Monday, July 10, 2006

DPRK Update on Current Developments

Kim Jong Il, DPRK
Originally uploaded by panafnewswire.
U.S. Accused of Military Reinforcement and Exercises

Pyongyang, July 4 (KCNA) -- The Bush administration is raising the military spending and accelerating the production of new sophisticated weapons allegedly to arrest terrorism and guarantee peace. Meanwhile, it is ceaselessly staging large-scale war exercises in different parts of the world, increasing the danger of war. Commenting on such moves, a news analyst of Rodong Sinmun Tuesday says:

After the Cold War the United States has pushed ahead with the reorganization and relocation of the U.S. military forces mainly to establish its domination over the Asia-Pacific region, massively deploying modern military equipment in the region. And it has ceaselessly conducted all-round military exercises aimed at preemptive attack, intentionally rendering the situation strained.

RIMPAC-2006, the joint military exercises now under way in the waters of the Pacific, is also a naval offensive operation, pursuant to the U.S. strategy for domination over the Asia-Pacific region, and an escalation of the U.S. aggressive moves for a new war.

The United States is more frantically increasing the military spending and intensifying the arms buildup and war provocations under the deceptive pretext of "preventing terrorism" and
"guaranteeing peace", bringing the situation to the brink of a war.

In the new century military expenditure is drastically increasing worldwide and new arms race being accelerated due to the U.S. imperialists' reckless war moves for aggression and their ambition for domination over the world.

The United States does not want peace at all, but only seeks to oppress other countries and dominate the world by force.

With nothing the U.S. imperialists can cover up their criminal nature as a chieftain of aggression and war and an enemy of peace.

The U.S. should stop at once such reckless moves of seriously threatening and destroying the world peace and stability and accelerating new arms race.

DPRK Demands Japan and U.S. Return Looted Cultural Relics

Pyongyang, July 4 (KCNA) --The Japanese reactionaries and the U.S. imperialists should apologize for their aggression and plunder in Korea and unconditionally return all the cultural relics they looted from it. A spokesman for the Bureau for Direction of Cultural Preservation of the DPRK demanded this in a statement issued Tuesday 90 years since the Japanese promulgation of "Regulations on preserving historic spots and relics" aimed to destroy and plunder cultural relics in Korea.

After the promulgation of the above-said regulations on July 4, 1916 the Japanese imperialists set up such organizations as "Committee for surveying historic spots in Korea", "Museum of 'Government-General' in Korea" and "Society for Preserving Historic Spots" that specialized in plunder and indiscriminately destroyed or plundered valuable cultural treasures of Korea, the statement noted, and continued:

The Japanese imperialists' plunder and vandalism of cultural relics in Korea were intolerable barbarism and crimes against humanity as they were aimed to stamp out the Koreans' long history and their national identity and destroy human civilization.

The Japanese reactionaries have not yet admitted the hideous and shameless cultural plunder and vandalism but worked hard to justify them although 60 years have passed since the defeat of Japan. They have gone the lengths of working with blood-shot eyes to stage a comeback to Korea, inciting militarism, as evidenced by their desperate efforts to grab Tok Islet, part of the inviolable territory of Korea.

Such tragedy as vandalism of historic spots and looting of artifacts of Koreans by the U.S. imperialists is still going on in south Korea.

The Japanese and U.S. imperialists are looters and destroyers of the historic and cultural relics created by the Koreans and their sworn enemies as they inflicted unbearable misfortune and pain upon them.

All the Koreans in the north and the south and abroad should wage a vigorous struggle to get those cultural relics retrieved in the spirit of "By our nation itself."

Japan Urged to Return Cultural Relics It Looted from Korea

Pyongyang, July 4 (KCNA) -- The "regulations on preserving historic spots and relics" proclaimed by the Japanese imperialists on July 4, 1916 was a criminal state document Japan cooked up to destroy the culture of Korea and exterminate its nation. Minju Joson Tuesday says this in a signed commentary. It goes on: On the strength of these regulations the Japanese imperialists set up mechanisms that specialized in looting the cultural treasures and robbed Korea of countless material and intellectual properties of culture during their occupation of it.

