Bush v. NKorea - 1st Half 2003
From AP: Wed Jan 1, 2003 12:21 PM ET
Defiant N. Korea Vows to Confront U.S.
By PAUL SHIN, Associated Press Writer
SEOUL, South Korea - Showing no willingness to ease tensions over its nuclear weapons program, North Korea vowed Wednesday to build an army-based "powerful nation" and defy pressure from the United States. ... North Korea, in its New Year's Day message, called on its people to unite under "the banner of the army-based policy" and build a "powerful nation" to counter a possible U.S. invasion. ... In an apparent effort to take advantage of an upsurge in anti-U.S. sentiment in South Korea, the message urged "all the Koreans in the North and the South and abroad" to join in confronting the United States. "It can be said that there exists on the Korean Peninsula at present only confrontation between the Koreans in the North and the South and the United States," it said. ...
More than 2 million troops are massed on both sides of the Korean border, while about 37,000 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea. South Korean President-elect Roh Moo-hyun, who won a Dec. 19 vote partly because of surging anti-U.S. sentiment among his people, on Tuesday warned against "blindly following U.S. policy." "The United States should consult fully with South Korea, rather than making a decision unilaterally and then expecting South Korea to follow it," said Roh, who begins a five-year term in February. ...
From AP: Fri, Jan 03, 2003
U.S. Rules Out N. Korea Nuclear Bargain
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration on Friday ruled out striking a bargain with North Korea to freeze its nuclear weapons program or offering any other incentive to end the threat. ... In Seoul, an aide said President-elect Roh Moon-hyun would offer North Korea and the United States a compromise to end the nuclear standoff, a new diplomatic course for the longtime U.S. ally. ... The North Korean ambassador to China insisted, meanwhile, that Pyongyang would not bend until the United States agreed to a nonaggression treaty. Secretary of State Colin Powell has ruled out such a treaty, saying it would amount to a reward for North Korea to halt its moves to build new nuclear weapons. ...
From NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES:
U.S. willing to talk to North Korea
SEOUL, Jan. 7 — In an apparent policy shift, the United States said Tuesday that it was willing to hold talks with North Korea. The offer was made in a statement issued at the end of talks involving U.S., Japanese and South Korean diplomats on the communist regime’s move to revive its nuclear weapons program.
AT THE END of two days of talks in Washington, a statement approved by all three governments endorsed dialogue with North Korea as a useful vehicle for resolving serious issues.
However, the U.S. delegation said that while it was ready to talk to the Pyongyang government “about how it will meet its obligations to the international community,” Washington was not willing to make any concessions in return to North Korea. ... Asked what the United States was willing to talk to North Korea about, Boucher replied, “the overall picture.” ...
In Chicago on Tuesday, President Bush called North Korea’s nuclear pursuits an attempt “to defy the world.” He expressed hope for a peaceful easing of tensions..
“I believe that by working with countries in the region, diplomacy will work,” Bush said during a speech. “We have no aggressive intent, no argument with the North Korean people. We’re interested in peace on the Korean Peninsula.” ...
On Monday, the U.N. nuclear watchdog gave North Korea a second chance to abandon its suspected weapons program — thus delaying possible U.N. sanctions. ...
Referring the issue to the Security Council is a last resort for the IAEA and could lead to punitive sanctions or other actions against North Korea’s regime.
But Pyongyang warned that it will not tolerate economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
“Sanctions mean a war, and the war knows no mercy,” said the North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday. “The U.S. should opt for dialogue with [North Korea], not for war, clearly aware that it will have to pay a very high price for such reckless acts,” KCNA said. ...
On Monday, Bush said the United States was open to dialogue with Pyongyang, but he also told reporters that North Korea must permit international monitoring of its nuclear program.
“We have no intention of invading North Korea,” he said ... Bush said North Korea must keep the pledge it made to the United States in 1994 not to build new nuclear weapons.
“We will have dialogue,” he said, but “we expect people to keep their word.” ...
From Reuters: Jan 8, 3:35 pm ET
North Korea Denounces U.S. After Talks Offer
By Kim Yeon-hee and Steve Holland
SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea accused the United States on Wednesday of increasing the danger of war on the Korean peninsula, just hours after Washington changed tack and signaled a willingness to talk about their nuclear standoff. The reclusive communist state's KCNA news agency made no mention of the U.S. offer, nor of the U.N. watchdog's deadline for it to readmit nuclear inspectors within weeks, but decried Washington's "racket of a nuclear threat." "The 'nuclear issue' that renders the situation on the Korean peninsula strained is a product of the U.S. strategy to dominate the world whereby it is working hard to bring a holocaust of a nuclear war to the Korean nation," KCNA said. ...
In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said in comments released by the ministry that "quiet diplomacy" would help find a way out of the crisis. "Time and time again, we are being called upon to use our relations (with Pyongyang) to pressure North Korea in some way. This is an erroneous approach. We value our ties and want to use them sensibly," he said in a weekend interview with Japanese media. Instead of issuing threats, Washington should provide security guarantees sought by Pyongyang, Losyukov said.
The United States has branded North Korea part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and Iran and believes it to be building nuclear weapons but has ruled out a military attack. North Korea's riposte is that Washington is the world's biggest producer and seller of weapons of mass destruction. ...
Also on Wednesday, the European Commission granted emergency food aid to North Korea, partly filling a gap left by a shortfall in aid from the United States and Japan. ...
From AP: Jan 8, 1:31 PM (ET)
N. Korea Urges Seoul to Oppose U.S.
By SANG-HUN CHOE
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea stepped up its campaign Wednesday to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington over the nuclear standoff, as South Korea's Defense Ministry called for a stronger alliance with the United States.
