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South Korea's defence chief called Friday for tight vigilance against North Korea, saying Pyongyang was preparing for a new infiltration exercise near the disputed Yellow Sea border.
"As the ice melts, North Korea is preparing to resume a seaborne infiltration drill," Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin told a parliamentary session.
He did not elaborate on the drill but said "surprise provocations using new means and methods are always possible".
North Korea appears to be protesting the joint U.S. and South Korean military maneuvers by jamming Global Positioning Devices in the south, which is a nuisance for cell phone and computers users -- but is a hint of the looming menace for the military.
Since March 4, Pyongyang has been trying to disrupt GPS receivers critical to South Korean military communications apparently in protest of the ongoing joint military training exercises between South Korean and U.S. forces. Strong jamming signals were sent intermittently every five to 10 minutes.
The North is believed to be nearing completion of an electromagnetic pulse bomb that, if exploded 25 miles above ground would cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, radio and radar, experts say.
"We assume they are at a considerably substantial level of development," Park Chang-kyu of the Agency for Defense Development said at a briefing to the parliament Monday.
North Korea may have already developed nuclear warheads that are small enough to be mounted on missiles and aircraft, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Thursday.
Four years ago, China appeared to be introducing a new Type 022 (sometimes called 2208) patrol boat.
The 022 is a stealthy, wave-piercing catamaran (meaning it can maintain its speed in rough seas). It is highly automated, requiring a crew of only twelve. It carries a 30mm multi-barrel auto cannon (a Russian anti-missile system) and eight YJ-83 anti-ship missiles (each with a range of 120 kilometers and a 164 kg/360 pound warhead).
But by 2007 there were several dozen of the Type 022 in service or production and the vessels were too fast and heavily armed (lugging around two large containers of missiles) for patrol work. The 022s are also stealthy, something a patrol boat is not too concerned about. These are attack boats.
All this worries Taiwan, for such ships would be able to operate in the open waters between China and Taiwan, and play a part in an invasion of Taiwan.
Fighters of Free NK tells VOA launch of balloons to #DPRK postponed because mother of one of coordinating group members murdered. #Korea
Balloon campaign group vows to conduct postponed launch next week. #Korea
Three of the nine military commanders disciplined for mishandling North Korea's torpedo attack on a warship last year were cleared of charges after challenging disciplinary actions against them, the defense ministry said Thursday.
Serious discussions over food shortages in North Korea are expected to start as officials from the U.S. and South Korea have decided they will closely cooperate to determine whether to restart food aid to the impoverished North.
Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said during a press conference in Seoul on Saturday that the U.S. and South Korea are “very close in consultation” and the two allies see the issue in “very similar terms.”
“I think we conveyed very clearly to our South Korean friends that we are still in the process of evaluating the situation on the ground and we would continue to consult closely with the South Koreans as we move forward,” said Campbell, adding that the U.S. fully supports the South, which he said has acted responsibly in reaction to North Korea provocations. Campbell added that the U.S. wants a different kind of talks than those previously held.
South Korea plans to create an elite marine aviation unit equipped with scores of helicopters in a bid to bolster its forces near the tense sea border with North Korea, an official said Sunday.
South Korea on Tuesday urged communist North Korea to stop disturbing its military and mobile communications, calling alleged jamming attempts "unacceptable."
"The North's jamming of GPS signals causes inconveniences among our people, poses threat to their safety... and is an unacceptable act in breach of international customs," Korea Communications Commission said in a statement.
It will send a letter of protest Tuesday to Pyongyang in which it will urge the North to "stop the attempts immediately and prevent recurrence," the Commission said.[/qutoe]
Japan quake affects S. Korea-US military drill
US and South Korean troops will consider scaling down a planned joint sea drill after a US aircraft carrier joined rescue and recovery efforts in Japan, officials said Monday.
The aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and its strike group arrived Sunday off Japan's northeast coast devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that is feared to have killed more than 10,000.
