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Thread: Korean Peninsula On The Brink Of War

  1. #161
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N. Korea deploys SA-2 surface-to-air missiles near Yellow Sea border


    USS George Washington Supercarrier



    South Korean marines patrol along the coast of Yeonpyeong Island
    as the U.S. and South Korea prepare for war games.


    SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has deployed SA-2 surface-to-air missiles to its west coast near the Yellow Sea border with South Korea as U.S.-led naval drills got underway in a show of force against the North's deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island earlier last week, government sources said Sunday.

    "(The missiles) appear to be targeting our fighter jets that fly near the Northern Limit Line (NLL)," the source said on customary condition of anonymity, referring to the Yellow Sea border.

    South Korea and the U.S. on Sunday launched large-scale naval drills off the Korean Peninsula's west coast, far south of the border where four people were killed and 18 others wounded in Tuesday's surprise attack on Yeonpyeong Island.

    The Soviet-designed SA-2 missile has a range of between 13 and 30 kilometers. Other missiles on the North's west coast, such as the Samlet and Silkworm with ranges of up to 95km, have also been put onto launch pads, the source said.

    "The military is preparing for the possibility of further provocations as the North Korean military has deployed firepower near the NLL and is preparing to fire," the source said.

    hague@yna.co.kr


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  2. #162
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

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    Iran is Watching Obama's Reaction To North Korea Very Closely

    The latest crisis on the Korean peninsula will have implications that go way beyond Asia. The reaction by the United States to the North Korean aggression will have an impact on the Middle East. Iran is closely watching the United States' next move with North Korea. If Obama perceived as weak, Iran will be emboldened.

    Both North Korea and Iran are tyrannical regimes who have been playing games with Western negotiators for over a decade. The week before it attacked a South Korean Island, the North Koreans boastfully displayed a 2,000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges and the initial construction of a 100-megawatt light-water reactor to visiting American scientists. That was display was meant to a show of power and a thumbing of the nose at the United States.

    Thumbing its nose is something North Korea and Iran pride themselves in. Just like the toddler screaming for a toy in the department story, these two rogue nations are testing the limits of the US's tolerance, attempting to gauge how far they can go. With each move and counter-move on the chess board of the Korean peninsula, Tehran is carefully monitoring every nuance of Washington’s response to Pyongyang’s actions.

    The Iranians must have been smiling when the US reacted to Pyongyang’s boast about its expanded nuclear program, with an appeasing “This is not a crisis,” from special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth. Especially when you realize that the expanded nuclear development came only eight months after a North Korean submarine sank a South Korean Navy boat.

    It needs be remembered that despite heavy sanctions, the number and scale of North Korean provocations has only increased of late. North Korea tests nuclear devices and ballistic missiles, and last March one of its submarines sank a South Korean naval ship killing 46 people.

    Four more South Koreans were killed in the North Korean mortar attack last week.

    The US response to the mortar attack a Joint-Military exercise without live ammunition, seems tepid. It has also been criticized by China North Korea's only ally and the country who President Obama is counting on to get Pyongyang to toe the line."We oppose any party to take any military acts in our exclusive economic zone without permission," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

    If China can thumb its nose at Obama, so can Kim. And if Kim can thumb his nose at Obama, so can Ahmadinejad. And Ahmadinejad is watching North Korea very carefully.

    Here's the scary part, for most of his bravado, Kim is not crazy, just evil. Kim just wants to solidify his family's power over the north. On the other hand Ahmadinejad believes that he has been chosen by Allah to hasten the return of the 12th Imam, the Muslim messiah. The way to achieve this goal for the Iranian president is the occurrence of a nuclear Holocaust. And this is why it is so vital for Ahmadinejad that Iran acquires a nuclear weapon. Nuclear weapons in Iranian hands would make this an exceedingly more insecure world than do such weapons in North Korean possession.

    Winning the face-off against North Korea is important to the future of the United States interest not just in the Korean peninsula but in the Middle East. A weak US-led end to the latest case of North Korean would send an important signal to Iran that their aggression will be handled similarly.

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

    This will blow over - no WWIII.

    For now.

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

    Sound of artillery fire sparks brief panic on South Korea island

    People on South Korean border island take shelter in bunkers after artillery fire

    • Agencies
    • Published: 07:48 November 28, 2010


    • South Korean military officials take cover. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that one artillery round was heard on Sunday from a North Korean military base north of the sea border dividing the two Koreas. It was not immediately clear where the round landed.
    • Image Credit: AP

    Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea: People on a South Korean border island were briefly ordered to shelter in bunkers on Sunday after explosions were heard from the direction of North Korea, officials said.

