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October 6, 2013

Wikinews interviews specialists on South Korea military parade

Wikinews interviews specialists on South Korea military parade

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

File photo of South Korean military troops.
Image: US Military.

On Tuesday, South Korea staged a huge military parade to mark its armed forces’ 65th anniversary in a display of long-range missiles considered a direct threat to North Korea. 11,000 troops and 190 different weapons systems were on display in the parade. Wikinews interviewed several specialists about the parade’s possible significance.

Interviewees

Wikinews interviewed:

  • Robert Kelly, Associate Professor of International Relations Pusan National University (PNU) in South Korea
  • Margaret Kosal, Assistant Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Gari Ledyard, Professor Emeritus of Korean Studies at Columbia University, New York
  • Sue Mi Terry, Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University in New York
  • Young-hae Chi, Instructor in Korean at the University of Oxford, England
  • Seungkwon You, Associate Teaching Professor of Korean Studies at the University of Missouri

Wikinews Q&A

File:Robert Kelly File Photo.JPG

File photo of interviewee Robert Kelly.
Image: Robert Kelly.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What is your job role?

Kelly: I am a Professor of International Relations at PNU.
Kosal: I am an Assistant Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, more commonly known as “Georgia Tech.” I also direct the Emerging Technology and Security Program and the Biological and Chemical Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism Program.
Ledyard: I retired from my professorship at Columbia thirteen years ago; since then I’ve had no role. When I was active there since 1964, I taught Korean history and culture, emphasizing the traditional periods of Korea’s earlier history. In those years I wrote a few articles on contemporary political issues but my research has been almost all in Korea’s past.
Terry: I am a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute.
Chi: I have been teaching Korean studies at Oxford University. I am specialized in international relations of the Far East and particularly North Korean human rights and refugee issues. I worked as an analyst of security issues at the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses in Seoul between 1983 and 1988 authoring a number of policy papers for the South Korean Government.
You: Associate Teaching Professor of Korean Studies teaching Korean Unification, Korean film, Korean society [at the University of Missouri].

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is the display of cruise missiles and other weapons in a military parade by South Korea in direct response to repeated similar North Korean parades?

Kelly: Yes. I don’t actually think these sorts of demonstrations are proper in a democracy. Liberal states should not really be flashing their hardware in a strutting, provocative way like this. This is the sort of thing Putin would do. But SK’s [South Korea’s] case is rather exceptional. NK [North Korea] tries pretty regularly to bully SK, and as its nuclear and missile programs advance, SK deterrence become ever more important. So parades like this are a way of SK saying ‘don’t mess with us even though you have nukes.’

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye with United States President Barack Obama.
Image: White House.

Kosal: The “display” was multi-functional. It shows the modern, indigenous conventional military capabilities of the South Korean forces. It was also to credibly communicate — literally show to the North — possession of an adequate deterrent force, a force that is both capable and credible. The underlying capacity supports the newly announced bilateral tailored deterrence strategy between South Korea and the United States. The military parade served to transparently show, in a largely passive/non-offensive/non-reactionary way, the capacity to follow through on that strategy that is directed at North Korea’s offensive nuclear weapons, offensive chemical weapons, and offensive biological weapons programs rather than a more general deterrence strategy. There is much more to a tailored deterrence strategy, but that is one part of it. The specific declaratory policy highlights South Korea’s responsibility to “continue to build reliable inter-operable response capabilities and to develop the Korean Air and Missile Defense system.” These are largely passive defense measures to minimize the effects of a North Korean offensive attack and to reduce vulnerability of South Korean forces and civilians. It’s part of the overall strategic defense posture.
While not commonly observed in the US, parades like this are not atypical for East Asia, particularly in conjunction with significant anniversaries. In this case, the parade also marked the 65th anniversary of the Republic of Korea [South Korea] Armed Forces. In addition to the international visibility, it also serves South Korean domestic politics and advances South Korean President Park Geun-hye‘s own strong national security policies.
Ledyard: It could very well be, but I have no knowledge regarding it. It has long been routine for both Koreas to compete in the headlines.
Terry: President Park is trying to make it clear to the North that this time, under her watch, Seoul is now serious about responding to future provocations by the North. South Korea’s display of its missiles is meant to deter the North, to show the North that any provocation in the future would be met with strong retaliation.
Chi: The institution of the military parade has been a regular feature of the Armed Forces’ Day celebration in South Korea. Yet the display of the cruise missiles in the recent parade is designed to achieve specific purposes. One is obviously targeting at the North Korean regime as a warning for possible pre-emptive strikes on their conventional and nuclear missile sites. The other target is South Korean citizens who have been increasingly agitated about the possession of WMDs by its Northern counterpart and want to see some guarantee from their own government. Hence the parade is not only for displaying its military capabilities to its enemies but it is also playing a psychological game with its own people. Yet, Hyunmoo-3c, one of the cruise missiles displayed in the event, signals that the South Korean government’s perspective is no longer limited to the Korean peninsula. Hyunmoo-3c’s range of 1,500 km indicates that the Korean military oversees the entire Northeast Asian region as its strategic theatre. Such a wide strategic thinking is also behind the planned construction of the naval base in Jeju Island.
You: Not direct response. However, this parade has not been done for many years and resumed this year indicating [the] Park government would not tolerate any hostile action by North Korea.