US officials said they were discussing whether to downsize the major joint sea drill with South Korea because of the aircraft carrier's relief mission in Japan.
"I can't see how (the aircraft carrier) will come back," a US military spokesman in Seoul told AFP, adding its mission in Japan would probably last several weeks.
And I don't know if the leaflets over NKorea is still a go for this week with all that has been going on....
South Korea Tuesday launched the first civil defence drill of the year to guard against a possible attack by North Korean jet fighters and long-range artillery.
Traffic halted in central Seoul, which is just 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the border, with pedestrians being ushering into shelters, after sirens wailed nationwide to signal the start of the 15-minute exercise.
Officials said the drill, which began at 2:00 pm (0500 GMT), would enhance public awareness on preparations for surprise attacks by North Korean fighters and artillery deployed along the border.
North Korea agreed to accept the repatriation of 27 people out of 31 who had drifted into South Korea across the tense sea border last month, officials in Seoul said Tuesday.
Pyongyang sent a message to Seoul on Tuesday calling for the return of 27 people through the sea border, the South's unification ministry said in a statement.
Originally posted by Vitchilo
N. Korea rejects S. Korean letter of complaint over jamming signals
That's not kind!edit on 15-3-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Vitchilo
reply to post by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi
No direct effect... but they will review their nuclear power plants safety... And a new study was done... and it ain't good.
It said that 8/10 buildings in SKorea were ``fragile`` to earthquakes... So... better hope nothing strong ever hits SKorea or Japan will be nothing.
Taiwan's top intelligence chief said Wednesday that China is targeting the island with a new type of ballistic missile.
"The Chinese communists have deployed the Dongfeng 16, which is a new powerful missile aimed at Taiwan," said Tsai Teh-sheng, the director-general of the National Security Bureau.
"Its range is longer, and it increases the threat to Taiwan," Tsai said while replying to queries raised by Lin Yu-fang, a legislator from the ruling Kuomintang party.
An unidentified South Korean official dismissed a new offer by the North of multinational nuclear talks "without any precondition," saying that the proposal was without substance, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday
North Korea adopted a collective decision-making system to replace its traditional one-man autocratic rule after the regime’s leader Kim Jong-il suffered a stroke three years ago, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report.
According to a report on the Web site of the Voice of America yesterday citing the report, Kim’s absolute authority in decisions regarding its nuclear policies was weakened after he collapsed from a stroke in August 2008.
The multi-person decision-making system was introduced after that and appears to be led now by Jang Song-thaek, Kim’s brother-in-law and a vice chairman of the National Defense Commission. Some North Korea observers have regarded Jang mainly as a guardian for Kim’s heir-apparent, Kim Jong-un.
The Russian Defense Ministry will buy 36 strategic ballistic missiles, two strategic missile submarines and 20 strategic cruise missiles this year, Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday.
The budget will also cover spacecraft (5), warplanes (35), helicopters (109), missile defense systems (21), multirole nuclear powered submarines (3) and a surface warship, he said.
Russia to develop new ballistic missile system by 2013
Russian scientists will develop a new land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system by 2013, a leading missile designer said on Thursday.
Russia to double production of ballistic missile systems - Putin
The production of ballistic missile systems in Russia will double starting in 2013, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
All air defense regiments in the Russian Armed Forces will be equipped with advanced S-400 Triumf and Pantsir-S missile systems by 2020, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
Russia tests 2nd prototype of fifth-generation fighter
A second prototype of the Russian fifth-generation T-50 fighter successfully conducted its maiden flight on Thursday, the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer said.
A top Russian arms developer on Thursday slammed the country's new $650 billion rearmament drive as a misguided attempt to mass produce old systems that have little use in modern warfare
Solomonov noted that the United States was now pouring money into the development of new X-37 and X-51 hypersonic space vehicles, "something that we simply do not do."
Instead, the new programme intends to "reproduce things that were made decades ago for absolutely unlikely scenarios."
