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Park Geun Hye Slammed for Abusing Cheonan Warship Sinking Case for Confrontation with Fellow Countrymen
Pyongyang, March 29 (KCNA) -- The Park Geun Hye group is inciting confrontation with the DPRK across south Korea five years since Cheonan warship sinking case:
At a "memorial service" for Cheonan warship victims at Hyonchung Cemetery in Taejon on March 26, she said "Cheonan was torpedoed by the north" and admonished the north to "give up reckless provocation" in a foolish bid to make the "north's involvement" in the case an established fact.
She went the lengths of blowing the old trumpet of the "north's nukes dismantlement", saying "the north cannot be protected by nuclear weapons". She even took issue with the just policies and social system in the DPRK, not content with talking about "isolation", "nature" and "true change".
A spokesman for the Policy Department of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK in the answer to a question raised by newspaper Joson Inmingun on Sunday warned that Park regime's insistence on the story of the "north's involvement" in the sinking and the "May 24 step" will bring stronger curse and denunciation to the regime and make it meet the same miserable fate as traitor Lee Myung Bak did.
Spies of S. Korean IS Confess to Truth behind Their Espionage against DPRK
Pyongyang, March 26 (KCNA) -- There took place at the People's Palace of Culture on Thursday a press conference with spies of the puppet Intelligence Service of south Korea who were unmasked and arrested while perpetrating espionage against the DPRK under the manipulation of the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group.
Present there were reporters at home and those of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan and foreign correspondents.
Foreign diplomatic envoys and staff members of embassies of different countries here attended the press conference as observers.
Prior to the conference an official of the Ministry of State Security of the DPRK spoke.
He said that Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil, spies of the puppet Intelligence Service, who were unmasked and arrested while committing espionage are the heinous terrorists who worked hard to do harm to the supreme leadership of the DPRK.
North arrests South Korean 'spies'
Choe Chun-gil, one of the two South Korean detainees being held in North Korea, speaks in a news conference in Pyongyang, Thursday. / Yonhap.
By Lee Min-hyung
North Korea has detained two South Koreans on charges of spying, the regime's media has reported.
The North released photos of the pair, identified as Kim Kuk-gi and Choe Chun-gil, speaking at a news conference in Pyongyang on Thursday. Both said they had contacted North Korean peddlers, ethnic Chinese or Chinese Koreans to gather the regime's secret information.
Kim revealed that he had leaked nuclear-related data to the South and counterfeited North Korean money.
The pair said officials from the South's National Intelligence Service had bribed them.
"I apologize for committing serious crimes," Kim said. "I was informed that the North's high-ranking officials might visit China by train in 2010. And I told all the related information to the South Korean officials."
It has not been revealed how Kim was detained, but Choe said he was arrested soon after illegally entering the country.
"The vicious terrorists attempted to overturn the North's highest authority," the state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
[Editorial] Five years after Cheonan sinking, time to move toward a peaceful future
Posted on : Mar.26,2015 16:37 KST
. (by Kim Seong-gwang, staff photographer)
Mar. 26 is the fifth anniversary of the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan warship. This tragic incident - which snuffed out the lives of 46 sailors - had major ramifications.
However, we cannot simply keep saying the same things forever. Now is the time to build a relationship with North Korea that will minimize the trauma of the past and move toward a peaceful future.
However it may have happened, the sinking of the Cheonan was an incident that underscored the incompetence of the administration of the time in regard to security. After the sinking, that administration promised sweeping reforms of the military, but hardly any of those reforms have been implemented properly.
Instead, all kinds of corruption in the defense industry have come to light, and there have been frequent sex scandals and shootings. In the navy, for example, two former chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were arrested in connection with defense procurements.
This security incompetence continues to plague us in the present. The conservatives who control the government continue trying to play up security fears for their political advantage. One such attempt was when Saenuri Party (NFP) leader Kim Moo-sung said on Mar. 24 that North Korea should be regarded as a “nuclear power,” which even he admitted was a “controversial remark.” The same goes for the recent heavy use of red baiting by the ruling party.
