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Thread: Korean Peninsula On The Brink Of War

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    Exclamation Korean Peninsula On The Brink Of War

    North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns
    North and South Korea are on the brink of war, a top Russian diplomat has warned, calling for both countries to exercise restraint and sit down for talks.

    September 24, 2010

    In Moscow's bleakest assessment of the situation on the Korean peninsula yet, Russian deputy foreign minister Alexei Borodavkin said tensions between the two countries were running at their highest and most dangerous level in a decade.

    "Tensions on the Korean Peninsula could not be any higher. The only next step is a conflict," he told foreign policy experts at a round table on the subject in Moscow.

    His prediction came two months after North Korea vowed to wage "a sacred war" against South Korea and its biggest backer, the United States.

    Tensions bubbled over in March after Washington and Seoul concluded that a North Korean submarine had sunk a South Korean naval vessel in the Yellow Sea. Mr Borodavkin called for the investigation into exactly who was responsible for the sinking of the vessel, the Cheonan, to be urgently closed in order to remove an obvious source of tension.

    Describing the standoff between the two Koreas as a "hangover from the Cold War," Mr Borodavkin said Russia, which is one of the six countries involved in talks with North Korea over its nuclear programme, was doing all it could to try to prevent an outbreak of hostilities.

    But he said responsibility for keeping peace in the volatile region was shared equally between North and South Korea. He condemned North Korea's nuclear testing programme but also criticised the way the United States and South Korea had increased their military manoeuvres in the wake of the sinking of the Cheonan.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Gosh, those crafty Russians! They are reading our site for their information!

    LOL
    Libertatem Prius!





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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N.Korea 'Gets Ready for Massive Show of Military Strength'

    The North Korean military is reportedly preparing for a massive parade featuring some 10,000 troops, new ballistic missiles, tanks and long-range artillery guns.

    A senior South Korean government source on Sunday said intelligence suggests the North has been preparing for the parade since July 12, when it gathered a large number of troops and a lot of equipment at Mirim Airport near Pyongyang.

    The parade is expected to be the biggest ever, with more than double the number of troops in the past, and mark the 65th anniversary of the Workers Party on Oct. 10, the source added.

    The weapons the North is preparing to display include various missiles, such as new intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a range of 3,000 to 4,000 km capable of reaching Guam, Rodong missiles with a range of 1,300 km, Scud missiles with a range of 300 to 500 km and new KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 120 km. Long-range artillery installed at areas near the demilitarized zone, including 240 mm multiple rocket launchers, which pose a threat to the Seoul metropolitan region, various kinds of tanks, and armored vehicles are also slated to take part.

    The aim is apparently to show off the regime's power as ailing leader Kim Jong-il tries to establish his son Jong-un as his heir in time with an extraordinary party congress slated for Tuesday and the 65th party anniversary.

    englishnews@chosun.com / Sep. 27, 2010 09:33 KST


    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    We won’t have to fight you."
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    North Korean leader's son named army general

    By Jack Kim and Jeremy Laurence Jack Kim And Jeremy Laurence 1 hr 47 mins ago



    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea's ailing leader Kim Jong-il has named his youngest son as a military general, state media said early on Tuesday, marking the first stage of a dynastic succession.

    It was the first time the 20-something Kim Jong-un had been mentioned by name in the North's media, and his appointment came just hours before the start of a rare ruling party meeting to elect its supreme leadership.

    Kim Jong-il, 68, is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but despite his declining health is not expected to go into retirement just yet, experts say. They say his son is too young and inexperienced to fully take the reins.

    State news agency KCNA said Kim had issued a directive bestowing military rank on six people including Jong-un, the leader's sister Kyong-hui and Choe Ryong-hae, who is considered a loyal aide of Kim and his family.

    Kim Jong-il "indicated in the directive that he ... confers the military titles to members of the Korean People's Army with the firm belief they will complete their honorable mission and duty on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea," the report said.

    Intelligence officials say the youngest son of the "Dear Leader" was identified last year as next in line to take power in a country which for years has been punished by international sanctions for trying to develop nuclear weapons.

    The son is believed to have been born in 1983 or 1984 but little is known about him, even by intensely secretive North Korean standards, beyond the sketchy information that he went to school in Switzerland and has been his father's favorite.

    Regional powers will be keeping close tabs on the Workers' Party conference, the biggest meeting of its kind for 30 years, for any signs of change which could have an impact on the destitute state's economic and foreign policies.

    Washington said it was too early to tell how the country's leadership may be evolving or how other nations should respond.

    "The United States is watching developments in North Korea carefully and we will be engaged with all of our partners in the Asia-Pacific region as we try to assess the meaning of what's transpiring there," Kurt Campbell, the top U.S. diplomat for the Asia-Pacific region, told reporters.

    Financial markets see the preferred outcome of the meeting as an approximate continuation of the current system. The biggest concern is any sign of collapse that could result in internal unrest, massive refugee flows and military exchanges.