They vandalized what they could not take away to Japan. Through such plunder and destruction of cultural relics they sought a sinister and criminal purpose to make the resourceful Korean nation part of the Yamato nation and enslave the Koreans. Such being a stark fact, the Japanese reactionaries have not yet admitted such hideous plunder and vandalism of cultural relics but worked hard to justify them, although 60 years have passed since the defeat of Japan. Worse still, they are keen to stage a comeback to Korea.

The issue of cultural relics the Japanese imperialists looted from Korea still remains an unhealable wound in the minds of Koreans.

Such tragedy as looting and vandalism of cultural relics and artifacts by the U.S. imperialist aggressors is still going on in south Korea.

The U.S. imperialists and the Japanese reactionaries should apologize for looting and destroying cultural treasures of the Korean nation and unconditionally return all of them to it.

Commentary By Tim Beal

George Washington, it will be recalled, was reported to have said he could not tell a lie. His successors have also claimed to find telling lies abhorrent, but sometimes do get exposed. Nixon had a bad time of it, and more recently, Bill Clinton was found to have been rather economical with the truth.

However, it is George W. Bush who is commonly considered to have taken lying to new heights, or perhaps depths. Iraq, and its mythical weapons of mass destruction (and implied ties with Al Qaeda), is the most obvious example. All governments lie, and no statement, whether it comes from Washington, Pyongyang or Wellington should be accepted uncritically. However, the present US Administration does seem to be more cavalier with reality than most.

Partly it is because the United States is, in Professor Niall Ferguson’s phrase, an empire in denial, rather like the Soviet Union. The reality is constantly at odds with the rhetoric, which needs to be deconstructed. ‘Peace’ means pacification, ‘ally’ means subordinate and ‘democracy’ escapes easy definition but is not democracy as we know it.

However, the George W. Bush administration has fabricated allegations in a quite distinctive manner. It has done this in the case of Korea, as much as in respect of Iraq. The main difference has been that the Iraq allegations were put to the test, but the Korean ones are unverifiable as long as the DPRK remains a sovereign state. It is also a question not so much whether the allegations have some basis in fact, but whether the consequences of the allegation are proportionate to the evidence or the importance of the alleged ‘crime’.

Seoul, anxious that the Six Party Talks succeed, is unhappy at what it sees as deliberate neocon attempts to derail them with allegations of counterfeiting, drug-running, and the like. In addition, the assertion that crimes committed by North Korean citizens are evidence that the DPRK is a ‘criminal state’ and therefore may be punished by the US as a state, through sanctions, is a violation of international law.

In October 2002 Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly claimed that he had confronted First Deputy Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju in Pyongyang with evidence that the DPRK had a heavy enriched uranium programme for weapons production, and that Kang had admitted this. North Korea soon denied both allegations (and has continued to do so) and called Kelly a liar, but the result was that the Bush administration was able to demolish the Agreed Framework, which it had reluctantly inherited from the Clinton administration, and so unleash the present crisis.

Not being at the meetings it is impossible for outsiders to be sure what transpired. The likeliest explanation, advanced by Selig Harrison (Foreign Affairs, February 2005) is that the DPRK did import centrifuges from Pakistan to process fuel from its abundant supplies of natural uranium in readiness for the Light Water Reactors promised under the Agreed Framework. The US has now managed to have that promise formally abrogated. What is also significant, Harrison continues, is that the US has never produced evidence sufficient to convince other governments. The Chinese, in particular, have publicly expressed skepticism.

In March 2005, Dafna Linzer in the Washington Post revealed that ‘US Misled allies about nuclear export’ from DPRK to Libya. This was in an attempt to put pressure on the other members of the Six Party Talks to take a hard line against the DPRK.

Then in September the US claimed that a bank in Macau was laundering North Korean-made counterfeit $100 notes (called ‘supernotes’ because of their high quality) and imposed fresh sanctions. The following month it sought the extradition of Sean Garland, president of the Irish Workers Party (IWP) on allegations of distributing them in the UK.