    Faint sounds of explosions - possibly artillery fire - were heard several times from the North's mainland, a defence ministry spokesman said.
    South Korea's military says that the sound of artillery was heard on Yeonpyeong Island.

    South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that one artillery round was heard on Sunday from a North Korean military base north of the sea border dividing the two Koreas. It was not immediately clear where the round landed.

    People on Yeonpyeong island, which was hit by deadly North Korean shellfire five days ago, were ordered to take shelter for 40 minutes, a witness said.

    Dozens of reporters, along with soldiers and police and a few residents, headed for the bunkers.

    "The order was lifted when no more sounds were heard," the spokesman said.

    Tensions are acute after US and South Korean forces earlier on Sunday launched a major naval exercise, designed as a show of force to the North.
    Puongyang has said "no one can predict the ensuing consequences" if the US aircraft carrier George Washington, the flagship of the drill, enters the Yellow Sea.

    The fleet is manoeuvring at least 120 km south of the disputed inter-Korean border.

    The sound of artillery fire from the North was also heard last Friday, but no shells landed in the South's waters.

    Hundreds of residents fled the island in the days after the November 23 bombardment, leaving only a few dozen villagers still living there.

    Four South Koreans died last week after the North rained artillery on the small Yellow Sea island, which is home to both fishing communities and military bases.

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  5. #165
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    US and South Korea push ahead with war games

    By DAVID GUTTENFELDER and HYUNG-JIN KIM

    YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea

    The United States and South Korea began joint war games Sunday as a top official from North Korea's closest ally met South Korea's president in a bid to calm tensions after a deadly North Korean artillery attack.

    The exercises came as the North worked to justify one of the worst assaults on South Korean territory since the 1950-53 Korean War. Four South Koreans, including two civilians, died after the North rained artillery on the small Yellow Sea island of Yeonpyeong, which is home to both fishing communities and military bases.

    North Korea said civilians were used as a "human shield" around artillery positions and lashed out at what it called a "propaganda campaign" against Pyongyang.

    It claimed the United States orchestrated last Tuesday's clash so that it could stage joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea with the South that include a U.S. nuclear powered supercarrier -- enraging the North and making neighboring China uneasy.

    Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo met Sunday with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul, according to Lee's office, which provided no details. South Korea's Yonhap news agency said they discussed the North Korean attack and how to ease tensions.

    The meeting followed similar discussions Saturday between Dai and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Seung-hwan, according to Seoul's Foreign Ministry.

    The North Korean attack on an area with a civilian population marked a new level of hostility along the rivals' disputed sea border. Only eight months ago, according to the findings of a South Korean-led international investigation, a North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean warship in waters farther west, killing 46 sailors.

    The aggression could be linked to the North's attempt to strengthen its government as it pursues a delicate transfer of power from leader Kim Jong Il to a young, unproven son. It also may reflect Pyongyang's frustration that it has been unable to force a resumption of stalled international talks on receiving aid in return for nuclear disarmament.

    The attack laid bare weaknesses 60 years after the Korean War in South Korea's defenses against the North, which does not recognize the border drawn by the U.N. at the close of the conflict and which considers waters around Yeonpyeong as its territory.

    The skirmish prompted Lee to replace his defense minister on Friday.

    At a funeral Saturday near Seoul, South Korea's marine commander, Maj. Gen. You Nak-jun, vowed a "thousand-fold" retaliation for the attack.

    Dignitaries and relatives laid white flowers at an altar for the two marines killed. The mother of one of the victims fell forward in her chair in grief.

    Passers-by paused at Seoul's main train station to watch funeral footage on a big screen.

    "Once the enemy attacks us, it is our duty to respond even more strongly," said student Jeon Hyun-soo, 19. "The South Korean people want this."

    Elsewhere in Seoul, about 70 former special forces troops protested what they called the government's weak response and scuffled with riot police in
    front of the Defense Ministry, pummeling the riot troops' helmets with wooden stakes and spraying fire extinguishers.

    North Korea's state news agency said that although "it is very regrettable, if it is true, that civilian casualties occurred on Yeonpyeong island, its responsibility lies in enemies' inhumane action of creating a 'human shield' by deploying civilians around artillery positions."

    The North said its enemies are "now working hard to dramatize 'civilian casualties' as part of its propaganda campaign."

    South Korea was conducting artillery drills Tuesday from the island, located just seven miles (11 kilometers) from North Korea's mainland, but fired away from the mainland.

    The North said it warned South Korea to halt the drills on the morning of the attack, as part of "superhuman efforts to prevent the clash to the last moment."

