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NUKEWARS
NKorea has up to six nuclear weapons: Clinton

NKorea has 'nothing to fear' from new nuclear policy: US
Washington (AFP) April 9, 2010 - North Korea has "nothing to fear" if it breaks from its nuclear weapons program, officials in Washington insisted Friday after Pyongyang attacked the new US nuclear policy as showing continued hostility. "If they have concerns about what's in the Nuclear Posture Review, they have control on what happens next," said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, referring to the policy renouncing the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states in compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. "If they come back to the six-party process, if they take affirmative steps toward denuclearization, then they have nothing to fear from (the) NPR," Crowley said.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Pyongyang told the official news agency earlier Friday that "as long as the US nuclear threat persists, the DPRK (North Korea) will increase and update various type nuclear weapons as its deterrent." The ministry said that because Washington left options open against countries such as North Korea or Iran which it said defy non-proliferation obligations, the new policy is "nothing different from the hostile policy pursued by the Bush administration." The North quit the treaty in 2003 and has since staged two atomic weapons tests.

"There is a clear path for North Korea" to move toward denuclearization of the peninsula, Crowley said. "In doing so, North Korea can benefit from improved relations with the US and the international community." The North has also complained that the new US policy "chilled the hard-won atmosphere for the resumption" of stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. The talks, grouping the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, were last held in December 2008. The North announced in April 2009 it was quitting the forum and it staged its second nuclear test a month later.

N.Korean military threatens to stop border crossing
Seoul (AFP) April 10, 2010 - North Korea's military on Saturday threatened to bar South Koreans from crossing into the North in protest against anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from the South. It said it would examine whether to continue abiding by an agreement to provide a military guarantee for the passage of personnel through the buffer zone dividing the two Koreas. "The KPA (Korean People's Army) will take corresponding decisive measures soon unless the South side takes an understandable measure for discontinuing the despicable psychological smear campaign," it said. The North's military has "repeatedly and strongly" urged Seoul to discontinue the anti-North Korea campaign, it said in a notice sent to the South's military and carried by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency.

It denounced the South for "massively scattering leaflets defiling the DPRK's (North Korea's) ideology and system and videos of indecent property and even DVDs showing the decadent bourgeois life." "Such foolish act is a wanton violation and blatant challenge to the agreement reached between the militaries of the two sides to stop all the propaganda activities against each other," it said. In a response to the North's warning against the leaflets, carried by Yonhap news agency, the South Korean government said: "We have sincerely implemented the (2004) agreement to end propaganda campaigns against each other and we hope the issue does not make a hitch in the development of inter-Korean relations." South Korean activists who float anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea by balloon said last month that they had also started sending DVDs disclosing secrets about the private life of leader Kim Jong-Il.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 10, 2010
North Korea has as many as six nuclear weapons, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said as she pressed for international efforts to help denuclearize the volatile hermit country.

But Clinton also stressed that despite a recent new pact with Russia to reduce atomic stockpiles and a push for disarmament, the United States will keep nuclear arms so long as other countries have access to the weapons of mass destruction.

"We will not unilaterally disarm. We will maintain our nuclear deterrent," she said during a speech Friday in Louisville, Kentucky.

In a rare reference by the chief US diplomat to the number of weapons held by North Korea, Clinton said Pyongyang had "between one and six nuclear weapons."

The Council on Foreign Relations think-tank said last year that the North has built between six and eight nuclear weapons.

Washington and five other regional powers have struggled to get North Korea back to the negotiating table for disarmament talks after Pyongyang walked out in April 2009 and staged its second nuclear test a month later.

But Clinton said she was confident the so-called six-party talks grouping China, the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and the United States would resume despite what she called "instability" over the North's leadership.

She pointed to Iran and North Korea -- both exempted from the new US nuclear stance that vows not to attack non-nuclear states -- as countries "that have actively pursued nuclear weapons (and) are still doing so today."

"That's why we're emphasizing so much international efforts against both of them to try to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons in the first place."

North Korea slammed the new US nuclear policy, saying it "chilled the hard-won atmosphere for the resumption" of the stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, and vowed to strengthen its own atomic arsenal, the official news agency said, citing an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman.

earlier related report
N.Korea slams US nuclear policy, vows stronger arsenal
Seoul (AFP) April 9, 2010 - North Korea Friday attacked the new US nuclear policy, saying it showed Washington's continued hostility, and vowed to strengthen its own atomic arsenal.

"As long as the US nuclear threat persists, the DPRK (North Korea) will increase and update various type nuclear weapons as its deterrent in such a manner as it deems necessary in the days ahead," a foreign ministry spokesman told the official news agency.

In its "Nuclear Posture Review" announced Tuesday, the Obama administration renounced the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But it left open all options against countries such as North Korea or Iran which it said defy non-proliferation obligations. The North quit the treaty in 2003 and has since staged two atomic weapons tests.

"This proves that the present US policy towards the DPRK is nothing different from the hostile policy pursued by the Bush administration," the ministry said.

"What is most urgent is for the US to roll back its hostile policy towards the DPRK in practice."

The North also complained that the new US policy "chilled the hard-won atmosphere for the resumption" of stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.

The talks, grouping the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, were last held in December 2008. The North announced in April 2009 it was quitting the forum and it staged its second nuclear test a month later.

As conditions for returning, it wants a US commitment to hold talks about a formal peace treaty and the lifting of UN sanctions.

The North says it developed its atomic arsenal to deter a US nuclear threat and cannot give it up until the threat is lifted.

The foreign ministry said the North's goal is denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

"If the peninsula and the rest of the world are to be denuclearised, the US should stop such hostile acts as trampling down upon other countries' sovereignty and right to existence, pursuant to its policy of strength based on nuclear supremacy."



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NUKEWARS
S.Korea says Kim's trip to China likely late April
Seoul (AFP) April 6, 2010
South Korea's intelligence chief predicted Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il could make a long-anticipated trip to China late this month. Won Se-Hoon, head of the National Intelligence Service, told a parliamentary committee that Kim could visit Beijing around April 25, according to an unnamed lawmaker quoted by Yonhap news agency. Won's prediction was based on Kim's likely at ... read more







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