North Korea | Reuters.com
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North Korea

Geoffrey Cain, the GlobalPost's correspondent in Seoul, South Korea, discusses the deteriorating situation on the peninsula, as tensions continue to rise with North Korea.
  • Why are all these nations being such children?
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  • I wonder what the North Korean people are thinking.
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  • Kim has nothing to lose. His state is bankrupt, his people starving. A cornered dog is very dangerous and I don't think that he's bluffing this time. I don't necessarily agree with the South Korean defense ministry statement which, of course, is designed to allay the fears of the millions of people living just a few miles south of the DMZ. I believe this is a very dangerous situation and one that is not getting enough attention.
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  • The individuals involved are probably all rational actors, but institutions themselves never are.
    Are NK's invasion tunnels a myth? A flash invasion could hold entire cities hostage.
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  • is it safe to travel to south korea now.??..already booked tickets. please reply ASAP
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  • Kyodo: ANA to begin accepting reservations for flights using #Boeing 787 jets.
  • White House spokesman (aboard Air Force One) reacts to latest #DPRK threat - http://is.gd/T9Rwag (@AP)
  • The #Korea crisis from the warped animated perspective of @NMAtv: http://youtu.be/xChaIGCLZvw
  • N. Korea says it enters 'war' against S. Korea - Yonhap News Agency

    SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea announced Saturday that it has entered a state of war against South Korea.

    In a special statement, the North said it will deal with every inter-Korean issue in a wartime manner.
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  • North Korean military personnel are seen on patrol boats on Yalu River near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, March 29, 2013. China called for an easing of tensions on Friday as North Korea put its missile units on standby to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula. REUTERS/Jacky Chen

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  • READER COMMENT: The worrying thing is the "put up or shut up" factor now involved. I don't think a new PM will risk being seen as weak after his first ever serious international conflict. My fear is that one country goes too far and thus starts war.
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  • A North Korean soldier looks out with binoculars at a outpost along the banks of Yalu River near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, March 29, 2013. China called for an easing of tensions on Friday as North Korea put its missile units on standby to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula. REUTERS/Jacky Chen

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  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over an urgent operation meeting on the Korean People's Army Strategic Rocket Force's performance of duty for firepower strike at the Supreme Command in Pyongyang, early March 29, 2013, in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency on Friday. North Korea put its rocket units on standby on Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force. Kim Jong-un signed off on the order at a midnight meeting of top generals and "judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation", the official KCNA news agency said. REUTERS/KCNA

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  • A South Korean soldier hands over chewing gum to his colleague during their artillery unit military drill near the demilitarised zone separating North Korea from the South, in Paju, north of Seoul March 29, 2013. North Korea put its missile units on standby on Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed off on the order at a midnight meeting of top generals and "judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation", the official KCNA news agency said. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

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  • North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a "state of war" with South Korea in a continuing escalation of tough rhetoric against Seoul and Washington after coming under international sanctions for its nuclear test.

    "From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly," a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency said.

    The two Koreas have been in a technical state of war because their 1950-53 conflict ended under an armistice and not a peace treaty. (Reporting by Sung-won Shim; editing by Jack Kim)
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  • Voice of America: The Korean peninsula is in a heightened state of alert following renewed threats from the North - with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un putting his rocket units on standby saying the "time has come to settle accounts" with the United States. VOA's Jeff Seldin reports.

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  • During a forum Tuesday, Ambassador Sung Kim addressed longstanding concerns that the U.S. might station fewer troops in South Korea as part of the military’s overall cost-cutting efforts. Many South Koreans believe such a move would make their country more vulnerable to a North Korean attack, particularly following the death of dictator Kim Jong Il in December and uncertainty about his enigmatic son and successor, Kim Jong Un.