    The North said that Sunday's planned U.S.-South Korean war games showed that the United States was "the arch criminal who deliberately planned the incident and wire-pulled it behind the scene."

    The war games, which involve the USS George Washington supercarrier, display resolve by Korean War allies Washington and Seoul to respond strongly to any future North Korean aggression. However, Washington has insisted the drills are routine and were planned well before last Tuesday's attack.

    The drills kicked off Sunday morning when ships from both countries entered the exercise zone, an official with South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.

    However, a spokesman for the U.S. military in South Korea said U.S. ships were still steaming toward the area and the drills would not officially begin until later in the day.

    North Korea on Saturday warned of retaliatory attacks creating a "sea of fire" if its territory is violated.

    The South Korean president told top officials "there is a possibility North Korea may take provocative actions during the (joint) exercise," and urged them to coordinate with U.S. forces to counter any such move, according to a spokesman in the president's office who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing official protocol.

    Washington and Seoul have pressed China to use its influence on Pyongyang to ease tensions. China is impoverished North Korea's biggest benefactor and its only major ally.

    On Friday, the North conducted an apparent artillery drill within sight of Yeonpyeong island. The warning to Seoul and Washington came as the top U.S. commander in South Korea toured Yeonpyeong island to survey the wreckage from the rain of artillery three days earlier.

    The North's artillery barrage Tuesday destroyed civilian homes as well as military bases on Yeonpyeong Island.

    Lee has ordered reinforcements for the 4,000 troops on Yeonpyeong and four other Yellow Sea islands, as well as top-level weaponry and upgraded rules of engagement.

    Most of the islanders fled to the mainland after the barrage set off fierce blazes that destroyed many of their communities. It will take six months to two years for island communities to rebuild, disaster relief official Kim Sang-ryul said.

    Soldiers assembled toilets Saturday for temporary shelters being built on the island by teams of relief workers.

    Some South Koreans criticized the government for leaving Yeonpyeong inadequately protected.

    "Military-wise, the emergency facilities should have been prepared for something like this, so I think the South Korean military must reinforce
    them," said Kim Min-yang, a 27-year-old company employee. "I also think we need more dialogue with North Korea."

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  6. #166
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    US naval exercise could bring war, says North Korea

    PETER FOSTER
    27 Nov, 2010 08:54 AM

    BEIJING: North Korea has said plans for a US-South Korean naval exercise tomorrow brings the peninsula ''closer to the brink of war'', its state media reported.

    ''The situation … is inching closer to the brink of war due to the reckless plan of those trigger-happy elements to stage again the war exercises targeted against [North Korea],'' the Korean Central News Agency said.

    China has criticised US plans to hold the war games in the same terms used to rebuke North Korea after it bombarded a South Korean island this week, killing four people.

    China's Foreign Ministry said it was ''concerned'' after the US said it would send an aircraft carrier strike group into the Yellow Sea.

    The nuclear-powered carrier USS George Washington, which will be accompanied by the cruiser USS Cowpens and the destroyers USS Lassen and USS Stethem, will carry more than 6000 sailors and 75 aircraft into the sensitive region.

    ''We oppose any act that undermines peace and stability on the peninsula,'' a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, echoing the Premier, Wen Jiabao, who urged ''restraint'' and an end to ''provocative military acts''.

    The US called off similar war games planned for last month after China protested.

    Explosions heard yesterday near Yeonpyeong Island may have been an inland artillery drill conducted by North Korea, said a South Korean defence ministry official. No shells landed in South Korean territory, he said. On Tuesday, more than 200 artillery shells hit the island.

    South Korea's defence minister, Kim Tae-young, resigned on Thursday in response to intense criticism over the attack from the public and within parliament.

    There were reports yesterday that Lee Hee-won, a presidential security aide and former four-star general, had been named defence minister but the presidential office denied that.

    The defence minister's replacement highlights Mr Lee's efforts to ''reconstitute the military policy landscape'', Jasper Kim, of Ewha women's university in Seoul, told Bloomberg. ''The Lee Myung-bak administration was already hawkish but now it's entered into a hyper-hawkish foreign policy mode,'' Dr Kim said.

    China's refusal to condemn Kim Jong-il's regime for the attack and its opposition to the US show of force pointed to a deepening rift between China and the US over how best to curb Pyongyang's belligerence.

    Beijing again called for a return to the stalled six-party talks on nuclear disarmament, but Washington believes this is impossible until North Korea shows it is serious about giving up its arsenal.

    The US has made no secret that it wants China, as Pyongyang's only ally, to make greater use of its influence with North Korea.

