Category: North Korea

North Korea warn South over UN sanctions

North Korea has issued another warning, a day after announcing plans for a third nuclear test.

North Korea has issued another warning, a day after announcing plans for a third nuclear test.

Source: North Korea has issued another warning, a day after announcing plans for a third nuclear test.

In a statement, Pyongyang pledged “physical counter-measures” against South Korea if it participated in the UN sanctions regime.

The threat came 24 hours after North Korea said it would proceed with a “high-level” nuclear test in a move aimed at “arch-enemy” the US.

The White House condemned the move, labelling it “needlessly provocative”.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests in the past, in 2006 and 2009. It gave no time-frame for its third test.

Its announcement followed the adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution condemning North Korea’s recent rocket launch and extending sanctions.

North Korea says its rocket launch was for the sole purpose of putting a satellite into orbit; the US and North Korea’s neighbours say it was a test of long-range missile technology banned under UN resolutions. Read more →

N Korea threatens to fire at S Korea

North Korea’s military threatened Sunday to fire at South Korea, as Seoul prepared to start annual joint drills with US troops, maneuvers Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion.

The North’s military warned that it would fire at South Korean border towns if Seoul continued to allow activists to launch

propaganda leaflets toward the communist country, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

The warning was conveyed to South Korea’s military earlier Sunday, it said.

“South Korea’s traitor puppet regime must recognize the seriousness of the situation and immediately stop anti-(North Korea) psychological warfare,” the KCNA said.

It accused South Korean activists and lawmakers of flying balloons carrying hundreds of thousands of leaflets critical of

North Korea’s government on the North’s most important national holiday, an apparent reference to leader Kim Jong Il’s 69th birthday, which fell on February 16. It was unclear whether more balloons had been launched since then.

The warning came one day before the start of annual military drills between South Korea and the United States.

Pyongyang has called the drills a preparation to invade North Korea, though South Korean and US officials have repeatedly said they are purely defensive and that they have no intention of attacking.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression by the North.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula spiked last year over two deadly incidents – the sinking of a South Korean naval ship blamed on the North and a North Korean artillery barrage in November that killed four people on a front-line South Korean island.

North Korea denies it was involved in the sinking of the ship, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

The countries’ military officers met earlier this month but failed to reach a breakthrough, with both sides accusing the other of rupturing their first dialogue since the November bombardment.

North Korea later threatened not to hold any more military talks with Seoul.

The two Koreas are still technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

N.Korea urges S.Korea talks within weeks

Ref: North Korea on Saturday took further steps to mend ties with South Korea, suggesting talks be held within weeks and reopening an office to foster cooperation on the fractured peninsula.

The latest offer from Pyongyang follows an apparent easing in tensions, which have soared since the North shelled the South`s frontline Yeonpyeong island on November 23, killing four people. Read more →

North Korea may have third nuclear test in 2011: South

Ref:North Korea will probably carry out a third atomic test next year and prospects for bilateral talks with the South are slim, a research report from a South Korean foreign ministry institute said on Friday.

The regular report was published a day after Pyongyang vowed a nuclear “sacred war” and the South held a major military drill near the border. Read more →

South Korea in live-fire 'show of force'

Ref: South Korea is staging one of its largest ever military drills amid highly tense relations with the North.
Hundreds of troops, tanks, helicopters and jet fighters are gathering some 20km (12 miles) from the heavily armed land border.

The exercises will be held 20km (12 miles) south of the border

The exercises will be held 20km (12 miles) south of the border

Tension has been high since North Korea shelled the South’s Yeonpyeong island last month, killing four South Koreans. Read more →

US governor visits North Korea

Ref:The governor of the US state of New Mexico has arrived in North Korea, saying he hoped that he hopes his four-day visit will help ease concerns over the country’s nuclear programme and its increasingly beligerent relationship with the South.

Shortly after arriving in Pyongyang, the capital, on Thursday, Bill Richardson told reporters that his “objective is to see if we can reduce the tension on the Korean peninsula, that is my objective. Read more →

NKorea threatens SKorea with nuclear war

North Korea warned Monday that US-South Korean cooperation could bring a nuclear war to the region, as the South began artillery drills amid lingering tension nearly three weeks after the North’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island.

The South’s naval live-fire drills are scheduled to run Monday through Friday at 27 sites. The regularly scheduled exercises are getting special attention following a North Korean artillery attack on front-line Yeonpyeong Island that killed two South Korean marines and two civilians.

The November 23 artillery barrage, the North’s first assault to target a civilian area since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, began after the North said South Korea first fired artillery toward its territorial waters. South Korea says it fired shells southward, not toward North Korea, as part of routine exercises.

After the attack, South Korea staged joint military drills with the United States and also pushed ahead with more artillery exercises, despite the North’s warning that they would aggravate tension.

A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff officer tried to play down the significance of this week’s drills, saying they are part of routine military exercises and would not occur near the disputed western Korean sea border where last month’s attack took place. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of office policy, gave no further details.

North Korea, however, lashed out at Seoul, accusing South Korea of collaborating with the United States and Japan to ratchet up pressure on Pyongyang.

That cooperation “is nothing but treachery escalating the tension between the North and the South and bringing the dark clouds of a nuclear war to hang over the Korean peninsula,” Pyongyang’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea has often issued similar threats during standoffs.

In a show of unity, top diplomats from South Korea, the United States and Japan met in Washington last week and said they would not resume negotiations aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program until the country’s behavior changes. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited South Korea last week and warned Pyongyang to stop its “belligerent, reckless behavior.”

On Monday, South Korean and US defense officials met in Seoul for one-day discussions on North Korea and other issues that are part of regular defense talks, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry.

At the opening of the meeting, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Schiffer said “the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Korea and with the Korean people in the face of recent North Korean provocations,” referring to South Korea by its formal name.

Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg was also set to visit China later this week for talks on North Korea amid international pressure for Beijing to use its diplomatic clout to rein in North Korea, its ally. After the China meeting, senior US officials accompanying Steinberg will travel on to Seoul and Tokyo.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, meanwhile, leaves the United States for North Korea on Tuesday. Richardson, who has often acted as a diplomatic troubleshooter, has made regular visits to North Korea and has also hosted North Korean officials in New Mexico.

N.Korea lashes out at S.Korea`s naval firing drill this week

Ref: North Korea on Sunday denounced a planned naval firing drill by South Korea, the latest in a flurry of exercises by Seoul after Pyongyang`s deadly attack on a South Korean island last month.

The state-run Korea Central News Agency called the South`s upcoming drill, scheduled to take place off all three coasts of the peninsula from Monday to Friday, “an effort to trigger a war.”
Read more →

South Korea repeats warning against North Korea

Ref: South Korea on Saturday repeated its warning it will hit back hard at North Korea in the event of another expected attack.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, who on Friday said the South would bomb the North if provoked again, was speaking 11 days after North Korea attacked the small southern island of Yeonpyeong, killing four people.
Read more →

U.S. dismisses call for 6-way envoys` meeting, urges China to rein in N. Korea

Ref: The United States Monday dismissed China`s proposal to convene an emergency meeting of chief nuclear envoys to the six-party talks, instead urging China to step up pressure to stop North Korea`s provocations and its burgeoning nuclear arsenal.

“Six-party talks cannot substitute for action by North Korea to comply with its obligations and to cease its destabilizing actions on the Korean Peninsula,” said Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman. “We continue to urge China to use its influence and persuasion with the North Koreans to address their behavior and to address the serious problems that arose last week.”
Read more →