10 July 2006

North Korea's Missile Situation


ST July 10, 2006
N. Korea threatens 'all-out war' as tension mounts

Seoul - NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong Il vowed no compromise and said he was prepared for 'all-out war', as tension mounted yesterday ahead of a United Nations vote on whether to impose sanctions on Pyongyang for its missile tests.

Japan, which has led the push to punish Pyongyang, warned yesterday that it would not rule out a pre-emptive strike on North Korea in case of a direct nuclear threat. 'It is impossible for us to do nothing until we are attacked by a country which says it has nuclear weapons and could fire missiles against Japan,' Foreign Minister Taro Aso said on public television.

That in turn prompted a swift rebuke from Seoul, which accused Tokyo of worsening the crisis, sparked off by the North's test-firing of seven missiles last Wednesday.

'There is nothing good in heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula...This will not help at all to settle the nuclear issue or the missile issue,' said a statement from President Roh Moo Hyun's spokesman.

The missile tests have provoked the strongest reaction in Japan. But the other major regional players, China and Russia, are against a UN draft resolution that would inflict more sanctions.

US envoy Christopher Hill yesterday urged the North Koreans to return to stalled talks on disarmament.

But Mr Kim, in his first reported remarks since the missile tests, pledged not to give up his country's weapons programmes.

'The General has declared that not even a tiny concession will be made to the imperialist US invaders, our arch enemy,' said a broadcast on North Korean state TV, referring to Mr Kim.

The North Korean leader, who never speaks himself in public, was also quoted as saying that if the US took 'revenge', it would mean 'all-out war'.

North Korea, which declared last year it had nuclear arms, walked out of six-party talks on ending its nuclear programme last November in protest against a set of US financial sanctions.

Its missile launch last week included the new Taepodong-2, believed to be capable of reaching Alaska or Hawaii but which quickly crashed into the Sea of Japan.

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chemgen said...

Brinkmanship and "rogue" states always go hand-in-hand. The global fashion now in isolated states is that the more they get pressured and/or isolated, they more keen they are on the idea of playing chicken.

So does it mean that no pressure should be exerted on them? Or perhaps the type of pressure put on such states only bring out the worst in them. But then, in North Korea's case, both carrots and sticks have been used in the past and still the games have not changed signigicantly.

Anonymous said...

As I said in my previous post under the previous NK article, there is no need to be unduly worried about NK.

This whole situation is going nowhere, and NK is only playing to get respect, fear, more foodstuffs, or to advertise their missiles to arab buyers, who may have been hesitant to purchase recently.

The US will never attack NK unless NK attacks SK or US assets, so there is no need to fear a conflict breaking out.

And lastly, NK has no oil and is not part of the war against jiahdism, except as a supplier of missiles(that don't work that well) in the most peripheral manner.

And the centralized NK govt loves its comfort and privilege too much to risk a war with the US, which will totally destroy them. Also SK will avoid conflict as much as possible, they don't want any war to interfere with their production of korean romantic dramas.

The status quo makes everyone happy and there is no reason for any party to risk war.


le radical galoisien said...

The best way to deal with annoying attention-seekers is not to give them any attention.

This applies at school, work, and finally, North Korea.

Anonymous said...

Nothing's really changed. It's China/Russia vs US on 'someone else's soil' all over again.
Everyone knows DPRK doesnt have what it takes to slug it out with US and Japan. Those 7 missles are just a face saving scheme for Kim he dropped his dong into Sea of Japan rather than the Pacific. I'm sure some scientist or General is getting his body parts removed right now.