North Korea 2004
From USA TODAY: 1/2/2004 7:10 AM
N. Korea OKs U.S. visit to complex By Barbara Slavin
North Korea has agreed to allow a U.S. delegation that includes a top nuclear scientist to visit its nuclear complex at Yongbyon next week ahead of likely negotiations with its neighbors and the United States. The delegation would be the first to see the site since North Korea expelled foreign weapons inspectors a year ago. ... The Bush administration, which blocked a congressional delegation's visit to North Korea in October, approved this trip, scheduled Jan. 6-10. ...
From Voice of America: 02 Jan 2004, 20:54 UTC
Delegation Visit to N. Korea is 'Private Initiative,' say US Officials
By David Gollust, State Department
The Bush administration says it is not involved in plans for a North Korea visit by a U.S. delegation next week including Senate staff members and a prominent nuclear scientist. The visit could include the first visit by foreigners to North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facility in more than a year. ... But State Department spokesman Adam Ereli says the group is not acting on behalf of the administration ...
From AFP at ABC News Online (Australia): Saturday, January 3, 2004 6:40am(AEDT)
US delegation to N Korea not endorsed by Bush
The White House has distanced itself from a private delegation planning to visit North Korea and reportedly planning to visit a nuclear complex at the centre of a showdown with the Stalinist state. "It should be clearly understood that groups or individuals acting outside the six-party talks would not be acting on behalf of the administration," US spokeswoman Claire Buchan said. ...
From The Daily Yomiuri (Japan): January 3, 2004
N. Korea faces demand that it scrap N-plants (The Yomiuri Shimbun)
Japan, the United States and South Korea have decided to demand that North Korea completely dispose of its nuclear facilities, whether they are for military or peaceful purposes, during the next round of six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, government sources said Friday. The three governments will not allow North Korea to operate nuclear facilities even for power generation or other civilian purposes and will only consider providing aid to build thermal power plants, the sources said. According to the sources, Japan, the United States and South Korea reached the basic agreement that North Korea should not be allowed to use nuclear energy even for peaceful purposes as long as Kim Jong Il leads the country. ... The three countries will demand that North Korea promise to dismantle all nuclear facilities in a "complete, verifiable and irrevocable manner" at the next round of six-nation talks, which Tokyo, Washington and Seoul hope will begin by the end of January, the sources said.
From Reuters: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 2:25 p.m. ET
U.S. Welcomes N.Korean Offer on Nuclear Power Program
By Paul Eckert and Arshad Mohammed
SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea offered to freeze its nuclear power program on Tuesday and the United States called this a positive step that may help lead to new six-way talks on ending Pyongyang's atomic weapons programs. North Korea described its offer as a "bold concession" to restart the six-way talks, which are designed to find a way to persuade the secretive, communist nation to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. ... "The DPRK is set to refrain from test and production of nuclear weapons and stop even operating nuclear power industry for a peaceful purpose as first-phase measures of the package solution," said Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency ...
From AP: Jan 17, 3:16 PM (ET)
U.S. to Pull Troops From S. Korea Capital By HANS GREIMEL
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The United States agreed Saturday to pull its troops out of the South Korean capital as Seoul's new top diplomat said he sees a chance for a breakthrough in the North Korean nuclear weapons crisis. Under a historic plan to end the U.S. presence in the capital dating from the 1950-53 Korean War, about 7,000 U.S. forces and their families will be moved to an expanded facility about 45 miles south of Seoul. The move is to be completed by 2006. ...
From Reuters: Saturday, January 31, 2004 7:13 p.m. ET
N. Korea Tests Weapons on People, Gases Inmates-BBC By Peter Apps
LONDON (Reuters) - A program made by Britain's BBC says North Korea is killing political prisoners in experimental gas chambers and testing new chemical weapons on women and children. Titled "Access to Evil" and being aired on Sunday, the program features an official North Korean document that says political prisoners are used to test new chemical weapons. ... A top-secret North Korean document also says political prisoners are used for "human biological experimentation and for production of biological weapons," the BBC said. ...
From Reuters: Tue February 3, 2004 05:04 AM ET
Next Six-Way N.Korea Nuclear Talks Set for Feb 25 By Paul Eckert
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea announced Tuesday it would resume talks in Beijing on February 25 with the United States, China and neighboring countries seeking to resolve a crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear arms ambitions. ...