As South Korea’s military budget increased after the sinking of the Cheonan, it became more dependent on the US for its security. Amid this sharp conflict, the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons became more severe, and the fault lines dividing the larger Northeast Asia region have become clearer. If we fail to reverse these trends, we could see another incident like the sinking of the Cheonan.
[Cheonan] [SK NK policy]
More N.Koreans Escape for Freedom Than Food
Most North Koreans who flee the country seek freedom from oppression rather than escape from hunger, according to a study by Hanawon.
The Unification Ministry's resettlement center surveyed 677 North Koreans who had resettlement training from January to March of last year, and 41.7 percent said they left the North in search of freedom.
In another poll of 598 defectors who attended Hanawon from April to June last year, 51.5 percent gave the same answer. Only 27.7 percent said they came to the South to avoid starving to death.
In the latter half of 2013, the proportion who cited freedom was 40 percent.
The findings contradict claims by some sections of South Korean society who see North Korean defectors as mainly economic migrants.
NDC Policy Department Clarifies DPRK's Principled Stand on "May 24 Step"
Pyongyang, March 24 (KCNA) -- The south Korean authorities are kicking up a noisy racket against the DPRK over the Cheonan warship sinking case which has nothing to do with it.
The warship sinking case and the "May 24 step" taken by them in its wake were a vivid manifestation of the anti-reunification acts as they were deliberately cooked up to nullify the historic June 15 joint declaration and the October 4 declaration.
But the present authorities of south Korea are still spreading the cock-and bull- story that there should be a "change in attitude of the north" such as "admission", "apology", "expression of regret" over the Cheonan case if the "step" is to be lifted.
They even absurdly call for putting the issue of lifting the "step" on the table.
A spokesman for the Policy Department of the National Defence Commission (NDC) of the DPRK issued a statement Monday to clarify its principled stand on the "May 24 step" as follows:
Firstly, we remain unchanged in our stand that the south has to immediately lift the ill-famed "step" which they cooked up under the absurd pretext of the Cheonan warship sinking case, not dragging on time. This is because the "step" is based on the fictitious story about the north's "involvement in the sinking".
Cheonan anniversary stirs debate on May 24 sanctions
By Do Je-hae
Updated : 2015-03-24 20:47
Following the 2010 deadly sinking of the frigate Cheonan off the country's west coast, South Korea slapped a package of economic penalties known as the May 24 Sanctions on Pyongyang. The measures remain a major hindrance for advancing inter-Korean dialogue.
The retaliatory steps for sinking the ship are stirring debate among politicians ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Cheonan incident. Even within the ruling Saenuri Party, key members are divided over their removal.
"There are talks of lifting the measures altogether despite the North's complete denial of responsibility for the attack," Saenuri Party floor leader Rep. Yoo Seong-min said during a meeting of senior leaders Monday. "Thinking back to the deadly attack five years ago, there is no way we can lift the sanctions as if nothing happened."
The May 24 measures ban all trading and commercial activities between the two sides except at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, and restricting additional business projects with the North.
N.Korean Defectors Ill Prepared to Face S.Korean Society
North Korean defector Lee Se-hoon (24) underwent mandatory resettlement training at the Unification Ministry's Hanawon and is preparing to enter university in South Korea. "I received three months of training at Hanawon, but nothing I learned was of use in the outside world," Lee said. "The things we were taught were so impractical that we had a tough time doing things by ourselves later," he added. "I learned more on my own in a week in the outside world than what I was taught during my three months at Hanawon."
Defector Kim Gwang-hyuk (29), said, "At Hanawon, we are taught that we could make between W3 million to W5 million a month if we work hard (US$1=W1,116)." Kim added, "We end up with false hopes that we will be able to bring our remaining family members over from the North if we work for two to three months, but end up having those dreams dashed once we encounter the real situation."
