has inside the alliance to respond to further provocations.”

    Mullen also said that the U.S. has not asked South Korea to refrain from using air strikes in dealing with provocations by the North.

    “To answer your (reporter’s) question as to whether or not I asked South Korea to take air options off the table, I did not,” Mullen said.

    The two allies’ JCS chairmen held their first talks since the North’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island near the western sea border on Nov. 23, which killed four South Koreans including two civilians.

    Among others, the two JCS chairmen agreed to refine the plans to prepare for and respond to North Korea’s future provocations.

    The agreement came as the two sides believe that North Korea will continue to make new provocations in the future, and that the possibility of an all-out war on the peninsula is low.

    “The plans for localized provocations have been developed with South Korea playing central roles. However, North Korea provocations have gradually become bolder so there could be situations we should respond to in light of the alliance,” Gen. Han said in a press conference.

    “In preparation for such situations, we will jointly develop the plans so that we can instantaneously and sternly respond (to future provocations).”

    The top U.S. military officer stressed China’s role to “guide the North” in the right direction.

    “Chinese have an enormous influence over the North that no other nation on earth enjoys and yet despite a shared interest in reducing tensions, they appear unwilling to use it. Even tacit approval of Pyongyang’s brazenness leaves all their neighbors asking what will be next,” Mullen said.

    Mullen also underscored the role of Japan in dealing with North Korea.

    “The Japanese likewise have a stake in seeing this threat countered and they have much to offer in terms of viable training opportunities and expertise. Having been a Pacific sailor for most of my career, I can attest to their skill and to their earnest desire to contribute to regional security and stability,” he said.

    “Indeed I leave this evening for Tokyo to discuss with Japanese military leaders ways in which we can leverage their expertise and improve our defense cooperation.”

    Mullen indicated that the U.S. believes it is not the right time yet for the resumption of the multilateral talks aimed at denuclearizing the communist state although Beijing has recently proposed holding an emergency round of the talks.

    “We first need an appropriate basis for the resumption of talks. There is none so long as North Korea persists in its illegal and ill-advised and dangerous behavior,” he said.

    During the meeting, the two sides also agreed to continue joint military exercises to bolster their deterrence capabilities against North Korea.

    “Both sides reaffirmed that the alliance is stronger than ever, and agreed to continue combined exercises designed to effectively deter North Korean aggression and strengthen the joint capabilities to respond,” the joint press statement said.

    The meeting was also attended by U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Walter Sharp and Lieut. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby, director of the strategic plans and policy section on the U.S. JCS, aside from Mullen, who arrived in Seoul earlier Wednesday.

    During a meeting of South Korea’s top military commanders Tuesday, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin directed the military to act first and report later” when exercising the right of self-defense in case of further North Korean provocations.

    Military officials here said that Seoul and Washington shared “the common ground” over the use of the right of self-defense, which would allow South Korean troops to take a strong counterattack using stronger weapons systems such as fighter jets and missiles in case of another armed attack by the North.

    The South has so far responded to North Korean provocations in strict compliance with the rules of engagement, which focus mainly on preventing an accidental clash between the two Koreas from escalating into a full-blown war. The rules were set up by the U.N. Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

    Critics have called for the rules to be revised, arguing that the South Korean military’s responses to a recent series of North Korean provocations were inadequate and slow as it has been bound to the rules.

    Meanwhile, a senior Cheong Wa Dae official said that the right of self-defense is a country’s “inherent right,” stressing that a country does not need to seek any consent from any country before exercising the right.

    His remarks came following a report that the U.S. agreed to Seoul’s stance over the use of the right of self-defense. As the U.S. holds wartime operational control, some observers have said that to exercise the right, Seoul might need to secure consent from Washington.

    “It is inappropriate to say that someone can use the right of self-defense after asking someone else (if it is okay to use it),” said the official on condition of anonymity. “The right of self-defense precedes the rules of engagement (in terms of their authority). The rules of engagement cannot replace or shrink the right.”

