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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

    Military faces top brass reshuffle
    The Korea Times - 12-14-2010 17:01
    By Jung Sung-ki

    Following the resignation of Army chief of staff Gen. Hwang Eui-don, Tuesday, the military is expected to face a shakeup of its leadership. But the scale of the reshuffle will not be large, military sources said.

    The reshuffle comes amid growing calls to overhaul the military’s bureaucratic practices and instead further boost combat readiness against North Korean provocations.

    “The planned reshuffle for this week was only to affect brigadiers and major generals, but with Hwang’s resignation, a small number of four-star officers are now expected to be affected,” a source said.

    The personnel shakeup had been planned for Dec. 2, but was postponed in the aftermath of the North’s Nov. 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, which killed four South Koreans.

    Military insiders say Hwang’s resignation is not only related to a property investment scandal but also in line with the government’s efforts to nominate more professional field commanders to top positions of the military in order to respond to the North’s military threat more effectively.

    When Hwang was named as Army chief of staff earlier this year, for example, there was a controversy within the military circle about his career background. Hwang was an intelligence officer with few field command experiences.

    Meanwhile, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin ordered the defense ministry, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and respective forces simplify bureaucratic procedures as much as possible and instead make efforts to boost combat readiness.

    To that end, he directed that the numbers of meetings, inspections, audits and other bureaucratic work be reduced, the officials said.

    “The defense minister wants to reduce these for field units by half by the year’s end,” he said.

    The Ministry of National Defense itself has more than 100 paperwork projects, including 22 reports on state projects and 23 reports on green growth efforts, said the official.

    Minister Kim directed his subordinates not to make lengthy reports for him but to use short reports or memos on and offline.

    gallantjung@koreatimes.co.kr

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

    Civil Defense Exercise Planned for Wednesday
    United States Forces Korea
    Community Advisory # 101214-1
    Dec. 14, 2010

    Seoul, Republic of Korea - On Wed., Dec. 15, the Seoul city government will conduct a civil defense warning exercise to improve the city's civil defense readiness. As part of this regular monthly drill, you will hear air raid/security alarms from approximately 2 to 2:20 p.m. During this time, ROK civil defense personnel will focus their efforts on traffic response systems and civilian evacuation. Motorists in Seoul will be expected to pull off to the right side of the road; people will be directed to quickly and safely move to underground facilities. During the exercise, ROK military and Korean National Police will carry protective masks.

    While the USAG-Yongsan Community will not participate in all aspects of the exercise, US service members will be carrying their masks; family members are encouraged to account for their protective mask and report shortfalls to their chain of command. All garrison gates at all Seoul area posts will be closed for entry and exit for the duration of the exercise. Schools will dismiss as normal. Parents that drive are encouraged to arrive before 2 p.m. to minimize delays in picking up children. Questions may be directed to the Garrison Installation Operations Center at 738-7292/7293/7294.


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

    Force Protection

    USFK Force Protection

    USFK Safety Information

    Advisories and general information to ensure the safety of our personnel.



    Location Status Amplifying Information
    All Area Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Area I Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Area II Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Area III Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Area IV Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Chinhae Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Kunsan AB Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Osan AB Bravo
    plus CHARLIE measures 1, 4, 7, & 8

    Travel Alert N/A
    Last edited by American Patriot; December 14th, 2010 at 19:50. Reason: Fixed some text colors

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

    Ok... Our troops are on "Bravo".

    Force Protection Conditions BRAVO--This condition applies when an increased and more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists. The measures in this Force Protection Conditions must be capable of being maintained for weeks without causing undue hardship, affecting operational capability, and aggravating relations with local authorities.



    "Terrorist" activity can mean 'terrorism' or it can mean "enemy combatants" in the region. This doesn't APPLY ONLY to "terrorism".

    The other measures in place, I can't and won't go into.

    Suffice it to say that other specific activities having to do with enemy capabilities being taking into consideration are being put in place.

    (An example might be carrying your protective mask and/or MOPP gear with you while on duty - or at home).


    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Japan to deploy missile interceptors nationwide on North Korea threat


    A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet hooks up a boom as it receives a mid-air refueling from U.S. Air Force KC-135R air refueling tanker during "Keen Sword" U.S.-Japan joint military exercise over the South China Sea,Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)


    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government plans to boost its deployment of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor missiles at air bases across Japan to counter the threat of North Korea's ballistic missiles under new defense policy guidelines to be approved later this month, officials said Friday.

    A draft appendix to the guidelines to be updated as early as next week covering the five years from April 2011 also stipulates equipping all six Aegis destroyers with Standard Missile-3 interceptors while cutting tanks and artillery by about 200 each to 400, the government and Self-Defense Forces officials said.

    Along with a plan to increase the number of submarines from 16 to 22 for enhanced vigilance around the Nansei chain of islands in the southwest centering on Okinawa, the planned defense posture is apparently aimed at dealing with North Korea and deterring China.

    The move comes amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's artillery attack on a South Korean island last month, and China's rapid military buildup and increasing naval activity.

    The PAC-3 missile system, which is designed to shoot down an incoming missile from the ground before it lands, will be deployed to all six of the Air Self-Defense Force's air defense missile groups from three at present, according to the officials.