File photo of interviewee Young-hae Chi.
Image: Young-hae Chi.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png South Korea’s President, Park Geun-hye, has warned of a “very grave” threat posed by North Korea. Would a military parade like this be more likely to encourage hostile behaviour?

Kelly: Not really, because NK already engages in so much hostile behavior it is hard to know how much more restraint SK show. My own sense is that SK demonstrates remarkable forbearance in the face of NK threats. If one thinks of how, e.g., the US or Israel would respond to such threats, SK looks downright gentle. So SK needs to signal both that it does not seek escalation, but also that it cannot be bullied. It’s a tough balancing act, and this parade is to send that second message.
Kosal: Not necessarily. North Korean behavior is difficult to predict with any fidelity. The military parade, while it shows potential capacity, is a fundamentally passive (rather than active or reactive) form of behavior. Reinforces a consistent posture by the South Koreans and the US.
Ledyard: There is a sixty-year history of such back-and-forth with an impressive absence of active military conflict. It’s tit for tat, and both sides either maintain the balance or one or the other loses face. It would take much more than a parade for actual conflict to erupt.
Terry: No, not in the long run although this kind of a military parade might provoke temporary, short-term hostile behavior by the North. The North has never been ideological or suicidal. Its chief goal always has been regime survival. It knows if a war were to break out, it will definitively lose to South Korea.
Chi: The South Korean government has been implementing military parades since 1956, and as such it is unlikely to encourage or discourage hostile behaviour.
You: Could be. North Korea already criticized [the] Park government about the recent parade and very bold move by the Park Government in negotiating family reunion and resuming of Diamond Mountains. However, I do not believe that North Korea will take any hostile action since the US Secretary of State, Kerry, is proposing North Korea a peaceful dialogue.

File photo of interviewee Margaret Kosal.
Image: Margaret Kosal.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Does the presence of US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel to this military parade show a further strengthening in the US–South Korea alliance?

Kelly: It does, but the Secretary’s presence is more for the optics than substance. The US–Korean alliance was substantially strengthened about 4 years ago by the previous SK president. This is just a refresher that looks good on TV.
Kosal: Secretary of Defense Hagel’s presence, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, shows the commitment of the United States to support its ally. The United States remains committed to the transfer of operational control (OPCON) to the South Koreans for general defense of South Korea. The US is also strongly committed to limiting proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Their presence reinforces that to the North Koreans as well as to the international community.
Ledyard: It is simple routine in the USA–ROK alliance. South Koreans depend on it and the US takes care to show support.
Terry: Yes, it further showcases the depth of Washington‘s support for South Korea against any provocation from Pyongyang.
Chi: Certainly he is there to add symbolic strength to the alliance which tended to be weakened until recently. Behind his presence is the recent agreement to reconsider the planed transfer of the war-time operation control from the UN/US to the Korean army.
You: US–South Korea alliance is strong but it is a bit more complicated since [the] US is supporting Japan in arming in naval forces to check China, which is a great concern for South Korea and [the] South Korean people. This might cause some issues in US–South Korea alliance.