The Americans have said they have seized $45 million worth of such notes which were part of a IWP-DPRK conspiracy to
‘destabilise’ the US dollar. It is hard to see that $45m or even $450m could have much impact and in reality the real dangers to the dollar come from Iran’s moves to denominate oil exports in Euros (which may be one of the real reasons for the reported plans for a US/Israeli nuclear attack on Iran) or the administration’s huge deficits. Be that as it may, what was striking was the timing, and the lack of evidence, not of counterfeiting as such, but who was doing it.

All this happened just after the US had very reluctantly signed the 19 September Joint Statement which opened the way for the resolution of the crisis. It was reported that the Americans knew about these counterfeits since 1989, and Garland himself had been the subject of a BBC exposé in June 2004. In fact, the charges stemmed from a strategic decision taken in February 2005 to deploy a ‘tool kit’ of accusations to pressure the DPRK and bypass the Six Party Talks. This was revealed in the New York Times and led to protests from Seoul.

When the tool kit was activated in September Seoul asked for evidence but had to wait until late January 2006 before Daniel Glaser, deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the U.S. Treasury Department was dispatched to present the US case. His low status is perhaps indicative of the US attitude to the South Korean government. The local press subsequently reported that’ Seoul doesn't fully agree with the U.S. financial sanctions because there is no apparent evidence of the North's illicit activities’.

Whether these US measures, and more draconian ones planned, will force Pyongyang into surrender, or even further concessions, is unlikely. Cognisant that Iraq’s concessions led to invasion they are likely to strengthen resolve.

However, they will exacerbate America’s relations with Russia, China and the ROK. China has hardened its defiance of US attempts to have Iran arraigned before the Security Council. There are severe limits to how far a ROK president can stand up to the United States, but occasionally the anguish shows. President Roh Moo-hyun has publicly denounced, in the strongest terms yet used, US attempts to bring down the DPRK. President Bush is driving Beijing and Seoul further from Washington and closer to each other.

Tim Beal

North Korea Vows to Continue Missile Tests

Russia, China Oppose Sanctions at United Nations


SEOUL, South Korea (July 6) - North Korea on Thursday publicly acknowledged for the first time that it had tested missiles and vowed to continue launching them, threatening to "take stronger physical actions" against opponents of the tests.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry issued its statement through the state-run Korean Central News Agency one day after the country test-fired at least seven missiles, including an abortive launch of a long-range Taepodong-2. All the missiles apparently fell harmlessly into the Sea of Japan, but the launches drew international condemnation.

Japan, backed by the U.S. and Britain, circulated a U.N. Security Council resolution in New York on Wednesday that would ban any country from transferring funds, material and technology that could be used in North Korea's missile and weapons of mass destruction programs.

But North Korea said the missile launches were part of its military's regular drills to strengthen self-defense, and it had a legal right to carry them out.

"Our military will continue with missile launch drills in the future as part of efforts to strengthen self-defense deterrent. If anyone intends to dispute or add pressure about this, we will have to take stronger physical actions in other forms," the statement said, without elaborating.

Major South Korean newspapers reported Thursday that North Korea has three or four more missiles on launch pads ready to be fired. The North also barred people from sailing into some areas off the coast until July 11 in a possible sign of preparations for additional launches, said Chosun Ilbo, one of South Korea's largest dailies.

"There is a possibility that North Korea will fire additional missiles," South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung was quoted by the Yonhap news agency as telling lawmakers, citing images of equipment going in and out of the launch sites.

The missiles are either short- or medium-range, Chosun Ilbo reported. Japan said there were no immediate signs of another attempt to launch a long-range Taepodong-2 missile.

On Wednesday, splits emerged among the critics of the North's testing program.

