If North Korea ‘attacks the South with a nuclear weapon’, it will ‘perish from the Earth,’Park Geun-hye warns

North Korea’s state-run Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea annuls “all agreements on non-aggression reached between the North and the South,” its  says in a statement.

This follows news  that the UN Security Council  had unanimously approved new  economic penalties against North Korea for its underground nuclear test last month, imposing  sanctions on banking, travel and trade.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned North Korea of firm retaliation against any military strikes or other provocations.

I will deal strongly with North Korea’s provocations,” Park said in a speech at a graduation ceremony for military cadets in Gyeryongdae, central South Korea, according to RT.

If Pyongyang attacks South Korea with a nuclear weapon, Kim Jong-un’s regime will perish from the Earth”, warned the South.

Meanwhile, continues RT, Beijing, has called for “calm and restraint” and to avoid actions that might further escalate tensions.

“The current situation on the peninsula is highly complex and sensitive” and China “expresses concern,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying  is quoted as saying.

“Experts believe the North is incapable of mounting a nuclear warhead on a missile that could reach the US. More pertinently, to do so would be suicidal,” says the Guardian, going on:.

“The tabloid conclusion is that the North’s leaders are crazed – Kim Jong-un is a “deranged despot”, the Sun wrote on Friday – while the Team America version is that they are idiotic.

“Odd as it might sound, the statements are often more nuanced than their flamboyant language initially suggests.

“Experts point out, for example, that Thursday’s threat was addressed to ‘invaders'”. More importantly, as with other bouts of sabre-rattling – such as repeated vows to turn Seoul into a sea of flames – and as with its missile and nuclear tests, there is logic behind the move.”

In other far more important news, while North Korea engages in the latest round of brinkmanship, “Cardinals have set Tuesday as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope, a milestone in this unusual papal transition and an indication that even without an obvious front-runner, the cardinals have a fairly good idea of who best among them can lead the Catholic Church and tackle its many problems,” says the Montreal Gazette.

Jon Newton — myblogdammit

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One thought on “If North Korea ‘attacks the South with a nuclear weapon’, it will ‘perish from the Earth,’Park Geun-hye warns

  1. Not everyone believes China is ready to get tough on North Korea, even though it clearly dislikes Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and wants to avoid a new Korean war. As one senior U.N. Security Council diplomat put it recently, if China had to choose between a nuclear North Korea and no North Korea at all, it would choose the former.

    Beijing wants to avoid a collapse of its impoverished neighbor. The dissolution of North Korea could mean a flood of economic refugees into China and the creation of a capitalist Korea controlled by Seoul and friendly with the United States.

    Bruce Klingner, a retired CIA North Korea analyst at the Heritage Foundation, doubted China was prepared to take the steps needed to make North Korea suffer the way Tehran has.

    “Despite excitement by China watchers that internal debate amongst pundits and media organizations indicate the new Chinese leadership will adopt a new, more stringent policy toward its pesky ally, Beijing again shows itself to be an obstruction at the U.N. Security Council,” he said.

    “The new U.N. resolution is an incremental improvement, but it doesn’t live up to Ambassador Rice’s hype that it’s exceptional and will significantly impede North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs,” he said.

    Pyongyang was hit with U.N. sanctions for its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests, measures that were subsequently tightened and expanded after several rocket launches. In addition to the luxury goods ban, there is an arms embargo on North Korea, and it is forbidden from trading in nuclear and missile technology.

    China has supported all U.N. sanctions against North Korea but only after working to dilute the proposed measures. U.N. diplomats say that Chinese companies have often played a key role in helping North Korean entities bypass the sanctions.

    Thursday’s resolution expanded the list of nuclear- and missile-related items North Korea is banned from importing. It also called for a crackdown on North Korean diplomatic personnel carrying briefcases bulging with cash in and out of the country.

    Taking aim at the lavish lifestyles of North Korea’s elite, the council explicitly banned the sale of yachts, racing cars, luxury automobiles and certain types of jewelry to beef up a 2006 ban on the export of luxury goods to Pyongyang.

    Robert Joseph, a former U.S. under secretary of state, said getting tougher on Pyongyang was crucial because Iran, which the United States and its allies suspect of developing nuclear weapons, is following the world’s responses to North Korea.

    “What they (Iran) have seen thus far has not dissuaded them from continuing down their path of nuclear proliferation,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

    One reason that sanctions have failed to pressure North Korea to back down, he said, is that the government under late leader Kim Jong-il and his son and successor Kim Jong-un cares little whether the North Korean people starve to death.

    “And in part, it is because China has undercut the impact of sanctions and has continued to keep open a lifeline of assistance to the North, no matter how blatant or lethal its actions,” Joseph said.

    After the new sanctions passed on Thursday, China and Russia called for an immediate resumption of the stalled six-party aid-for-disarmament talks with the two Koreas, the Unite States, China, Japan and Russia. But South Korean Ambassador Kim Sook dismissed the idea: “Today is not the day for talking about dialogue.”

    Virginie Grzelczyk, a North Korea expert at Britain’s Nottingham Trent University, said refusing to talk would not end the “cycle of tit-for-tat” between the Security Council and North Korea – and could make the situation more dangerous.

    “Refusing to talk with North Korea will most likely not end the cycle of escalation, and could lead to a potential military clash on the peninsula, with the first target being the South,” Grzelczyk said.

    Reuters »»» http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/08/us-korea-north-sanctions-idUSBRE92715Z20130308

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