    The right of self-defense is recognized by the U.N. In the U.N. Charter, Article 51 provides for the inherent right of member countries to engage in military action and use force in self-defense against an armed attack.

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

    US Wants More Military Training with Asian Allies

    Steve Herman
    December 8, 2010 - VOANews.com


    The top U.S. military officer is calling for more war games in Northeast Asia, in the wake of what he calls increased North Korean belligerence. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also appears to be prodding Tokyo and Seoul to join the United States in a three-way alliance to deter Pyongyang.

    The United States and South Korea have agreed to conduct more joint military maneuvers, in response to North Korea's shelling of a South Korean island last month.


    Following talks with top South Korean defense officials here Wednesday, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said it is time for a three-country response to Pyongyang's recent aggression.


    "It's important that we look to the future and work together, in terms of making a difference in that stability. So I would hope that we would see more interaction, more trilateral interaction and multilateral interaction in the region in the future to involve South Korea, the United States and Japan," he said.


    Mullen will hold talks in Tokyo, Thursday to make that pitch directly to Japanese leaders.


    The admiral says the U.S. remains committed to defending Seoul against attack.


    Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have rebuffed Beijing's recent call for emergency talks about North Korea.


    Mullen expressed the U.S. frustration at China's efforts to rein in Pyongyang.


    The four-star admiral says Beijing has unique influence on North Korea and, therefore, bears unique responsibility.


    "Now is the time for Beijing to step up to that responsibility and help guide the North and, indeed the entire region, to a better future," he said.


    A high-level U.S. delegation is scheduled to go to China next week to directly make that argument.


    As the top American officer held talks in Seoul, the sound of distant shelling in North Korea could be heard in the Yellow Sea, near the two country's disputed maritime border.


    The artillery firing appeared to be part of a North Korean military exercise, not a renewed attempt to hit South Korea. The South Korean military also is conducting live-fire drills in various locations this week.


    North Korea has warned renewed exercises by the South near disputed waters could trigger a new war.


    At a news conference with his South Korean counterpart, Admiral Mullen gave tacit approval to Seoul's stance that it will respond to any further shelling of its territory with air strikes on the North.


    Mullen told journalists he did not ask South Korea to exclude the option of such strikes on the North.


    South Korea's leadership has faced domestic criticism for what was perceived here as a tepid response to the November 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong island. Two South Korean marines and two civilians died in the attack.
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 8th, 2010 at 23:08.

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

    Rodong Shinmun Stoking Domestic Tension
    Daily NK
    [2010-12-08 18:25]

    Rodong Shinmun has been working to elevate the anti-South Korea-U.S. atmosphere in the country over the last two days through columns contributed by a number of domestic organs, showing that the country is trying to use the current tense situation created by the Yeonpyeong attack to shore up domestic support.

    Rodong Shinmun released two major columns today, “We will show the true potential of the Chosun youth”, by Heo Yong Ryul, Vice Chairman of Central Committee of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League, and “Cooperating with woman power” written by Jang Mun Hyang, Chairwoman of the Central Committee of the Chosun Democratic Women’s Union. Additional columns supposedly written by foreign supporters in South Africa and elsewhere were also released.

    In his piece, Heo Yong Ryul claimed, “The U.S. and South Chosun have been fueling our endless rage and the hostility we feel in our hearts for the enemy,” adding, “We will show clearly what the potential of Chosun youth is by organizing campaigns of ideology and education.”

    Meanwhile, Jang Mun Hyang also asserted, “I cannot stand the wild rage I have felt since the provocative military maneuvers of South Korea and the U.S.,” adding, “In the year of the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and the 30th anniversary of the suggestion that the Korea Democratic Federal Republic be established, I appeal to all the women in each class and section in the North, South and overseas countries to light a fire of violent struggle against belligerent factions and provocative maneuvers towards the North.”

