Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




NUKEWARS
N. Korea parliament meets as tensions soar
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) April 1, 2013


US takes new North Korean threat 'seriously'
Washington (AFP) March 30, 2013 - The White House said Friday it took a new warning from North Korea that it was in a state of war with South Korea seriously, but said Pyongyang's threats were following a familiar pattern.

"We've seen reports of a new and unconstructive statement from North Korea," said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

"We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies."

North Korea earlier delivered the latest in a string of dire threats that have drawn a tough response from Seoul and Washington, and sparked international concern that tensions on the peninsula could get out of control.

Pyongyang said it had formally entered a "state of war" with South Korea and warned that any provocation would swiftly escalate into a nuclear conflict.

While seeking to show appropriate concern at Pyongyang's latest statement, Washington also sought to place the new North Korean threat into the context of a string of rhetoric from Kim Jong-Un's regime.

"We would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats and today's announcement follows that familiar pattern," Hayden said, noting that the United States was fully capable of protecting itself and its Asian allies.

"We continue to take additional measures against the North Korean threat, including our plan to increase the US ground-based interceptors and early warning and tracking radar," she said.

Earlier, deputy White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One that Pyongyang was purely to blame for escalating tensions.

"We are coordinating pretty closely with not just our allies, but also with Russia and China which also have a significant stake in resolving this situation peacefully," Earnest said.

"The path to peace for the North Koreans is clear," namely halting bellicose rhetoric, ending the nuclear program and putting their people first.

Joint industrial estate remains open despite N. Korea threat
Seoul (AFP) March 31, 2013 - An inter-Korea joint industrial complex, which lies inside North Korea, was operating normally on Sunday despite the North's threat to shut it down, a Seoul official said.

The complex in the city of Kaesong, just north of the border, was running as usual after Pyongyang warned of a potential closure as it declared a "state of war" with the South on Saturday, said Seoul's Unification Ministry.

"There has been no problem so far in operations of the Kaesong complex," a spokesman of the ministry handling cross-border affairs told AFP without elaborating.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex, which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) inside North Korea, was built by the South in 2004 as a symbol of cross-border cooperation.

Around 53,000 North Koreans work at plants for 120 South Korean firms at the complex, which serves as a crucial source of hard currency for the impoverished communist state.

Tensions are ratcheted high between North and South Korea and on Saturday Pyongyang warned Seoul and Washington that any provocation would swiftly escalate into an all-out nuclear conflict.

It was the latest in a recent string of threats from Pyongyang, which have been met by tough warnings from Seoul and Washington, fuelling international concern that the situation might spiral out of control.

The Kaesong complex has remained largely immune to strains on cross-border relations and has continued to produce goods from shoes to watches, despite tension heightened by the North's recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament was set to meet on Monday at a time of soaring military tensions and a day after ruling party leaders vowed to enshrine Pyongyang's right to nuclear weapons in law.

The annual single-day session of the Supreme People's Assembly usually scores low on important policy announcements -- its role largely limited to unanimously pushing through pre-decided budgets and personnel changes.

But with North Korea having declared itself in a "state of war" with the South, Monday's session will be closely watched for any sign of the current crisis impacting on the fortunes of members of the ruling elite.

"The North has played most of its political cards, so I don't see any fresh, tangible threats to come out after the meeting," said Cho Han-Bum, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification.

"It will probably issue some kind of symbolic statement, like urging all North Koreans to stand ready for a possible war," Cho said.

The Korean peninsula has been caught in a cycle of escalating tensions since North Korea's long-range rocket launch in December which its critics condemned as a ballistic missile test.

United Nations sanctions were followed by a nuclear test in February, after which came more sanctions and then a stream of near-daily threats from Pyongyang as South Korea and the United States conducted joint military drills.

Those threats have run the gamut from limited artillery bombardments to pre-emptive nuclear strikes, and have been met with promises from Seoul and Washington to hit back at any provocation.

"I believe that we should make a strong retaliation as early as possible without any political consideration if any provocations are made," South Korean President Park Geun-Hye reiterated Monday in a meeting with security officials.