    The three groups are located at Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture, which covers the Tokyo metropolitan area, Kasuga base in Fukuoka Prefecture, which is responsible for security in the southwestern Kyushu region, and Gifu base aimed at defending Nagoya in central Japan and Osaka in western Japan.


    U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters fly in formation with U.S. Air Force KC-135R air refueling tanker during "Keen Sword" U.S.-Japan joint military exercise over the South China Sea,Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)


    The remaining three ASDF bases in Chitose in Hokkaido, Misawa in Aomori Prefecture and Naha in Okinawa Prefecture are currently equipped with PAC-2 missiles designed to shoot down enemy aircraft.

    The government is eyeing transferring some PAC-3 missiles to Chitose and Misawa in the country's north from the bases at which they are currently deployed, while introducing new PAC-3s to Naha in southwestern Japan under the fiscal 2011 budget.

    As for the SM-3 sea-launched interceptors, four of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's six Aegis destroyers are equipped at present with the missiles designed to intercept an enemy missile before it enters the Earth's atmosphere.

    The increase in MSDF submarines, meanwhile, is planned as no SDF units are deployed west of Miyako Island near Taiwan and China, making it what the Defense Ministry calls a defense "vacuum."

    The draft appendix also includes details such as the ministry's list of equipment and number of troop units, the officials said.

    The number of MSDF escort ships will be increased from 47 to 48 while major operational aircraft will be trimmed from 350 to 340 due in part to the larger size of transport planes, according to the appendix.

    As for the closely watched issue of the Ground Self-Defense Force's troop strength, the government is in the final stages of deciding whether to maintain it at the current 155,000 or reduce it to 151,000 at most.

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  6. #446
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Japan’s worrisome approach

    [사설] 한반도 사태 편승, 일본 자위대 역할 확대 나서나


    December 15, 2010

    Ominous clouds are hovering over Northeast Asia as North Korea complicates the power game in the region between the United States and China.

    A clear-cut division has formed with South Korea, the U.S. and Japan on one side and China backing North Korea on the other. Japan, which is no doubt annoyed and disturbed by China’s newfound power, moved fast to capitalize on the growing tension following North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island.

    It appears as though Japan is rapidly moving to strengthen its military, known as the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The country is poised to announce a major realignment of its military structure, which has mainly been confined to a defensive focus. New policy guidelines mapping out a strategy through 2015 allow for more flexibility to address a host of threats in the region amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula and China’s growing influence and assertiveness. According to these guidelines, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces could be dispatched beyond the country’s waters.

    Against this backdrop, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan recently said officials are exploring the idea of dispatching the Self-Defense Forces to the Korean Peninsula to rescue Japanese nationals if needed. Kan said Japan is discussing the idea with Seoul, as there currently are no rules or policies that cover the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces beyond Japanese waters and into Korean territory. Tokyo officially refuted the remarks this week, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku saying that there are no such plans in place and that Japan has not had discussions with Korean officials on this matter. Korean officials also brushed aside the prime minister’s comment as nonsense.

    Despite a constitutional provision that bans the Self-Defense Forces from being dispatched overseas and taking up offensive duties, many Japanese politicians are calling on the country to strengthen its military capabilities. But Kan’s comments are highly controversial and disrespectful to Korea, which is still bitter over Japan’s invasion and colonization of the country in the first half of the 20th century.

    The emergence of a new ideological axis is a worrisome sign for the region and the broader global community. South Korea stands to lose the most from the tensions among these powerhouse countries. It is imperative for China to rein in North Korea, while the U.S. and Japan must stop capitalizing on the situation and aggravating tensions

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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

    The China-U.S. Security Rivalry

    By Daniel Blumenthal
    December 14, 2010, 12:09 pm

    The National Bureau of Asian Research has published a long essay I wrote about the emerging Sino-American security competition.

    To anyone following the news, it is readily apparent that China intends to pursue interests at variance with our own. They have chosen to back North Korea against the wishes of Washington and all of our allies. Their maritime claims in Southeast Asia and around Japan keep expanding and their military intimidation of Taiwan continues unabated.

    Unfortunately, it seems we are in for a long-term rivalry with China complicated by the fact of our deep economic interdependence (though China will of course be constrained by interdependence as well).

    Given this set of facts, I argue that assessments of the military competition between China and the United States are badly needed but mostly missing. Our security elites and scholars are inhibited in thinking seriously about rivalry with China because of a harmful “self-fulfilling prophecy” theory of our relationship which in its most extreme permutations claims that even thinking about China as a possible enemy will turn it into one. This is a big mistake. When it comes to Sino-American relations, the first job of our political leaders is to gauge our relative power against China’s and to make the necessary adjustment to ensure our advantage. Doing so gives us much more of a chance to preclude conflict.

    Our leaders need assessments of the dynamic balance of power. Such assessments should consider the political objectives of the competitors, their military doctrines, and alliance politics, in addition to quantitative measures of military power in the context in which such capabilities would be deployed.

    Clashing political and military objectives will define the rivalry between the United States and China. For the United States, the most important characteristics of the rivalry are those that impinge on Washington’s ability to defend its interests in the world’s most important region, which include protecting the U.S. homeland, preventing the emergence of a hostile hegemon in Asia, encouraging continued liberal economic and political reforms, and preserving our access to—and when necessary our command of—the global commons.

