North Korea Reportedly Entering ‘State Of War’ Against South Korea

North Korea Reportedly Entering ‘State Of War’ Against South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea warned Seoul on Saturday that the Korean Peninsula had entered “a state of war” and threatened to shut down a border factory complex that’s the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.

Analysts say a full-scale conflict is extremely unlikely, noting that the Korean Peninsula has remained in a technical state of war for 60 years. But the North’s continued threats toward Seoul and Washington, including a vow to launch a nuclear strike, have raised worries that a misjudgment between the sides could lead to a clash.

In Washington, the White House said Saturday that the United States is taking seriously the new threats by North Korea but also noted Pyongyang’s history of “bellicose rhetoric.”

North Korea’s threats are seen as efforts to provoke the new government in Seoul, led by President Park Geun-hye, to change its policies toward Pyongyang, and to win diplomatic talks with Washington that could get it more aid. North Korea’s moves are also seen as ways to build domestic unity as young leader Kim Jong Un strengthens his military credentials.

On Thursday, U.S. military officials revealed that two B-2 stealth bombers dropped dummy munitions on an uninhabited South Korean island as part of annual defense drills that Pyongyang sees as rehearsals for invasion. Hours later, Kim ordered his generals to put rockets on standby and threatened to strike American targets if provoked.

North Korea said in a statement Saturday that it would deal with South Korea according to “wartime regulations” and would retaliate against any provocations by the United States and South Korea without notice.

“Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war,” said the statement, which was carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, referring to the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Provocations “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war,” the statement said.

Hours after the statement, Pyongyang threatened to shut down the jointly run Kaesong industrial park, expressing anger over media reports suggesting the complex remained open because it was a source of hard currency for the impoverished North.”If the puppet group seeks to tarnish the image of the DPRK even a bit, while speaking of the zone whose operation has been barely maintained, we will shut down the zone without mercy,” an identified spokesman for the North’s office controlling Kaesong said in comments carried by KCNA.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry responded by calling the North Korean threat “unhelpful” to the countries’ already frayed relations and vowed to ensure the safety of hundreds of South Korean managers who cross the border to their jobs in Kaesong. It did not elaborate.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said the country’s military remains mindful of the possibility that increasing North Korean drills near the border could lead to an actual provocation.

“The series of North Korean threats – announcing all-out war, scrapping the cease-fire agreement and the non-aggression agreement between the South and the North, cutting the military hotline, entering into combat posture No. 1 and entering a `state of war’ – are unacceptable and harm the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula,” Kim said.

“We are maintaining full military readiness in order to protect our people’s lives and security,” he told reporters Saturday.

In Washington, Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, noted the “reports of a new and unconstructive statement from North Korea.”

“We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies,” Hayden said. “But, we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats, and today’s announcement follows that familiar pattern.”

The White House has stressed the U.S. government’s capability and willingness to defend itself and its allies and interests in the region, if necessary.

“We remain fully prepared and capable of defending and protecting the United States and our allies,” Hayden said.

The two Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Naval skirmishes in the disputed waters off the Korean coast have led to bloody battles several times over the years.

But on the streets of Seoul on Saturday, South Koreans said they were not worried about an attack from North Korea.

“From other countries’ point of view, it may seem like an extremely urgent situation,” said Kang Tae-hwan, a private tutor. “But South Koreans don’t seem to be that nervous because we’ve heard these threats from the North before.”

The Kaesong industrial park, which is run with North Korean labor and South Korean know-how, has been operating normally, despite Pyongyang shutting down a communications channel typically used to coordinate travel by South Korean workers to and from the park just across the border in North Korea. The rivals are now coordinating the travel indirectly, through an office at Kaesong that has outside lines to South Korea.

North Korea has previously made such threats about Kaesong without acting on them, and recent weeks have seen a torrent of bellicose rhetoric from Pyongyang. North Korea is angry about the South Korea-U.S. military drills and new U.N. sanctions over its nuclear test last month.

Dozens of South Korean firms run factories in the border town of Kaesong. Using North Korea’s cheap, efficient labor, the Kaesong complex produced $470 million worth of goods last year.