    Sung Kim said the relocation of most troops in Seoul or north of the capital city to hubs in Pyeongtaek and Daegu — scheduled to take place “sometime around the year 2016” — would reduce the number of U.S. installations from 107 to 48. But the force level of about 28,500 U.S. troops in the country would remain stable.
    - Ashley Rowland, Stars and Stripes (via @tcarmody)
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  • Pyongyang radio: North-South relations will enter "a state of war  as of now." #DPRK #Korea
  • #DPRK broadcast: If US & "the puppet gang" make "military provocations" in any region, it'll expand  into "a full-scale war, a nuclear war."
  • North Korea put its rocket units on standby Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after repeated threats one day after two American stealth bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula in a military exercise.

    A U.S. official warned that the isolated communist state is “not a paper tiger” and its reaction should not be dismissed as “pure bluster.”

    According to South Korea’s news agency, Yonhap, North Korea announced Saturday that it had entered a state of war against South Korea. “In a special statement, the North said it will deal with every inter-Korean issue in a wartime manner,” Yonhap reported. NBC News could not immediately confirm.
    - NBC News
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  • North Korea threat may be more bark than bite - AP
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  • Analysts say if a war to truly break out, #Gaeseong industrial complex will be the first to go, there'll be mass troop movement sighted.
  • #SouthKorea Unification Ministry says #Gaeseong personnel movement today continues as usual.
  • North Koreans including soldiers attend a rally in support of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's order to put its missile units on standby in preparation for a possible war against the U.S. and South Korea, in Pyongyang March 29, 2013, in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency on Friday. North Korea put its rocket units on standby on Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force. REUTERS/KCNA

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  • A #NorthKorea defector was telling me that media, esp non-Korean, must be careful of taking state rhetoric at face value.
  • #SouthKorea Unification Ministry: #NorthKorea threat today is not new, is continued rhetoric from its recent alert level raise. @acarvin
  • The stealthy, nuclear-capable U.S. B-2 bomber is a veteran of wars in Iraq and Libya, but it isn't usually a tool of Washington's statecraft.

    Yet on Thursday, the United States sent a pair of the bat-winged planes on a first-of-its-kind practice run over the skies of South Korea, conducting what U.S. officials say was a diplomatic sortie.

    The aim, the officials said, was two-fold: to reassure U.S. allies South Korea and Japan in the face of a string of threats from North Korea, and to nudge Pyongyang back to nuclear talks.

    But whether North Korea's young new leader, Kim Jong-un, interprets the message the way the White House hopes is anybody's guess. His first reaction, according to North Korean state media, was to order his country's missiles ready to strike the United States and South Korea.

    A senior U.S. official said Kim's late father, Kim Jong-il, was at least more predictable: He would issue threats that got the world's attention without provoking open conflict, and then use them as leverage in subsequent diplomatic negotiations.

    This time, U.S. intelligence analysts are divided over whether Kim Jong-un is pursuing the same strategy. "It's a little bit of an 'all bets are off' kind of moment," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity,.

    The official said the idea for the practice bombing run, part of annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises named Foal Eagle, emerged from government-wide discussions over how to signal to Seoul and Tokyo that Washington would back them in a crisis.

    It is less clear whether Washington informed China, North Korea's neighbor and only major ally, in advance.

    The plan was approved by the White House and coordinated with South Korea and Japan, the official said.

    REASSURING ALLIES

    While the 20-year-old B-2 often flies for long durations - 44 hours is the record - Thursday's flight of approximately 37-1/2 hours was the plane's first non-stop mission to the Korean peninsula and back from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, Air Force officials said.

    With Pyongyang threatening missile strikes on the U.S. mainland, as well as U.S. bases in Hawaii and Guam, the flight seemed designed to demonstrate how easy it would be for the United States to strike back at North Korea.

    It is far from clear that Pyongyang, which has had mixed success in its missile tests, can make good on its own threats.

    "This is useful reminder to the South Koreans that the U.S. nuclear arm can reach out and touch North Korea from anywhere. We don't need to be sitting there at Osan Air Base," south of Seoul, said Ralph Cossa, president of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum CSIS think tank.

    "This also reminds the Chinese that North Korean actions have consequences. It tells them that the U.S. is taking North Korean threats seriously but we're not panicking," he added.