Pyongyang kept silent on a new U.S. offer of dialogue to discuss curbing its nuclear weapons program. Instead, it said there is an "increasing danger of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula" because of the United States, and urged the Koreas to "pool their efforts and condemn and frustrate the U.S. nuclear policy for aggression."
"It is plain to everyone that if a nuclear war breaks out in Korea, it will bring catastrophic disasters to the Koreans in both parts of Korea," said a commentary by the KCNA, North Korea's state-run news agency. ...
From Reuters: Jan 9, 2003 5:40 pm ET
North Korea May Offer Way Out of Crisis - Diplomats
By Paul Eckert and Steve Holland
SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The diplomatic deep freeze between North Korea and the United States appeared to be thawing on Thursday as both sides signaled a willingness to trade brinkmanship for diplomacy. Diplomatic sources with close ties to Pyongyang told Reuters that North Korea would agree to abandon its nuclear arms program if the United States reaffirmed a 2000 joint communiqué that declared the two nations had "no hostile intention" toward each other.
In Washington, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said a North Korean diplomat was given permission to travel to New Mexico to meet with a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson. Han Song Ryol, Pyongyang's deputy permanent representative at the United Nations, will discuss the dispute with Richardson, who served as U.S. envoy at the United Nations under former President Bill Clinton and now is governor of New Mexico. ...
Fleischer said Richardson had contacted Secretary of State Colin Powell after Han contacted him, and Powell told Richardson he had no objection to the meeting. However, a senior U.S. official said Powell told Richardson to make clear he was not speaking on behalf of the United States and to repeat the U.S. position that Washington is ready to talk but will not negotiate. ...
"Reaffirming the joint communiqué issued in October 2000 would suffice," the source told Reuters in Tokyo. "The North would agree to abandon its nuclear program if the United States agrees to go back to the joint communiqué and reaffirm it." In the 2000 document, North Korea and the United States vowed to end decades of hostility and work for better ties. Shortly after signing it, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Pyongyang to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. ...
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly visits South Korea on Sunday at the start of a tour that will also take him to China, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan. The State Department said Kelly had no plans to go to Pyongyang.
From Reuters: Thursday, January 09, 2003 10:25 p.m. ET
N.Korea Pulls Out of Non-Proliferation Treaty
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's official news agency said on Friday the communist country was pulling out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but had no intention of developing nuclear weapons. "The government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in a statement today declared its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its total freedom from the binding force of the safeguards accord with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," said the KCNA news agency. The withdrawal was immediate, it said. "Though we pull out of the NPT, we have no intention to produce nuclear weapons and our nuclear activities at this stage will be confined only to peaceful purposes such as the production of electricity," it said. ...
From AP: Fri Jan 10, 4:44 AM ET
North Korea Warns of 'Third World War'
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea ... said U.S. efforts to have North Korea abandon its nuclear ambitions amounted to a "strategy for domination" and said "let us see who will win and who will be defeated in the fire-to-fire standoff." North Korea added that "a new Korean War will finally lead to the Third World War. If a war breaks out on the Korean peninsula where military and strategic interests of neighboring big countries are entangled, they will be embroiled in it, like it or not."
From The Washington Post: Sunday, January 12, 2003; Page A22
Bush Administration Shifts Blame for N. Korea Crisis
Clinton-Era Agreement Signed in '94 With Pyongyang Is Called Flawed
By Karen DeYoung and T.R. Reid
A senior Bush administration official suggested yesterday that the nuclear crisis with North Korea was the predictable result of a flawed 1994 agreement signed by the Clinton administration with Pyongyang that "frontloaded all the benefits and left the difficult things to the end" -- for the next president. ...
... North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Han Song Ryol, had said the Bush administration's tough policy toward North Korea was motivated primarily by Bush's desire to do the opposite of what his predecessor had done on foreign policy. Han asserted that Pyongyang had been developing a working relationship with Washington toward the end of the Clinton era -- indeed, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Pyongyang just before President Bill Clinton left office -- but then faced a reversal of policy under Bush. ...
North Korea announced last week that it would put the frozen reactor at Yongbyon back into production, and said Friday it was withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty under which it had agreed not to produce nuclear weapons. Yesterday, Pyongyang said it would likely restart a suspended missile-testing program. The (Bush) administration official said yesterday's announcement, like the others, would bring no change in U.S. policy. ...
The North Korean envoys meeting with Richardson in Santa Fe said they have tried for weeks to arrange talks with the administration but have been repeatedly rebuffed, people involved in the talks said. Han, the deputy U.N. ambassador, asked Richardson to set up meetings with the administration to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear program. But he said no member of the U.S. mission to the United Nations would talk with them. U.S. officials have said they are willing to talk but will not enter into negotiations. Richardson's aides said he had passed along the request for dialogue to Powell. In a statement issued after the Santa Fe talks, Richardson said, "Ambassador Han told me that North Korea has no intentions of building nuclear weapons." ...
From AP: Tue Jan 14, 2:51 PM ET
N. Korea Threatens to Exercise 'Options'
By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer
SEOUL, South Korea - China offered Tuesday to host talks between the United States and North Korea in a bid to end their standoff, and the North warned it was running out of patience with Washington, threatening to exercise undefined "options." ...
-- If the United States responds to the withdrawal from the treaty "with new sanctions, blockade and pressure offensives, (North Korea) will exercise the second and third corresponding options," a commentary in Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's most prominent state newspaper, said. ... --
President Bush said Tuesday that nations in the region should "bind together" and tell the North Koreans "we expect them to disarm — we expect them not to develop nuclear weapons." If the North does so, then Washington would consider new talks about food and energy aid to the impoverished nation. ...
