Is North Korea getting out of hand?

by JH 80 Replies latest jw friends

  • JH

    N Korea threatens US with first strike

    Pyongyang asserts right to pre-emptive attack as tensions rise over American build-up

    Jonathan Watts in Pyongyang
    Thursday February 6, 2003 The Guardian

    North Korea is entitled to launch a pre-emptive strike against the US rather than wait until the American military have finished with Iraq, the North's foreign ministry told the Guardian yesterday.

    Warning that the current nuclear crisis is worse than that in 1994, when the peninsula stood on the brink of oblivion, a ministry spokesman called on Britain to use its influence with Washington to avert war.

    "The United States says that after Iraq, we are next", said the deputy director Ri Pyong-gap, "but we have our own countermeasures. Pre-emptive attacks are not the exclusive right of the US."

    His comments came on a day when tension was apparent in Pyongyang, with an air-raid drill that cleared the city's streets and the North's announcement that it has begun full-scale operations at the Yongbyon nuclear plant, the suspected site of weapons-grade plutonium production.

    Since reopening the plant in December, the North has kicked out international inspectors and withdrawn from the global treaty to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

    Anxiety in North Korea has been rising since Washington announced plans in the past week to beef up its military strength in the area. Additional bombers will be sent to the region, along with 2,000 extra troops who will serve alongside the 17,000 already stationed on the North-South border. USS Carl Vinson may also be deployed.

    According to Pyongyang, the USS Kitty Hawk has already taken up strike position in waters off the peninsula. The US says that reinforcements are needed to warn Pyongyang that it should not try to take advantage of Washington's focus on Iraq.

    North Korean officials fear the extra forces are the start of the build-up for a full-scale confrontation - a dangerous assumption that could push the peninsula over the edge.

    During the last crisis, when the Pentagon planned a surgical strike on the Yongbyon nuclear plant, American generals were convinced that the North would rather launch a surprise attack than wait for a US military build-up.

    Mr Ri said today's stand-off is more dangerous: "The present situation can be called graver than it was in 1993. It will be touch and go."

    The crisis erupted in October when a US envoy to Pyongyang confronted the regime with suspicions that North Korea was engaged in a uranium enrichment programme, in violation of the 1994 agreement which ended the last crisis.

    To punish the North, the US cut off supplies of 500,000 tonnes a year of heavy fuel oil, a severe blow to a nation that is desperately short of energy. The north of the country is worst hit but power shortages are apparent even in the capital, where temperatures have fallen as low as -21C recently.

    The North claims that the Yongbyon nuclear plant is being used for peaceful purposes. "The US stopped our oil so our country faces a critical shortage of electricity," Mr Ri said. "Our nuclear activities will be confined only to producing electricity."

    Both sides say they are committed to finding a diplomatic solution but remain far apart in their demands. Pyongyang wants a non-aggression treaty but Washington has said it will not reward blackmail and has hinted only at a written guarantee of the North's security.

    Concern about the crisis has prompted South Korea and Japan to pressure the US to take a softer line. In a sign that this may be working, the US deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage said for the first time yesterday that the US would definitely hold direct talks with the North. "It is just a question of when we do it and how," he told the Senate.

    A breakthrough stills looks distant. The European Union plans to send a high-level delegation to North Korea later this month to mediate, but similar envoys from Russia and South Korea achieved little because the North insists that the issue is a bilateral matter with the US.

    The North has shown a willingness to open up to other na tions. In an important development, a new road link to South Korea was used for the first time yesterday.

    But the North know that the nuclear issue stands in the way of progress, prompting a request that Britain intercede. "The US must sign a non-aggression treaty," Mr Li said.

    "I hope that Britain can help to persuade them to do so."

    Japan may deploy two destroyers near North Korea to detect missile launches, the Kyodo news agency reported on yesterday. Quoting unspecified government sources, it said Tokyo believes it increasingly likely that ballistic missiles will be test-fired as part of the North's brinkmanship.

    Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

    Edited by - jh on 6 February 2003 7:44:28

  • ashitaka

    Yes. They're lobbying for things with their guns. Personally, I think they're worse than Iraq. North Korea is a dangerous, high casualty war waiting to happen.


  • Wolfgirl

    The fact that they are more dangerous than Iraq proves to me that Shrub, er, Bush, always intended to go into Iraq no matter what.

    I think Bush is pushing them, though. All of a sudden he starts sending more troops there; of course they're going to respond. It's what they do. Calling them part of an "axis of evil" didn't do anyone any favours either.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that they're not dangerous. But Bush is just as dangerous.

    Besides, he's being stupid. Anyone who's worth their salt knows it's impossible to fight a war on 2 fronts and win. Hitler learned that the hard way. Looks like Bush is going to have to learn the hard way as well, at the cost of many soldiers' lives.

  • TheOldHippie

    North Korea is not getting out of hand, but Bush and the USA is. As long as there is a president called Bush and a country called USA, I am afraid of what will happen to world peace. Leave the Iraqis and the Koreans alone! Don't try to act as if you are the world's policeman! Nobody has asked you to! You are killing far too many people already, thru your insane death penalty policy towards the Black, the mentally retarded, the Hispanics, the poor, the uneducated, the under aged.

    I'm so sorry the Indians did not manage to unite and wipe out the pale faced ones.

  • roybatty
    Besides, he's being stupid. Anyone who's worth their salt knows it's impossible to fight a war on 2 fronts and win.

    Let's see, during WWII, America fought Japan in the Pacific and Germany in Europe. Before you call the Prez stupid, read your history.

  • Realist


    funny..i just wanted to post the same article.

    North Korea is entitled to launch a pre-emptive strike against the US rather than wait until the American military have finished with Iraq, the North's foreign ministry told the Guardian yesterday.

    the foreign minister added that korea has the same right as the US to launch an pre-emtive strike.

    as sad as it is ...he is right in that. who can blame korea for doing what the US does.

    however this will never happen. neither the US nor north korea can afford a war (with or without nukes).

  • JH
    neither the US nor north korea can afford a war

    Very true, BUT North Korea seems to be sure its turn is next after Iraq. They are right on that.

  • Realist


    i don't think the US can do anything about north korea. they already put an embargo against the north and thats all they can do. NK is too strong militarily to even think about a war. unlike hussein they have modern weapons and a strong disciplined army. PLUS they would get chinese backing in case of a real confrontation.

    i rather suspect the US to turn on gadhaffi once again...or maybe iran.

    Edited by - realist on 6 February 2003 9:35:18

  • JH


    How come N.Korea is so strong militarily, and they are all starving to death? Japan is so strong financially and they are not as strong as Korea militarily.

    So close to Korea, Japan should do something about it. Japan could be a major power in the region. They have 120 million population. They are advanced technologically. They could produce hundreds of nuclear bombs overnight they said.

    I hope they don't do that. I think that Japan should take a larger role in this conflict. After all, it is in their back yard. I hope this works out peacefully.

    I agreee that the US can't tackle both at the same time without heavy losses. South Korea would lose many civilian lives in a war.

    Edited by - jh on 6 February 2003 9:52:8

  • Realist


    NK puts 60% or more of its industrial capacity into the military....just like the soviet union did. the regime will break down because of an economical collaps. the confrontation with the US is just helping the hardliners inside NK since an outside enemy always makes the population stick closer together.

    The US would of course win a war (if china would stay outside) BUT they would suffer huge losses (maybe even in civilian lifes)...something no president can afford.

    PS: japan just like germany is not permitted to built ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons.

    Edited by - realist on 6 February 2003 9:48:14

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