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Originally posted by dude69
South Korean intelligence officials have stated that North Korea is allegedly
building a tunnel for nuclear tests?
That's what worries me... If they have enough to test, they must have more than enough to use.
This could very well be a made up threat to justify an Invasion of NK...with America backing SK up completely now and both of them deploying more troops around the Peninsula.
-- President Lee's former classmate named new Army chief (Kyunghyang Shinmun)
-- Kim Jong-il agrees with China's request to inspect nuclear program (Kookmin Daily)
-- Putin urges N. Korea to halt nuclear program (Chosun Ilbo)
South Korea's chief nuclear envoy said Wednesday that dialogue with North Korea is not an option right now, calling for greater international pressure on Pyongyang to stop provocations after its deadly shelling of a South Korean island.
North Korea's uranium enrichment program "appears to be much more advanced and efficient than the Iranian program, which is running into problems," according to the White House coordinator for weapons of mass destruction Gary Samore. He was quoted as making the comment by the New York Times on Tuesday.
Kim Jong-un’s status as successor to his father, Kim Jong-il, may not be totally secure if evidence from North Korean calendars for 2011 is to be believed.
Two calendars obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday marked Jan. 8, Kim Jong-un’s birthday, in black. In contrast, Feb. 16, his father’s birthday, is printed in red. The calendars, different in design but both bearing the name of a Pyongyang publishing company, were obtained from Japan.
As in South Korea, calendars in North Korea mark holidays in red. South Korean intelligence officials have determined that Jong-un, the third son of Kim Jong-il, was born on Jan. 8, 1984.
“Kim Jong-un was publicly named successor to his father with his promotion to vice chairman of the Central Military Commission on Sept. 28, but North Korea’s attempt to build a cult of personality around him appears not yet to have been put into full swing,” said a Seoul official.
The Kim Jong-il regime is most scared of two things. One is mass defections. If the people simply flee one by one, the regime will crumble very quickly. That is why the North Korea-China border is regarded as a second front and guarded by regular troops. The other is that knowledge about outside world through South Korean radio broadcasts, propaganda leaflets and TV programs can shake the North Korean system at the root. The South’s most powerful asymmetric weapon, therefore, is information that can enlighten 20 million North Korean people.
The South has never filed a proper protest with the Chinese government against the repatriation of North Korean refugees. Under the Constitution, North Koreans are South Korean citizens. The South Korean government is responsible for all North Koreans who protest against the Kim Jong-il regime by means of defection. It must fully mobilize its diplomatic capacities to stop the tragedy of North Korean refugees being caught by Chinese security forces and sent back to the North. The president must formally raise the issue with the Chinese leadership and put money and effort into helping more North Koreans leave the country for freedom.
There should also be more leaflets and radio broadcasts to the North. Large quantities of food could also be attached to helium balloons and floated to the North. North Korean troops secretly eat instant noodles South Korean forces sent to the North by balloons prior to the Kim Dae-jung administration.
South Korea, China and Japan signed an agreement Thursday to establish a cooperation secretariat in Seoul next year, a landmark accord that represents the first treaty between the neighbors whose relations have often soured over history and other disputes.
Live-fire drill on Yeonpyeong to begin as soon as Saturday, depending on weather. #DPRK used previous such firing as excuse to shell island. half a minute ago via TweetDeck
Adding to tension, activists plan to fly anti-DPRK leaflets from Yeonpyeong island as early as tomorrow.
Xinhua: NM Gov. Richardson arrives in Pyongyang.
# DPRK gov't statement claims U.S. |"systematically breached all international agreements calling for peace & stability on Korean Peninsula." about 5 hours ago via TweetDeck
# DPRK: U.S. keen on stirring up war atmosphere on Korean Peninsula while persistently sidestepping proposals for dialogue w- preconditions. about 5 hours ago via TweetDeck
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has announced that it is increasing its annual China-related budget next year to 3 billion won ($2.6 million), a nearly eight-fold increase from this year's 390 million won ($340,000). The government is hoping that the increase will send a clear message to China that after a period of tense relations – which included a series of naval drills that irked Beijing – it is ready to talk.
