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BlueAngel
05-28-2009, 06:35 PM
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BlueAngel
05-28-2009, 06:36 PM
Gates: No reason to build up US troops in Korea - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090528/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/as_gates_nkorea)

Gates: No reason to build up US troops in Korea

FOX News By LARA JAKES, Associated Press Writer Lara Jakes,
Associated Press Writer 27 mins ago

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY JET While worrisome, North Korea's nuclear and missile tests have not reached a crisis level that would warrant additional U.S. troops in the region, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

Gates, flying to Singapore to meet with Asian defense ministers, said he has not seen any moves by North Korea's military that would prompt the United States to add to the roughly 28,000 troops already in South Korea. He said any military actions would need to be decided upon, and carried out, by broad international agreement.

"I don't think that anybody in the (Obama) administration thinks there is a crisis," Gates told reporters aboard his military jet early Friday morning, still Thursday night in Washington.

"What we do have, though, are two new developments that are very provocative, that are aggressive, accompanied by very aggressive rhetoric," he said. "And I think it brings home the reality of the challenge that North Korea poses to the region and to the international community."

Gates appeared to try to tamp down some of the tough rhetoric that has flown between Washington and Pyongyang this week, since North Korea said it successfully detonated a nuclear device in its northeast on Monday and followed with a series of short-range missile launches.

Gates also cited a silver lining of the situation: an opportunity to build stronger ties with the Chinese government.

"Just based on what the Chinese government has said publicly, they've clearly pretty unhappy about the nuclear test in particular, and they weren't very happy about the missile test either," Gates said. "And my impression is they were surprised by the nuclear test. And so, as I say, I think there may be some opportunities here."

He added: "I don't want to put the burden solely on China, because the reality is that while China has more influence than anybody else on North Korea, I believe that that influence has its limits. But it is important for the Chinese to be a part of any effort to try to deal with these issues with North Korea."

In what the Pentagon called a first for a U.S. defense chief, Gates was to meet with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts at the two-day Singapore conference. He also was to meet briefly with the head of China's military.

Gates said North Korea would likely dominate the Singapore discussions and hinted that additional economic or military sanctions might be put on Pyongyang as punishment for the tests. But he said that any sanctions should impact the communist government and not its citizens, whom he said have already suffered "enough damage" by their leaders.

He cited North Korean exports of missile and nuclear technology as a top worry, and said the United Nations, and Russia and China in particular, need to be part of any efforts to curb them.

theconspiracist
06-01-2009, 06:24 AM
I believe, just like Iran, North Korea has been quite a "thorn" in US's side. They intentionally want publicity, and that is all it is. They know how to get the attention from those who opposes the idea of nuclear arms. I wouldn't doubt for a moment Cuba and/or Venzula are in the act, as well. Meaning, they are secretly helping the North Koreans build a more powerful nuclear (or the Doomsday Bomb) bomb, to be later launched.

BlueAngel
06-01-2009, 08:08 PM
I believe, just like Iran, North Korea has been quite a "thorn" in US's side. They intentionally want publicity, and that is all it is. They know how to get the attention from those who opposes the idea of nuclear arms. I wouldn't doubt for a moment Cuba and/or Venzula are in the act, as well. Meaning, they are secretly helping the North Koreans build a more powerful nuclear (or the Doomsday Bomb) bomb, to be later launched.

North Korea has been an ISOLATED country for decades.

When one is isolated from the world; one looks for attention.

I do not condone North Korea's actions.

I can; however, understand why you believe the "illusion" that North Korea is a thorn in America's side.

If memory serves me correctly, and I believe that it does, the American people were told that Iraq posed a NUCLEAR threat and this was one of the reasons presented as justification for the invasion of that country.

BlueAngel
06-14-2009, 10:51 PM
North Korea just PROMISED a nuclear war.

How come?

BlueAngel
06-16-2009, 10:21 PM
Obama has declared that North Korea poses a grave threat.

BlueAngel
06-17-2009, 09:11 PM
First, it was Iran who posed a threat.

Now it's North Korea.

It's like the early 60's again.

Will the children in our country soon find themselves hiding under their desks in preparation for a nuclear attack?