Associated Press White House reporter Darlene Superville contributed to this report.


U.S., China Pledge To Work Together On North Korea Situation, John Kerry Says


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, gestures while shaking hands with China’s Premier Li Keqiang during a meeting at the Zhongnanhai compound in Beijing Saturday, April 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jason Lee, Pool)

BEIJING — U.S. and Chinese leaders said Saturday that their countries are committed to finding a peaceful way to ensure a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

“We are determined to make that goal a reality,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after talks with Chinese officials and before having dinner with China’s foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi.

“China and the United States must together take steps in order to achieve the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula. And today we agreed that further discussions to bear down very quickly with great specificity on exactly how we will accomplish this goal,” America’s top diplomat told reporters.

Yang, speaking through an interpreter, said China was “firmly committed to upholding peace and stability and advancing the denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula. We maintain that the issue should be handled and resolved peacefully.”

He said China will work with the U.S. and other nations involved in past international talks on North Korea, adding that “to properly address the Korean nuclear issue serves the interests of all parties.”

Kerry spoke of “our joint commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner. We agreed that this is of critical importance for the stability of the region and indeed for the world and indeed for all of our nonproliferation efforts.”

JYJFantalk Source: Associated Press+Yahoo News

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North Korea Warns Foreigners To Leave South

North Korea Warns Foreigners To Leave South

Reuters/Reuters – North Korean soldiers look to the South as they patrol at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the North from South Korea in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

By Christine Kim and Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea intensified threats of an imminent conflict against the United States and the South on Tuesday, warning foreigners to evacuate South Korea to avoid being dragged into a “merciless, sacred, retaliatory war”.

The North’s latest antagonistic message belied an atmosphere free of anxiety in the South Korean capital, where the city center was bustling with traffic and offices operated normally.

Pyongyang has shown no sign of preparing its 1.2 million-strong army for war, indicating the threat could be partly intended to bolster Kim Jong-un, 30, the third in his family to lead the reclusive country.

None of the embassies in Seoul appeared to have issued any directives to their nationals after the warning and airlines reported no changes in their schedules. Schools catering to foreign pupils worked without interruption.

The warning, read out on North Korea’s state television in a bulletin that interrupted normal programming, was the latest threat in weeks of high tension following U.N. sanctions slapped on Pyongyang for its latest nuclear arms test.

It followed the North’s suspension of activity at the Kaesong joint industrial park just inside North Korea, all but closing down the last remnant of cooperation between the neighbors. North Korean workers failed to turn up on Tuesday.

North Korea had said South Korea was trying to turn the Kaesong complex into a “hotbed of war”.

The warning to foreigners, reported by the KCNA news agency said once war broke out “it will be an all-out war, a merciless, sacred, retaliatory war to be waged by (North Korea).

“It does not want to see foreigners in South Korea fall victim to the war,” the agency quoted the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee as saying.

“The committee informs all foreign institutions and enterprises and foreigners, including tourists…that they are requested to take measures for shelter and evacuation in advance for their safety.”

Last week, North Korean authorities advised embassies in Pyongyang to consider pulling out in case of war, though none appeared to have taken any such action.


Speculation has grown that the North would launch some sort of provocative action this week — perhaps a missile launch or a fresh nuclear weapons test.

A government source in Seoul said a North Korean medium-range missile, reported to have been shunted to the east coast, had been tracked and was believed to be ready for launch.

“Technically, they can launch it as early as tomorrow,” the source said.

But a U.S. embassy official in Seoul said a directive issued last week saying there was no imminent threat to Americans in South Korea remained valid. “Our workers are in all our offices today,” he said. “We have not evacuated anyone.”

A Philippine foreign ministry spokesman quoted diplomats at its Seoul embassy as saying the situation “remains normal and calm”.

Stocks, which had fallen 4 percent over the past four days, edged higher on Tuesday despite the warning to foreigners. The won currency moved little, dipping slightly after the North Korean statement.

Employers at the Kaesong complex faced uncertainty as the 53,000-strong North Korean workforce stayed away. A spokesman for textile company Taekwang Industrial and at least two other firms said production had stopped.

