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Old 08-21-2016, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default S. Korea, US start drills despite N. Korea's nuclear threat

SEOUL, South Korea South Korea and the United States began annual military drills Monday despite North Korea's threat of nuclear strikes in response to the exercises that it calls an invasion rehearsal.

S. Korea, US start drills despite N. Korea's nuclear threat
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:34 AM   #2
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No. Korea speeding up their nuclear capability...

South Korea says North's nuclear capability 'speeding up', calls for action
Sep 10 2016 - South Korea said on Saturday that North Korea's nuclear capability is expanding fast, echoing alarm around the world over the isolated state's fifth and biggest nuclear test, carried out in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
North Korea conducted the test on Friday and said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile, ratcheting up a threat that rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain. The test showed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was unwilling to alter course, and that tougher sanctions and pressure were needed to apply "unbearable pain on the North to leave no choice but to change", South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said. "North Korea's nuclear capability is growing and speeding to a considerable level, considering the fifth nuclear test was the strongest in scale and the interval has quickened substantially," Yun told a ministry meeting convened to discuss the test.

A cut-out of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set on fire during an anti-North Korea rally in central Seoul, South Korea

The blast, on the 68th anniversary of North Korea's founding, drew global condemnation. The United States said it would work with partners to impose new sanctions, and called on China to use its influence - as North Korea's main ally - to pressure Pyongyang to end its nuclear program. In Beijing on Saturday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui told North Korea's ambassador to China, Ji Jae Ryong, that the test was "not conducive to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula", China's Foreign Ministry said. "China urges North Korea not to take any more actions that could exacerbate tensions, and return as soon as possible to the correct direction of denuclearisation," Zhang said.

But Russia was skeptical that more sanctions were the answer, while China was silent on the prospect of a new U.N. Security Council resolution, although state media did carry commentaries criticizing the North. Under 32-year-old leader Kim, North Korea has sped up development of its nuclear and missile programs, despite U.N. sanctions that were tightened in March and have further isolated the impoverished country.

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Seoul: North Korea's 5th Nuke Test 'Fanatic Recklessness'
Sep 09, 2016 — North Korea said it conducted a "higher level" nuclear test explosion on Friday that will allow it to finally build "at will" an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons. It was the North's fifth atomic test and the second in eight months.
South Korea's president called the detonation, which Seoul estimated was the North's biggest-ever in explosive yield, an act of "fanatic recklessness." Japan called North Korea an "outlaw nation." North Korea's boast of a technologically game-changing nuclear test defied both tough international sanctions and long-standing diplomatic pressure to curb its nuclear ambitions. It will raise serious worries in many world capitals that North Korea has moved another step closer to its goal of a nuclear-armed missile that could one day strike the U.S. mainland. Seoul vowed to boost psychological warfare efforts by increasing the number of propaganda loudspeakers along the rivals' border, the world's most heavily armed, and the number of hours of anti-North Korean broadcasts.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes at a parade in Pyongyang

Hours after South Korea noted unusual seismic activity near North Korea's northeastern nuclear test site, the North said in its state-run media that a test had "finally examined and confirmed the structure and specific features of movement of (a) nuclear warhead that has been standardized to be able to be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets." "The standardization of the nuclear warhead will enable (North Korea) to produce at will and as many as it wants a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power," North Korea said. "This has definitely put on a higher level (the North's) technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets." North Korea, led by a third-generation dictatorship and wary of outsiders, protects its nuclear program as a closely guarded state secret, and the claims about advancements made in its testing could not be independently verified. But they center on a technological mystery that has long bedeviled outside experts: How far has North Korea gotten in efforts to consistently shrink down nuclear warheads so they can fit on long-range missiles?

South Korea's main spy agency told lawmakers in a closed-door briefing after the test that it does not think North Korea currently has the ability to develop nuclear weapons that can be mounted on ballistic missiles, but intelligence officials expressed worries that the North's efforts to do so are progressing more quickly than previously thought, said Kim Byungkee, a lawmaker from the opposition Minjoo Party. South Korean President Park Geun-hye strongly condemned the test, saying in a statement that it showed the "fanatic recklessness of the Kim Jong Un government as it clings to nuclear development." Kim is the North Korean leader. Park's office said she spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama about the test by phone from Laos, where she attended a regional summit. Park said South Korea will employ all available measures to put more pressure on North Korea, which had previously conducted nuclear tests every three to four years.


UN to begin work on new North Korea sanctions
Sun, Sep 11, 2016 - The UN Security Council has agreed to immediately start work on a new series of sanctions on North Korea after its fifth nuclear test drew global condemnation.
During a closed-door meeting on Friday, the council strongly condemned the test and agreed to begin drafting a new resolution under article 41 of the UN Charter, which provides for sanctions. “The members of the Security Council will begin to work immediately on appropriate measures under article 41 in a Security Council resolution,” New Zealand’s UN ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, who holds the council’s rotating presidency, said after the talks. South Korea, the US, Japan, Russia and China all condemned the blast at the Punggye-ri nuclear site: North Korea’s most powerful yet at 10 kilotons. In Seoul, dozens of protesters burned an effigy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and North Korean flags and called for “strong retaliation,” including pre-emptive attacks on North Korea’s nuclear complex. “Eliminate Kim Jong-un!” and “Destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons!” the activists shouted.