Russia, China urge North Korea to return to talks - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_koreas_nuclear)

Russia, China urge North Korea to return to talks

AP - By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer – Wed, Jun 17, 2009

4:24 pm ET

MOSCOW – Russia and China urged North Korea on Wednesday to return to the negotiating table on the fate of its rogue nuclear programs — an unusual joint appeal from two Security Council members who have resisted more punitive U.S. measures against Pyongyang.

The appeal, which also expressed "serious concern" about tensions on Korean peninsula, came just hours after North Korea warned of a "thousand-fold" military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoked. The United States, meanwhile, called on Pyongyang to stop its saber-rattling and negotiate.

The fact that the Chinese and Russian leaders used their meetings in Moscow to jointly pressure North Korea appeared to be a signal that Moscow and Beijing are growing impatient with Pyongyang's stubbornness. Northeastern China and Russia's Far East both border North Korea and Pyongyang's unpredictable actions have raised concern in both countries.

And with both Washington and Pyongyang exchanging near daily rhetorical salvos, Russia and China appeared to be positioning themselves as moderators in the dispute.

After meetings at the Kremlin, Chinese President Hu Jintao joined Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in urging a peaceful resolution of the Korean standoff and the "swiftest renewal" of the now-frozen talks involving their countries as well as North and South Korea, Japan and the United States.

"Russia and China are ready to foster the lowering of tension in Northeast Asia and call for the continuation of efforts by all sides to resolve disagreements through peaceful means, through dialogue and consultations," the statement said.

The comments — contained in a lengthy statement that discussed a host of other global issues — included no new initiatives, but it appeared to be carefully worded to avoid provoking Pyongyang. In remarks after their meetings, Medvedev made only a brief reference to North Korea and Hu did not mention it.

Hours earlier, North Korea reacted angrily to President Barack Obama's declaration that North Korea was a "grave threat" to the world. Obama spoke during a summit with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Washington.

"If the U.S. and its followers infringe upon our republic's sovereignty even a bit, our military and people will launch a one hundred- or one thousand-fold retaliation with merciless military strike," the government-run Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary.

Both China and Russia long resisted efforts by Washington to impose stricter sanctions or other punitive measures on North Korea. But after North Korea conducted a second nuclear test May 25 in defiance of the United Nations, Beijing and Moscow joined with the United States and other Security Council members in passing new tough sanctions.

Those measures include an expanded arms embargo, authorizing ship searches if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the vessels are carrying banned weapons and material to make nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and urging all countries and financial institutions to stop financing North Korea's nuclear program.

China's enforcement of the sanctions is seen as crucial. Still, critics say the measures will not stop North Korea from trying to trade weapons with rogue nations or bite too deeply into its already crumbling economy.

Moscow was one of North Korea's strongest backers during the Cold War, providing Pyongyang with military and economic aid for years. Those ties withered after the 1991 Soviet collapse, leaving China as the only country with any real clout with Pyongyang.

In recent years, however, Moscow has sought to re-nurture those relations with the reclusive regime.

Russia has said North Korea is not solely to blame for the breakdown of the six-nation talks, suggesting the United States, South Korea and Japan also must share responsibility.

Japanese and South Korean news reports said North Korea was preparing another site to test-fire a missile that experts say could be capable of striking the United States.

In Vienna, senior delegates of the U.S. and other countries discussed the situation Wednesday with the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The lead U.S. envoy, Geoffrey Pyatt, excoriated the North for abandoning the six-party negotiations.

"We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state," Pyatt said, according to a statement. "We believe it is in North Korea's own best interests to return to serious negotiations."

Diplomats inside the closed meeting of the IAEA said three of the North's interlocutors — China, Japan, Russia — also criticized Pyongyang's nuclear defiance and urged it to return to talks, along with the European Union and Canada.

North Korea, which conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, is believed to have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs. It disclosed last week that it also is producing enriched uranium, the other pathway to the production of fissile material for nuclear warheads.

___

Associated Press writers Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Kelly Olsen in Seoul, George Jahn in Vienna and Steve Gutterman in Moscow contributed to this report.

Darth Cacodaemon
06-18-2009, 01:22 PM
First, it was Iran who posed a threat.

Now it's North Korea.

It's like the early 60's again.

Will the children in our country soon find themselves hiding under their desks in preparation for a nuclear attack?

