North Korea Fires Missiles on Fourth Anniversary of Cheonan

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).

NK missile

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.]

Meursault:

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.]

스나이퍼:

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.

미친세상:

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.

북어의심장:

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.

Django_:

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?

푸른 소나무:

I would say it wasn’t an attack! I’ll give you credit if you execute the submarine captain.

정치깡패노빠:

According to legitimate sources, the whole world already knows that the sinking was manipulated.

SODA:

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.

전해:

In South Korea, you win a badge for being beaten up, and losing ships and a bunch of soldiers.

골든이글:

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.

김순태:

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.

이천맨:

More transparency and justice to ballot counting. Otherwise, the Saenuri Party will forever rule, remember this, Democrats~~

OSS검은제복:

Then who might have done it? North Korea is such a rogue state.

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  • Paulistano

    It’s REALLY funny that south koreans don’t defend South Korea, their own country. OR, KoreaBang is manipulating information source here.

    I think almost every country in the world believes that inciddent where a south korean ship was sunk is due to North Korea actions. A military ship does not sink itself in the middle of the sea, something hit them: It was a submarine torpedo or a naval mine. I, personally, doubt it was a naval mine.

    This is something VERY crazy, I’m starting to think that these comments are made by north koreans spies in South korea AND hackers in North Korea. Trere is NO logic a south korean can possibly support North Korea more than South Korea since South Korea is a thousand better than North Korea. North Korea is basically a falied state that necessery need to beg resources to China and food to the world and if they the world don’t give attention, ooohhhhhhhhh. ”I will blow Murica Evil with my A-Bomb here, so give me attention and aid, sucker”

    • wrle

      This is article was from DAUM… full of stupid korean netizens, similar to yahoo japan.

    • Insomnicide

      Living conditions and government principles are two different things.
      These netizens are probably lamenting the coverups and spinelessness of their own government, using North Korea as an example of self-reliance and strength.

    • daum

      Few days ago a higher up from National Intelligence Service attempted suicide and ended up in critical state in hospital. He took part in case against a politician who’s been charged with spying for North Korea if I remember well but he got insulted by prosecutor and contacted some journalist. In the interview he said that South Korea is loses in information war with North…

      Pretty interesting, isn’t it?

      • Chucky3176

        That is an interesting case in itself. I have not made up my mind if the charges are true or not because there are so many conflicting factors. The man charged, is an ethnic Han Chinese from North Korea, who pretended to be a North Korean defector. He hid his real identity to come to South Korea and receive substantial welfare payments entitled to North Korean settlers in South Korea. He also attended South Korean university, earned a degree, and was hired as a civil servant in charge of information regarding North Korean defectors in South Korea. He was charged in 2012 by the NIS, after being flagged for going back and forth between North Korea and China in 2006, The accused attempted to bring his younger sister to South Korea, disguised as a North Korean defector. All North Korean defectors are isolated first and interviewed by the NIS. They picked up inconsistencies in her story and discovered that her entire family held Chinese PRC citizenship who had lived in North Korea, which raised suspicions. By South Korean law, PRC citizens are not eligible to receive welfare and automatic citizenship. Further investigation led to the woman admitting that her brother was a North Korean spy. The NIS accused the man of spying for North Korea and handing over the information of North Korean defectors to North Korea. In a press conference, his sister now denied that her brother was a spy and that her admittance was done under duress. The accused man also admitted that he hid his ethnic identity to come to South Korea, but denied he was a spy. He challenged the documents provided by the NIS for evidence in court, saying they were forged. Subsequent investigation revealed the immigration documents that were gotten by the NIS from the PRC government, that were presented as evidence of the man going back and forth between North Korea and China, were full of errors leading to the charges of forgery. On the other hand, another set of original documents that were resent by the Chinese government, also had serious errors – which leads to the belief that the computer system in the Chinese immigration department were not accurate.

        To conclude the long story in short, the man was found not guilty last month. But found guilty for hiding his PRC citizenship and immigration violations. He is fighting deportation in court, and also trying to clear his name. It’s hard to say if he was really guilty or not. His whereabouts in 2006 are still in question, and the evidences are not conclusive due to the spotty record of the Chinese immigration documents. And if he lied about his PRC citizenship, isn’t there a possibility that he’s hiding something else? Or he could be that he’s really innocent, and his hiding his citizenship is what lead to bigger trouble for him.

