PN's Voice 44

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PN's Voice 44, 02-06-2015
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PN's Voice No. 44  02. 06. 2015 
Small steps, Road to peace

N. Korea Calls on the UN to Take Action on S. Korea-US Joint Military Drills

North Korea says that if the United Nations takes issue with its recent test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile while ignoring military exercises between South Korea and the U.S., the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) would be proven to be a political tool. In a letter to the U.N. Security Council president on May 25, the North's ambassador to the U.N., Ja Song-Nam, said North Korea’s recent test-fire was a "legitimate measure of a sovereign state to bolster up its self-defense capability against the provocative military maneuvers of the United States." The letter said the UNSC would be "a political tool of the high-handed and arbitrary practice of one permanent member" if it only takes issue with the missile launch while ignoring the military exercises, which it called "real nuclear war games of aggression" aimed at occupying Pyongyang. Ja went on to say that the UNSC should convene an emergency meeting on the joint exercises.

The council can take up the matter only if there is a request from a council member. North Korea asked the UNSC to address the issue twice last year, but no formal discussions took place.
Source : KBS News


N. Korea Blames US for Failure of Denuclearization

North Korea claimed last week that the United States is to blame for their ruined ties and failure to achieve a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. The regime’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement released through the North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Sunday that Washington’s North Korea policy failed because it is based on a fundamentally erroneous view.

The ministry also criticized the U.S. for distorting the truth during the recent trilateral talks with South Korea and Japan by giving the impression that Pyongyang refused Washington’s advancement for dialogue. It claimed that the North proposed it would suspend nuclear tests if the U.S. and South Korea halt joint military exercises in January, but the U.S. pushed ahead with the drills and now is blaming the North for failing to resume talks. Pyongyang then vowed to ensure a "balance of forces" with the U.S. through its continued development of nuclear weapons.

The US responded a few days later by describing the North as a nuclear-armed country in its National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The phrase, nuclear-armed country, differs from the official designation of nuclear weapons state, which carries international legal obligations as stipulated in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Nuclear-armed country, instead, reflects assessments on a country’s nuclear armament capability. Under the NPT, North Korea is still regarded as a non-nuclear weapons state. The text of the bill that was proposed by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain last month also states that “Iran aspires to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.”
Source : KBS News


S. Korean Officials Says Pressure is the only Option for N. Korea

Regional powers agree that there is no other choice but to put more pressure on North Korea to bring the North back to denuclearization talks, an anonymous senior South Korean official said yesterday. He added that the reality was that there could be different views on the specific ways and level of pressure. It represents a dilemma for South Korea, which is seeking to get tougher on its hostile neighbor.

The South's top nuclear envoy, Hwang Joon-Kook, held trilateral discussions with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Sung Kim and Junichi Ihara, in Seoul last week. Hwang and Kim then visited Beijing for separate talks with China's top diplomat on Korea, Wu Dawei. The series of diplomatic meetings came in response to Pyongyang's claims of launching a ballistic missile from a submarine and mastering a technology to mount nuclear bombs onto missiles. In Tokyo, senior officials from South Korea, the U.S., Japan, China and Russia met for a regional security forum. All the countries are members of the now-suspended six-party talks on the North's nuclear weapons program. The anonymous sources said "The five parties have agreed on the need for pressure on North Korea. For now, there is no option other than pressure," the official told reporters on the condition of anonymity. "But there could be differences on what and how to do."
Besides U.N.-led sanctions, the human rights issue can be a card to ratchet up pressure on the North, but China and Russia remain opposed to that, he pointed out. "Economic cooperation can also serve as a tool for pressure," the official said without elaborating further. He added that what is important is to "change the thought and calculation" of the North's leaders and persuade Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table.

In a statement issued last Sunday, the North's foreign ministry said it's too late for any talks, saying the country will continue its efforts toward a "balance of forces" with the U.S. through the development of nuclear weapons. Another South Korean government official said, "It seems like North Korea publicly used the expression 'balance of forces.'” It apparently shows that Pyongyang has no will for talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear weapons program.
Source : Yonhap News


Yonhap Interview with Dennis Blair- the Former director of US National Intelligence

Yonhap News conducted an interview with Dennis Blair, the former director of US national intelligence last Friday. In the interview Blair said that North Korea is likely to be "exaggerating" claims that it successfully test-launched a ballistic missile from a submarine and miniaturized a nuclear warhead. Blair also slammed North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for being "very destabilizing, very dangerous," referring to a report by the South Korean spy agency that said Kim's defense minister had been purged and may have been executed.

North Korea has praised the recent test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile and boasted of its ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads. If confirmed, it would be a major breakthrough in the North's nuclear and missile capabilities, despite U.N. sanctions. "I think that North Korea is exaggerating its technical achievement," Blair said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency in Beijing on the sidelines of an energy conference. "It certainly does not have a tested or demonstrated capability of those areas….But, nonetheless, North Korea does have nuclear materials. It certainly has unconventional delivery means. So, we have to think that it is a small-scale nuclear state," Blair said. North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests so far and put an object into an orbit by launching a long-range rocket.

Blair, a retired admiral who also served as commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said the North could carry out its fourth nuclear test "to try to exert pressure, to try to get concessions from South Korea, the United States, Japan, maybe from China." To better cope with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, both South Korean and U.S. officials have indicated the need for an advanced American missile-defense system in South Korea. China, North Korea's economic lifeline and diplomatic backer, has publicly expressed its concerns over the possible deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to South Korea. Asked about China's concerns over the U.S. missile-defense system, Blair replied, "I think China is wrong. Chinese missile experts are very knowledgeable. They know the THAAD system cannot be used to threaten the Chinese missile-defense system." "The deployment is a decision for the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to make, based on its own reasons," Blair said.

South Korea and the U.S. have called for China to do more to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, but China's stance over its ideological ally, Pyongyang, has often been self-contradictory. Many analysts believe that China's ruling Communist Party leadership won't put enough pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions because a sudden collapse of the North's regime could threaten China's own security interests. Blair acknowledged the role of China in curbing North Korean aggression, but said China's leverage on the wayward ally is also limited. "I don't think that North Korea is paying any attention" to the Chinese calls for denuclearization," Blair said. "I think they are making their own decision."
Source : Yonhap News

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