PN's Voice 94

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PN's Voice 94, 13-10-2016
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PN's Voice No. 94   13. 10. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

Ex-USFK Commanders Support Pre-emptive Strikes against N. Korea

The former commanders of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) have expressed their support for possible pre-emptive strikes against North Korea if a nuclear attack is deemed imminent. Burwell Bell, who commanded U.S. armed forces stationed in South Korea from 2006 to 2008, said that pre-emptive strikes are necessary if information that the North is making the final touches on a nuclear attack is detected. "Their sovereign right to defend themselves against a catastrophic surprise attack demands that they reserve the right and have the capability (of pre-emptive strikes)," Bell said. The former commander noted that it is improper to wait until an actual attack takes place even if an imminent attack has been detected.

The argument about the need for pre-emptive strikes has been brought up especially after Pyongyang conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test on in September, claiming to have detonated a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can be mounted on a ballistic missile.

Walter Sharp, who was USFK commander from 2008 to 2011, has made a comment similar to that of Bell. He said that pre-emptive strikes should be guaranteed if there is clear evidence that the United States and its allies have become targets of attack by an enemy including North Korea. Comments from former USFK commanders are in line with previous remarks from Mike Mullen, former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen said during a forum hosted by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, Sept. 16, that it is important to develop "the capability to defend ourselves," noting that a preemptive strike is just one out of many potential options, and this depends on the actions of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Source : The Korea Times

NK’s Party Anniversary Passes Without Provocation

The 71st anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) passed on October 10th without any shows of military force from North Korea. Both the South Korean and US government had been employing surveillance platforms on the prediction that North Korea was likely to carry out a sixth nuclear test or ballistic missile test launch around the date.

“We’ve determined that North Korea is prepared to carry out provocations with nuclear weapons or missiles at any time,” said Ministry of Unification spokesperson Jeong Joon-hee during a domestic and foreign media briefing that day. At the same time, Jeong also said there had been “no special trends” of activities related to possible provocations; “Typically, there have been military reviews and central report meetings held on anniversary dates like the 65th or 70th anniversary of the party’s foundation, but we are not aware of anything this year apart from the usual events.”

No large-scale political events associated with the anniversary were reported that day by the Rodong Sinmun or the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
Source : The Hankyoreh

N. Korea Spy Agency Official Fled to South

A senior official from North Korea's spy agency fled to South Korea last year, a source said on Wednesday ― a sign suggesting growing discontent with leader Kim Jong-un among the country's elite. "An unidentified official from the Ministry of State Security defected to the South," said a source familiar with North Korean affairs. "As far as I know, the official told the relevant South Korean authorities about growing public discontent with the North Korean leader." It is rare for a senior official of the powerful Ministry of State Security to escape to South Korea.

The report of this defection follows a recent spate of high-profile North Koreans seeking asylum in the South, including Thae Yong-ho, a former deputy ambassador in London, and a high-ranking embassy official in Beijing. In July, a diplomat at the North Korean embassy in Russia also arrived in South Korea. On Tuesday, state-run broadcaster KBS reported that a group of 10 North Korean workers in Russia sought asylum in South Korea in August, citing an unnamed source. This is the first time that Pyongyang's overseas laborers have sought asylum without depending on brokers.

According to a media report, the angry North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un removed Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok-ung and banished him to a collective farm, holding him responsible for the notable defections.

As of the end of August, the number of North Korean defectors here has nearly 30,000; with 894 coming to the South in the first eight months of this year, according to data from the unification ministry. The mass defections are due to the international sanctions on the repressive state and on the North Korean leader's reign of terror, according to analysts. President Park Geun-hye has reiterated her calls for North Koreans to defect to the South, instructing the government to brace for possible mass defections.
Source : The Korea Times

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