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

    N.Korea to be 'merciless' if any provocation :State Media

    Agence France-Presse
    First Posted 12:37:00 11/28/2010

    Filed Under: Military, Conflicts (general)
    SEOUL—North Korea Sunday vowed a "merciless military counter-attack" against any intrusion into its territorial waters as a major US-South Korean naval exercise began well south of the border.

    The new threat, from the ruling communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, came five days after the North bombarded a South Korean border island, killing two civilians and two marines and setting homes ablaze.

    The North said it opened fire last week after South Korean shells landed in its waters around the tense and disputed Yellow Sea border.

    "The DPRK (North Korea) will deal a merciless military counter-attack at any provocative act of intruding into its territorial waters in the future too," said the paper's commentary carried by the official news agency.

    The North rejects the Northern Limit Line (NLL) border drawn by United Nations forces after the 1950-53 war and insists it should run further to the south. The area saw deadly naval battles in 1999, 2002 and last November.

    The paper said the South's "provocation" was "part of their vicious scheme to defend the brigandish 'northern limit line' by persistently letting their warships into the territorial waters of the DPRK side under the pretext of 'intercepting fishing boats.'"

    It said a military alert declared by the South after the shelling was intended to shirk responsibility for the shelling and justify its moves to ignite a war.

    "Such moves for confrontation and war with the DPRK made by the puppet war maniacs under the pretext of 'defending northern limit line' will bring nothing but shameful self-destruction to them."

    The paper did not mention the joint naval exercise which began some 120 kilometers (75 miles) to the south of the border. On Saturday the North had warned of unspecified "consequences" if the war games went ahead.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AGEUSAF View Post
    Seems like alot of info being updated very fast on the net...looks like everyone is expecting this to go down.
    Go down as in quit, or go down as in go up?
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Quote Originally Posted by Backstop View Post
    This will blow over - no WWIII.

    For now.
    Wishful thinking on your part?
    Libertatem Prius!


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

    Artillery Heard in North Korea; U.S. Carrier Enters Yellow Sea

    November 27, 2010, 11:52 PM EST

    By Sungwoo Park and Bomi Lim


    Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Residents of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island were ordered to bomb shelters after artillery shots were heard on the North Korean mainland and U.S. warships began naval exercises in the nearby waters of the Yellow Sea.


    The echo of shots rang out this morning, said a South Korean Defense Ministry official who declined to be named, citing military policy. While residents were later allowed out of shelters, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington joined South Korean vessels for four days of drills.


    U.S. Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. is trying to prevent the tensions over North Korea’s Nov. 23 attack on the South Korean island on the disputed maritime border from escalating into a more significant confrontation.
    “We’re very focused on restraint and not letting this thing get out of control,” Mullen told CNN in an interview scheduled for broadcast on “Fareed Zakaria GPS” today and posted on the network’s Website. “Nobody wants this thing to turn into a conflict.”


    Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo arrived in Seoul yesterday and met with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan, the government in Seoul said. He is meeting with President Lee Myung Bak today, Yonhap News reported, while China’s Xinhua News Agency said Choe Tae Bok, chairman of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly, will visit China Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.


    ‘Very Regrettable’


    The shelling of Yeonpyeong, which killed four people and wounded 20 more, raised tensions that flared after an international inquiry concluded that North Korea torpedoed the South Korean warship Cheonan in March and following North Korea’s claims of advances in its nuclear program.


    North Korea said that, if true, reports of civilian casualties are “very regrettable.”


    “But the enemy should be held responsible for the incident as it took such inhuman action as creating ‘a human shield’ by deploying civilians around artillery positions and inside military facilities,” state-run Korean Central News Agency said yesterday.


    The U.S. called the naval drills, which include four smaller warships as well as the George Washington, “defensive in nature” and said they were initially planned before the Nov. 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong.


    The nuclear-powered carrier, which holds about 85 aircraft and is served by a crew of 6,500, was last in waters off the Korean Peninsula in July as part of drills after the Cheonan’s sinking, which killed 46 sailors.


    ‘Counter-Attack’


    Kim Jong Il’s regime warned again today that any infringement of North Korea’s sovereignty would be met with force.


    North Korea “will deal a merciless military counter-attack at any provocative act of intruding into its territorial waters,” it said in a commentary published by the Rodong newspaper and reproduced by KCNA.


    The Korean won was Asia’s worst-performing currency against the dollar Nov. 26 as the conflict continued. The Kospi stock index fell 1.3 percent. The tension also contributed to gains for the dollar, which rose the most since August against six major counterparts.


    Shipping was warned to avoid an area of the Yellow Sea parallel to China’s northeastern city of Qingdao while gunnery exercises take place from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, according to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Qingdao lies about 615 kilometers west of Seoul.


