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@ncblondegardner Richardson has been to #DPRK numerous times. He serves as an unofficial back channel during crises. 3 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to ncblondegardner
-- Residents of western border islands to be given gas masks
North Korea released a report on Thursday defending last month's deadly attack on a South Korean island, accusing Seoul and Washington of "persistently escalating tension" in disputed seas off its west coast.
Pyongyang said it had fired artillery at the island after South Korea had fired into its waters. Seoul said it had only been conducting regular military drills in the area at the time.
South Korea "fired as many as thousands of shells into the territorial waters of the DPRK side," the state news agency quoted the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea report as saying.
"This reckless act was obviously a deliberate provocation to prompt the DPRK to take a military counter-action," it said.
# Xinhua: Kim Jong Il met today with China's top envoy Dai Bingguo in Pyongyang. #Koreas about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck
# KCNA (DPRK agency): Chinese diplomat has conveyed message from Hu Jintao to Kim Jong Il. #Koreas about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck
"The Chinese have enormous influence over the North, influence that no other nation on earth enjoys. And yet, despite a shared interest in reducing tensions, they appear unwilling to use it," he said.
In response, the Chinese Foreign ministry questioned on Thursday what Mr Mullen had ever done "for peace and stability in the region".
Originally posted by D377MC
reply to post by Vitchilo
To be fair, they roll out their artillery from hardened structures, then roll them back in after firing, so they are pretty hard to hit.
Meanwhile, China's top diplomat has met North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, amid rising tensions.
State media said they "reached a consensus", but gave no details.
North Korea state media on Thursday issued a statement that claimed possession of all waters around South Korea-controlled Yeonpyeong Island, clarifying for the first time that its Nov. 23 attack of the island was motivated by a different view of the inter-Korean maritime boundary in the Yellow Sea than is widely held.
In Tokyo on Thursday, Mullen lashed out at China as he touted a united defence front with South Korea and Japan against North Korea.
"Northeast Asia is today more volatile than it has been in much of the last 50 years," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs said.
"Much of that volatility is owed to the reckless behaviour of the North Korean regime, enabled by their friends in China," Mullen said.
He also said he felt a "real sense of urgency" about building up three-way defence ties with Seoul and Tokyo. US forces have separately held major military drills with the two allies since North Korea's attack.
The admiral has proposed three-way drills and said that any threat is "much better addressed with all of us together, in terms of showing strength and getting to a point where we can deter North Korean behaviour".
That would also present a challenge for China, which has protested at US-led exercises being conducted near its territorial waters.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates will visit China next month, the United States' top military officer said Thursday, in a sign of thawing of strained ties between the countries' militaries.
A Beijing envoy rejected calls by the United States and its allies for China to rein in its wayward ally North Korea and urged direct talks with the regime, a newspaper reported Thursday.
Cheng also told the newspaper: "China has a traditionally friendly relationship with North Korea. It is an unfair interpretation to say Beijing has the power to influence (the North) based on that.
"China does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries."
Originally posted by VitchiloSo me thinks this is not for nothing that the next ``North Korean`` provocation will be dealt with AIR STRIKES... it's because the artillery provided by the US is CRAP and had a near 0% effectiveness.
This is the same g*d-damn "artillery crap" that defeated the Nazi's of Germany.
Originally posted by Vitchilo
reply to post by CanadianDream420
This is the same g*d-damn "artillery crap" that defeated the Nazi's of Germany.
I'm just saying this piece of equipment is crap. Not the US army... maybe it was the poor training of the South Korean soldiers operating that artillery... after all Israel and the US have similar artillery and it seems they are better with it.
And sorry but the American artillery didn't help much in defeating Nazi Germany but anyway that's not the subject at all.edit on 9-12-2010 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)
Just when you thought it was safe to take a dip in the West Sea, a report from North Korean dissidents claims that Pyongyang has already developed sea-borne nuclear weapons.
If you read Korean, you can find their report here, but if not, Bill Gertz at the Washington Times has the gist. Citing a Pyongyang government official, the defectors claim that in March 2009, North Korean military units called “Thunder” and “Lightning” began technical nuclear torpedo and mine research to blunt the superiority of U.S. and South Korean naval weaponry. They claim that the “nuclear mines are technologically at a stage of completion, and the plan [is] to finish [developing] nuclear torpedoes by 2012.” North Korea is believed to have fewer than ten nuclear bombs.
Japan's usual quiet approach to tensions with its neighbors is giving way to more military exercises, critical statements and discussions of what was once unthinkable: development of a nuclear arsenal.
A government panel will recommend that Japan relax longstanding defence guidelines to prepare for "contingencies" in the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan Strait, reports said Tuesday.
The draft recommendation says existing defence guidelines, made in the Cold War era, are now seen as "unsuitable" and that it is necessary to respond proactively to limited, small-scale invasions and contingencies on the Korean Peninsula and in the Taiwan Strait, the reports said.
It also proposes lifting outright bans on development and possession of nuclear weapons and their transportation to Japan, which could stir controversy in the officially pacifist nation, the Asahi said.
It also proposes relaxation of restrictions on arms exports to allow joint development and production of weapons with the United States and other allies, the Yomiuri said.
The Yellow Sea. Yeonpyeong is one of five islands surrounded by waters that are claimed by both Koreas and have been the most common points of contention in recent years. North Korea’s options here range from another artillery or rocket barrage to a limited ground strike by commandos.
The North might also choose another naval target, like one of the warships or floating bases that the South maintains in these waters. Analysts point to the Cheonan as a classic case of North Korea’s probing for weak points: while the South has been building stronger and faster warships than the North, it apparently neglected to consider the possibility of a submarine attack.
Some analysts say the North does have legitimate grievances in its maritime border dispute with the South in the Yellow Sea. Others say it is using that dispute to give its provocations a fig leaf of legitimacy to avoid angering China, its only ally. They say China might view any additional attack as an affront to its current diplomatic initiatives to convene emergency talks between the North and other nations.
¶The DMZ. There has been fearful speculation in the South Korean news media that North Korea may strike somewhere along the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, the heavily fortified border that has divided the peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War. One theory is that the North may mount a limited artillery attack across the border in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, South Korea’s political and financial heart.
The attack would be aimed at rattling the South’s nerves and sapping its will to fight, analysts say, rather than trying to inflict maximum damage on civilians. Even a small attack might be enough to cause a financial panic, they say, battering South Korea’s stock market and scaring away foreign investors.
¶A terrorist strike. The next blow may come in the form of so-called asymmetrical attacks, which would sidestep the South’s military advantages with strikes by the North’s 180,000 or so special forces troops on soft targets in civilian areas.
This could be a bomb on a subway or train, or a cyberattack on a South Korean bank or computer network. Analysts say there are signs that the North may be developing capability in information technology, at a time when South Korean security agencies have increasingly accused North Korean agents of using the Internet to spread propaganda in the South, one of the world’s most wired societies.
¶A nuclear or missile test. At least one security expert, Baek Seung-joo, of the government-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said he expected North Korea’s next provocation to be less deadly, perhaps another nuclear or long-range-missile test. He said such strategic brinkmanship would be aimed at pressing not only the South into new talks on dismantling the North’s weapons programs in exchange for food aid, but also the United States into talks on security guarantees for the Kim family government.