[Refugee reception] [Defector]
Activist to suspend anti-NK leaflet campaign
By Yi Whan-woo
The leader of an anti-North Korean activist group said Monday that the organization will suspend sending propaganda leaflets attached to balloons into the repressive state amid worries over possible retaliation from Pyongyang.
Park Sang-hak, a defector-turned activist who leads the Fighters for a Free North Korea (FFNK), said that the organization will not send balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for the time being.
He also said that the FFNK and its coalition groups scrapped a plan this week to drop DVDs and USB sticks holding "The Interview" movie into North Korea.
N.Korea Threatens to Shoot Down Propaganda Balloons
North Korea on Saturday threatened to shoot down balloons carrying propaganda leaflets from activist groups in South Korea.
"All the firepower strike means of the frontline units of the [People's Army] will launch without prior warning... to blow up balloons," the regime said in a warning quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency.
The North said the balloons, which also carry DVDs of the caper "The Interview" about an assassination attempt of leader Kim Jong-un as well as anti-communist leaflets, "deliberately [escalate] tension on the Korean Peninsula where the situation has reached the brink of war."
The North warned any attempts to stop it from shooting down the balloons would lead to follow-up attacks and advised South Koreans living near the border areas to evacuate.
KPA Will Blow up Balloons Carrying Anti-DPRK Leaflets: Open Notice of KPA Frontline Units
Pyongyang, March 22 (KCNA) -- The frontline units of the Korean People's Army made public an open notice Saturday which said:
The south Korean puppet authorities are egging despicable confrontational villains on to flock to the areas along the Military Demarcation Line and scatter leaflets slandering the DPRK.
A few days ago, a group of hooligans more dead than alive who belong to the ultra-right conservative organizations such as the "Alliance for the Movement of Free North" announced they would get balloon-borne anti-DPRK leaflets numbering 500 000 and thousands of DVDs scattered in the air above the DPRK before and after the upcoming March 26th, the 5th anniversary of the sinking of Cheonan warship even with the U.S. "Human Rights Foundation" involved.
It is the height of hostility that the south Korean puppet forces still misuse the warship sinking case, that has long been branded as the unprecedented hideous conspiratorial farce, for escalating confrontation with the DPRK by linking the case with it.
They are mulling scattering DVDs and USBs containing "The Interview", a reactionary film that has been censured worldwide for seriously hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK. This is the gravest politically-motivated provocation against the DPRK and a de facto declaration of a war against it.
Their reckless acts are aimed at deliberately escalating tension on the Korean peninsula where the situation has reached the brink of a war due to Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint war rehearsals.
KCNA Commentary Censures "Human Scum Who Defected from North"
Pyongyang, March 16 (KCNA) -- The "defectors from the north" are human scum who betrayed the country and its people and abandoned even elementary conscience and moral obligation as human being. They are taking the lead in the anti-DPRK smear campaign.
It is a sin for anyone to flee the motherland that brought up and took care of him. It is the thrice-cursed crime to speak ill of the motherland by cooking up sheer lies for a petty amount of money.
One of those betes noires is Choe Ju Hwal who is going reckless with the campaign as chairman of the "Fellowship Society of Defectors from the North" in south Korea.
As far as he is concerned, he lost his father at the hands of U.S. imperialists and class enemies during the Korean war.
The country, therefore, brought him up with deep loving care. He was obliged to live up to this benevolence.
However, he is serving the enemies who killed his father. Can a human being behave so ungratefully?
KCNA Commentary Discloses True Colors of Representative of Anti-DPRK Internet Paper
Pyongyang, March 16 (KCNA) -- All "defectors from the north" are betes noires bereft of elementary dignity as human beings as they serve the U.S. and the south Korean puppet authorities in their anti-DPRK smear campaigns for a petty amount of money paid by them.