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

    ASIA NEWS
    DECEMBER 8, 2010, 8:31 P.M. ET

    North Korea Claims Waters Around Shelled Island

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj

    By EVAN RAMSTAD

    SEOUL—North Korea state media on Thursday issued a statement that claimed possession of all waters around South Korea-controlled Yeonpyeong Island, clarifying for the first time that its Nov. 23 attack of the island was motivated by a different view of the inter-Korean maritime boundary in the Yellow Sea than is widely held.

    North Korea has said since the attack that it was motivated because shells from an artillery test South Korea conducted on the island that day fell into its waters.

    Military officials in South Korea have said that its test-firing that day was routine and was directed into South Korean waters south of the island. South Korea has long understood the maritime boundary to be in several miles north of the island and, as a result, directs its tests southward.

    But officials and analysts who have watched North Korea's evolving statements since Nov. 23 have noticed that Pyongyang didn't claim that South Korea fired northward, raising questions about just what territory North Korea was claiming.

    The new statement carried by Korea Central News Agency wiped out the ambiguity.

    "The above-said island is located deep inside the territorial waters of the DPRK side from the maritime demarcation line," the statement said, using an acronym for North Korea's full name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

    "If any live shell firing is conducted from there, shells are bound to drop inside the territorial waters of the DPRK side no matter in which direction they are fired because of these geographical features of the island," the statement added.

    North Korea has long disputed the inter-Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea, or West Sea, which was drawn up by the United Nations when hostilities in the Korean War ended with a ceasefire in 1953.

    In recent years, North Korea has grown more vocal and belligerent in its claim of a different maritime border, one that runs many miles to the south of the one drawn by the U.N. and known in South Korea as the Northern Limit Line, or NLL.

    In North Korea's claim, five islands that have long been controlled by South Korea lie within its waters. However, North Korea has not claimed possession of the islands.

    As it exists, the U.N.-drawn border forces military and fishing vessels from the North Korean city of Haeju and other points along its southern coast to make a coastline-hugging journey westward for 30 miles or more before they can reach open water.

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

    This is from the Official NK newspaper and brings a veiled threat to Japan


    Japan Accused of Its Involvement in Korean War


    Pyongyang, December 8 (KCNA) -- It was disclosed by world media recently that officers of the Imperial Japanese Army drew up and provided strategic maps which had detailed descriptions of the topography of Korea for the U.S. imperialist aggression forces to help them in military operations including their air raids during the past Korean War.

    Rodong Sinmun Wednesday observes in a signed commentary in this regard:

    The above-said fact amounts to a very grave war crime and an unpardonable crime against humanity.

    But for these maps, the land would not have been reduced to so awful debris and so many innocent peaceable civilians would not have been killed. If it were not for these maps, Korea would not have remained divided for more than half a century.

    The landing operation in Inchon was carried out by the U.S. imperialists during the Korean War in accordance with the map provided by the Yamasaki Institution.

    During the war Japan offered the U.S. imperialists its territory as logistic, supply and sortie bases for carrying out their war of aggression.

    Using U.S. marine and air force bases in Okinawa and other parts of Japan its various type warships and fighters committed barbarous air raids and bombardments in Korea. Japan also dispatched military personnel to the Korean front to help the U.S. in its military operations.

    The germ warfare perpetrated by the U.S. imperialists in Korea would have been unthinkable without the cooperation of Japanese experts on germ warfare.

    The army and the people of the DPRK still remember well the criminal acts committed by Japan during the Korean War and their serious consequences. They have, at the same time, strictly keep tabs on the hideous war crimes committed by Japan against the DPRK.

    If Japan takes part in the second Korean War to be ignited by the U.S. imperialists, the army and people of the DPRK will certainly force it to pay not only for the crimes committed by it in the past but for those perpetrated by it during the last Korean War and for what it will do in the second Korean War.


    Last edited by BRVoice; December 9th, 2010 at 03:02.

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

    DPRK is "looking for an excuse" to do something now, but they aren't sure what.
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    China stands with North Korea and criticises US threats

    China has hit back at US criticism over North Korea saying military threats are not the answer.