The new budget will cover task forces that tackle anti-Korean sentiment in China and a new China Center that will bring together academics and politicians to craft stronger diplomatic policies. Additionally, a bilateral strategic dialogue between the two nations will advance from the vice-ministerial to the ministerial level.
Unofficial U.S. envoy Bill Richardson has arrived in Pyongyang for talks in North Korea. But also Thursday, the South Korean military announced it would conduct live fire drills on Yeonpyeong Island. (Dec. 16)
Gen. Cartwright, perhaps stating the obvious, says this weekend's South Korea drill risks out of control chain reaction if NK responds
State Dept. on #ROK artillery drill planned on Yeonpyeong: #DPRK "would be very unwise to react to what South Korea has announced." 13 minutes ago via web
State Dept.: "We want to make sure that China is using its influence to try to steer North Korea in a different direction." 12 minutes ago via web
US chief nuke negotiator Sung Kim to meet in Seoul today with his ROK counterpart Wi Sung-lac to discuss #DPRK. 9 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Some 20 military personnel from the U.S. forces in South Korea will help South Korean troops in the one-day drill to be held between Saturday and Tuesday by providing medical, communications and intelligence support, officials said.
The U.S. military is concerned that South Korea's live-fire artillery exercises planned for coming days could spark an uncontrollable clash with the North, but the State Department said the exercises are not meant to be threatening or provocative.
"What we worry about, obviously, is if that is misunderstood or if it's taken advantage of as an opportunity," Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday at the Pentagon. "If North Korea were to react to that in a negative way and fire back at those firing positions on the islands, that would start potentially a chain reaction of firing and counter-firing."
"Official Pentagon models assume it would take months to win the war at a cost approaching one million casualties or more, all told, including dead and wounded," Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told AFP.
"And that's without nuclear (or chemicals) weapons being used," said O'Hanlon, who wrote a book looking at the effects of a potential war.
North Korea could perceive some use of limited force as a rational and optimal choice even when there is little or no hope of victory. The danger is not that the regime will commit suicide knowingly, but that it will encounter situations where belligerent ``lashing out`` or ``striking first`` is the best and only policy---the unintended consequence of which (given likely US and ROK military responses) is suicide and/or collapse.
The logic of preemptive and preventive action, borrowed from international relations theory, suggests conditions under which the recourse to hostility can be a rational act even if objective factors weigh against victory. Preemption occurs when a state perceives aggression by another as imminent and acts first to forestall the impending attack. Preventive action occurs when a state is motivated to attack first, or otherwise suffer increasing inferiority in capabilities vis-à-vis the opponent over time. Though preemptive and preventive motivations represent two discrete paths to conflict, they are similar in a number of respects.
First, they are motivated by fear more than aggression.
Second, both are act of anticipation. The decision to preempt or prevent hinges as much on misperception and images of the adversary as on the objective military situation.
Third, both types of belligerency stem from a fundamental dissatisfaction with the status quo. States do an expected-utility calculation in which the costs of the current situation are higher than the costs of change. In the preemptive situation, maintaining the status quo means being the victim of imminent aggression. In the preventive situation, maintaining the status quo means certain inferiority and defeat in the future. In both cases, the expected costs of peace are higher than the potential costs of conflict.
China is set to lease two islands from North Korea on the Yalu River bordering the two countries to set up free trade zones and tourist facilities, Chinese sources said.
The two allies have also cooperated on a number of other economic projects, such as construction of a large bridge linking Dandong and Sinuiju and the joint development of Rajin and Chongjin ports in northeastern North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il apparently discussed development of the islands with Chinese leaders when he visited China earlier this year.
The project requires a long-term commitment by both countries. International fallout from North Korea's shelling of a South Korean island late last month will not affect the project, an official said.