PN's Voice 77

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 77, 24-03-2016
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PN's Voice No. 77   24. 03. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

38 North: NK Nuclear Test Site is Active

North Korea’s Punggye-ri site in North Hamgyong Province, is active and could be ready for new nuclear tests according to 38 North, a website which specializes in North Korean affairs and is run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The news comes as Pyongyang continues to ignore United Nations resolutions and threaten further nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

“It is highly likely that site is capable of supporting additional tests at any time,” the website said. Satellite imagery provided by Airbus Defense and Space showed maintenance activity at the north portal, where North Korea’s fourth nuclear test took place on Jan. 6. Analysis of melted snow and water draining indicate the possibility of the site being readied for future launches.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un vowed another nuclear test and ballistic missiles “in a short time” last Tuesday. His remarks defied a United Nations Security Council resolution unanimously adopted earlier this month calling for the strongest-ever sanctions in response to Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test and subsequent missile launches.

Kim Hong-kyun, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, told reporters Saturday that China is showing willingness to hold three-way talks with the US and S. Korea; “We have proposed three-way negotiations between South Korea, the United States and China in order to carry out the UN Security Council resolution, and China said it is reviewing this with an open posture.”
Source : 38 North

North Korea Claims More Progress in Missile Development

North Korea said on Thursday that it had successfully conducted a high-powered, solid-fuel rocket engine test, which if confirmed would be a major step forward in boosting its missile attack capability against South Korea and the United States. North Korea is known to use liquid propellants for its main ballistic missiles that target South Korea, U.S. bases in the Asia-Pacific region and the American mainland. Liquid-fuel missiles need to be re-fueled each time before they are launched, so it is relatively difficult to use them on short notice. The use of solid propellants, already loaded inside missiles, reduces launch preparation time and increases the mobility of the weapons, making it harder to detect signs before they are launched.

It is not possible to independently confirm the North's statement or other high-profile announcements from the secretive, tightly controlled country. Consequently, South Korea's Defense Ministry said Thursday it needs to analyze the statement.

The North's test appears intended to use solid propellants for missiles with a range of 400-500 kilometers (250-310 miles) that can place all of South Korea in its striking range, and Pyongyang will likely try to do the same on medium- and long-range missiles, according to analyst Chae Yeon-seok at South Korea's state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute. Chae said the North already uses solid propellants for some short-range missiles.

In an apparent effort to prove its claims of boosted nuclear capability, North Korea has also disclosed purported mock-up of a nuclear warhead and claimed to have developed a re-entry vehicle for a missile that is needed to return warhead to the atmosphere from space so it could hit its intended target. The re-entry vehicle is considered one of the last major technologies North Korea must master to develop long-range missiles equipped with nuclear weapons capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Source : The New York Times

Park Calls For Military Readiness for Possible NK Provocation

President Park Geun-hye ordered the military to strengthen security across South Korea, a government official said on Thursday, as North Korea has ratcheted up its threats against its southern neighbor. Park "instructed the military to be fully ready to aggressively cope with North Korea's reckless provocations," Kim Sung-woo, chief presidential press secretary, told reporters.

Park's comments came as North Korea threatened to turn Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea's presidential office, into a "sea of flames and ashes." North Korea has made the latest threat in apparent anger over tougher U.N. sanctions and joint military drills between Seoul and Washington. The U.N. Security Council has slapped tougher sanctions on North Korea to punish the regime for its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7.
Source : The Korea Times


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