PN's Voice 109

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 109, 30.03.2017
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PN's Voice No. 109,  30. 03. 2017 
Small steps, Road to peace

N. Korea May Conduct Sixth Nuclear Test Next Month

Speculation looms that North Korea may conduct its sixth nuclear test next month in a show of force to South Korea and the United States. A diplomatic source in Beijing said on Monday there is growing possibility of an imminent test based on excavation work under way at two tunnel entrances at the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site. The source pointed out that Pyongyang is ready to conduct a nuclear test any time using any excuse, and that Seoul and Washington are closely watching its movements. The claims that the North are preparing for their sixth nuclear test were strengthened by the website 38 North at Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday who made the same deduction based on satellite imagery.

While a test could come soon, the source said it's uncertain whether it will happen around the China-U.S. summit set for early next month or April 15th to celebrate the birthday of the late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung. The source also predicted the test could be conducted around April 25th, which marks the anniversary of the foundation of the North Korean People’s Army.
Source : 38 North, KBS News, JoongAng Daily

NK Warns of Pre-Emptive Attacks against US

North Korea said on Thursday that the United States should be accountable for a possible outbreak of a war on the Korean Peninsula, warning that Pyongyang is ready to stage pre-emptive attacks in a resolute manner. North Korea has ratcheted up its bellicose rhetoric against ongoing joint military drills between Seoul and Washington, which involved US strategic assets, claiming that they are staging war rehearsals against the North.

A spokesman at North Korea's foreign ministry warned that armed with nuclear weapons, North Korea is prepared to counter what it calls Washington's attacks in a bid to make the US face a miserable end. "In case a war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, the US will be held wholly accountable for it, no matter who will launch a pre-emptive attack, as it is causing trouble by bringing lots of nuclear strategic assets and special warfare means...," the spokesman was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency.

The North showed a sensitive reaction against special operation drills by South Korea and the US, which are known to be aimed at eliminating the North's leadership in case of war. South Korean and US special operations forces, including the US Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden, are joining the allies' joint military exercises for the first time. North Korea has insisted that its development of nuclear weapons is a deterrent against what it calls Washington's hostile policy toward it.
Source : The Korea Herald

US Supreme Court Rejects Japan's Bid over 'Comfort Women' Statue

The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed Japanese government efforts to remove from California a "comfort women" statue that symbolizes victims of Japan's sexual slavery during World War II. The court on Monday decided not to review the case brought by U.S. plaintiffs who were supported by the Japanese government. It ended Japan's three-year bid to remove the statue. U.S. politicians involved in the case and civil rights groups applauded the decision. Glendale's comfort woman statue is the first erected outside Korea.

U.S. Republican Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Japan Times: "By remembering the past, including the women who suffered immensely, we help ensure these atrocities are never committed again. "Now that the highest court in the land has spoken, I hope those who've wasted years trying to rewrite history will finally move on."

Phyllis Kim, Executive Director of the Korean American Forum of California, was quoted by the news outlet as saying U.S. cities and states "have a right to remember grave human rights violations and include them in textbooks." She said the Japanese government "has publicly supported this shameful lawsuit in its efforts to deny, downplay and erase the dark history of its war crimes." Meanwhile Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that the court's refusal to hear the case was "an extremely regrettable decision."
Source : The Korea Times

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