From Reuters: Tue Jan 14, 2:50 PM ET
Bush Could Revive 'Bold Initiative' for N. Korea
By Patricia Wilson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush dangled an olive branch in front of North Korea on Tuesday, offering to revive a stalled initiative to give Pyongyang food and energy aid if it abandoned its nuclear ambitions. ...
"I'm absolutely convinced this issue will be solved in a peaceful way," he said in the Oval Office before a meeting with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. "People say, 'Well, are you willing to talk to North Korea?' Of course we are," Bush said. "But what this nation won't do is be blackmailed." He pointed out that before North Korea's recent actions he had instructed Secretary of State Colin Powell to approach Pyongyang about "an initiative which would talk about energy and food." ...
From MSNBC NEWS SERVICES: Jan. 15, 2003
Amid crisis, Koreas agree to talks
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 — South and North Korea agreed Wednesday to hold Cabinet-level talks in Seoul next week as tension mounted over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons development, South Korean officials said. The word came one day after China offered to host talks between the United States and North Korea in a bid to end their nuclear standoff, and after President Bush said he would consider a plan to give Pyongyang energy and food aid if the regime drops its nuclear weapons program. ...
“I view this as an opportunity to bind together nations in the neighborhood and around the world to make it clear to the North Koreans that we expect this issue to be resolved peacefully and we expect them to disarm — we expect them not to develop nuclear weapons,” Bush said before a meeting with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski.
“If they so choose to do so — their choice — then I will reconsider whether or not I we’ll start the bold initiative that I talked to Secretary (of State Colin) Powell about,” he said. ...
From AP: January 17, 2003, 1:21 AM EST
Ex-S. Korean Leader Argued With Clinton
By SANG-HUN CHOE Associated Press Writer
SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's president during the 1993-94 nuclear crisis with North Korea said Friday he argued with then-President Bill Clinton about a proposed U.S. attack and warned that South Korean troops would not be sent to back up the American military effort. Kim Young-sam, speaking at a news conference, said Clinton told him in a telephone call that the United States was about to bomb the Yongbyon nuclear complex in North Korea and that the United States was moving one aircraft carrier and seven cruisers and destroyers up the east coast of the communist country. "Clinton told me that he would launch an immediate bombardment on the Yongbyon area. Clinton was very determined about it, but I argued to him that such an attack should never take place," said Kim, president from 1993-98. ... "Finally I told him that if the United States attacks North Korea, I cannot send one single member of South Korea's 650,000 armed forces into battle." ... After the conversations, former President Jimmy Carter stepped in to help mediate a peaceful resolution. The United States and North Korea signed an accord in 1994 that required the communist state to freeze its nuclear facilities in return for energy and other economic aid. ...
From AP: Jan 18, 11:27 AM (ET)
S. Korean: U.S. Weighed Attack on North
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - High-level U.S. officials last month discussed the possibility of attacking North Korea because of its nuclear activities but later decided to seek a peaceful solution, South Korea's president-elect said Saturday. The remarks by Roh Moo-hyun, who was elected Dec. 19, shed light on an alleged debate within the U.S. government over how to deal with the communist North after it declared it would reactivate old nuclear facilities capable of making bombs. "At the time of the elections, some U.S. officials, who held considerable responsibility in the administration, talked about the possibility of attacking North Korea," Roh told a panel of university professors on Korean television. ...
Roh's comments came a day after Washington said it was willing to give North Korea a written guarantee it would not invade - a step forward but short of the formal nonaggression treaty Pyongyang wants. Speaking to Japanese reporters, a senior U.S. official said Friday there was "no possibility" for a nonaggression pact: Congress would never agree to one, given that North Korea reneged on a 1994 agreement to give up its nuclear weapons program. ...
Roh, who takes office next month, told the televised panel Saturday about the pressure he was under during his election campaign over the possiblity of a U.S. attack on the isolationist North. "I then felt so desperate. I couldn't even say in public what would happen if the United States attacked North Korea because that would make the people afraid," he said on KBS-TV. "I then felt that no matter what differences I might face with the United States, I would oppose an attack on North Korea," Roh said. "Fortunately, opinion in the United States started to change to resolving the matter peacefully." ...
From Reuters: Jan 18, 1:08 pm ET
U.S. Says Had No Plans to Attack North Korea
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush had no plans to attack North Korea over its suspected nuclear activities, White House officials said on Saturday, in response to a report quoting South Korea's president-elect as saying an attack was under consideration last month. ...
From Reuters: Sun Jan 19, 7:48 AM ET
U.S. Worries North Korea Will Sell Nuclear Bombs
By Will Dunham
" ... U.S. defense officials and military analysts are worrying that North Korea might sell a nuclear bomb to a willing customer with a lot of cash. They say North Korea, through its past arms sales, has shown a willingness to sell just about anything to anyone, and fear that potential customers for a nuclear bomb could include hostile countries or even groups such as al Qaeda. "Look at what North Korea's doing with respect to the possible production of additional nuclear weapons," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a briefing. "Here's the world's biggest proliferator of ballistic missile technology. If it ends up with additional nuclear weapons, it might very well be in the business of proliferating them to other countries." ... "
From Reuters: Jan 20, 5:50 am ET
N.Korea's Kim Meets Russian Envoy with Message
By Jane Macartney and John Ruwitch
SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il Monday met a Russian envoy who has proposed the communist state give up its nuclear ambitions to defuse a crisis that has gripped capitals from Washington to Beijing. ... Russia's Losyukov met officials in Pyongyang at the weekend and presented a set of three proposals that set out that the Korean peninsula be made nuclear-free in exchange for safety guarantees and that economic and humanitarian aid should resume to the impoverished communist North. ... U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton is in Beijing for what he said would be "a long day of consultations" with Pyongyang's closest ally. He is due in Seoul Tuesday. ...