    China’s Involvement


    China’s Foreign Ministry warned against having the exercises in China’s “exclusive economic zone” without its authorization, Xinhua reported.


    The Pentagon reiterated that the U.S. military notified China of the planned exercise, as it has in the past.


    President Barack Obama, along with Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, have called on China to use its influence to temper North Korea’s actions. China is North Korea’s main economic and political benefactor.


    China has the most leverage with North Korea and “it’s really important that Beijing lead here,” Mullen said.


    North Korea’s actions destabilize the region, “and China has as much to lose as anybody in that region with the continuation of this kind of behavior,” he said.


    The shelling of the island, which has a military base and a civilian fishing community, was the first attack of its kind since the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended with an armistice rather than a treaty.


    Main Enemy
    South Korea is considering reinstating North Korea as the “main enemy” in its defense guidelines, Yonhap News reported yesterday, citing a government official it didn’t identify. The term may be restored in a Defense White Paper following North Korea’s artillery attack, the Korean-language news agency said.


    Lee on Nov. 26 appointed former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Kim Kwan Jin, 61, to replace Defense Minister Kim Tae Young, who quit amid criticism that the military’s response to the shelling was inadequate.


    Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi urged prevention of further escalation on the peninsula and vowed to “work toward easing the tension between the two Korean parties, as well as resuming the six- party talks” on North Korea’s nuclear program, during a telephone call yesterday, according to an e-mailed statement from the Russian ministry.


    The western sea border, demarcated by the UN after the war and never accepted by North Korea, was the scene of deadly naval skirmishes in 1999 and 2002.



    North Korea contends the border should have been drawn further south in order to include Yeonpyeong and four neighboring islands as part of its territory.


    --With assistance from Justin Blum in Washington, Michael Forsythe in Beijing, Saeromi Shin in Seoul and Maria Kolesnikova in Moscow.



    Editors: Brett Miller, Paul Tighe


    To contact the reporters on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net; Bomi Lim in Seoul at blim30@bloomberg.net
    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Austin at billaustin@bloomberg.net; Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Go down as in quit, or go down as in go up?
    Down as in up, I'm not to sure this is just going to blow over this time. What country on the planet would let themselves be repeatedly attacked. I just don't see how this goes unchecked this time.

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

    thats what I thought you meant
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Wishful thinking on your part?
    Yes - wishful thinking there won't be a WWIII.

    As a nation, we're weak - financially, militarily, and the President is a panty waist.

    But as I said elsewhere, now - or soon - is the perfect opportunity for the TAA to blast us.

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

    I think, if this blows over.... things will settle a bit around the world. The market will kick up again.

    If not, we're in for a big war.


    You're right, Obama is a Pantywaist. He won't do much, if he does anything. However, he has ordered the ships to do the "War Games". That's SOMETHING... better than doing NOTHING.

    I'm actually surprised we continued on with it all

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

    As war games begin, China wades into Korean conflict

    View larger image
    South Korean soldiers take part in a military drill on the beach in Malipo, north western South Korea, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. (AP / Wally Santana)

    View larger image
    A South Korean soldier looks through his binoculars during a military drill on the beach in Malipo, north western South Korea, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. (AP / Wally Santana)

    Updated: Sun Nov. 28 2010 09:43:51

    CTV.ca News Staff
    The U.S. and South Korea launched a four-day series of military exercises Sunday as China called for emergency meetings amid increasing tensions between the two Koreas.


    As the nuclear-powered USS George Washington and a South Korean destroyer made their way into the Yellow Sea for the planned war games, China's top nuclear envoy, Wu Dawei, said talks should convene early next month among regional powers that have previously been involved in nuclear disarmament discussions.



    Officials in South Korea said Wu's proposal should be "reviewed very carefully," particularly in the wake of North Korea's announcement that it has a new uranium-enrichment facility.



    The talks would aim to defuse growing tensions between the two Koreas that worsened last Tuesday, when North Korean troops bombarded the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong with artillery fire, killing two marines and two civilians and wounding at least 18 others.



    North Korea blamed the barrage on South Korea for engaging in artillery drills near the two countries' sea border, and threatened "merciless" retaliation if the war games stray too close to its border.



    CTV's Janis Mackey Frayer said tensions were high on Yeonpyeong Island this week, culminating Sunday in a series of alarms and loudspeaker announcements that sent residents and visiting journalists scrambling into the local village's bomb shelters.



