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Old 02-06-2003, 03:18 AM   #1
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North Korea

Taken from the BBC News pages....

North Korea has warned the United States that any decision to send more troops to the region could lead the North to make a pre-emptive attack on American forces.
US officials said on Tuesday that Washington was considering strengthening its military forces in the Pacific Ocean as a deterrent against North Korea.


Tensions are increasing over North Korea's nuclear activity
They said the reinforcements would help signal that a possible war with Iraq was not distracting the US from a nuclear stand-off with the North.

North Korea also warned that any US strike against its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon would trigger "full scale war".

The North said on Wednesday that it had reactivated the nuclear site and its operations were now going ahead "on a normal footing".

Pyongyang says it will use the facilities to produce electricity "at the present stage".


However, the US and nuclear experts say the Yongbyon reactor, which has been mothballed since 1994, is too small to generate meaningful amounts of electricity.

They fear that North Korea's real purpose is to resume production of weapons-grade plutonium.


The threat to strike first against US troops in the region came from North Korea's foreign ministry deputy director, Ri Pyong-gap.

CRISIS CHRONOLOGY
16 Oct: US announces that N Korea has acknowledged secret nuclear programme

14 Nov: Oil shipments to N Korea halted

22 Dec: N Korea removes monitoring devices at Yongbyon nuclear plant

31 Dec: UN nuclear inspectors forced to leave North Korea

10 Jan: N Korea pulls out of anti-nuclear treaty

4 Feb: US says it might reinforce troops in Pacific

5 Feb: N Korea says nuclear facilities reactivated



Speaking to the BBC's Mike Thompson in Pyongyang, Mr Ri said his government was becoming increasingly alarmed at signs that Washington planned to send more aircraft carriers, bombers and troops to the region.

He said such actions would mean that the US was either planning to invade the North or launch attacks against it.

In response, he insisted, Pyongyang would not just sit and wait and could decide to strike first if necessary.

The country currently has a standing army of more than one million soldiers, whilst America has around 37,000 thousand troops based in South Korea.

Our correspondent says tensions on the streets of Pyongyang are tangible. Air raid drills and blackouts are becoming twice-daily rituals and huge posters calling for courage in the fight ahead cover billboards and walls.


The North Koreans are believed to possess one or two nuclear weapons already, as well as enough spent fuel rods to make four or six more.

However, analysts say that reactivating Yongbyon reactor gives North Korea the capacity to mass produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, raising fears of a nuclear arms race in Asia.

Tension has been building in the region ever since claims by Washington that the communist regime in Pyongyang had admitted to resuming the development of nuclear weapons in violation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

North Korea denies the allegations, which it says are being used to justify an imminent American invasion.

Analysts say the North may be trying to force the US to negotiate a non-aggression pact, or strengthen its nuclear arsenal while the US is preoccupied with Iraq.

The United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose inspectors were expelled from the plant in December, is due to hold an emergency meeting next week on the nuclear crisis.

The meeting is expected to refer the dispute to the UN Security Council



Pre-empting the pre-emptive...where will it end?

There seems little subtlety on behalf of the Koreans in all this. What are they hoping to gain from such posturing and what the hell does China make of it all, being on it's doorstep!
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:43 AM   #2
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Tizer:

right, that's the problem - there is no pre-emptive defense.. it's just called "offense". But of course if the US starts to talk this way, all warlords over the world are happy for that new definition of agression.

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Old 02-06-2003, 08:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
Tizer:

right, that's the problem - there is no pre-emptive defense.. it's just called "offense". But of course if the US starts to talk this way, all warlords over the world are happy for that new definition of agression.

Klaus
Very true. Every superpower will begin to assert their own right to protect their sovereignty thru preemptive military action, and next thing you know we've got WW3.

After all, if its good enough for us...
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:25 PM   #4
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Wrong. The concept and use of pre-emptive defense.. has been around for centuries and is only justified in unique circumstances.
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:33 PM   #5
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Justified by whome?
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Old 02-06-2003, 04:24 PM   #6
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Tizer, I read about Koreans saying "US is not the only one entitled to pre-emptive strike".



This nuclear conflict is starting to look worse every day...
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Old 02-06-2003, 04:26 PM   #7
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STING2, wasn't the usual concept so far to only go to war in self-defense? (for peaceful countries, of course)
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:01 PM   #8
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pre-emptive defense is self defense
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Old 02-06-2003, 07:55 PM   #9
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What is the difference between defense and attack then?
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Old 02-06-2003, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
pre-emptive defense is self defense
Is that what the Japanese attack on the U S fleet at Pearl Harbor was?
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Old 02-06-2003, 08:13 PM   #11
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Oh yeah, deep, I start to understand... the U.S. were a threat at that time, developing nuclear weaponry.



STING2: please explain, what is the difference between attack and (self-) defense?
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Old 02-06-2003, 08:38 PM   #12
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Oh yeah, deep, I start to understand... the U.S. were a threat at that time, developing nuclear weaponry.

hiphop,

The US fleet was moved out of the United States from San Diego to Pearl Harbor as a threat to Japan. In regards to their actions in Asia.
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Old 02-06-2003, 09:24 PM   #13
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The difference is that reason behind the action being taking. For example, there was no legitamite reason for Germany's aggression against Poland or any other country in Europe. There was a legitamite reason for Israel's 1967 pre-emtive attack against the Arab countries that were obviously preparing a 3 front attack. Each case is unique and dependent upon the details.
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Old 02-06-2003, 09:32 PM   #14
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http://www.theonion.com/onion3904/north_dakota.html



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Old 02-06-2003, 11:38 PM   #15
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IMHO

The President, has instigated this conflict with North Korea starting with his "Axis of Evil" comments. This situation is not getting the respect it deserves from this administration.

Peace
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