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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

    Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010

    Defense focus shifts from Russia to China

    Beijing's rising military might, North's threat key concerns


    By MASAMI ITO
    Staff writer
    The administration endorsed a new defense guideline Friday that focuses on China's growing military activities instead of former Cold War foe Russia and paints North Korea as a regional security threat.



    The revised National Defense Program Guideline outlines defense policy for the next 10 years starting with fiscal 2011 and is the first drafted under the leadership of Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Democratic Party Japan.



    The guideline describes China's military rise and other actions as a "matter of concern for the region and the international community."


    It is the strongest language the guideline has ever used for China. The previous version, crafted in 2004, said Japan should "remain attentive" to Beijing's future actions.


    "Our country is encircled by severe security situations and I believe that we were able to lay out a security and defense policy appropriate for the new era," Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said.
    The guideline introduces "dynamic defense capabilities," under which the Self-Defense Forces would be ready and mobile to meet a range of situations, including terrorist attacks and invasions of Japan's remote islands.


    "The new concept of dynamic defense capabilities can deal with the new and complex security environment of current times," Kitazawa said, calling the notion "innovative."


    The guideline shifts from Russia as a possible threat to China, and beefing up the SDF presence on remote islands in case of an attack around the Nansei Islands between Kyushu and Taiwan.



    Together with the new guideline, the government approved the five-year Midterm Defense Program, which maps out the specific military posture.


    The defense budget was set at ¥23.39 trillion with an additional ¥100 billion ceiling for unexpected situations.



    The 10-year policy outline states that China's growing defense budget and military activities in nearby waters and lack of transparency in military issues is of "regional and international concern."
    The guideline calls North Korea's military activities, including its recent deadly shelling of a South Korean island and its development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles "an urgent and grave destabilizing factor" in regional security.



    The guideline calls for strengthening cooperation not only with the United States but also with South Korea and Australia, which "share fundamental values and many security interests" with Japan.


    An appendix to the 10-year guideline that lists specific levels of personnel and hardware shows that the number of submarines will be increased from the current 16 to 22, but Ground Self-Defense Force personnel will be cut by 1,000 to 154,000 and tanks will be reduced from the current 600 to about 400.



    Kitazawa was initially also keen on lifting the long-standing ban on arms exports, but the government gave up on that idea after strong protests from the Social Democratic Party.



    The ruling DPJ-Kokumin Shinto (People's New Party) coalition needs the SDP's cooperation to get the fiscal 2011 budget through the divided Diet.



    Instead, the outline merely says the government will consider measures to deal with the changing international environment over military research and development.


    "We are clearly aware of the problems that need to be dealt with" over the arms export ban, Kitazawa said. "But it is based on the long-standing fundamental principle of our pacifist country,

    and there needs to be thorough discussion among the public and in the Diet, which represents the people."


    The National Defense Guideline was first drafted in 1976. This is the fourth time it has been revised. The last update was in 2004 under the Liberal Democratic Party. The original deadline for the new guideline was last year, but the DPJ pushed it back for a year to review defense policy after the change in government.


    Tokyo 'irresponsible'


    BEIJING (Kyodo) Responding to Japan's newly adopted defense policy Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied the country poses a threat to any nation and slammed Tokyo's views as "irresponsible."


    "China adheres to a path of peaceful development and pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature," spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a response posted on the ministry website. "It is not our intention to threaten, nor does (China) constitute a threat to anyone.


    "Individual countries have no right to represent the international community and make irresponsible remarks on China's development," Jiang said.


    Japan is among countries that have benefited from the "tremendous opportunities for shared prosperity" that China's development has brought, she added.


    In a policy outline Japan adopted Friday, it expressed increased concern about China's military rise and assumed a new defense posture enabling more flexible responses to threats, including terrorism and North Korean missiles, and beefed-up security around its remote islands.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Russia "concerned" over mounting Korean tensions
    By Louis Charbonneau
    NEW YORK | Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:26am GMT

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russia is seriously concerned that there could be a further escalation on the Korean peninsula, where North and South Korea are exchanging threats, Moscow's envoy to the United Nations said on Saturday.

    "We are seriously concerned about possible further escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula," Vitaly Churkin told reporters at the Russian U.N. mission in New York, adding that the situation "directly affects the national security interests of the Russian Federation."

    South Korean had planned live-fire drills by its marines on December 18-21 off the small island of Yeonpyeong, prompting North Korea to threaten stronger retaliation than last month's bombardment that killed four people.