    "There was a lot of confusion and a lot of rumours that were happening in that time," Mackey Frayer told CTV News Channel in a telephone interview from South Korea. "The South Korean media was speculating that there was going to be an attack, they were saying that Kim Jong Il or Kim Jong Un were expected to fire a missile themselves. There were a lot of stories that were percolating in the shelters, feeding a lot of the anxiety."



    The alarms were sparked by a new round of artillery fire from North Korea, seemingly in protest against the South's war games with the U.S. None of the rounds landed on the island during the ordeal, which lasted about 40 minutes, Mackey Frayer said.



    But afterward, the South Korean defence ministry asked journalists to leave the island.
    The United States has more than 28,000 soldiers in South Korea, and has said that the military exercises were planned well before last Tuesday's attack by North Korea.



    Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a spokesperson for the 7th Fleet in Japan, said the war games will not include any live-fire drills. On Sunday, dozens of South Korean soldiers could be seen laying an aluminum road on Mallipo Beach, on the country's west coast, ahead of an amphibious landing drill planned for Monday. Military ships could be seen in the waters nearby.



    "(The joint military exercise) is a show of force, and it is designed to defer further attacks by North Korea," Mackey Frayer said. "They're also wanting to send a message to China that it needs to do more or do enough to reign in its ally in order to bring down tension along the peninsula."



    North Korea continued to denounce the war games Sunday. The National Peace Committee called them a "pretext for aggression and igniting a war at any cost," in a statement issued by the official Korean Central News Agency.



    Chinese officials finally stepped into the fray Sunday. In addition to Wu's call for talks, China sent state councillor Dai Bingguo to Seoul to meet with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.



    Lee asked China to take a "more objective, responsible" approach to brokering peace in the region, but also warned that his country would "strongly" answer any future attacks.



    Lee is scheduled to address South Korean residents Monday morning.
    With files from The Associated Press
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Jornalists have been ordered off that island that was shelled the other day:

    See Video: http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/lo...b=WinnipegHome

    At the right of the article. Janis Mackey Frayer is the newsie.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    US, SKorea launch war games in tense Yellow Sea
    November 28th, 2010 @ 9:50am
    By DAVID GUTTENFELDER and JEAN H. LEE
    Associated Press




    YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea (AP) - A U.S. supercarrier and South Korean destroyer took up position in the tense Yellow Sea on Sunday for joint military exercises that were a united show of force just days after a deadly North Korean artillery attack.


    As tensions escalated across the region, with North Korea threatening another "merciless" attack, China belatedly jumped into the fray. Beijing's top nuclear envoy, Wu Dawei, called for an emergency meeting in early December among regional powers involved in nuclear disarmament talks, including North Korea.


    Seoul responded cautiously to the proposal from North Korea's staunch ally, saying it should be "reviewed very carefully" in light of North Korea's recent revelation of a new uranium-enrichment facility, even as protesters begged President Lee Myung-bak to find a way to resolve the tension and restore peace.


    The troubled relations between the two Koreas, which fought a three-year war in the 1950s, have steadily deteriorated since Lee's conservative government took power in 2008 with a tough new policy toward nuclear-armed North Korea.


    Eight months ago, a South Korean warship went down in the western waters, killing 46 sailors in the worst attack on the South Korean military since the Korean War. Then, last Tuesday, North Korean troops showered artillery on Yeonpyeong, a South Korean-held island that houses military bases as well as a civilian population of 1,300 _ an attack that marked a new level of hostility.


    Two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed and 18 others wounded in the hailstorm of artillery that sent residents fleeing into bunkers and reduced homes on the island to charred rubble.


    North Korea blamed the South for provoking the attack by holding artillery drills near the Koreas' maritime border, and has threatened to be "merciless" if the current war games _ set to last until Dec. 1 _ get too close to its territory.


    As U.S. and South Korean ships, including the nuclear-powered USS George Washington, sailed into the waters off Korea's west coast Sunday, China began launching its diplomatic bid to calm tensions.


    Washington and Seoul had been pressing China, North Korea's main ally and benefactor, to help defuse the situation amid fears of all-out war.


    China, slow at first to react, has quickened its diplomatic intervention in recent days. Chinese state councilor Dai Bingguo made a last-minute visit to Seoul to confer with Lee.


    Lee pressured China to contribute to peace in a "more objective, responsible" matter, and warned Sunday that Seoul would respond "strongly" to any further provocation, the presidential office said.


    The strong words were Lee's first public comment in days. He was due to address the nation Monday morning amid calls from his people to take stronger action in dealing with the defiant North.


    Appearing Sunday CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, U.S. Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said China should rein in its neighbor.
    "The key to this, obviously, is China," McCain said. "And, unfortunately, China is not behaving as a responsible world power. It cannot be in China's long-term interest to see a renewed conflict on the Korean peninsula."