About 475 South Korean workers and factory managers remain in Kaesong, which generates $2 billion in trade for the impoverished North. The Seoul government said 77 would return on Tuesday.

North Korean workers at the park have appeared increasingly agitated in recent days, refusing to talk to their colleagues.

Many Southerners connected with the park bedded down at budget hotels in a nearby South Korean town in the hope that an order would come from the North to re-open.

“I have been feeling anxious now and then. Now it’s really preposterous facing this,” said Shing Dong-chul, 55, a South Korean worker who transports wire made in Kaesong.

“North Korean workers didn’t talk a lot, but they appeared to have complaints about Kaesong being closed. They worried whether they would be working or not.”

Addressing a cabinet meeting, South Korean President Park Geun-hye described the suspension of Kaesong as “very disappointing” and said investors would now shun the North.

Few experts had expected Pyongyang to jeopardize Kaesong, which employs more than 50,000 North Koreans making household goods for 123 South Korean firms.


The zone is practically the last vestige of the “Sunshine Policy” of rapprochement between the two Koreas and a powerful symbol that the divided country could one day reunify.

South Korean companies are estimated to have invested around $500 million in the park since 2004.

World leaders have expressed alarm at the crisis and the prospect of a conflict involving a country claiming to be developing nuclear weapons.

China, the North’s sole diplomatic and financial ally, issued a new call for calm and restraint, though Beijing’s leaders have shown increasing impatience with Pyongyang.

“We ask all the relevant sides to bear in mind regional peace and stability and earnestly protect the legal rights and safety of citizens,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a briefing.

A Russian foreign ministry spokesman, in a statement on the ministry’s website, said Moscow was in solidarity with all G8 industrialized countries “as regards the rejection of Pyongyang’s current provocative and bellicose line of conduct”.

The North is also angry at weeks of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises off the coast of the peninsula, with B-2 stealth bombers dispatched from their U.S. bases.

But the United States announced the postponement last weekend of a long-planned missile launch, a move officials said was aimed at easing tensions on the peninsula.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Seoul this week and the North holds celebrations, and possibly military demonstrations, next Monday to mark the birth date of its founder, Kim Il-Sung – the current leader’s grandfather.

In Washington, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter urged China to use its influence with the North and said Moscow wanted similar action from Beijing.

But Chinese criticism of North Korea is unlikely to mean tough new action against Pyongyang because China would see any collapse of its troublesome neighbor as a disaster.

(Additional reporting by Ju-min Park in PAJU, Jack Kim in Seoul, Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Manuel Mogato in Manila and Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Writing by Ron Popeski; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

JYJFantalk Source: yahoo news

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121212 US: North Korea Missile Launch is ‘Provocative Act’

US: North Korea Missile Launch Is ‘Provocative Act’

By MATTHEW PENNINGTON | Associated Press

A screen shows a rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea’s satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by …

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House was quick to condemn North Korea’s successful launch of a long-range rocket, calling it a “highly provocative act” that threatens regional security.

Tuesday’s launch, which caught the world by surprise, apparently placed an object in Earth orbit, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said, but neither the missile nor debris from the launch posed a threat to North America.

The launch directly violated U.N. Security Council resolutions and contravened North Korea’s international obligations, the White House said in a terse statement that labeled the launch “a highly provocative act.”

“This action is yet another example of North Korea’s pattern of irresponsible behavior. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region,” the statement from National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said. “Given this current threat to regional security, the United States will strengthen and increase our close coordination with allies and partners.”

“The international community must work in a concerted fashion to send North Korea a clear message that its violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions have consequences,” Vietor said.

North Korea declared the launch of a rocket and satellite a success early Wednesday local time. Three hours later, the U.S. military confirmed that an object appeared to achieve orbit.

On Saturday, North Korea had widened the dates during which it might conduct the launch of its Unha-3 rocket, citing a technical problem. Washington says the launch is a cover for testing technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States. The previous four attempts all failed.

