Olduvaiblog: Musings on the coming collapse

Home » Posts tagged 'Seoul'

Tag Archives: Seoul

N Korea test-fires two short-range missiles – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

N Korea test-fires two short-range missiles – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

Seoul says missiles launched from Wonsan likely flew about 500km towards open sea in a northeasterly direction.

Last updated: 03 Mar 2014 04:02

North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, South Korea’s defence ministry has said, after launching similar rockets last week.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the missiles likely flew about 500km after being launched on Monday, adding that they were believed to be Scud-C models.

South Korea’s defence ministry has said the Scuds are normally fired using mobile launch pads which can be activated with minimal preparation.

“North Korea fired two missiles, which are suspected as short-range ballistic missiles, at 6:19 this morning from Wonsan area towards open sea in a northeasterly direction.” South Korea’s Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said at a regular news briefing.

“North Korea is taking peace offensive and provocative acts at the same time. We strictly warn against such acts and strongly urge to stop them immediately.”

The distance would mean the weapon can hit targets in South Korea and Japan.

Launches by the North of short-range missiles are not uncommon as part of regular military exercises.

The firing came days after the beginning of annual US and South Korean joint military exercises, which the North routinely denounces as a preparation for war.

South Korea Quarantines Farms in Two Provinces on Bird Flu – Bloomberg

South Korea Quarantines Farms in Two Provinces on Bird Flu – Bloomberg.

South Korea banned the movement of people who work with poultry and products from two provinces after confirming an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 at farms in the country’s south.

Authorities have restricted movement in North Jeolla province, South Jeolla province and Gwangju Metropolitan City, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from Seoul, for 48 hours until midnight Jan. 20, Lee Dong Phil, minister of the agriculture, food and rural affairs, told reporters today.

The ministry confirmed the first outbreak in Gochang, North Jeolla province on Jan. 17, and at a duck farm in nearby Buan county today, according to separate statements on the ministry’s website. South Korea has culled 90,000 birds at six farms within a 500-meter radius, the ministry said today.

“It was inevitable to announce a stand-still in order to prevent further damage,” Lee said. “We ask all to comply thoroughly with the stand-still instructions.”

South Korea is the world’s third-biggest buyer of corn, used in food, livestock feed and biofuel. The country destroyed 6.5 million chickens and ducks in the previous outbreak spanning December 2010 through May 2011, according to government data.

Shares of Harim Holdings Co. (024660), which manufactures packaged chicken through its subsidiaries, fell 6.4 percent, the most since June, to close at 4,500 won on Jan. 17 in Seoul. The benchmark Kospi stock index declined 0.7 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rose Kim in Seoul at rkim76@bloomberg.net; Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stanley James at sjames8@bloomberg.net

NK offers olive branch after holocaust threat – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

NK offers olive branch after holocaust threat – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

S Korea has rejected calls for an end to the mudslinging, saying it does not slander or threaten the North [AP]
North Korea has called on South Korea to end “all acts of provocation and slander”, a day after it warned of “an unimaginable holocaust” if the South carried out military exercises with the United States.

The National Defence Commission in Pyongyang adopted the conciliatory tone on Thursday in line with leader Kim Jong-un’s New Year speech about greater co-operation between the two countries.

In a statement posted on the official KCNA news agency, the NDC said: “We officially propose the South Korean authorities to take a practical measure of halting all acts of provoking and slandering the other side from January 30, a day before the Lunar New Year’s Day.”

But the olive branch was rejected by Seoul on Friday, with a government spokesman saying there was no intention of changing its behaviour or plans.

“We don’t slander North Korea so there is nothing for us to stop,” Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-Do said.

“Our military exercises are routine defensive drills, like those conducted by all sovereign states.”

The North has regularly denounced the annual drills staged by South Korea and US as preparation for invasion.

This year, Pyongyang said the exercises were dangerous and “may push the situation on the peninsula and the north-south ties to a catastrophe,” KCNA reported.

A spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said in a statement: “They should clearly understand that the north-south ties will plunge into a deadlock and unimaginable holocaust and that disaster will follow should they go ahead with the nuclear war drills and make military provocation.”

Last year’s exercises were held in the wake of North Korea’s third and largest nuclear test, prompting months of heightened military tensions that saw Pyongyang issue apocalyptic threats of nuclear war against the South and the US.