As already reported, Jang Jin Song claiming to be representative of the internet paper New Focus is a habitual criminal who is steeped in immorality to the marrow of his bones.
Thanks to the benevolence of the socialist system of the DPRK, Jang graduated from Pyongyang University of Music and Dance. However, he did not work well but habitually made sexual abuses against women to be detained for 13 times.
He continued leading a corrupt and degenerated life to be a target of social criticism. He was so lewd and depraved guy that even his mother-in-law, wife and all others did not treat him as a human being.
He embezzled other people's money and goods with sheer lies and frauds and even illegally obtained state properties.
He fled the country and his family and changed his name in a bid to eke out his living. He now dares take the lead in the smear campaign against the DPRK, fearing no punishment from Heaven.
Such despicable guys and traitors as Jang adding to his crimes deserve severe punishment. They are doomed to be forlorn wandering spirits.
It is foolish, indeed, for the U.S. and the south Korean authorities to seek to hurt the DPRK by bringing together such dregs of society and tricksters.
More N.Korean Defectors Driven to Crime
A North Korean defector from North Hamgyong Province was given a prison sentence after getting caught smuggling drugs into South Korea from China last year.
The 38-year-old had looked in vain for a job and was desperate for money when she was approached by another defector who tempted her with the chance of some quick cash.
The defector told police she needed money to feed herself and felt rejected by South Korean society.
More defectors end up in prison here every year. In 2011 there were 51 defectors behind bars here, but that had risen to 97 in the first half of last year. Crimes range from drug possession, fraud and embezzlement to assault and murder.
A police officer said, "Defectors tend to be vulnerable to crime because they are often poor and face discrimination."
Defectors are also easy targets for criminals. According to the Korean Institute of Criminology, 23.4 percent of North Korean defectors have fallen victim to fraud, compared to the South Korean average of just 0.5 percent.
[Defectors] [Refugee reception]
Park's Approval Rating Recovers to Over 40%
President Park Geun-hye's approval rating has returned to the 40-percent range for the first time in nine weeks.
A Realmeter poll released Monday put Park's approval rating at 42.8 percent, up 3.5 percentage points from the previous week.
She peaked at 46.1 percent on March 10, the day after she visited U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert in hospital after he was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. That was a 5.5 percentage point rise from the previous week in Incheon and a 5.1 percentage point rise in the conservative strongholds of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.
The rise was especially high among people in their 60s or above (up 6.3 points) and in their 30s (up four points).
The ruling Saenuri Party had the highest approval rating of 39.1 percent, up 1.8 points from the previous week and maintaining the lead for the third consecutive week.
The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy also saw its approval rating rise 2.3 points to 30.4 percent.
Realmeter polled 2,500 adults across the nation last week.
[Park Geun-hye] [Public Opinion] [Anti-Americanism] [North Wind]
People Smugglers Tie N.Korean Defectors into Crippling Debt
North Korean defector Kim Young-mi crossed the frozen Duman River early last year with her husband and daughter. But waiting on this side of the border were tens of millions of won in debt owed to the brokers who smuggled them out.
After the mandatory adjustment program at the Unification Ministry's Hanawon resettlement center, Kim and her family were given a lump sum of W18 million (US$1=W1,110) -- W6 million per person -- to help them settle in the South.
But every last won went to paying the brokers and she still owes them W10 million.
"I thought my life here would be like a TV soap where everyone lives happily ever after," Kim said. "But the minute we stepped out of Hanawon, I found myself already chin-deep in debt with no idea how to repay it."
Conservative economist calls for a “Miracle on the Daedong River”
Posted on : Mar.12,2015 17:00 KST
Jwa Sung-hee, a professor at Yeungnam University’s Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul
Professor argues for an economic development method that would allow the North’s leaders to keep firm grip on power
A conservative economist is raising eyebrows with his calls to recognize the North Korean regime and transplant the “development dictatorship” ideas of Park Chung-hee there to achieve a “Miracle on the Daedong River.” The Daedong passes through Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city, similar to how the Han passes through Seoul.
