From Yonhap News
North Korea Armed Demonstration Against US-Korea-Japan Trilateral Talks On Fourth Anniversary of the Cheonan Sinking
At dawn on March 26, North Korea fired several Nodong missiles. This missile launch coincided with the fourth anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean navy ship Cheonan, and drew worldwide attention.
North Korea fired the missiles during the Korea-US-Japan trilateral meetings. Analysts suggest that the missile tests could be a demonstration of North Korean antagonism towards the trilateral talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.
The Nodong missile, fired at dawn on Wednesday, is the first missile test in the last 5 years, but marks the third time the Nodong missile has been tested since the July 5, 2006 and July 4, 2009 launches. The Nodong missile has a range of 1,300 km and the projectile is classified as a mid-range missile, able to travel longer distances than the previously fired short-range rockets and new multiple rocket launchers (MRL).
The Nodong missile provocation is viewed as an armed protest against Key Resolve (KR) and Foal Eagle (FE), the annual ROK-US joint field training exercises for the defense of the Korean peninsula.
The provocation is only part of an incessant series of armed protests by North Korea, including the launch of four 300mm MRLs using the KN-09 rocket launcher towards the East sea last month on the 21st, right before the FE exercise. So far, North Korea has fired ninety missiles.
This time is particularly alarming, considering the missiles that have been launched are long-range missiles and can travel almost the length of Japan.
“The Nodong missile can hit most of Japan and parts of China and Russia,” said Min Seok Kim, the spokesperson for Korea’s Ministry of National Defense. “It is quite a destructive missile. It seems that North Korea fired the missile early in the morning at that hour to counteract the KR and FE, and show off its military capabilities.”
Nodong missiles weigh between 700 and 1,000kg. If North Korea succeeds in developing miniature light-weight nuclear arms, the implication is that North Korean missiles could now be loaded with nuclear warheads.
“North Korea has no option but to employ a ‘nuclear deterrent force’ if the United States continues to pose a ‘nuclear threat’ to North Korea,” said Dong Il Ri, the Deputy Ambassador of North Korea to the United Nations on March 24th (local time). He added, “We will also continue to take additional measures to show our nuclear deterrent force to the world.”
Experts suggest that the launch of this mid-range missile can lead to the launch of long-range rockets and a fourth nuclear test.
On July 5, 2006, North Korea fired five scud missiles, two No dong missiles, and a Tae Po Dong long-range missile. The same year on October 9, North Korea carried out its first nuclear test. The second nuclear test was conducted on May 25, 2009. On July 4th, North Korea fired two No Dong missiles.
Other experts predict that the possibility of a fourth nuclear test is low as China is pushing North Korea hard.
“North Korea is capable and ready to launch another set of nuclear tests and long-range missiles any time it wants, but there is no indication of imminent provocation,” an official from the Ministry of National Defense said.
North Korea intentionally fired mid-range missiles on the 4th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the South Korean Cheonan warship, which could aggravate military tension between the North and the South.
On the same day, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, a North Korean organization for reunification, accused the South of insulting the supreme dignity of the North by spreading anti-North Korea propaganda around the Five West Sea Islands. The organization also threatened that this would lead to a devastating end for the relationship between the North and the South.
North Korea released a statement through its central media claiming that North Korea is not responsible for the Cheonan sinking and that the incident should not be an obstacle standing in the way of the North-South relationship.
Comments from Daum:
[Note that Daum is normally dominated by anti-Saenuri netizens. Popular opinions shown here are not necessarily accepted on other Korean websites.]
The poorest cons ever in history:
1. North Korean spy conspiracy
2. 12.19 electoral fraud
3. Cheonan sinking
4. Four major rivers project
5. BBK [an investment firm jointly operated by former President Lee Myung Bak and Kim Kyung-jun. Kim's sister Erica claimed that President Lee had been involved in a high-profile financial scam involving BBK]
6. Globalization of Korean cuisine
7. UAE nuclear power plant deal
[All these accusations are associated with the ruling Saenuri government.]
If you’re not an idiot, surf the web a bit and you’ll soon find that the whole Cheonan sinking blamed on North Korea is a lie. Read what smart bloggers have to say, watch the film “The Cheonan Project” and listen to what the experts have to say. Reports from the Ministry of Defense are total bullshit. Use your brain.
From all the evidence out there, I sincerely think that North Korea didn’t have a hand in the sinking. If it were an explosion, the shock might have destroyed everything, but what a surprise, no soldiers went deaf, and there wasn’t a single crack in the light bulbs! I think the North bombed Yeonpyeong Island because they were angry at the blame everyone put on them, and had reached their limit. The hereditary dictatorship should be taken down but the politicians and the military in the South should stop the manipulation, too.
It doesn’t matter if the ship was actually attacked or stranded, Lee Myung-bak, the Minister of Defense and the navy leaders at that time should all be replaced.
You can’t even be curious about the sinking incident in this fascist country South Korea. Think about it, who would want the North to attack us?
I would say it wasn’t an attack! I’ll give you credit if you execute the submarine captain.
According to legitimate sources, the whole world already knows that the sinking was manipulated.
If it’s true that the Cheonan sank, then it’s a lost battle. I understand the disgrace to the president and the memorial, but what the hell was that about the promotion of the top heads? My condolences to our lost soldiers.
In South Korea, you win a badge for being beaten up, and losing ships and a bunch of soldiers.
Hey Kim Jong-un, can you trying hitting a Chinese, Japanese or American jet? I’ll give a big round of applause to you and the bloody consequences for your actions, ke ke.
It’s nonsense. If we fire, it’s training, and if they fire, it’s an absolute provocation. The fucked up government and their henchmen everywhere. Think about it once from their perspective.
More transparency and justice to ballot counting. Otherwise, the Saenuri Party will forever rule, remember this, Democrats~~
Then who might have done it? North Korea is such a rogue state.