Russia, China urge North Korea to return to talks - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_koreas_nuclear)

Russia, China urge North Korea to return to talks

AP - By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer – Wed, Jun 17, 2009

4:24 pm ET

MOSCOW – Russia and China urged North Korea on Wednesday to return to the negotiating table on the fate of its rogue nuclear programs — an unusual joint appeal from two Security Council members who have resisted more punitive U.S. measures against Pyongyang.

The appeal, which also expressed "serious concern" about tensions on Korean peninsula, came just hours after North Korea warned of a "thousand-fold" military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoked. The United States, meanwhile, called on Pyongyang to stop its saber-rattling and negotiate.

The fact that the Chinese and Russian leaders used their meetings in Moscow to jointly pressure North Korea appeared to be a signal that Moscow and Beijing are growing impatient with Pyongyang's stubbornness. Northeastern China and Russia's Far East both border North Korea and Pyongyang's unpredictable actions have raised concern in both countries.

And with both Washington and Pyongyang exchanging near daily rhetorical salvos, Russia and China appeared to be positioning themselves as moderators in the dispute.

After meetings at the Kremlin, Chinese President Hu Jintao joined Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in urging a peaceful resolution of the Korean standoff and the "swiftest renewal" of the now-frozen talks involving their countries as well as North and South Korea, Japan and the United States.

"Russia and China are ready to foster the lowering of tension in Northeast Asia and call for the continuation of efforts by all sides to resolve disagreements through peaceful means, through dialogue and consultations," the statement said.

The comments — contained in a lengthy statement that discussed a host of other global issues — included no new initiatives, but it appeared to be carefully worded to avoid provoking Pyongyang. In remarks after their meetings, Medvedev made only a brief reference to North Korea and Hu did not mention it.

Hours earlier, North Korea reacted angrily to President Barack Obama's declaration that North Korea was a "grave threat" to the world. Obama spoke during a summit with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Washington.

"If the U.S. and its followers infringe upon our republic's sovereignty even a bit, our military and people will launch a one hundred- or one thousand-fold retaliation with merciless military strike," the government-run Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary.

Both China and Russia long resisted efforts by Washington to impose stricter sanctions or other punitive measures on North Korea. But after North Korea conducted a second nuclear test May 25 in defiance of the United Nations, Beijing and Moscow joined with the United States and other Security Council members in passing new tough sanctions.

Those measures include an expanded arms embargo, authorizing ship searches if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the vessels are carrying banned weapons and material to make nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and urging all countries and financial institutions to stop financing North Korea's nuclear program.

China's enforcement of the sanctions is seen as crucial. Still, critics say the measures will not stop North Korea from trying to trade weapons with rogue nations or bite too deeply into its already crumbling economy.

Moscow was one of North Korea's strongest backers during the Cold War, providing Pyongyang with military and economic aid for years. Those ties withered after the 1991 Soviet collapse, leaving China as the only country with any real clout with Pyongyang.

In recent years, however, Moscow has sought to re-nurture those relations with the reclusive regime.

Russia has said North Korea is not solely to blame for the breakdown of the six-nation talks, suggesting the United States, South Korea and Japan also must share responsibility.

Japanese and South Korean news reports said North Korea was preparing another site to test-fire a missile that experts say could be capable of striking the United States.

In Vienna, senior delegates of the U.S. and other countries discussed the situation Wednesday with the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The lead U.S. envoy, Geoffrey Pyatt, excoriated the North for abandoning the six-party negotiations.

"We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state," Pyatt said, according to a statement. "We believe it is in North Korea's own best interests to return to serious negotiations."

Diplomats inside the closed meeting of the IAEA said three of the North's interlocutors — China, Japan, Russia — also criticized Pyongyang's nuclear defiance and urged it to return to talks, along with the European Union and Canada.

North Korea, which conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, is believed to have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs. It disclosed last week that it also is producing enriched uranium, the other pathway to the production of fissile material for nuclear warheads.

___

Associated Press writers Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Kelly Olsen in Seoul, George Jahn in Vienna and Steve Gutterman in Moscow contributed to this report.


