North Korea Threatens ‘All-Out War’ Over Warship Sinking Report

North Korea defied condemnation from the rest of the world over the unprovoked sinking of a South Korean warship, and pledged “all-out war” if any retaliation was taken.

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The salvaged South Korean 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan (REUTERS)

In the most serious attack for over 20 years, a North Korean torpedo was found to be responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan, a 300-ft South Korean warship, which sank on March 26 with the loss of 46 lives.

An official report, carried out by South Korean investigators together with teams from the United States, Britain, Australia and Sweden, said the evidence pointed “overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine.” It added: “There is no other plausible explanation.”

South Korea vowed “resolute countermeasures” against the North and is likely to appeal to the United Nations for further sanctions on the rogue state.

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North Korea masses 50,000 troops along the border with South Korea

North Korea has completed deployment of about 50,000 special forces along the border with South Korea, amid high tensions over the sinking of a Seoul warship.

The deployment began two or three years ago and seven 7,000-strong divisions are now in place, an unidentified senior government official told Yonhap news agency.

“The threat that North Korea may infiltrate special forces for limited warfare has become real,” the agency quoted a separate senior defence ministry official as saying.

The defence ministry refused to confirm the Yonhap report, but President Lee Myung-Bak discussed the North’s special warfare capabilities at an unprecedented meeting Tuesday with 150 top officers from all armed services.

At the meeting, Mr Lee hinted strongly that the North was involved in the sinking of a South Korean warship with the loss of 46 lives near the disputed sea border on March 26.

Read moreNorth Korea masses 50,000 troops along the border with South Korea

Beijing and Seoul Hit by Heaviest Snow in More Than Half Century

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A worker de-ices a walkway at the Forbidden City in Beijing on Jan. 4, 2010. (Bloomberg)

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — The heaviest snowfall to hit Beijing and Seoul in more than half a century grounded hundreds of planes in the two capitals as temperatures in northern China were set to fall to the lowest in 50 years.

Beijing Capital International Airport canceled more than 500 flights today as of 2 p.m. local time, China Central Television reported. Gimpo Airport in western Seoul grounded 187 flights as of 2 p.m. local time, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said in a statement.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on local authorities to ensure food supplies, agricultural production and the safety of transportation, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. South Korea mobilized 5,000 soldiers to remove snow from blocked roads, Yonhap News reported today.

Suburban areas of Beijing received more than 33 centimeters (13 inches) of snow yesterday, the Beijing Daily reported. It was the capital’s heaviest daily snowfall since 1951, Xinhua reported.

Among those affected by the weather were Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang and Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Norman Chan. Their flight to Beijing last night was delayed by heavy snow and the visit was canceled this morning, Patrick Wong, Tsang’s press officer, said by telephone.

About 90 percent of Beijing’s more than 1,300 flights yesterday were canceled or delayed, according to state broadcaster CCTV. At least three airports in China’s Shandong province were closed today due to the blizzards, it reported.

Schools Closed

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North and South Korean navies exchange fire in disputed waters

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South Korean Rear Adm. Lee Ki Sik speaks in Seoul on Tuesday about the clash of North and South Korean navies

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — North and South Korean naval forces exchanged fire on Tuesday in disputed waters, a South Korean defense official said.

The two Koreas clashed off their west coast, the first such incident in seven years, each blaming the other for the incident.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency security meeting and urged the military to to ensure that the naval clash did not escalate into something greater, Yonhap reported.

Related articles: Navies of 2 Koreas exchange fire (AP)

South Korea issued three verbal warnings to ship from the Communist north once the vessel had crossed a demarcation line late Tuesday morning, said Rear Adm. Lee Ki Sik of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The South Koreans then fired a warning shot but when the North Korean vessel continued southward, the South Koreans opened fire.

The North Koreans returned fire before heading back, their ship damaged in the exchange, Lee said. There were no South Korean casualties, Lee said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit South Korea as part of a trip to Asia beginning Thursday.

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Asian leaders to pledge EU-style bloc

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Graphic highlighting facts on the 10-member states of the ASEAN national grouping

HUA HIN, Thailand — Asian leaders will pledge to overcome their differences and push towards the formation of an EU-style community as they wrap up an annual summit in Thailand on Sunday.

Human rights issues, border disputes and signs of apathy over a meeting that was twice delayed by protests have at times marred the gathering of leaders from a region that contains more than half the world’s population.

But plans to increase the region’s global clout by building closer ties eventually dominated the three-day meeting of Southeast Asian nations along with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Heads of state at the Thai beach resort of Hua Hin will sign a raft of agreements Sunday on boosting economic and political integration and cooperating on subjects including climate change and disaster management.

Japan’s proposal for a so-called East Asian community will be up for further discussion, after Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the region should “have the aspiration that East Asia is going to lead the world.”

