PN's Voice 85

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 85, 23-06-2016
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PN's Voice No. 85   23. 06. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

UNSC to Hold Emergency Meeting to Discuss N. Korea's Latest Missile Launches

The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) is expected to hold an emergency meeting to discuss North Korea's latest intermediate-range ballistic missile launches. Under a series of UNSC resolutions, the North is banned from conducting any ballistic activity. It is considered to be an unusual move for the UNSC to hold an emergency meeting over intermediate-range ballistic missile launches as it has previously responded to such missile tests by adopting a press statement without holding a meeting. Some have interpreted the UNSC’s decision to call an emergency meeting a sign of how seriously it is treating the threat of North Korean provocations and breaking of several international bans on such missile launches.

The U.S. and Japan are said to have called for the meeting through consultations with South Korea. On Wednesday, North Korea fired off what is believed to be two Musudan mid-range missiles from the east coast city of Wonsan. The second missile flew over 400 kilometers and Pyongyang claims it was a success.
Source : KBS News

Pyongyang Claims Latest Missile Launch Was Success

North Korea has claimed that it has succeeded in testing an intermediate-range ballistic missile. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday that the regime succeeded in test-firing what it called “surface-to-surface mid- to long-range strategic ballistic missile named Hwasong-10.” A Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile is also referred to as Hwasong-10.
The KCNA said the Musudan missile soared to the altitude of one-thousand-413-point-six kilometers and precisely landed on the target area 400 kilometers away. According to the KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watched the test-firing on-site and assessed that the successful launch equips the regime with the ability to attack U.S. territories within its Pacific operation areas and strengthen North Korea's nuclear attack capacity.

Whilst the outside world has been quick to condemn the latest test, various international missile experts have estimated that the latest test was at the very least partially successful.
Source : KBS News, NK News, The New York Times

Defectors at the Centre of Inter-Korean Struggle

South Korea’s intelligence agency is to continue to hold 13 North Koreans at the heart of a bitter dispute between the rival countries. Intelligence officers want longer to question the group of 12 waitresses and a manager at a North Korea-run restaurant in China, who arrived in Seoul in April. South Korea says they defected of their own free will, while the North claims they were abducted.
A group of South Korean human rights lawyers, Lawyers for a Democratic Society, want to question the group about whether they defected freely, after the intelligence agency refused to present them in court. The group accused the National Intelligence Service of blocking the women’s access to legal services and their right to speak freely about their trip to the South. Lawyers for the group presented the court with a power of attorney, which they said they had obtained from the women’s North Korean families.

The case has drawn keen attention in South Korea because of the way it might affect the country’s handling of other North Korean defectors. By law, the National Intelligence Service can keep North Koreans who flee to the South at the secluded facility outside Seoul for as long as six months for debriefing and to ferret out spies. Human rights researchers and opposition lawmakers have quoted some former inmates as saying they were subjected to abusive language, violence and threats of deportation while they were held there. The agency has responded that it honors all inmates’ human rights.
Source : The Guardian, The New York Times


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