Solomonov said much of the spending was being funnelled into the development of a new line of liquid-fuelled nuclear missiles whose use vanished with the end of the Cold War.
"I would like to assure you that it is based on delivery vehicle technology that is about 30 years old," the developer said.
Taiwan's air force said Wednesday that two out of four missiles missed their targets during a drill earlier this week, two months after a similar failure left military leaders red-faced.
The missiles that failed in Monday's test included a US-made Sparrow and a French-made Mica, said air force spokesman Pan Kung-shiao.
The strategic shift to broaden India's strategic interests represents a historic shift from Pakistan, with whom India engaged in conflict in 1947, 1965 and in 1971, which led to the establishment of Bangladesh, and Indo-Pakistani confrontation in 1991, as also known as the "Kargil" war" over control in Jammu and Kashmir.
South Korean's foreign minister will visit China next week, Seoul said Tuesday, as it seeks to persuade veto-wielding Beijing to consent to a UN condemnation of North Korea's new nuclear programme.
South Korea said it aims to purchase a number of drones and stealth fighters starting around 2015 as part of the delayed acquisition F-X program.
North Korea's apology for the attacks and its promise not to repeat such provocations are among the three key conditions that Seoul says Pyongyang must fulfill before the two sides can improve relations. A third demand has been that the North demonstrate its denuclearization commitment through action.
The Navy plans to carry out a large-scale drill from Friday on all three sides of the peninsula until Sunday this week, which marks first anniversary of the sinking of the corvette Cheonan by North Korea.
The Army and Air Force also plan a joint artillery drill using K-9 self-propelled artillery, 130 mm multiple launch rocket system, and K-15K fighter jets in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province on Thursday.
N.Korea Warns Against S.Korean Propaganda Leaflets
The North Korean regime in a rare move Thursday warned people against South Korean propaganda leaflets and started cracking down on residents who keep them.
State-run TV and radio said Thursday, "Psychological warfare schemes by military warmongers in the South have reached a peak," and accused South Korea of "dragging conservative groups into Baeknyeong Island to send hundreds of thousands" of propaganda leaflets "laden with USBs of impure movies and tattered dollar bills."
Residents in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province clashed with activists who wanted to launch helium balloons carrying propaganda leaflets to North Korea last Friday, it has belatedly emerged.
Police said some 150 activists, defectors and people with family roots in the North's North Pyongan Province attempted to clandestinely launch propaganda leaflets from Cheorwon last Friday but around 20 locals found out about the plan and stopped them for fear of retaliatory North Korean artillery attacks.
Lee Min-bok, the head of one group sending propaganda leaflets, said, "Around 20 residents and officials prevented us from floating leaflets. We pulled out after the clash, but I went back by myself around 9 p.m. and launched about 1.3 million leaflets."
He pledged to send more balloons from Baeknyeong Island on Friday to mark the anniversary of the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan.
South Korea launched a major live-fire drill Thursday near the tense land border with North Korea in a show of strength marking the first anniversary of the sinking of one of its warships.
Tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, helicopters and jets took part in the drill at the Pocheon range, 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of the border, the defence ministry said.
The show of force came a day after the North's military threatened to open fire if a planned launch of leaflets by anti-Pyongyang activists near the disputed Yellow Sea border goes ahead.
A majority of South Koreans support the idea of developing nuclear weapons or redeploying US atomic bombs to cope with the threat from North Korea, according to a survey published on Wednesday.
The survey, conducted by the private Asan Institute for Policy Studies, found that 68.6 percent said South Korea needs atomic bombs, while 28.9 percent replied negatively.
China's army chief wrapped up a high level visit to Nepal on Thursday, signing a new aid deal with Kathmandu's military that further cements ties between the two neighbours.
General Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of China's People's Liberation Army, arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday for the first visit by a high-level Chinese military delegation in 10 years.
