Saturday, July 08, 2006
Exciting News From Excite.Com (or Yahoo.com... or msn.com... or iwon.com... or CNN.com - does it really matter who announces THE END?)
Jul 6, 11:15 PM (ET)
By JOSEPH COLEMAN
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea angrily mocked international criticism of its multiple missile tests, threatening on Thursday to fire off more rockets.
In the face of nearly unanimous world condemnation of the seven missile tests on Wednesday, Pyongyang's foreign minister released a blustery statement declaring that it had the right to develop and test its weapons - and vowing unspecified retaliation against anyone who tries to stop it.
"Our military will continue with missile launch drills in the future as part of efforts to strengthen self-defense deterrent," said the statement, carried in state-run media. "If anyone intends to dispute or add pressure about this, we will have to take stronger physical actions in other forms."
The statement did not specify what actions North Korea would take.
The aggressive stance from Pyongyang coincided with intense diplomatic activity in world capitals to formulate a response to the tests. Washington and its allies - particularly Japan - clamored for sanctions against the North, but struggled against resistance by China and Russia.
North Korea set off an international furor on Wednesday when it tested seven missiles, all of which landed into the Sea of Japan without causing any damage. The blasts apparently included a long-range Taepodong-2 that broke up less than a minute after takeoff and splashed into the sea.
On Friday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei - their nations' senior negotiators on North Korea - conferred on the missile tests.
Hill and Wu exchanged pleasantries before their meeting. After its conclusion, Hill was scheduled to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, before the U.S. envoy heads for Seoul.
A Japanese newspaper reported Friday that North Korea had targeted South Pacific waters in the vicinity of Hawaii with the long-range missile. The conservative daily Sankei cited unnamed U.S. and Japanese and officials as saying Japan's Defense Agency and the U.S. military reached that conclusion after analyzing the missile's path from data collected from intelligence equipment. The report couldn't be immediately independently confirmed.
The statement threatening more tests came as South Korean officials said intelligence reports showed continued activity at Northern missile sites, suggesting further firings could be in the works.
It was unclear if or when the missiles would fly. Japanese officials said they had no indications another Taepodong test was being prepared, and South Korean officials said the launches were not imminent.
Still, the North pulled no punches in its statement, hailing the launches on Wednesday as a success and making no mention of the Taepodong-2 failure.
"The successful missile launches were part of our military's regular military drills to strengthen self defense," said the statement. "As a sovereign country, this is our legal right and we are not bound by any international law or bilateral or multilateral agreements."
The ministry also denied it had violated a missile moratorium, saying it was only in effect when Pyongyang was in dialogue with the U.S. The statement also blamed the Japanese for making an international issue out of North Korea's unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens.
Meanwhile, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday that Australia has decided to curtail its diplomatic ties with North Korea over the tests.
The report said that Michael L'Estrange, head of the country's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said departmental dealings with North Korean officials will be canceled.
The report did not elaborate and calls to the department seeking confirmation were not immediately returned.
Australia is one of a handful of countries that maintains limited diplomatic relations with Pyongyang.
Sat Jul 8, 3:21 AM ET
SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States said on Saturday it and
South Korea supported a proposal to hold an informal meeting to spur stalled talks on ending
North Korea's nuclear program.
"The Chinese have talked about putting together a six-party informal. We both support that," top U.S. envoy for North Korea, Christopher Hill, told reporters in the South Korean capital. Hill was in China on Friday and flies to Japan on Sunday.
His trip to Asia follows Wednesday's missile launch by North Korea which has been roundly condemned by the international community. But Washington, with Japan, has struggled to win support for sanctions against Pyongyang over the missile tests.
SEOUL, July 9 (UPI) --
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has vowed no compromise in its nuclear program and says he is braced for "all-out war" with the United States.
In his first reported remarks since North Korea test fired seven missiles Wednesday, Kim warned the United States against taking "revenge," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Sunday.
Kim called the United States "our arch-enemy," the agency reported, monitoring a broadcast from North Korean state television.
Japan said it would not rule out a preemptive strike if North Korea makes a direct nuclear threat, Japan's NHK television reported.
As tension mounted ahead of a United Nations vote on whether to impose sanctions on Pyongyang, the United States and its allies have intensified a three-year covert operation to cut off all supplies to North Korea's nuclear program, the Times of London reported Sunday.
Few details of the operation are known, the Times said, but two Bush administration officials indicated last year the operation blocked North Korea from getting equipment used to make missile propellant.
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Saturday July 8, 2006, 1:05 pm PST
Luci--Have you seen Team America?
Eric Straatsma MS
Saturday July 8, 2006, 1:12 pm PST
I do not see it this way. We are actually at war with North Korea. A cease fire agreement is as close to peace as we have ever gotten. Why would an enemy at war with us ever agree to anything?
First, we have to sign a PEACE AGREEMENT with them, so they will not feel so THREATENED with imminent attack. Bush showed what he would do to nations without nuclear weapons with IRAQ. Now North Korea is making sure that they are not attacked without a huge price to pay for the nation doing it. I do not blame them or any other nation responding now with nuclear arms buildup to protect themselves from unilateral invasion for any old reason..... by Bush or Bush III or IV, or V.
Saturday July 8, 2006, 9:30 pm PST
So, Bush is into cloning - or like Rocky, hmm?
Peace Treaties have been breached in the past - even if one was to be signed here, it shall not suffice. Genuine goodwill is required. Anybody has any of that left in their pantry - hmm?
This type of chess game here can be mighty dangerous indeed - as much as one can understand North Korea for doing what they're doing, they are effectively working towards a "no-win situation for everyone". Whereas the Bush administration is working towards... aw, beats me! Any guesses, anyone?
As for the Team America question - I shall not answer that without the presence of my attorney!