From Channel News Asia: 04 February 2004 0911 hrs (GMT + 8 hours)
US wants success, but delivers warning on new North Korea talks
WASHINGTON : The United States said it hoped a second round of six-way talks on the North Korea crisis would succeed -- but delivered a firm warning that it would not pay its "axis of evil" foe to end its quest for nuclear weapons. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Feb 24, 2004
US troops drill near inter-Korean border
SEOUL (AFP) Thousands of US soldiers were taking part in a major exercise near the inter-Korean border to test combat radiness, US authorities said Tuesday.
A US frontline division has mobilized about 6,000 troops for its annual "Iron Artep" exercise, which began last weekend near the border with North Korea, a US military official said. "The exercise, conducted annually by the 2nd Infantry Division to test combat readiness, will run through March 5," he said. ...
From Gateway To Russia: 26 February 2004 11:30
China, Russia, S.Korea offer energy aid to North
South Korea said on Thursday China and Russia had offered energy aid along with Seoul to North Korea in exchange for a freeze of its nuclear weapons programmes. ...
From Reuters: Sat Feb 28, 2004 07:20 AM ET
N.Korea Talks End with Deep Divisions Laid Bare
By Teruaki Ueno and Jonathan Ansfield
BEIJING (Reuters) - Six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis ended on Saturday without a breakthrough but a senior U.S. official said the meetings had advanced Washington's agenda of disarming Pyongyang. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing closed the four-day session saying all sides had agreed to set up a working group and hold the next set of talks in Beijing before the end of June. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Mar 10, 2004
N. Korea threatens to boost nuclear deterrent over 'reckless' US demands
From Reuters: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:03 PM ET
South Korean Parliament Votes to Impeach President
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's opposition-dominated parliament passed an unprecedented bill on Friday to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun for violating election laws. ...
From AFP: (12/03/2004)
South Korean National Assembly votes to impeach president
SEOUL, (AFP) South Korea's President Roh Moo-Hyun was suspended from office after opposition lawmakers passed an historic impeachment vote, leaving the country in political chaos. The National Assembly voted 193 votes to two to oust Roh over violations of election rules, the parliamentary speaker announced. It is the first time in South Korea's history that a leader has been impeached. ... A total of only 195 membes of the 271-seat National Assembly took part in the vote, with the 47-member Uri Party loyal to Roh boycotting the poll and chanting anti-impeachment slogans. ... The two main opposition parties, the Grand National Party (GNP), which controls parliament, and the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), needed a two-thirds majority, or 181 votes, to impeach. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Apr 15, 2004
Cheney fears NKorea will give terrorists nuclear knowhow
SHANGHAI (AFP) US Vice President Dick Cheney voiced fears Thursday that North Korea will provide nuclear technology to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, and warned of a nuclear arms race in Asia if it is not stopped. "We worry given what they've done in the past, and given current capabilities, that North Korea could very well provide this technology to someone else, or terror groups," he told students at Fudan University in Shanghai. ...
From the World Socialist Web Site: 17 April 2004
South Korean voters reject rightwing establishment parties By Peter Symonds
South Korea’s general election on Thursday produced a major political upheaval. Voters gave a parliamentary majority to the Uri Party, which was formed less than six months ago, and delivered a stinging rebuff to the established parties—the rightwing Grand National Party (GNP) and the Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) of former president Kim Dae-jung. The Uri Party is closely aligned to President Roh Moo-hyun, who was formally impeached by the National Assembly on March 12 for alleged breaches of the electoral law, corruption and administrative incompetence. In moving against Roh, the GNP and MDP calculated that there would be little public reaction. But the plan backfired badly, provoking widespread indignation and anger against what was widely viewed as a parliamentary coup against Roh by the political establishment. ...
Comment by Joe Vialls: 25 April 2004
Ryongchon - Nuclear Trigger for American Conscription?