The US military said Monday it had deployed F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to South Korea as part of the ongoing "Foal Eagle" military exercise.

The jets were reportedly flown out of the US air base in Okinawa, Japan.

Although it is not the first time F-22s have been used in the annual drill, their presence is sure to further infuriate Pyongyang.

North Korea has already threatened to strike the US mainland and US bases in the Pacific in response to the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers in this year's exercise.

The parliament session was preceded by a gathering on Sunday of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party, chaired by North Korea's young leader Kim Jong-Un.

According to the official Korean Central News Agency report, the meeting decided that the North's possession of nuclear weapons "should be fixed by law", and that its nuclear arsenal should be beefed up "qualitatively and quantitatively".

On Saturday, North Korea declared that it had entered a "state of war" with South Korea and warned Seoul and Washington that that any provocation would swiftly escalate into an all-out nuclear conflict.

Both South Korea and the United States chose to downplay the announcement as just another in a long line of rhetorical provocations.

One threat that grabbed more attention related to the possible closure of a joint-Korean industrial complex which lies inside North Korea.

The Kaesong estate -- established in 2004 as a symbol of cross-border cooperation -- is a crucial source of hard-currency revenue for North Korea which has never allowed past crises on the peninsula to impact its operations.

On Saturday, the North's state body in charge of the complex said it would shut Kaesong down completely if South Korea continues to affront Pyongyang's "dignity".

The border crossing to Kaesong, which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) on the North side, was functioning normally on Monday.

The operating stability of the complex is seen as a true bellwether of inter-Korean relations, and its closure would mark a significant escalation of tensions beyond all the military rhetoric.

.


Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





NUKEWARS
N. Korea vows to strengthen nukes amid tensions
Seoul (AFP) March 31, 2013
North Korea vowed Sunday to strengthen its nuclear weapons, a day after announcing it is in a "state of war" with South Korea, and said it would never trade its atomic deterrent for aid. Tensions have risen sharply since the United Nations tightened sanctions in response to the North's nuclear and missile tests, and since the United States and South Korea launched military drills south of th ... read more


NUKEWARS
Northrop Grumman AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR Radar System Demonstrates Ballistic Missile Defense Capability

EAPS Completes Miniature Hit-To-Kill Interceptor Flight Test

Israel: Iron Dome shootdown rate disputed

White House: no Patriot missiles in Syria

NUKEWARS
Taiwan to aim 50 medium-range missiles at China: report

India's Nirbhay missile aborted in flight

Taiwan develops medium-range missile: report

US Newest Missile Warning Satellite Encapsulated in Launch Vehicle Payload Fairing

NUKEWARS
US Congress hears calls for drone safeguards

'Journalism drones' on the horizon

N. Korean leader watches 'drone' attack drill: KCNA

Friend or foe? Civilian drones stir debate

NUKEWARS
Soldiers and Families Can Suffer Negative Effects from Modern Communication Technologies

DARPA Seeks More Robust Military Wireless Networks

DoD Selects Northrop Grumman for Joint Command and Control System

Northrop Grumman Highlights Affordable Milspace Communications

NUKEWARS
Nanofoams could create better body armor

NGC Offers New High-Resolution Sensors for Hawk Air Defense System

Seven killed in Marine Corps training accident

UN staring down a barrel over arms treaty

NUKEWARS
Commentary: Russia's Treasure Island

India: Tejas must be operational by 2014

Iran, N. Korea, Syria block arms trade treaty

Libya 'plans to spend $4.7B on defense'

NUKEWARS
Three Chinese ships enter disputed waters: Japan

Japan seeks Mongolia support in China island row

Taiwan adds new ships to patrol disputed islands

Putin orders surprise Black Sea military exercises

NUKEWARS
Imaging methodology reveals nano details not seen before

Glass-blowers at a nano scale

Nanoparticles show promise as inexpensive, durable and effective scintillators

Scientists develop innovative twists to DNA nanotechnology




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement