‘U.S. President Obama toured the DMZ yesterday as countdown

continues to North Korea’s test of intercontinental ballistic missile


[JoongAng Daily, South Korea]

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China Daily, People’s Republic of China

Obama Makes North Korean Rocket Launch More Likely


Could it be that President Obama’s visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, in a bid to impress U.S. voters, has made it more likely that North Korea will test a rocket capable of carrying a nuclear weapon? According to Wang Hui of China’s state-controlled China Daily, not only is Obama raising tensions, but it appears he is trying to turn the Nuclear Security Summit into a forum for discussing North Korea, which will undermine the summit’s purpose of ensuring nuclear safety and preventing nuclear terrorism.


By Wang Hui


March 27, 2012


People’s Republic of China - China Daily – Original Article (English)

President Obama shakes hands with Chinese leader Hu Jintao, at the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, March 26.


CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION [STATE-RUN]: Chinese President Hu Jintao addresses the Nuclear Security Summit, March 26, 00:05:29RealVideo

As expected, U.S. President Barack Obama visited the Demilitarized Zone [DMZ] between the Republic of Korea [South Korea] and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea] on Sunday. His visit came at a sensitive time, adding additional uncertainty to U.S.-North Korea relations and global efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.


Arriving on the eve of the second Nuclear Security Summit being hosted by South Korea, Mr. Obama went directly to meet troops at an American base on the edge of the Demilitarized Zone.


Created after the Korean War ceasefire in 1953, the DMZ is a 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile-long legacy of the Cold War that provides a buffer between the two Koreas. About 2 million combat troops are stationed on both side of what is the world's most heavily-militarized zone.


Then on Monday, Obama issued a stern warning to Pyongyang that its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons undermines regional security.


Already over the past few weeks, there has been some pushing and shoving between the two countries. On March 16, Pyongyang announced that in April, it would launch a satellite into orbit on the back of a long-range rocket. Washington immediately condemned the launch as a violation of North Korea’s promise to halt the launch of long-range missiles, nuclear testing and uranium enrichment. Obama said the planned launch jeopardizes a deal to resume U.S. food aid to the DRPK, and could result in a tightening of harsh economic sanctions on the country.


The deal to resume U.S. food aid, agreed to earlier this month, was widely perceived as a positive development that might contribute to global efforts to denuclearize the peninsula. In exchange for food aid, the DPRK agreed to suspend nuclear testing, long-range missile launches and uranium enrichment at its Nyongbyon facility, and allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment. 
Posted by Worldmeets.US


Regrettably, since Pyongyang made its launch plan public, the momentum toward reconciliation between Washington and Pyongyang has been disrupted. After its threat to hold back the food aid it promised, the U.S. made yet another gesture raising tension with the DPRK. It announced on March 21 that it had suspended efforts to recover the remains of American soldiers in North Korea. The operation only resumed last October after being stalled for six years.


Against the backdrop of these new frictions, Obama stepped onto one of the most sensitive strips of land on earth. It is difficult to predict to what extent Pyongyang will view this as a provocation and what it will do in response. But it will certainly make it more difficult for the international community to persuade Pyongyang to drop its rocket launch.



Mainichi Shimbun, Japan: Nuclear-Armed Japan is Not Out of the Question
The Hankyoreh, South Korea: Nuclear Summit Must Resist ‘Nuclear Power Mafia’
Yonhap, South Korea: Obama Warns North Launch will Bring Greater Isolation
News, Switzerland: Obama's Best Option for Koreas: Send Envoy to Pyongyang
News, Switzerland: Pyongyang Makes a Play for Direct Ties with Americans
Opera Mundi, Brazil: Can America Secure a North Korean Nuclear 'Reversal'?
Rodong Sinmun, North Korea: Imperialist Sanctions 'Should Be Smashed'
Moskovskiye Novosti, Russia: 'Russia's Place in a Changing World,' By Vladimir Putin

Rodong Sinmun, North Korea: 'U.S. Warmongers' Foolish to Hope to Change North

Jong-A Ilbo, S. Korea: Why the Kim Jong-un Regime is 'Doomed'

Jong-A Ilbo, S. Korea: U.S.,China Must Resist Urge to Meddle after Kim's Death

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany: Secret of America's Counterfeit 'Supernotes'

Korean Central, North Korea: The U.S. 'Should Be Cursed' By All Koreans

Korean Central, North Korea: 'Japanese Militarists' Prepare for Reinvasion of Korea



The current tension between Washington and Pyongyang has its roots in the long-term enmity and deep political suspicion between the two countries. Both should understand that they have a responsibility to peacefully resolve the issue of the Korean Peninsula. Both sides should exercise restraint and bear in mind the larger picture of regional stability.


Some speculate that the gestures of President Obama may be a signal that the North Korea nuclear issue will be high on the agenda at the Nuclear Security Summit. Should this be the case, it may distract global attention from the task at hand: the security of nuclear materials and safety of nuclear facilities, issues that concern the global village as a whole. The North Korea nuclear issue should be reserved for its proper forum, the Six-Party Talks.


The Seoul summit should be a platform for uniting governments and international organizations on endeavors like ensuring nuclear safety and preventing nuclear terrorism. It should not be turned into a place where the seeds of discord are sown among members of the international community over complicated regional issues like the Korean Peninsula.



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[Posted by Worldmeets.US March 26, 10:22pm]



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