North Korea readies missile launch as fears of a covert cyberwar grow
North Korea may be setting the stage for a missile test or another provocative act with its warning that it will soon be unable to guarantee diplomats’ safety in Pyongyang, a top South Korean national security official said.
But the official added that the North’s clearest objective is to extract concessions from Washington and Seoul.
South Korea is bracing for a protracted standoff with the North that could include at least one missile test-launch and a border skirmish.
On Friday, North Korea attempted to heighten fears of military conflict when it told embassies in its capital, Pyongyang, that it could not guarantee the safety of their staff in the event of war. In another sign that it is determined to increase the pressure, Pyongyang extended a ban preventing South Korean officials from entering the Kaesong industrial complex – which it operates jointly with the South – for a fourth day.
A government official in Seoul said there was no indication of an exodus of foreign diplomats from the North, despite the warning. “We don’t believe there’s any foreign mission about to leave Pyongyang,” the official told the Yonhap news agency. “Most foreign governments view the North Korean message as a way of ratcheting up tension.” full story
“They want to get out of their difficult lives through war,
Kim Seong Min”
North Koreans want to go to war, they think they will win’
NORTH Koreans have no information from the outside world and think their country will win if it goes to war, a North Korean defector has said, as tensions escalate on the Korean peninsula today
“North Koreans want to go to war soon and unite the country.” said Kim Seong Min, a North Korean defector with Free North Korea Radio.
“They want to get out of their difficult lives through war,” he added.
“North Koreans are not getting any information from the outside world. They think they will win if a war breaks out,” he said.
The worrying announcement comes as reports have emerged today of the North blocking the entry of South Korean workers into a joint industrial zone.
Permission is usually granted on a daily basis for workers to cross into the complex, where they can stay overnight.
More than 850 South Koreans were already at Kaesong – seens as one of the last remaining symbols of cooperation – when the ban was announced
THROWBACK TO NAZI GERMANY
he US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday called the recent North Korean actions “dangerous” and “reckless”.
“Let me be perfectly clear here today. The United States will defend and protect ourselves and our treaty ally, the Republic of Korea (South Korea),” he said after talks with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had warned that the crisis had “gone too far” and called for urgent talks with the North.
“Things must begin to calm down, there is no need for the DPRK [North Korea] to be on a collision course with the international community. Nuclear threats are not a game,” Mr Ban said.