In an apparent bid to drive a wedge between South Korea and the U.S. troops who have guarded it since the 1950-53 Korean War, Pyongyang's consul-general in Hong Kong told a newspaper that North Korea had no intention to attack the South. "If the United States attacks us, we'll only go after our enemy," the Chinese-language Ming Pao daily quoted the diplomat, Ri To Sop, as saying. "We and South Korea are of the same lineage and the same country, we share the same language and culture. There's no reason for us to harm our relationship with South Korea," he said, but repeated Pyongyang's threat to declare war if the United States imposed sanctions. "We are ready to go to war, and war has no mercy," he said, but stressed: "We will not mix South Korea up with the United States." ...
From The Washington Post: Wednesday, January 22, 2003; 1:00 PM
U.S. to Refer N. Korea Crisis to U.N. Security Council
By Doug Struck
SEOUL, Jan. 22 -- While North Korean delegates visiting Seoul put on a charm offensive to try to enlist support from South Korea, a U.S. official said here today that the U.N. Security Council will be asked this week to deal with the Stalinist state's nuclear ambitions. Referral of the issue to the Security Council would set up a showdown with North Korea, which has said U.N. approval of sanctions would be "tantamount to war." Deputy Undersecretary of State John Bolton said: "I don't think it's a question of if it goes to the Security Council." He said Beijing and Seoul have agreed and "we're confident that it will get there by the end of this week." ...
From Mainichi Shimbun (Japan): Jan. 24, 2003
Defense chief: Pre-emptive strike on N. Korea possible
Defense Agency Chief Shigeru Ishiba said Friday that Japan could launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korean missile facilities if Pyongyang begins preparations for a missile attack. ... However, Ishiba stressed that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces are not capable of carrying out such an attack in enemy territory. "Under the Japan- U.S. security treaty, the primary role of Japan is to act as a shield. The role of attacking enemy territory is left to the United States." ...
From AP: Fri Jan 24, 3:56 AM ET
Japanese defense chief says Tokyo can strike to prevent North Korean missile attack
TOKYO - Japan would be entitled to strike a North Korean missile base to prevent an attack if Pyongyang loads fuel into missiles targeted at Japan, Tokyo's defense chief said Friday. "North Korea in the past has said it can turn Tokyo into a sea of fire. So we consider it (a strike) possible if (North Korea) starts fueling a missile," Shigeru Ishiba told a Parliament committee. ...
Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, meanwhile, told the same committee that such a strike would be an act of self-defense. ... Ishiba said that under the Japan-U.S. security treaty, the United States is expected to handle attacks on the military bases of enemies. He said he expected the U.S. would fulfill this role in the event North Korea began to fuel its missiles and directed them at Japan for an attack.
From Reuters: Sat Jan 25, 4:57 PM ET
Powell Expects U.S., N.Korea to Hold Talks
By Jane Macartney, Asian Diplomatic Correspondent
SEOUL (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell said Saturday the United States expects to hold talks with communist North Korea when the time is right and omitted to cite Washington's usual preconditions for a meeting. ... Powell said he saw signs of progress in the impasse. "The president (George W. Bush) has indicated that we will talk at the appropriate time and in an appropriate manner. That will happen, I believe, eventually, and we will work out what the proper manner and form is," Powell told reporters ...
Washington says it wants to talk only about how the North Koreans will dismantle a uranium enrichment plant and allow international inspectors to resume monitoring work at another nuclear complex. Pyongyang says it wants to talk, but only to the United States to back its demand Washington sign a non-aggression treaty. Washington has refused. ...
Officials say time is running out for Pyongyang to resolve the crisis and the emergency IAEA meeting could set the stage for moving the issue to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions on the communist North. Pyongyang, which President Bush has bracketed with Iraq and Iran as members of an "axis of evil," has said U.N. sanctions would be a declaration of war. ...
Pyongyang has hinted at a shift in its position that the only solution to the dispute over its nuclear ambitions could come through direct talks with the United States, saying it could accept mediation by neighbors. ... Pyongyang is demanding Washington sign a non-aggression treaty, but U.S. Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage said Washington could only sign a security guarantee.
KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK (N. Korea):
Report of Korean Central News Agency
Pyongyang, January 28 (KCNA) -- The situation on the Korean Peninsula is deteriorating so rapidly that an armed clash may break out quite contrary to the desire of the DPRK for the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue. In this regard the Korean Central News Agency is authorized to release a report today. The report says:
While clamoring for the "peaceful settlement" and "multilateral talks," the United States is stepping up the DPRK-targeted war preparations in full swing.
This is evidenced by the fact that the U.S. Department of Defense is making a final examination of what it calls a "serious plan" designed to decide on a scenario for military attacks on the DPRK. ...
In particular, the strategic command is directly involved in the scenario and various war methods such as secret attacks of the special operational force are to be introduced to preempt surprise assaults on the major objects and nuclear facilities of the DPRK. Timed to coincide with this, the U.S. Forces present in South Korea together with the South Korean military worked out a "contingency plan," a war scenario to invade the DPRK, and began making preparations to put it into practice.
The main mode of carrying out the war scenario is to strike the front and the rear of the DPRK simultaneously with the mobilization of all the latest military hardware and information system tested in the war in Afghanistan so as to contain the DPRK's retaliatory capability. ...
