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Posts Tagged ‘N.Korean’

US, S.Korea plan war games after N.Korean attack

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:20 am

The United States and South Korea stand “shoulder to shoulder” in their response to a deadly North Korean artillery bombardment and will soon stage combined war games, the White House said.


In their first joint response to Tuesday’s attack on a South Korean border island, presidents Barack Obama and Lee Myung-Bak agreed on the military exercises, as pressure built on China to rein in its wayward ally.


South Korea, after decrying an “inhumane atrocity” against defenseless civilians, said it was suspending promised flood aid to North Korea, and has already called off talks on reuniting families split by the Korean War.


The attack on the Yellow Sea island of Yeonpyeong, which sent panicked civilians fleeing and depressed financial markets worldwide, has fueled anxiety about North Korea’s intentions after a new nuclear program came to light.

Destroyed houses on Yeonpyeong island after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells on November 23.

Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan called on China to use its “significant influence over North Korea” to tamp down the latest spasm of tensions on the divided peninsula.


A White House statement said Obama telephoned Lee to declare that the United States “stands shoulder to shoulder” with its ally South Korea, which is home to 28,500 US troops.


The two leaders agreed to hold “combined military exercises and enhanced training in the days ahead,” the statement said. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the two nations would start a naval exercise on Sunday.


The intention of the drills is to “continue the close security cooperation between our two countries, and to underscore the strength of our alliance and commitment to peace and security in the region,” the White House said.


The artillery fire killed two South Korean marines and wounded 15 more plus three civilians in one of the worst incidents since the 1950-53 war, sparking outrage in many newspapers in Seoul as the government was urged to hit back.


“A club is the only medicine for a mad dog,” the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said, calling the shelling a “war crime” that demanded a military riposte.


South Korea readied to deploy more artillery on Yeonpyeong, including extra K-9 self-propelled guns to replace shorter-range 105-mm howitzers, after officials said North Korea fired up to 170 artillery shells into its territory.


“We’re going to work with China, we’re going to work with all our six-party partners on a response,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, referring to an international group tackling North Korea’s nuclear drive.


The firing came after North Korea’s disclosure of an apparently operational uranium enrichment plant — a second potential way of building a nuclear bomb — which is causing serious alarm for the United States and its allies.


It also comes as North Korea prepares for an eventual dynastic succession from Kim Jong-Il to his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un. The expected transfer is fueling speculation about the opaque regime’s military and nuclear ambitions.


China — North Korea’s main ally and economic prop — has expressed “concern” over the shelling but not publicly criticized North Korea. Its media have given generally sympathetic coverage to Pyongyang’s version of events.


North Korea’s supreme command has accused South Korea of firing first, and vowed “merciless military attacks with no hesitation if the South Korean enemy dares to invade our sea territory by 0.001 mm”.


But the rest of the world has united in blaming North Korea, and China is under mounting pressure to intervene, despite its historic reluctance to do anything to destabilise the Stalinist regime in Pyongyang.


“We should ask China, which has significant influence over North Korea, to make efforts to jointly restrain North Korean actions,” Kan said at a Japanese cabinet task force meeting set up in response to the attack.

Australia called the “outrageously provocative” shelling a threat to the entire region’s stability and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said: “I believe it’s important now for China to bring all of its influence to bear on North Korea.”

Yeonpyeong lies just south of the border declared by UN forces after the war, but north of the sea border declared by Pyongyang. The Yellow Sea border was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and last November.

Tensions have been acute since the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March, which Seoul says was the result of a North Korean torpedo attack. Pyongyang has rejected the charge.

Source: SGGP

S.Korea conducts anti-missile training amid N.Korean warning

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 11:20 am

SEOUL, Aug 7, 2010 (AFP) – A major South Korean naval exercise went into its third day Saturday, the defence ministry said, as North Korea issued a fresh warning against what it termed “a prelude to a war of aggression”.


The drill far south of the disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea, was focused on defence against North Korea’s guided missiles and submarines, the ministry said.

A South Korean Marines K9 Thunder 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer fires during a military exercise in Baengnyeong Island, near the disputed Yellow Sea border between the two Koreas, on August 6, 2010. AFP

The exercise is one of a series planned in coming months in a show of force against the North, which the South blames for a deadly torpedo attack on one of its warships in March.


A total of 4,500 troops, backed by 29 ships and 50 aircraft, are being mobilised for the five-day drill.


“Some 20 Navy ships carried out anti-missile training in the Yellow Sea,” a military official was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.


Saturday’s drill included anti-aircraft and anti-submarine battles in the Yellow Sea as batteries stationed in an island near the sea border continued live-fire training.


Pyongyang has denied responsibility for the March sinking of the corvette Cheonan near the disputed sea border in the Yellow Sea. The incident killed 46 sailors and sharply raised tensions.


Its official daily Rodong Sinmun said on Saturday the naval exercise in the tense Yellow Sea was aimed at triggering an armed conflict to start a war of aggression.


“The anti-submarine exercise… is a prelude to a war of aggression against the North,” it said.


The North’s military has threatened “the most powerful” retaliation if the South triggers a conflict during the exercise.


“Our warning is not empty talk,” the paper said without elaborating.


This week’s manoeuvres came after South Korea and the United States last week carried out a massive joint naval and air drill in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).


The joint drill was relocated from the Yellow Sea separating China and the Korean peninsula after Beijing protested.


But Seoul and Washington said future drills would be held in both the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea.


Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said on Thursday future joint drills would once again involve the USS George Washington and the aircraft carrier would carry out exercises in the Yellow Sea.

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Source: SGGP

N.Korean leader on rare visit to China

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm


BEIJING, May 3, 2010 (AFP) – North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Il arrived in China on Monday, officials said, at a time of tension over the sinking of a South Korean warship.


Some analysts said the rare trip to North Korea’s sole major ally could reinvigorate stalled six-nation talks on dismantling Kim’s atomic programme. But mystery over the warship’s destruction clouds any hopes for early dialogue.


“Kim arrived at about five this morning,” said an official at the Friendship Bridge tourist site, at northeastern China’s Dandong border crossing with North Korea.


“We received a notice from the Public Security Bureau and the army that we should shut down tourist operations in the morning,” the official told AFP by telephone.


Rail officials in China’s Liaoning province also confirmed that a special train from North Korea crossed into the country early on Monday, but the Chinese foreign ministry refused immediate comment.

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Source: SGGP