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2009/07/02 10:43 KST

*** NEWS IN BRIEF (Part 2)

N.K. Says U.S. Nuclear Umbrella for South Justifies Own Nukes

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- U.S. nuclear protection for South Korea justifies North Korea running its own nuclear program, Pyongyang claimed on June 25, warning of "fiery showers of nuclear retaliation" in case of any aggression against it.

   Reacting to a South Korea-U.S. summit on June 16 in Washington, Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper published by the Workers' Party, denounced the leaders' joint statement as "a disgusting kiss between the master and his servant" and dismissed their talk of sanctions as "balderdash."

   The joint statement reaffirmed the U.S. commitment in writing that it will provide an "extended deterrence" for South Korea against the threat of a nuclear attack by the North. It was the first such reassurance coming after the North's second nuclear test on May 25.

   "The stipulation of 'extended deterrence' only justifies our cause to possess nuclear deterrence and in case anything happens, will only incur a ruthless situation in which the fiery showers of our nuclear protection will fall upon South Korea," the paper said in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

   The statement also rebuked South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's departure date for Washington, June 15, which marked the 9th anniversary of the first inter-Korean summit between then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

   It rebutted Lee's remarks at the summit that North Korea would no longer be rewarded for its belligerent behavior.

   "Everybody knows well that such balderdash can never cut ice with the DPRK (North Korea). It is a mockery and insult to the DPRK to raise a hue and cry over the small 'reward.' The DPRK neither wishes to receive such despicable 'reward' nor requires it," it said.

   "The DPRK's (North Korea's) nuclear deterrent has nothing to do with somebody's 'recognition,' and its only purpose is to prevent any aggressor from deliberately provoking it," the paper said.

   Concerning Lee's proposal to hold denuclearization talks minus North Korea, the paper said "one must know that the six-party talks are like crying over spilt milk and their pressure for 'dismantlement' of nukes went bust long ago."


KCNA English Now on Twitter: Report

SEOUL (Yonhap) - North Korea's official news agency has recently opened a Twitter account to use the social-networking program as a means of giving English-speakers instant updates and news on the socialist nation.

   The North's foreign news outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has 592 updates at its account at http://twitter.com/kcna_dpark as of July 1 since the first posting dated on April 24.

   After taking a simple registration process, users can send and receive KCNA's English news via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications.

   Pyongyang is also planning to allow third-generation mobile phone users to connect to its official Korean-language Website "Ryomyong" using their handsets in about five months, according to Onbao, an Internet newspaper of Korean Residents in China reported on June 26.

   Mobile-phone users can read the KCNA's Korean-language news, listen to North Korean music and do online chatting if they register themselves with the charged service, the newspaper said.


N. Korea Threatens to Shoot down Japanese Surveillance Planes

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea threatened on June 27 to shoot down any Japanese aircraft entering its air space, accusing Tokyo of spying on the country earlier this week.

   "An E-767 made a long shuttle flight from air above the waters east of Wonsan to the air above the waters east of Musudan after taking off from its base in Japan about 8:30 a.m. on June 25," the North's Korean People's Army (KPA) said in a report carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency.

   Musudan was the site used for North Korea's long-range rocket launch in April that it claims was for a satellite but is believed by neighbors to have been a disguise for a ballistic missile test.

   The KPA report claimed a Japanese surveillance aircraft had also conducted an aerial espionage mission on Wednesday.

   "The air force of the Korean People's Army will not tolerate even a bit the aerial espionage by the warmongers of the Japanese aggression forces but mercilessly shoot down any plane intruding into the territorial air of the DPRK even 0.001 mm," the report said. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

   North Korea is believed to be preparing to test launch yet another long-range missile from its east coast following its nuclear test on May 25.

   The communist nation has been severely condemned for its rocket and atomic tests by the United Nations, but Pyongyang is continuing to raise tension with threats to reinforce its nuclear arsenal.


N. Korea Claims S. Korea Is Scheming to Absorb Socialist State

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea on June 28 accused South Korea of trying to absorb the socialist state, citing President Lee Myung-bak's recent remarks that his government will pursue reunification with the North on the basis of a market economy.

   The weekly Tongil Sinbo, a government mouthpiece, was referring to a speech Lee made after a summit with U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this month, in which he said Seoul will pursue inter-Korean unification "on the principles of free democracy and a market economy."

   Such remarks are aimed at "breaking down the North's ideology and system to achieve 'reunification through absorption,' and it is appalling that they came out of the mouth of Lee Myung-bak," the paper said in an article carried by the North's official Web site, Uriminzokkiri.

   The weekly also blasted Lee's signature North Korea policy, called "Denuclearization, Openness, 3000," in which his government seeks to raise the country's per capital income to US$3,000 if it abandons its nuclear program, as the "basis and destination" of the "absorption" scheme.

   Taking office last year, Lee adopted a tougher stance than his liberal predecessors over the North's nuclear weapons program. His conservative government also ended unconditional rice and fertilizer aid to the North that had continued for nearly a decade. Such support continued despite the North's 2006 nuclear test and launching of long range missiles.

   Lee's hardline policy won support from conservatives at home, but liberals and non-governmental groups say his tough stance sent inter-Korean relations backwards after years of reconciliatory progress.

   "What we can obviously learn here is that South Korea's confrontational policy toward its fellow men will never change as long as Lee Myung-bak is in power," the paper said.


N. Korea Blasts Seoul's Plan to Implement U.N. Resolution

SEOUL (Yonhap) - North Korea on June 29 blasted South Korea for preparing to carry out U.N. sanctions against the socialist country's second nuclear test, calling the move "the worst grave anti-North provocation that has never (sic) existed in the history of inter-Korean relations."

   Seoul has been seeking ways to effectively carry out the U.N. Security Council's resolution punishing North Korea for its second underground nuclear test conducted on May 25.

   "We're ready for both sanctions and a war," Rodong Sinmun, newspaper of the Workers' Party, said in a signed commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

   The newspaper said if the South Korean government thinks it stands to gain from sanctions, it is a "silly delusion" and that sanctions would only cause war and destruction on the Korean Peninsula.

   The North warned it would "mercilessly and sternly respond" to any kind of provocative behavior that denies the sovereignty of the socialist state and heightens tension on the peninsula.