    China and Japan are the world's number two and three economies and, with South Korea, account for close to 20 percent of global economic output. Instability on the Korean peninsula could have grave implications for the global economy.

    "Should the conference itself open the door for an orderly leadership change and in one way or another economic reform, we see a great deal of underlying, long-term economic benefit for a united Korean economy," said Goohoon Kwon, Korea economist and co-head of research at Goldman Sachs in Seoul.

    FAMILY AFFAIR
    At the last such party meeting three decades ago, Kim, then aged 38, embarked on the path to succeed his father Kim Il-sung, the state founder, by taking on a Workers' Party title.

    "It's striking that the big announcement coming out of a party conference is not a party position but a military position," said Marcus Noland, a North Korea expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

    "This attests to the centrality of the military in governing North Korea today," he said, adding this followed the pattern of his father's succession.

    By signaling the young Kim's rise, experts say North Korea is readying for a collective father-and-son leadership, which will cement the family's grip on power.

    In the event Kim Jong-il died suddenly, his son, by then identified as figurehead leader, would be surrounded by close family confidants who have been appointed to senior positions in the Workers' Party and military in recent months.

    Kim's appointment of his sister to a military role underlined his resolve to ensure a smooth transition, Noland said. "This is belt and suspenders, keeping it in the family to create another general in the family at the older generation to play some kind of regent role," he said.

    His uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, was also promoted to a powerful military post earlier this year, and analysts say he is most likely to act as his principal regent until the young Kim can build his own power base.

    The party meeting takes place at a time of great hardship for the impoverished North as it tries to work around U.N. sanctions -- adopted in 2006 and 2009 in response to Pyongyang's two nuclear tests -- and justify its pledge to become a "powerful and prosperous" nation by 2012.

    The North is hopelessly low in cash, and Kim's two visits to China this year were in part seen as bids for economic support. Exacerbating its problems, a botched currency reform last year triggered inflation and wiped out ordinary citizens' savings.

    The meeting comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity in the region after Pyongyang expressed readiness to return to nuclear disarmament talks, which have been in limbo since 2008 when the mercurial North walked out and said they were finished. China has hosted the on-again-off-again talks since they began in 2003.

    (Additional reporting by Michel le Nichols in New York, Paul Eckert in Washington and Brett Cole in Seoul)

    (Editing by Mark Trevelyan)


    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    So.... transition is about to begin.

    I suspect "20-something" "Un" will balk and walk.
    Libertatem Prius!





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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Oh damn! Shit just got real!



    North Korea Fires Rockets at Island
    November 23, 2010

    North Korea fired artillery rockets at South Korea's Yeonpyeong island Tuesday afternoon, setting houses on fire in its small villages, killing one South Korean Marine and injuring at least a dozen more.

    Photos sent to South Korean TV stations by residents of nearby So-yeonpyeong island showed multiple plumes of smoke rising over its larger neighbor.

    South Korea returned fire and one Marine died and at least 13 others were injured, military officials said. The military dispatched fighter jets to the area. A spokesman for South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said "scores of rounds" were fired by the North.

    "The whole neighborhood is on fire," said Na Young-ok, a 46-year-old woman who has lived on the island for 20 years. She was reached at a bomb shelter when reached by The Wall Street Journal. "I think countless houses are on fire, but no fire truck is coming. We have a fire station but the shots are intermittently coming."

    Ms. Na said a military base on the island was on fire. She said she was with about 50 people in the shelter and her child was in a similar shelter at the school on the island. She didn't know whether people were injured.

    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency meeting of defense and security-related agencies. He ordered senior officials to "carefully manage the situation to prevent the escalation of the clash," a spokeswoman said.

    Some units of the South Korean military had been training in waters near the two islands earlier and North Korea complained this week about the exercise, the spokeswoman said. "We're examining a possible link" between the complaint and the attack, the spokeswoman said.

    The artillery—more than 50 rounds, according to island residents speaking on South Korea's YTN television—was fired from positions south of the North Korean city of Haeju.
    Korean Tensions

    The attack started at 2:34 p.m. local time. Electricity was cut off on the island and people moved to bomb shelters, residents told YTN.

    About 1,200 people live on the island, which is just 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles, south of the tip of North Korea's south coast.

    The attack is the second by North Korea this year against South Korea in the disputed maritime border area of the Yellow Sea. In March, a North Korean submarine torpedoed and sank a South Korean warship near an island about west of the island that was hit on Tuesday.

    The Yeonpyeong islands are the eastern-most of five small islands that within close-firing range of North Korea. All are just a few kilometers away from the maritime border known in Sotuh Korea as the Northern Limit Line, or NLL, that was drawn up by the United Nations after the end of the Korean War in 1953.

    The North has objected to the line since the early 1970s, arguing in part that the line forces its ships to take lengthy detours to international shipping lanes. Its objections intensified in the 1990s and led to two deadly skirmishes in the area in 1999 and 2002.