    South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted military officials on Saturday predicting bad weather would likely delay the drill.

    Tensions on the peninsula remained high, with a U.S. trouble-shooter Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico calling the situation "a tinderbox" and urging the North to let the rival South conduct exercises.

    Churkin confirmed that the U.N. Security Council would hold an emergency session on the Korean situation on Sunday at 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) at Russia's request.

    "We believe that the Security Council must send a restraining signal to the Republic of Korea and DPRK (North) and help launch diplomatic activity with a view to resolving all issues of dispute between the two Korean sides by political and diplomatic means," he said.

    RUSSIAN ENVOY CRITICIZES WASHINGTON

    But Churkin complained that United States, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, declined to convene a meeting on Saturday as he had requested in a letter to the U.S. mission.

    "We regret that," he said. "We believe that such a step by the president (of the council) is a departure from the practice existing in the council."

    Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said other members of the 15-nation council wanted more time so they could get instructions from home, which was why Washington decided to convene the meeting on Sunday morning.

    Churkin said he hoped nothing would happen before the Sunday meeting that would cause "a further aggravation on the Korean peninsula."

    On Saturday, the North's state media launched a blistering assault on the South's pledge to cooperate with the United States and retaliate in the event of another bombardment. They suggested any such move could trigger a nuclear conflict.

    "It is a suicidal move akin to digging one's own grave for the South's conservative forces to gang up with outside elements to try to harm compatriots," the official publication of the North's cabinet, Minju Joson, said in an editorial.

    In Pyongyang, Richardson, on a private mission to cool tensions, told CNN in a telephone interview: "There's enormous potential for miscalculation.

    Last edited by BRVoice; December 19th, 2010 at 05:00.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    Sorry about today guys, I have visits in home



    U.S.-Japan Dangerous Military Nexus Assailed

    Pyongyang, December 18 (KCNA) -- Half a century since the "U.S.-Japan security pact" was revised witnessed the U.S. and Japanese reactionaries′ moves for aggression and war and their military provocations against the DPRK and interference in its internal affairs, observes Rodong Sinmun Saturday in a signed article.

    Citing facts to prove this, the article goes on:

    This year, too, the U.S. and Japan reexamined and newly amended the "U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines" adopted in 1997 and the U.S.-Japan joint operation plan 5055 in "contingency" on the Korean Peninsula announced in 2004 as part of the moves to put the "U.S.-Japan security system" on a new stage.

    The aim sought by the Japanese reactionaries through the revision of the "U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines" is to mobilize all troops of the "Self-Defense Forces" in "contingency" on the peninsula as requested by the U.S. imperialists and hurl them into an offensive against the DPRK.

    The same aim was sought by the U.S. and Japanese reactionaries through their move to rewrite the U.S.-Japan joint operation plan 5055 which specifies operation plans to be carried out under the simulated conditions of "contingency" on the Korean Peninsula and operation means and methods to start a war and striking methods, etc. Their objective was to review various military operation plans worked out to ignite a new war in Korea and round off their scenario for the second Korean war on its basis.

    What merits attention in tightening the U.S.-Japan military nexus is that they accelerated the joint development of the missile defense system and its deployment.

    The U.S.-Japan joint military exercises were staged for the purpose of mounting a preemptive attack on the DPRK from A to Z. In other words, they were conducted under the simulated conditions of an actual war within the framework of the triangular military alliance grouping the U.S., Japan and south Korea.

    The U.S. imperialists staged DPRK-targeted war exercises one after another in the air and on the land and in the seas of south Korea and Japan with huge armed forces of their followers and mobile strike force of aircraft carrier involved under such tense situation where a war may break out any moment. This saber-rattling was staged according to the U.S. "Gunboat Diplomacy", horror strategy and scenario for the second Korean war.

    The U.S. and Japanese reactionaries had better behave themselves, bearing in mind that their moves to tighten the military nexus for aggression would get them nowhere.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    This statement is of great importance, since it's not an mere rhetorical article but an statement from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Foreign Ministry.