    These goals must be assessed against China’s growing ability to coerce U.S. allies, interdict U.S. forces, and cut off U.S. access to parts of the global commons in possible pursuit of regional hegemony.

    Considered in these terms, the United States may not have the overwhelming advantage that many assume.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  8. #448
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    U.S. Is An Empire In Decline


    NY211_Afghanistan_Me
    U.S. marines salute as the body of Lance Cpl. Joshua Trigg, 21, is loaded into a truck to begin its transfer back to the air force base in Dover, Del. After nine years of war in Afghanistan, the American people have grown weary of foreign wars. Luis Alvarez, Associated Press


    Currency wars. Terrorist attacks. Military conflicts. Rogue regimes pursuing nuclear weapons. Collapsing states. And now, massive leaks of secret documents. What is the cause of such turbulence? The absence of empire.

    During the Cold War, the world was divided between the Soviet and U.S. imperial systems. The Soviet imperium — heir to Kievan Rus, medieval Muscovy and the Romanov dynasty — covered Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and propped up regimes in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The American imperium — heir to maritime Venice and Great Britain — also propped up allies, particularly in Western Europe and East Asia. True to the garrison tradition of imperial Rome, Washington kept bases in West Germany, Turkey, South Korea and Japan, virtually surrounding the Soviet Union.

    The breakup of the Soviet empire, though it caused euphoria in the West and led to freedom in Central Europe, also sparked ethnic conflicts in the Balkans and the Caucasus that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and created millions of refugees. (In Tajikistan alone, more than 50,000 people were killed in a civil war that barely registered in the western media in the 1990s.)

    The Soviet collapse also unleashed economic and social chaos in Russia itself, as well as the further unmooring of the Middle East. It was no accident that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait less than a year after the Berlin Wall fell, just as it is inconceivable that the United States would have invaded Iraq if the Soviet Union, a staunch patron of Baghdad, still existed in 2003. And had the Soviet empire not fallen apart or ignominiously withdrawn from Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden never would have taken refuge there and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, might not have happened. Such are the wages of imperial collapse.

    Now the other pillar of the relative peace of the Cold War, the United States, is slipping, while new powers such as China and India remain unready and unwilling to fill the void. There will be no sudden breakdown the part of the United States which, unlike the Soviet Union, is sturdily maintained by economic and political freedom. Rather, America's ability to bring a modicum of order to the world is simply fading in slow motion.

    The days of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency are numbered, just as American diplomacy is hobbled by wide-ranging security leaks that are specific to an age of electronic communication, itself hostile to imperial rule.

    Then there is America's military power. Armies win wars, but in an age when the theatre of conflict is global, navies and air forces are more accurate registers of national might. (Any attack on Iran, for example, would be a sea and air campaign.) The U.S. navy has gone from nearly 600 warships in the Ronald Reagan era to fewer than 300 today, while the navies of China and India grow apace. Such trends will accelerate with the defence cuts that are surely coming in order to rescue America from its fiscal crisis.

    The United States still dominates the seas and the air and will do so for years ahead, but the distance between it and other nations is narrowing.

    Terrorist acts, ethnic atrocities, the yearning after horrible weaponry and the disclosure of secret cables are the work of individuals who cannot escape their own moral responsibility. But the headlines of our era are written in a specific context — that of one deceased empire that used to be the world's pre-eminent land power and of another, the world's pre-eminent sea power, that finds itself less able to affect events than ever before, even as it is less sure than ever of the cause toward which it struggles.

    This is no indictment of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. There is slim evidence of a credible alternative to his actions on North Korea, Iran and Iraq, while a feisty debate goes on over the proper course in Afghanistan. But there is simply no doubt that the post-imperial order we inhabit allows for greater disruptions than the Cold War ever permitted.

    Husbanding power to slow America's decline in a post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan world would mean avoiding debilitating land entanglements and focusing instead on being more of an offshore balancer: that is, lurking with air and sea forces over the horizon, intervening only when outrages are committed that unquestionably threaten U.S. allies and world order in general. While this may be in America's interest, the very signaling of such an aloof intention may encourage regional bullies, given that rogue regimes are the organizing principles for some pivotal parts of the world.

    North Korea already plows onward with its nuclear weapons program, even as it lobs artillery shells on a South Korean island, demonstrating the limits of both U.S. and Chinese power in a semi-anarchic world.

    During the Cold War, North Korea was kept in its box by the Soviet Union while the U.S. navy dominated the Pacific as though it were an American lake. Now China's economic dominance of the region, coupled with our distracting land wars in the Middle East, is transforming the western Pacific from a benign and stable environment to a more uncertain and complex one.

    China's navy is decades behind America's, but that should offer little consolation. The United States, having just experienced asymmetric warfare on land, should now expect asymmetric challenges at sea. With its improving mine-warfare capability, seabed sonar networks and cyber-warfare in the service of anti-ship ballistic missiles, not to mention its diesel-electric and nuclear submarines, China will make U.S. navy operations more dangerous over the coming years.