The message from Jwa Sung-hee, a professor at Yeungnam University’s Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul, stands in sharp contrast with those of other South Korean right-wing conservatives stressing the eventual collapse of the Pyongyang regime.
Jwa’s message comes as part of a presentation delivered at a debate titled “A New Paradigm for a Unified Korea: From the ‘Miracle on the Han’ to the ‘Miracle on the Daedong.’” The event, organized by the National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC), is taking place on the afternoon of Mar. 12 at the Korea Press Center in Seoul.
Jwa, a former director of the Federation of Korean Industries-affiliated Korea Economic Research Institute, has consistently advocated right-wing free market principles, including the abolition of state regulations on corporations.
Behind masks, guerilla-style groups scattering leaflets critical of Pres. Park
Posted on : Mar.3,2015 17:13 KST
Modified on : Mar.3,2015 17:22 KST
With more prosecutions for defamation, for four consecutive days, groups making their criticisms on the streets instead of online
Day in and day out, thousands of leaflets bashing President Park Geun-hye are being scattered across downtown Seoul. Over the four days from Feb. 25 to Feb. 28, the leaflets were strewn across the streets around the Blue House, as well as high-traffic areas of Seoul including Gangnam, Myeongdong, and Sinchon.
Risking criticism for paying excessive concern to the president’s feelings, the police are investigating the case as unauthorized entry into buildings and littering, a misdemeanor. So far, though, the police have failed to even determine who is creating and scattering the leaflets.
The only information about the identity of the makers is a phrase that appears on the leaflets: “Citizens Concerned about Democracy.” Organizations who have distributed similar leaflets in the past denied their involvement, explaining that they do not distribute leaflets anonymously.
[Park Geun-hye] [Repression] [Activism]
Did attacker really try to set up a memorial altar for Kim Jong-il?
Posted on : Mar.12,2015 16:56 KST
Kim Ki-jong, alleged attacked of US Ambassador Mark Lippert, is wheeled into Seoul Central District Court in Seocho district to be questioned before his arrest warrant is issued, Mar. 6. (by Shin So-young, staff photographer)
Police had been using alleged altar activity to charge Kim Ki-jong with violating the National Security Law
Claims are emerging that Kim Ki-jong, 55, currently detained after his attack on US Ambassador Mark Lippert, was not connected with an attempt to set up a memorial altar for late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2011, contradicting earlier claims made by the police.
While the police have been citing Kim’s alleged attempt to build an altar as the main grounds for investigating allegations that he violated the National Security Law, they now need to figure out whether he actually tried to build the altar.
[Anti-Americanism] [North Wind] [NSL]
Unification body leader denies NK assimilation bid
By Yi Whan-woo
Chung Jong-wook, a vice chairman of the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, has come under criticism for hinting on Tuesday that South Korea is taking unilateral absorption of North Korean into consideration.
Chung denied the remarks Thursday, saying that peaceful unification is the only means to bring together the divided Korean Peninsula.
"There is no team under the committee that is preparing for unification by absorption or studying similar methods," he said in keynote speech at a forum in Seoul.
Chung also told reporters that he had used an inappropriate choice of words in his previous remarks.
"The committee revised multiple roadmaps for unification, and peaceful unification is the only choice to bring the two Koreas together," he said.
Most Defectors Suffer from Depression
Some 20.5 percent of North Korean defectors here had suicidal thoughts in the past year, according to a survey of 1,785 defectors by the Korea Hana Foundation, which helps them settle here.
The proportion is more than three times higher than South Korea's already high average of 6.8 percent. A National Assembly audit in 2012 also concluded that the suicide rate among defectors is about three times higher than the average here.
Peaceful unification only way for uniting Koreas: official
A peaceful unification based on consensus is the only way sought by South Korea to reunify with the North, an official said Thursday, disavowing his earlier remarks indicating Seoul's push for forced unification.