File photo of interviewee Gari Ledyard.
Image: Gari Ledyard.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png North Korea’s rhetoric vows the repeated bolstering of its nuclear arsenal to what it calls US military threats. Do you think a military parade of this type backed by the US is likely to influence further hostility?

Kelly: No, because NK must be permanently hostile toward the US and SK anyway. NK has no reason to exist as a separate, poorer Korean state, just as the GDR [East Germany] had no post-cold war reason to exist, unless SK and the US can be regularly described as the enemy. So NK doesn’t want a war, but they certainly don’t want a warm peace, as then NK then loses its raison d’etre.
Kosal: No, North Korea and its leadership are responsible for its choices, which are the primary source of instability on the Korean peninsula with potential regional effects.
Ledyard: The “military threats” are more a reflection of North Korea’s fears than any concrete threats. They are more for internal DPRK [North Korea] efforts to keep its own population in tune with government policies.
Terry: No. I think it’s important to remember Pyongyang’s periodic provocations and its pursuit of nuclear arsenal are not reactions or self-defense measures against a threatening Seoul or Washington. Incapable of competing with economically flourishing South Korea, the North relies on bolstering its nuclear arsenal and on military and political brinkmanship to make up ground.
Chi: The two Koreas do the military parade almost routinely. South Korea will have a similar parade again when there is a new government in five years. It is unlikely the kind of parade to influence further hostility.
You: No, this is just symbolic. As a matter of fact, North Korea is very anxious to escape from the current gridlock and [the] US and South Korea do not give them plenty of reasons to go to the negotiating table.

File photo of interviewee Sue Mi Terry.
Image: Sue Mi Terry.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think it is likely that North and South Korea may at some point in the near future be engaged in direct military action with each other?

Kelly: Minor skirmishes are possible, indeed likely, given the border confusion in the Yellow Sea. But a major conflict is highly unlikely, no matter what bluster comes from NK. The NKs would lose such a war, decisively in fact, and the NK elite would face the hangman in the South afterward. NK is much too far behind to win. So full-scale conflict is very unlikely.
Kosal: I hope not.
Ledyard: No. A year or two ago there was a naval incident that occurred in the West Sea, but both sides separated quickly, although the North shelled an island claimed by both the DPRK and the ROK. Neither side has anything to gain from any such incident.
Terry: The North’s latest tactic — to return to diplomacy after provoking Seoul and Washington earlier this year — does not mean that the North has abandoned its timeworn brinkmanship strategy nor that it has shifted its nuclear policy. The North is likely to pursue more aggressive action down the road, attempting to ratchet up another sense of crisis, if it determines that its current peace ploy is not getting the concessions it seeks from Seoul. But while the North may provoke Seoul again with border skirmishes, or another missile or nuclear test, I think it will avoid direct military action with Seoul that will escalate to an all-out conflict. Again, Pyongyang will not risk outright hostilities that will lead to an all-out war.
Chi: You can never exclude possible exchanges of military actions within a limited range. At the time of North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong Island in November 2011, the South Korean Government made an official pledge to retaliate against any future military actions by North Korea. The government will face grave political consequences if it fails to live up to its own words. There is always a possibility of direct military actions but they will be more or less contained to a local level.
You: No, I would not think so. North Korea is more desperate to engage in a dialogue with South Korea and [the] US but they look for justification to go to the table. However, [the] Park government and US would not be simply welcoming them to the negotiating table. When they negotiate, they would be not generous or lenient to take all the North Korean offers.

A KPAF Ilyushin Il-76MD strategic airlifter in the mid-2000s, in Air Koryo markings.
Image: Regis Sibille.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png This parade has been described as an Anti-North deterrence, do you think this will act as such?