    • Doge Wallace

      “[Note that Daum is normally dominated by anti-Saenuri netizens. Popular opinions shown here are not necessarily accepted on other Korean websites.]”

      Also – if you’ve been reading comments lately about US and Russia-Crimea, Americans don’t “defend” the US, either.

      Interesting times.

      • Doge Wallace

        BTW, it’s not conclusive that NK was responsible for the Cheonan sinking.

  • Ryan Kim

    I’m betting either a U.S or South Korean sub sunk the Cheonan.

    • Paulistano

      Source?

      I’m betting god Zeus was furious due to koreans invented the world first than him and blew off with his Blitzkrieg-Thunder!!!

      But don’t worry, I asked to Zeus myself the facts so my bet is the right one here!!!!

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Someone wants attention.

  • Peter Old

    The fact that U.S.-ROK-Japan are holding “trilateral talks” furthers my belief that the DPRK is being used to legitimise U.S. military presence in the region.

    I would say the major motivation for “concluding” the DPRK responsible for the Cheonan incident, while the evidence is debatable, was to maintain U.S. presence in Okinawa.

    Prime Minister Hatoyama had promised the Japanese people to close down MCAS Futenma. After the Cheonan incident, he made a deal with Obama for the U.S. to retain the base for security reasons. This was his primary reason for his soon-to-follow resignation.

    How can we preach values of democracy, freedom and justice – when there is insufficient evidence to blame the DPRK? I’m not saying it wasn’t the DPRK – that is a credible possibility. But the evidence does not warrant the weight of the damaging claim.

    I don’t consider the JIG report is credible since the U.S., Britain and Australia have a very tight military alliance. Sweden was the only neutral country contributing to the report; and importantly, unlike the aforementioned countries, did not sign agreement to the conclusions of the report. (Only to the Swedish contribution – the ship running aground theory).

  • Insomnicide

    The most hilarious thing is that it’ll be American netizens, not South Koreans that will get worked up the most over this.

  • commander

    North Korea is an enigma. Few in the world can confidently explain what’s going on. Even its main ally China has been notified of serious developments like nuclear tests or missile launching right before or after they happened.

    Presumably even the NSA in the United States–whose former contractor Snowden took the world by surprise disclosing what he sees as a massive illegal surveillance targetting Americans and people around the globe–may have little information about Pyongyang.

    The failure to collect intelligence on North Korea, except for testimonies from North Korean defectors fleeing bloody suppression there, may be blamed on an irony fact that the Stalinist nation is one of the world’s least connected countries.

    So, what can we learn from the latest missile launches?

    Media outlets say that a series of missile tests are seen as a protest against annual Korea-U.S. joint military drills, and as sending a message that the comminist state will not be daunted by a facade of unity between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo, which have been patched up by Mr. Obama.

    Another message can be read from the missile launching especially to its primary economic benefactor China.

    Well aware of its geopolitical significance to China as a bumper state, North Korea has gained economic aids from Beijing where skepiticsm has recently mushroomed that the wayward ally is more of a liability to regional stability, the North are eager to secure more aid from China but teasingly reluctant to follow in China’s steps: Deng Xiaping’s landmark policy of reform and opening.

    Part of the reason North Korea is unwilling to get along the path China has treaded is its fear that it may turn into an economic vassal state or an economic province of China, along with the prospect of North Korean people under propaganda-induced delusion getting disenchanted and staging an uprising to the regime’s collapse.

    Recently the reunification of two Koreas has become the buzzword mainly thanks to South Korean President’s Park Geun-hye’z initiative to prepare for a reunified Korea.

    But given North Korea’z stream of amred provocations and absense of consensus on the way the South Korea deals with the North and the reunification is achieved, Ms. Park’s audacious but lacking-in-feasibility vision may go up in smoke, falling on the deaf ear of North Korea, which suspects it as another gambit to have an upper hand in negotiations or political maneuvers to knock down its regime, along with “American imperialists.”

  • David

    hmmmm

  • The Real Truth

    Those Daum posters are mind-bogglingly ignorant. Perhaps they should be deported to North Korea without papers.

  • Mighty曹

    I really want to see what damage these deadly North Korean rockets can inflict.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kim-puter Mr Kim

      I tremble of in awe of their advanced military technology! They will demolish our innocent wheat fields without a second thought! ㅋㅋㅋ.

      • Mighty曹

        I was also awestruck by their ‘drones’ recently discovered in SK. Much more advanced than the model planes I built when I was 6 years old.

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