South Korean "official" accurately announced the shocking level of damage only one hour
after the blast, long before the North Koreans could even reach Ryongchon's ground zero
At The NYT: April 29, 2004
North Korea's Top Priority Remains Secrecy After Blast By JAMES BROOKE
TOKYO, April 28 ... Ryongchon, the railroad town where a huge explosion killed at least 161 people and wounded 1,300 last week. ... where is the Dear Leader? ... On April 21, Chinese state television reported that he had just left Beijing for home; everyone knows it is a 12-hour train ride to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital. South Korean reports said his train passed through Ryongchon before dawn on Thursday, about eight hours before the blast. In the days after the blast, reporters in Dandong, on the Chinese border, said Mr. Kim's entourage had been joined by a decoy train when he crossed the border into North Korea, a standard safety precaution. Another nagging question: what caused the blast? Without citing a source or witness, KCNA, the North Korean news agency, said the "explosion was caused by the contact of electric lines during the shunt of wagons loaded with nitric ammonium fertilizer and tank wagons." This explosion, KCNA said, was "equivalent to the blast of about 100 bombs each weighing one ton." How that information could be known remains unclear. Photographs and accounts of foreign aid workers allowed to tour the scene give a picture of total devastation, deep craters surrounded by hundreds of yards of debris and desolation. It is unlikely that any witness to the ignition could have survived the blast. Children accounted for almost half the death toll. About 500 of the 1,300 people wounded were blinded ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: May 04, 2004
North Korea building new ballistic missile bases: report
From The Chosun Ilbo: May.4,2004 16:40 KST
North Deploys New 4,000Km Range Missiles
North Korea has begun work on deploying intermediate range ballistic missiles (with ranges of 3,000~4,000km) it developed last year, building underground bases at two sites. This is much sooner than South Korean and American military authorities had expected. ...
From Reuters: Sat May 8, 2004 01:34 PM ET
North Korea says Japan about to have nuclear arms
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea on Saturday accused Japan of being on the verge of possessing nuclear weapons. ...
From Reuters: Sun May 9, 2004 10:06 PM ET
North Korea's Kim Said Won't Abandon Nukes -Report
TOKYO (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il told Chinese President Hu Jintao last month that Pyongyang was willing to freeze some of its nuclear programs but would not completely scrap them, a Japanese newspaper said on Monday.
That stance is in line with North Korea's existing position and China is concerned that it could cause a confrontation at six-party, working-level talks to start on Wednesday in Beijing on Pyongyang's nuclear programs, the Yomiuri Shimbun said. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: May 12, 2004
NKorea launches verbal attack on US as talks open
SEOUL (AFP) North Korea's official media accused the United States Wednesday of planning to launch a war as working-level talks opened in Beijing to end the 19-month old nuclear standoff. Rodong Sinmun, mouthpiece of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, urged South Korea to join with the North in opposing what it said were US plans for war on the peninsula. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: May 12, 2004
Slim chances of NKorea breakthrough as delegates meet behind closed doors
BEIJING (AFP) Envoys to six-party negotiations aimed at defusing the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program opened working-level talks Wednesday in Beijing, but chances appeared slim of any breakthrough. ... This week's discussions could help prepare the ground for a third round of high-level six-way negotiations expected to take place in the Chinese capital before the end of June. ... On the eve of the Beijing talks, North Korea said it would regard any sanctions imposed by Japan against the communist country as a "declaration of war" and would punish Tokyo with prompt counter-measures. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: May 14, 2004
Working level talks end as NKorea vows never to accept US demands
From Reuters: Mon May 17, 2004 02:18 PM ET
US to Move Troops from S.Korea to Iraq This Summer By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will move 3,600 Army soldiers to Iraq this summer from South Korea for a one-year deployment amid a worsening security situation, and does not plan to replace the troops on the Korean Peninsula, U.S. defense officials said on Monday. ... The official said the deployment to Iraq, scheduled for "late summer," would leave the United States with roughly 33,500 to 34,000 troops in South Korea. ... Kim Sook, head of the Foreign Ministry's North America bureau, said the move was unrelated to South Korea's planned deployment of 3,000 additional troops in Iraq, delayed amid concerns over security and where they will be stationed. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: May 18, 2004
US 'tripwire' role in South Korea obsolete: Wolfowitz
WASHINGTON - The "tripwire" role long played by US troops along the demilitarized zone in South Korea is now obsolete, contributing to Washington's decision to redeploy some US troops there to Iraq, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said Tuesday. ...
From AFP at Yahoo: Sat, Jun 05, 2004
Rumsfeld warns of growing risk of North Korean proliferation
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned that protracted diplomatic negotiations were giving North Korea time to develop nuclear weapons, raising the risk they would fall into terrorist hands. ... "Needless to say time works to the advantage of North Korea," he said. "Assuming their behavior is to continue their programs, the longer it takes the more dangerous presumably their capabilities would become." ... "I would submit the likelihood of terrorist networks or terrorist states getting their hands on these increasingly powerful weapons and using them is growing every year. Which is why the counter-proliferation initiative is so important, countries simply must cooperate together because there is simply no way a single country can effectively deal with the problem of proliferation," he said. ...