South Korea's military conducted a live-fire artillery drill on Wednesday on a border island shelled by North Korea last November, officials said, the second firing drill since the North's bombardment that inflamed tensions.
The firing exercise was started by marines on Yeonpyeong Island, near the tense Yellow Sea border with North Korea, at around 9:30 a.m. and was scheduled to last for about three hours, said Col. Lee Bung-woo, a spokesman at the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
North Korea has apparently been building an improved version of its Song (Shark) class mini-sub. The 250 ton Sang is actually a coastal sub modified for special operations.
SEOUL (AFP) - China has reinforced fences and patrols along parts of the border with North Korea in an apparent bid to ward off a growing stream of refugees from its impoverished neighbour, a report said.
Four-metre-high (13.2 foot) fences topped with barbed wire are being erected along the Yalu River around the Chinese city of Dandong facing the North's northwest city of Sinuiju, Yonhap news agency reported late Tuesday.
South Korean activists said Monday they plan to resume sending anti-North Korea propaganda balloons across the border with the communist state next month to coincide with the birthday of Kim Il-sung, Pyongyang's deceased founder.
Seoul and Washington have agreed that the chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff will command support troops from the U.S. in case of a provocation from North Korea, a government source said Thursday.
North Korea's offers of dialogue are not sincere, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said Friday, urging the communist state to apologise for two deadly border incidents last year.
"They (North Korea) need to express their apology for what they have done," Lee told a press conference. "After that, we can move on to the next step.
"But if they threaten, attack and kill and after a period of time, say 'We should meet and talk', I think it is not sincere."
North Korea told South Korea Thursday to choose between dialogue or war, as Seoul made its first concession on aid since the North's deadly bombardment of a border island last November.
The communist state accused Seoul "warmongers" of whipping up hysteria and confrontation over two deadly frontier incidents last year.
South Korean activists Thursday launched tens of thousands of anti-regime leaflets across the border into North Korea, defying threats from Pyongyang to open fire on launch sites.
The South Korean government has approved another shipment of humanitarian aid by civic groups to North Korea.
World Vision and the Join Together Society (JTS) are planning to send food and infant formula, worth about 176 million won, to daycare centers and orphanages across the border.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will make his private trip to North Korea during the final week of this month, a source here said Monday, in another sign of easing tension between Washington and Pyongyang.
A bipartisan group of U.S. congressmen has submitted legislation to re-designate North Korea as a terror state sponsor for its provocations against South Korea last year.
South Korea's weapons procurement agency said Monday it is developing a new multiple rocket launcher with a prototype to be rolled out by 2013 to further neutralize long-range North Korean artillery.
The new rocket launcher, with a maximum shooting range of 80 kilometers, is also aimed at bolstering the artillery capability of the South Korean military, said officials at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
South Korea's defense minister said Tuesday that his military is carefully watching the eastern and western sea borders with North Korea as the North's armed forces were believed to have staged seaborne infiltration drills.
"As the sea ice thaws, North Korea appears to have started seaborne infiltration drills near the East Sea and Yellow Sea borders," Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said at a parliament session.
A civic group said Tuesday it will open a four-month training course for young North Korean defectors to help them become future leaders on the unified Korean Peninsula.
The parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Japan for its renewed territorial claims to the South Korean islets of Dokdo in a recently approved set of Japanese textbooks.
In a resolution adopted by the special committee on Dokdo, lawmakers urged the Japanese government to cancel its approval of 12 new textbooks that reinforce Tokyo's sovereignty claims over the rocky outcroppings in the East Sea. The history, geography and citizenship books will be available for use starting next year.
North Korea may attempt surprise attacks across the sea border with South Korea after practising marine infiltration drills, Seoul's defence minister said Tuesday.
Kim Kwan-Jin told lawmakers the drills began after the ice started to thaw and warned of the possibility of "various types of surprise local provocations" targeting the South.
"There are also frequent visits by (the North's) senior commanders to military posts and activities to keep (troops) ready for operations," Kim said.