    To the Article:




    Spokesman for DPRK Foreign Ministry Warns U.S. of Serious Consequences of Worst Situation

    Pyongyang, December 18 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the following statement on Saturday as regards the touch-and-go situation prevailing on the Korean Peninsula due to such projected military provocation of the south Korean puppet forces as planning to conduct again shelling from Yonphyong Island under the instigation of the U.S.:

    Lurking behind the plan of the U.S. and the south Korean puppet forces to persistently conduct shelling from Yonphyong Island, the most sensitive dispute-torn area, is a sinister design to preserve the "northern limit line" and ignite a war at any cost.

    By origin, this line was an illegal product as it was in violation of the Korean Armistice Agreement and all military moves of the south Korean puppet forces to defend it are gross violation of the AA.

    According to Paragraph 13 of Article 2 of the AA, all the islands lying to the north and west of the provincial boundary line between Hwanghae Province and Kyonggi Province, except five islands including Paekryong and Yonphyong islands under the occupation of U.S. forces at that time, and all waters come under the control of the KPA side. And according to Paragraph 15 of Article 2 of the AA, the other side is barred from conducting any military action in the coastal areas under the control of the KPA side and in case of any such action the KPA side has the right to take whatever action it deems necessary.

    After the conclusion of the AA, Clark, UN forces commander, unilaterally fixed the "northern limit line." This was a wanton violation of Paragraph 61 of Article 5 of the AA which stipulates that any modification of the AA can be made only under an agreement between both sides.

    U.S. authorities including the U.S. secretary of State and the U.S. ambassador in south Korea admitted in the 1970s that the "northern limit line" was an illegal line in violation of international law.

    Even when the U.S. and the south Korean puppet forces recently staged provocative military exercises one after another, the DPRK exercised self-restraint to the maximum unless their bullets and shells directly dropped in the territorial waters of the DPRK, prompted by the desire to prevent the situation from deteriorating on the Korean Peninsula and protect peace and stability.

    Nevertheless, they are planning to fire shells again into territorial waters of the DPRK from Yonphyong Island where the atmosphere of fierce battle prevails due to the military clash that occurred in November. This is an intolerable mockery of the self-restraint on the part of the DPRK and an unjustifiable hostile provocation.

    The shelling to be perpetrated by the puppet forces of south Korea at last, trespassing on the prohibiting line would make it impossible to prevent the situation on the Korean Peninsula from exploding and escape its ensuing disaster.

    The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK has already clarified solemnly that they would mete out decisive and merciless punishment to the provocateurs who encroach upon the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DPRK.

    The KPA does not make an empty talk.

    It is necessary to clearly state in advance that the hostile forces will be accountable for the second Yonphyong Island incident in the light of the fact that they tried to paint the first Yonphyong Island clash as a "provocation" of the DPRK.

    The U.S. is wholly to blame for the incident as it instigated the south Korean puppet forces to perpetrated the provocation. The entire international community including the neighboring countries is demanding an unconditional halt to the dangerous shelling from the island but it is only the U.S. that is openly egging them onto it.

    It is, at the same time, making such threat and blackmail to the DPRK as urging it not to take any measure for self-defence.

    After flying into south Korea in the first half of this month the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff carefully worked out together with the puppet military warmongers a plan for shelling from the island to be staged by the south Korean forces with the assistance of U.S. forces. This plan calls on the U.S. troops to take a direct part in the projected shelling under the guise of command and observation, the provision of communication and medical care and the U.S. forces present in south Korea and all the troops of the puppet army to support the shelling, keeping themselves combat-ready.

    The U.S. Department of State sent a threatening message to the DPRK, urging it not to forget there are Americans and foreign reporters on the island. The U.S. is providing even "a human shield."

    All facts patently prove that the U.S. does not hesitate to harass peace and stability of a country for meeting its strategic interests.

    The DPRK will force the U.S. to pay dearly for all the worst situations prevailing on the peninsula and its ensuing consequences.


    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    Russia 'seriously concerned' over Korea tensions
    BBC News - 19 December 2010

    Russia says it is seriously concerned that tensions between North and South Korea will escalate further.

    Pyongyang is threatening to retaliate if the South goes ahead with planned military exercises on an island near the two countries' disputed sea border.

    Last month four people were killed when the North attacked the island during similar exercises.

    The UN Security Council is preparing discuss the situation at an emergency meeting, scheduled at Russia's request.

    Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said his country was "seriously concerned about possible further escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula".

    "We believe that the Security Council must send a restraining signal... and help launch diplomatic activity with a view to resolving all issues of dispute between the two Korean sides by political and diplomatic means," he said.
    'Catastrophe'

    Russia has already urged South Korea to cancel the live-fire exercises on Yeonpyeong island.