Under the plan the South Korea-based U.S. Forces are pushing ahead with the massive arms buildup and reorganization of the armed forces in a bid to increase the war capabilities against the DPRK and staging frantic joint tactical exercises of various forms with South Korea.
According to it, Japan, too, made the Korean war a fait accompli and is preparing an "operation to evacuate Japanese residents in South Korea" in a bid to cope with it. ...
To this end, Japan is putting warplanes and warships of the "Self-Defence Forces" on standby.
On the basis of such war preparations, former and present high-ranking officials of the U.S. military are asserting that in case the DPRK reprocesses the spent fuel rods, the U.S. should consider it as zero hour for its preemptive attack.
To this end, the ultra-large aircraft carrier "Kitty Hawk" and warships belong to the seventh fleet of the U.S. navy which were supposed to sail toward the Gulf waters versed their voyage to appear in the waters off the Korean Peninsula on Jan. 25. ...
The prevailing situation indicates that the U.S. "national security strategy" which calls for preemptive attacks on the DPRK has entered the phase of its implementation. ...
From KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK (N. Korea):
Withdrawal of nuclear weapons from S. Korea demanded
Pyongyang, January 29 (KCNA) -- The U.S. should immediately withdraw nuclear weapons from South Korea ... South Korea has turned into the biggest nuclear arsenal in the Far East and a nuclear attack base as over 1,000 U.S.-made nukes are deployed there. ... The U.S. imperialists have gone ahead with the establishment of the "joint stealth operation force" for carrying out a preemptive nuclear attack operation and the development of new-type tactical nuclear weapons to be used in the second Korean war since they singled out the DPRK as part of an "axis of evil" and target of its preemptive nuclear attack. ...
From Reuters: Friday, January 31, 2003 1:09 a.m. ET
Activity Seen at North Korea Nuclear Site - Report
NEW YORK (Reuters) - American spy satellites over North Korea have detected what appear to be trucks moving the country's stockpile of nuclear fuel rods out of storage, The New York Times reported on Friday. ...
From The Guardian: Thursday February 6, 2003
N Korea threatens US with first strike
Pyongyang asserts right to pre-emptive attack as tensions rise over American build-up
by Jonathan Watts in Pyongyang
North Korea is entitled to launch a pre-emptive strike against the US rather than wait until the American military have finished with Iraq, the North's foreign ministry told the Guardian yesterday. Warning that the current nuclear crisis is worse than that in 1994, when the peninsula stood on the brink of oblivion, a ministry spokesman called on Britain to use its influence with Washington to avert war. "The United States says that after Iraq, we are next", said the deputy director Ri Pyong-gap, "but we have our own countermeasures. Pre-emptive attacks are not the exclusive right of the US." ...
From The NYT: February 24, 2003
U.S. Approach on North Korea Strains Alliances in Asia
By HOWARD W. FRENCH
SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 23 — With little of the clamor generated by preparations for war with Iraq, the showdown between the United States and North Korea over that country's nuclear weapons program is severely testing Washington's oldest Asian alliances. In recent weeks, senior officials in officially pacifist Japan have spoken of mounting a "pre-emptive strike" against North Korea, if it appeared that the heavily armed Communist state intended to use its ballistic missiles against Japan. ...
When Secretary of State Colin L. Powell arrives here on Monday for the inauguration of Roh Moo Hyun as president of South Korea, he will try to narrow differences with a man whose response to tensions with North Korea has been virtually the opposite of Japan's and, if anything, even more radical. Mr. Roh has given strong indications that he intends to accelerate South Korea's embrace of North Korea, even as the United States looks for ways to ratchet up pressure on North Korea. To the dismay of Washington, Mr. Roh has spoken in recent weeks of establishing an economic community with North Korea, stepping up trade, aid and investment there, ruling out economic sanctions and military strikes against the country and even of personally "guaranteeing" North Korea's security. The president-elect said he would replace the current armistice agreement with a treaty between the Koreas in order to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula. "It is better to struggle than to suffer deaths in a war," Mr. Roh said in a speech to the Federation of Korean Trade Unions. "Koreans should stand together, although things will get difficult when the United States bosses us around." ...
While Japan looks nervously at North Korea and is beginning to explore ways to augment its alliance with the United States, South Koreans and experts in this country's affairs are contemplating the end of the five-decade-old alliance between the countries, at least as it has existed, with 37,000 American troops on the front lines here. "The Japanese are on the spot because the U.S. alliance with South Korea is defunct, and there is no point in insisting on it any more," said Robyn Lim, a regional security expert at Nanzan University in Japan. ...
There are already signs of a deep distrust of Mr. Roh in the Bush administration. American military officials here say plans are being drawn up to remove thousands of American troops from positions along the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea, and to close the headquarters of American forces in Korea at Yongsan, in the heart of the Seoul, as rapidly as possible. ...
From The NYT: March 5, 2003
U.S. Sending 2 Dozen Bombers in Easy Range of North Koreans
By DAVID E. SANGER and THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON, March 4 — Senior Pentagon officials said today that two dozen long-range bombers would be sent to Guam, within easy striking range of North Korea, after President Bush said that if diplomacy failed, he might be forced to turn to military options to prevent the North from making nuclear weapons. ...
From AP: Thu Mar 6,10:12 PM ET
Rumsfeld wants U.S. troops in Korea moved farther from the demilitarized zone or sent home
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld indicated that he wants U.S. troops stationed near the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea to be moved farther from the heavily defended area, shifted to other countries in the region or brought home. The South Korean military, which has relied on American forces to deter an attack from communist North Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953, is capable of defending the border itself, Rumsfeld said. ...