    The senior U.S. official said that once the Foal Eagle exercises are concluded, the Obama administration hopes to pivot to a diplomatic approach to North Korea, and hopes Pyongyang will reciprocate.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to travel to East Asia in about two weeks, the first of a parade of senior Washington officials headed toward the region.

    45-MINUTE NAPS

    Thursday's drill was a rare moment in the limelight for the B-2 "Spirit" bomber, which began life with a slew of cost and development troubles for manufacturer Northrop Grumman Corp but has become a mainstay of U.S. nuclear deterrence.

    Long-duration missions, in which the bomber is refueled in midair, are "a challenge on your body and mind, staying sharp," said an Air Force captain and B-2 pilot. Under the service's security rules, the pilot could only be identified by his radio call sign, "Flash."

    The captain, who did not participate in Thursday's practice mission over South Korea, said flight doctors have devised special regimens to keep the plane's two-man crew sharp.

    They include 45-minute naps, on a cot in the back of the plane, that end a half hour before "critical events" such as in-air refueling or dropping ordinance, he said.

    All 20 of the United States' B-2 bombers are based at Whiteman, and they saw combat during the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the NATO mission that led to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's overthrow.

    In the 1980s, the Pentagon had planned to buy 132 of the bombers, whose main mission was to penetrate the Soviet Union's airspace undetected. The program was drastically cut back after the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989.

    So elite is the B-2 pilot corps that more people have been in outer space than have flown the aircraft, "Flash" said.

    (Reporting by Warren Strobel; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart and Paul Eckert; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Eric Beech)
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  • I'll be interviewing @dpinkston today for my VOA report about the #DPRK "state of war" declaration.
  • This just in...from 1950: @DRUDGE_REPORT: WAR! http://drudge.tw/YPRb8K #Korea
  • US gov't says taking seriously the new DPRK war threat.
  • All border crossings at Kaesong joint industrial zone proceeding normally despite despite #DPRK war declaration.
  • #DPRK: This will not be a 3 day-war but a blitz war through which KPA will occupy all areas of S. Korea including Jeju Is. at one strike.
  • #DPRK radio: US "should be clear that in era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from the past."
  • US Nat'l Security Council spokeswoman: "We take these threats seriously & remain in close contact with our South Korean allies."
  • NSC's Caitlin Hayden: "We continue to take additional measures against the North Korean threat."
  • Those measures include plans to increase US ground-based interceptors, early warning & tracking radar.


  • Full 8-minute #DPRK special statement via radio on inter-Korean "state of war" - via @W7VOA
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  • For those outside #ROK (where #DPRK websites blocked), the full war declaration statement should be on KCNA website (kcna.kp).
  • Full war declaration statement from DPRK (via KCNA):

    The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase. Under this situation, the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu, convened an urgent operation meeting on the performance of duty of the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army for firepower strike and finally examined and ratified a plan for firepower strike.

    The important decision made by him is the declaration of a do-or-die battle to provide an epochal occasion for putting an end to the history of the long-standing showdown with the U.S. and opening a new era. It is also a last warning of justice served to the U.S., south Korean group and other anti-reunification hostile forces. The decision reflects the strong will of the army and people of the DPRK to annihilate the enemies.

    Now the heroic service personnel and all other people of the DPRK are full of surging anger at the U.S. imperialists' reckless war provocation moves, and the strong will to turn out as one in the death-defying battle with the enemies and achieve a final victory of the great war for national reunification true to the important decision made by Kim Jong Un.

    The Supreme Command of the KPA in its previous statement solemnly declared at home and abroad the will of the army and people of the DPRK to take decisive military counteraction to defend the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of its supreme leadership as regards the war moves of the U.S. and south Korean puppets that have reached the most extreme phase.

    Not content with letting B-52 make sorties into the sky over south Korea in succession despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, the U.S. made B-2A stealth strategic bomber and other ultra-modern strategic strike means fly from the U.S. mainland to south Korea to stage a bombing drill targeting the DPRK. This is an unpardonable and heinous provocation and an open challenge.

