North Korea threatens to attack South if ships searched
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Posted 5/27/09
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSSEO14165620090527

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, facing international censure for this week's nuclear test, threatened on Wednesday to attack the South after it joined a U.S.-led plan to check vessels suspected of carrying equipment for weapons of mass destruction.

In Moscow, news agencies quoted an official as saying that Russia is taking precautionary security measures because it fears mounting tensions over the test could escalate to war.

Adding to mounting tension in the region, South Korean media reported that Pyongyang had restarted a plant that makes plutonium that can be used in nuclear bombs.

North Korea's latest threat came after Seoul announced, following the North's nuclear test on Monday, it was joining the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, launched under the George W. Bush administration as a part of its "war on terror."

"Any hostile act against our peaceful vessels including search and seizure will be considered an unpardonable infringement on our sovereignty and we will immediately respond with a powerful military strike," a North Korean army spokesman was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency.

He reiterated that the North was no longer bound by an armistice signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War because Washington had ignored its responsibility as a signatory by drawing Seoul into the anti-proliferation effort.

The U.N. Security Council is discussing ways to punish Pyongyang for Monday's test, widely denounced as a major threat to regional stability and which brings the reclusive North closer to having a reliable nuclear bomb.

Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed security source as saying a stand-off triggered by Pyongyang's nuclear test on Monday could affect the security of Russia's far eastern regions, which border North Korea.

"We are not talking about stepping up military efforts but rather about measures in case a military conflict, perhaps with the use of nuclear weapons, flares up on the Korean Peninsula," the source said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who called him on Wednesday, that Russia would work with Seoul on a new U.N. Security Council resolution and to revive international talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.

INVESTOR RISK

Seoul shares closed lower with traders saying the latest rumblings underscored the risks for investors stemming from troubles along the Cold War's last frontier. The main index has fallen 3 percent this week. The won currency was also down.

The nuclear test has raised concern about Pyongyang spreading weapons to other countries or groups. Washington has accused it of trying try to sell nuclear know-how to Syria and others.

The rival Koreas fought two deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002 near a disputed maritime border off their west coast and the North has threatened in the past year to strike South Korean vessels in those Yellow Sea waters.

Analysts say Pyongyang's military grandstanding is partly aimed at tightening leader Kim Jong-il's grip on power to better engineer his succession and divert attention from a weak economy, which has fallen into near ruin since he took over in 1994.
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27 / F / California
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Posted 5/27/09
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28 / F / Austin, Texas
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Posted 5/29/09
That's why I'm following N. Korea's president on Twitter. Yes, he's on Twitter.

That attention whore of Kim Jong iL talks too much BS, and does nothing. But, if he's really up to something this time, he'd better be destroyed.
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Posted 6/6/09
I swear, this guy is modern day Stalin. He needs a good education from a Catholic nun.
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