PN's Voice 79

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 79, 07-04-2016
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PN's Voice No. 79   07. 04. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

SK Defense Minister: NK Ready to Conduct 5th Nuclear Test

Seoul's Defense Minister Han Min-koo says North Korea is ready to conduct a fifth nuclear test any time at the order of its young leader Kim Jong-un. In a joint interview with Defense Ministry correspondents on Wednesday, Minister Han said that the South Korean military is closely observing North Korea's nuclear test tunnels where another test appears to be possible any time. The minister said that the North may choose one of the two options of exploding a warhead at an underground nuclear facility or experiment with just a detonator without putting nuclear materials in its test device.

Han strongly urged the North to halt further nuclear tests and missile launches, warning that if the North continues provocation, it would walk the path of destruction as it faces stronger sanctions from the international community and deeper isolation.

Minister Han’s sentiments were echoed by local expert, Chung Sung-jang, a fellow at the Sejong Institute."The North is ready to carry out a nuclear test at any time," said Chung. "We cannot rule out what the reclusive regime will do prior to the launch of a new administration in the United States or even its party congress in May." Chung, head of the institute's unification strategy research department, stressed the need to recall that North Korea failed to put a rocket into orbit in April 2012 but succeeded in December that year.
Source : The Korea Times, KBS News

SK: NK Has Capacity to Put Nuclear Warhead on a Missile

South Korea has determined that North Korea is capable of mounting a nuclear warhead on its medium-range Rodong ballistic missile, which could reach all of South Korea and most of Japan, a senior government official said on Tuesday. South Korean officials, like their American counterparts, have said that the North has made progress in miniaturizing nuclear warheads, but have been reluctant to elaborate.

Even if such advances have been made for medium-range missiles, most analysts in the United States and South Korea say the North may still be years away from building a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile that could target the continental United States. North Korea test-launched two Rodong missiles last month, flouting United Nations resolutions that ban the country from developing or testing ballistic missile technology.

North Korea also said that Mr. Kim had overseen a successful test of “re-entry” technology, which is needed for a warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile to survive the heat and vibrations while plunging through the atmosphere toward its target. There has been a continuing debate about how close North Korea has come to acquiring nuclear-tipped missiles. The country has never flight-tested a long-range missile.
Source : The New York Times

North Korea Releases 'Ultimatum' Video Depicting Attack on Seoul

An official North Korean website has released a new propaganda video portraying a multiple rocket attack on South Korea’s presidential Blue House and other government buildings in Seoul. It was uploaded on Monday to the DPRK Today website, which had released another video 10 days earlier depicting a nuclear attack on Washington.

The new 88-second video – entitled “If the ultimatum goes unanswered” – shows rockets fired from mobile launchers in the North destroying the buildings in a ball of fire. It ends with the warning: “Everything will turn into ashes”. Tensions have been rising on the Korean peninsula ever since the North conducted its fourth nuclear test on 6 January. Over the past month, Pyongyang has issued repeated threats of strikes against Seoul and Washington, largely in response to annual South Korea-US war games that kicked off in early March. The ongoing joint exercises have been larger than usual and included a special operation to “decapitate” the North Korean leadership in the event of a full-scale conflict. Pyongyang took that as a direct threat to leader Kim Jong-un, and the Korean People’s Army (KPA) recently issued an “ultimatum” demanding South Korean president Park Geun-Hye apologize and punish those who formulated the strategy.
Source : The Guardian


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