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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation NKorea warns of nuclear war amid rising tensions

NKorea warns of nuclear war amid rising tensions - Yahoo! News

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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NKorea warns of nuclear war amid rising tensions

By VIJAY JOSHI, Associated Press Writer – Sun Jun 14, 2:02 pm ET

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's president ordered his top security officials Sunday to deal "resolutely and squarely" with new North Korean warnings of a nuclear war on the eve of his U.S. visit. In Washington, Vice President Joe Biden said "God only knows" what North Korea wants from the latest showdown.

President Lee Myung-bak travels to Washington on Monday for talks with President Barack Obama that are expected to focus on the North's rogue nuclear and missile programs.

The trip comes after North Korea's Foreign Ministry threatened war with any country that stops its ships on the high seas under new sanctions approved by the U.N. Security Council in response to its May 25 nuclear test.

It also vowed Saturday to "weaponize" all its plutonium and acknowledged a long-suspected uranium enrichment program for the first time. Both plutonium and uranium are key ingredients of atomic bombs.

A commentary published Saturday in the North's state-run Tongil Sinbo weekly claimed the U.S. was deploying a vast number of nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan.

North Korea "is completely within the range of U.S. nuclear attack and the Korean peninsula is becoming an area where the chances of a nuclear war are the highest in the world," it said.

Kim Yong-kyu, a spokesman at the U.S. military command in Seoul, denied the allegation, saying the U.S. no longer has nuclear bombs in South Korea. U.S. tactical nuclear weapons were removed from South Korea in 1991 as part of arms reductions following the Cold War.

President Lee summoned his top security ministers Sunday and ordered them to "resolutely and squarely cope" with the North's threats, his office said. The Unification Ministry, responsible for ties with the North, issued a statement demanding that it stop inflaming tension and resume talks with the South.

"North Korea should give up its nuclear program ... and stop any kind of military threat," it said. "We urge North Korea to respond in a sincere dialogue to improve South-North Korean relations."

The new U.N. sanctions approved Friday are aimed at depriving the North of the financing used to build its nuclear program. They also authorize searches of North Korean ships suspected of transporting illicit ballistic missile and nuclear materials.

Biden told NBC's "Meet the Press" that it's crucial that the U.S. and other nations "make sure those sanctions stick."

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, reportedly had a stroke 10 months ago and analysts believe there may be a plan in place to name his inexperienced 26-year-old son, Kim Jong Un, as the future leader.

"God only knows what he wants," Biden said of Kim. "There's all kinds of discussions. Whether this is about succession, wanting his son to succeed him. Whether or not he's looking for respect. Whether or not he really wants a nuclear capability to threaten the region. ... We can't guess his motives.

"We just have to deal with the reality that a North Korea that is either proliferating weapons and or missiles, or a North Korea that is using those weapons ... is a serious danger and threat to the world, and particularly East Asia," the vice president said.

Lee Sang-hyun, an analyst at the Sejong Institute, a South Korean security think tank, said he believes the North will continue to conduct nuclear tests until it masters the technology to mount nuclear warheads on missiles and will give credit for it to Kim Jong Un.

"Kim Jong Un's status is still unstable. Kim Jong Il appears to be trying to give the son a powerful means to strengthen his succession," Lee said. "Kim Jong Un could also get the credit for nuclear weapons development."

North Korea is already believed to have enough plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs.

North Korea says its nuclear program is a deterrent against the U.S., which it accuses of plotting to invade and topple its regime. Washington, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, has repeatedly denied having any such plans.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 01:34 AM
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And they wonder why we disapprove of their nuclear ambitions

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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North Korea withdraws from 1953 armistice and escalates nuclear tensions

North Korea threatens South Korea over US-led ship inspections after nuclear test | World news | guardian.co.uk

North Korea has declared itself no longer bound by the armistice that ended the Korean war more than half a century ago, and threatened to attack South Korea if it took part in US-led checks on vessels suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

The belligerent talk was accompanied by Pyongyang's test-firing of two short-range missiles, bringing to five the number launched since its nuclear test on Monday. There were also reports that North Korea had begun operating its nuclear reprocessing plant at Yongbyon, which is capable of producing enough plutonium to make a bomb a year.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said Pyongyang would face "consequences" because of its moves, while South Korea responded to the sudden deterioration in mood by joining a US programme aimed at preventing the smuggling of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

But a North Korean army spokesman warned its adversaries against forced maritime inspections, saying: "Any hostile act against our peaceful vessels, including search and seizure, will be considered an unpardonable infringement of our sovereignty and we will immediately respond with a powerful military strike."