    As for Taiwan, China has 1,500 short-range ballistic missiles pointed at the island, even as hundreds of commercial flights each week link Taiwan with the mainland in peaceful commerce. When China effectively incorporates Taiwan in the years to come, that will signal the arrival of a truly multipolar and less predictable military environment in East Asia.

    In the Middle East we see the real collapse of the Cold War imperial order. The neat Israeli-Arab dichotomy that mirrored the American-Soviet one has been replaced by a less stable power arrangement, with a zone of Iranian influence stretching from Lebanon to western Afghanistan, pitted against both Israel and the Sunni Arab world, and with a newly Islamic, and no longer pro-Western, Turkey rising as a balancing power.

    Yes, empires impose order, but that order is not necessarily benevolent, as Iran's budding imperial domain shows. U.S. threats against Iran lack credibility precisely because of American imperial fatigue resulting from Iraq and Afghanistan. Out of self-interest the U.S. will probably not involve itself in another war in the Middle East — even as that very self-interest could consign the region to a nuclear standoff.

    One standard narrative is that as we recede, China will step up as part of a benign post-American world. But this presupposes that all imperial powers are the same, even when history clearly demonstrates that they are not. Nor does one empire sequentially fill the gap left by another.

    While the Soviet Union and the United States were both missionary powers motivated by ideals — communism and liberal democracy — through which they might order the world, China has no such grand conception. It is driven abroad by the hunger for natural resources (hydrocarbons, minerals and metals) that it requires to raise hundreds of millions of its citizens into the middle class.

    This could abet the development of a trading system between the Indian Ocean, Africa and Central Asia that might maintain peace with minimal American involvement. But who is to fill the moral void? Does China really care if Tehran develops nuclear weapons, so long as it has access to Iran's natural gas? And Beijing may not be entirely comfortable with the North Korean regime, which keeps its population in a state of freeze-frame semi-starvation, but China props it up nevertheless.

    It can be argued that with power comes moral responsibility, but it will probably be decades before China has the kind of navy and air force that would lead it to become an authentic partner in an international security system. For the moment, Beijing gets a free ride off the protection of the world's sea lanes that the U.S. navy helps provide, and watches us struggle to stabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan so that China can one day extract their natural resources.

    If the Cold War was an epoch of relative stability, guaranteed by a tacit understanding among empires, we now have one waning empire, that of the United States, trying to bring order amid a world of rising and sometimes hostile powers.

    Looming over all of this is the densely crowded global map. Across Eurasia, rural populations have given way to megacities prone to incitement by mass media and to destruction by environmental catastrophe. Lumbering, hard-to-deploy armies are being replaced with overlapping ballistic missile ranges that demonstrate the delivery capabilities of weapons of mass destruction. New technologies make everything affect everything else at a faster and more lethal rate than ever before. The free flow of information, as the WikiLeaks scandal makes clear, and the miniaturization of weaponry, as the terrorist bombings in Pakistani cities make clear, work against the rise and sustenance of imperial orders.

    The American empire has always been more structural than spiritual. Its network of alliances certainly resembles those of empires past, and the challenges facing its troops abroad are comparable to those of imperial forces of yore, though the American public, especially after the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in no mood for any more of the land-centric adventures that have been the stuff of imperialism since antiquity.

    Americans rightly lack an imperial mentality. But lessening engagement with the world would have devastating consequences for humanity. The disruptions we witness today are but a taste of what is to come should the U.S. flinch from its international responsibilities.

    Robert D. Kaplan is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a correspondent for Atlantic magazine. He is the author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power.

    (Washington Post)

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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

    From Steve herman on Twitter:


    1. State Dept: Campbell has serious sinus infection. Will visit ROK, Japan early next year. 37 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    2. US envoy Kurt Campbell cancels Asia trip due to illness. #Koreas about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

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

    Military responds to Tokyo Shimbun’s prediction of strike on Gyeonggi Province
    The Hankyoreh - December 4, 2010
    By Kwon Hyuck-chul, Staff Writer


    » North Korean soldiers line up in rows near a post in Gaepung County, North Hwanghae Province Dec. 3. (Photo by Lee Jong-keun)   


    Since North Korea’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island, there has been concern that North Korea could use its long-range guns to fire on the greater Seoul area. Quoting a “source knowledgeable about North Korea,” the Tokyo Shimbun reported Thursday that an official in the North Korean Defense Ministry’s reconnaissance bureau said North Korea could launch new artillery strikes at Gyeonggi Province within the month.

    A South Korean military official also said Friday that to prepare for this possibility, the military was examining ways to neutralize North Korea’s long-range artillery concentrated along the western sector of the front line.

    North Korea reportedly has about 10,000 artillery pieces deployed near the DMZ. Of these, about 200 are 170mm self-propelled artillery and 200 are 240mm multiple rocket launchers deployed in the western sector, with ranges far enough to hit the greater Seoul area. The maximum range of the 240mm multiple rocket launcher is 60km, while the long-range guns can hit northern Gyeonggi Province, all of Seoul, Gwacheon, Anyang and Siheung.

    Military officials say North Korea’s long-range guns could launch up to 17,000 shells at the greater Seoul area in an hour. If this were to happen, they say some 3.25 million civilians and soldiers could be killed or wounded.