From Reuters: Mon Jun 7, 2004 12:05 PM ET
U.S. Plans to Cut Troops in S.Korea by a Third By Jack Kim and Rhee So-eui
SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States plans to cut its troops in South Korea by a third by the end of next year, as part of a worldwide shift to use higher technology in defense, the two countries said Monday. ...
From Reuters: Wed Jun 23, 2004 03:21 PM ET
U.S. Offers N.Korea Incentives to Scrap Nukes By Teruaki Ueno and Saul Hudson
BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States offered North Korea aid incentives on Wednesday to scrap its suspected nuclear weapons programs after key allies pressed for a way to break a deadlock in six-party negotiations. There was no formal response from North Korea, which appeared as entrenched as ever and urged the United States to soften its "hostile" stance. Completing a policy reversal, Washington presented a plan to allow other nations to supply energy aid and said it could consider giving North Korea assurances it would not be attacked, U.S. officials said. It also offered Pyongyang three months to start dismantling its programs, they added. In return, the communist state must provide a full listing of its nuclear activities, disable some dangerous materials and allow monitoring, senior officials said in outlining the proposal made at the start of six-party talks in Beijing. ...
From Reuters: Thu Jun 24, 2004 09:13 PM ET
N. Korea Threatens to Test Nuclear Device -- U.S. By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea has threatened to test a nuclear device if the United States does not accept its proposal to freeze its nuclear programs in exchange for compensation, Bush administration officials said on Thursday. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Jun 26, 2004
US discounts North Korea's atomic bomb test threat
From AFP at SpaceWar: Jun 29, 2004
US stealth fighter bombers deployed in South Korea for training
SEOUL - Up to 24 US F-117A stealth fighter bombers will arrive in South Korea this week to take part in a military training exercise, US and South Korean officials said Tuesday. ...
From The Chosun Ilbo: July.7,2004 19:21 KST
N. Korea Has Deployed Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles
The Defense Ministry has officially confirmed for the first time that North Korea has in fact been deploying new intermediate range ballistic missiles, with ranges of 3,000~4,000km -- far longer than those of the Rodong 1 missiles that go 1,300km. ... A U.S spy satellite detected 10 units of these new missiles and launching sites at the two bases, the sources said. The new intermediate missiles can reach Hawaii and Guam, a U.S strategic stronghold, as well as Okinawa. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Jul 24, 2004
US to donate 50,000 tonnes of food to North Korea
WASHINGTON (AFP) The United States said Friday it would donate 50,000 tonnes of agricultural commodities through the World Food Programme to nuclear power North Korea, which is grappling with a food shortage. The aid is "to help relieve the suffering of the North Korean people despite our concerns about the North Korean government's policies," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. ... Boucher said the aid was in response to a global appeal from the World Food Programme for 484,000 tonnes of food to meet urgent needs in North Korea during calendar year 2004. The World Food Programme distributes most of the food to needy children and pregnant and nursing women. Last year, the United States gave a total of 100,000 tonnes of aid to North Korea -- less than the 207,000 tonnes in 2002 and 350,000 tonnes the previous year. ... In April, the United States contributed 100,000 dollars in response to a global appeal for emergency aid for North Korean victims of a train explosion that left at least 150 people dead and 1,300 injured at Ryongchon near the Chinese border.
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 03, 2004
NKorea could soon be able to target US with missiles: study
LONDON (AFP) - North Korea is developing a pair of new ballistic missile systems, including a sea-launched model which could soon enable the Stalinist state to target the United States, a leading military publication said Tuesday. ... The new systems are based on the defunct Soviet R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile, known to NATO at the time as the SS-N-6, Jane's said. ...