North Korea also accused the US of "dragging" South Korea into the naval inspections programme as part of its "hostile policy" against Pyongyang, adding that it could not guarantee the safety of South Korean and US naval vessels sailing near the disputed Korean sea border, known as the Northern Limit Line.

The rising tensions have focused international attention on the maritime boundary in the Yellow Sea, which North Korea has not recognised since it was unilaterally set in 1953. There were naval skirmishes along the line in 1999 and 2002, and South Korean officials warn that any attempt by Pyongyang to turn its rhetoric into more marine incursions would lead to rapid and overwhelming response.

North Korea has an army of more than 1.1 million, but most of its conventional equipment is Soviet era and in poor condition, lacking spare parts and often fuel.

"It's very similar to Saddam Hussein's army at its peak," said John Hemmings, an expert at the Royal United Services Institute. But he added that North Korea had an estimated 60,000 special forces, skilled in infiltration and asymmetric warfare, capable of causing havoc behind the lines.

However, Hemmings played down the possibility of a serious military confrontation, suggesting that the nuclear test and rhetorical bluster of the past few days were primarily the consequence of a behind-the-scenes struggle to succeed the ailing dictator Kim Jong-Il.

"I genuinely believe they are obsessed with succession, trying to scare everyone into backing away while they sort it out," he said.

Negotiations were underway in New York yesterday on a Security Council resolution to punish North Korea for its nuclear test, but there were differences among the permanent members on how far new sanctions should go, with Russia and China urging caution. Diplomats predicted the talks could continue into next week.

Siegfried Hecker, a co-director of Stanford University's Centre for International Security and Cooperation who has made several visits to North Korea's nuclear facilities, said the nuclear test appeared to be aimed at fixing problems Pyongyang's technicians encountered in their first test in October 2006.

"Just on the basis of seismic measurements and estimates of the geology, the explosive force was two to four kilotons. The one thing we do know for sure that it was stronger than the last one," Hecker said. The 2006 test produced a yield of less than one kiloton. By comparison, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945 had a yield of 21 kilotons.

"My view is that this gives them much more confidence in whatever arsenal they have. But it's still just one initial step in the direction of a nuclear tipped missile, and they still need a reliable missile to deliver the warhead. They have a lot of work to do on the missile and a lot of work on miniaturisation."

North Korea would have to conduct additional tests to develop a warhead small enough to put on top of a missile, but it has a very limited amount of plutonium – estimated to be enough for about eight warheads, together with enough spent uranium fuel to make another warhead after reprocessing.

Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, quoted an unnamed official source as saying that US spy satellites had spotted steam rising from the main Yongbyon reprocessing plant, capable of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods to make weapons-grade plutonium.

To supply the plant with more spent uranium fuel, the North Koreans would also have to restart the reactor at Yongbyon, rebuilding the cooling tower it demolished as a dramatic concession last June, and that could take from six months to a year, experts said.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 02:26 PM
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We should turn France loose on them!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 02:41 PM
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We should turn France loose on them!
Better, still...Yemen! Or maybe use Somali pirates to stop the NoKo ships. Two birds with one stone and all that!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 03:12 PM
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I know I am not suppose to bring this up but I somehow thought that all that tough cowboy diplomacy over the past eight years, the "Axis of Evil" shit and all that, including the removal from the Terrorist List back in October 2008 was suppose to have kept L'il Kim back on his ass, contained.

From the looks of things, that is just one other on the big assed list of things that didn't work out quite as planned.


Who would have thunk it?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 04:06 PM
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Worked well until 0 wanted a group hug. Now Lil Kim is testing The Big 0 just like Joe said. Also worked well in Iran with the extended hand.

Speaking of better diplomacy, how are our former friends in France, Britain, and Israel?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 04:23 PM
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Worked well until 0 wanted a group hug. Now Lil Kim is testing The Big 0 just like Joe said. Also worked well in Iran with the extended hand.
No it wasn’t, you partisan jackass – you can’t fix 8 years of incompetence in under six months. The was a bad situation made worse by your former president.

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Speaking of better diplomacy, how are our former friends in France, Britain, and Israel?
Better, happier, and much, much relieved friends now that the idiot Bush is gone.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 04:40 PM
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