Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear weapons’

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons poses a “growing threat” to the U.S. and its allies.

In a telephone call Tuesday evening to Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, Hagel cited North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and said Washington and Beijing should continue to cooperate on those problems.

“The secretary emphasized the growing threat to the U.S. and our allies posed by North Korea’s aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and expressed to General Chang the importance of sustained U.S.-China dialogue and cooperation on these issues,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement describing the phone call.

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North Korean army officers punch the air in a sign of loyalty at a rally in Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang, North Korea. Photograph: Jon Chol Jin/AP

North Korean army officers punch the air in a sign of loyalty at a rally in Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang, North Korea. Photograph: Jon Chol Jin/AP

Rhetoric seen as a sign of Pyongyang’s anger over recent economic sanctions

North Korea stepped up its warlike rhetoric at the weekend, declaring that the Korean peninsula was in a “state of war” and saying that its nuclear weapons were “the life of the nation” to be treasured at all cost.

“From this moment, North- South relations will be put at a state of war, and all the issues arising between the two will be dealt with in accordance to wartime regulations,” the North’s official KCNA news agency indicated in a statement on Saturday.

The two Koreas remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

The sabre-rattling and warlike rhetoric is a sign of Pyongyang’s anger over a fresh round of economic sanctions following its third nuclear weapons test on February 12th. (more…)

While analysts call North Korea’s threats largely brinkmanship, there is some fear that a localized skirmish might escalate.

South Korean soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, on March 31. (Photo: Ahn Young-joon, AP)

South Korean soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, on March 31. (Photo: Ahn Young-joon, AP)

SEOUL (AP) — A top North Korean decision-making body issued a pointed warning Sunday, saying that nuclear weapons are “the nation’s life” and will not be traded even for “billions of dollars.”

The comments came in a statement released after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over the plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party. The meeting, which set a “new strategic line” calling for building both a stronger economy and nuclear arsenal, comes amid a series of near-daily threats from Pyongyang in recent weeks, including a vow to launch nuclear strikes on the United States and a warning Saturday that the Korean Peninsula was in a “state of war.” (more…)