Related News

Home » World

US: DPRK military reaction unlikely

THE Democratic People's Republic of Korea is unlikely to respond militarily to planned United Nations sanctions for its nuclear test, although the possibility should not be completely dismissed, United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday.

The draft UN Security Council resolution - written by the US and endorsed by the four other permanent members plus Japan and the Republic of Korea - aims to hit North Korea's meagre overseas finances and could be voted on by as early as today.

"I don't think that there has been a commensurate change in the posture of the North Korean military that would suggest an attempt to undertake operations," Gates said as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting of NATO defence ministers.

But he said Pyongyang was so unpredictable it was probably "not wise" to dismiss out of hand North Korean threats of military action.

A Russian foreign ministry source, quoted by Itar-Tass news agency, took a similar line, stating, "The resolution is being adopted in order to solve the problem, and not to whip up the situation.

"We don't expect any actions to follow, including from North Korea, that would lead to an escalation of tension."

But some analysts believe the resolution, if adopted, would draw sharp rebuke from the North, which threatened to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile unless the Security Council apologizes for punishing it for an April rocket launch.

The UN draft "condemns in the strongest terms" North Korea's nuclear test last month and "demands that (it) not conduct any further nuclear test or any launch using ballistic missile technology."

The draft "calls upon" states to inspect suspicious sea, air and land cargoes, but does not demand it.

The North has angered neighbors in the past few weeks with missile launches and a nuclear test, prompting US and South Korean forces to raise a military alert on the peninsula to one of its highest since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The North has been able to obtain a steady flow of foreign currency from South Korean companies using cheap North Korean labor and land to make goods at the Kaesong industrial enclave.

North Korea held talks yesterday with the South over the joint park, once hailed as a model of economic cooperation and now point of tension between the rival states.

North Korea demanded a 3,000-percent hike in rent yesterday from South Korea for the site of the industrial park. It also sought a more than fourfold increase in wages for North Korean workers.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend