Category Archives: North Korea

N. Korean official to visit security conference in U.S.

 

  BY JEAN H. LEE

SEOUL, South Korea — In another sign of warming relations, a senior North Korean nuclear negotiator will attend a security conference in the United States, a person with knowledge of talks between Washington and Pyongyang told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Word of Ri Yong Ho’s visit to the forum at Syracuse University follows a breakthrough agreement that will provide much-needed U.S. food aid to North Korea in exchange for a rollback of its nuclear programs.

The agreement, announced Wednesday, sets in motion a plan laid out by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il before his death in December to improve relations with the U.S. and to get back to six-nation disarmament-for-aid negotiations.

read more at                 www.star-telegram.com

 

North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activities, missile launches

한국어: 평양 중심부에 있는 주체 사상탑. English: The Tower of ...

By Andrew Quinn

WASHINGTON — The United States said on Wednesday that North Korea had agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches and to allow nuclear inspectors to visit its Yongbyon nuclear complex to verify a halt to all nuclear activities including uranium enrichment.

The U.S. announcement paves the way for the possible resumption of six-party disarmament negotiations with Pyongyang and follows talks between U.S. and North Korean diplomats in Beijing last week.“To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities,” the State Department said in a statement.

“The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities,” it said.

The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) is North Korea’s official name.

The State Department said that in return the United States was ready to finalize details of a proposed food aid package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance, and that more aid could be agreed based on continued need.

read more at                  news.nationalpost.com

U.S. and North Korean Officials Meet for Talks in China

By JANE PERLEZ

BEIJING — The first official talks between the United States and North Korea since the coming to power of the youthful new North Korean leader were “serious and substantial,” the senior American negotiator said Thursday, and would extend into a second day.

The talks, designated by the Obama administration as exploratory, were seen as a way to test whether the new leader, Kim Jong-un, a man in his late 20s, was prepared to meet conditions that would allow for a resumption of long established six-nation negotiations that aim to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

The American negotiator, Glyn T. Davies, met the veteran North Korean nuclear official, Kim Kye-gwan, at a morning and an afternoon session held at the American and North Korean embassies in Beijing. The two men met for dinner Thursday night, and would return to formal talks Friday, Mr. Davies said.

Issues ranging from nuclear matters to nutritional assistance were covered in the talks Thursday, Mr. Davies said. He indicated little progress had been made so far.

The United States, along with South Korea, Japan, Russia and China, has called on North Korea to suspend its nuclear activities as a condition for resuming the six-nation talks. Mr. Davies was believed to be probing the North Korean negotiator on that question in Thursday’s meetings.

read more at   www.nytimes.com

North Korea warns of retaliation for South Korea drill

Map of Korean maritime border, language neutra...

SEOUL: North Korea’s military warned on Sunday it could bombard islands near the disputed Yellow Sea border with South Korea, accusing Seoul of planning a naval live-fire drill in the area.

The North’s Western Sector Command warned residents of five islands to “evacuate to safe areas” before what it said was the scheduled start time of the exercise on Monday morning.

Pyongyang has taken a hostile tone towards Seoul since Kim Jong-Un, the youngest son of the late leader Kim Jong-Il, took over following the death of his father in December.

In a notice carried by Pyongyang’s official news agency, the military said Seoul’s government “should not forget the lesson” of the North’s bombardment of Yeonpyeong island in November 2010, which killed four South Koreans.

“Once the group of traitors starts a reckless military provocation…the KPA (Korean People’s Army) will promptly make merciless retaliatory strikes,” it said.

The North frequently warns the South against conducting live-fire exercises near the sea border, but there have been no incidents since Yeonpyeong.

A spokesman for the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said he was checking whether any such firing drill was scheduled for Monday.

Seoul’s defence ministry said earlier the US and South Korean navies will stage a joint anti-submarine drill in the Yellow Sea from Monday to Friday to guard against potential attacks by the communist state.

But the latest warning from Pyongyang does not appear to be aimed at the joint drill, the JCS spokesman told AFP without elaborating further.

The two countries staged a joint anti-submarine drill in September 2010, months after Seoul accused Pyongyang of torpedoing a warship with the loss of 46 lives in the Yellow Sea.

The North denied it sank the ship, but in November that year it shelled Yeonpyeong island, leaving two civilians among the four dead.

Seoul since then has strengthened troops and weaponry on its five frontline islands.

The sea border off the west coast has been the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and 2009. The North refuses to recognise the boundary drawn by United Nations forces after the 1950-53 war and insists it should be moved southwards.

The Key Resolve drill between the South and the US will start on February 27 and continue until March 9. Separately, a joint air, ground and naval field training exercise known as Foal Eagle will be held from March 1 to April 30.

North Korea has denounced the exercises as warmongering.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1183936/1/.html

North Korea warns of retaliation for South Korea drill

Map of Korean maritime border, language neutra...

SEOUL: North Korea’s military warned on Sunday it could bombard islands near the disputed Yellow Sea border with South Korea, accusing Seoul of planning a naval live-fire drill in the area.

The North’s Western Sector Command warned residents of five islands to “evacuate to safe areas” before what it said was the scheduled start time of the exercise on Monday morning.

Pyongyang has taken a hostile tone towards Seoul since Kim Jong-Un, the youngest son of the late leader Kim Jong-Il, took over following the death of his father in December.

In a notice carried by Pyongyang’s official news agency, the military said Seoul’s government “should not forget the lesson” of the North’s bombardment of Yeonpyeong island in November 2010, which killed four South Koreans.

“Once the group of traitors starts a reckless military provocation…the KPA (Korean People’s Army) will promptly make merciless retaliatory strikes,” it said.

The North frequently warns the South against conducting live-fire exercises near the sea border, but there have been no incidents since Yeonpyeong.

A spokesman for the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said he was checking whether any such firing drill was scheduled for Monday.

Seoul’s defence ministry said earlier the US and South Korean navies will stage a joint anti-submarine drill in the Yellow Sea from Monday to Friday to guard against potential attacks by the communist state.

But the latest warning from Pyongyang does not appear to be aimed at the joint drill, the JCS spokesman told AFP without elaborating further.

The two countries staged a joint anti-submarine drill in September 2010, months after Seoul accused Pyongyang of torpedoing a warship with the loss of 46 lives in the Yellow Sea.

The North denied it sank the ship, but in November that year it shelled Yeonpyeong island, leaving two civilians among the four dead.

Seoul since then has strengthened troops and weaponry on its five frontline islands.

The sea border off the west coast has been the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and 2009. The North refuses to recognise the boundary drawn by United Nations forces after the 1950-53 war and insists it should be moved southwards.

The Key Resolve drill between the South and the US will start on February 27 and continue until March 9. Separately, a joint air, ground and naval field training exercise known as Foal Eagle will be held from March 1 to April 30.

North Korea has denounced the exercises as warmongering.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1183936/1/.html