President George W. Bush said later he expects South Korea and other nations with a stake in facing down the North's nuclear threat to present a united front. China, South Korea, Japan and Russia "must stand up to their responsibility, along with the United States, to convince Kim Jong Il that the development of a nuclear arsenal is not in his nation's interests," Bush said. The Bush administration wants to ensure that other nations do not provide North Korea with the massive economic assistance it has demanded from the United States. ...
Last week Richard Lawless, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs, met with South Korean defense policy officials to discuss the future of U.S. troops there. According to a Pentagon statement released Thursday, Lawless and Lt. Gen. Cha Young Koo, the deputy defense minister for policy, agreed that U.S. forces should move away from Seoul, the capital. ...
In response to recent North Korean moves to reactivate its nuclear weapons program, the Pentagon this week is sending 12 B-52 bombers and 12 B-1 bombers from U.S. bases to Guam, within striking distance of the Korean Peninsula. ...
From KNCA: March 8, 2003
U.S. hit for arousing international concern
Pyongyang, March 7 (KCNA) -- The Bush belligerent group is spreading misinformation about the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, asserting that North Korea's withdrawal from the NPT is an issue of serious world concern and it is not an issue concerned with the U.S. only but an issue of the international community as North Korea breached the international agreement. Refuting this assertion, Rodong Sinmun today in a signed article says:
The DPRK, like other countries, has the right to use nuclear substance for peaceful purposes, i.e. the electricity production.
It is, therefore, nonsensical for the U.S. to assert that it is arousing an international "concern."
As far as the DPRK's operation of its nuclear facilities is concerned there is nothing to arouse the U.S. concern nor is there anything to cause the international community to worry about it.
As for the international concern, it is the U.S. that is accountable for it because Washington identifies unilaterialism and arbitrariness with its major foreign policy. The U.S. pulled out of the ABM treaty, opposed setting up an international criminal court, refused to implement the "Kyoto Protocol" for global environmental protection, etc. it is, therefore, giving rise to great concern in protecting the existence and security of humankind.
In actuality, the U.S. is going to launch at any cost a war against Iraq to which the world is opposed, causing a deep concern not only in the U.S. but among its allies.
The U.S. moves to start a new war on the Korean Peninsula are arousing greater concern among the world people.
The U.S. talk about "international concern" as part of its persistent anti-DPRK campaign is no more than a base subterfuge to charge it with "nuclear weapons development" under the signboard of "global peace" in a bid to invent a pretext for a preemptive strike at it.
The U.S., threatening the existence of humankind and the world peace with unilaterialism and arbitrariness in violation of justice and the principle of equality in the international relations, will stand more bitterly condemned and rejected by the world people.
Pyongyang, March 7 (KCNA) -- The United States and its allies are trying to intensify international pressure on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea over the "nuclear issue". The United States intends to start a war on the Korean Peninsula, spreading groundless rumors that the DPRK is resorting to the "brinkmanship" and "threatening and blackmailing" the U.S. to get a concession from it.
It is the DPRK's invariable mode of countermeasure to answer the enemies' tough policy with a tougher stance. ...
From AP: Mar 10, 9:08 AM (ET)
U.S. Officials Nix Direct N. Korea Talks
By KEN GUGGENHEIM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Top Bush administration officials said Sunday the time still isn't ripe for one-on-one talks with North Korea, despite concerns that North Korea is moving rapidly to develop new nuclear weapons. ...
From The Korea Times: 03/13/2003 11:20
`NK Missile Warhead Found in Alaska’ By Ryu Jin, Staff Reporter
The warhead of a long-range missile test-fired by North Korea was found in the U.S. state of Alaska, a report to the National Assembly revealed yesterday. ``According to a U.S. document, the last piece of a missile warhead fired by North Korea was found in Alaska,’’ former Japanese foreign minister Taro Nakayama was quoted as saying in the report. ``Washington, as well as Tokyo, has so far underrated Pyongyang’s missile capabilities.’’ ...
firstname.lastname@example.org 03-04-2003 17:27
From Reuters: Saturday, March 29, 2003 1:54 a.m. ET
N.Korea Vows No Nuclear Concessions, Cites Iraq
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea vowed on Saturday to resist all international demands on the communist state to allow nuclear inspections or agree to disarm, saying Iraq had made this mistake and was now paying the price. "The DPRK would have already met the same miserable fate as Iraq's had it compromised its revolutionary principle and accepted the demand raised by the imperialists and its followers for "nuclear inspection" and disarmament" ... Pyongyang's latest comments came as U.S. commanders running the invasion of Iraq ordered a pause in a northward push toward Baghdad due to stiff resistance and short supplies. On the divided Korean peninsula, meanwhile, American and South Korean forces allied against the North conducted field exercises involving mock battles and amphibious landings. "The DPRK will increase its self-defensive capability and fully demonstrate its might under the uplifted banner of the army-based policy" ...
From The NYT: April 16, 2003
North Koreans and U.S. Plan Talks in Beijing Next Week
By DAVID E. SANGER
WASHINGTON, April 15 — President Bush has approved a plan for the United States to begin negotiations with North Korea in Beijing next week, the first talks between the countries since the government of Kim Jong Il threw out international inspectors and restarted its main nuclear weapons plant, United States and Asian officials said today.
White House officials refused to comment on the negotiations. But officials in several countries said China has promised the United States that it will act as a full participant in the talks rather than just convening them. The Chinese had hoped to conduct the initial meetings in secret, officials said.