“It was a surprise in terms of the timing,” said Bruce Bennett, senior defense analyst with the RAND think tank. “They had talked about postponing for a week. To recover so quickly from technical problems suggests they have gotten good at putting together a missile.”

North Korea has also conducted two nuclear tests since 2006, deepening international concern over its capabilities, although it is not believed to have mastered how to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile.

The U.S., Japan and South Korea last week vowed to seek further U.N. Security Council action if the North conducted a launch. It remained to be seen whether Russia and China, the North’s main ally, would agree to further sanctions.

Victor Cha, a Korea expert at Georgetown University and a former White House policy director for Asia, said a successful launch was a major national security concern for the United States.

He said there would still be technical hurdles for the North to overcome, particularly in terms of getting a rocket to re-enter the atmosphere, but it would mean that North Korea is able to launch a long-range ballistic missile — the first rival state to the U.S. do so since the Soviet Union and China.

Rep. Ed Royce, incoming Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the launch showed that new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons program. Royce also criticized U.S. policy toward Pyongyang, calling it a “long-term failure.”

“The Obama administration’s approach continues to be unimaginative and moribund. We can either take a different approach, or watch as the North Korean threat to the region and the U.S. grows,” Royce said in a statement.

credit: associated press+yahoo news

Momma’s source: Yahoo News

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120416 Forbes: North Korea: A Paper Tiger Threatens The Peace

4/16/2012 @ 12:49PM
North Korea: A Paper Tiger Threatens the Peace
Doug Bandow, Contributor
I write about domestic and international policy.

By Doug Bandow

Dealing with North Korea always leaves a sense of déjà vu.  Whether Pyongyang is making threats, proposing negotiations, pocketing concessions, or violating agreements, the U.S. and its allies have heard it all before.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is perfectly predictable in an unpredictable sort of way.

Dealing with the DPRK will never be easy.  The best policy would be one of containment, with the U.S. stepping back and placing more responsibility on the North’s neighbors to handle the problem child.

The North’s latest provocation was last week’s “satellite” launch.  The missile broke up and fell into the ocean, leading to a South Korean attempt to find the pieces.  The fiasco left Pyongyang looking like a paper tiger, but Seoul warns that a third nuclear test may be next.

North Korea’s missile shot—formally an effort to place a weather satellite into orbit—came just weeks after the Obama administration cut a deal to provide food assistance in return for a halt in nuclear tests and uranium enrichment.  Pyongyang also was expected to return to the so-called Six Party talks with the objective of eliminating the North’s nuclear program.

That agreement is now kaput.  At least the Obama administration did not have high expectations.  Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called the pact “A modest first step in the right direction,” and the effort probably was a useful probe of Pyongyang’s intentions.  The administration’s mistake was to believe that this “modest first step” was worth paying for.  Now Washington looks credulous or even incompetent, while the DPRK again has won worldwide media coverage.

There is disagreement over whether North Korea consciously violated the latest accord or genuinely didn’t believe that it had agreed to forgo missile launches.  But no matter:  President Barack Obama denounced Pyongyang’s “bad behavior” and negotiations with the North have hit another dead end.  Tomorrow the DPRK could collapse or the new rulers in Pyongyang could embark upon a radical program of perestroika, but unfortunately the West must act on the assumption that the country will remain a Stalinist fossil for many years to come.

Moreover, the North remains in the midst of an uncertain power transition.  Kim Jong-un, the roughly (we aren’t sure) 29-year-old young son and grandson of North Korea’s prior two dictators, has received the titles and other trappings of power, though it is not clear how much authority he actually wields.  Grandfather Kim Il-sung took decades to transfer power to Kim Jong-il  Kim Jong-il was barely two years into a similar shift to Kim Jong-un when the former died.

Pyongyang’s corridors of power are filled with family members, party officials,and military officers who have little reason to turn power over to an untested youngster who lacked the time and perhaps skill necessary to make the system his servant.  Even his uncle and aunt, apparently tasked by Kim Jong-il to help shepherd the son along, are far better positioned to grab supreme power, if not formal leadership.  Nor are senior military officers likely to play sycophant to the recently minted “four star general.”