War is the crucible that erases weakness. It is unfortunate that we need war to do so, but if we did not have a mechanism for the trial of wills to happen, the weak would grow like weeds, taking from the strong.
Let war come! The strong in heart and mind will survive; the moron, the weak fool, the naive cretin will perish. In fact, life is war.
The truth is from the very start, life has been war. The crafty, the strong, the patient and the vicious have survived to pass their genes on to their grateful descendants. In contrast, fools were destroyed, thus buiding a more hearty and strong humanity. This conflict can only be good, as it will test everyone, rewarding those with the will and heart to survive.
You seem to think that life is some kind of happy, tree-hugger utopia, BlueAngel. Life is, and always will be, a nasty piece of work with each human at war with his neighbor, seeking his own good. It is from the maelstrom of this war that new ideas are born, nations rise and fall and new cultures take hold. War tests all things, and that which can not survive and adapt perishes, a good thing.

BlueAngel
06-18-2009, 01:26 PM
War is the crucible that erases weakness. It is unfortunate that we need war to do so, but if we did not have a mechanism for the trial of wills to happen, the weak would grow like weeds, taking from the strong.
Let war come! The strong in heart and mind will survive; the moron, the weak fool, the naive cretin will perish. In fact, life is war.
The truth is from the very start, life has been war. The crafty, the strong, the patient and the vicious have survived to pass their genes on to their grateful descendants. In contrast, fools were destroyed, thus buiding a more hearty and strong humanity. This conflict can only be good, as it will test everyone, rewarding those with the will and heart to survive.
You seem to think that life is some kind of happy, tree-hugger utopia, BlueAngel. Life is, and always will be, a nasty piece of work with each human at war with his neighbor, seeking his own good. It is from the maelstrom of this war that new ideas are born, nations rise and fall and new cultures take hold. War tests all things, and that which can not survive and adapt perishes, a good thing.

Your interpretation of me is inaccurate, as per usual.

BlueAngel
06-18-2009, 08:04 PM
Officials: US tracking suspicious ship from NKorea - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090619/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_us_nkorea)

Officials: US tracking suspicious ship from NKorea

FOX News

By ANNE GEARAN and PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writers

36 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The U.S. military is tracking a ship from North Korea that may be carrying illicit weapons, the first vessel monitored under tougher new United Nations rules meant to rein in and punish the communist government following a nuclear test, officials said Thursday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he has ordered additional protections for Hawaii just in case North Korea launches a long-range missile over the Pacific Ocean.

The suspect ship could become a test case for interception of the North's ships at sea, something the North has said it would consider an act of war.

Officials said the U.S. is monitoring the voyage of the North Korean-flagged Kang Nam, which left port in North Korea on Wednesday. On Thursday, it was traveling in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of China, two officials said on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.

What the Kang Nam was carrying was not known, but the ship has been involved in weapons proliferation, one of the officials said.

The ship is among a group that is watched regularly but is the only one believed to have cargo that could potentially violate the U.N. resolution, the official said.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen did not specifically confirm that the U.S. was monitoring the ship when he was asked about it at a Pentagon news conference Thursday.

"We intend to vigorously enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 to include options, to include, certainly, hail and query," Mullen said. "If a vessel like this is queried and doesn't allow a permissive search," he noted, it can be directed into port.

The Security Council resolution calls on all 192 U.N. member states to inspect vessels on the high seas "if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo" contains banned weapons or material to make them, and if approval is given by the country whose flag the ship sails under.

If the country refuses to give approval, it must direct the vessel "to an appropriate and convenient port for the required inspection by the local authorities."

The resolution does not authorize the use of force. But if a country refuses to order a vessel to a port for inspection, it would be in violation of the resolution and the country licensing the vessel would face possible sanctions by the Security Council.

Gates, speaking at the same news conference, said the Pentagon is concerned about the possibility of a North Korean missile launch "in the direction of Hawaii."

Gates told reporters at the Pentagon he has sent the military's ground-based mobile missile system to Hawaii, and positioned a radar system nearby. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight.

"We are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect Americans and American territory," Gates said.

A Japanese newspaper reported Thursday that North Korea might fire its most advanced ballistic missile toward Hawaii around the Fourth of July holiday.

A new missile launch — though not expected to reach U.S. territory — would be a brazen slap in the face of the international community, which punished North Korea with new U.N. sanctions for conducting a second nuclear test on May 25 in defiance of a U.N. ban.

