In the News – China Warns N.Korea Off Nuclear Test

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In the News – China Warns N.Korea Off Nuclear Test

A high-ranking official in China’s Foreign Ministry has issued a rare public warning to North Korea against another nuclear test, saying it would violate China’s national interest. The comments were made by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai to reporters at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

“I am opposed to any act that damages peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, since such acts can damage the national security and interests of not only other countries but China’s as well,” Cui said. “No side should commit acts that raise tensions.”

This is the first time for China to comment publicly on the North’s nuclear development since the possibility of Pyongyang conducting a third nuclear test was raised.

But Cui resisted U.S. demands that China step up pressure on North Korea. “Maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia is the joint responsibility of all of the concerned countries, not just China alone,” he said.

 

Original article can be found here.

In the News – N.Korea Boasts of Ability to Destroy U.S. Military in ‘Single Blow’

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In the News – N.Korea Boasts of Ability to Destroy U.S. Military in ‘Single Blow’

North Korea’s army marked its 80th anniversary Wednesday with a vow to retaliate against what its chief of staff terms the traitors in the South. The remarks are the latest in a series of harsh threats directed at Seoul in recent weeks.

◆ N.Korea’s Provocations

North Korea is boasting of “powerful, modern weapons” that can defeat in a single blow the United States, which it accuses of plotting a war against it.

Chief of general staff, Ri Yong-ho, gave no further details about the weaponry in his speech to mark the North Korean army’s 80th anniversary. His address, from Pyongyang’s House of Culture, was broadcast later in the day on North Korean television.

Vice Marshal Ri says the blood of North Korea’s military and civilians is boiling in anger with a desire for revenge against South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak. He reiterates a threat of “sacred war,” transmitted earlier in the week, to crush the bases of provocation in the South. Continue reading

In the News – North Korea’s Missiles Displayed At Parade Are Fake, Say Analysts

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In the News – North Korea’s Missiles Displayed At Parade Are Fake, Say Analysts

By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press

TOKYO — Analysts who have studied photos of a half-dozen ominous new North Korean missiles showcased recently at a lavish military parade say they were fakes, and not very convincing ones, casting further doubt on the country’s claims of military prowess.

Since its recent rocket launch failure, Pyongyang’s top military leaders have made several boastful statements about its weapons capabilities. On Wednesday, Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho claimed his country is capable of defeating the United States “at a single blow.” And on Monday, North Korea promised “special actions” that would reduce Seoul’s government to ashes within minutes.

But the weapons displayed April 15 appear to be a mishmash of liquid-fuel and solid-fuel components that could never fly together. Undulating casings on the missiles suggest the metal is too thin to withstand flight. Each missile was slightly different from the others, even though all were supposedly the same make. They don’t even fit the launchers they were carried on.

“There is no doubt that these missiles were mock-ups,” Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker, of Germany’s Schmucker Technologie, wrote in a paper posted recently on the website Armscontrolwonk.com that listed those discrepancies. “It remains unknown if they were designed this way to confuse foreign analysts, or if the designers simply did some sloppy work.” Continue reading

In the News – N. Korea’s Neighbors Oppose New Nuclear Test

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In the News – N. Korea’s Neighbors Oppose New Nuclear Test

South Korea and China are warning North Korea of consequences if it goes ahead with a third nuclear test.

There is increasing speculation North Korea will attempt to conduct another nuclear test, perhaps within the next one or two weeks.

South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho Byung-je warns any such action will violate international sanctions and further isolate the impoverished country.

Cho says, as far as the South Korean government knows, there are no signs North Korea is about to conduct such a test. Continue reading

In the News – U.S. warns N. Korea not to conduct hostile acts

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In the News – U.S. warns N. Korea not to conduct hostile acts

By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, April 24 (Yonhap) — Amid growing worries that North Korea may soon carry out a nuclear test or launch attacks on South Korea, the U.S. urged Pyongyang Tuesday to use its energy and resources instead to improve the livelihood of its people.

“We strongly suggest that the North Koreans refrain from engaging in any other — any more hostile or provocative actions,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

He reiterated Washington’s concern for the North’s people in need.

The North Korean leadership does “nothing to help the North Korean people, many of whom are starving because of the predilection of the North Korean regime to spend the money it has on weapons systems rather than food and economic development,” added Carney.

Media reports based on unidentified intelligence sources suggest that the North may have almost completed preparations for another underground nuclear experiment.

It has also threatened to carry out “special military actions” against the South.

“No launching, no testing, no nothing if you want to have a better relationship with the international community,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing. “All of these are provocations. All of them take the DPRK in the wrong direction.”

The DPRK is the acronym for the communist nation’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

She emphasized that Washington has lost trust in Pyongyang’s commitment to dialogue, especially since its rocket launch in April.