    The South has said they will be held by Tuesday - with the exact date depending on the weather.

    It says they are defensive in nature and should not be considered threatening.

    But the North Korean foreign ministry said on Saturday the South would face "catastrophe" if the drills go ahead.

    China has also expressed concern about the rising tensions, describing the situation as extremely precarious.

    And an unofficial US envoy visiting North Korea - New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson - has warned that the situation on the peninsula is "a tinderbox".

    He made the comments after talks with officials in Pyongyang, whom he urged to act with extreme restraint.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    Security Council to meet as S.Korea set on exercise
    The Korea Herald
    2010-12-19 11:48

    South Korea's military waited for better weather to hold live-fire drills that the North warned would cause it to retaliate, but the high tensions prompted the U.N. Security Council to schedule an emergency meeting at Russia's request.

    The one-day firing drills are planned by Tuesday on the same front-line island the North shelled last month as the South's military conducted similar drills. The shelling killed four people on Yeonpyeong Island near the tense sea border.

    The North's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that South Korea would face an unspecified ``catastrophe'' if the drills take place, in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. The North also said it would strike harder than before.

    South Korea says the drills are routine, defensive in nature and should not be considered threatening. The U.S. supports that and says any country has a right to train for self-defense, but Russia and China, fellow permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have expressed concern.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry urged South Korea to cancel to avoid escalating tensions.

    The Security Council scheduled emergency closed-door consultations on North Korea for 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) Sunday at Russia's request, said Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The United States holds the council's rotating presidency this month.

    Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the Russian government believes the Security Council must send "a restraining signal'' to North Korea and help launch diplomatic actions to resolve all disputes between North Korea and South Korea.

    China, the North's key ally, said it is firmly against any acts that could worsen already-high tensions on the Korean peninsula.

    "In regard to what could lead to worsening the situation or any escalation of acts of sabotage of regional peace and stability, China is firmly and unambiguously opposed,'' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement Saturday.

    China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun also warned in a statement that the situation on the Korean peninsula is "extremely precarious.''

    Bad weather is preventing the artillery drills over the weekend, but they will be conducted either Monday or Tuesday, a Joint Chiefs of Staff officer said Saturday.

    The military was ready to respond to any possible provocation, the officer said on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

    Marines carrying rifles conducted routine patrols Saturday. About 300 residents, officials and journalists remain on Yeonpyeong, but officials from Ongjin County, which governs the island, said they had no immediate plans to order a mandatory evacuation to the mainland.

    "North Korea said it will deal the powerful ... blow at us if we go ahead and fire artillery. So residents are getting more restless,'' said Yoon Jin-young, a 48-year-old islander.

    Activists launched balloons containing about 200,000 propaganda leaflets toward the North from the island, which is only about seven miles (11 kilometers) from North Korean shores. The balloons also carried 1,000 $1 bills and DVDs containing information on the North's artillery barrage last month.

    Several bloody naval skirmishes occurred along the western sea border in recent years, but last month's assault was the first by the North to target a civilian area since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The North does not recognize the U.N.-drawn sea border in the area.

    The North claims South Korea fired artillery toward its territorial waters before it unleashed shells on the island last month, while the South says it launched shells southward, not toward North Korea, as part of routine exercises.

    A flurry of regional diplomacy was under way to defuse the tensions, with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson visiting the North.

    A frequent unofficial envoy to the reclusive country, Richardson said he wanted to visit the North's main nuclear complex and meet with senior officials during his four-day trip, though details of his schedule were unclear.

    "My objective is to see if we can reduce the tension in the Korean peninsula,'' Richardson said upon his arrival, according to Associated Press Television News.

    (AP)

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    Chinese, Russian FMs call for restraint on Korean Peninsula
    English.news.cn 2010-12-19 02:57:48

    ISLAMABAD, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday night called for restraint from all parties concerned to avoid escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula.

    During a phone conversation with Lavrov, Yang, who is accompanying Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on a visit to Pakistan, said the situation on the peninsula has become tense recently and may further deteriorate.

    China firmly opposes any actions to cause tension and worsen the situation, and demands both sides on the peninsula show calmness and restraint, carry out dialogue and contact, and completely avoid any actions that would fuel the tension, Yang said.

    China hopes other concerned parties would do more to help ease the situation on the peninsula, he added.