    In 2007, leaders of the two Koreas agreed to turn the area into a "peace zone." That vaguely-worded agreement was struck just ahead of a South Korean election by an outgoing government and never implemented. It was interpreted in North Korea as erasing the maritime border and in the South as keeping it.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Okay, from what I've gathered, (as of when the story first popped up) 70-80 houses on fire, dozens injured, SK returned fire, SK and NK scrambling jets.


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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    South Korea returns fire after communist North fires dozens of artillery rounds into populated island
    November 23, 2010

    South Korea has scrambled F-16 fighter jets and returned fire after North Korea shot dozens of rounds of artillery on to a populated South Korean island near the countries' western border.

    Shells fell on Yeonpyeong island, injuring two civilians and wounding four soldiers. Several houses are also on fire.

    Between 1,200 and 1,300 people live on the island. TV pictures showed black and white smoke rising from the island.

    South Korea has issued its highest non-wartime alert in response.

    A South Korean official said dozens of rounds of artillery landed on Yeonpyeong and that South Korea had fired back.

    The firing comes amid tension over North Korea's claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility.

    The countries' western maritime boundary has long been a flashpoint between the two Koreas.

    The North does not recognise the border that was unilaterally drawn by the United Nations at the close of the 1950-53 Korean War.

    It was close to there in April that the Cheonan, the South Korean naval corvette, was sunk in what appears to have been a North Korean attack, with the loss of 46 lives.

    Three times before, in the past decade, there have been naval battles between North and South off Yeonpyeong Island – often in June during the peak fishing season for blue crab, when North Korean commercial boats sometimes flout the boundary in search of better fishing grounds.

    North and South Korea have fought three bloody skirmishes near the maritime border in recent years, most recently in November 2009.

    South Korea's YTN television said two people were injured, several houses were on fire and shells were still falling on Yeonpyeong island.

    Yonhap news agency said four soldiers were wounded.

    YTN said between 1,200 and 1,300 people lived on the island, citing a resident. TV pictures showed black and white smoke rising from the island.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Casualties as North Korea fires artillery barrage on South
    November 23, 2010

    North Korea fired artillery shells onto a South Korean border island on Tuesday, causing casualties and prompting an exchange of fire with southern troops, officials and reports said.

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

    Some 50 North Korean shells landed on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong near the tense Yellow Sea border, causing some injuries and damage to dozens of houses, YTN television reported.

    Four South Korean soldiers were wounded by the North Korean artillery barrage, the Yonhap news agency said.

    The South Korean military went on its highest state of alert, the defence ministry said, and YTN reported that South Korean air force jets were scrambled to the island.

    But a ministry spokesman told AFP: "A North Korean artillery unit staged an illegal firing provocation at 2:34 pm (0534 GMT) and South Korean troops fired back immediately in self-defence."

    One island resident, Lee Jong-Sik, told YTN: "At least 10 houses are burning. I can't see clearly for the smoke. The hillsides are also on fire.

    "We were told by loudspeakers to flee our homes."

    TV footage showed huge plumes of smoke rising from the island.

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

    In late October, North and South Korean troops exchanged fire across their Cold War border, coinciding with a state of high alert for the South's military in the buildup to the G20 summit of world leaders in Seoul earlier this month.

    The latest incident erupted as a US special envoy headed to China Tuesday to seek its help in curbing the new nuclear project, revealed to US experts who described a sophisticated programme by North Korea to enrich uranium.

    Stephen Bosworth has also visited South Korea and Japan this week to discuss the disclosure, which US officials say would allow the isolated North to build new atomic bombs, at a time when it is undergoing a dynastic change of power.

    Bosworth, speaking in Tokyo, ruled out a resumption of stalled six-nation talks -- aimed at disarming the North of nuclear weaponry in return for aid and other concessions -- while work continues on the enrichment programme.

    "We do not contemplate resuming negotiations while active programmes are underway or while there is a possibility that North Koreans will test another nuclear device or test a missile," he told reporters.

    China chairs the talks and is also the North's sole major ally and economic prop. It has come under pressure to play a leading role in resolving the latest nuclear dispute.

    Bosworth, US special representative for North Korea policy, said Washington was reaching out to six-party partners China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

    He said China and other parties were committed to a September 2005 denuclearisation accord, "but we are very concerned as to the sincerity of the (North's) approach to this".

    The White House said the uranium enrichment claims contradicted Pyongyang's past pledges but it left the door ajar for "serious" negotiations.

    "The administration believes the six-party process can play an important role if and when the North Koreans take that six-party process to move toward denuclearisation seriously," spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday.

    "We do not wish to talk simply for the sake of talking. The North Koreans have to be serious about living up to their obligations."

    The North shut down its ageing gas graphite reactor in 2008 under a six-party deal, after stockpiling enough weapons-grade plutonium for possibly six to eight small bombs.

    But it abandoned the forum in April 2009, a month before its second nuclear test, and announced in September last year that it had reached the final stage of enriching uranium.

