Skip to comments.North Korea On War Footing As Crisis Deepens
Posted on 02/06/2003 5:39:35 PM PST by RCW2001
North Korea said it was preparing for total war with the United States and threatened a preemptive strike if Washington sent extra forces to the region.
The North's top general, Kim Yong-Chun, a close adviser to supreme leader Kim Jong-Il, urged the Stalinist nation's million-strong army to prepare for a final showdown with US "imperialists".
According to North Korea's official media, Kim, chairman of the North Korean army's joint chiefs of staff, told military top brass Wednesday to prepare for battle.
"He called for increasing the capability of the people's army in every way ... so as to win a brilliant victory in the final showdown with the US imperialists," said Rodong Sinmum.
In response, the White House warned Thursday of its "robust plans for any contingencies" tied to its nuclear row with North Korea.
"We've heard much talk from North Korea before. Obviously the United States is very prepared, with robust plans, for any contingencies," spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters.
"This type of talk and the type of actions North Korea has engaged in -- or says it's engaging in -- only hurt North Korea."
US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who on Wednesday presented a case for military action against North Korea's co-member of the "axis of evil" Iraq to the United Nations, said the United States was looking for the "right formula" to deal with the increasingly-isolated Stalinist North.
"We're still looking for the right formula to move forward to give them the security guarantees they say they'd like to have, and they say they must have," Powell said.
"But at the same time, however, we are not going to just say you've got these guarantees and then hope they will satisfy our concerns and the world's concerns about what they have been doing with respect to plutonium activities and uranium enrichment."
US officials have said the Pentagon has put 24 long-range bombers on alert for possible deployment to the Pacific to back up US forces in South Korea.
Pyongyang has repeatedly accused Washington of planning to launch a nuclear strike against it. Those plans were now in the last phase of implementation, according to the official media.
Rodong said the call for a US troop buildup suggested "a new war will inevitably break out on the Korean peninsula and it will develop to be a nuclear war."
A top foreign ministry official told visiting British journalists that Pyongyang was prepared for a preemptive strike if Washington did reinforce its firepower in the Pacific.
"The pre-emptive attack is not something only the United States can do. We can also do that when it is a matter of life or death," North Korea's foreign ministry deputy director Ri Pyong-Gap said according to the BBC.
"We are fully ready to have a conversation with the United States. At the same time, we are fully ready to have war with the United States."
Ri said his government would regard any such buildup as an invasion or attack against it.
Tension over North Korea's nuclear ambitions mounted Thursday after Pyongyang official media said a nuclear plant frozen for the past eight years under an arms control accord with Washington had been restarted.
The North maintains its decision to restart the Yongbyon nuclear plant announced late Wednesday was to ease its energy crisis, though experts say the experimental five megawatt reactor that can produce plutonium has negligible power generation capacity.
South Korea's president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun, a champion of peaceful dialogue with North Korea who takes office in 19 days, responded to the deepening crisis by vowing to preserve peace.
"I am going to assure peace in this nation. That's the commitment I make and at any rate I am going to prevent a war on this peninsula," Roh told a business meeting at Incheon airport west of the capital.
In Tokyo, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Japan would continue to urge the Stalinist state to ease its confrontational stance.
"As before, we want North Korea to stop what it is doing with regard to the nuclear problem, while maintaining contact with South Korea and the United States," he said.
Under a now defunct 1994 accord with Washinton, Pyongyang agreed to freeze the Yongbyon complex in return for the supply of heavy fuel oil and the construction of two light-water reactors.
Washington cut off fuel shipments late last year after revealing in October that Pyongyang had admitted running a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of the 1994 agreement.
As the confrontation hardened, with Washington refusing dialogue until the programme was dismantled, North Korea announced on January 10 it was withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
BTW, how does a starving nation feed a million-and-a-half man army? How long will they last if the US and ROKs start kicking butts?
Geesh! I guess they could be cannibals!
No more real than Saddam Hussein. We have sufficient special deliveries for both.
The problem is they want to eat their cake and have it too. They want to create all these atom bombs while the crisis drags along. I think that is unacceptable to the U.S. My vote is for the final showdown on our terms. After we knock off Iraq, shift forces to the pacific and prepare to blow the hell out of them if needed after we take out their reactors.
24 Tubes and what 9 reentry vehicles per tube.
10 minutes flying time to any target in NK.
We have sufficent special deliveries for both
I hope you have this in mind for delivery to Kim the Dong on Valentine's Day.
As Eastwood said: "Go ahead, make my day punk!"
And why not?
Sadly, there are reports that have been trickling out of Mordor, er I mean North Korea, that that is exactly what has been happening.
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