He added the North's military continued its usual operations despite severe food and fuel shortages plaguing the impoverished country.
The South Korean military has enhanced its monitoring of North Korea's military.
A military source said that the South is closely watching a North Korean maritime exercise, which includes submarine drills, at its naval bases in the East and Yellow Seas.
The anti-cyber terrorism unit of South Korea’s National Police Agency (NPA) confirmed that North Korea was behind last month’s massive cyber attack, known as the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
NORTH KOREA remains adamant that it will never apologise for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship last year, according to an academic who visited the communist nation this month.
South Korea says the North must admit it torpedoed the Cheonan with the loss of 46 lives before dialogue can resume to ease months of tensions.
'North Korea says it cannot apologise for what it has not done and this position will not change even after 100 years or 1,000 years pass,' said Park Han Shik, a Korean professor at the University of Georgia in the United States.
North Korea has strengthened the intensity of its naval drills this year by deploying a new submarine, prompting South Korea's military to raise its level of vigilance, a government source here said Wednesday.
"North Korea is on naval maneuvers near its bases off the East Sea and Yellow Sea by mobilizing five to six submarines, including a new Sango class submarine," the source said on the condition of anonymity.
Particular attention is being drawn to the upcoming session as North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s heir apparent Kim Jong-un could be given a new title during the reshuffle process.
Some observers say the junior Kim is likely to be named vice chairman of the National Defense Commission.
The Obama administration said Tuesday it has not yet found enough evidence to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
"It's highly unusual for them to beef up submarine drills in March so we're intensely monitoring the situation," said the source.
Pyongyang has also started moving its military hovercraft from the northwest to a new naval base near the border to be completed in June, said another source quoted by the paper.
The new base at Koampo will make it possible for the North's troops to land via hovercraft on the South's border islands within 30 minutes, it said.
A ruling party lawmaker claimed Thursday it is "true" that North Korea has stored at least 1 million tons of rice for its military, reinforcing persistent speculation that the North may divert food aid to the military despite severe food shortages for ordinary people.
North Korea's top nuclear envoy traveled Thursday to China, a source here said, as a parliamentary session was apparently under way in Pyongyang amid speculation that more power will be bestowed upon the country's leader-in-waiting who is expected to visit Beijing soon.
The two Koreas will open a second round of discussions on a potential volcanic eruption at Mount Baekdu next Tuesday in North Korea’s city of Gaeseong.
A U.S. supercarrier will not take part in ongoing annual military exercises with South Korean troops because of disaster relief works in Japan, officials said Thursday, prompting the allies to scale back the drills.
North Korea will open its Supreme People's Assembly congress on Thursday for the first time since Kim Jong-un emerged as the heir-apparent of his father Kim Jong-il.
The commander of U.S. forces in South Korea Wednesday expressed concerns about further provocations from North Korea.
A senior U.S. defense official has reportedly held secret talks with top ranking Chinese generals, saying that if North Korea further increases its nuclear and missile capabilities, neighboring countries will take self-defense measures to protect their security, improve their alliances, and enhance offensive capabilities.
Flournoy stated at the meeting that if the North further increased its nuclear capabilities, there will be serious consequences for the security of both China and the U.S.
The U.S. official also said that either the North would take irreversible steps to denuclearize, or all concerned parties would go down a road no one wants to travel.
North Korea's Pyongyang Broadcasting Station which targets South Korean audiences says that North Korea will further bolster its nuclear deterrence for self defense purposes if the U.S. continues to strengthen its hostile policy towards the communist country.
n the North Korean capital, security forces are frantically seeking the sources of anti-government printed material. This includes one page mini-posters and 60 page pamphlets. These items are not only professionally printed (apparently in North Korea), but written by skilled communicators (perhaps also from North Korea). The ruling Kim family has demanded that the publishers and writers of these treasonous, anti-Kim, materials be found. But after weeks of efforts, the police have come up with nothing. That is even more frightening for the northern rulers.