    The North, showing off its centrifuges to the US experts this month, said the operation would fuel a civilian electricity project. But US officials say the real intention is to build a new generation of bombs.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Why North Korea Attacked

    Gus Lubin | Nov. 23, 2010, 5:18 AM | 817 | 2


    The island that was attacked
    Image: JoongAng Daily


    North Korea's reason for going on the offensive seems to be anger over a military drill it said was "simulating an invasion of the North," according to the NYT. The military drill, called Safeguarding The Nation, is a annual exercise involving 70,000 troops along with some American forces.

    60-70 houses on the island were destroyed at the military facility and at least two Korean soldiers was killed.

    At first glance, this bears much in common with the sinking of the Cheonan warship last May, which everyone short of China blamed on North Korea. In that attack and the weeks that followed, Pyongyang showed itself ready to respond to any and all militaristic gestures. North Korea may have been emboldened after getting away scot free.

    What else do we know?

    Last weekend a uranium enrichment facility was discovered in the North, sparking concern over a nuclear threat North Korea is also in the midst of a change of power, as Kim Jong un replaces father Kim Jong il. Geopolitical analysts have warned of an internal power struggle that may result.

    Now check out military projections of the North Korean artillery threat >




    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    2010/11/23 19:44 KST
    S. Korea warns of 'stern retaliation' against any additional N. Korean attacks


    Smoke rose from South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island after North Korea reportedly fired hundreds of rounds of artillery from its stronghold on the west coast. S. Korean President puts military on full alert. Over 200 rounds exchanged for nearly two hours. Several villages hit. White House condemns attack.

    By Lee Chi-dong

    SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday that North Korea's artillery attack on a western border island was a clear military provocation and warned that the communist neighbor would face stern retaliation should it launch additional attacks.

    "North Korea's indiscriminate artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island is a clear military provocation on the Republic of Korea. Furthermore, recklessly shelling against civilians can never be tolerated," Hong Sang-pyo, senior secretary for public affairs at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, said in a statement.

    "North Korea will have to bear full responsibility" for the deadly attack, he said, warning that the South will "resolutely retaliate" if the North makes any further provocations.

    The North fired around 100 artillery rounds across the western sea border into the South's waters and onto Yeonpyeong Island Tuesday afternoon, killing two marines and wounding more than a dozen other people, including four island residents. The attack set houses and forests on fire on the island, just south of the Northern Limit Line, the de-facto maritime border between the two Koreas drawn at the end of their 1950-53 war.

    The South Korean military launched an immediate counterattack, firing about 80 artillery shells toward the North's coastal artillery positions. The exchange of fire lasted about two hours but damage in the North remains unconfirmed.

    Tuesday's attack was the North's most serious provocative act since it torpedoed a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors.

    The presidential secretary said the government was trying to figure out the North's intentions, adding it regards the attack as a "localized situation," rather than a prelude to a full-scale war.

    "We plan to inform allies or neighboring countries of the current situation through diplomatic channels," he said.

    He dismissed the rumors of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's death as groundless. "We concluded that it is not a meaningful rumor or intelligence," he said.

    Cheong Wa Dae's response came as President Lee Myung-bak was presiding over an emergency meeting of security-related ministers at an underground bunker at the presidential compound to discuss countermeasures. Participants include Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, Unification Minister Hyun In-taek, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, Home Affairs Minister Maeng Hyung-kyu and Won Sei-hoon, chief of the state spy agency.


    President Lee Myung-bak (second from L) receives a briefing on North Korea's artillery firing on Nov. 23 in an emergency meeting with security-related ministers at the underground bunker of the presidential compound Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap)


    In a separate meeting with his top secretaries earlier, Lee ordered a stern response to the North's attack.

    "Deal resolutely (with the attack) but make all-out efforts not to aggravate the situation," Lee was quoted as saying.

    Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung told reporters in a briefing that the North's provocation might have come in retaliation for one of the South's annual military exercises.

    "Our Navy was conducting a maritime exercise near the western sea border today. North Korea has sent a letter of protest over the drill. We're examining a possible link between the protest and the artillery attack," said Kim.

    Foreign ministry officials said they were in consultations with the United Nations over whether to refer the case to the global organization.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. strongly criticized the North's provocation.

    "The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its belligerent action," the White House said in a statement.

    lcd@yna.co.kr
    (END)


    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    NK attack kills at least 2 soldiers injuring 13 others

    The Korea Herald | 11/23/2010 19:17

    North Korea on Tuesday fired a barrage of about 100 artillery shells onto a South Korean island near the tense west sea border, killing at least two South Korean marines and leaving over 13 others wounded, military officials said.

    South Korea's military immediately returned fire and lobbed more than 80 shells toward North Korean artillery positions on the west coast, while deploying fighter jets to the island and placing all its troops on maximum alert, said the officials.