China and Russia resisted Japan's attempt in the Security Council to impose sanctions against North Korea, saying only diplomacy could halt the isolated regime's nuclear and rocket development programs. China, the North's closest ally, and Russia, which has been trying to re-establish Soviet-era ties with Pyongyang, said they favor a weaker council statement without any threat of sanctions. Both countries hold veto power in the council, making sanctions unlikely.

China and Russia are clearly concerned that a U.N. demand for such measures would only delay a return to six-party talks aimed at persuading the country to abandon its nuclear program. China and Russia are part of the talks along with North and South Korea, the United States and Japan.

North Korea's Missile Arsenal

Said to be North Korea's most advanced missile, with a range of up to 9,320 miles. Experts estimate it could potentially hit the mainland United States with a small payload. However, the missile is unlikely to be accurate.

North Korea is believed to have test-launched this long-range missile in August 1998. The second stage landed off Japan's eastern coast. The missile has an estimated range of up to 1,800 miles .

As many as 200 Nodong missiles are in North Korea's arsenal. With a range of about 620 miles (998 kilometers), Japan is their most likely target. The missiles can be fired from mobile launchers.

North Korea reportedly has more than 600 Scud-type missiles that are relatively short-range and would potentially target South Korea.
"It doesn't diminish my desire to solve this problem," he said in Washington.

In its statement, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said the launches were unrelated to the six-party talks, and that Pyongyang was still committed to the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The statement accused the U.S. of being hostile to the communist regime, and blamed Washington for blocking progress at the talks with its financial restrictions.

"Under these conditions, it is clear to every one that there is no need for us to hold off on missile launches," it said.

The failure of the Taepodong-2 missile - the object of intense international attention for more than a month - suggested a catastrophic failure of the rocket's first, or booster, stage. A working version of the intercontinental missile could potentially reach the United States with a light payload. The North also fired six shorter-range missiles on Wednesday

Tokyo responded swiftly by barring North Korean officials from traveling to Japan, and banned one of its trading boats from entering Japanese waters for six months.

In South Korea, separated from the North by the world's most heavily armed border, officials said the tests would affect inter-Korean initiatives such as the dispatch of food and fertilizer from the South to the North, but stressed that diplomacy was the best way to solve the crisis.

Lee Jong-seok told the National Assembly in a hearing Thursday that Cabinet-level meetings between the two Koreas scheduled for next week should go ahead, and that Seoul would press ahead with cross-border projects with North Korea.

Both Japan and South Korea are within range of North Korean missiles.

The Security Council held an emergency session at Japan's request, and council experts met late Wednesday for about 1 hours to discuss the draft resolution. Experts will meet again Thursday morning and council ambassadors may then meet in the afternoon to review progress, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the session was closed.

The draft resolution proposed by Japan and obtained by The Associated Press would condemn North Korea's ballistic missile launches and deplore its role as "the world's leading proliferator of ballistic missiles and related technology." It would demand that Pyongyang immediately halt "the development, testing, deployment and proliferation of ballistic missiles and reconfirm its moratorium on missile launching."

If approved, the council would strongly urge North Korea to return immediately to the six-party talks "without precondition" and stop all nuclear-related activities with the aim of completely dismantling its nuclear programs, including both plutonium reprocessing and uranium enrichment.

China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya and Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin both noted that after North Korea shocked Japan in August 1998 by blasting a Taepodong-1 missile over its territory and into the Pacific Ocean, the Security Council reacted merely with a press statement.

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima called Wednesday's launches "far more serious."

North Korea's "possible combination of nuclear weapons with missile development and testing" is unacceptable and requires "quick, strong action" by the Security Council, he said.

Churkin said that while "a strong and clear message is needed to North Korea," the goal should be a resumption of six-party talks, which have been suspended since last September, and a diplomatic solution.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the council must send a "strong and unanimous signal" that North Korea's missile test-launch was unacceptable.

The initial council discussion "was very interesting because no member defended what the North Koreans have done," he said. "I think there is support for sending a clear signal to Pyongyang."

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report from the United Nations.

AP-NY-07-06-06 0303EDT

1 comment:

Pan-African News Wire said...