    By taking advantage of the U.S. reckless campaign for a nuclear war against the DPRK, the south Korean puppets vociferated about "preemptive attack" and "strong counteraction" and even "strike at the commanding forces", openly revealing the attempt to destroy monuments symbolic of the dignity of the DPRK's supreme leadership.

    This clearly shows that the U.S. brigandish ambition for aggression and the puppets' attempt to invade the DPRK have gone beyond the limit and their threats have entered the reckless phase of an actual war from the phase of threat and blackmail.

    The prevailing grim situation more clearly proves that the Supreme Command of the KPA was just when it made the judgment and decision to decisively settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists and south Korean puppets by dint of the arms of Songun, because time when words could work has passed.

    Now they are openly claiming that the B-2A stealth strategic bombers' drill of dropping nuclear bombs was "not to irritate the north" but "the defensive one". The U.S. also says the drill is "to defend the interests of its ally". However, it is nothing but a lame pretext to cover up its aggressive nature, evade the denunciation at home and abroad and escape from the DPRK's retaliatory blows.

    The era when the U.S. resorted to the policy of strength by brandishing nuclear weapons has gone.

    It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the U.S. imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war.

    They should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past.

    The hostile forces will clearly realize the iron will, matchless grit and extraordinary mettle of the brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu that the earth cannot exist without Songun Korea.

    Time has come to stage a do-or-die final battle.

    The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK solemnly declare as follows reflecting the final decision made by Kim Jong Un at the operation meeting of the KPA Supreme Command and the unanimous will of all service personnel and people of the DPRK who are waiting for a final order from him.

    1.From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.

    The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.

    Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war. Accordingly, the DPRK will immediately punish any slightest provocation hurting its dignity and sovereignty with resolute and merciless physical actions without any prior notice.

    2. If the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation for igniting a war against the DPRK in any area including the five islands in the West Sea of Korea or in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, it will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.

    It is self-evident that any military conflict on the Korean Peninsula is bound to lead to an all-out war, a nuclear war now that even U.S. nuclear strategic bombers in its military bases in the Pacific including Hawaii and Guam and in its mainland are flying into the sky above south Korea to participate in the madcap DPRK-targeted nuclear war moves.

    The first strike of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will blow up the U.S. bases for aggression in its mainland and in the Pacific operational theatres including Hawaii and Guam and reduce not only its military bases in south Korea but the puppets' ruling institutions including Chongwadae and puppet army's bases to ashes at once, to say nothing of the aggressors and the provokers.

    3. The DPRK will never miss the golden chance to win a final victory in a great war for national reunification.

    This war will not be a three day-war but it will be a blitz war through which the KPA will occupy all areas of south Korea including Jeju Island at one strike, not giving the U.S. and the puppet warmongers time to come to their senses, and a three-dimensional war to be fought in the air, land and seas and on the front line and in the rear.

    This sacred war of justice will be a nation-wide, all-people resistance involving all Koreans in the north and the south and overseas in which the traitors to the nation including heinous confrontation maniacs, warmongers and human scum will be mercilessly swept away.

    No force on earth can break the will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK all out in the just great war for national reunification and of all other Koreans and overpower their might.

    Holding in high esteem the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu, the Korean people will give vent to the pent-up grudge and realize their cherished desire and thus bring a bright day of national reunification and build the best power on this land without fail.
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  • YTN doing extensive phone interview on US reaction with our VOA Korean Service reporter Baek Sung-won.
  • Claiming credit?: MT @th3j35t3r2m .naenara.com.kp - TANGO DOWN - #DPRK Computer Center - That's 3 strategic smackdowns. (so far).
  • Sorry to repeat this, but other media trying to contact me for interviews via Twitter. Please have courtesy to follow first so I can DM.
  • #ROK MND urges #DPRK to stop issuing threats, stresses current drill with US forces annual exercises & defensive in nature. #Korea
  • Rodong Sinmun & Naenara websites appear down but no problem with KCNA. #DPRK #cyber
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