    North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (right) and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo Photo: REUTERS




    By Malcolm Moore, Shanghai 12:32PM GMT 09 Dec 2010
    The Telegraph UK

    The message came as China's most senior diplomat, Dai Bingguo, met with Kim Jong-il in a sign of Beijing's deep and continuing support for North Korea.

    In the first meeting between the two allies since North Korea shelled a South Korean island at the end of last month, Mr Dai was reported to have presented Kim with presents and a greeting from Hu Jintao, the Chinese president.

    Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, described their meeting as "candid" and that the two men had agreed to boost their "friendly and co-operative relations".
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 9th, 2010 at 15:42.

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

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terro...or-Kim-Jong-Il

    China delegation visits North Korea, expresses support for Kim Jong Il

    The US was hoping that China, the only country with diplomatic influence over North Korea, would rebuke the country for shelling South Korea last month. But China appears intent on maintaining support for Kim Jong Il.


    North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, holds a talk with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, unseen, during a meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, Dec. 9. The top Chinese foreign policy official met Thursday with North Korea's Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang amid the continuing military crisis on the Korean peninsula.
    Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service/AP Photo

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Il met with high-level Chinese officials on Thursday in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, where China reaffirmed its relationship with its fellow communist state and maintained a neutral stance on North Korea's attack on South Korean forces last month.

    North Korea, which hasn't explained why it shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula further by saying that the island is surrounded by North Korea-controlled waters. The internationally determined border is several miles to the north of the island,
    reports The Wall Street Journal.

    China's stance has irked many American leaders and their allies who hoped that China, North Korea’s only ally, would apply pressure on Mr. Kim to stop his hawkish policies, reports BeijingNews.net.
    IN PICTURES - Cult of Personality: Inside North Korea


    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen was among the loudest critics, sharply condemning China for its apparent unconditional support of North Korea. He had hoped that Chinese officials would express public disapproval of the North's Nov. 23 artillery strike. The shelling was the most violent exchange since the Korean War ended in 1953.

    “The Chinese have enormous influence over the North, influence that no other nation on Earth enjoys,” Mullen was quoted as saying in an
    article in the Los Angeles Times. “And yet, despite a shared interest in reducing tensions, they appear unwilling to use it…. Even tacit approval of Pyongyang's brazenness leaves all their neighbors asking, ‘What will be next?’”

    China has defended its support of the North, calling Mullen’s remarks an “accusation,”
    reports the BBC. Jiang Yu, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry also criticized Mullen asking what exactly he had done to create “peace and stability in the region.”

    Next week a team of US diplomats will travel to China to discuss the shelling incident and the subsequent tensions. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, who will lead the delegation, has tried to move the focus away from the friction between US and China, saying leaders in Beijing can play a “critical role” in defusing the situation. He added that the US and China have a common interest in finding a peaceful resolution to this situation, reports
    Al Jazeera.
    President Obama spoke with Chinese President Hu Jintao over the phone on Monday. The two discussed North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the worsened security situation on the peninsula following the shelling. The US has also pledged to increase joint training exercises with South Korean forces, reports The New York Times.

    In an editorial for The Korea Times, Zhu Feng, deputy director of the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University, writes that the latest WikiLeaks cables reveal that China would be willing to accept the reunification of Korea in favor of the South but for the American military presence. He speculates that China’s continued support of North Korea is an attempt to keep the communist state as a buffer between it and US forces currently stationed on the peninsula.

    “Thus China does what it must, shoring up the Kim family dynasty to prevent Korea from reunifying on South Korean terms. Indeed, the controversy in Chinese eyes is not really about Korean reunification ― few in Beijing speculate that the endgame will be otherwise ― but to what extent reunification can be achieved without damaging China’s security concerns,” writes Mr. Feng.