July 10, 2006

Subject: Stop US Warmongering Against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)

President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, Secretary-General Annan, and Congressional Leaders,

I am writing this letter to oppose the current international warmongering campaign against Korea being carried out by the U.S. government, and to demand that it end immediately!

With the recent routine testing of 7 missiles by the DPRK, the Bush Administration is working overtime to gather international support for sanctions and other hostile actions towards North Korea.

It is important to put the launch of the missiles in perspective to see which country is the real threat to peace in the region.

The DPRK tested 7 missiles, one of them the Taepodong-2 missile. The others were short-range Scud and medium-range Rodong missiles. These tests violated no international law and were completely within that country's rights as a sovereign state. These sorts of tests are conducted all the time by many countries.

Even the New York Times, in a July 5 editorial, had to admit that, "Since the test poses no direct security threat, and violates no international treaty, there is no justification for any military response, by the United States or anyone else."

The testing of 7 small rockets by the DPRK pales in comparison with the massive military mobilization by the U.S.

On June 14, the U.S. Air Force held "a quality control test" for its 500 Minuteman III missiles. One of these missiles traveled 4,800 miles towards the central Pacific, and three test warheads landed near the Marshall Islands.

At the same time, three U.S. Navy carrier battle groups "including three aircraft carriers, 22,000 troops, dozens of fighter planes and several heavy bombers" were assembled in the western Pacific off Guam in the largest naval mobilization since the Vietnam War. The USS Curtis Wilbur and the USS Fitzgerald, both guided-missile destroyers with massive destructive capacity sit right off the coast of North Korea. The U.S. also sent spy planes on 170 missions over North Korea. Just hours ago, the USS Martin, a 9,200-ton guided missile destroyer with the navy's most advanced combat weapon system arrived in the region as a direct challenge to the DPRK.

The U.S. still has more than 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea despite widespread, militant opposition to them. Its claims that the troops are there to protect the south from the north are rejected by the majority of southerners. In fact, there have been massive demonstrations against the U.S. military presence.

It's important to remember that President George W. Bush named the DPRK, along with Iraq and Iran, as one of the "axis of evil." As the whole world witnesses the torture, rape, and murder that "regime change" has brought to the people of Iraq, the DPRK has every reason to be concerned and has every right to take necessary steps to defend itself.

The DRPK has tried repeatedly to get the U.S. to end the state of war that still exists since the 1950-53 Korean War and to sign a peace treaty that would normalize relations between the two countries. The U.S. always refuses. The U.S. war on the Korean Peninsula resulted in the death of 4 million Korean people and the division and continuing U.S. occupation of the country to this day.

Considering the U.S. missile test, the military maneuvers, and the constant stream of threats against the DPRK from both the Republican administration and the Democratic Party leaders, it is quite clear that the Pyongyang government faces a serious threat from the most belligerent and heavily armed military in the world.

As part of the media hype to demonize and isolate the DPRK, Bush and his media mouthpieces have raised the specter of North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons. Again, this must be put into perspective. The U.S. stockpile contains almost 10,000 nuclear warheads. This includes 5,735 active or operational warheads: 5,235 strategic and 500 nonstrategic warheads. The U.S. also has approximately 4,225 additional warheads held in the reserve or inactive stockpiles.

The U.S. is also the only country to ever use nuclear weapons against civilian targets. The Bush Administration has also made it very clear that it considers use of nuclear weapons is acceptable in its global crusade of regime change.

I reject the use of "weapons of mass destruction" as justification for a campaign of sanctions and hostility against the people of North Korea.

I denounce this fabricated crisis as just the latest in a string of distortions generated by Washington to justify its program of endless war.

I demand:

- An end to Washington's campaign of lies and hostility towards the people of North Korea.

- An end to the military operations targeting North Korea.

- That the U.S. end the state of war with North Korea that has lasted more than 50 years.

- The immediate withdrawal of the U.S. naval carrier groups deployed against the DPRK.

Sincerely, Abayomi Azikiwe,
Editor of the Pan-African News Wire

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