Kelly: Yes. NK is moving more rapidly toward nuclearization and missilization than many had expected. NK pretty clearly has no intention of de-nuclearizing. That is simply not going to happen no matter how many SK and US political figures demand it. So now, SK must show that it can keep up and match, if not outrace, the NKs. This is why there is so much focus now on SK missile and BMD capabilities.
Kosal: Yes.
Ledyard: Again, nearly sixty years of history supports the view that neither side has any interest in actual military conflict.
Terry: To some degree, yes. It’s good to remind the North of Seoul’s capabilities, although as I said before, Kim Jong-un, like his father and grandfather before him, already knows any all-out conflict would result in the destruction of his regime.
Chi: South Korea’s possession of cruise missiles and other advanced technology such as drones had been an open secret. There is nothing new about this parade, hence little deterrence effect added to the existing military posture.
You: No, it would not act as such. Rather, it has domestic purpose to draw [the] South Korean public to concern more about South Korean military and national security in general. For the past decade, [the] South Korean public have been very critical of the role of military in society. Certainly, the Park government wants to rectify it.



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December 19, 2011

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dead

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dead – Wikinews, the free news source

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dead

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong-il on August 24, 2011 Image: Kremlin.ru.

The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, has died according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The cause of death was “advanced acute myocardial infarction, complicated by serious heart shock,” commonly known as a heart attack. Kim apparently died two days earlier on December 17 aboard a train. According to North Korean media, Kim was 69. However, other records from the former Soviet Union place his age at 70.

At the same time, Kim’s son, Kim Jong-un has been named as the “Great Successor” by North Korean state media. Citizens are being told they “must faithfully revere respectable comrade Kim Jong-un. At the leadership of comrade Kim Jong-un, we have to change sadness to strength and courage and overcome today’s difficulties,” according to KCNA.

According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s military is on “emergency alert” following a meeting by South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). According to a JCS official, “We’re keeping close tabs on the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Joint Security Area (JSA) and Northern Limit Line (NLL) for possibilities of North Korean provocations.”

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak also presided over a meeting. A statement from Lee’s office said, “The government will remain thoroughly prepared while keeping a close watch over the situation in North Korea. The government will also cooperate closely with the international community to maintain peace and safety on the Korean Peninsula.”



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July 26, 2010

North Korea warns of nuclear action

North Korea warns of nuclear action – Wikinews, the free news source

North Korea warns of nuclear action

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Monday, July 26, 2010

North Korea threatened “powerful nuclear deterrence” on Saturday in response to military drills supported by the U.S. and held by South Korea.

The National Defense Comission of North Korea, headed by their leader Kim Jong-il, declared that they would “counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces” in a “retaliatory sacred war.” Ri Tong-il, an official with North Korea’s delegation to the ASEAN security forum, had said earlier that they would show a “physical response” to the drills. Though Japan sent four military observers in apparent support of the drills, China criticized the plans.

Tensions had recently become especially high in both sides of Korea after the sinking of the warship Cheonan in South Korean waters, killing over 40 people. An international investigation concluded that the warship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo. North Korea still strongly denies any involvement in the incident, calling the results “fabricated” and refusing to apologize. “If anyone should apologize,” said Ri, “it should be South Korea, responsible for driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of an explosion.”

Despite this, on 25 July 2010, the US and South Korea began their major military drills together in the Sea of Japan.


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August 4, 2009

Imprisoned American journalists in North Korea pardoned, to return to US

Imprisoned American journalists in North Korea pardoned, to return to US

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

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Two imprisoned American journalists in North Korea, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, have been pardoned and are to return to the U.S.. This comes after former U.S. President Bill Clinton met with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and the two journalists earlier today.

“Kim Jong-il issued an order of the chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission on granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labor in accordance with Article 103 of the Socialist Constitution and releasing them,” said the KCNA news agency as reported by Reuters.

Clinton traveled to the nation for a “private meeting” with North Korean officials to discuss the detention and possible release of Ling and Lee. ABC News earlier stated that the meeting between Clinton and the journalists was “very emotional”, and that the U.S. was “hopeful” that Ling and Lee would be released. Ling and Lee left on Clinton’s plane, and landed safely in Japan Wednesday. They are expected to reach Los Angeles shortly.

Ling and Lee are journalists for Current TV based in California. Lee is the editor of the news for Current TV and Ling is one of the agency’s reporters. They were said to have been shooting a video of the border region of China and N. Korea when they were arrested at the Tumen River in late March after allegedly crossing into North Korea from China illegally. They were both convicted in June of possible hostile acts against North Korea, entering the country illegally and were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in a labor camp.