Chung Chong-wook, a vice chairman of the presidential committee tasked with preparing for possible unification with North Korea, came under fire after saying in a local speech earlier this week that under the wing of the committee is a separate team preparing for reunification by absorption.
His comments sharply run counter to the government's long-held position that it ruled out a unilateral absorption of the North Korean regime as a way of reunification.
[Unification] [Absorption] [Spin]
More Defectors Turn Away from S.Korea
A growing number of North Korean defectors return to their repressive home country or move to China as they find it difficult to adjust to life in the capitalist South.
According to the Unification Ministry, only one defector returned to the North in 2000, but that increased to seven in 2012 and six in 2013.
There is no accurate estimate of the number of defectors with South Korean passports who are drifting from one country to another, but many are believed to be engaged in business with the North in China or working as brokers to get other North Koreans out of the reclusive state.
Anti-Park leaflets found in Gwangju
By Jung Min-ho
Hundreds of leaflets critical of President Park Geun-hye were found on trails near a reservoir in Gwangju, police said Monday.
The discovery came as police are investigating who was responsible for similar leaflets found in other cities, including Seoul, Daegu and Busan, in recent weeks.
According to Gwangju Seobu Police Station, police collected some 300 leaflets in western Gwangju after receiving a call at 6:50 a.m. The leaflets contain an image of the President wearing a kimono.
[Repression] [Park Geun-hye]
Terror Attack Can't Shake S.Korea's Partnership with U.S.
The U.S. ambassador was attacked by an assailant armed with a knife in downtown Seoul in broad daylight. Ambassador Mark Lippert was about to deliver a speech at a breakfast forum when a 56-year-old activist, who had attempted to assault the Japanese ambassador back in 2010, lunged at him. Lippert sustained serious wounds to his face and arm and was rushed to hospital.
Afterwards, attacker Kim Ki-jong shouted slogans demanding an end to the South Korea-U.S. joint military drills. Kim apparently visited North Korea six times in the mid-2000s and in 2007 attempted to set himself on fire in front of Cheong Wa Dae.
U.S. Ambassador Wins Outpouring of Support
U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert is receiving an outpouring of support from the Korean public as he recovers in hospital after an attack by a knife-wielding extremist in Seoul last week.
One university student said, "I thought the ambassador's self-professed love of Korea was just lip service, but I became his fan when I saw him deal bravely with the pain and voice his firm resolve to bolster bilateral relations following surgery."
Some 600 messages of support in both Korean and English have been posted on his official blog since the attack.
Police investigating Lippert attacker’s N. Korea-related activities
Posted on : Mar.9,2015 15:51 KST
Modified on : Mar.9,2015 15:58 KST
Attacker appears to have acted without support, but police checking whether he “praised” North Korea
Police take books and documents from the offices of Woori Madang during a search and seizure operation as part of their investigation into Kim Ki-jong, alleged attacker of US Ambassador Mark Lippert, in Seoul’s Seodaemun district, Mar. 6. (by Lee Jeong-yong, staff photographer)
Police investigating possible motives and support in Kim Ki-jong’s stabbing attack against US ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert are focusing on proving violations of the National Security Law.
The security law-related charges again Kim, 55, appear intended as a stepping stone at a time when President Park Geun-hye and the ruling Saenuri Party are clamoring for an investigation of possible accomplices.
Police announced on Mar. 8 that they had requested an expert examination for thirty books and other items “suspected of possible enemy aid” among 219 personal effects of Kim’s seized on Mar. 6. The items included a copy of “On the Art of the Cinema” by late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, other North Korea-related pamphlets, the publication “Course of the Nation” by the South Korean headquarters of the Pan-Korean Alliance for Reunification (PKAR), and a book titled “Lectures on Political Philosophy” with content about North Korea’s juche ideology.
Police explained that they had requested the examination from a university research institution with master’s and doctoral-level students of North Korean studies.
