U.S. Brass: North Korea Capable of Rapidly Attacking South

Global Security Newswire Staff
April 3, 2014, 6:34 a.m.

The head of U.S. forces on the Korean Pen­in­sula on Wed­nes­day warned that North Korea has the abil­ity to con­duct an as­sault on the South at a mo­ment’s no­tice.

In testi­mony to the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, Army Gen. Curtis Scapar­rotti said,”The Kim Jong Un re­gime is dan­ger­ous and has the cap­ab­il­ity … to at­tack South Korea with little or no warn­ing,” Stars and Stripes re­por­ted.

In re­cent days Kim threatened to use the North Korean mil­it­ary to “crush” what he per­ceived as a hos­tile U.S. policy to­ward his coun­try. That threat comes on the heels of a Monday live-fire mari­time ex­er­cise car­ried out by the North that sent some shells across a dis­puted sea line with the South. And on Sunday, Py­ongy­ang warned it was pre­pared to carry out a “new” type of nuc­le­ar test and would stage fur­ther mil­it­ary drills aimed at im­prov­ing the abil­ity to strike longer-range tar­gets.

“This is a com­mon strategy with North Korea to come out of a peri­od of calm and to use these types of ac­tions” to send a mes­sage about Py­ongy­ang’s “dis­pleas­ure” with U.S. mil­it­ary ex­er­cises in the re­gion, Scapar­rotti said.

Mean­while, South Korea, the United States and Ja­pan are slated to con­vene tri­lat­er­al talks next week in Wash­ing­ton that will fo­cus on pro­spects for re­in­vig­or­at­ing a frozen mul­tina­tion­al pro­cess aimed at achiev­ing ir­re­vers­ible North Korean de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion. Ahead of that meet­ing, Seoul an­nounced it had ap­poin­ted a new seni­or ne­go­ti­at­or to the nuc­le­ar talks — dip­lo­mat Hwang Joon-kook, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

Else­where, a new ana­lys­is pub­lished on Thursday by the ex­pert web­site 38 North con­cluded there is a “high” prob­ab­il­ity of an atom­ic ac­ci­dent oc­cur­ring at the ex­per­i­ment­al light-wa­ter re­act­or re­cently con­struc­ted at North Korea’s Yongby­on nuc­le­ar com­plex.

Ex­perts Niko Mi­lono­poulous and Ed­ward Bland­ford found a num­ber of reas­ons stem­ming from North Korea’s in­ter­na­tion­al isol­a­tion and poverty that could con­trib­ute to a nuc­le­ar melt­down at the re­act­or, in­clud­ing po­ten­tially flawed re­act­or safety blue­prints and pos­sibly shoddy con­struc­tion work. A spring 2013 im­age ana­lys­is by 38 North con­cluded that ex­tern­al work on the re­act­or ap­peared to be done but that it was not clear if activ­it­ies were go­ing on to op­er­a­tion­al­ize the fa­cil­ity.

What We're Following See More »
FOLLOWED CLOSED DOOR MEETING
Peña Nieto, Trump Trade Subtle Jabs in Statements
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Following their meeting, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, briefly addressed the media, with Peña Nieto subtly rebuking Trump's rhetoric. While he spoke respectfully about Trump, Peña Nieto did not back down, saying that free trade has proved effective and that illegal immigration into America from the south has decreased over the last ten years while the flow of people and drugs into Mexico has increased. Additionally, he stressed that Mexicans in America are "honest" and "deserve respect." Trump responded, calling some Mexicans "tremendous people" while saying others are "beyond reproach." Trump laid out five important issues, including the end of illegal immigration and the ability for either country to build a wall or border. However, Trump said he did not discuss who would pay for the wall.

LOWER COURT RULING STANDS
SCOTUS Won’t Restore NC Voter ID Law
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

A divided Supreme Court "refused Wednesday to reinstate North Carolina’s voter identification requirement and keep just 10 days of early in-person voting. The court rejected a request by Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials to delay a lower court ruling that found the state law was tainted by racial discrimination."

Source:
SMOKIN’ AND SHOOTIN’
Court: 2nd Amendment Doesn’t Protect Pot Users’ Gun Rights
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
CHICAGO DISTRICT
Woman Self-Immolates in Congressman’s Office
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Police say a woman walked into U.S. Rep. Danny Davis' office on Chicago's West Side, drank out of a bottle of hand sanitizer, poured the sanitizer over herself and set herself on fire with a lighter." The Democrat wasn't in the office at the time.

Source:
ASKS CONGRESS FOR $1.1 BILLION MORE
White House Grants $53 Million for Opioids
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday awarded 44 states, four tribes and the District of Columbia a combined $53 million in grants to expand access to treatment for opioid use disorders and ultimately aimed at reducing the number of opioid-related deaths." But HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and drug czar Michael Botticelli both called on Congress to approve the $1.1 billion Obama has requested to fight the opioid crisis.

Source:
×