Tuesday, October 28, 2008

DPRK News Update: Government Warns South Over Provocations; Syrian Delegation Met; Response to US Accusations

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
12:38 Mecca time, 09:38 GMT

North Korea ratchets up threats

South Korean activists sent balloons across the border carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets

North Korea's military has warned rival South Korea to end what it says is a policy of confrontation, threatening to turn the South into "debris" if it continues.

In a statement on Tuesday, the North hit out at what it called a "smear campaign" by South Korean activists who have been sending hundreds of thousands of anti-North Korean leaflets across the border attached to balloons.

"The puppet authorities had better bear in mind that the advanced pre-emptive strike of our own style will reduce everything opposed to the nation and reunification to debris, not just setting them on fire," a spokesman for the North's military was quoted as saying.

The warning, carried on the official KCNA news agency, came a day after a rare face-to-face meeting between military officials from North and South.

"The advanced pre-emptive strike of our own style will reduce everything opposed to the nation and reunification to debris, not just setting them on fire"

North Korean military statement

The meeeting had been requested by the North to discuss ways of improving communications between military commanders on boths sides, but apparently no progress as made on the issue.

During the talks North Korea demanded that the South stop activists from sending propaganda leaflets across the border, officials in Seoul said.

Without immediate action to halt the leaflets, South Koreans working on joint industrial projects in the North would face expulsion, they said.

The meeting in the heavily fortified "demilitarised zone" between the two countries lasted just 20 minutes.

The meeting was only the second direct contact between the two Koreas since since the conservative, pro-US Lee Myung-bak took the South Korean presidency at the start of the year.

Balloon campaign

As Monday's talks were taking place South Korean activists launched a new batch of balloons across the border that they said carried 100,000 leaflets.

The South Korean government had warned the groups not to go ahead with the launch, saying it risked inflaming North-South tensions.

In its statement on Tuesday the North Korean military hit out at groups in the South it said were opposed to reunification.

"We clarify our stand that should the South Korean puppet authorities continue scattering leaflets and conducting a smear campaign with sheer fabrications, our army will take a resolute practical action as we have already warned," KCNA quoted the military as saying.

Such a "pre-emptive strike", it said, would be "beyond imagination relying on striking means more powerful than a nuclear weapon."

South Korean activists groups have been sending leaflets across the border by balloon for many years.

However, analysts say the latest round of leaflets have touched a nerve by referring to a taboo subject - the health of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il.

The reclusive Kim, who has not been seen for many weeks, is rumoured to have suffered a stroke in August.

North Korean officials insist the country's leader is in good health but have given no firm evidence of his well-being.


On Tuesday Japan's prime minister was quoted in media reports as saying he believed the North Korean leader was most likely in hospital.

Speaking to a Japanese parliamentary committee, Taro Aso said that intelligence reports indicated Kim was undergoing treatment but was still in charge and still capable of making decisions.

The state of Kim's health - and questions over who would succeed him - have been a topic of intense speculation since he failed to appear at a key anniversary parade in early September.

On Monday Japan's Fuji Television showed footage of a French brain surgeon who it said was personally recruited by Kim's eldest son, Kim Jong-Nam, to treat the 66-year-old leader in Pyongyang.

Source: Agencies

Kim Yong Nam Meets Syrian Delegation

Pyongyang, October 27 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, met and had a friendly talk with a delegation of the Syrian Trade Unions Federation headed by its President Mohammed Shaban Azzooz who is president of the World Federation of Trade Unions, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Monday.

Present there were Kim Song Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, and Muhammad Adib Al Khani, Syrian charge d' affaires ad interim to the DPRK.

At the talks the head of the delegation said that the friendly relationship between Syria and the DPRK was provided by Hafez Al-Assad and President Kim Il Sung.

He emphasized that the Syrian people would stand by the Korean people in their vigorous struggle to safeguard the sovereignty of the country and achieve its reunification under the leadership of General Secretary Kim Jong Il.

Sinister Intention Sought by U.S. through Its Claim about "Missile Threat" from DPRK Flayed

Pyongyang, October 27 (KCNA) -- The U.S. warlike forces are making much ado about the "missile threat" from the DPRK while letting loose a spate of conjecture as they please. This is preposterous and robber-like logic. Rodong Sinmun Monday observes this in a signed commentary.

It goes on:
The United States, an assailant posing missile threat, is pulling up the DPRK which has fallen victim to it. This reminds one of a thief crying "Stop the thief!"

The U.S. is reeling off a string of unreasonable and unilateral vituperation not understandable by the DPRK. It is getting evermore frantic in its moves to increase military expenditure and step up arms buildup including the modernization of nuclear weapons and the space militarization with an aim to put the world under its domination. However, it is finding fault with other countries in their efforts to increase their national defence capacity to cope with those moves.

The U.S. warmongers force the DPRK to stop the missile development, claiming that it poses "threat" to the U.S. This is really a robber-like logic little short of urging the DPRK to remain bare-handed.

By raising a hue and cry over the "missile threat" from the DPRK the U.S. seeks a sinister intention. It seeks to overwhelm other powers by holding a military edge through the establishment of the missile defense system (MD). The U.S. moves to build a missile shield is touching off great concern and denunciation of the international community as it is a revelation of its criminal intention to destroy the strategic stability of the world and spark off a new arms race and a nuclear war. It is precisely for this reason that the warlike forces of the U.S. are hell-bent on publicizing the fictitious story about the "missile threat" from the DPRK in a bid to justify their moves to establish the MD and push forward with it in real earnest.

Now that the U.S. is clinging to the military strong-arm policy towards the DPRK while running amuck in its moves to establish the MD under the pretext of the non-existent "missile threat" from someone, the DPRK will build stronger war deterrent for self-defence, not caring what others say.

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