It's believed that the anti-government material got printed, distributed, and protected in part because of the growing criminal underground. The increasing amount of legal markets, and continued existence of black markets, has provided security forces and local officials with frequently irresistible temptations to become wealthy gangsters. The security people either run their own gangs (that control prostitution, gambling, drug distribution and access to legal and illegal markets), or get large bribes for ignoring gang activities. It's become obvious that things are going downhill real fast up north, and the best form of insurance is a pile of foreign cash. This is often Chinese Yuan, which is like a second currency in the north. Cash can buy you out of a lot of trouble. If it can't, it can assist if you have to run for the border. For a growing number of officials, cash is life, and everything is for sale.
NORTH Korea has tightened security along parts of its border with China as part of a growing effort to clamp down on a stream of refugees, a Seoul radio station which broadcasts to the North said on Monday.
The government has urged North Korea to scrap its plans to cancel a contract with Hyundai Asan that grants the tour operator exclusive rights at Mount Geumgang in the North.
Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters on Monday that the North’s announcement is a unilateral move that goes against the agreements reached at business and governmental levels between the two Koreas. Chun also called the North’s recent plan an illegal and unjustified move that runs counter to international practices.
April 10, 2011: China recently introduced, for the export market, the M20 ballistic missile. This is a system where two of these 3-4 ton missiles are carried on a large truck transporter/launcher. What is worrisome to Russia is that the M20 looks very similar to the Russian Iskander (9K720) system. Increasingly, Russia has accused China of stealing a great deal of Russian military technology, and warned of repercussions if China tried to sell these copies to the export market. China has had plenty of time to steal Iskander's secrets. So far, China has not revealed details of the M20s operation sufficiently to make detailed comparisons with Iskander. But if the M20 contains too many of the Iskander special features, there could be, if not war, then litigation.
WASHINGTON — With tensions rising over China’s crackdown on dissent, the Obama administration is about to lose three of its most prominent players on China policy — a shake-up that could reinforce its efforts to cultivate other Asian countries to counterbalance an increasingly assertive Beijing.
Jeffrey A. Bader, President Obama’s top China adviser, is leaving the White House, senior officials said on Friday. James B. Steinberg, a deputy secretary of state who focused heavily on China, has announced plans to take a job in academia, while the American ambassador to China, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., will step down at the end of April to explore a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Taken together, the departures could alter the tone of the administration’s approach to China, one of its most vital but difficult relationships. Mr. Bader will be replaced at the National Security Council by his deputy, Daniel R. Russel, a Japan expert. Mr. Steinberg’s exit raises the profile of Kurt M. Campbell, the assistant secretary for East Asian affairs, who has also worked intensively on Japan.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou inaugurated a squadron of missile boats Thursday as he pledged to continue the island's military buildup to offset the perceived military threat from China.
The fleet of 10 locally manufactured missile boats joined the navy following a ceremony presided over by Ma at the northeastern naval base in Suao.
NEW DELHI: With an eye on China as well as in keeping with India's "Look East" policy, the Navy is slowly but surely bolstering force levels on the eastern coast with new warships, aircraft and spy drones as well as forward-operating bases (FOBs).
Additions to the ENC, which has around 50 warships at present, include the new indigenously-manufactured stealth frigate INS Shivalik, which is packed with weapons and sensors, and the 16,900-tonne INS Jalashwa, the huge strategic sea-lift amphibious warship second only to aircraft carrier INS Viraat in size.
South Korea's military will complete building its own missile defense system by 2015 that is designed to intercept ballistic missiles from North Korea, the defense ministry said Tuesday, amid high tensions following the North's two deadly attacks last year.
The North Korean regime has in place a sprawling civilian defense network to back up its 1.2 million-strong military, a fact that many experts in South Korea have failed to notice, said a North Korean defector who recently earned a doctorate in North Korea studies.