Entries Tagged as 'Korea'

U.S. lawmakers push for tactical nukes in S. Korea

The Korea Herald
May 13, 2012

A U.S. congressional committee is pressuring the Obama administration to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.

The House Armed Services Committee, dominated by Republicans, approved an amendment to the fiscal 2013 national defense authorization bill Thursday that calls for the re-introduction of the sensitive weapons to South Korea, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

It also would require Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to submit a report on the feasibility and logistics of redeploying nuclear weapons to South Korea, added the magazine.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who reportedly sponsored the amendment, and his staff were not available to confirm the report.

“We in the last many years have appealed to China to help us negotiate with North Korea to bring them in line in the quest for peace in the world… China has now embarked on selling nuclear components to North Korea,” Franks was quoted as saying in the committee’s markup.

The North has carried out two underground nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009, and is suspected to be preparing for a third.

Some South Korean conservatives have also raised the issue of redeploying U.S. nuclear weapons to South Korea to counter the North’s missile and nuclear threats. …

Read on: www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120513000248

Panetta: ‘We’re within an inch of war almost every day’

April 19, 2012

The United States is prepared for “any contingency” when it comes to dealing with North Korea, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told CNN.

“We’re within an inch of war almost every day in that part of the world, and we just have to be very careful about what we say and what we do,” Panetta said Wednesday on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” …

: http://articles.cnn.com/2012-04-19/politics/politics_pol-clinton-panetta-interview_1_long-range-rocket-north-korea-kim-jong?_s=PM:POLITICS

US warns it won’t send food aid if NKorea launches rocket next month

Washington Post
A.P. March 16. 2012

The United States warned Friday it would not send food aid to North Korea if it goes ahead with a rocket launch next month.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. now has “grave concerns” about the Feb. 29 agreement that had eased tensions between the long-term adversaries.

Under the accord, Pyongyang agreed to nuclear concessions and a moratorium on long-range missile tests in return for 240,000 tons of American food aid for the impoverished country.

In a surprise announcement, North Korea said Friday it plans to launch a satellite into space on the back of a long-range rocket between April 12 and 16 off its west coast — a provocative step just as its new leader Kim Jong Un consolidates his power. …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-says-hard-to-imagine-it-can-give-food-aid-if-nkorea-goes-ahead-with-rocket-launch/2012/03/16/gIQARm7cGS_story.html

S. Korea to complete building own missile defense system by 2015

Trend News Agency
April 12, 2011

South Korea’s military will complete building its own missile defense system by 2015 that is designed to intercept ballistic missiles from North Korea, the defense ministry said Tuesday, amid high tensions following the North’s two deadly attacks last year, Yonhap reported.

South Korea, which has ruled out joining the U.S.-led global missile defense system, has gradually built the independent, low-tier missile defense shield since 2006 by acquiring Patriot missiles and long-range early warning radars.


US Prepares to Intercept Ballistic Missiles from N. Korea

April 2, 2011

The United States has confirmed that it has been conducting tests on a system to intercept ballistic missiles from North Korea.
The director of the US Missile Defense Agency, Patrick O’Reilly, said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday that it has been conducting interceptor missile tests in Alaska and California.
O’Reilly said “this roughly equates to the geometry of a launch out of North Korea and an intercept coming out of Fort Greely, Alaska.”
Meanwhile, the US deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, Bradley Roberts, said at the hearing that the US has been improving its ground-based midcourse defense system against threats that could emerge from countries such as North Korea and Iran.


North Korea tests limits of South Korea, Japan cooperation

Christian Science Monitor
By Donald Kirk
January 5, 2011

US envoy Stephen Bosworth arrives in Tokyo Thursday after visiting Seoul and Beijing. Implicit in his talks is a push for Japan and South Korea to cooperate for mutual defense against North Korea.

US envoy Stephen Bosworth is carrying a message to Asian capitals this week that looks far beyond the obvious desire to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Implicit in his talks in Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo is a push for Japan and South Korea to get over the legacy of 35 years of Japanese colonial rule and decades of animosity and suspicion – and cooperate for mutual defense against the North Korea threat and concerns about China as the rising regional power.

Japanese and Korean officials deny any consideration of an alliance, citing it as politically impossible. But Mr. Bosworth, who arrives in Tokyo from Beijing and Seoul on Thursday, faces mounting questions about cooperation engineered by the United States. Washington has longstanding but separate alliances with both countries, although US officials for years have stressed the need for “trilateral cooperation” that conjures the image of a three-sided alliance in case of hostilities.

Bosworth has been saying that North Korea to go beyond its stated desire to return to six-party talks and begin to live up to agreements reached in 2007 to forgo its nuclear weapons program in return for massive aid for its dilapidated economy. As a South Korean official put it Wednesday after Bosworth’s meetings in Seoul, “The South and the US shared an understanding that future six-party talks should not be talks for talks’ sake” – a view that Bosworth has frequently expressed.

While attempting to judge North Korea’s seriousness about wanting to return to the table and “end confrontation” with the South, as North Korea’s media stated in a New Year’s editorial, Japanese officials are spreading the word about Japan-Korea cooperation.

How could Japan and South Korea cooperate?

Japan will outline terms of an agreement with South Korea for exchanging equipment, information, fuel, medicine, even food and water, if a war were to break out, according to official briefings given to the Japanese media. Japan’s defense minister, Toshimi Kitazawa, will be discussing the deal with Korea’s defense minister, Kim Kwan-jin, next week.