    North Korea has walked a path of defiance since launching a rocket in April 2009 in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and abandoning the disarmament process in protest against the condemnation that followed.


    However, in recent months Pyongyang has shown an eagerness to get back to the talks, and has appeared increasingly frustrated by U.S. and South Korean reluctance to restart the negotiations.


    Seoul has said it wants an acknowledgment of regret for the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March as well as a concrete show of commitment to denuclearization.


    North Korea, which cites the U.S. military presence in South Korea as a main reason behind its drive to build atomic weapons, routinely calls the joint exercises between the allies a rehearsal for war.


    Washington, which keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect the ally, insists the routine drills were planned before last Tuesday's attack.


    The exercises will take place over four days, but no live-fire drills are planned, said Cmdr. Jeff Davis, spokesman for the 7th Fleet in Japan.


    Along scenic Mallipo Beach on the west coast, about 50 South Korean soldiers were laying down an aluminum road to prepare for an amphibious landing drill Monday. Barbed wire and metal staves ran the length of the beach for about 2 miles (3 kilometers). Military ships hovered in the distance.


    North Korea expressed renewed outrage over the Yellow Sea drills.


    The war games are a "pretext for aggression and ignite a war at any cost," the National Peace Committee of Korea said in a statement carried Sunday by the official Korean Central News Agency.


    Hours earlier, the rattle of new artillery fire from North Korea sent residents, journalists, police and troops scrambling for cover on Yeonpyeong Island. None of the rounds landed on the island, military officials said, but the incident showed how tense the situation remains.


    Saying they could not guarantee the journalists' safety, South Korea's Defense Ministry sent a ship to ferry them off the island but bad weather forced them to cancel the evacuation. About 380 people, including 28 islanders and 190 journalists, remained on Yeonpyeong on Sunday, officials said.


    A similar burst of artillery fire Friday occurred just as the U.S. military's top commander in the region, Gen. Walter Sharp, was touring Yeonpyeong Island. No shells landed anywhere in South Korean territory.


    Calls for tougher action made way Sunday for pleas for peace among about 150 South Koreans who turned out for a vigil Sunday evening in a Seoul plaza, huddling with candles in paper cups and chanting, "Give us peace!"


    "It was very shocking," said Kang Hong-koo, 22, a student. "I'm here to appease the souls of the people who were killed in the North Korean attack. I hope the current tense situation is alleviated quickly."
    ___
    Jean H. Lee reported from Seoul. AP writers Hyung-jin Kim and Kelly Olsen in Seoul, photographer Wally Santana on Mallipo Beach, Gillian Wong in Beijing and Douglass K. Daniel in Washington D.C. contributed to this report.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    An idiot's point of view:

    By Bruce K. Gagnon (about the author)

    opednews.com


    The Advent vigils (four weeks in a row) began yesterday at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine. BIW is the place where Navy Aegis destroyers are built that are presently being used as part of the U.S.-South Korea (ROK) war games which are bumping up against the coastline of North Korea. I noticed that the USS Cowpens is a part of this U.S. naval battle group that is being led toward North Korea by the aircraft carrier named the USS George Washington.

    I know about the USS Cowpens because it was the ship that fired the first shot (cruise missiles) in the 2003 U.S. shock and awe attack on Iraq. I know this because the woman who was driving the USS Cowpens at that historic moment has become a friend of our family and was at our home for Thanksgiving just three days ago.

    This young woman was a Lieutenant in the Navy and was the Officer of the Deck at the time of the Cowpens attack on Iraq. She has since gotten out of the Navy and is now a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). She has not yet gotten over the pain of her role in that unprovoked, immoral, and illegal attack on Iraq.
    North Korea knows all about the U.S. proclivity to attack smaller countries for no good reason. In years past the world has watched the U.S. beat up on Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Libya, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. North Korea must wonder if their day is coming soon as well.

    As I noted in other recent blogs on this subject, the U.S. and South Korea have been running aggressive military war games each month since last July and these massive drills are directed right at North Korea. North Korea must each time put their military and their population on alert because they can't take any chances. Having seen the U.S. record of attacking weaker countries they must consider that this time the war games could be for real.

    As I stood on the sidewalk in front of BIW for the hour-long vigil today I held a sign with a picture of a train painted on it by one of our local artist friends. The sign read "Built in Bath". Some of the passing Saturday early-shift workers got the message and smiled as they drove home. The truth is that a number of those working inside BIW know that their "product" is a first-strike attack military machine. They'd rather be building rail systems or wind turbines. But we make weapons and we make war in America today and military production is one of the few jobs around in our declining economy. It's like those who worked in the death camps for Hitler's Army during WW II. It was a job and they wanted to believe that their country was right - Germany uber alles. In America we say - USA, USA, #1!