    Yang said China insists that all parties concerned conduct dialogue and consultation, and seek a peaceful settlement of the dispute.

    China is willing to keep close communication and coordination with Russia to prevent the situation from deteriorating and getting out of control, and help maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

    Lavrov, for his part, said Russia attaches high importance to the developments on the peninsula, adding his country has expressed great concern to relevant countries and demanded utmost calmness and restraint from all parties concerned.

    Russia is willing to work with China to make active efforts to reduce the tension on the peninsula, he said.

    South Korea has declared plans for a live shell artillery drill in the tense waters southwest of Yeonpyeong Island on a selected date from Dec. 18-21 depending on weather conditions.

    The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday urged Seoul to immediately stop its plans for the shelling exercise, warning it would deliver a second and third "unpredicted self-defense counterattack" that would be bigger and more powerful than the previous one.

    South Korea and the DPRK exchanged artillery fires near the Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, which killed four South Koreans.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    I only pray that this thing don't escalate, in my opinion it is like we were back in time seeing the weeks before the Guns of August and this is not pretty at all.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    South Korea to Hold Drill This Week; Security Council to Meet
    December 18, 2010, 10:50 PM EST

    By Frances Yoon

    Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea said it will hold a maritime artillery drill in the next two days as the United Nations Security Council convened an emergency meeting on tensions in the Korean peninsula.

    The artillery exercises will take place on Dec. 20 or Dec. 21, a spokesman at the Joint Chiefs of Staff who declined to be named, citing military policy, said today by telephone in Seoul. North Korea warned it will retaliate if the exercise takes place.

    Shelling by South Korea “would make it impossible to prevent the situation on the Korean peninsula from exploding,” North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency cited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying in a statement yesterday. South Korea sees no reason for abandoning the drill just because other countries say it shouldn’t happen, the South Korean military spokesman said today.

    Russia requested the emergency UN meeting, saying the Security Council “must send a restraining signal” to North Korea and South Korea. Tensions have risen since a barrage of shells from North Korea hit South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island last month killing two civilians and two soldiers, the first shelling of South Korean soil since the 1950-1953 war.

    The Security Council is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. New York time today. It must “help launch diplomatic activity with a view to resolving all issues of dispute between the two Korean sides by political and diplomatic means,” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN ambassador, said in a statement yesterday.

    Armed Forces

    North Korea’s armed forces will “mete out decisive and merciless punishment” if its sovereignty is violated, KCNA cited the Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying yesterday. The U.S. is to blame for prompting South Korea to carry out its provocative shelling in November, it said.

    New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, on an unofficial visit to North Korea, met yesterday with the Pyongyang government’s chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Gye Gwan, and is scheduled to hold further talks with North Korean officials today, CNN reported.

    “This is a tinderbox,” Richardson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who accompanied him on the visit. “Right now my objective is to say, tamp things down.”

    South Korea said yesterday that bad weather might prevent conducting the artillery drill at the weekend. Yeonpyeong Island will be cloudy tomorrow and on Dec. 21, the Korea Meteorological Administration said on its website.

    U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the planned drill “is a perfectly legitimate step” by South Korea. About 20 U.S. military personnel arrived on the island to provide telecommunications and medical assistance, the Maeil Business Newspaper said on its website today.

    China ‘Deeply Concerned’

    Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by phone yesterday, saying tensions on the Korean Peninsula may worsen, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its website today. China resolutely opposes any behavior that can lead to an escalation, Yang said.

    China said it’s “deeply concerned” about the “extremely precarious” situation on the peninsula, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun.

    Igor Morgulov, a director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Asian department, expressed “extreme concern” over North Korea’s readiness to use military force in a phone call Dec. 17 with North Korean Ambassador Kim Yong-Jae.

    “All contentious issues between the two Koreas should be resolved by the resumption of dialogue and exclusively by political and diplomatic means,” Morgulov said in a statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

    Mt. Geumgang

    South Korea’s unification minister held a meeting early yesterday to review the situation at Mt. Geumgang, Yonhap News said, citing an unidentified ministry official. The $300 million North Korean tourist resort, 97 miles (156 kilometers) northeast of Seoul, is jointly operated by the two sides and hosts reunions of families separated after their war.

    The ministry is “closely watching” the situation and is reviewing emergency measures after North Korea’s threat to respond to South Korean artillery drills, Yonhap said.

    South Korea issued a warning to civilian ships Dec. 17 on the website of the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration.

