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Thursday, March 5, 2009

N. Korea Threatens S. Korea; Blames US/S. Korea Military Drills

North Korea Threatens South Korean Passenger Planes
Thursday, March 05, 2009

SEOUL, South Korea —  North Korea threatened South Korean passenger planes flying near its airspace on Thursday and accused the U.S. and South Korea of attempting to provoke a nuclear war with upcoming joint military drills.

In response, South Korea's Korean Air and Asiana Airlines rerouted their flights to stay clear of North Korean airspace, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The threat from North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland comes four days before annual U.S.-South Korean exercises are to begin across South Korea and amid concerns the North is preparing to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile.

The North is "compelled to declare that security cannot be guaranteed for South Korean civil airplanes flying through the territorial air of our side and its vicinity ... while the military exercises are under way," the committee said in statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

It did not say what kind of danger South Korean planes would face or whether the threat means the North would shoot down planes. It was also unclear whether the statement was a warning to clear the air before a possible missile launch.

Analysts said there is little chance North Korea would shoot down planes because it knows such a move would lead to a full-scale war, and said the threat was aimed at escalating tensions.

The North is "exercising all its brinksmanship," said Kim Sung-han, an international relations professor at Seoul's Korea University. "I would say it's just rhetoric for now."

South Koreans, however, still vividly remember a North Korean bomb that exploded on a Korean Air flight in 1987, killing all 115 people on board, and another Korean Air jet that was shot down by a Soviet fighter jet in 1983, killing all 269 people aboard.

North Korea has railed for days against the U.S.-South Korean military drills at a time of mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The North called a meeting with generals from the U.S.-led U.N. Command inside the Demilitarized Zone on Monday — the first general-level talks between the two sides in nearly seven years — and reportedly demanded that Washington call off the exercises.


My Thoughts

This is just more foreign tests that Obama must pass to ensure lasting peace and freedom in the world. Is he up to it? So far, he has some big misses on his report card. He needs this victory to regain his footing with the rest of the world to regain their respect.

The N. Korean dictator is trying to make Obama blink by threatening war against S. Korea and blaming the US/S. Korean alliance for their aggression. They want to fracture the relationship between our two countries and ultimately make the US military leave the Korean peninsula altogether.

The military drills are normal and something that they do once a year. North Korea knows this and wasn't alarmed as they pretend to be.

Obama must begin to stand up to dictators like Putin, Chavez, and Jong Il or the whole world will suffer from the reemergence of evil dictatorships.

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