    The North's artillery shells started falling on Yeonpyeong Island, about 80 kilometers northwest of the port of Incheon, and its surrounding waters at around 2:34 pm, said Col.
    Lee Bung-woo, spokesman for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

    The clash came amid rising tensions on the peninsula following North Korea's claim that it is running a highly sophisticated uranium enrichment plant and building a light-water reactor.

    According to government officials, at least four Yeonpyeong Island residents were injured by the North Korean attacks, while the island remained in a state of chaos, with its mountains and homes ablaze with fire.
    Almost all of the island's 1,600-odd residents were evacuated to a shelter.

    "I was at home when I was surprised by the sounds of bomb explosions. As I stepped out of my home, I saw the entire village had already turned into a sea of fire," said a 35-year-old resident who identified himself only as Kim.

    "I'm now staying in a shelter along with other villagers, but I'm still shaking with fear."

    A spokesman for Incheon Metropolitan City, the administrative district of Yeonpyeong Island, said four civilians were reportedly injured from the North's firing.

    Blazes were spreading on a mountain on the island, some homes were still burning, and the island was in virtual blackout from a power outage, he said.

    The JCS estimated that some 100 shells landed on Yeonpyeong Island, which lies about 3 kilometers south of the Yellow Sea border, until 4:42 pm

    JCS officials said the South's military sent a telephone message as of 5:55 pm to North Korea to demand the shelling be stopped.

    The North's firing, which came as the South's Navy was conducting a routine drill near the island, stopped around 4:42 pm, JCS officials said.

    The South's military had launched the nine-day annual defense drill on Monday.

    "The North's artillery provocation is clearly a violation of the Korean War armistice agreement," the JCS spokesman said.

    JCS Chairman Han Min-koo and Gen.Walter Sharp, commander of some 28,500 US troops in the South, held telephone talks and agreed to consider declaring a "joint crisis management," the JCS spokesman said.

    President Lee Myung-bak ordered a stern response to North Korea's artillery attack as well as measures to prevent the North's artillery fire from escalating into a conflict.

    "Deal resolutely (with the attack) but make all-out efforts not to aggravate the situation," Lee was quoted as saying in an emergency meeting with his senior secretaries.

    The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said it was looking into the possibility that the North's firing was in protest to an ongoing South Korean military drill on the western coast.

    The "Hoguk Exercise," one of South Korea's three major annual defense exercises, began Monday with some 70,000 troops participating.

    The North sent a message to Seoul denouncing the exercise earlier in the day, Cheong Wa Dae said.

    The JCS dismissed the connection, saying the North's artillery fell well south of Tuesday's drill location.

    The western sea border was the scene of bloody gun battles between the navies of the two Koreas in 1999, 2002 and most recently in November of last year.

    Tensions remain high on the peninsula this year after a North Korean torpedo sank the South Korean warship Cheonan in March, killing 46 sailors, near the Yellow Sea border.

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

    (Yonhap News)



    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Russia warns of 'colossal danger' from Korean tensions

    AFP November 23, 2010 6:08 AM



    MINSK - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Tuesday warned of a colossal danger from North Korea's firing on a South Korean island, saying the situation risked degenerating into military action.

    "This is, unfortunately, not the first incident of this kind," Lavrov told reporters on a visit to Minsk. "This is already the third case this year but the first two were isolated exchanges of fire."


    "This could degenerate into military actions. This is a colossal danger which we need to avoid with all possible means."


    North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing two people, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South's military went on top alert.


    In what appeared to be one of the most serious border incidents since the 1950-53 war, South Korean troops fired back with cannon.


    Lavrov also appeared to strongly condemn North Korea for starting the exchange of fire.


    "Those who started by shooting at the South Korean island . . . took on a great responsibility," Lavrov said. "It is necessary to end the exchange of fire immediately."


    © Copyright (c) AFP


    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    N.Korea shells South in fiercest attack in decades

    By Jeremy Laurence and Yoo Choonsik, Reuters November 23, 2010 6:14 AM



    This picture taken on November 23, 2010 by a South Korean tourist shows huge plumes of smoke rising from Yeonpyeong Island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on November 23, 2010. North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on November 23, 2010, killing two people, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South's military went on top alert.


    Photograph by: Stringer, AFP/Getty Images

    SEOUL - North Korea on Tuesday fired dozens of artillery shells at a South Korean island, killing two soldiers and setting dozens of houses ablaze, in one of the heaviest attacks on its neighbour since the Korean War ended in 1953.

    The attack comes as the reclusive state has been pressing regional powers to return to negotiations about its nuclear weapons program and follows revelations at the weekend it is fast developing another source of material to make atomic bombs.

    It also follows moves by iron leader Kim Jong-il to make his youngest son heir apparent to the family dynasty.


    For decades, the Korean leadership has played a carefully calibrated game of provocations to win concessions from the international community and impress his own military. The risk is that the leadership transition has upset this balance and that events spin out of control.


