North Korea Postures ‘War’ Over Satellite Interference

March 9, 2009

(ChattahBox) — North Korea who has been sliding toward a more aggressive stance, ordered its armed forces on standby and warned Monday it will retaliate against anyone seeking to block its planned satellite launch. U.S. and Japanese officials have suggested they could shoot down a North Korean missile if necessary. “Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war,” a spokesman for the North Korean army said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The threat is a clear indication that the communist nation intends to push ahead with the launch despite mounting international pressure to drop the plan. North Korea says it plans to launch a communications satellite, but many believe it is a cover for a long-range missile test of the the Taepodong-2, capable of reaching U.S. territory

Monday’s warning came hours before United States and South Korea kicked off annual war games involving tens of thousands of troops, which the communist nation has condemned as preparations for an invasion.

North Korea’s leaders may finally have the nuclear and long-range ICBM power projection they have desired for so long, they have paid for it in large part by the sufferings of their own people. The Washington Post last week published a detailed article on the continuing endemic malnutrition problems in North Korea. Making North Korea even more unstable and unpredictable is a new team of hawks that have been appointed to run its armed forces through the dominant National Defense Commission.

The North said it has shut its borders to “any enemies” and has cut off “the north-south military communications in order to guarantee the security.”

North Korea said the communications channel will remain closed until the 12-day joint exercise by South Korean,
triggering fears that even an accidental skirmish could develop into a battle as the sides have no way of contacting each other.

The two sides have used the hot line to exchange information about the crossing of goods and people through the industrial North Korean border city of Kaesong. Its suspension could halt traffic and strand about 570 South Koreans staying in the zone.


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