Category Archives: South Korea

Obama reminds North Korea of U.S. ‘military might’

President Obama takes a closer look at North Korean gun posts in the demilitarised zone during his recent visit to South Korea.

President Barack Obama said on Saturday the United States did not use its military might to “impose things” on others, but that it would use that might if necessary to defend South Korea from any attack by the reclusive North. The North warned last month it would not rule out a “new form” of atomic test after the U.N. Security Council condemned Pyongyang’s launch of a mid-range ballistic missile into the sea east of the Korean peninsula. Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye presented a united front against North Korea at a joint news conference following their summit on Friday, warning that they would respond firmly to any “provocations” … Continue reading

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North Korea nears ‘dangerous line,’ Hagel says

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has warned North Korea it is “skating very close to a dangerous line” after weeks of saber-rattling, as northeast Asia watched for an expected missile test. “Their actions and their words have not helped defuse a combustible situation,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon. He said the United States and its allies want to see North Korean rhetoric “ratcheted down,” but if that doesn’t happen, “our country is fully prepared to deal with any contingency.” “We have every capacity to deal with any action North Korea will take to protect this country and the interests of this country and our allies,” Hagel said. American radar and … Continue reading

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U.S. commander cancels Washington trip over tensions in Korea

The U.S. commander in South Korea, General James Thurman, has cancelled a scheduled trip to Washington this week due to tensions with North Korea, a spokeswoman said on Sunday. Thurman had been due to testify before three congressional committees, where he was expected to discuss the U.S. response to threats from Pyongyang. The North’s provocations prompted a thinly veiled rebuke from China over the weekend. “Given the current situation, General Thurman will remain in Seoul next week as a prudent measure,” said Colonel Amy Hannah, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in South Korea, in an email message. The move is the latest demonstration of U.S. caution and concern after more … Continue reading

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US to boost nuclear missile defence to counter North Korea

The US plans to bolster its missile defences on the west coast to counter the threat from North Korea, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced. He said the US would add 14 interceptors, which can shoot down missiles in flight, to 30 already in place in California and Alaska by 2017. But the final phase of the US European Missile Defence programme is being scrapped to partly fund the project. Due to begin in 2022, it would have sited interceptors in eastern Europe. Mr Hagel cited a “series of irresponsible and reckless provocations” recently by North Korea. Pyongyang carried out a third nuclear test last month. A statement in North … Continue reading

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North Korea threatens war with South over U.N. sanctions

North Korea threatened to attack rival South Korea if Seoul joined a new round of tightened U.N. sanctions, as Washington unveiled more of its own economic restrictions following Pyongyang’s rocket launch last month. In a third straight day of fiery rhetoric, the North directed its verbal onslaught at its neighbour on Friday, saying: “‘Sanctions’ mean a war and a declaration of war against us.” The reclusive North this week declared a boycott of all dialogue aimed at ending its nuclear programme and vowed to conduct more rocket and nuclear tests after the U.N. Security Council censured it for a December long-range missile launch. “If the puppet group of traitors takes … Continue reading

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South Koreans elect Park Geun-hye first female president

South Koreans have for the first time elected a woman as their president. The country’s first woman president, Park Geun-hye, will have her job cut out when she takes office in February with the economy slowing; her father’s autocratic rule still an issue for many and North Korea as unpredictable as ever. Park, 60, won Wednesday’s hotly contested election comfortably. She replaces fellow conservative Lee Myung-bak after his mandatory single, five-year term ended. The slightly built and elegant Park grew up in Seoul’s presidential palace during the 18-year rule of her father, Park Chung-hee, who took power in a military coup in 1961. Park is likely to face protests by … Continue reading

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