Moreover, the leadership may be focused on internal developments for another reason.  2012 is the centenary of the birth of founding dictator Kim Il-sung.  Major celebrations were held yesterday on his birthday.  Kim Jong-il had set 2012 as the year North Korea would demonstrate that it was prosperous and powerful.  The supposed satellite launch was just one of many steps likely to be taken in coming months to promote this end.

The allied objective long has been a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.  Indeed, leaders on both sides of the Pacific often have talked of refusing to accept a nuclear North Korea, insisting that the DPRK’s possession of nuclear weapons was simply unacceptable.

It is a worthy goal, but probably unobtainable.  There has never been any evidence that Pyongyang was inclined to give up whatever weapons it has obtained at great cost.  Doing so would leave the North vulnerable to a foreign attempt at regime change, eliminate the need for any other nation to pay any attention to what is a small and impoverished nation, and lose a useful tool for financial extortion.

Abandoning nuclear weapons also would directly contradict the Kim family’s “military first” policy which solidified political support from the armed forces.  Kim Jong-il may have had the power to overrule the military’s wishes but apparently was not inclined to do so.  Kim Jong-un almost certainly does not have such authority, and no one hoping to survive, let alone rise, in North Korean politics today likely will challenge the military on the issue. A collective leadership where competition for power is intense and the outcome is open inevitably will limit negotiating options with the West.


There still may be room for an agreement—to, for instance, stop any further plutonium production or uranium enrichment.  Simply freezing the North’s nuclear program would be worthwhile and would ease fears of proliferation.  Still, no one in Pyongyang would accept such limits out of the goodness of their hearts.  The price for any pact, especially including verification inspections, would be high.  And it is hard to imagine a consensus arising in Pyongyang so long as the leadership remains unsettled.

Yet there is no alternative to negotiation.  Six years ago, before becoming deputy defense secretary, Ashton Carter advocated military strikes on North Korea, but the administration does not appear to be considering such a policy, and rightly so.  Military action likely would trigger another Korean War, with hideous consequences for all concerned.

Of course, Pyongyang might do nothing in response to a U.S. attack, but more likely would view military action as a prelude to coercive regime change.  Then it would make sense for the North to strike first, and Seoul is within range of Scuds and artillery.  While neither China nor Russia likely would intervene on the DPRK’s behalf, starting a war on their borders would greatly complicate Washington’s relationship with both nations.

Sanctions are everyone’s preferred tool, but the North Korean leadership is willing to impose enormous hardship on the North Korean people to pursue its political ends.  Moreover, sanctions won’t be effective without Beijing’s acquiescence.  And so far the People’s Republic of China is committed to stability on the peninsula.

Which leads back to negotiation.  Washington should use the North’s failed launch to reemphasize the role of diplomacy while moving in a new direction.

It is probably less painful to have a root canal than dicker with a North Korean diplomat.  Nevertheless, the DPRK appears to behave less provocatively while talking with America and South Korea, in particular.  In contrast, at a time of relative isolation two years ago the North torpedoed a South Korean warship and bombarded a South Korean island.  Even if talks go no where they may perform a useful role.

Thus, Washington should pursue discussions with limited expectations.  Let North Korean officials talk without pressing hard for an unattainable agreement.  Keep Pyongyang at the table, which it perceives as having some value, even if the process otherwise seems to be a waste of time.

At the same time, Washington should stop ostentatiously making public demands.  For instance, President Obama insisted that the North drop its missile launch.  His comments ensured that the North Koreans would move ahead.  A disappointed statement of regret would have sufficed, followed by a conscious effort to downplay the issue.  Pyongyang’s objective is to win attention and create anxiety.  The U.S. should not provide the first or evidence the second.  In fact, the North’s failed launch demonstrated that the event received a build-up far exceeding the stakes.  After describing the satellite as the “cream” of the nation’s space technology and claiming the launch to be an “inspiring deed,” the DPRK has been profoundly embarrassed.