Japan’s biggest selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, followed up that revelation with a report Wednesday that Japan and South Korea may sign an agreement in several months calling for military cooperation in peacetime despite “lingering disputes concerning Japan’s colonial rule.”

The newspaper cited “growing uncertainty in East Asia,” notably “increased aggression by China and North Korea,” as behind the view that “enhanced bilateral defense ties are indispensable.”

US officials, in view of the sensitivities, are reluctant to comment on the chances of greater Japan-Korea military cooperation, much less an alliance.


S.Korea, U.S. and Japan convene tripartite talks

The Hankyoreh
By Kwon Tae-ho
December 8, 2010

During a tripartite meeting, S.Korea and Japan showed more support for a U.S. presence into Northeast Asia affairs

A key Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office in South Korea or Blue House) official reported Tuesday that South Korea and the United States have agreed to bomb North Korea using aircraft if North Korea launches additional provocations.

“The two countries agreed to the plan of action after the Yeonpyeong Island artillery attack by North Korea, and that the United States agreed that South Korea should strongly respond to additional provocations in self-defense,” said the official. “This means that when South Korea is attacked, it would actively respond relying not only on weapons in the area, but also mobilizing air power.”

During a meeting of the South Korean, U.S. and Japanese foreign ministers in Washington on Sunday, the U.S. and Japanese foreign ministers reportedly did not raise objections to South Korea’s plan to strongly respond militarily should North Korea commit additional provocations.

A high-ranking South Korean government official met with South Korean correspondents in Washington on Sunday and said, “South Korea has the right to respond in this manner, since it constitutes a response to a North Korean attack rather than a preemptive strike.”

During the tripartite meeting, there even appeared agenda items that seemed to resuscitate the so-called “three way southern alliance” of South Korea, the United States and Japan. In a joint statement, the three foreign ministers said Seoul, Washington and Tokyo had pledged to strengthen their efforts regarding the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the East Asia Summit (EAS), and in particular, South Korea and Japan welcomed formal U.S. participation in the ARF starting in 2011.

Requesting anonymity, one diplomatic source said, “The EAS has recently become the multilateral body shown the most concern by Washington, which seeks to intervene politically and militarily in Asia.” …

Read on: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_northkorea/452771.html

South Korea Might Seek Return of U.S. Nukes

NTI: Global Security Newswire
November 22, 2010

South Korea might request to again host U.S. tactical nuclear weapons, the Financial Times reported today (see GSN, April 21).

Defense Minister Kim Tae-young discussed the matter today with South Korean lawmakers following reports that Pyongyang had allowed a U.S. scientist to view a previously secret uranium enrichment facility (see related GSN story, today).

Lawmakers questioned Kim on the possible return of U.S. nuclear weapon to South Korea. He responded, “I will review what you said in consultation with members of the [U.S.-South Korean] Extended Deterrence Policy Committee.”

Washington is believed to have pulled its tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea in 1991. Kim’s statement is sure to aggravate the neighboring regime and to worry China and Japan — two members of the six-party talks aimed at North Korean denuclearization, according to the Times.

Former South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said in April that Seoul had no intention of again hosting U.S. nonstrategic nuclear arms. However, there is support for such a move among harder-line elements in the country.

“Even though relocating nuclear weapons to South Korea could provoke China or Russia, it could be an effective tool to press the North,” said analyst Cheon Seong-whun (Christian Oliver, Financial Times, Nov. 22).

The United States keeps 28,500 military personnel in South Korea as defense against the North and says its ally remains under the protection of the U.S. nuclear umbrella (Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 22).

Jeju Naval Business Committee: Construction set to be at the end of March

Jeju Naval Business Committee: Construction set to be at the end of march, and construction for the Harbor and Bay to be started around June.

‘No Base Stories Of Korea’
March 4, 2010

The license for the reclamation of the public sea for the [planned] Jeju naval base, was given by the Busan Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office and it is prospected that the setting for business [on the naval base construction] is to be done in the fist half of the year.

The Jeju naval base business committee, visiting the Island Hall press interview room on March 4, and saying, “The license for the basic plan, was given by the Busan Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office” [*on the same request day of March 3, according to Seogwipo newspaper], announced that, “We will enter the procedure for the approval of realization plan in time [*on March 4, according to Seogwipo newspaper].”

The business committee’s plan is that, because all the conditions for construction of the harbor and bay are completed once the realization plan comes out at the end of March, it can set to work at latest in June, after
the preparatory period including such as installing the makeshift office.

The business committee saying, “ The navy headquarter is foreseeing the setting period as from the end of March when the related procedures would be finished by then and the office construction is started at the
site of the ceremony for the starting to work on the construction of the naval base”, elucidated that “We mean the June would be the time when the active construction for harbor and bay would be started.”


US launches largest Asian war games in Thailand

Yahoo! News
February 1, 2010

The US military began its largest war games in the Pacific region Monday — an annual training exercise with troops from Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, now joined by South Korea.

At the opening ceremony in the eastern Thai province of Rayong, US Ambassador Eric G. John said that the “Cobra Gold” exercise, now in its 29th year, had become a “multinational showcase event”.

“The US continues to view this exercise, which is our premier training event in Thailand, as an important symbol of US military commitment to maintaining peace and security in Asia,” he told the audience.

John welcomed South Korea’s participation in the event, which runs until February 11 and will see soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen from the six countries taking part in operations across Thailand.

He said the focus of the exercise was on joint peacekeeping operations and humanitarian and disaster responses, for which it offered “unparalleled” preparation, citing the 2004 tsunami relief operation as an example. …