The agreement to enter the negotiations with both China and the United States marks a major concession for North Korea and an apparent victory for President Bush. Mr. Bush's strategy of not engaging in one-on-one talks with North Korea had been widely criticized by Asian allies and by many Korea experts. ...
From Reuters: Fri Apr 18,12:41 PM ET
U.S. Considers Canceling Beijing N.Korea Talks
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is considering canceling talks expected to be held in Beijing next week on ending North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons program after Pyongyang said it had begun reprocessing spent fuel rods, a Bush administration official said on Friday. ...
From AFP: Tue Apr 22, 2:56 AM ET
US draws up plan to bomb North Korea's nuclear plant
SYDNEY (AFP) - The Pentagon has produced detailed plans to bomb North Korea's nuclear plant at Yongbyon if the Stalinist state goes ahead with reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods, an Australian report said. Citing "well-informed sources close to US thinking", The Australian newspaper said the plan also included a US strike against North Korean heavy artillery in the hills above the border with South Korea. ... The Australian report coincides with reports from Washington of an alternative US plan which envisages the United States teaming up with China to press for the removal of North Korea's leadership. The second plan, contained in a classified memo reportedly circulated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, argues that Washington's goal should be the collapse of Kim Jong-il's regime. ... The reports come as confusion prevails over the ambiguous statements issued by Pyongyang last week about whether it has begun reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods or merely completed preparations to do so. ... North Korea, the United States and China are set to sit down in Beijing this week for the first direct high-level talks since the nuclear standoff erupted in October. The talks will open Wednesday and are scheduled to run until Friday.
U.S., N. Korea talks near collapse
NBC reports Pyongyang admitted having nuclear weapons
WASHINGTON, April 24 — Roundtable talks between the United States, North Korea and China are on the verge of collapse after the Pyongyang government for the first time admitted possessing nuclear weapons and claimed it had reprocessed spent fuel rods, moving a step closer to building more such weapons, senior U.S. officials told NBC News on Thursday.
THE PYONGYANG delegation also threatened to export plutonium, the product of reprocessed fuel rods, unless the United States agreed to direct talks, a demand that Secretary of State Colin Powell again rejected on Thursday.
He further warned the North Korea regime against making threats and repeated Washington’s insistence that a “nuclearized [Korean] peninsula is unacceptable.” ...
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, characterized the talks as having at least temporarily broken down.
They said that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice instructed Kelly to reject North Korea’s demands for direct talks. Powell, addressing the Asia-Pacific Council in Washington, D.C., described the talks as “coming to a close” after all sides presented their strong views. ...
From Sky News (UK): Last Updated: 07:15 UK, Sunday May 04, 2003
'N KOREA WILL USE NUKES'
North Korea has at least 100 nuclear missiles aimed at the United States and will use them if new economic sanctions are imposed against it, a spokesman claims. Kim Myong Chol, who styles himself executive director of the Centre for Korea-American Peace said: "It's quite obvious North Korea may have minimum 100 nuclear warheads, maximum 300. They all lock onto American cities." ...
From The NYT: May 8, 2003
U.S. Suspects North Korea Moved Ahead on Weapons
By DAVID E. SANGER
WASHINGTON, April 7 — After assuring the White House for months that North Korea had not begun producing plutonium for nuclear weapons, American intelligence officials changed their assessment last month, concluding that the country may have produced relatively small amounts, according to senior administration and intelligence officials. ... Mr. Bush's top foreign policy advisers met today to review their next steps on North Korea, with some officials at the Pentagon urging that Mr. Bush move vigorously to intercept missiles and illicit drugs being shipped out of the country. ... The changed assessment reflects the inexact nature of intelligence about North Korea. ... "It's fair to say the experts have come to no hard conclusions," the White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, told reporters today. ...
From UPI: Published 5/12/2003 2:07 PM
N. Korea declares nuke pact 'nullified'
By Jong-Heon Lee, UPI Correspondent
From the International Desk
SEOUL, South Korea, May 13 (UPI) -- North Korea declared Monday that its 1992 agreement with South Korea to keep their peninsula free of nuclear weapons "nullified" due to what it called U.S. nuclear threats. ...
From The Age (Australia): Thursday 15 May 2003, 10:30 AM
Bush vows zero tolerance on N Korea
Newly elected South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and US President George W Bush agreed they "will not tolerate" nuclear weapons in North Korea. And they have invited other nations in the region and Russia to help defuse the current nuclear standoff. ... Bush and Roh both are emphasising a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear standoff. But White House officials said ahead of the meeting that the US would not rule out force as an option to keep Pyongyang from pursuing its nuclear ambitions. "The president never takes his options off the table in any circumstance," Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, told reporters.