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July 13, 2009

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il ‘has cancer’

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kim Jong-il

The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, is reported to have pancreatic cancer according to YTN, a South Korean news channel. The unconfirmed reports state that Kim was diagnosed last year, at about the same time of a reported stroke.

YTN broke the news using unidentified sources within South Korea and China. However, the National Intelligence Service of South Korea could not confirm the illness, while a South Korean Ministry of Unification spokesperson also indicated he had no knowledge of the reported illness.

Kim made a rare public appearance on July 8 of this year to mark the 15th anniversary of his father’s death. According to reports, Kim was looking “gaunt” and walking with a limp. 67-year-old Kim has suffered from several severe health problems in the past few years and speculation about his health has come under doubt several times.

It is reported that Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, is the chosen heir to North Korean leadership, but North Korea has yet to confirm this.

Kim Jong-il took over power in 1994 after his father’s death. He took over the National Defence Commission of North Korea and as leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea but not the presidency. Kim’s father, Kim Il-sung, was subsequently named Eternal President of the Republic.

Daniel Pinkston, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group said that the illness would explain the “rapidness of some of [North Korea’s] actions over the past eight months or so, with the attempted satellite launch, nuclear test and missile tests.” Pinkston feels the recent actions are for appearances of normalcy and to shore up internal support for a transition of power to Kim Jong-un. “Now they are going through things as if they have a plan or schedule,” added Pinkston.

Pancreatic cancer is often a life-threatening disease, with the National Cancer Institute estimating a five-year survival rate of 5.5%.


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North Korean leader Kim Jong-il \’has cancer\’

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il ‘has cancer’

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Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kim Jong-il

The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, is reported to have pancreatic cancer according to YTN, a South Korean news channel. The unconfirmed reports state that Kim was diagnosed last year, at about the same time of a reported stroke.

YTN broke the news using unidentified sources within South Korea and China. However, the National Intelligence Service of South Korea could not confirm the illness, while a South Korean Ministry of Unification spokesperson also indicated he had no knowledge of the reported illness.

Kim made a rare public appearance on July 8 of this year to mark the 15th anniversary of his father’s death. According to reports, Kim was looking “gaunt” and walking with a limp. 67-year-old Kim has suffered from several severe health problems in the past few years and speculation about his health has come under doubt several times.

It is reported that Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, is the chosen heir to North Korean leadership, but North Korea has yet to confirm this.

Kim Jong-il took over power in 1994 after his father’s death. He took over the National Defence Commission of North Korea and as leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea but not the presidency. Kim’s father, Kim Il-sung, was subsequently named Eternal President of the Republic.

Daniel Pinkston, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group said that the illness would explain the “rapidness of some of [North Korea’s] actions over the past eight months or so, with the attempted satellite launch, nuclear test and missile tests.” Pinkston feels the recent actions are for appearances of normalcy and to shore up internal support for a transition of power to Kim Jong-un. “Now they are going through things as if they have a plan or schedule,” added Pinkston.

Pancreatic cancer is often a life-threatening disease, with the National Cancer Institute estimating a five-year survival rate of 5.5%.



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June 3, 2009

North Korea reportedly names successor to leader Kim Jong-il

North Korea reportedly names successor to leader Kim Jong-il

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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South Korean media is reporting that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-il has named his successor, after ordering his people to pledge their alliance to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, age 25.

Yonhap News Agency reports that the decision was made after North Korea’s recent test of a nuclear bomb on May 25. The New York Times reports that select unnamed embassies overseas received the news to pledge their support for their decision, but that there has been no official confirmation of the decision.

The South Korean presidential office refused to confirm, or deny that any change to North Korean leadership was imminent saying, “nothing has been confirmed.” If true, the news also comes just nine months after media reported that Jong-il had a “serious stroke.”

Little is known about Kim Jong-un. His name had only surfaced in 2003 when mentioned in memoirs written by a former chief of the Japanese military. Prior to that time, reports said that Jong-il had only two sons, Kim Jong-chul and Kim Jong-nam.