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

    Look Rick, I also don't know what they up to, but something you have said in this Thread sometime ago catch my attention, even being outdated today, but it's still very important:



    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    You guys all know I HATE to make predictions... because I'm rarely "right" when I make one, and usually look stupid.

    In this case though, I'm not making a prediction exactly. I'm posting a warning.

    Anyone who is monitoring this site for information about this sort of stuff - and I don't care which country you live in, be warned.

    The shit is about to hit the fan.

    I've talked to some people today and no one is very comfortable with what is happening, least of all military personnel I've talked to.

    I am not going to post ANY details of what I DO know because I refuse to post anything related to troop movements one way or the other.

    Suffice it to say though, things are about to get hot and heavy in Asia.

    I got word about an hour ago that the "War Games" have "officially" begun.

    Both Koreas as I have just learned have issued new warnings to each other.

    This is about to escalate and China has "Ordered" the US to remove our Carrier group as well.

    This is NOT good. We're not about to move that carrier out of there and China isn't about to tolerate it.

    Ladies and Gents, my advice is simple. Get your "go bags" ready if you have them. If you don't, put something together ASAP to be able to feed yourselves for 72 hours or so. Warm clothing, extra gas, whatever it takes.

    Do it tomorrow..... If this escalates more, it won't take too long. It will be in the next 3-5 days I think and if the crap hits the impeller device, we might see China do something we don't really expect............

    Best wishes all. I sincerely pray I'm wrong on this.

    Rick

    I also pray that you may be wrong and all the crew members in the US Carriers return safe. I don't think the menace has gone. I also believe that the next move they made will not be shelling some islands in their maritime border, I think they are setting and invasion. I don't know man, but it's a bad feeling that I have with me.
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 9th, 2010 at 16:07.

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

    My advice is the normal advice I'd give ANYWAY - but in this case, most of us have this "feeling" that something isn't right here.

    So - the advice merely adds to "prepare now, prepare quicker and prepare for things you're least expecting".

    In my case, my "least expecting" would be a nuclear attack. I always suspect the Russians and Chinese... but now, I expect the Russians and Chinese. Make sense?
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    China says military deterrence may escalate tensions on Korean Peninsula
    English.news.cn 2010-12-09 19:36:53


    BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday warned that military deterrence would escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula rather than helping solve problems.

    Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu made the remarks when responding to a question regarding a decision by the Republic of Korea and the United States to continue joint military exercises.

    "China has repeatedly made clear its position, and we hope the parties concerned take our concerns seriously," she said.

    Calling the situation "highly complicated" and "sensitive", Jiang warned that inappropriate handling of the issues could tighten tensions on the peninsula, and severely harm regional peace, stability and the common interests of the region.

    Top military officers from the ROK and the United States announced Wednesday plans to continue joint military exercises that began last week off the west coast of the peninsula after an exchange of fire between the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Nov. 23.

    The two officers said the drills were intended to "deter future acts of aggression."

    Jiang urged the parties concerned to act in a responsible, prudent and more positive manner.

    She said China's policy towards the Korean Peninsula complied with the long-term interests of the parties concerned, and China had played a positive role in maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, and alleviating tensions.

    Last edited by BRVoice; December 9th, 2010 at 17:17.

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

    Vice defense ministers of S. Korea, Japan to discuss N. Korea

    SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's vice defense minister left for Tokyo on Thursday for talks with his Japanese counterpart to exchange views on North Korea's nuclear programs and regional tensions, including the North's shelling of a South Korean island, officials said.

    Vice Defense Minister Lee Yong-gul is scheduled to hold talks Friday with Kimito Nakae, the South's defense ministry said in a statement. Lee and Kakae were also expected to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation.

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

    Japan, US Agree to Enhance Military Cooperation
    VOANews.com
    Steve Herman | Seoul 09 December 2010


    U.S. and Japanese officials have agreed to increase regional military cooperation in wake of increased aggressive acts by North Korea.