[Anti-Americanism] [North Wind] [NSL]
S. Korean winemakers struggle for their piece of the alcohol market
Posted on : Mar.8,2015 07:47 KST
The domestic market is dominated by soju and beer, and most wines are imported, due to high production costs in Korea
South Korean winemakers have a long, hard path to carve, not least because the domestic wine market itself is so small.
In 2013, the entire alcohol market in South Korea was worth 8.81 trillion won (US$8.02 billion), but fermented fruit beverages - a category that includes wine - only accounted for a paltry 125.5 billion won (US$114.17 million), or 1.4% of the total.
Even worse, wine that is made in South Korea is only estimated to pull in 15 billion won (US$13.65 million) in revenue, which represents just 0.17% of the total alcohol market in the country.
N.Korea Warns of 'Blitzkrieg' to Finish Off South
North Korea on Thursday warned it would finish any war on the Korean Peninsula in three days and turn South Korea into a nuclear wasteland.
The threat comes amid massive annual South Korea-U.S. military exercises.
In an article entitled "A reunification war will be a blitzkrieg" on Thursday, the North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri said, "If a blitzkrieg should occur, it will be finished in just a few days."
North Korean soldiers cheer for war in this photo released by Rodong Simun on March 11, 2013. North Korean soldiers cheer for war in this photo released by Rodong Simun on March 11, 2013.
"Once given orders, North Korean artillery will rain 120,000 rounds at a time over the South, and its special troops can pulverize South Korean bases of the Air Force, the Navy, radars, and missiles in rear areas," it added.
It also threatened to tear down "concrete barriers" with a single miniaturized nuclear weapon and clear the way for troops to march south.
The whole of South Korea with its large population, industrial complexes and nuclear power plants will be reduced to rubble, it warned.
Meanwhile, the North reportedly staged an air defense drill in Pyongyang on Feb. 26-28 in response to the South Korea-U.S. exercises.
Evacuation and blackout drills were carried out, a source said Thursday. "Tanks and armored vehicles were mobilized at night, and the roaring vehicles made so much noise that Pyongyang citizens couldn't sleep."
[Joint US military] [Response] [Warning] [Conditionality]
S. Korea slams North for backing assailant
Kim Ki-jong, the suspect in a knife attack Thursday on U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert, is taken to a police car on his way to Seoul Central District Court for a hearing on the prosecution's request for an arrest warrant for him, Friday. / Yonhap
By Jun Ji-hye
The government slammed North Korea on Friday for standing by an assailant who attacked U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert with a 25-centimeter knife, leaving him with serious injuries to his face and hand.
"The government strongly criticizes North Korea for distorting the true nature of this incident and supporting it," Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said at a press briefing.
Lim pointed out that the reclusive state's support for the shocking knife attack demonstrates the insincerity of its claim that it is against terrorism.
On Thursday, the North said through its official news agency, the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), that Lippert deserved "such an attack."
The remarks were made hours after the ambassador was slashed on his face and arm with a knife wielded by Kim Ki-jong, 55, an anti-U.S. activist, during a breakfast forum in Seoul.
The KCNA said, "The attack reflects the mindset of South Korean people against extremely dangerous joint military drills amid growing anti-American sentiment there."
[Joint US military]
Na urges multiple NK approaches
By Kim Hyo-jin
Rep. Na Kyung-won
The chairwoman of the National Assembly Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee urged the government to hold new closed-door talks with North Korea, amid strained inter-Korean relations.
"We need to put more effort into narrowing the gap between South and North Korea through closed-door talks," Rep. Na Kyung-won of the ruling Saenuri party said during a radio interview, Monday.
"I encourage the government to have a forward-looking attitude on inter-Korean relations with the leverage of both open and closed talks," she added.
Na, 51, a three-term lawmaker, became the first chairwoman to lead the committee, Thursday.