“Unfortunately, now we’re going backwards,” she said. “So it’s really up to the DPRK to demonstrate that it wants a better relationship with all of us and that it wants to put its energy into peace and stability and taking care of its people, rather than expensive weapons.”

 

Original article can be found here.

In the News – North Korea Boasts of Ability to Destroy US Military in ‘Single Blow’

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In the News – North Korea Boasts of Ability to Destroy US Military in ‘Single Blow’

North Korea’s army marked its 80th anniversary Wednesday with a vow to retaliate against what its chief of staff terms the traitors in the South. The remarks are the latest in a series of harsh threats directed at Seoul in recent weeks.

North Korea’s provocations

North Korea is boasting of “powerful, modern weapons” that can defeat in a single blow the United States, which it accuses of plotting a war against it.

Chief of general staff, Ri Yong Ho, gave no further details about the weaponry in his speech to mark the North Korean army’s 80th anniversary.

His address, from Pyongyang’s House of Culture, was broadcast later in the day on North Korean television.

Vice Marshal Ri says the blood of North Korea’s military and civilians is boiling in anger with a desire for revenge against South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak. He reiterates a threat of “sacred war,” transmitted earlier in the week, to crush the bases of provocation in the South.

North Korea’s new, young leader Kim Jong Un was in the audience for Ri’s remarks. But Kim – who holds the rank of a four-star general – did not address the gathering. Continue reading

In the News – No Orders to Stop Repatriation

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In the News – No Orders to Stop Repatriation

Yomiuri Shimbun reported on the 18th that the Chinese government has stopped forced repatriation of the North Korean defectors in China however no guidelines or situations have changed. Rather, crackdowns on the defectors have intensified.

The Japanese newspaper citing a Chinese official revealed, “The Chinese government stopped forced repatriation for reasons that North Korea did not give them advance notice on their long-range rocket launch”. The Shimbun stated, “The Chinese government even after the death of Kim Jong Il in December of last year has repatriated roughly 30 defectors to North Korea everyday”.

But it appeared that the Chinese government, even after North Korea’s announcement of rocket launch last month, has continued to repatriate North Korean defectors. In addition, the Chinese frontier guards and public security officials have been strengthening its inspection and enforcement activities at the North Korea-China border.  Continue reading

In the News – German experts dismiss N. Korean missiles at parade as mock-ups

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In the News – German experts dismiss N. Korean missiles at parade as mock-ups

SEOUL, April 24 (Yonhap) — The new intercontinental ballistic missiles displayed in a military parade in North Korea were mock-ups and the presentation was “a nice dog and pony show,” according to two German experts on North Korean missiles.

The North showed off the missiles on transporter-erector-launchers during the parade to mark the centennial of the April 15 birth of the country’s late founder Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un. The display sparked intense speculation on the North’s ballistic missile capability following its botched rocket launch earlier this month.

“At first glance, the missile seems capable of covering a range of perhaps 10,000 kilometers. However, a closer look reveals that all of the presented missiles are mock-ups,” Markus Schiller and Robert H. Schmucker, analysts with Schmucker Technology in Germany, wrote in an English-language report posted on a nuclear arms control and nonproliferation blog last week.

“There is still no evidence that North Korea actually has a functional ICBM.” Continue reading

In the News – China Reaffirms Ties with N.Korea Despite Rocket Launch

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In the News – China Reaffirms Ties with N.Korea Despite Rocket Launch

Despite joining the international community in condemning North Korea’s recently attempted rocket launch, China has reaffirmed its commitment to expanding amicable ties with its long-time ally.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday, State Councilor Dai Bingguo met with senior North Korean party official Kim Yong-il in Beijing, where Dai stressed the importance of the two countries’ traditional friendship.

The ministry did not say whether the two officials discussed the failed rocket launch.

 

Original article can be found here.

In the News – North Korea’s nuclear test ready “soon” – source

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In the News – North Korea’s nuclear test ready “soon” – source

By Benjamin Kang Lim

BEIJING, April 24 (Reuters) – North Korea has almost completed preparations for a third nuclear test and has the capacity to carry it out “soon,” a senior source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing told Reuters.

“Soon. Preparations are almost complete,” the source said when asked whether North Korea was planning to undertake a nuclear test.

North Korea said last week it was ready to retaliate in the face of international condemnation over this month’s failed rocket launch, increasing the likelihood the hermit state will push ahead with a third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

The source has correctly predicted events in the past, telling Reuters about North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006 days before it took place. Continue reading

In the News – South Korea ‘On Alert’ for Possible North Attack

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In the News – South Korea ‘On Alert’ for Possible North Attack

South Korea appears to be taking seriously the latest attack threat from North Korea.

Police say they have increased patrols around headquarters of nine conservative media outlets in Seoul after North Korea vowed to soon carry out a “special military action” on them by “unprecedented means and methods.”

