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Dec 20th, 2010


Security Council Fails to Agree on Koreas Statement

North warns of a ‘catastrophe’ if South Korea goes ahead with a live-fire drill

Video

Rice: U.N. deadlocked on Korea crisis (NBC News, Dec. 19, 2010) – U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice says the U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a statement to address rising tensions on the Korean peninsula. Watch her entire news conference. (07:26)

By Edith M. Lederer

Dec. 19, 2010

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council emergency session amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula ended after more than eight hours without an agreement.

World powers trying to defuse tensions between North and South Korea met Sunday, but diplomats said China objected to the North being singled out for criticism over two deadly attacks this year that have helped send relations to their lowest point in decades.

South Korea said it would conduct firing drills Monday from a border island shelled by a North Korean artillery barrage last month. …

China and Russia, the countries with the closest ties to North Korea, expressed concern about the South Korean military’s plans. The United States supports South Korea, a staunch ally, and said any country has a right to train for self-defense.

The North warned of a “catastrophe” if South Korea went ahead with the drills. The reclusive communist government in Pyongyang said it would strike back harder than it did last month, when two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed on Yeonpyeong Island. …

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Update

South Korea Conducts Live-Fire Exercise Despite Warning from North


Dec. 20, 2010

YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea — South Korea fired artillery in a 90-minute drill from a front-line island Monday and launched fighter jets to deter attacks after North Korea warned of catastrophic retaliation for the maneuvers.

But amid the tension there was also a report of a potential diplomatic breakthrough, with U.S. troubleshooter Bill Richardson winning concessions from the North on the return of nuclear inspectors, according to CNN.

North Korea’s military said it “was not worth reacting” to the military drill, the North’s state news agency KCNA reported.

“We felt it was not worth reacting one-by-one to military provocations,” it quoted the North Korean People’s Army Supreme Command as saying.

The South had evacuated hundreds of residents near its tense land border and sent residents of islands near disputed waters into underground bunkers amid soaring fears of war. …

South Korea’s military said ahead of Monday’s planned drills that it would “immediately and sternly” deal with any provocation by the North. …

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2/8/11 Update

2 Koreas Talk at DMZ to Ease Tensions Since Attack

 Moon Sang-gyun, Ri Sun Gyun
In this handout photo released from the Defense Ministry, South Korean delegate Army Col. Moon Sang-gyun, right, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Col. Ri Sun Gyun before a military meeting at the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that have separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, north of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. Military officers from North and South Korea met Tuesday to try to lay the groundwork for high-level defense talks aimed at easing hostilities on the Korean peninsula. (Photo credit: Defense Ministry / AP)

By Hyung-Jin Kim

Feb. 8, 2011

SEOUL, South Korea — Military officers from North and South Korea held talks inside the heavily guarded Demilitarized Zone on Tuesday in the rivals’ first official dialogue since the North’s deadly artillery barrage of a South Korean island in November.

Tensions on the divided peninsula rose sharply following the attack, which killed four people and came just eight months after the sinking of a South Korean warship killed 46 sailors. The South has blamed the sinking on a North Korean torpedo attack, but Pyongyang has steadfastly denied involvement. …

The talks were arranged as North Korea pushes for dialogue after weeks of threatening war. Pyongyang wants to return to stalled six-nation talks on ending its nuclear weapons program in return for economic aid and other incentives. But South Korea and the U.S. say the North must first exhibit sincerity in its promises to disarm — and take responsibility for the two attacks — before the talks can resume. …

Full story

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2/9/11 Update

North Korea Says No More Military Talks with South Korea

Moon Sang-gyun, Ri Sun Gyun
In this photo released by the Defense Ministry, North Korean Army Col. Ri Sun Gyun, right, shakes hands with South Korean counterpart Col. Moon Sang-gyun upon his arrival for their military meeting at the south side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, north of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. South Korea agreed Wednesday to hold talks with North Korea on humanitarian issues between the rivals, as military officers from both sides met at the border for a second straight day to try to end tensions on the peninsula. (Photo credit: Defense Ministry / AP)

By Hyung-Jin Kim

Feb. 9, 2011

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Thursday that it would not hold further military talks with South Korea, accusing Seoul of lacking serious intent to improve relations.