North Korea spurned the U.N. Security Council resolution with threats of war and pledges to expand its nuclear bomb-making program.

The missile now being readied in the North is believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles and would be launched from North Korea's Dongchang-ni site on the northwestern coast, the Yomiuri newspaper said. It cited an analysis by Japan's Defense Ministry and intelligence gathered by U.S. reconnaissance satellites.

BlueAngel
06-24-2009, 08:24 PM
NKorea threatens US as world anticipates missile - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090624/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear)

NKorea threatens US; world anticipates missile

By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer 13 mins ago

SEOUL, South Korea North Korea threatened Wednesday to wipe the United States off the map as Washington and its allies watched for signs the regime will launch a series of missiles in the coming days.

Off China's coast, a U.S. destroyer was tailing a North Korean ship suspected of transporting illicit weapons to Myanmar in what could be the first test of U.N. sanctions passed to punish the nation for an underground nuclear test last month.

The Kang Nam left the North Korean port of Nampo a week ago with the USS John S. McCain close behind. The ship, accused of transporting banned goods in the past, is believed bound for Myanmar, according to South Korean and U.S. officials.

The new U.N. Security Council resolution requires member states to seek permission to inspect suspicious cargo. North Korea has said it would consider interception a declaration of war and on Wednesday accused the U.S. of seeking to provoke another Korean War.

"If the U.S. imperialists start another war, the army and people of Korea will ... wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all," the official Korean Central News Agency said.

The warning came on the eve of the 59th anniversary of the start of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula in state of war.

The U.S. has 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect against an outbreak of hostilities.

Tensions have been high since North Korea launched a long-range rocket in April and then conducted its second underground atomic test on May 25.

Reacting to U.N. condemnation of that test, North Korea walked away from nuclear disarmament talks and warned it would fire a long-range missile.

North Korea has banned ships from the waters off its east coast starting Thursday through July 10 for military exercises, Japan's Coast Guard said.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday that the North may fire a Scud missile with a range of up to 310 miles (500 kilometers) or a short-range ground-to-ship missile with a range of 100 miles (160 kilometers) during the no-sail period.

A senior South Korean government official said the no-sail ban is believed connected to North Korean plans to fire short- or mid-range missiles. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

U.S. defense and counterproliferation officials in Washington said they also expected the North to launch short- to medium-range missiles. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

South Korea will expedite the introduction of high-tech unmanned aerial surveillance systems and "bunker-buster" bombs in response to North Korea's provocations, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said, citing unidentified ruling party members.

Meanwhile, a flurry of diplomatic efforts were under way to try getting North Korea to return to disarmament talks.

Russia's top nuclear envoy, Alexei Borodavkin, said after meeting with his South Korean counterpart that Moscow is open to other formats for discussion since Pyongyang has pulled out of formal six-nation negotiations.

In Beijing, top U.S. and Chinese defense officials also discussed North Korea. U.S. Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy was heading next to Tokyo and Seoul for talks.

South Korea has proposed high-level "consultations" to discuss North Korea with the U.S., Russia, China and Japan.

___

Associated Press writers Jae-soon Chang in Seoul; Pauline Jelinek, Pamela Hess and Lolita Baldor in Washington and Min Lee in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

BlueAngel
06-24-2009, 10:08 PM
NKorea warns of 'fire shower of nuclear' attack - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090625/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear)

NKorea warns of 'fire shower of nuclear' attack

AP By JAE-SOON CHANG, Associated Press Writer Jae-soon Chang, Associated Press Writer 12 mins ago

SEOUL, South Korea North Korea condemned a recent U.S. pledge to provide nuclear defense of South Korea, saying Thursday that the move boosts its justification to have atomic bombs and invites a potential "fire shower of nuclear retaliation."

The commentary in Pyongyang's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper was the North's latest reaction to last week's summit between President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. The allies issued a joint statement committing the U.S. to defend the South with nuclear weapons.

It also came as an American destroyer trailed a North Korean ship suspected of shipping weapons in violation of a U.N. resolution punishing Pyongyang's May 25 nuclear test, and as anticipation mounted that the North might test-fire short- or mid-range missiles in the coming days.