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : World Danger Spots for 2014

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : World Danger Spots for 2014.

written by eric margolis
Kiev Nov

Where are the world’s most dangerous places in 2014?

*Mostly forgotten, but the highly dangerous, Indian-controlled portion of disputed Kashmir. Rebellion against Indian rule by Kashmir’s majority Muslims is again boiling. Over 1.6 million Indian and Pakistani troops, backed by nuclear weapons, are in confrontation. Skirmishing along Kashmir’s Line of Control is frequent. The nuclear strike forces of both India and Pakistan are on a perilous hair-trigger alert, with about three minutes warning of an enemy attack.

A false warning of incoming missiles or aircraft, a border clash, or a massive offensive by India exasperated by guerilla attacks from Pakistan could set off a war that could kill millions and pollute the entire planet with radioactive dust. India and Pakistan aside, hardly anyone even thinks about beautiful, remote, perilous Kashmir.

*Korea’s Demilitarized Zone, the world’s second most dangerous place where 1.5 million North and South Korean troops, and 28,000 Americans, face off. Tension crackles along the DMZ. Some 11,000 N Korean guns and rockets are targeted on South Korea’s capitol, Seoul. The North is believed to have 4-6 crude nuclear devices that could hit S Korea or Japan.

In December, North Korea’s new ruler, Kim Jong-un, had his powerful uncle arrested and shot. This was another sign of the Pyongyang regime’s instability, and dangerously erratic behavior by youthful hothead leader, Kim Jong-un. War could erupt anytime along the DMZ. Just as likely, North Korea could collapse, sending 25 million starving northerners to seek refuge in South Korea, something that Seoul dreads.

*The dear old Mideast. Syria may continue disintegrating into warring mini-states. The US, Saudi, Israel, and Turkey sparked the uprising against Syrian ruler Bashar Assad to punish Iran, causing millions of refugees to flood the region. This after the US invasion of Iraq caused 3 million refugees. Iran and Saudi Arabia (backed by secret ally Israel) will fight over Syria’s bleeding body as this once lovely country is relentlessly destroyed. Yemen will continue to burn.

Intense efforts are underway by American neocons and their hired hands in Congress to get the US to attack Iran, or at least force the US to go to war against Iran if Israel initiates a conflict. Meanwhile, Israel is gearing up for another invasion of Lebanon aimed at destroying Hezbollah, and it may intervene directly in Syria. Egypt, now ruled by a fascist military junta, is working hand in glove with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The so-called Israel-Palestinian peace agreement is a very bad joke, a Mideast Kabuki dance in which no one believes.

*East Africa – A new cauldron of trouble. Efforts by Washington to forge a US-led African protectorate of South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia – dominated by close US ally Ethiopia – have run into trouble. All are dictatorships that are rent by tribal, ethnic and regional problems.

Watch the new US Africa Command get drawn ever deeper into East, Central and North Africa, all regions, by no coincidence, with oil.

*China Sea – China has blundered into open confrontation with Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines over its claims to islets in the East China Sea. This has caused the US to beef up its Pacific forces and alliances. Japanese and Chinese warplanes and ships play a daily game of chicken around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. China’s aggressive stance is causing Japan to increase military spending and may, along with North Korean threats, cause Japan to deploy nuclear weapons – which it can produce in only 90 days.

Chinese, usually deft, cautious diplomats, have alarmed much of East Asia for no good purpose. China’s government has been foolishly fanning the flames of nationalism among young people. All this resonates with the same type of idiotic, primitive behavior that unleashed World War I. The clock is ticking down rapidly.

*Strife-torn Ukraine is another powder keg. Its western half wants to join Europe; the Russian-speaking eastern half wants to reunite with Russia. The West is busy stirring the pot in Kiev. Moscow is furious and sees nefarious western plots to begin tearing apart the Russian Federation, which is beset by rebellion in the Caucasus. All this threatens a clash between Russia and NATO. Diplomacy, not subversion, is urgently needed.

Flickr/Oxlaey.com

Kim tells N Korean army to ready for combat – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Kim tells N Korean army to ready for combat – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

Kim visited the Command of Large Combined Unit 526 on Tuesday to mark the day his father became supreme commander [EPA]
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has warned war could break out “without any prior notice” and urged his military to bolster its combat readiness, state media reported.The call on Wednesday comes one day after a US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University report said that satellite imagery suggested that the North might have begun producing fuel rods for its recently restarted nuclear reactor.