The announcement by the North’s military, made in a statement carried by state media, came one day after its first military talks with South Korea in months ended with no agreement.

The discussions were aimed at laying the groundwork for higher-level defense talks and were the first official dialogue between the Koreas since a North Korean artillery barrage killed four people on a front-line South Korean island in November. …

On Thursday, the North’s military accused the South of sticking to its “unreasonable” insistence that the high-level talks cannot be held unless the North takes “sincere, responsible measures” over the attacks. North Korea also accused the South of abruptly walking out of the meeting, after the North didn’t accept its demand.

“Our military and people don’t feel the need to meet the traitors’ group as long as they don’t want improved North-South Korean ties and deny dialogue,” said North Korea’s statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

A day earlier, South Korea accused the North of rupturing the talks, saying the North Korean delegates unilaterally walked out shortly after the Wednesday afternoon session began.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the two countries differed over what to discuss in the next round of higher-level defense talks. South Korea demanded the high-level talks focus on the two attacks, while the North insisted other broader military issues also be included, a South Korean Defense Ministry statement said. …

Full story

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2/28/11 Update

North Korea Threatens to Attack South Korea, U.S.


In this Feb. 25, 2011 file photo, South Korean marines on an inflatable boat aim their machine guns during a military exercise to prepare for a possible North Korea’s surprise attack on the Han River in Gimpo, South Korea. North Korea’s military threatened Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011 to fire at South Korea, as Seoul prepared to start annual joint drills with U.S. troops, maneuvers Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion. (Photo credit: Ahn Young-joon / AP file)

By Hyung-Jin Kim

Feb. 27, 2011

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea threatened Sunday to enlarge its nuclear arsenal and “mercilessly” attack South Korea and the United States, as the allies prepared for joint military drills which the North considers a rehearsal for invasion.

North Korea routinely issues threats over the annual joint military drills, but its latest warning could rekindle tensions that rose sharply after two recent deadly incidents blamed on the North. …

“The army and people of (North Korea) will return bolstered nuclear deterrent of our own style for the continued nuclear threat by the aggressors,” North Korea’s military said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

It accused South Korea and the U.S. of plotting to topple the North’s communist government. It said if provoked, North Korea would start a “full-scale” war, take “merciless counteraction” and turn Seoul into a “sea of flames.” …

Full story

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Related reports on this site

Image: A North Korean soldier
A North Korean soldier surveys the border at Panmunjom, South Korea. (Photo credit: Ahn Yioung-joon / AP)

Adm. Mullen Puts Kim Jong-il on Notice (Dec. 8, 2010)

Push Could Come to Shove in Korea (Dec. 6, 2010)

Winds of War on Korean Peninsula (Nov. 25, 2010)

Perilous Flare-Up of Korean War (Nov. 24, 2010)

North Korea ‘Very Dangerous’ (Nov. 22, 2010)

Kim Jong-un Succession in North Korea (Oct. 11, 2010)

North Korea Nuclear Threat (June 16, 2009)

Kim Jong Il Threat Assessment (May 31, 2009)

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — December 20, 2009

Outside the Box in Afghanistan

Image: Lt. Col. Thomas B. Gukeisen
Lt. Col. Thomas B. Gukeisen talks to his men at the FOB Altimur. (Photo credit: Dario Lopez-Mills / AP)

One year ago today, I reported that Lt. Col. Thomas B. Gukeisen, who commands 600 soldiers at Forward Operating Base Altimur in Logar province, Afghanistan, has achieved success operating by his own innovative ideas about counterinsurgency warfare.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — December 20, 2008

Iraq: Coalition Troops Forced Out

British soldiers stand in formation in the southern Iraqi city of Samawa March 7. [Reuters/file]
British soldiers stand in formation in the southern Iraqi city of Samawa, March 7, 2005. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Two years ago today, on Dec. 20, 2008 I reported that Iraq’s parliament voted to reject a draft law allowing troops from Britain, Australia, and several other countries to remain in Iraq beyond the end of 2008.

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2 Responses to “Escalation of Conflict in Korea”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » South Korean Show of Force Says:

    [...] Escalation of Conflict in Korea (Dec. 20, 2010) [...]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » North Korean Nuclear Jihad Says:

    [...] Escalation of Conflict in Korea (Dec. 20, 2010) [...]

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