    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who has pursued a hard line with the reclusive North since taking office nearly three years ago, said a response had to be firm following the attack on Yeonpyeong island, just 120 km (75 miles) west of Seoul.


    The two Koreas are still technically at war — the Korean War ended only with a truce — and tension rose sharply early this year after Seoul accused the North of torpedoing one of its navy vessels, killing 46 sailors.


    "Houses and mountains are on fire and people are evacuating. You can't see very well because of plumes of smoke," a witness on the island told YTN Television before the shelling ended after about an hour.


    China, the impoverished North's only powerful ally, was careful to avoid taking sides, calling on both Koreas to "do more to contribute to peace."


    "China hopes that the relevant parties will do more to contribute to peace and stability in the region . . . it is imperative now to resume the six-party talks," a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hong Lei, told reporters.


    Those talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program — involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States — have long been on ice.


    However, the reclusive North has more recently been pushing to resume the talks, which previously it has used to win massive aid in return for promises to end its weapons program.


    AT LEAST 200 SHELLS


    YTN said at least 200 North Korean shells hit Yeonpyeong, which lies off the west coast of the divided peninsula near a disputed maritime border. Most landed on a military base there.


    South Korea's military said two soldiers were killed in the attack, 17 were wounded and three civilians were also hurt. South Korean military returned the fire and sent a jet fighter to the area.


    YTN showed pictures of plumes of smoke pouring from the island and quoted a witness as saying fires were burning out of control.


    WON TUMBLES


    News of the exchange of fire sent the won tumbling in offshore markets with the 1-month won KRW1MNDFOR down about four per cent in NDF trading. U.S. 10-year Treasury futures TYc1 rose and the Japanese yen JPY fell.


    It also rattled global markets, already unsettled by Ireland's debt problems and worries about riskier markets.


    The South Korean central bank is holding an emergency meeting to assess the possible market impact of the shelling.


    The attack comes just as a U.S. envoy is in Beijing on a tour of the region and is expected to ask China to use its influence to help tame North Korea.


    Washington has branded the North a danger to the region and expressed concern Pyongyang would sell nuclear weapons technology to other states.

    It has said it was ready to return to talks but wants to see more commitment to denuclearization by the North beforehand.


    The White House condemned the attack, telling the North to halt its "belligerent action" and saying it was committed to defend the South.


    It has about 28,000 troops in South Korea, their combined forces facing an estimated one million North Korean soldiers who make up one of the world's biggest standing armies.


    "UNBELIEVABLE"


    "It's unbelievable," said Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Peking University. "Today's news proves that North Korea, under unprovoked conditions, shot these South Korean islands. It's reckless provocation. They want to make a big bang and force the negotiations back into their favour. It's the oldest trick."


    The North depends heavily on China for economic and diplomatic support and its leader, Kim Jong-il, has visited China twice this year, in part to gain backing for the anointment of his son as heir.


    Those ties have become a sore-point with Washington after reports that North Korea appears to have made big steps towards enriching uranium, possibly using technology that passed through or even originated in China.


    China has urged returning to the nuclear disarmament negotiations but has also fended off calls from the U.S. and its regional allies to use its vital food and energy aid to North Korea as a lever.


    © Copyright (c) Reuters



    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    SOUTH KOREA CONSIDERS INTRODUCING US TACTICAL NUKES FOR DEFENSE IN VIEW OF N.KOREA (NEW) NUKE PLANT

    Nikkei Shimbun (in Japanese) ^ | 22 November 2010 | Shimao Kitao, Journalist

    Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010 12:14:28 AM by AmericanInTokyo

    KIM TAE YON made the statement just now in S. Korean Parliament (budget committee) that this is due to the just released information that North Korea has been building a light water nuclear reactor at amazing speed, details just released to the world and satellite photos also revealed.

    Minister of Defense of South Korea Kim stated that this is to put a halt to North Korean nuclear weapons ambition, and is now being considered, which will go back on South Korea's committment in 1991 under President Roh Tae Woo to never manufacturer, house or use nuclear weapons in South Korea.


    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns




    You have received this Red Alert as a member of our free list. To access further analysis of the situation as it develops, join STRATFOR.

    Red Alert: North Korean Artillery Attack on a Southern Island


    November 23, 2010
    North Korea and South Korea have reportedly traded artillery fire Nov. 23 across the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea to the west of the peninsula. Though details are still sketchy and unconfirmed, South Korean news reports indicate that around 2:30 p.m. local time, North Korean artillery shells began landing in the waters around Yongpyeongdo, one of the South Korean-controlled islands just south of the NLL. North Korea has reportedly fired as many as 200 rounds, some of which struck the island, injuring at least 10 South Korean soldiers, damaging buildings, and setting fire to a mountainside. South Korea responded by firing some 80 shells of its own toward North Korea, dispatching F-16 fighter jets to the area, and raising the military alert to its highest level.
    South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has convened an emergency cabinet meeting, and Seoul is determining whether to evacuate South Koreans working at inter-Korean facilities in North Korea. The barrage from North Korea was continuing at 4 p.m. Military activity appears to be ongoing at this point, and the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff are meeting on the issue. No doubt North Korea’s leadership is also convening. Read more »
    Libertatem Prius!