From The Financial Times (UK): May 23, 2003
US considers blockade of N Korea
By Andrew Ward and David Pilling
Published: May 22 2003 18:41 | Last Updated: May 22 2003 18:41
Australia's raid earlier this month on a North Korean ship carrying $80m of heroin could prove to have been the start of the next phase in the international effort to halt Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme. US policymakers are drawing up plans to apply pressure on North Korea's fragile economy by clamping down on the communist state's trade in narcotics, arms and other illicit exports. ... Washington hopes that by starving North Korea of cash, Kim Jong-il, the country's dictator, will be forced to abandon his nuclear ambitions to save his totalitarian regime from collapse. ... A naval blockade of North Korea's economy has not been announced as US policy but Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser, has made clear the option is under consideration. ... US military officials in Seoul claim North Korea is the world's third-largest producer of opium and the sixth-largest producer of heroin, exporting to Japan, Russia, China, Taiwan and South America. North Korea's arms exports have led Washington to name Pyongyang as the world's biggest proliferator of missile technology, with Pakistan, Iran, Libya and Syria among its customers. However, high-seas interdictions of North Korean ships would not be risk free. Analysts warn that Pyongyang could order its sailors to respond with force, escalating the nuclear crisis to more dangerous levels. To avoid confrontations Washington would be likely to recruit third-party nations - such as Australia and Spain - to intercept ships, guided by US intelligence. ... North Korean defectors testified to the US Congress this week that 90 per cent of the country's missile components were imported from Japan. ... US President George W. Bush is likely to put pressure on Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese premier, at a summit in Texas on Friday to block the traffic between Japan and North Korea, something Japanese officials have indicated Tokyo is willing to do. But analysts doubt the US and its allies can bring North Korea to its knees on their own. They say it is China that has the greatest leverage, providing 70 per cent of North Korea's fuel needs and a third of its food. Diplomats believe it was China's cutting of oil supplies to North Korea for a few days that persuaded Pyongyang to enter talks last month. ...
From Reuters: May 23, 5:06 pm ET
US, Japan Warn N.Korea May Face 'Tougher Measures'
By Randall Mikkelsen
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi warned North Korea on Friday it would face "tougher measures" if it escalates a crisis over its nuclear weapons program. ... "We are confident that our diplomatic approach will bring a peaceful solution. Yet we agreed that further escalation of the situation by North Korea will require tougher measures from the international community," Bush told a news conference with Koizumi. ... Koizumi repeated Bush's warning, though neither leader identified specific measures. U.S. officials have been considering sanctions including a crackdown on North Korea's illegal drug trade and the flow of parts for its missiles. "Japan will crack down more rigorously on illegal activities, and the North Koreans will have to understand that threats and intimidations will have no meaning whatsoever," Koizumi said. ... White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said "all options" would be on the table. ... "The prime minister and I see the problem exactly the same way. We will not tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea. We will not give in to blackmail. We will not settle for anything less than complete, verifiable and irreversible elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons program," said Bush, who hosted Koizumi at his Texas ranch. ... Bush said the United States and Japan would "accelerate" missile defense cooperation -- which a U.S. official said was made more pressing by "the North Korean menace." ...
From Reuters: May 31, 2003
U.S. Urges Crackdown on Aid to North Korea
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian countries that keep North Korea "afloat" must make clear they will halt that assistance if Pyongyang does not abandon its nuclear and missile programs, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said on Saturday. ... He noted that most of that help did not come from the United States but from other countries in the region, including China, South Korea and Japan, and "that's why a multilateral approach...is essential." ...
China is North Korea's main benefactor, supplying food and fuel, but South Korea has been a major source of investment and assistance and some $200 million to $300 million in remittances flow from Japan to North Korea annually. Beyond that, Pyongyang is believed to get most of its hard currency earnings through sales of illegal drugs and missiles and through counterfeiting. U.S. officials have said they are examining ways to interrupt those activities. ...
From AP: May 31, 4:06 AM (ET)
U.S. Boosts Military Spending in S. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The U.S. military said Saturday it would spend an additional $11 billion over the next three years to strengthen its forces in South Korea, including improvements in intelligence collection and weapons upgrades. ... The U.S. military currently spends about $3 billion a year to maintain troops in South Korea. ...
From VOA News: 02 Jun 2003, 07:01 UTC
US Lawmaker: N. Korea Intends to Build More Nuclear Weapons
A U.S. lawmaker who just ended a trip to North Korea says the communist state admits having nuclear weapons and says it intends to make more. ...
From The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): June 4 2003
US makes new plans for war on Pyongyang
By Shane Green, Herald Correspondent in Tokyo
The United States is said to be developing new plans for a war in North Korean that would bypass the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas and target the leadership in Pyongyang. ... US officials quoted by Reuters said the plan would involve the consolidation of the US and South Korean forces in two areas away from the demilitarised zone. If war broke out, the forces would skirt the demilitarised zone and head for Pyongyang. ... It was estimated that the recently announced $US11 billion upgrade of the capabilities of US forces in South Korea would give them the ability to "take down" North Korea's heavy presence on the border within an hour of war breaking out. ...
In South Korea on Monday Mr Wolfowitz warned of a "devastatingly effective" response against any North Korean military aggression. The US has 37,000 troops in South Korea, including 15,000 members of the Second Infantry Division deployed near the demilitarised zone. But it appears likely they will be moved as part of a realignment of US forces in the country. Mr Wolfowitz said this realignment should not be delayed. ...
From AP: Thursday, June 5, 2003
U.S. Pulling Troops Away From Korean DMZ
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a historic move after a half-century, the United States will pull its ground troops away from the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea and consolidate them at bases well to the south. The realignment, announced in a joint U.S.-South Korean statement Thursday, has been in the works for months. ... The United States has assured South Korea it will spend more than $11 billion over the next four years on 150 improvements in the combined U.S.-South Korean defenses. No details were provided. ...
From The Financial Times: Published: June 5 2003 11:23 | Last Updated: June 5 2003 11:23
US plans to confront N Korea on high seas
By Guy Dinmore in Washington
The Bush administration will press its allies to step up efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by interdicting related shipments as well as narcotics smuggled by North Korea to fund its activities, a senior US official said yesterday. John Bolton, undersecretary for arms control, demonstrated in testimony to the House of Representatives that the Proliferation Security Initiative announced by President George W. Bush in Poland last week meant a tough new approach, particularly towards North Korea and Iran. ...
From The Scotsman: Thu 19 Jun 2003
North Korea hardens arms stance
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