The North's newspaper claimed that the "nuclear umbrella" commitment made it more likely for the U.S. to mount a nuclear attack on the communist North, and only "provides us with a stronger justification to have nuclear deterrent."

It also amounts to "asking for the calamitous situation of having a fire shower of nuclear retaliation all over South Korea" in case of a conflict, the paper said.

North Korea has long claimed that the U.S. is plotting to invade it and has used the claim to justify its development of nuclear weapons. The U.S. has repeatedly said it has no intention of attacking the North.

In a separate editorial marking the 1950 outbreak of the Korean War, the Rodong said the North "will never give up nuclear deterrent ... and will further strengthen it" as long as Washington remains hostile.

The war ended in 1952 with a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided and in a state of war. The U.S. has 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect against hostilities.

Ties between the two Koreas warmed significantly after the first-ever summit of their leaders in 2000, but relations soured after the conservative Lee took office last year.

The Rodong called Lee a "hound" of the U.S. "master" in Thursday's commentary.

The new U.N. resolution seeks to clamp down on North Korea's trading of banned arms and weapons-related material by requiring U.N. member states to request inspections of ships carrying suspected cargo.

North Korea has said it would consider interception of its ships a declaration of war.

The U.S. has been seeking to get key nations to enforce the sanctions aggressively. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the foreign ministers of Russia and China to discuss efforts to enforce the U.N. punishments, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

The Kang Nam is believed to be the first North Korean ship to be tracked under the resolution. It left the North Korean port of Nampo a week ago and is believed bound for Myanmar, South Korean and U.S. officials said.

Myanmar state television on Wednesday evening said another North Korean vessel was expected to pick up a load of rice and that the government had no information about the Kang Nam.

A senior U.S. defense official said Wednesday that the ship had already cleared the Taiwan Strait.

He said he didn't know how much range the Kang Nam has whether or when it may need to stop in some port to refuel but that the ship has in the past stopped in Hong Kong's port.

Another U.S. defense official said he tended to doubt reports that the Kang Nam was carrying nuclear-related equipment, saying the information officials have received seems to indicate the cargo is conventional munitions.

The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing intelligence.

The U.S. and its allies have not decided whether to contact and request inspection of the ship, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday. He said he didn't believe a decision would come soon.

Reports about possible missile launches from the North highlighted the tension on the Korean peninsula.

The North has designated a no-sail zone off its east coast from June 25 to July 10 for military drills.

A senior South Korean government official said the ban is believed connected to North Korean plans to fire short- or mid-range missiles. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that the North may fire a Scud missile with a range of up to 310 miles (500 kilometers) or a short-range ground-to-ship missile with a range of 100 miles (160 kilometers) during the no-sail period.

U.S. defense and counterproliferation officials in Washington said they also expected the North to launch short- to medium-range missiles. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

North Korea had warned previously it would fire a long-range missile as a response to U.N. Security Council condemnation of an April rocket launch seen as a cover for its ballistic missile technology.

___

Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul and Pauline Jelinek, Pamela Hess and Lolita Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.

BlueAngel
06-25-2009, 12:49 PM
North Korea test fired some missiles from what we were told.

The UN sanctioned North Korea for these actions.

Obviously, North Korea knew this would be the outcome.

So, why did they supposedly test fire missiles?

Because they wanted to receive more sanctions?

North Korea now threatens with nuclear war.

Why?

Because they were sanctioned for test firing missiles?

They knew this would be the outcome.

Who and what is provoking them into presenting themselves as an imminent threat of danger?

BlueAngel
06-25-2009, 08:20 PM
NKorea vows nuke attack if provoked by US - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_koreas_nuclear)

NKorea vows nuke attack if provoked by US

KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer Thu Jun 25, 6:30 pm ET

SEOUL, South Korea Punching their fists into the air and shouting "Let's crush them!" some 100,000 North Koreans packed Pyongyang's main square Thursday for an anti-U.S. rally as the communist regime promised a "fire shower of nuclear retaliation" for any American-led attack.

Several demonstrators held up a placard depicting a pair of hands smashing a missile with "U.S." written on it, according to footage taken by APTN in Pyongyang on the anniversary of the day North Korean troops charged southward, sparking the three-year Korean War in 1950.