    The military, however, does not believe this many casualties would result. This is because the 3.25 million number is based on two unrealistic premises: that South Korea and the United States could not detect signs of an impending North Korean long-range artillery attack, and that North Korea’s long-range guns would continue to fire for an hour without taking any losses.

    A military source said, “Of the 170 rounds fired at Yeonpyeong Island, about 90 landed in the sea, and of the 80 rounds that hit Yeonpyeong Island, 20 were duds, so of the 170 rounds fired, only about 60 were effective.”


    Military authorities believe the low accuracy even in a surprise first strike is because North Korea’s ordinance, including its gunpowder and fuses, is old.

    Since the early 1990s, the South Korean and U.S. militaries have prepared counterbattery measures to neutralize North Korea’s long-range guns in the event of an emergency.

    A military official said, “ Unlike an attack on a small island like Yeonpyeong, if North Korea were going to use long-range guns to attack the capital region, with a broad area, all the artillery units along the DMZ would have to start at the same time.” The official continued, “To start such an attack, the number of troops preparing for the strike would increase noticeably at each artillery unit near the DMZ.”

    North Korea’s 170mm self-propelled guns need 12 troops and its 240mm multiple rocket launchers need six troops, so to operate the roughly 400 long-range guns in the area, the artillery units alone would need about 3,600 troops. If this number of troops were to show unusual movements or the number of inter-unit communications were to suddenly increase, South Korean and U.S. military satellites or reconnaissance planes would reportedly be able to detect signs of the attack before it happened.

    Even if North Korea did not commence an attack, if there is clear evidence that an attack is imminent, “aggressive counterfire” would begin. For example, if the entrances of North Korea’s long-range gun caves were to open and the guns were to emerge, South Korean and U.S. fighter-bombers and artillery like the K-9 and MLRS to collapse the cave positions.

    If the surviving guns press with an attack on the Seoul area, South Korean and U.S. counter-battery radar would detect the positions of North Korea’s long-range guns, which would be attacked in responsive counterfire.

    South Korea and the United States normally collect information on the position of North Korea’s long-range guns needed for counterfire operations, using Air Force reconnaissance planes to determine the position of additional guns. Based on this information, the South Korean and US militaries compose an “Integrated Tasking Order” in which it is ordered beforehand which long-range guns would be destroyed and by which method.

    Military officials explain that unlike the Yeonpyeong Island attack, it is possible to knock-out many of North Korea’s long-range guns threatening the greater Seoul area before an attack. Military officials worry, however, about the public’s shock and fear and the ill effect it would have on the economy if North Korea’s long-range guns that survive an aggressive counterfire fire rounds into downtown Seoul.

    Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

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

    Rick, thanks for the correction of my post.
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 14th, 2010 at 22:45.

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

    Army on Alert Over Korea
    The Moscow Times
    15 December 2010

    General Nikolai Makarov said Tuesday that he has put the military on alert in the country’s Far East because of increased tension on the Korean Peninsula.

    “Without a doubt, we have taken measures to increase the combat-readiness of our forces,” said Makarov, who heads the General Staff, Interfax reported.

    He said the military was “continuing to monitor” the situation after North Korea’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island last month.

    (Reuters)

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

    North Korean Nuclear Ability Seen to Far Outpace Iran’s
    By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
    Published: December 14, 2010
    The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has concluded that North Korea’s new plant to enrich nuclear fuel uses technology that is “significantly more advanced” than what Iran has struggled over two decades to assemble, according to senior administration and intelligence officials.

    In carefully worded public comments in recent days, both senior American and South Korean officials have also argued that the the new plant, a facility shown to a Stanford University expert last month, could not have been constructed so quickly unless there was a sophisticated network of other secret sites — and perhaps a fully running uranium enrichment plant — elsewhere in the country.

    American officials said the thousands of centrifuges in the plant appear to be an advanced type known as the P-2, a Pakistani design that was sold on the global nuclear black market. The centrifuges spin incredibly fast to enrich uranium, which can fuel reactors or bombs.These conclusions strongly suggest that North Korea has evaded the many layers of economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council and America’s allies in Asia. The conclusions also greatly complicate the task for American diplomats — including a senior delegation of State Department and White House officials who left for China on Tuesday — who have been struggling for weeks now to fashion a plan to contain North Korea’s nuclear advances and prevent a repetition of its recent attack on the South.

    North Korea already has the fuel for six to a dozen weapons and has conducted two nuclear tests, a capability it developed from harvesting plutonium from a recently shuttered nuclear reactor. The uranium enrichment facility could give the country another pathway to increasing its nuclear arsenal.

    But in interviews American officials said that was not their main concern.

    Instead, they are worried that the real intent of showing off the new capability to the Stanford expert, Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, and two of his Stanford colleagues, was to advertise North Korea’s wares. Dr. Hecker said he was “stunned” that North Korea had succeeded in building the plant so quickly.

    Last Friday, Gary Samore, President Obama’s chief nuclear adviser, said for the first time that “the North Korean program appears to be much more advanced in and efficient than the Iranian program, which is running into problems.” Reports from international inspectors indicate that the Iranians are experimenting with advanced centrifuges, but have not installed them on an industrial scale, despite years of efforts. Those efforts have been slowed by sabotage, officials said.