Moreover, Washington should suggest that the U.S. and North Korea establish consular relations.  If the North wants America’s “respect,” then let it have it.  In return, the American government would be free to raise any issue, from security to human rights, in what hopefully would become an ongoing dialogue.  The objective would not be to argue Kim Jong-un away from totalitarian communism, but to open a small window into the DPRK, create a communication channel, and offer the prospect of expanded future ties.

At the same time, the U.S. should step back.  Even if North Korea had a long-range missile that worked, Kim Jong-un & Co. would not use it against America.  North Korea has a return address and the U.S. has a devastating retaliatory capacity.  Kim wants his virgins in this world, not the next.  None of his colleagues want to play a game of self-immolation.

Without forces in South Korea, the U.S. could stand largely aloof from the North’s antics.  Washington would still worry about proliferation, but would face no direct threat of a North Korean nuclear attack, no matter how small.  Unfortunately, today 27,000 Americans stationed in the South act as nuclear hostages.  Yet their presence is not necessary for the ROK’s defense.  Seoul enjoys a 40-1 economic and 2-1 population advantage over the North.  Washington should turn responsibility for South Korea’s defense over to the South Koreans, whereit long has belonged.

As the U.S. disengages militarily, it should indicate that it plans to step behind the North’s neighbors as they deal with Pyongyang.  The ROK should take the lead in confronting North Korea.  On questions from trade and investment to conventional deterrence, the South should be the country responding to the North.  Japan also has an important role to play in both economic and security matters, since its relatively pacifist tendencies have been challenged by the DPRK’s multiple provocations.

Washington should work with both the South and Japan to develop a “grand bargain” diplomatic package for North Korea to present to Beijing.  The PRC routinely calls for negotiations.  The U.S. should call on China to support an allied plan offering to swap recognition, trade, and aid for denuclearization.  And Washington should request Chinese support for the plan (while addressing Beijings fears about the economic and geopolitical costs of a North Korean collapse).  The U.S. should request a commitment to squeeze investment as well as aid flows and energy shipments should the North refuse to make a deal.

If China refuses, Washington should politely indicate that the PRC will bear the burden if things go badly on the Korean peninsula.  And should North Korea come calling to request aid to feed its starving population,the U.S. will point the way to Beijing.

Moreover, Washington should explain, if the North insists on creating an expansive nuclear arsenal, that the U.S. will reconsider its objection to South Korea and Japan possessing nuclear weapons.  After all, it makes little sense for America to ensure that the only secondary power with nukes is the region’s most brutal and least trustworthy state.  If the PRC is going to protect its discreditable ally, it should pay the full price for doing so.  Chinese officials should wake up to the same nightmares as those which now disturb policymakers in America, South Korea, and Japan.

It’s déjà vu all over again, observed Yogi Berra.  Such is the result of negotiating with North Korea.  Washington may have no choice but to continue talking with DPRK.  But the U.S. needs to step back, turning principal responsibility for the disagreeable task over to those with the most at stake, Pyongyang’s unfortunate neighbors.

credit: Doug Bandow

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Editors Note: North Korea’s Change of Leadership

Our prayers go out to the people of North Korea. Regardless of how people may feel about the political climate of North Korea, the pain and confusion of the loss of stability in a country such as this still impacts its residents. They are in mourning.

 We all should be prayerful that this change in leadership for North Korea will produce a more positive trend in the future of that country. There is lack of maturity in the successor, and reading that he possesses ruthlessness is not a good sign. People are not meant to be held down, uninformed, and listening to only one family’s voice. It is also sad to realize that there is no election process that gives the people choice for change.

I pray for South Korea because they are so close to this situation. We want safety for them and their children, and we want safety for Jaejoong, Yunho, Yoochun, Junsu, Changmin and their families. We do not need another Korean Conflict. The article mentions the number of United States soldiers in South Korea but not the numbers of the South Korean army. South Korea ultimately bears the weight of her own destiny with help from her allies.

China plays a pivotal role here, and it makes me uncomfortable to know how indebted we are as a nation to China. How do you hold their respect and encourage them to listen to your voice?

