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 North Korea 'fires more missiles'

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Damocles
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Join date : 2009-04-22
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PostSubject: North Korea 'fires more missiles'   Tue May 26, 2009 11:14 am

North Korea 'fires more missiles'
BBC
Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 12:32 UK

North Korea has fired two more missiles, hours after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned its nuclear test, South Korean reports say.

The Communist state fired two short-range missiles off an east-coast base, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing an official.

The move came as UN diplomats began work on a resolution to punish North Korea for its underground nuclear test.

Diplomats said they were seeking "tough measures", including further sanctions.

At least three missile tests accompanied Monday's nuclear test. Those on Tuesday involved one ground-to-ship missile and one ground-to-air missile, Yonhap said.

Earlier, North Korea, in a statement carried by its official news agency KCNA, said it was clear America's "hostile policy" towards it had not changed.

"Our army and people are fully ready for battle... against any reckless US attempt for a pre-emptive attack," it said in a piece criticising US moves to relocate its fighter jets.

South Korea, meanwhile, announced it would become a full member of a US-led initiative aimed at controlling trafficking in weapons of mass destruction, despite warnings from Pyongyang.

'Strong measures'

Late on Monday US President Barack Obama spoke to the leaders of both Japan and South Korea to assure them of America's commitment to security in north-east Asia.

The conversations followed an emergency session of the UN Security Council, where members voiced strong opposition to the test and condemned it.

Russia's UN envoy told reporters the nuclear test was a clear violation of UN Resolution 1718. That resolution imposed sanctions on North Korea after its first nuclear test, in October 2006.

The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said America wanted "strong measures" when it starts work on the new resolution.

"The US thinks that this is a grave violation of international law and a threat to regional and international peace and security," she said.

The UK's ambassador to the UN, Sir John Sawers, explained that the Council had decided to act in two stages, first issuing a statement "strongly condemning and opposing what the North Koreans have done by carrying out this second nuclear test".

"And we decided to start work immediately on a further Security Council resolution in order to uphold the international peace and security in the region," he added.

The question, says the BBC's Laura Trevelyan at the UN, is what kind of sanctions against North Korea can be agreed and whether they will persuade it to rejoin talks on ending its nuclear programme.

Talks abandoned

On Tuesday, Asian and European foreign ministers attending the two-day biennial Asem Summit in Hanoi issued a statement condemning the test and calling for an immediate return to talks.

The issue was also expected to dominate talks between Chinese and South Korean defence ministers as they met in Beijing.

Quote :
NUCLEAR CRISIS
Oct 2006 - North Korea conducts an underground nuclear test
Feb 2007 - North Korea agrees to close its main nuclear reactor in exchange for fuel aid
June 2007 - North Korea shuts its main Yongbyon reactor
June 2008 - North Korea makes its long-awaited declaration of nuclear assets
Oct 2008 - The US removes North Korea from its list of countries which sponsor terrorism
Dec 2008 - Pyongyang slows work to dismantle its nuclear programme after a US decision to suspend energy aid
Jan 2009 - The North says it is scrapping all military and political deals with the South, accusing it of "hostile intent"
April 2009 - Pyongyang launches a rocket carrying what it says is a communications satellite
25 May 2009 - North Korea conducts a second nuclear test


Seoul announced early on Tuesday that it would delay no longer in joining the PSI - a US-led non-proliferation campaign involving searching ships carrying suspect cargo, aimed at stopping the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction.

North Korea has repeatedly warned that the South's participation in the PSI would be tantamount to a declaration of war.

Joining the PSI "is a natural obligation", South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said, quoted by Yonhap. "It will help control North Korea's development of dangerous material."

Monday's blast, which seismologists said had the power of a 4.5 magnitude earthquake, appears to have been much more powerful than North Korea's first nuclear test.

Defence officials in Russia say it was an explosion of up to 20 kilotons, making it comparable to the American bombs that flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The test came after North Korea walked away from long-running disarmament talks.

It agreed in February 2007 to abandon its nuclear ambitions in return for aid and diplomatic concessions.

But the negotiations stalled as it accused its negotiating partners - the US, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia - of failing to meet agreed obligations.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8067711.stm
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PostSubject: Re: North Korea 'fires more missiles'   Wed May 27, 2009 10:02 am

Heck maybe we should start firing some too! Only in their direction. They are clearly provoking something.

And Obama is making budget cuts in nuclear detection? The article is vague about whether or not there is coverage while the program is being revamped. The timing is odd.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/07/AR2009050703518.html

Obama's Budget Eliminates New Funding for Nuclear Detection


By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 7, 2009; 6:00 PM

President Obama would eliminate new funding for advanced-generation equipment to detect nuclear weapons and radiological materials at U.S. borders and ports and around New York City in his 2010 budget, homeland security officials said.

The decisions, outlined in Homeland Security Department budget documents and briefings Thursday, mark a turn away from a priority of the administration of former president George W. Bush, who with former vice president Dick Cheney championed development of new technologies that could lead to a ring of domestic sensors of weapons of mass destruction.


But the research effort -- which former homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff described as a "mini-Manhattan project" -- has run into problems. Technical flaws and doubts about the integrity of scientific testing have delayed multi-billion dollar plans to buy advanced spectroscopic portal monitors, or ASPs, and automated cargo radiographic imaging systems, or CAARs, to scan for nuclear materials aboard cars, trucks, trains and cargo moving through air and land ports.

Congress has forced DHS's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office to hold off on new purchases, and Obama declined to request funds to buy equipment under DNDO beyond the $153 million Bush obtained last year.

"In 2010, unspent funds will be drawn down as DHS transitions to a different model to fund the purchases of radiation detection equipment within the Department in future budgets," Obama budget documents stated. A DHS official, provided to brief reporters on condition of anonymity, said the decision is not a policy shift but that it was "prudent to take a pause" to work through technical problems and redirect DNDO's work to individual agencies that use the equipment.

Obama is also ending Securing the Cities, a three-year, $90 million pilot program intended to test whether it is possible to secure an urban area -- in this case New York City -- against nuclear terrorism by draping it with an integrated system of handheld, aerial, truck-mounted and waterborne sensors.

"This is the end of the program as far as requesting new funds," the DHS official said.

Critics said that rather than investing in a "goal-line defense" against nuclear terrorists, it is better to spend money to secure nuclear materials at their source, coordinate a government-wide counter-proliferation strategy and to strengthen the operations of first-responders who would answer any alarm.

"My concern is . . . deploying systems that have not been proven technically to be effective, and before we have the means to make them operational," said Randall Larsen, executive director of the congressionally created Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. "What do you do if the alarm goes off?" he said, adding, "What's the strategy behind what we're trying to do?"
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