    “The U.S. and its allies are doing everything we can to try to make sure that we complicate matters for them,” Mr. Samore added.

    After alluding to a secret North Korean effort to help Syria build an entire nuclear reactor, which was ultimately destroyed by Israel in a 2007 bombing raid, Mr. Samore said that the new North Korean centrifuges could be attractive to other nations. He added that “a critical element” of American strategy must now be “to insure that the North Koreans don’t sell to the Middle East.”

    But that has been attempted before, and efforts to halt shipments have been spotty at best. According to secret State Department cables made public by Wikileaks, the United States believes North Korea successfully shipped 19 advanced missiles to Iran five years ago, and that other technology has passed through the Beijing airport on its way to Iran.

    Three weeks after North Korea’s nuclear revelations, the United States, China, Japan and South Korea have been unable to fashion a response, even a common agreement to crack down on further transactions. “The Chinese admit this was a huge violation of North Korea’s previous commitments to denuclearize,” one senior official said last week, “but they don’t say what we should do about that, other than to re-enter the same old negotiations again, which we are not going to do.”

    A week ago, in Beijing, several Chinese officials and academics who deal with North Korean issues argued it would be counterproductive to seek more sanctions or resolutions at the United Nations Security Council — all efforts that have been tried before, and that have largely failed.

    “It only makes them speed up,” one former senior Chinese official said.

    American, South Korean and Chinese officials have all acknowledged in recent days that despite their intense focus on the North’s efforts to obtain uranium enrichment technology, they all missed the assembly of the plant at Yongbyon, North Korea’s main nuclear complex. The area is under intense scrutiny from American satellites, but the new plant was built inside an old structure — and satellites cannot see through the roof. Intelligence officials have said in the past that they have few human spies in North Korea with access to the most sensitive facilities.

    Oftentimes, breakthroughs have come through cooperation with allied intelligence services. It was South Korea that first notified Washington, a decade ago, that North Korea was buying components for uranium enrichment. It was the head of Israel’s Mossad who came to Washington in 2007 and dropped photographs of the North Korean-built nuclear reactor in Syria on the coffee table of Stephen J. Hadley, President Bush’s national security adviser.

    But American intelligence officials argue that they have documented North Korea’s efforts for years, and the revelation of the new facility only confirmed what has long appeared in intelligence reports. “It’s no surprise to anyone that they have been working on uranium enrichment — we’ve known that for a decade,” said one senior official involved in the administration’s counter-proliferation efforts. “The surprise is that they have succeeded in technologies that are still driving the Iranians crazy.”

    They caution that it is not clear the North Koreans can get the new facility running: Dr. Hecker was given a quick, carefully limited view, and could not confirm the centrifuges were running. But what he saw was enough to convince him, and American intelligence experts, that the facility could not have been built that fast unless a network of centrifuge construction facilities and uranium processing plants existed elsewhere.

    “It is likely that North Korea had been pursuing an enrichment capability long before the April, 2009 date it now claims,” Glyn Davies, the American ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, said last week. If so, he said, there was a clear likelihood that North Korea “has built other uranium enrichment-related facilities in its territory.”

    David E. Sanger reported from Washington, and William J. Broad from New York.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by BRVoice View Post
    Rick, thanks for the correction of my post.
    no correction, I just made sure we could actually read the lines in there. They were white text on a white background. I hate that crap when I'm trying to post and miss it myself a lot.

    No problem though.
    Libertatem Prius!


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




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

    Fighter Jets to Buzz Seoul as South Korea Simulates Attack
    By Bomi Lim and Shinhye Kang - Dec 14, 2010 1:00 PM GMT-0200
    Bloomberg


    Fighter jets will buzz Seoul today to simulate an attack by North Korea as the South conducts its biggest emergency drill in response to the deadly shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

    Sirens will sound across the country at 2 p.m. local time, when workers from the National Emergency Management Agency will help guide people to more than 25,000 shelters, the group, known as NEMA, said in a statement yesterday. Traffic will stop for 15 minutes and drivers and pedestrians will be asked to take cover in nearby office basements and subway stations, the agency said.

    The government scaled back monthly civil defense drills to as few as three per year by 1992 as South Koreans turned their attention to building an economy that’s made them 18 times richer on average than their communist neighbors, according to the central bank. The Nov. 23 strike that killed four people refocused attention on the border and the 250 North Korean long- range artillery pieces that U.S. Forces Korea says can strike the Seoul metropolitan area and its 23 million people.

    “South Koreans became nonchalant to North Korean threats because most of their assaults happened off the coast or overseas,” said Ahn Cheol Hyun, head of the Ahn’s Institute of Crisis Management in Seoul. “The Yeonpyeong attack was a wake- up call to many and bolstering civil defense drills will be one way of raising people’s awareness of the real threat.”

    Last month’s artillery attack, the first on South Korean soil since the 1950-53 war, followed the March sinking of a warship. An international investigation concluded that a North Korean torpedo was responsible for the incident, in which 46 South Korea sailors died.


    ASSASSINATIONS ATTEMPTS

    The North has been implicated in previous attacks on South Korea, including the 1987 bombing of a civilian airliner that killed 115 people, assassination attempts on presidents and incursions by submarines carrying commandos.