Momma Cha @jyjfantalk

111219 North Korea Mourns Dead Leader Son Hailed As Successor

North Korea Mourns Dead Leader, Son Hailed As “Great Successor”

ReutersBy David Chance and Jack Kim | Reuters – 29 mins ago

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Koreans poured into the streets on Monday to mourn the death of iron leader Kim Jong-il as state media hailed his untested son as the “Great Successor” of the reclusive state whose atomic weapons ambitions are a major threat to the region.

Earlier a tearful North Korean television announcer, dressed in black and her voice quavering, said the 69-year old ruler died on Saturday of “physical and mental over-work” on a train on his way to give field guidance — advice dispensed by the “Dear Leader” on trips to factories, farms and the military.


Security concerns over the hermit state, that in 2010 shelled civilians on a South Korean island and is blamed for the sinking of one of its warships earlier that year, were heightened after Seoul said the North had test-fired a short range missile prior to the announcement of Kim’s death. 

It was the first known launch since June.

North Korea’s official KCNA news agency lauded Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un as “the outstanding leader of our party, army and people”.

“We have esteemed comrade Kim Jong-un,” KCNA led a dispatch that said North Koreans from all walks of life are in utter despair but were finding comfort in the “absolute surety that the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong-un will lead and succeed the great task of revolutionary enterprise.”

But there was uncertainty about how much support the third generation of the North’s ruling dynasty has among the ruling elite, especially in the military, and worry he might need a military show of strength to help establish his credentials.

“Kim Jong-un is a pale reflection of his father and grandfather. He has not had the decades of grooming and securing of a power base that Jong-il enjoyed before assuming control from his father,” said Bruce Klingner, an Asia policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“(He) may feel it necessary in the future to precipitate a crisis to prove his mettle to other senior leaders or deflect attention from the regime’s failings.”

Video from Chinese state television showed residents weeping in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. KCNA reported people were “writhing in pain” from the loss of the man who in 1994 assumed the leadership of the totalitarian state from his father Kim Il-sung, the North’s first, and officially eternal, president.

Large crowds were gathering at a massive memorial of Kim’s father and state founder Kim Il-sung in central Pyongyang mourning the death of the “Dear Leader.” Kim will be laid to rest next to his father, KCNA said.

The funeral of Kim, turned into a demi-god by his propaganda machine, will be held on December 28.

News of the death of the man whose push to build a nuclear arsenal left the North heavily sanctioned and internationally isolated, triggered immediate nervousness in the region, with South Korea stepping up its military alert.

China, the North’s neighbor and only powerful ally, said it was confident the North would remain united and that the two countries would maintain their relationship.

“We were distressed to learn of the unfortunate passing of (Kim) … and we express our grief about this and extend our condolences to the people of North Korea,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.

“We are confident the North Korean people will be able to turn their anguish into strength and unify as one,” he said.

While his father had 20 years as official heir, Kim Jong-un only became successor by taking on official titles last year, months after Kim Jong-il suffered a stroke around August 2008.

He takes over a hermit state whose economy has been ravaged by decades of mismanagement under Kim Jong-il, who only briefly flirted with economic reform, preferring to stick with central planning and the brutal crushing of any opposition.

Under Kim Jong-il’s rule, an estimated 1 million North Koreans died during famine in the 1990s. Even with good harvests, the state cannot feed its 25 million people.

Little is known of Jong-un, who is believed to be in his late 20s, studied for a short time at a school in Switzerland.

KCNA said Kim Jong-il died on Saturday after “an advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a serious heart shock”.

South Korea, still technically at war with the North, placed its troops and all government workers on emergency alert, but said there were no signs of any unusual North Korean troop movements.

The United States said it was committed to stability on the Korean peninsula as well as to its allies. There are some 28,000 U.S. troops on the divided peninsula. Across the heavily armed border, the North maintains an estimated 1 million troops, one of the world’s largest standing armies.

Japan, too, said it was watching developments closely.

“We hope this sudden event does not have an adverse effect on the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference after a hastily called ministerial meeting on security.


The fear of what might happen next in North Korea unsettled financial markets, with Asian shares and U.S. index futures falling. South Korean stocks tumbled as much as 5 percent, and the U.S. dollar gained. The Korean won fell 1.8 percent.