    North Korea doesn’t recognize the western sea border demarcated by the United Nations after the war and demands it should be drawn further south to include Yeonpyeong and neighboring islands in North Korean waters.

    “No one in the world would allow those who drew a line inside other’s court, without its owner’s knowledge, and insist it belongs to them and shamelessly conduct saber-rattling to preserve it,” KCNA said in its statement Dec. 17.

    Retaliation to any further attack would include airstrikes, South Korea’s Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin said on Dec. 3.

    --With assistance from Bill Varner at the United Nations, Catherine Dodge in Washington, Anchalee Worrachate in London and Jason Corcoran in Moscow. Editors: Paul Tighe, Mark Rohner

    To contact the reporter on this story: Frances Yoon in Seoul at fyoon2@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    Cause and effect in Northeast Asia
    Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010
    The Japan Times Online - EDITORIAL

    Military exercises prepare militaries for the possibility of open conflict with enemies. More often, they are intended to deter conflict by warning adversaries that a country and its allies are prepared for battle and that aggression will be countered. A third message is sent to a different audience — allies, partners and the public. It is a reminder that a country takes its security responsibilities seriously and is ready to work alone or with allies to defend national interests.

    All those messages are important and help us understand the recent flurry of military exercises in Northeast Asia. In March this year, North Korea sunk a South Korean Navy corvette, resulting in the loss of 47 lives. Last month, a North Korean artillery barrage on the island of Yeonpyeong claimed four lives, two of them civilians, and destroyed dozens of homes. It was the first North Korean strike on civilian territory in the South since the end of the Korean War. These were preceded by nuclear tests and missile tests.

    South Korea and other concerned nations have responded with restraint. No overt military actions have been taken — despite growing demands by the South Korean public for Seoul to do so. Instead, the government of South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has pressed for a diplomatic solution to North Korean recklessness and belligerence. At the same time, Seoul has worked to signal Pyongyang that the provocations must stop.

    In July, South Korea and the United States held military exercises that involved 20 ships, 100 aircraft and over 8,000 personnel. Four days after the Yeonpyeong shelling, the two allies mobilized still more forces for yet more exercises, this time the largest joint naval exercise in decades off the Korean Peninsula's west coast. Those drills were followed by Keen Sword, the largest ever Japan-U.S. joint field exercises, which included 34,000 Self-Defense Forces personnel, 40 vessels and 250 aircraft, along with 10,000 U.S. personnel, 20 ships and 150 aircraft. In fact, Keen Sword is the 10th such round of exercises since 1986; Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa insisted that "we are not targeting a specific country."

    South Korea sent observers to join the Japan-U.S. drill, for the first time, just as Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel observed the July U.S.-South Korea drills. This trilateral military cooperation and coordination was matched on the diplomatic front when Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara joined his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung Hwan in Washington. There they, along with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, condemned North Korean behavior and demanded that Pyongyang comply with commitments it had made in the six-party talks.

    North Korea has responded with its usual bluster, denouncing the moves as preludes to war while failing to see a connection between its murderous actions and the responses they invite. That blindness is to be expected; North Korea cannot afford to be ignored, and its leadership has calculated that South Korea will be deterred from responding with force.

    What is surprising is China's response. China has refused to criticize Pyongyang's behavior and condemned the military exercises instead. Beijing has provided economic and political support to the North along with diplomatic cover, watering down U.N. resolutions and continuing to demand that governments concerned resume the six-party talks. When pressed by the three foreign ministers to do more, China responded by saying such demands were unreasonable.

    The irony is that every top Chinese diplomat and senior official insists that China's top priority is the maintenance of a stable environment so that the country can pursue economic development. Yet North Korea's actions have jeopardized that peace and stability. If Northeast Asia is inching toward conflict, it is because North Korea persists in making acts of war — for that is what attacks on warships and civilians are.

    Just as troubling for Beijing is the response of Japan and South Korea. Both have done the rational thing when threatened by a neighbor: They have strengthened ties with their ally, the U.S. This too is not in China's interest. More troubling still for Beijing is the emphasis on trilateral cooperation among Tokyo, Seoul and Washington. North Korea has helped consolidate ties among the three and made it harder for China to advance its interests in the region by dividing the three nations.

    China's support for North Korea enables that regime, encouraging its leadership to believe that there are no consequences of its behavior. North Korea is the real threat to peace in this part of the world, and it will continue to provoke as long as it expects cover and protection from Beijing.