South Korea’s government says it is concerned about Pyongyang’s threat to reduce to ashes, in several minutes, the support base for the country’s president, including several broadcasters and a leading daily newspaper, the Dong-a Ilbo.

Foreign ministry spokesman Cho Byung-je characterizes the latest threat from Pyongyang as “very dangerous and harsh.” Continue reading

In the News – N.Korea ‘to Launch Another Rocket’

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In the News – N.Korea ‘to Launch Another Rocket’

North Korea will launch another rocket after a launch failed on April 13, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin claimed Friday. “It is hard to predict” when, Kim told reporters, but “we’ve detected signs” of another rocket launch.

After the failed launch, the North Korean Foreign Ministry in a statement on April 17 vowed to “continue to launch peaceful satellites essential to the country’s economic development.” The North’s Outer Space Technology Committee last Thursday claimed to have found a “detailed scientific reason” for the failure of the last launch.

Two rockets were taken from a missile plant in Sanum-dong, Pyongyang to the Tongchang-ri launch site on March 24, according to the South Korean government.

In the News – U.S. says has raised North Korea missile-linked sale with China

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In the News – U.S. says has raised North Korea missile-linked sale with China

(Reuters) – The White House said on Monday it had raised with China new allegations that a Chinese firm sold North Korea components for a missile transporter showcased in a recent military parade, despite a U.N. ban on such sales.

The Obama administration suspects that the Chinese manufacturer supplied chassis and other parts for the vehicle, and Washington planned to use the incident to press Beijing to tighten enforcement of sanctions on Pyongyang, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday.

The U.S. findings surfaced amid tensions over a failed North Korean rocket launch earlier this month and concerns that Pyongyang may be preparing another test of a nuclear device.

“The United States will continue to work with the international community, including China, to enforce sanctions against North Korea’s ballistic missile program and nuclear program,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

“We’ve raised the allegations with the Chinese government … as part of our ongoing close consultations on North Korea,” he told reporters. He was referring to U.S. suspicions about the vehicle, essentially a large truck on top of which a missile can be mounted.

Washington suspects that the Chinese company, Hubei Sanjiang, did not sell North Korea an entire vehicle and that it believed the components were for civilian purposes, suggesting it was not an intentional violation of a prohibition of military-related sales to Pyongyang, the U.S. official said.

The official, who confirmed details on condition of anonymity, also said the firm likely sold the parts to a front company that was used to mask the buyer’s true identity.

Beijing, reclusive North Korea’s only major ally, has denied it has broken any rules. A modern, eight-axle missile transporter spotted in the military parade to celebrate the founder of North Korea was said by some western military experts to be of Chinese design and possibly origin.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. lawmakers on Thursday that China has provided some assistance to North Korea’s missile program, but he said he did not know the “exact extent of that.”

 

Original article can be found here.

In the News – IAEA Unlikely to Send Delegation to N.Korea

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In the News – IAEA Unlikely to Send Delegation to N.Korea

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says the world body stands ready to take further action against North Korea if that country continues to pursue missile launches or nuclear tests.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Susan Rice said the United Nations’ recent statement condemning North Korea’s failed missile launch attempt is a “strong and united determination” that further acts will not be tolerated.

“One would hope against past precedent that the leadership in North Korea will see the wisdom of not pursuing further provocations and will recognize that the history of their pursuit of these further provocations is North Korea’s increasing isolation and increasing pressure from the international community,” Rice said.

Her comments follow an announcement by the International Atomic Energy Agency that it is unlikely to send a delegation to North Korea, after Pyongyang stated it is no longer bound by an agreement with the United States not to test missiles and nuclear devices. Continue reading

In the News – China Joins World Powers in Strong Warning to N.Korea

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In the News – China Joins World Powers in Strong Warning to N.Korea

China has joined other world powers in warning North Korea that they will not tolerate any more provocations after the isolated nation’s failed rocket launch last week.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said late Monday in Brasilia that the UN Security Council members, including China, are agreed there will be “further consequences” in the event of another provocative act by North Korea. Recent satellite photographs show Pyongyang may be preparing for an underground nuclear test.

China’s state-controlled media are also showing signs of frustration with Pyongyang, noting that China took “a clear attitude in condemning” its longtime ally when it backed a UN Security Council statement criticizing the rocket launch. Continue reading

In the News – China eases repatriating policy!

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In the News – China eases repatriating policy

South Korean government ministries say they have received no confirmation China has stopped, at least temporarily, repatriating North Koreans.

A Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri, says an unnamed Chinese official in Liaoning province told its reporter such forced returns of North Koreans to their home country had stopped.

The newspaper says the suspension reflects China’s displeasure with North Korea for the controversial rocket launch.

