Skip to comments.North Korea threatens to increase its nuclear "deterrent"
Posted on 11/16/2004 10:49:40 AM PST by NormsRevenge
North Korea threatened Tuesday to strengthen its "nuclear deterrent" to counter what it calls a U.S. plot to launch a nuclear war against the isolated communist state.
Minju Joson, a state-run newspaper, accused the United States of preparing for war on the Korean Peninsula instead of pursuing a peaceful solution to the dispute over the North's nuclear weapons program.
"No matter what the others say, our People's Army and people will further strengthen our nuclear deterrent force for self-defence," the daily was quoted as saying in a commentary carried by the North's official news agency, KCNA.
KCNA was monitored by South Korea's national Yonhap news agency.
North Korea has 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods which could yield enough plutonium for several bombs, when reprocessed with chemicals. North Korean diplomats have recently claimed that the country has "weaponized" the material.
South Korean officials estimate that North Korea has enough plutonium for two or three bombs.
Since last year, the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States have held three rounds of six-nation talks aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions, but no breakthrough has been reported.
A fourth round slated for September did not occur because North Korea refused to attend.
On Saturday, North Korea said it was "quite possible" to settle the international standoff if the United States drops its alleged goal of toppling the communist regime.
But it did not clarify when the country might return to the six-party talks.
South Korea hopes to restart the talks by year-end, but Japanese and Chinese officials have indicated that North Korea does not want to hold talks until U.S. President George W. Bush reveals his stance toward the North following his re-election.
North Korea says it will give up its nuclear weapons program only if the United States provides guarantees of nonaggression and economic aid and stop interfering in human rights in the totalitarian regime.
Washington demands an immediate halt and dismantling of all of North Korea's nuclear activities.
He's been out of the headlines for so long...
YAWN......One thermonuclear weapon would destroy the entire country. That's a DETERRENT! (Detergent?).....
Damn, I was just hoping Kim was sleeping with Yessir Iarefat.
Report: N.Korea Leader's Portraits Removed
MOSCOW - Some portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il have been removed from buildings in the country, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Tuesday, citing an unidentified diplomat.
However, another foreign diplomat in the North Korean capital Pyongyang told The Associated Press that Kim's pictures remain in public places. An official at South Korea (news - web sites)'s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea (news - web sites), said "we are not yet able to confirm the reports and thus we don't have any comments to make."
Kim is the focus of an all-encompassing cult of personality in North Korea and images of him are near-ubiquitous in and on the country's buildings. It was unclear what might motivate their removal, but the South Korean official said his country's analysts did not have indications that Kim was facing significant internal political challenges.
In a report from Beijing, ITAR-Tass cited the North Korea-based diplomat as saying that guests at recent Foreign Ministry receptions saw only portraits of Kim's late father, Kim Il Sung, who founded the secretive Communist state.
"A light rectangular spot and a nail in the wall were the only things that remained in the place where Kim Jong Il's portrait had hung," the agency cited the diplomat as saying.
But the other diplomat told AP that he had seen nothing "untoward" and that he saw many Kim portraits during a visit to a hospital on Tuesday.
A North Korean student sings in front of the portraits of the late leader Kim Il-sung (L) and current leader Kim Jong-il in a class room of the Mankyongdae juvenile student palace in Pyongyang in this file photo taken April 30, 2004. Portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il have been taken down from public places where they have been hanging, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass said on Tuesday in a report from China. Picture taken April 30, 2004. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
Kim Il-sung (L), founder of North Korea (news - web sites), chats with his son Kim Jong-il at a mass rally to celebrate foundation of the communist country in Pyongyang in this September 1983 photo. Portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il have been taken down from public places where they have been hanging, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass has reported from China. REUTERS
Isn't communism beautiful? Just think, we almost voted in a hard Marxist leader...and Kim Sick Ill (whatever his name is) would have been sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom..with Kerry doing the room service.
OK. You are some low-level nobody serving in a train station and you get a call "Take down Kim Jong's picture". Do you do it?
This may be one of the few things they have said that isn't propaganda... ;)
There have been rumors of long-time family discontent and contention for the succession of power in NK.
Who is to say what the new leader(s) would say or do to stake their place in the scheme of things?