She vowed to get the Assembly to play a leading role in laying the groundwork for inter-Korean unification.
Na cited the need to lift the so-called "May 24 sanctions," which ban all trading and commercial activities between the two sides except at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex. Pyongyang has demanded the sanctions be lifted before there is any inter-Korean dialogue.
"We should approach the issue with a more flexible attitude," she said. "The government may need to lift the sanctions in order to achieve the goal it set in inter-Korean relations."
Regarding North Korea policy, Na pointed to a lack of cooperation between the parties involved. "Voices of ministries, Cheong Wa Dae and neighboring countries have not been tuned well," she said.
She added that the unification ministry should take the lead in such efforts.
[SK NK policy] [Engagement] [Sanctions]
C.C., DFRK Sends Appeal to Compatriots in South
Pyongyang, March 1 (KCNA) -- The Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea issued an appeal to the compatriots of the south on Sunday, the 96th anniversary of the March 1 Popular Uprising.
The appeal said that the uprising was a nation-wide anti-Japanese patriotic resistance as Koreans courageously turned out in the struggle of justice to win back the dignity of the nation and the sovereignty of the country after it was deprived of its sovereignty by the Japanese imperialists' brutal occupation.
Through the heroic March 1 Popular Uprising, the Korean nation demonstrated before the whole world that it was the nation strong in independence with indomitable stamina and ardent patriotic spirit of braving any sacrifice to win back the sovereignty of the country, the appeal said, adding:
But the gangster-like U.S. imperialists, which had landed in south Korea, partitioned the land of golden tapestry into two parts, though the Korean nation was delighted at the liberation of the country and rejoiced over the building of an independent and sovereign state.
[News analysis] Pres. Park names NIS director as her new Chief of Staff
Posted on : Feb.28,2015 16:37 KST
President Park Geun-hye appoints Lee Byung-kee as director of the National Intelligence Service at the Blue House, July 18, 2014. (Blue House photo pool)
Lee Byung-kee was chosen for his perceived skills as a communicator, but choice still still out of touch with public sentiment
President Park Geun-hye named National Intelligence Service (NIS) director Lee Byung-kee on Feb. 27 as her new Blue House Chief of Staff.
Lee’s appointment comes 46 days after the replacement of previous Chief of Staff Kim Ki-choon was announced at Park’s New Year’s press conference on Jan. 12.
Reactions from those involved in politics were mixed. Some saw Park’s pick as a reflection of the public mood, with Lee seen as a rational presence who values communication. Others criticized Park for once again showing her reliance on a narrow recruitment pool by picking a longtime associate who had been in his NIS director position for just seven months.
[Park Geun-hye] [NIS]
Police grasping for laws to prosecute anyone who criticizes Pres. Park
Posted on : Feb.25,2015 15:41 KST
Modified on : Feb.26,2015 16:15 KST
A leaflet with a caricature of President Park Geun-hye, hundreds of which were put up on a street near Busan City Hall on Feb. 12. On the half-A4 poster is image of Park wearing a kimono, traditional Japanese attire with the Sewol ferry sinking behind her. The leaflet also has text saying, “Those 7 hours?”, an allusion to the seven hours on Apr. 16, the day of the Sewol sinking, that Park was unaccounted for.
In a few cases nationwide, citizens that scattered critical leaflets are facing a range of questionable charges
It was about 2:45 pm on Feb. 16, outside the office of the Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province branch of the Saenuri Party in Daegu. Byeon Hong-cheol, 46, scattered a few dozen leaflets containing criticism of President Park Geun-hye.
The leaflets accused Park’s administration of carrying out a witch hunt against people accused of being pro-North Korea and attacked the National Intelligence Service (NIS) for interfering in the 2012 presidential election.
A few minutes later, Byeon collected all the leaflets he had scattered and went home. “My original objective was not distributing the leaflets but rather doing something symbolic, a kind of performance,” he explained.
[Repression] [Park Geun-hye]
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