    “These drills are taking place at a time when the threat of war is becoming more visible,” Park Yeon Soo, the chief of NEMA, told reporters yesterday in Seoul. “They will help us build confidence in dealing with North Korea’s provocations.”

    Twelve Navy KF-16 jets will fly low over cities including Seoul and Busan, NEMA said. Classes in schools will be suspended as students evacuate to nearby shelters or wait for emergency instructions over the radio.

    It will be the first time since 2000 that citizens are guided to shelters during the drills, which had typically been limited to forbidding pedestrians from crossing roads and requiring cars to pull off to the side.


    SCHOOL DRILLS

    Byeon Hyun Su, a 15-year-old middle school student from Guri on Seoul’s eastern outskirts, said previous exercises were inadequate. During a 2009 drill for chemical and biological threats he and his classmates were simply told to crawl under their desks.

    “We just chatted the whole time about how glad we were to be missing class,” said Byeon. “What good is training or hiding in the basement? We are all going to die anyway if North Korea fires missiles.”

    The attack on Yeonpyeong, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Seoul near the disputed sea border, shattered the windows of a school during class, set 30 houses ablaze and scorched 25 hectares of land.

    North Korea deploys 70 percent of its 1.2 million troops within 90 kilometers of the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two counties, according to an October report by the U.S. Forces Korea. Seoul is about 40 kilometers south of the dividing line.


    LITTLE WARNING

    There is likely to be “little warning of attack” if North Korea ever attempts to invade, the U.S. State Department says on its website.

    Most of the shelters in South Korea, including about 4,000 in Seoul, are subway stations and the basements of large buildings with thick concrete walls that make them safe from strikes, according to NEMA. Only a small number are purpose built air-raid shelters, the agency said.

    The country’s 3.9 million civil defense corps members, made up of men aged between 20 and 40, are responsible for ensuring the safety of citizens in case of war, according to the National Disaster Information Center.

    Corps members receive an annual four-hour training session in first aid, putting out fires and using gas masks in their first four years. From the fifth year, they receive one hour of training annually, the information center said on its website.

    “South Koreans are among the least sensitive to risks,” said Steven Chon, country manager of Hill & Associates Ltd., a unit of G4S Plc, the world’s largest security company.


    To contact the reporters on this story: Bomi Lim in Seoul at blim30@bloomberg.net; Shinhye Kang in Seoul at skang24@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Austin at billaustin@bloomberg.net


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

    Activity at N.Korean Nuclear Sites Sparks Frenzied Speculation
    The Chosun Ilbo - December 15, 2010

    North Korea has dug a new tunnel more than 500 m deep at a nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province, intelligence sources said Tuesday. The North is also reportedly accelerating massive excavation work and construction of a new building at its main nuclear site in Yongbyon.

    "North Korea seems to be busy digging even in winter when the ground is frozen" at Punggye-ri and Yongbyon, an intelligence officer said.

    Based on an estimate of the amount of earth dug up, the intelligence officer speculated that the North has already dug a cave more than 500 m deep in Punggye-ri.

    "If progress goes on at the current pace, the North will have dug a cave 1 km deep, the depth where it is possible to conduct a nuclear test, between March and May next year," the officer said.

    Voice of America, quoting a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, reported on Dec. 7 that the North could conduct a nuclear test as a proxy for nuclear weapons developing nations such as Iran.

    The North is also carrying out massive construction in Yongbyon. Experts including Siegfried Hecker, a U.S. nuclear scientist who visited Yongbyon last month, believe that the North is building a 25-30 MW reactor.

    But a security official said, "The North has never admitted what it is building. We're just speculating that it's building a nuclear facility whose purpose is unclear."

    Government officials believe the North does not have enough technical wherewithal to build a light-water reactor power plant that uses enriched uranium as fuel and suspect it is now openly attempting to build a highly-enriched uranium facility to produce nuclear weapons. They also suspect that the North has three or four more undisclosed uranium enrichment facilities in addition to the one in Yongbyon it showed Hecker last month.

    South Korea and the U.S. are worried that the North could heighten tensions on the peninsula by using a nuclear threat after the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island. It apparently aims to sway public opinion in the international community and South Korea in favor of early talks with the North by either conducting a third nuclear test or boosting its uranium-based nuclear capability.

    Former chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill was quoted by VOA as saying that the North's disclosure of the uranium enrichment plant proves that the regime lied in the six-party talks.

    englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 15, 2010 08:12 KST

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

    S. Korea to turn on Christmas lights near border with N. Korea

    SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense ministry has allowed a local church to turn on Christmas lights near the border with North Korea, upping the ante in anti-Pyongyang propaganda following the North's fatal artillery attack last month, officials said Wednesday.

    The permission, granted for the first in seven years, came as the South's military is stepping up its propaganda offensive after the North bombarded the South Korean front-line island of Yeonpyeong on Nov. 23, killing four people and destroying homes.

    The Seoul-based Yoido Full Gospel Church, which boasts the nation's biggest Protestant Christian congregation, recently asked the ministry if it could set up Christmas lanterns on a steel tower on a hill at a military post in Gimpo, northwest of Seoul.