Some newspapers were equally scathing. “South Korea left unguarded before nuclear maniac,” read the banner headline of the top-selling Chosun Ilbo. However, North Korea’s ruling party newspaper yesterday said it would not submit to US nuclear “blackmail,” and described South Korean President Park Geun-hye as a “dirty prostitute” for working with US forces. “Gone are the days never to return when the US could make a unilateral nuclear blackmail against the DPRK,” said Rodong Sinmun, using the country’s official name. The Security Council met at the request of Japan, South Korea and the US to agree on a response, despite resistance from Pyongyang’s ally China to calls for tougher measures.

After the meeting, China’s UN ambassador Liu Jieyi sidestepped questions about Beijing’s support for sanctions. “We are opposed to testing and we believe that it is more urgent than ever to work together to ensure denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Liu said. “All sides should refrain from mutual provocation and any action that might exacerbate the situation.” North Korea has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006. After Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test, the council in March adopted the toughest sanctions resolution to date targeting North Korea’s trade in minerals and tightening banking restrictions.

Last edited by waltky; 09-11-2016 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:24 PM   #3
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Preparing for war on the Korean peninsula...

Analyst: Preparations needed to prevent Chinese intervention in North Korea
Nov. 7, 2016 - A South Korean researcher says Seoul must act quickly to make sure another country does not make jurisdictional claims.
South Korea should be prepared for a multinational intervention in the event of "sudden changes" on the Korean peninsula, and be ready to prevent Chinese military deployment, an analyst said on Tuesday. Hong Hyun-ik, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute, a South Korean think tank, said it would be an "urgent" priority for Seoul to block Chinese interference in the case of a political crisis in North Korea, Yonhap reported. South Korea must make sure North Korea's territory falls under Seoul's jurisdiction before another power makes the claim, Hong said.

The possibility that a third party could move on North Korea is real in the event of an emergency, according to the analyst. "China needs a new friendly regime in the North, and has a reason to want to secure weapons of mass destruction," Hong said. The researcher stated there are several scenarios in the event of a crisis such as a collapse, including the involvement of United Nations peacekeeping forces, some other type of multinational coalition, or a U.S.-South Korea joint intervention.

Hong also said the United States would prioritize the securing of nuclear weapons in North Korea, but China would concentrate on securing influence in the area. "In the event of a sudden change in North Korea, China would quickly block the border in order to prevent a mass inflow of North Koreans," Hong said. The move could involve the deployment of Chinese troops into North Korea. "Creating a buffer zone [against refugees] would be the most natural justification," for Chinese troop deployment, Hong said.

The analyst recommended the United States and South Korea, with support from the United Nations, take countermeasures against Chinese intervention by creating a buffer zone of refugee camps where North Koreans would receive assistance. On Tuesday U.S. and South Korea forces continued joint drills, this time simulating a helicopter deployment into North Korean territory, Yonhap reported.

Preparations needed to prevent Chinese intervention in North Korea -
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U.S. Forces Korea conducts evacuation drill for American civilians
Nov. 7, 2016 - Troops transported military families to Japan for the first time in seven years in an annual exercise that prepares them for a scenario of war.
U.S. troops in South Korea simulated the evacuation of U.S. civilians in late October and early November in the wake of recent North Korea provocations.[ The U.S. Forces Korea exercises known as "Courageous Channel" are held annually, but according to the U.S. Eighth Army this year's drill marked the first time in seven years training was held in the most lifelike setting, should war erupt on the peninsula. U.S. troops conducted training that transported civilians to a U.S. military base in Japan, Yonhap reported. "We exercise our non-combatant evacuations operations every year but this exercise is by far the most realistic. This is the first time since 2009 we have flown family members outside of the peninsula in support of this exercise," said Justin Sturn, an evacuation expert with the U.S. 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

Family members of U.S. military personnel, including children, participated in the exercises as non-combatant evacuees, according to the Eighth Army website. The families were transported to a U.S. army base in the South Korean city of Pyeongtaek then traveled to another base in Daegu on Chinook helicopters. They were then briefed at Camp Walker, weighed and processed through a relocation center, according to the military.

After spending the night in the area, they were sent to an airbase where they boarded a C-130 aircraft that departed from South Korea for Japan. The exercise was held between Oct. 31 and Nov. 3. Second Lt. Leigh Ostrander said a situation where U.S. civilians would need to be evacuated would be a "scary situation." "We need to be really aware of who we're working with and what's going through their minds as well as ours," Ostrander said.

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