Ahead of the launch, China permitted five North Korean defectors to leave for South Korea. The North Koreans had long been holed up in South Korea’s Embassy in Beijing to avoid arrest.

South Korea and international rights groups have called on China to alter its policy, saying those sent back to North Korea face retribution, possibly including death sentences.

The two Koreas have no diplomatic relations. They technically remain at war as they never signed a peace treaty following a devastating three-year conflict in the early 1950s.

Original article can be found here.

In the News – North Korea says no longer bound by nuclear test moratorium

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In the News – North Korea says no longer bound by nuclear test moratorium

(Reuters) – North Korea on Tuesday dismissed a rebuke by the U.N. Security Council of its failed long-range rocket launch and said it was no longer bound by an agreement with the United States for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests and arms inspection.

The Security Council on Monday condemned the North for Friday’s rocket launch and warned of further action if Pyongyang carried out a nuclear test, reflecting concern that it may follow a pattern it set in 2009 with its second nuclear test.

“We resolutely and totally reject the unreasonable behavior of the UNSC to violate (our) legitimate right to launch satellites,” the North said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

The U.N. action was masterminded by the United States with a hostile intent denying the North of its right to conduct peaceful space research, the statement said.

“As the U.S. violated the February 29 DPRK-U.S. agreement through its undisguised hostile acts, we will no longer be bound to it,” the statement said, referring to a deal for a nuclear and missile test moratorium in return for food aid.

“We have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures, free from the agreement,” the North said, without specifying what actions it will take. Continue reading

In the News – North Korea threatens retaliation for scrapping of food aid

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In the News – North Korea threatens retaliation for scrapping of food aid

North Korea on Tuesday answered world condemnation of its recent rocket test with defiance, threatening “retaliatory measures” if the United States fails to deliver food aid it canceled after the failed launch.

The U.N. Security Council on Monday condemned the rocket launch, widely suspected to be a test of its capability to deliver a nuclear warhead, and ordered the world body’s sanctions committee to impose new punitive measures on the Communist-ruled country.

The Obama administration announced shortly after the launch Friday that it was scrapping a Feb. 29 agreement to send 240,000 metric tons of food to North Korea, a promise made as inducement for Pyongyang to abide by previous U.N. resolutions and suspend its nuclear programs.

The Associated Press reported from Pyongyang that the Korean Central News Agency said the nation would press on with its space ambitions because it no longer feels bound by the food aid agreement, now that Washington has abandoned it. Continue reading

In the News – S. Korea, U.S. looking at ‘all options’ against N.K. provocations: U.S. commander

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In the News – S. Korea, U.S. looking at ‘all options’ against N.K. provocations: U.S. commander

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) — South Korea and the United States are looking at “all options” to prevent any further provocations from North Korea following the botched launch of a long-range rocket last week, the top U.S. military commander in Asia and the Pacific said Tuesday.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, made the remarks at a meeting with South Korean defense journalists in Seoul, four days after the North’s rocket launch ended in failure and prompted speculation that Pyongyang may conduct a nuclear test in an effort to save face.

“It’s true that in the past that North Korean government has followed this type of missile launch with further provocations,” Locklear said.

“It is my hope that this will not occur, but in this case hope is not enough and I can assure you that we will work very closely with the allies in this region to monitor the situation in North Korea to prevent future provocations,” he said.

Asked about some opinions in the U.S. over the need for a surgical strike against missile bases and nuclear test sites in North Korea, Locklear replied, “I don’t think it would be really appropriate for me to comment on how we pursue any future military operations, but I can tell you that with the alliance we are potentially looking at all options.”

North Korea claimed the launch was designed to put a satellite into orbit, but South Korea, the United States and others blasted it as a cover for testing improved ballistic missile technology.

The North’s failed launch drew swift international condemnation. In New York on Monday, the United Nations Security Council “strongly condemned” the North’s launch, saying it will impose new sanctions if Pyongyang carries out another launch of a long-range rocket or a nuclear test.

South Korean intelligence officials have warned of a repeat of North Korea’s provocations in 2009, when it last launched a long-range rocket in April then conducted its second nuclear test a month later.

 

Original article can be found here.

In the News – China Joins World Powers in Strong Warning to North Korea

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In the News – China Joins World Powers in Strong Warning to North Korea

China has joined other world powers in warning North Korea that they will not tolerate any more provocations after the isolated nation’s failed rocket launch last week.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said late Monday in Brasilia that the U.N. Security Council members, including China, are agreed there will be “further consequences” in the event of another provocative act by North Korea. Recent satellite photographs show Pyongyang may be preparing for an underground nuclear test.

China’s state-controlled media are also showing signs of frustration with Pyongyang, noting that China took “a clear attitude in condemning” its longtime ally when it backed a U.N. Security Council statement criticizing the rocket launch. Continue reading