There has been heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula following the execution of Kim’s uncle and former mentor in an unusually public purge.

Seoul and Washington have warned of possible provocative acts by the nuclear-armed North following the execution of Jang Song-Thaek, a senior leader who was also the uncle and former political mentor of the younger leader.

Kim visited the Command of Large Combined Unit 526 on Christmas Eve, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

“He instructed the unit to put utmost spurs on rounding off its combat readiness… always bearing in mind that a war breaks out without any prior notice,” it said.

The unit is based in the North’s western port city of Nampo, according to the South’s Yonhap news agency.

‘Ominous’ situation

The Johns Hopkins University report said that satellite imagery had identified facilities at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre that might produce fuel for North Korea’s recently restarted  plutonium production reactor and the Experimental Light Water Reactor still under construction.

“The identification of these facilities indicates a more wide-ranging, extensive effort by North Korea to modernise and restart the Yongbyon complex dating back to 2009 than previously understood,” the report said.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye called for “watertight security readiness” during her trip on Tuesday to a frontline guard post, as she described the situation over the border as “ominous”.

“We should react sternly and mercilessly to any provocations by North Korea,” she said.

The reclusive state’s propaganda mill has gone into overdrive in recent days, describing Jang as a traitor while extolling Kim’s leadership.

Tens of thousands of troops pledged loyalty to him in a mass rally on the death anniversary of his father last Tuesday.

The Kim dynasty has ruled the impoverished but nuclear-armed state since 1948 with an iron fist and pervasive personality cult.

 

South Korea extends its air defence zone to overlap with China’s | World news | theguardian.com

South Korea extends its air defence zone to overlap with China’s | World news | theguardian.com.

A maritime science research station on the South Korea-controlled underwater reef of Ieodo
A maritime science research station on the South Korea-controlled underwater reef of Ieodo. Photograph: Yonhap/EPA

South Korea says it has extended its air defence zone to partially overlap with a similar zone declared by China two weeks ago that has sharply raised regional tensions.

Beijing’s declaration of an air defence identification zone in an area that includes islands at the heart of a territorial dispute with Japan has triggered protests from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Announcing the expansion of its own zone to include two territorial islands to the south and a submerged rock also claimed by China, South Korea’s defence ministry said the move would not infringe on neighbouring countries’ sovereignty.

“We believe this will not significantly impact our relationships with China and with Japan as we try to work for peace and co-operation in north-east Asia,” defence ministry head of policy Jang Hyuk told a briefing.

“We have explained our position to related countries and overall they are in agreement that this move complies with international regulations and is not an excessive measure,” he said, adding the ministry’s top priority was to work with neighbouring countries to prevent military confrontation.

South Korea had objected to last month’s move by China as unacceptable because its new zone includes a maritime rock named Ieodo, which Seoul controls, with a research station platform built on it. China also claims the submerged rock.

But South Korea’s reaction to Beijing has been more measured than the sharp rebukes delivered from Tokyo and Washington, reflecting a sensitivity towards Seoul’s largest trading partner.

The extension of South Korea’s zone will not apply any restrictions to the operation of commercial flights, the defence ministry said separately in a statement. The move would take effect on 15 December, it said. It will also overlap with Japan’s air defence zone, Jang said.

There was no immediate reaction from China, although Beijing’s response to news last week that South Korea was reviewing its options on the air defence zone was relatively low key.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Friday that any move by South Korea must “accord with international law and norms”, but added: “China is willing to maintain communications with South Korea on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”

The decision by China that kicked off the latest spat was the subject of a tense disagreement as the US vice-president, Joe Biden, visited China last week, stressing Washington’s objections to the move that he said caused “significant apprehension” in the region.

Japan’s defence minister, on a visit to the Philippines on Sunday, called on the international community to oppose China’s zone and any move to establish a similar zone over the disputed South China Sea.

Itsunori Onodera discussed Japan’s concern over China’s action separately with the Philippines defence secretary, Voltaire Gazmin, and Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop.

In his meeting with Bishop, Onodera said he mentioned that the international community “should meet to deal with this matter together” and that any unilateral action by coercive means should be opposed.