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also set to restate its commitment to create its own political and economic community by 2015.

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Asian Central Banks Intervene as US Dollar Tumbles

The Philippines is intervening to prop up the US dollar. That is a good one. 🙂

The Philippines should have bought gold and silver, instead of very expensive toilet paper.


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SINGAPORE — The U.S. dollar continued to tumble against most Asian currencies Thursday, prompting a wave of foreign-exchange intervention by central banks in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand seeking to limit damage to their export industries.

Traders said the dollar selloff is unlikely to fade soon, given the prospect for a long period of low U.S. interest rates to support a sluggish U.S. economy and increasing signs central banks in Asia will begin tightening monetary policies in the months ahead.

Surprisingly strong employment data in Australia bolstered speculation the Reserve Bank of Australia — which Tuesday became the first among Group of 20 central banks to raise rates — will deliver another increase before the end of the year. The news pushed the Australia dollar up sharply, and intensified buying of Asian currencies against the U.S. dollar.

“Investors need little encouragement to extend selling of dollars, but received two further green lights today in the form of ongoing weak U.S. consumer credit and a stunningly strong Australian employment report,” said Patrick Bennett, a strategist with Societe Generale.

The U.S. dollar’s downside against Asian currencies is “being slowed by intervention, but consolidation or rallies are opportunities to establish or add to shorts,” he said.

Read moreAsian Central Banks Intervene as US Dollar Tumbles

US and South Korean troops placed on high alert

US and South Korean forces raised their military alert level today, a day after North Korea renounced the 55-year-old truce on the peninsula and threatened war if its ships are searched for weapons of mass destruction.

Three days after North Korea carried out an underground nuclear test, the US-South Korea combined forces command moved its level of surveillance to the second-highest level on its scale of five, the highest since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.

Meanwhile, the North’s state media accused the allies of plotting an attack, and warned that small incidents could have disastrous consequences. “The northward invasion scheme by the US and the South Korean puppet regime has exceeded the alarming level,” the Workers’ Newspaper said in an editorial. “A minor accidental skirmish can lead to a nuclear war.”

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North Korea Threatens Military Strike

North Korea has threatened to respond with a ‘powerful’ military strike against its southern neighbour if Seoul takes part in a US-led initiative to intercept shipments suspected of being involved in the building of weapons of mass destruction.


Source: YouTube


Related article: North Korea Threatens Armed Strike, End to Armistice:

May 27 (Bloomberg) — North Korea threatened a military response to South Korean participation in a U.S.-led program to seize weapons of mass destruction, and said it will no longer abide by the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.

“The Korean People’s Army will not be bound to the Armistice Agreement any longer,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement today. Any attempt to inspect North Korean vessels will be countered with “prompt and strong military strikes.” South Korea’s military said it will “deal sternly with any provocation” from the North.

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Russia fears Korea conflict could go nuclear – Ifax

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North Korean soldiers walk along the banks of the Yalu River near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong May 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jacky Chen

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is taking security measures as a precaution against the possibility tension over North Korea could escalate into nuclear war, news agencies quoted officials as saying on Wednesday.

Interfax quoted an unnamed security source as saying a stand-off triggered by Pyongyang’s nuclear test on Monday could affect the security of Russia’s far eastern regions, which border North Korea.

“The need has emerged for an appropriate package of precautionary measures,” the source said.

“We are not talking about stepping up military efforts but rather about measures in case a military conflict, perhaps with the use of nuclear weapons, flares up on the Korean Peninsula,” he added. The official did not elaborate further.

Read moreRussia fears Korea conflict could go nuclear – Ifax

North Korea threatens full scale war if rocket is intercepted

North Korea says it will wage war on America, Japan and South Korea if any attempt is made to intercept the launch of a rocket it claims is intended to put a satellite into space.

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A North Korean military unit of missile carriers during a military parade in Pyongyang: The North has put its army on full alert in the face of the annual spring military joint exercises Photo: GETTY

It has also cut off its border and telephone links with the South in protest at military exercises by American and South Korean troops which began on Monday.

Plans for a launch were first picked up by satellite imagery, with foreign intelligence agencies saying it was a test of a long-range Taepodong-2 missile with the capacity to hit parts of the United States.

The United States said it would shoot down the missile if it headed towards its territory. Japan has suggested it might try to intercept any launch, even if the payload is a communications satellite as claimed by Pyongyang.

“If the enemies recklessly opt for intercepting our satellite, our revolutionary armed forces will launch without hesitation a just retaliatory strike operation,” the general staff of the North Korean army said in a statement on state media. It singled out the United States, Japan and South Korea as targets.

“Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war,” it said.

Read moreNorth Korea threatens full scale war if rocket is intercepted