    That is not to say that Beijing can control what Pyongyang does. The North Koreans are too proud for that. But unconditional Chinese backing transforms the North Korean cost-benefit calculus. At a minimum, Pyongyang must believe that it will pay a price for reckless behavior. That is the message sent to North Korea by military exercises — actions will have consequences. It is also a reassurance to Japanese and South Korean publics that the U.S. stands with them against a threatening neighbor — unlike other nations in the region.


    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    UN Security Council to meet Sunday on North Korea
    NHK World English

    The UN Security Council will unofficially hold an emergency meeting on Sunday as South Korea plans to resume firing drills on the border island of Yeonpyeong.

    South Korea suspended the drills after North Korea's shelling of the island on November 23rd. South Korea says it will resume the drills between December 18th and 21st, depending on weather conditions. But the resumption hasn't taken place so far.

    Sunday's meeting will be held at the request of a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia.

    According to UN sources, Russia says North Korea may strongly oppose the resumption, which could escalate tension on the peninsula.

    Japan and the United States say the Security Council should come up with a decision first on the shelling of Yeonpyeong by the North, and cannot demand that South Korea stop the drills.

    Member nations of the Security Council have been exchanging views unofficially on North Korea's shelling, but they haven't reached a conclusion yet.

    Sun, 19 Dec 2010 11:29:00 +0900(JST)
    (JST: UTC+9hrs.)

    Last edited by BRVoice; December 19th, 2010 at 04:51.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    Did you realize that this time the UN Security Council was left aside only entering when the SHTF button is about to be push?
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 19th, 2010 at 04:57.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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



    Dec. 19, YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea - A South Korean Air Force recoinnaissance jet spotted from Yeonpyeong Islands flies above the Yellow Sea border to monitor North Korea's military movements

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    Steve Herman from Twitter:

    NM Gov. Richardson in Pyongyang issues statement saying he's urged #DPRK officials to show "maximum restraint" in response to #ROK drill. 18 minutes ago via TweetDeck

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    (URGENT) North Korea raised military preparedness on the west coast ahead of South Korea's live-fire drill: source
    Yonhap News - 2010/12/19

    According to Yonhap article in korean -
    ( http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/politics...?template=2085 )

    the NK’s MRLS are seen to be ready to move forward (to launch position.)

    NK moved some warplanes out of hanger and put them on standby.
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 19th, 2010 at 12:59.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    After the chinese now the russians, but in the Sea of Japan, things are getting intersting...


    Russian cargo vessel in distress in Sea of Japan after collision

    14:07 19/12/2010

    The Russian cargo ship Sunrise is in distress after colliding with an unidentified fishing vessel in the Sea of Japan, Russia's maritime journal Sovfrakht reported on Sunday.

    The collision occurred 96 miles northeast of the South Korean port of Sokcho and 85 miles off North Korea, Sovfrakht said.

    The collision punched the cargo vessel's hull and water started to rush inside the vessel. However, the situation is under control and the ship is sailing on its own to the port of Sokcho, Sovfrakht said.

    The vessel has a crew of 17 Russian sailors. It was built in 1966 and shipped under Soviet and then Russian flags until recently. Now the ship, which has deadweight of 1,810 tons, sails under the Cambodian flag.

    MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti)
    Last edited by BRVoice; December 19th, 2010 at 13:02.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    N. Korea beefs up military preparedness on west coast before S.Korea's firing drill: source
    The Korea Herald
    2010-12-19 21:20

    North Korea has beefed up its military forces on the west coast ahead of South Korea's planned live-fire drill in the area, a South Korean government source said Sunday.

    "The North Korean artillery unit along the Yellow Sea has raised its preparedness level," the source said.

    The source added he couldn't confirm whether some of North Korea's weapons had been moved closer to South Korea, but said, "Some fighter jets that had been inside the air force hangar have come out to the ground."

    South Korea earlier Sunday reaffirmed its plan to go ahead with the live-fire drill off Yeonpyeong Island either Monday or Tuesday.

    The island located near the tense maritime border on the Yellow Sea was shelled by North Korean artillery on Nov. 23, and two marines and two civilians were killed in the bombing.

    North Korea operates a 76.2-millimeter coastal gun with a 12-kilometer range north of Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong, another South Korean border island. The communist state also has a 122-millimeter multiple launch rocket with a 20km range lined up among other weapons.