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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    North Korean dictator-in-waiting linked to deadly artillery attack

    John Garnaut HERALD CORRESPONDENT

    November 24, 2010

    Flashpoint . . . smoke billows from houses on Yeonpyeong island after the North Korean artillery barrage. Photo: AFP


    NORTH KOREA has burnished the leadership credentials of its 26-year-old dictator-in-waiting with a deadly artillery attack on South Korean territory, causing its neighbour to return fire and scramble F-16 fighters.


    Two South Korean marines died, and at least 12 were wounded. There were reports of civilian injuries and houses were set ablaze as scores of shells fell on Yeonpyeong island.


    A North Korea expert at Beijing's Central Party School, Zhang Liangui, told the Herald that Kim Jong-un was deliberately destabilising the environment in order to mobilise the military and consolidate his power.




    The South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, held an emergency meeting and told officials to ''respond sternly'' but to avoid aggravating the situation. The military were placed on high alert.


    North Korea accused South Korea of firing first. ''The South Korean enemy, despite our repeated warnings, committed reckless military provocations of firing artillery shells into our maritime territory near Yeonpyeong island,'' the military supreme command said.


    The north's military ''will continue to make merciless military attacks with no hesitation if the South Korean enemy dares to invade our sea territory by 0.001 mm'', it said in the statement carried by the official news agency. ''It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.''


    There have been previous skirmishes along the border - including the deaths of 46 South Korean sailors when the corvette Cheonan was torpedoed on March 26 - but the stakes are getting higher.


    The exchange follows the revelation last week of a hitherto unknown North Korean uranium enrichment plant to a visiting US scientist. Siegfried Hecker, who previously directed the Los Alamos National Laboratory, told The New York Times he had been ''stunned'' by the plant's sophistication.



    North Korea said it was operating 2000 centrifuges.


    If verified, this would take Pyongyang towards creating a far more powerful arsenal than the estimated eight to 12 plutonium-based warheads that have been built over the past five years.


    The US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, arrived in Beijing last night to brief officials on North Korea's new enrichment facilities.


    Chinese North Korea specialists believe the brinkmanship is designed to mobilise the country around the anointed successor of Kim Jong-il, his son Kim Jong-un.


    A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed ''concern'' at yesterday's attack and warned against further escalation. He said it was ''imperative'' that six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions be resumed.


    A French diplomatic source said the United Nations Security Council would hold an emergency session.


    The White House said it was ''firmly committed to the defence'' of its ally, Seoul.


    The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was briefed on the situation last night. She condemned the attack and said Australia was consulting closely with South Korea, Japan and the US.


    Professor Zhang said the latest incident was unlikely to escalate because the North was mainly ''venting anger''.


    Beyond the succession, he said the North wanted concessions from the South and to be acknowledged internationally as a nuclear state.
    Libertatem Prius!





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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Islanders shelter as N Korean shelling starts fires

    Lim Chang-won

    November 24, 2010

    SEOUL: Hundreds of South Koreans huddled in bunkers and others fled by boat as scores of North Korean shells landed on their island home.


    Inhabitants of Yeonpyeong island near the flashpoint Yellow Sea border described scenes of terror during the attack, which the military said killed two South Korean marines and injured at least 12 others, plus three civilians.


    ''Flashes along with a thundering sound were seen here and there across our villages, and up to 10 houses were engulfed in flames,'' said Woo Soo-woo, 62, a guest house owner on the island. ''Black smoke billowed around houses.''



    Shells from the North started landing on the island after the South Korean military staged an artillery exercise of its own, Mr Woo said, speaking by mobile phone from a ferry heading to Incheon port.


    The shelling started bushfires at several places in the hills. Television footage showed huge plumes of smoke. ''Frightened villagers rushed to nearby shelters while others were busy running away and crowded the port to escape,'' Mr Woo said.


    About 1700 civilians live on the island, along with a permanent South Korean marine detachment. Mr Woo said it was the first time he could remember North Korean shells falling on the island.


    ''I was at home, but suddenly heard a thunderous sound outside. When I walked out, the whole village was on fire,'' another villager told the Yonhap news agency. ''I'm at the evacuation site with other villagers and I am scared to death.''


    Lee Jong-sik told YTN television: ''At least 10 houses are burning. I can't see clearly for the smoke. The hillsides are also on fire. We were told by loudspeakers to flee our homes for bunkers.''


    The seven-square-kilometre island lies just south of the sea border drawn by United Nations forces after the 1950-1953 Korean War. The North disputes the border and the area was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002.


    All electricity is out in the island, said a spokesman for Incheon city, where ferries leave for the island.


    ''Fire is spreading into several hills because of some 50 shells fired from the North … we are monitoring the situation through surveillance cameras set up at the island,'' the city spokesman said. ''All of the 1600 island residents have been evacuated to bunkers.''