North Korean troops will respond to any sanctions or U.S. provocations with "an annihilating blow," one senior official vowed a pointed threat as an American destroyer shadowed a North Korean freighter sailing off China's coast, possibly with banned goods on board.

A new U.N. Security Council resolution passed recently to punish North Korea for conducting an underground nuclear test in May requires U.N. member states to request inspections of ships suspected of carrying arms or nuclear weapons-related material.

In response to the sanctions, the North pulled out of nuclear talks and has ramped up already strident anti-American rhetoric. And the isolated regime may now be moving to openly flout the resolution by dispatching a ship suspected of carrying arms to Myanmar.

While it was not clear what was on board the North Korean-flagged Kang Nam 1, officials have mentioned artillery and other conventional weaponry. One intelligence expert suspected missiles.

The U.S. and its allies have made no decision on whether to request inspection of the ship, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday in Washington, but North Korea has said it would consider any interception an act of war.

If permission for inspection is refused, the ship must dock at a port of its choosing so local authorities can check its cargo. Vessels suspected of carrying banned goods must not be offered bunkering services at port, such as fuel, the resolution says.

A senior U.S. defense official said the ship had cleared the Taiwan Strait. He said he didn't know whether or when the Kang Nam may need to stop in some port to refuel, but that the Kang Nam has in the past stopped in Hong Kong's port.

Another U.S. defense official said he tended to doubt reports that the Kang Nam was carrying nuclear-related equipment, saying information seems to indicate the cargo is banned conventional munitions. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to talk about intelligence.

North Korea is suspected to have transported banned goods to Myanmar before on the Kang Nam, said Bertil Lintner, a Bangkok-based North Korea expert who has written a book about leader Kim Jong Il.

Pyongyang also has been helping the junta in Yangon build up its weapons arsenal, a South Korean intelligence expert said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The two countries have not always been on good terms. Ties were severed in 1983 after a fatal bombing during the South Korean president's visit to Myanmar blamed on North Korean commandoes.

They held secret talks in Bangkok in the 1990s to discuss the lone survivor among the three North Korean commandos involved in the bombing, and since have forged close relations.

The two regimes, among Asia's most repressive, restored diplomatic ties in 2007. Not long after that, in April 2007, the Kang Nam docked at Thilawa port saying it needed shelter from bad weather.

But one expert said reports show the weather was clear then, and two local journalists working for a foreign news agency who went to write about the unusual docking were arrested.

"The Kang Nam unloaded a lot of heavy equipment in 2007," Lintner said. "Obviously, the ship was carrying something very sensitive at that time as well."

North Korea has also helped Myanmar dig tunnels in recent years, said Lintner, adding that the cash-strapped North may have received rice, rubber and minerals in return for its military and other assistance.

"North Korea appears to have exported conventional weapons to Myanmar in exchange for food," another expert said.

Pyongyang is believed to have transported digging equipment to Myanmar, which is seeking to make its new capital a fortress with vast underground facilities, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.

North Korea has been locked in a tense standoff with Washington and other regional powers over its nuclear program. In April, the regime launched a rocket widely seen as a cover for a test of long-range missile technology a move that drew U.N. Security Council condemnation.

The North responded by abandoning six-nation disarmament talks and threatening to carry out nuclear tests and fire intercontinental ballistic missiles. The North is believed to be developing a long-range missile designed to strike the U.S. but experts say it has not figured out how to mount a bomb onto the missile.

On Thursday, Pyongyang vowed to enlarge its atomic arsenal and warned of a "fire shower of nuclear retaliation" if provoked by the U.S.

North Korea's "armed forces will deal an annihilating blow that is unpredictable and unavoidable, to any 'sanctions' or provocations by the US," Pak Pyong Jong, first vice chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee, told the crowd gathered for the Korean War anniversary rally.

In Seoul, some 5,000 people mostly American and South Korean veterans and war widows also commemorated the anniversary at a ceremony.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said the nation is prepared to counter any type of threat or provocation.

"The South Korean government is firmly determined to defend the lives and wealth of its people and will do its utmost to find the remains of troops killed in the Korean War," he said at the ceremony.

The two Koreas technically remain in a state of war because the conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

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Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim and Jae-soon Chang in Seoul, and Pauline Jelinek in Washington, contributed to this report.