    North Korea has threatened "unpredictable self-defensive blows" with "deadlier" firepower, prompting China and Russia to urge South Korea to cancel the one-day drill. But South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the drill is part of the military's routine exercises and North Korea's threats and diplomatic situations won't be taken into consideration.
    (Yonhap News)

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    North Korea raises military alert level - emergency meeting at UN

    CNN

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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

    U.N. Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Korean crisis
    The Situation Room
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    December 19, 2010 -- Updated 1256 GMT (2056 HKT)





    Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) - At Russia's urging, the U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Sunday morning aimed at defusing simmering tensions in the Korean peninsula.

    The meeting will take place at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, a day after Russia had originally wanted to meet, its ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said in a statement. Churkin blamed the U.S. delegation - which this month heads up the security council - for the one-day delay, adding, "We assume that nothing will happen in the interim that would bring about further aggravation."

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former prominent U.S. diplomat now in the middle of an unofficial four-day trip meeting with high-level Pyongyang officials, applauded the development as something that could help skirt further military escalation.

    "It's a very, very tense situation, a crisis situation," Richardson told CNN's Wolf Blitzer from Pyongyang. "This is when the U.N. Security Council can be most effective."

    The former U.S. energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations met Sunday morning for one-and-a-half hours with Maj. Gen. Pak Rim Su, who leads North Korean forces in the demilitarized zone along the South Korean border. He called it a "very tough meeting" that included "some progress."

    Richardson told CNN that Pak was receptive to his proposal that a military hotline be set up between North Korean and South Korean forces, in order to address issues should an incident occur.

    Pak was also open to the governor's idea for a military commission -- with representatives from North Korea, South Korea and the United States -- to monitor disputed areas in and around the Yellow Sea. The goal, Richardson said, would be to address issues before they flared into larger confrontations.

    The North Korean general, separately, told Richardson that the remains of several hundred U.S. servicemen killed about six decades ago during the Korean War had recently been recovered, showing the governor pictures of some of them and a dog tag from one soldier. Pak then offered to resume joint recovery efforts with the United States.

    "It was a positive gesture," Richardson said.

    Still, the governor said that the U.N. Security Council's meeting on Sunday might be an even more significant development when it comes to the regional crisis. He called China's recent statements on and Russia's leadership on the issue a positive -- saying he hoped that the council might issue a statement "urging all sides to exercise maximum restraint (and to) cool things down."

    The Security Council has five permanent members in China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. There are also 10 rotating members, which are currently Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Brazil, Gabon, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and Uganda.

    The United States, as well as Russia and Japan, have been key international players in the crisis, and Chinese officials have also conducted a series of high-level talks with North Korean and South Korean officials.

    On Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun reiterated his nation's strong desire to avert war, which he said would be devastating for both Korean nations and the region as a whole, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

    Richardson came to North Korea at the invitation of its top nuclear negotiator as a private citizen -- with the knowledge of but not as a representative of the U.S. government -- amidst one of the region's most serious crises since the 1953 Korean War armistice.

    North Korea says that its South Korean counterparts are instigating tensions with planned live military exercises on and around the disputed Yeonpyeong Island. Seoul cited bad weather as its reason for pushing back the drills a day or two, which were originally scheduled between December 18 and 21, South Korea's official Yonhap News Agency reported.

    Saying the exercises would be in "the inviolable territorial waters" of North Korea, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency warned Saturday that its forces "will deal the second and third unpredictable self-defensive blow" if the drills proceed.

    Such strikes, according to the agency, would be "deadlier ... in terms of the powerfulness and sphere" than its November 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island that left four South Koreans dead.

    Noting that North Korea is "very, very provoked by this potential incident," Richardson said he hoped that a strong statement from the United Nations council might spur Seoul to cancel the drills and "give both sides cover" to tamp down their rhetoric and actions.

    Pak was the first non-political official to talk to Richardson, who earlier said he had a "good meeting" with the North's chief nuclear negotiator Kim Gye Gwan and also met with the vice minister of North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

    Both Koreas have traded tough talk and conducted aggressive military drills in the weeks after the Yeonpyeong Island incident.

    The U.S. military has said it is concerned that South Korea's scheduled exercises could spark an uncontrollable clash with the North, but the State Department said the exercises are not meant to be threatening or provocative.

    CNN's Jiyeon Lee contributed to this report.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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