From Reuters: Tue Aug 3, 2004 11:42 AM ET
New N. Korean Missiles Said to Threaten U.S. By Mark Trevelyan
BERLIN (Reuters) - North Korea is deploying new land- and sea-based ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads and may have sufficient range to hit the United States, according to the authoritative Jane's Defense Weekly. In an article due to appear Wednesday, Jane's said the two new systems appeared to be based on a decommissioned Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile, the R-27. ... Ian Kemp, news editor of Jane's Defense Weekly, said North Korea would only spend the money and effort on developing such missiles if it intended to fit them with nuclear warheads. ... Jane's said the new land-based system had an estimated range of 2,500 to 4,000 km (1,560 to 2,500 miles), and the sea-based system, launchable from a submarine or a ship, had a range of at least 2,500 km. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 16, 2004
US fighter squadron to be deployed in South Korea next month
SEOUL (AFP) A squadron of US Air Force F-15E fighters based in Alaska will fly to South Korea next month for temporary deployment aimed at enhancing US firepower on the Korean peninsula, US authorities said Monday. The US jets will stay in South Korea for up to three months of training "to get accustomed to geographical features of the peninsula", a US military spokesman said. For similar training, the United States deployed a squadron of F-117A stealth fighters in South Korea in June. "The deployment is part of US military enhancement plans announced earlier," he said. He was apparently referring to US promises to enhance its air and sea capabilities to defend South Korea, having unveiled plans to slash its number of troops in South Korea by one third by next year. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 22, 2004
North Korea steps up anti-US tirade
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea stepped up its anti-US tirade Sunday, accusing Washington of planning to deploy an aircraft carrier off the Korean peninsula. The North's ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, claimed US troops in South Korea would be equipped with new missiles capable of destroying underground facilities in the communist state. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 23, 2004
North Korea rejects new talks with US, calls Bush an "imbecile"
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea Monday described US President George W. Bush as an "imbecile" and a "tyrant" who was worse than Adolf Hitler, and ruled out attending new talks on nuclear weapons with the United States. ...
From Reuters: Thu Sep 2, 2004 12:46 PM ET
South Korea enriched uranium close to atom bomb fuel
By Jack Kim and Louis Charbonneau
SEOUL/VIENNA (Reuters) - South Korea has admitted that government scientists enriched uranium four years ago to a level that several Vienna diplomats said was almost pure enough for an atomic bomb, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Thursday. ... South Korea said in a statement the U.N. nuclear watchdog was investigating the disclosure. It said the experiments, which involved enriching uranium with lasers, were carried out by a group of scientists without government knowledge and soon ended. ... The IAEA said in a statement that Seoul had told the agency that "these activities were carried out without the government's knowledge at a nuclear site in Korea in 2000". At the same time, a Vienna diplomat said the scientists were government employees working at a government-run facility. ... The experiments clearly did not constitute a violation of the NPT because they were not an attempt to build nuclear weapons, the South Korean official said. However, several diplomats on the IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors said that South Korea had clearly violated its obligations under the NPT, which requires that such activities be reported to the IAEA. They said the board had no choice but to report such violations to the U.N. Security Council. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Sep 09, 2004
US exposes more illicit nuclear activity by South Korea
WASHINGTON (AFP) - South Korea may have been involved in illicit nuclear activity even before its recently disclosed experiment to enrich uranium, the United States said Wednesday as North Korea warned of a nuclear arms race. "Our understanding is that over 20 years ago, the South Koreans did experiments involving trace amounts of plutonium," a senior US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. ... Global environmental group Greenpeace has said that South Korea's illicit nuclear activity revelation was a "stark warning" about the nuclear threat on the Korean peninsula and the wider Northeast Asian region. Japan currently has a plutonium stockpile of some five tonnes of plutonium, it says. North Korea is believed to have already acquired nuclear weapons. China is the region's only "official nuclear power."
From Reuters: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:58 AM ET
U.N. Calls on N.Korea to Scrap Its Atomic Arsenal By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - The United Nations nuclear watchdog Friday called on North Korea to give up any nuclear weapons it may have and allow U.N. inspectors to return to verify that the country's atomic program is peaceful. The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) General Conference, an annual meeting of all 137 IAEA members, unanimously adopted a resolution that urged Pyongyang "to completely dismantle any nuclear weapons program in a prompt, transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner." The conference also passed an Egypt-sponsored resolution urging states in the Middle East to open up their nuclear facilities to IAEA inspections -- which diplomats at the conference said was clearly aimed at Israel. ...
The IAEA reported North Korea to the U.N. Security Council, which has done nothing with the matter, preferring to let the six-party talks handle the issue. ... The reclusive communist state refuses to take part in a fourth round of six-party talks this month on ending its nuclear ambitions and says it will never give up its deterrent. ...
