North Korea's 'reign of terror' worries South

Vikrant

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SEOUL: North Korea is engaged in a purge amounting to a "reign of terror" that has claimed the scalp of the country's second most powerful man and risks further damaging relations with the South, President Park Geun-hye said on Tuesday.

Park took office in Seoul earlier this year as North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, enraging world public opinion, and threatened to engulf its southern neighbour and its ally, the United States, in a war. The isolated state shelled a South Korean island in 2010 and is widely believed to have sunk a South Korean naval vessel in the same year.

"North Korea is currently carrying out a reign of terror, undertaking a large-scale purge in order to strengthen Kim Jong Un's power," Park told a cabinet meeting, part of which was broadcast on television.

"From now on, South-North Korea relations may become more unstable."

In her usual carefully scripted manner, the president called for vigilance to safeguard the wealthy South's achievements.

"In times like these, I think it is a nation's duty and politicians' job to keep people safe and free democracy strong," she told the meeting.

State media on Monday said Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, had been dismissed from his posts for "criminal acts" ranging from mismanagement, corruption and leading a "dissolute and depraved life".

Television in the tightly controlled and impoverished state showed him being frogmarched by uniformed personnel out of a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party.

Associates of Jang are believed to have been executed in the purge of a man once viewed as a regent for Kim Jong Un, aged about 30 and the third of his family dynasty to run the country.

South Korean officials discounted media reports that a close associate of Jang who managed his funds had requested asylum and was under the protection of South Korean officials in China.

No request for asylum, they said, had been received.

"I understand there was no request" foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tae-young told a briefing. The South's unification minister also told lawmakers no such application had been made.

South Korea's intelligence service last week said two of Jang's close entourage were executed for corruption and two of his relatives serving in embassies overseas had been recalled.

Although experts expect further reprisals against Jang's allies, no firm evidence has emerged of mass punishments. And they say China, North Korea's only ally, generally resists allowing defectors from the North to seek asylum elsewhere.

Fear factor

Members of the South's parliament, however, said last week that Kim Jong Un was resorting to fear to cement his leadership.

North Korea's 'reign of terror' worries South - Times Of India
 
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Indofred

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Why does everyone ignore Russia when talking about North Korea?
It is true, China is their greatest friends but, in the event of a war the south looked like winning, Russia might well join in as well.
For those with no idea about geography, Russia also has a border with Korea and that's far too close to major Russian military bases for them to want America anywhere near it.
 
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Vikrant

Vikrant

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I think Russia places more importance to its relationship with the United States than its relationship with N Korea.
 
I

Indofred

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I think Russia places more importance to its relationship with the United States than its relationship with N Korea.
Maybe, but it would be less than keen on American controlled surface to surface missiles and long range artillery being in easy range of Vladivostok.
 

waltky

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Lil Kim scarin' the bejeebers outta island residents...
:eek:
North, South Korea Trade Artillery Fire Across Maritime Border
March 31, 2014 ~ North Korea has fired artillery shells into South Korean waters, apparently in reaction to military exercises being conducted between the U.S. and South Korea.
Seoul responded immediately on Monday by shelling North Korean waters. Officials say no shells hit any land areas on either side along the western sea boundary and no one was injured. South Korean officials said some residents of border islands were evacuated to shelters as a precaution. U.S. General Paul Kennedy says the joint exercises taking place about 360 kilometers north of Seoul have no political objectives.

The North in recent weeks has increased threatening rhetoric and conducted a series of rocket and ballistic missile launches into waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang threatened on Sunday to conduct what it called "a new form of nuclear test" after the U.N. Security Council condemned the North's recent ballistic missile launches. Malcolm Cook, an analyst at the Singapore-based Institute for South Asian Studies, tells VOA this could mean the North has developed the ability to build a nuclear warhead.

Cook says Monday's artillery exchange is not as serious as the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March 2010, and North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November of that same year that killed four people. A statement Sunday from the North's Foreign Ministry said it was intolerable that the Security Council would "turn a blind eye" to U.S. nuclear war exercises while denouncing the North Korean army's self-defensive rocket launch exercises.

After North Korea fired two medium-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula Wednesday, the Security Council condemned the launches the next day, saying they violated U.N. resolutions. Pyongyang routinely calls military drills involving South Korea and the U.S. a rehearsal for invasion.

North, South Korea Trade Artillery Fire Across Maritime Border
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Koreas trade fire near disputed sea boundary; island residents in shelters
March 30, 2014 — North and South Korea fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other's waters Monday in a flare-up of animosity that forced residents of five front-line South Korean islands to evacuate to shelters for several hours, South Korean officials said.
The exchange of fire into the Yellow Sea followed Pyongyang's sudden announcement that it would conduct live-fire drills in seven areas north of the Koreas' disputed maritime boundary. North Korea routinely test-fires artillery and missiles into the ocean but rarely discloses those plans in advance. The announcement was seen as an expression of Pyongyang's frustration at making little progress in its recent push to win outside aid. North Korea fired 500 rounds of artillery shells over more than three hours, about 100 of which fell south of the sea boundary, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. South Korea responded by firing 300 shells into North Korean waters, he said.

No shells from either side were fired at any land or military installations, but Kim called the North's artillery firing a provocation aimed at testing Seoul's security posture. There was no immediate comment from North Korea. In Washington, White House spokesman Jonathan Lalley called North Korea's actions "dangerous and provocative" and said they would further aggravate tensions in the region.

Monday's exchange was relatively mild in the history of animosity and violence between the Koreas, but there is worry in Seoul that an increasingly dissatisfied North Korea could repeat the near-daily barrage of war rhetoric it carried out last spring, when tensions soared as Pyongyang threatened nuclear strikes on Washington and Seoul in response to condemnation of its third nuclear test. Residents on front-line South Korean islands spent several hours in shelters during the firing, and officials temporarily halted ferry service linking the islands to the mainland. Kang Myeong-sung, speaking from a shelter on Yeonpyeong island, which is in sight of North Korean territory, said he didn't hear any fighter jets but heard the boom of artillery fire.

The poorly marked western sea boundary has been the scene of several bloody naval skirmishes between the Koreas in recent years. In March 2010, a South Korean warship sank in the area following a torpedo attack blamed on Pyongyang that left 46 sailors dead. North Korea denies responsibility for the sinking. In November 2010, a North Korean artillery bombardment killed four South Koreans on Yeonpyeong.

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Moon968

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It is weird news and I think, It is not a place of terrorism.
 

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