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PN's Voice 111, 11.04.2017
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PN's Voice No. 111, 11. 04. 2017
Small steps, Road to peace
U.S. Reroutes Warships Toward Korean Peninsula in Show of Force
The US has ordered an aircraft carrier and several other warships toward the Korean Peninsula in a show of force by the Trump administration just days after North Korea tested another intermediate-range missile. Rerouting the naval armada is President Trump’s latest escalation in force against a potential adversary. Mr. Trump ordered a cruise missile strike last week against a Syrian military air base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government that killed scores of civilians.
At a meeting last week at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, he joined with President Xi Jinping of China in warning of the increasing menace posed by North Korea’s advancing nuclear weapons program. Asked on Sunday why the Navy ships were being redirected toward the Korean Peninsula, the president’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, said it was a “prudent” step to take. “North Korea has been engaged in a pattern of provocative behavior,” General McMaster said on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime. The president has asked to be prepared to give him a full range of options to remove that threat to the American people and to our allies and partners in the region.”
Military and intelligence officials said the timing of the ship movements was also intended to anticipate a milestone event coming up on the Korean Peninsula: the anniversary on Saturday of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder and the grandfather of the country’s current leader, Kim Jong-un. North Korea has a history of testing missiles and generally taking provocative actions during such events.
Asked how close North Korea was to developing a weapon that could reach the United States, Security of State Rex Tillerson said: “The assessments are, obviously, somewhat difficult, but clearly, he has made significant advancements in delivery systems. And that is what concerns us the most.” Tillerson added: “The sophistication around their rocket launch programs, their sophistication around the type of fueling that they use, and they’re working their way towards the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. And these are the kinds of progress that give us the greatest concerns.”
Source : The New York Times
North Korea lashes out at US Warship Deployment
North Korea has said it will defend itself "by powerful force of arms" in response to the US deployment of a Navy strike group to the Korean peninsula. The foreign ministry, quoted by state news agency KCNA, said the deployment showed "reckless moves for invading" had "reached a serious phase". "We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions," said the foreign ministry statement quoted by KCNA. "The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US," the statement said.
The US naval deployment showed North Korea had been right to develop nuclear weapons capability for use in self defence or in a pre-emptive strike, the statement added. North Korea has carried out several nuclear tests and experts predict more could be in the offing as it moves closer towards developing a nuclear warhead that could reach the US. There have been indications from North Korea that it may test an intercontinental missile, even though it is banned from any tests under UN resolutions. North Korea says it is provoked by military exercises between the US and South Korea, which it sees as preparation for an invasion.
Source : BBC News
SK believes U.S. won't Unilaterally Act on NK Without 'Cooperation' with Ally
South Korea's defense ministry said Tuesday the Donald Trump administration won't take any substantive military action against North Korea without "close cooperation" with Seoul. It cited the spirit of the bilateral alliance that dates back to the 1950-53 Korean War. "(Such a military operation, if any,) will be conducted under the robust South Korea-U.S. combined defense posture based on their close cooperation," the ministry's spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said at a press briefing. He was responding to mounting concerns here that the Trump government may seek a pre-emptive attack on the North similar to its recent airstrikes against Syria.
The U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles last week at an air base in Syria in response to the Syrian use of chemical weapons. Many observers construed it as a tough warning message to the North's Kim Jong-un regime bent on developing nuclear and missile programs. Some also raise the possibility that the United States may consider a "decapitation" strategy, a targeted attack to remove the enemy's leadership
Moon, however, would not use such words as "prior consultations" or "consent" directly between Seoul and Washington over such a military operation that could lead to a full-fledged war on the peninsula. "Close coordination includes that," he only said when asked repeatedly to clarify the government's view. "It's in line with the alliance spirit."
On Monday, Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of the liberal Democratic Party, stressed that South Korea should take the initiative in handling the North Korea issue. He said the U.S. should not make a pre-emptive strike on the North without the consent of the South Korean people.
Source : Yonhap News
Peace Network’s New English Podcast
Peace Network is delighted to announce the upcoming launch of its new biweekly English podcast which will be an English accompaniment to our widely followed Real Security (진짜 안보) Korean podcast. The latest geo-political issues focused around the Korean Peninsula and wider East-Asian region will be discussed and analysed by Peace Network’s coordinator Jeonghyun Seong and researcher Olly Terry. Please click the link below for the first episode which covers the recent U.S-China summit:
Source : Episode one
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