korea's nukes

  1. 2,070 Posts.
    Wouldn't that be just great if George Dubya sent all his forces to Iraq for his oil lobby buddies and then Korea blows up into a nuclear situation. It brings the realisation that the US cannot wage more than one war while ensuring all its forces face little risk.

    Kim asks for help calming North angst

    Outgoing South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung has appealed to Europe, China and Russia to help defuse the growing nuclear tension with North Korea.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed its inspectors have been told to leave the North by Wednesday as the Stalinist state prepares to recommission its weapons-capable nuclear reactor at Yyongbyon.

    North Korea's defiance has unsettled South Korea's leader, who won a Nobel Prize for his efforts to bring reconciliation to the peninsula.

    Mr Kim told troops at a US airbase he is doing everything he can to resolve the issue.

    "The situation seems to be deteriorating, but we will never give up and we will maintain close consultations with the United States and Japan," he said.

    "We will also try to win concrete co-operation from China, Russia and the EU to resolve the nuclear issue and the issue of weapons of mass destruction and establish unshakable peace on the Korean Peninsula."

    US pressure

    Meanwhile, the United States has signalled it is preparing to step up diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea if Pyongyang refuses to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

    American officials say they will look to North Korea's neighbours and allies to distance themselves from the communist state.

    The White House is calling its approach to North Korea a strategy of "tailored containment".

    In a background briefing to American journalists, US administration officials say America could encourage Japan, South Korea, China and Russia to cut their economic ties with North Korea.

    America could also urge the United Nations (UN) to impose sanctions and is pushing for the UN to discuss the issue on January 12.

    Another option might be for American warships to intercept any North Korean arms shipments to reduce the country's income from arms sales.

    Diplomatic role

    Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer says Australia will use its diplomatic relationship with North Korea to play an active role in the international effort to end the country's nuclear program.

    But he says the government will not be rushing its response.

    "We're obviously coordinating what we do with our partners in the region and with the United States, and a whole lot of free-ranging initiatives just to get publicity are going to be exactly the wrong approach for Australia," Mr Downer said.

    "We will play ourselves out if we're going to get into an array of publicity stunts."

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed its nuclear inspectors will be leaving North Korea on Tuesday local time, on the orders of Pyongyang.

    Mr Downer says Australia will determine the extent of its response in coming weeks but will play an active role in trying to sway North Korea from what he says is a dangerous path.

    "As a significant power in the region and a country that has supported the agreed framework and the Korean Peninsula's development of the energy authority, as well as a country which has diplomatic relations, I think it's appropriate that we should be active in trying to help the international community address this issue," Mr Downer said.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Opposition has called on the Howard Government to outline its diplomatic strategy on how to deal with the growing crisis.

    Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd says the Australian Government is one of the few western nations with diplomatic ties to North Korea but as yet they have done nothing.

    Mr Rudd says the Government has been too focused on Iraq.

    "The Howard Government appears to have been hyperactive on the question of Iraq over the last 12 months but when it comes to a security challenge in our own region, namely on Korea, we have in fact, virtual silence," Mr Rudd said.


    The Chinese Government says it is deeply concerned about the escalating nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

    North Korea's closest ally has called on all parties to resolve the issue peacefully and through dialogue.

    Meanwhile, IAEA head Mohamed el Baradei says his workers will fly out on Tuesday.

    He says North Korea will be capable of manufacturing nuclear weapons in a matter of months if its nuclear program is reactivated as threatened.

    Dr el Baradei claims North Korea's attempts to extort political concessions from the international community by reactivating its nuclear program will not succeed.

    "I think primarily they are using the nuclear program as a way to get some political gains and also to have some favourable negotiating position," he said.

    "But they have to understand that nobody is interested to negotiate under blackmail and no country in the international community as a whole is ready to put through a policy of appeasement. Unless they come back into compliance I don't think anybody is ready to sit with them."
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