Tuesday, March 27, 2012
S. Korea to shoot down N. Korea rocket if it strays
Obama Asks China To Help Halt N. Korean Rocket: President Obama came to South Korea to talk about global nuclear security with world leaders, but found himself trying to build a unified front against North Korea's planned rocket launch next month.
S. Korea to shoot down N. Korea rocket if it strays: South Korea is preparing to shoot down a North Korean rocket if it strays into the South's territory during a launch planned for next month, the defence ministry said Monday. The South Korean and US military are closely monitoring activity at the Tongchang-ri base, a ministry spokesman said, a day after Seoul confirmed the main body of a rocket had been moved to the site in the North's northwest.
Seoul is concerned that the first stage of the rocket, scheduled to drop into the Yellow Sea between South Korea and China, may fall onto the South's territory, the spokesman said.
N Korea, Iran to loom large over N-summit: The United States and others believe next month’s launch will test a long-range missile which could one day deliver an atomic warhead. Gary Samore, coordinator for arms control at the US National Security Council, warned that North Korea would face a “strong response” from Washington and its allies if it goes ahead with the launch. “We will be working with other countries, when President Obama is here (in Seoul), to try to discourage North Korea from going ahead with the proposed satellite launch,” he told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency on Friday.
The IAEA, while worried about nuclear proliferation by North Korea, also suspects that Iran is bent on making nuclear weapons. Iran says its uranium enrichment activities are peaceful. Neither Iran nor North Korea are on the formal agenda in Seoul. But leaders of five nations involved in stalled nuclear negotiations with the North — the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan — will all be present, offering an opportunity for consultations. Remember the axis of evil? axis of evil Definition
Obama warns N Korea over rocket launch:Obama flew on Sunday by helicopter to a US base on the edge of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) to meet troops and take a first-hand look at one of the world's most heavily fortified frontiers.Obama and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak held a joint press conference in Seoul later in the day where they once again called on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons programme.
Obama also criticised North Korea's intention to conduct a rocket launch next month, saying: "This would constitute a direct violation of Pyongyang's own commitments and its international obligations. "Moreover it would only deepen North Korea's isolation, damage further its relations with its neighbours, and seriously undermine prospects of future negotiations. North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations."
SEOUL: US President Barack Obama on Sunday urged China to use its influence to stop North Korea’s “bad behavior” in a nuclear standoff with the West and hinted at tougher sanctions if the reclusive state goes ahead with a rocket launch next month. Such a launch would only further isolate the impoverished North, which much show its sincerity if on-again-off-again six-party aid-for-disarmament talks are to restart, Obama said.
Seoul and Washington say the launch is a disguised test of ballistic missile. North Korea says it merely wants to put a satellite into orbit. Obama said that Beijing’s actions of “rewarding bad behavior (and) turning a blind eye to deliberate provocations” were obviously not working, adding he would raise the matter at a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday.
China concerned by N Korea nuclear plans: The nuclear-armed North insists it will only put a satellite into orbit, while its opponents say it will test missile technology that could deliver a warhead. China, the North's sole major ally and its biggest trade partner and aid provider, is seen as one of the few nations that can influence the regime. Senior White House aide Ben Rhodes said Mr Hu indicated to Mr Obama that he took the North Korean nuclear standoff very seriously and was registering his concern with Pyongyang.