“If any country would establish a similar air zone in the South China Sea, that would bring up tension in the region and I mentioned that should be stopped,” he told reporters in Tacloban, where he visited a school serving as a shelter for villagers who lost their homes in last month’s typhoon.

He said that the issue should be resolved by dialogue.

China’s ambassador to the Philippines, Ma Keqing, said last week it was Beijing’s right to decide “where and when to set up” an air identification zone. She was asked about a possibility that China might set up a similar zone over the South China Sea.

Ma did not say if China would set up such a zone.

Onodera said China’s unilateral action violated the spirit of the International Civil Aviation Organization treaty.

Ties between China and Japan have been strained for months by the dispute over the islands in the East China Sea, called the Diaoyu by China and the Senkaku by Japan.

Washington takes no position on the sovereignty of the islands, but recognises Tokyo’s administrative control and says a US-Japan security pact applies to them.

Beijing says its zone is in accordance with international law and Washington and others should respect it.

Under the Chinese zone’s rules, all aircraft have to report flight plans to Chinese authorities, maintain radio contact and reply promptly to identification inquiries.

US, Japanese and South Korean military aircraft have breached the zone without informing Beijing since it was announced. South Korean and Japanese commercial planes have also been advised by their governments not to follow the rules.

 

Tension over South Korea airspace expansion – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Tension over South Korea airspace expansion – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

South Korea’s new air defence zone includes an area already claimed by both China and Japan [Al Jazeera]
South Korea is set to expand its air defence zone to partially overlap China’s recently enlarged airspace, South Korean officials have said.

Seoul’s defence ministry said on Sunday that the expansion, which covers an extra 66,480 square kilometres, would include two territorial islands to its south, and a submerged rock also claimed by China.

The move would not infringe on the sovereignty of neighbouring countries, said officials in the South Korean capital, and had been discussed in advance with Washington.

Aviation authorities in South Korea say the air zone expansion is in line with international standards, reported Al Jazeera’s Stella Kim from Seoul.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett in Seoul and Rob McBride in Beijing discuss the move.

“The South Korean government is confident that this won’t lead to any military clashes or become an international diplomatic issue,” she said.

“The expansion includes a set of islands at the centre of a territorial argument between Beijing and Tokyo, so there wil be a seven-day grace period before the new zone is enacted.”

Air defence identification

The new South Korean air zone in the East China Sea overlaps a similar area, first declared by Japan in 1969, and recently claimed by China.

“This is a very direct response to China’s decision to expand,” said Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett in Seoul.

Aircraft intending to fly through the area will now be required to inform aviation authorities of all three nations.

South Korea’s air defence identification zone was first declared in 1951 during the Korean War to counter potential air intervention by the Chinese. At the time, the more remote islands and submerged rocks were not carefully considered, say analysts.

The new expansion covers the two islands Marado, which is south of Jeju island, and Hongdo, which is south of Geoje island and is also covered by Japan’s air defence zone.

Further south, Seoul’s expansion also includes the submerged rock named Ieodo, which is home to a strategically located research station operated by South Korea.

China has also claimed that Ieodo is within its exclusive economic zone.

 

North Korea warns US over joint naval drill – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

North Korea warns US over joint naval drill – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English. (FULL ARTICLE)

North Korea has warned the United States of a “horrible disaster” and put its troops on alert over a joint naval drill involving a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier alongside South Korean and Japanese vessels.

The warning on Tuesday came after Seoul and Washington last week signed a new joint strategy to counter the growing threat of a North Korean nuclear attack after the communist country restarted an ageing plutonium reactor.

That accord also drew a sharp rebuke, with analysts attributing the isolated regime’s recent aggressive rhetoric to its desire to arouse the US’ attention and draw it back into long-stalled talks.

The naval drill in waters around the Korean peninsula had been scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but could be postponed or cancelled due to Typhoon Danas making its way towards the area.

North Korea has habitually condemned naval drills there and has issued threats of counter-attacks that have rarely materialised.

‘Imperialist aggression’

The North Korean troops have been ordered to “keep themselves fully ready to promptly launch operations any time”, a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said, in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency….

 

S Korea alert after official websites hacked – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

S Korea alert after official websites hacked – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

North Korea fires weapons after ‘rocket launching tests’ – World – CBC News

North Korea fires weapons after ‘rocket launching tests’ – World – CBC News.

 

%d bloggers like this: