Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 45, 09-06-2015
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Peace Network
PN's Voice No. 45 09. 06. 2015
Small steps, Road to peace
U.S. Believes N. Korea has Secret Nuclear Facilities
An official report that the US State Department recently submitted to Congress assessed that North Korea is running a secret nuclear facility in addition to its main nuclear site at Yongbyon. In the 2015 Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, which the US State Department submitted to Congress last week, the department said, “The United States believes there is a clear likelihood of additional unidentified nuclear facilities in the DPRK.” This is the first time that the US State Department has expressed its opinion in an official document about intelligence related to additional North Korean nuclear facilities. Although the document does not specify what evidence there may be for this opinion.
The Yongbyon complex houses the North's 5-megawatt reactor and other facilities that have provided the North with weapons-grade plutonium. The North also has a light water reactor under construction and uranium enrichment facilities at the complex that could provide the country with a second source of fissile material that can be used in building nuclear bombs. Following Six-Party Talks between China, Russia, the U.S., Japan and South Korea in 2005, North Korea committed to shutting down the Yongbyon facility and disabling key parts of its infrastructure there. However, it appears clear that Pyongyang has not followed through with its commitments as the report also noted that the North restarted the 5-megawatt reactor in 2013 and that the light water reactor under construction could give the North "a justification to possess uranium enrichment technology that could potentially be used to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons."
The report said that “the United States consistently urged North Korea to respond to diplomatic efforts to create the conditions necessary for resumption of Six-Party Talks, premised on a demonstrated DPRK
commitment to make meaningful progress toward denuclearization.” However, the report went to say that “North Korea’s continuing nuclear activities and statements attest that it currently has no intention to comply with its 2005 Joint Statement commitments and its UNSCR obligations.” Asked about its assessment, South Korea's Ministry of National Defense said on Monday that the intelligence authorities of Seoul and Washington "have been closely tracking and watching the relevant development regarding North Korea's nuclear tests." North Korea acceded to the NPT in 1985 but announced its withdrawal in 2003. North Korea has conducted three known rounds of underground nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, and has vowed to carry out "a new form" of test. Additionally in March 2013 the North announced the adoption of its Byungjin policy; a policy which aims to simultaneously develop its economy and nuclear capabilities.
Source : NK News, The Hankyoreh, Yonhap News
No Punishment Expected for N. Korea over SLBM
The U.N. Security Council is unlikely to impose new sanctions or issue any formal statement with regard to North Korea's test-launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine, a diplomatic source said Tuesday. The North announced in early May that it has successfully fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile. South Korea sent a letter to the North Korea Sanctions Committee under the U.N. council requesting a probe and punitive action.
"North Korea's firing of an SLBM is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. But China and Russia maintain a tepid stance," the source told Yonhap News Agency on the condition of anonymity. "The U.N. Security Council is a forum where political decisions are made." Some member states apparently believe that the North's SLBM technology is not at a level of serious concern yet, given its complicated nature, added the source.
China, like the U.S., seems to have an assessment that North Korea still has a long way to go to master the SLBM technology and deploy a submarine equipped with the weapon, according to the source. South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Hwang Joon-Kook had talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, in Beijing at the end of last month. Hwang earlier had a trilateral meeting in Seoul with the top nuclear envoys from the U.S., Sung Kim, and Japan, Junichi Ihara. They shared notes on the analysis of Pyongyang's recent provocations and discussed ways to coax it back to denuclearization talks.
Source : Yonhap News
G7 Leaders Condemn N. Korea's Pursuit Nuclear & Missile Programs
Leaders of the world's Group of Seven industrialized nations condemned North Korea's pursuit of nuclear and missile programs Monday as they wrapped up a two-day annual meeting in Germany. "We strongly condemn North Korea's continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its appalling human rights violations, and its abductions of nationals from other countries," the leaders said in a joint declaration, according to the White House.
The leaders also warned of increased sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine. "We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation and reaffirm our policy of its non-recognition," they said. Sanctions can be rolled back if Moscow meets commitments to respect Ukraine's sovereignty, the leaders said, while at the same time warning that they "stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase the cost on Russia should its actions so require." The leaders also renewed their commitment to the elimination of fossil fuels in an effort to curb climate change. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the G7 leaders agreed that the world should phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2100.
Source : Yonhap News
Japanese Scholars Urge Abe to Offer Apology for History
Hundreds of Japanese pundits urged their Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Monday to offer his own apology for Japan's wartime crimes and atrocities. The move comes a little over a month after Abe did not apologize for and ignored the issue of wartime sexual slavery in a speech before U.S. Congress, drawing condemnation from South Koreans. South Korea and Japan will mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic ties on June 22. In August, Abe is also scheduled to deliver a major speech on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The Japanese pundits said Abe should first express his resolve to honor previous formal apologies by Japan's leaders, including Yohei Kono in 1993, Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 and Naoto Kan in 2010. "(Abe) should deliver a message of remorse and apology, reaffirming (Japan's) invasion and colonial rule of many Asian countries, including Korea, China and other neighboring countries, caused damage and agony for people there," the group of 225 scholars said in a joint statement obtained by Yonhap News Agency ahead of its publication later in the day. They include Wada Haruki, an emeritus professor of Tokyo University; Naoki Mizuno, professor of Kyoto University; and others who have long studied Korea-Japan relations and historical issues.The most pressing issue between Seoul and Tokyo, the pundits stressed, is the wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women by Japanese troops during World War II. Even since Japan's apology for the matter in the 1993 Kono Statement, a variety of fresh documents and other materials have been discovered to prove the "establishment, operation and management" of "comfort stations" by the Japanese military, they pointed out.
Last month, hundreds of American historians issued a similar statement critical of Abe over his dubious stance on the historical issue.
Source : Yonhap News
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