In the News – N. Korea honing capability to attack Seoul: USFK commander

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In the News – N. Korea honing capability to attack Seoul: USFK commander

By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, March 28 (Yonhap) — The commander of U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula expressed concern Wednesday that North Korea’s new leadership will trigger a military conflict based on a “miscalculation.”

Before the House Armed Services Committee, Gen. James Thurman said the North continues improving its ability to attack the South Korean capital of Seoul.

“The first thing I worry about every day is a miscalculation on somebody’s part that causes a conflict that he hadn’t planned for,” he said at a hearing on the security condition on the peninsula.

He also said he is worried about the asymmetric capabilities, including special operations forces and cyber-attack units. Continue reading

In the News – China promises to try to dissuade N. Korea from rocket launch: official

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In the News – China promises to try to dissuade N. Korea from rocket launch: official 

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) — China promised Monday to keep trying to dissuade North Korea from its planned long-range rocket launch, expressing “deep concern” that the move could have negative effects on peace on the Korean Peninsula and efforts to resume six-party nuclear talks, an official said.

Chinese officials made the remarks during summit talks between South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Chinese President Hu Jintao. Hu was in Seoul to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, a global anti-nuclear terrorism conference set to open later Monday.
“Expressing deep concern, the Chinese leadership said it is urging North Korea to give up the satellite launch and focus on development of the lives of ordinary people,” Kim Tae-hyo, a senior presidential security official, told reporters during a briefing on the summit.

The Chinese side has tried to contact North Korea many times on the issue and already conveyed concern to Pyongyang, Kim said.

It is rare for China to take such a clear-cut position on a North Korean provocation. Continue reading

In the News – North Korea Invites IAEA Inspectors to Return

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In the News – North Korea Invites IAEA Inspectors to Return

North Korea's Chief Nuclear Negotiator, Ri Yong Ho (file photo)

North Korea's Chief Nuclear Negotiator, Ri Yong Ho ( 2011 file photo) Reuter

North Korea considers its February 29 agreement with the United States still in effect, despite Washington’s insistence that, if Pyongyang goes ahead with a so-called space launch next month, that will break the deal. The North says it is inviting United Nations inspectors to return to the country to monitor the recent agreement with the United States.

North Korea is continuing efforts to keep its announced “satellite launch” from jeopardizing its recent agreement to partly freeze its nuclear programs in exchange for American food aid.
Chief nuclear negotiator, Ri Yong Ho, says Pyongyang intends to carry out the deal with the United States. Continue reading