    The top U.S. military officer says he has "a real sense of urgency" about the need for Washington, Tokyo and Seoul to enhance security cooperation to deter North Korea.

    Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comment after talks in Tokyo Thursday with Japanese defense officials. They agreed to increase security cooperation with South Korea.

    Washington has held military maneuvers with its two key Asia allies and begun an intensive round of diplomacy since last month when North Korea shelled a South Korean island near a disputed maritime boundary.

    Professor Hiro Katsumata at Tokyo's Waseda University says three-way military cooperation has quietly been going on since the mid-1990's when it emerged that North Korea likely possessed a nuclear bomb.

    However, Katsumata contends the latest crisis does not mean that Tokyo, Seoul and Washington are forming a comprehensive, long-standing tripartite alliance.

    "The only purpose of this partnership is to deal with the issue of North Korea," he said. "It is not a partnership to deal with the rise of China, not for terrorism, not for piracy/maritime security and certainly not for the promotion of democracy and so on."

    The professor says, however, Japan needs a strong working relationship with South Korea - despite the historical animosity between the two.

    "For Japan, partnership with South Korea is extremely important. Perhaps Japan needs South Korea more than South Korea needs Japan," added Katsumata. "When something happens on the Korean peninsula, one of the major tasks for the Japanese government is to evacuate the Japanese people. Many of them, businesspeople, work in Seoul and [elsewhere in] South Korea."

    However, Japanese news reports quoted officials as saying it is premature to commit to military training with the United States and South Korea.

    Japan has been reluctant to take part in multi-national military exercises not directly related to its defense. The constitution limits the use of its military if Japan is not under attack.

    Admiral Mullen in Tokyo repeated earlier comments on China's responsibility to use its influence on North Korea.

    Mullen said Northeast Asia is more volatile than it has been for much of the last half century, in great part due to the "reckless behavior of the North Korean regime, enabled by their friends in China."

    North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il held talks in Pyongyang on Thursday with a senior Chinese official. The North's official news agency says Dai Bingguo carried a message from the Chinese president.

    Beijing wants emergency multi-national talks to defuse the tension. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo rejected the idea, saying Pyongyang should not be rewarded with negotiations for carrying out aggressive attacks.

    North Korea, on Thursday repeated its contention that South Korea started the artillery fire last month. It says Pyongyang took action in response to the South firing "thousands of shells into the territorial waters" of North Korea. Seoul, however, says its troops fired guns on a training exercise within its territorial waters.

    North Korea also is blamed for the sinking in March of a South Korean naval vessel. Pyongyang denies firing the torpedo that sank the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors.

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

    Dai Told President Lee: "Do Not Fight"
    Daily NK
    By Kim Yong Hun
    [2010-12-09 17:35]


    A high official in the South Korean administration revealed today that in his meeting with President Lee Myung Bak on November 28th, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo did not mention the Yeonpyeong shelling at all, but did say, “Do not fight.”

    Meeting with the press this morning, the official explained, “Councilor Dai reiterated that the tension on the Korean Peninsula should be relieved, asking, ‘Isn’t it harmful when tensions are raised, given that North Korea is a brother?’ and ‘What will you do if a war breaks out?’”

    The official went on, “I got the feeling that China’s reaction to the Cheonan Incident, saying ‘there is no evidence,’ to the uranium enrichment program, ‘only civilians saw that,’ and to the Yeonpyeong affair, ‘there might have been a certain context,’ implied that both North and South are responsible for it.”

    “China may suffer for this,” he added, though, explaining, “since its claim is not logical, the U.S. is not likely to let this issue slide.”

    “The general atmosphere in Washington D.C. is to put pressure on China,” he said, and went on, “If the Chinese idea of talks were persuasive, it would be reasonable, but we can’t find any after seeing its attitude to the Yeonpyeong Island issue.”

    To a question of whether or not there is any way for South Korea, the U.S. and Japan to put pressure on China, he answered, “Even though there are no details, it is obvious that China is now under pressure from the criticism of international society.”

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