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September 10, 2008

Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il reported to have suffered \’serious\’ stroke

Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il reported to have suffered ‘serious’ stroke

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An official portrait of Kim Jong Il.

Unnamed officials from the United States have stated that the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il may have suffered a “serious” stroke. Officials state that the rumors of his illness began to spread Tuesday after he failed to make an appearance at the nation’s 60th anniversary lent credence, an annual military parade.

“There is reason to believe Kim Jong Il has suffered a serious health setback, possibly a stroke,” said an unnamed U.S. official who also added that he may have had the stroke about two weeks ago. The official also stated that his life was not in imminent danger.

Such reports have been denied by officials, including deputy leader and ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, who told Kyodo News of Japan frankly: “there are no problems.”

Rumors of Kim’s health started to spread in August, but the official said that his failure to attend the parade is an idea of how bad his condition is. Chosun Ilbo, a newspaper in South Korea first reported in August that an unnamed diplomat in Beijing, China said Kim had collapsed on August 22. According to the BBC, a South Korean official told the Yonhap News Agency that Kim “collapsed,” while a North Korean official is quoted as saying the reports are “rubbish.” There has been no official confirmation of those reports by either the South or North Korean governments.

Kim has attended the last 10 parades for the nation’s military or other military events.



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October 4, 2007

North Korea agrees to disable its main nuclear reactor

North Korea agrees to disable its main nuclear reactor

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Flag of North Korea

North Korea has agreed to disable its main nuclear reactor in Yongbyon and to give complete details of its nuclear program by December 31, 2007, and “not to transfer nuclear materials, technology or know-how,” according to a statement issued in Beijing. The agreement was reached as a result of negotiations involving six nations: China, the United States, Japan, Russia, North Korea, and South Korea. As a result, the United States said that it would work with North Korea to remove it from the U.S. list of terrorism sponsors.

U.S. President George W. Bush welcomed the announcement. Bush spokesman Gordon Johndroe called North Korea’s pledge “a major step towards the goal of achieving the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Nevertheless, the announcement left some important questions unanswered. “The biggest question is about their uranium enrichment,” said Gary Samore, an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “They have agreed to provide a declaration by the end of the year, but there is no process for verifying it. The danger is that North Korea will make the declaration, the U.S. will question it, and they will say take it or leave it,” Samore said.

North Korea’s announcement came amid an historic summit between South Korea’s President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, only the second such meeting since the end of the Korean War.

Linking the North Korean and Iranian nuclear crises, U.S. President George W. Bush said that he would be willing to meet with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if he were to make a similar move. “We are willing to sit down with him so long as he suspends his program, his nuclear weapons program,” he said.



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  • “South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun to meet with Kim Jong-il” — Wikinews, October 2, 2007

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North and South Korea sign peace pact

North and South Korea sign peace pact – Wikinews, the free news source

North and South Korea sign peace pact

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Roh Moo-hyun, President of South Korea.

In a historic turn of events, Kim Jong-il, the leader of North Korea, and Roh Moo-hyun, the leader of South Korea, have signed the Declaration on the Advancement of South-North Relations, Peace and Prosperity, an 8-item declaration of “permanent peace,” just two days after the two leaders met for a rare Inter-Korean Summit which began on October 2.

Though not a formal peace treaty, the pact stated that, “The South and North share the view that they should end the current armistice system and build up a permanent peace system,” and that they “agreed to closely co-operate to end military hostility and ensure peace and easing of tension on the Korean peninsula.”

Kim Jong-il, Leader of North Korea.

“We agreed to make a firm commitment to achieving peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. We shared the need to map out our measures for Korean peace for the future,” said Roh.

The pact includes restarting cross-border freight transportation, which had been banned for over 50 years, creates a joint operation for disputed areas of the ocean and also calls for a new armistice.

The deal invites all “concerned” nations, particularly the United States and China, to the Korean Peninsula to observe the end to the war of 1950-1953, otherwise known as the Korean War. The leaders also agreed on the two nations meeting regularly for summits.

Both the leaders signed the pact and then shook hands. They then proposed a toast and drank to the deal in a celebration. This is only the second time in history that leaders of the two nations have met face to face.



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