    The coast guard said all ferries and fishing boats had been banned for the time being from the seas around the island. It said 87 fishing boats and two passenger vessels had been escorted to safe areas.


    ''I've been living here in the village where I was born, but I've never seen something like this before,'' a 52-year-old resident told Yonhap.


    Another said: ''I was home when I heard a sound of explosions. I rushed outside and saw the neighbourhood in flames … We are so scared now.''


    Agence France-Presse
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Concern in Asia After North Korean Attack

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/...110110854.html

    Daniel Schearf | Bangkok 23 November 2010
    [IMG]http://media.voanews.com/images/480*358/ap_south_korea_clash_23nov10_eng_480.jpg[/IMG] Photo: AP

    In this image take from TV footage, smoke rises from South Korea's Yeonpyeong island near the border against North Korea, 23 Nov 2010


    Related Articles





    Asian nations have called for calm after North Korea fired artillery shells on a South Korean island, causing the death of at least two marines and military retaliation from Seoul. Regional political analysts say the attack could be a strategic move by Pyongyang or possibly a sign of internal political wrangling.

    North Korea's attack Tuesday and South Korea's retaliation raised concerns in Asia of escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.

    Pyongyang fired scores of artillery shells onto the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, causing several casualties and setting fire to buildings.

    South Korea's military returned fire and Seoul vowed a stronger response to any further provocation.

    Pyongyang claims South Korea fired first.

    Australia called the North Korean attack a grave provocation.

    North Korea's main ally, China, issued a statement that did not assign blame but expressed concern and called for talks. Russia issued a similar statement.

    Carl Thayer, a regional security specialist at the Australian Defense Force Academy, says Pyongyang often lashes out to increase its leverage in negotiations.

    "When they feel themselves cornered, when they want to gain a concession, when they want to push back other countries that will now then hunker down and not condemn North Korea for fear of seeing the situation escalate," said Thayer. "It's a kind of spoiling role and a kind of brinkmanship to try to manipulate a political process in North Korea's favor that they see as going against them."

    Thayer says the North Korean attack could also be a response to South Korean military exercises near a disputed maritime border.

    It came just days after North Korea unveiled a hidden uranium enrichment program that nuclear experts say appears quite advanced.

    It also comes as a United States envoy is in China to discuss efforts to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear programs.

    Regional political analysts say the attack could also be a sign of internal wrangling after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il put his son Kim Jong Un in place to succeed him.

    After the exchange of artillery fire Tuesday, some Asian financial markets fell.

    "If there's something going on in the North, for example a succession problem, in-fighting that is pitting one faction in the North against another, that is going to have a more serious reaction than the bombing," said Bob Broadfoot, the managing director of Political and Economic Risk Consultancy in Hong Kong. "But, I think the bombing will be absorbed by the markets in Asia quite quickly, in a matter of days."

    Tensions have been high between North and South Korea since March when Seoul blamed Pyongyang for sinking one of its navy ships, killing more than 40 sailors.

    North Korea denies it was responsible and rejects an international investigation that said one of its torpedoes hit the ship.
    Libertatem Prius!





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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Factbox: What is the Korean Northern Limit Line?

    Factbox






    Related News








    Related Topics












    Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:56am EST



    (Reuters) - North Korea Tuesday fired dozens of artillery shells at a South Korean island near a disputed western sea border, killing two soldiers and setting houses ablaze.


    The exchange of fire between the two Koreas was centered around Yeonpyeong island, just 120 km (75 miles) west of Seoul, and the near the contested Northern Limit Line (NLL).


    The South said it was conducting a test firing exercise in the area before North Korea fired on the island.


    Here are some facts about the NLL:


    * The U.S. commander at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War drew up a sea border weeks after the Armistice was signed to prevent naval clashes off the peninsula's west and east coasts. The truce made no direct mention of sea borders.


    * The NLL off the west coast, as the maritime border is called, is drawn around islands that lie well north of what would be the extension of the land border that had been part of the South's territory before the war.


    * The North made no issue of the sea NLL until 1973, when it began violating the limit and disputing its validity. An agreement signed in 1991 reaffirming non-aggression and recognizing each other's political sovereignty appeared to settle the maritime dispute.


    * In the 1990s, the North again began disputing the NLL, claiming the real border should lie far to the south. In 1999, a North Korean patrol boat violated the NLL by as much as 10 km (6 miles) but went home defeated when a gun fight killed several North Koreans.


    * A skirmish near the same area three years later killed six South Korean seamen. In November 2009, South Korean navy ships responding quickly to an intruding North Korean vessel, pounded it with thousands of rounds of gunfire, disabling it and killing at least one sailor.


    * In March, a South Korean warship, the Cheonan was torpedoed in the area, killing 46 sailors. A international team of investigators said the North was responsible, but Pyongyang denies involvement.
    Libertatem Prius!





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