    Called "Aegibong," the 155-meter-high hill is just three kilometers from the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Korean Peninsula. People can see North Korean villages with the naked eye from the hill.

    "Early this month, Yoido Full Gospel Church asked us if they could set up Christmas lanterns on the steel tower in the Aegibong and we decided to allow it," a ministry official said, adding the lights would likely be switched on around Dec. 21 there.

    In 2004, Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to stop government-level cross-border propaganda at a time of warming ties. But Seoul has resumed its propaganda operations since Pyongyang's torpedo attack on the Cheonan warship in March that left 46 sailors dead.



    This file photo shows a Christmas lighting ceremony on a South Korean hill called "Aegibong" near the Demilitarized Zone in 1992. (Yonhap)


    Immediately after the North's shelling on Yeonpyeong, the South's military sent hundreds of thousands of leaflets denouncing Pyongyang's leadership and warned it is ready to blare anti-North messages via a massive array of loudspeakers installed at the border.

    "As we have resumed the anti-North propaganda war since the North's attack on the Cheonan warship, there is no reason to block a religious group from turning on Christmas lanterns there," the ministry official said.

    The Aegibong area is under the jurisdiction of a unit of the 2nd Marine Division.

    Before the 2004 inter-Korean agreement, people there had lit up numerous electric lamps on the 30-meter-high tower on Christmas and Buddha's birthday every year.

    Two civilians and as many marines were killed in the North's Nov. 23 attack on Yeonpyeong, marking the first assault on a civilian area on the South's territory since the 1950-53 Korean War.

    The two Koreas are still technically at war because the three-year war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

    kdh@yna.co.kr
    (END)

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

    South Korea stages largest-scale civil defense drill amid tension with North Korea

    SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea staged a nationwide civil defense drill Wednesday against possible attacks by North Korea as cross-border tensions run high after the North's shelling of a border island last month.

    The exercise began at 2 p.m. with all South Koreans asked to flee to nearby air raid shelters, subway stations or other designated underground facilities at the sound of the raid sirens.

    Ten mock North Korean aircraft flew over major cities, including Seoul and Busan, and people driving cars were asked to immediately park along roads and go to shelters.

    The 15-minute drill was the largest in the country since such drills began in 1975, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.



    Seoul citizens rush to an air raid shelter in the city center during a civil defense drill held nationwide on Dec. 15. (Yonhap)


    South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, has been conducting the drills eight times a year. However, they were often largely ignored and not complied with fully by the public.

    "This is the first time since 2000 that mock enemy aircraft are flown and drivers are asked to park their cars and evacuate to safety during a drill," said Choi Hong-yeong, a publicity official at the agency.

    "Overall, it is the largest drill since 1975," he added.

    Passengers at seven subway stations in the capital learned how to use gas masks during a special evacuation drill.

    In border areas with the North, public officials received training against North Korea's chemical, biological and radiological attacks.

    Some citizens were still disobedient, with drivers caught by the siren in the congested Gwanghwamun intersection of central Seoul sitting out the entire drill inside their cars.

    Flights and ferries operated normally. Trains and vehicles on highways were asked to slow down for the first three minutes of the drill.

    Also exempt from the drill were areas hit by the foot-and-mouth disease, such as North Gyeongsang Province, Yeoncheon and Yangju, officials said.

    The drill was held as tensions run high on the Korean Peninsula following the North's Nov. 23 artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island near the tense Yellow Sea border that killed four people.

    The bombardment also injured 18 people and destroyed dozens of homes, marking the first attack by the North on a civilian area on the South's soil since the end of the Korean War.

    sshim@yna.co.kr
    (END)

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

    Steve Herman from Twitter:


    1. Interviewed one motorist caught in traffic. Said he was in a hurry so was upset about the 20 min. hiatus. about 5 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    2. All motorists and pedestrians I saw in Seoul complied with warden and police requests to halt although some grumbled. about 5 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    3. Nationwide air raid drill ends in #ROK. about 5 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    4. Nationwide air raid drill underway in S. Korea. about 5 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

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

    Steve Herman from Twitter:


    1. Gen. Sharp's speech first mention that future US-ROK joint exercises will also include focus on repealing limited #DPRK attacks. 34 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    2. Gen. Sharp concludes EAI speech saying ROK and US face "challenging times" on Korean peninsula. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    3. Gen. Sharp: USFK and ROK "will not tolerate attacks (by #DPRK) on civilians." #Koreas about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    4. USFK Gen. Sharp calls on #DPRK to cease developing & testing WMDs. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    5. Gen. Sharp: By 2016 USFK will drop total camps from 110 to about 48 but force strength will stay the same. #Koreas about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    6. Gen. Sharp: Future joint drills will include scenarios for both limited & full-scale #DPRK attacks. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    7. Gen. Sharp reiterates more joint US-ROK military exercises coming. #Koreas about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    8. USFK Commander, Gen. Sharp: Yeonpyeong attack "crossed a significant threshold." #Koreas about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    9. The commander is speaking to the East Asia Institute in Seoul. I'm live tweeting on site. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    10. Gen. Sharp: A belligerent #DPRK persists in attacking #ROK. #Koreas about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
    11. USFK Commander, Gen. Sharp about to make his first public speech since the Yeonpyeong shelling. #Koreas about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

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