    The U.S. is outfitting these Navy Aegis destroyers with "missile defense" systems and activists in South Korea and Japan clearly understand the role of these warships in U.S. military strategy. The U.S. intends to use these MD systems to pick-off retaliatory strikes after a Pentagon first-strike attack on North Korea or China. The U.S. is doubling its military presence in the Asian-Pacific region for a clear reason.

    Like any bully, the U.S. military is poking a sharp stick at North Korea (and China) and basically daring them to fight back. The U.S. (and their junior partners in South Korea and Japan) are out to militarize the region and are just itching for a military response that would then "justify" an overwhelming response.

    The U.S. weapons corporations love this game of hardball, or as it used to be called, gunboat diplomacy. The power tripping U.S. government intends to keep pushing North Korea into a corner and will keep pissing on them until they get another response. At the rate things are now going it likely won't take long.

    The key factor in all of this is China. How long will China allow the U.S. to keep pouring gasoline on the hot fire in the Asian-Pacific? They hold our debt yet know that if they cut the U.S. loose then the entire global economy will suffer even more. But China is quickly getting fed up with U.S. military bravado in their back yard.

    China must support North Korea because if that country is toppled then the U.S. would put military bases right on China's border. This was an important reason for the Korean War in the first place, the U.S. wanted to take control of the entire Korean peninsula and thus have bases right alongside Russia and China.

    If the American people knew half of what was going on in their name they'd be freaking out but due to corporate control of the media, and generations of government brainwashing, most of our citizens are in the dark. Virtually all they know about any of what is going on right now in Korea is what they are told by the same people who are stirring the boiling pot of war.

    Sadly most Americans have to learn the hard way. Hopefully it won't take a shooting war with China to wake the public up from their deep sleep.

    -----------------------


    Bruce K. Gagnon (no flagged comments / no hidden comments )
    I have 1 fans:

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    Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.







    Between 1983â€"1998 Bruce was the State Coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice.


    He was the organizer of the Cancel Cassini Campaign (launched 72 pounds of plutonium into space in 1997) that was featured on the TV program 60 Minutes.
    Bruce has been featured by artist Robert Shetterly in his collection of portraits and quotes entitled Americans Who Tell The Truth. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker Award.
    In 2003 Bruce co-produced a popular video entitled Arsenal of Hypocrisy that spells out U.S. plans for space domination. His latest video, shot in 2006, is entitled The Necessity of the Conversion of the Military Industrial Complex.







    In 1968 Bruce was Vice-chair of the Okaloosa County (Florida) Young Republican Club while working on the Nixon campaign for president.
    Bruce is a Vietnam-era veteran and began his career by working for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida organizing fruit pickers.
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    (Note from Rick... *I* am not his ONE fan by the way, that's probably himself. LOL!)
    Last edited by American Patriot; November 28th, 2010 at 17:22.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Quote Originally Posted by Backstop View Post
    Yes - wishful thinking there won't be a WWIII.

    As a nation, we're weak - financially, militarily, and the President is......

    .. now - or soon - is the perfect opportunity ..
    These Commie monsters know no compassion or mercy. Did you hear the latest: Chicoms now want everyone to return to six-way round table talks! This is just a gambit to disarm the naive and lower our leaders' guard.

    I would like to quote an old adage: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Last night I viewed opera "Tosca" (2001 London Royal Opera House production) with Canadian Soprano Angela Gheorghiu in title role. Ruggiero Raimondi's Scarpia (Tosca's tormentor) is perfectly villainous and bloodthirsty. A pound of flesh is not enough for him. His actions result in death of three innocent people. His lust for Tosca, power and the proclivity to use his high office in Rome for endless sexual conquests, bring about his own end. Death comes from his own dinner knife aimed perfectly at the heart by Tosca. His duplicity is such that he manages to deceive Tosca cruelly even after his own murder, driving her to suicide.

    Mind games that these monstersplay are beyond belief. Scarpia did not have nukes, rockets and 1.2 million men army backing him up. He was just a bit player by today's standards.

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

    I am actually on the same page as Backstop.

    Tensions ARE enormous and there is considerable political puffery going on, yet all sides know a war there will not end well for anyone in the theater or many places in the world. It seems to me the only way this will escalate and be flipped to the other side to finish cooking, is if a key player goes on a pride rant.

    Still, that is just a reasoned thought, but not the only possibility. Having supplies to withstand a period of conflict, should it arise, is wise.

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