Kim Jong-un was at the head of a long list of officials making up the funeral committee, indicating he would lead it, and a key sign that he had taken, or been given, charge.

Zhu Feng, Professor of International Relations at Peking University, said it was clear the mechanism for transition was in place and working.

“The issue of primary concern now is not whether North Korea will maintain political stability, but what will be the nature of the new political leadership, and what policies will it pursue at home and abroad.

“In the short-term, there won’t be new policies, only a stressing of policy stability and continuity. So soon after Kim Jong-il has died, no leader will dare say that an alternative policy course is needed,” Zhu said.

But Chung Young-Tae at the Korea Institute of National Unification said there was “a big possibility that a power struggle may happen.”


Kim Jong-il also promoted his sister and her husband, Jang Song-thaek, to important political and military posts, creating a powerful triumvirate.

Chang is seen as effective regent for the younger Kim. He holds a top position in the powerful Worker’s Party providing some balance to the generals who have been seen as more hardline in pushing the North to develop an atomic arsenal.

Earlier this decade, Chang was forced into exile for what is thought to have been conflict over his push for economic reform.

Experts say Jong-un has the intelligence and leadership skills that make him suitable to succeed his father. He is also reported to have a ruthless streak that analysts say he would need to rule North Korea.


North Korea, which tested a nuclear device in 2006 and again in May 2009, is seen as one of the greatest threats to regional security.

Last year, the secretive North unveiled a uranium enrichment facility, giving it a second route to make an atomic bomb along with its plutonium program.

Victor Cha, a Korea expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank in Washington, said communication between China, the United States and South Korea was vital.

“Because these are the three key players when it comes to instability in North Korea. And the Chinese have been reluctant to have any conversations on this,” he said.

“Now the situation really calls for it. It will be interesting to see how much the Chinese will be willing to have some sort of discussion.”

(Additional reporting by Seoul, Washington and Asian bureau, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

Momma’s Source: yahoo news

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[NEWS] 111121 North Korean Celebrities Are Struggling Because Of The Hallyu Wave

[NEWS] 111121 North Korean Celebrities Are Struggling Because Of The Hallyu Wave

Radio Free Asia (RFA), a non-profit organization that operates a radio station and internet news source, recently published a story about North Korean celebrities being forgotten due to the Hallyu Wave. Apparently, South Korean movies and dramas are spreading like wildfire inside the isolated country and are devouring low-quality North Korean films.

According to an insider in North Korea, “I don’t know anything about new North Korean songs or movies that have been released. There are only 3-4 [North Korean] films that are produced each year, but since there are so many South Korean movies laying around, no one pays attention to our [North Korean] films.”

Not only are North Korean films low in quality due to insufficient budgets, they lack creativity and are considered boring because they are all material that only praise Kim Il Sung‘s family. Thus, it was reported that citizens and young people completely ignore films and entertainment produced by their country.

North Korean celebrities are suffering significantly due to the Hallyu Wave, mainly because South Korean celebrities are gaining much popularity, while they are becoming forgotten. Multiple insiders state, “People related to the North Korean entertainment business ignore the demands of the people and solely focus on Kim Jong Il‘s propaganda. People can expect to see the end of North Korea’s entertainment industry“.

North Korean youths who defected from the country were able to name several South Korean films including ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ and ‘Scent of a Man‘, while they were unable to recall any names of actors/actresses from a particular North Korean film.

It’s not just North Korean movies and dramas going down the drain — the music industry is declining as well. An insider explained, “All songs, including new ones, involve chants and praises for Kim Jong Il or the Worker’s Party. No one wants to listen to them.”

South Korean netizens were quite amused by the news and commented, “Aren’t all North Korean songs practically hymns that praise that dictator pig?“, “There are celebrities in North Korea? That kind of occupation exists? Wow“, and “I can feel the end of North Korea nearing..“.

Check out this clip to get a taste of North Korean music.

Original Source + Photos: Chosun via Nate
Source: allkpop
Shared by: iXiahCassie

Momma’s Source: iXiahcassie

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