After back-room negotiations between Israeli, U.S. and diplomats from Arab states, Israel agreed to support an IAEA resolution calling for "all states in the Middle East to forthwith accept the application of full-scope (IAEA) safeguards to all their nuclear activities." ... Israeli diplomats agreed to support the resolution after the proposal of a resolution openly calling on Israel to abandon any nuclear weapons was withdrawn, diplomats at the conference said. ... It is an annual ritual at the IAEA annual conference that Arab and Muslim states try to get a resolution on the table that calls on Israel to give up its alleged nuclear weapons arsenal. The last time they succeeded in getting such a resolution adopted by the IAEA General Conference was in 1991. Since 1987, the IAEA conference and U.N. General Assembly have passed 13 such resolutions. Israel has ignored them all.
From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS at The NYT: September 24, 2004 12:48 p.m. ET
U.S. Navy to Deploy Ships Near N. Korea
ABOARD THE USS CORONADO (AP) -- In the first step toward erecting a multi-billion-dollar shield to protect the United States from foreign missiles, the U.S. Navy will begin deploying state-of-the-art destroyers to patrol the waters off North Korea as early as next week. The mission, to be conducted in the Sea of Japan by ships assigned to the Navy's 7th fleet, will help lay the foundation for a system to detect and intercept ballistic missiles launched by ``rogue nations.'' ... This week, Japanese naval ships were dispatched to the waters off North Korea amid reports that Pyongyang was preparing to test launch a ``Nodong'' missile, which can reach much of Japan -- and the more than 50,000 U.S. troops stationed there -- in just minutes. North Korea is believed to have at least 100 of the missiles. ...
From Reuters: Sat Oct 2, 2004 05:10 PM ET
S.Korea on High Alert After Warning on Al Jazeera
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea put its security forces on alert after Muslims were urged to resist the United States and its allies around the world in an audio tape believed to be from al Qaeda's deputy leader, government officials said Saturday. ... Security was stepped up at airports, ports, government buildings and other key sites, ministry officials said. ... The Foreign Ministry repeated a government warning against travel to Iraq, saying the security situation was deteriorating rapidly in the Middle East. ... The audio tape attributed to al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri, aired by Al Jazeera television, said resistance should carry on even if al Qaeda leaders were killed or arrested. "We should not wait until U.S., British, French, Jewish, South Korean, Hungarian or Polish forces enter Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen and Algeria before we resist," said the tape, attributed to Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant. "Let us start resisting now. The interests of America, Britain, Australia, France, Poland, Norway, South Korea and Japan are spread everywhere. They all took part in the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq or Chechnya or enabled Israel to survive." ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Oct 24, 2004
Powell opens talks in Japan after rejecting NKorean nuclear demands
From USA Today at azcentral.com: Oct. 25, 2004 12:00 AM
Powell declares North Korea a 'terrorist state' By Barbara Slavin
BEIJING - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, on a mission to restart talks on North Korea's nuclear program, on Sunday branded North Korea a "terrorist state" that shows "no respect whatsoever for human rights." Powell arrived in China from Tokyo, where he told the news media that naval maneuvers beginning today off the Japanese coast and a new U.S. law intended to promote North Korean human rights were not meant as "hostile acts" against North Korea. Regarding talks to end the dispute over North Korea's efforts to develop nuclear weapons, Powell said, "We are not out of time." ...
From The Telegraph: 02/11/2004
50 years of trip-wire weirdness end as US leaves Korean border By Richard Spencer
The world's sole remaining Cold War frontier post lost its American guards yesterday when the United States withdrew from the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea. ... From now on, it will be manned just by the forces of the two Koreas, as the US reduces its 27,000-strong military in South Korea by a third. ...
From the BBC: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 20:59 GMT
S Korea chided for nuclear tests
The UN nuclear watchdog has said South Korea has been illegally conducting secret nuclear tests on a larger scale than Seoul had previously declared. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said South Korea enriched a small amount of uranium in 2000 to a level almost useable in nuclear arms. ... South Korea has admitted that its scientists conducted, without official authorisation, tests in 1982 to extract plutonium and in 2000 to enrich uranium - two separate routes to an atomic bomb. But the government has argued that the tests were on too small a scale to be significant and only 0.7g of plutonium and 200mg of uranium were produced. However, South Korea's concealment of its secret tests is seen by some experts as violation of Seoul's obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They say it could require the IAEA to refer South Korea to the UN Security Council. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Nov 21, 2004
Bush says US, partners united on North Korea
SANTIAGO (AFP) - US President George W. Bush said Saturday after meeting with leaders of China, Japan, South Korea and Russia, that they had a joint message for North Korea: "Get rid of your nuclear weapons programs." ... "The leader of North Korea will hear a common voice," Bush predicted in a joint appearance with Koizumi on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Santiago. ...
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