The United States and South Korea announced on Friday that an advanced missile defense system, called as Terminal High Altitude Area Defence(THAAD), will be installed in South Korea. The decision was made public by Yoo-Jeh-Seung, the deputy minister for policy of the South Korean defense ministry and Lt.General Thomas Vandal the commander of U.S eighth army in Seoul,South-Korea. This comes as a result of North Korea testing nuclear ballistic missiles in the Korean peninsula. In a joint statement released by both the countries said that shield will only be to counter the North Korean threat. China, however, has expressed dissatisfaction and said that it would greatly affect the security balance of the Korean peninsula.
U.S.A, has denied the claims by China by stating that THAAD would be solely used against North Korea and not against China or any other nation. Various nuclear and missile test by North Korea in the past few months have prompted U.S.A and South Korea to this decision. Another factor here is the North Korean missiles can now hit the U.S.A’s pacific fleet. Experts suggest, as a result of this decision China would move closer to North Korea and also the fact that it would have an adverse effect on the South Korean economy, as South Korea is the largest tourist hub for Chinese travelers. Local villagers in South Korea are also against this move since they believe that installation of THAAD defense system can also cause harmful radiation , which could spread in nearby areas. North Korea has yet to provided any response to this move.
Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/08/world/asia/south-korea-and-us-agree-to-deploy-missile-defense-system.html?_r=1 (NEWYORK TIMES)
With South Korea deserting the industrial park that aided the Pyongyang nuclear program and the US Senate starting new sanctions, the United States and its allies have tightened its finances on North Korea.
These actions, including the Japanese sanctions, come with the UN Security Council members being stuck on the idea of punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test and long- range rocket launch.
After Seoul’s “unavoidable” decision to close the Kaesong industrial zone in North Korea several Seoul trucks passed the border of North Korea with completed goods and equipment from the factories there. Seoul took this decision since North Korea had been using millions of dollars in hard money that it got from Kaesong to fund its nuclear weapons and missile programs.
However, the action was criticized by the 124 South Korean companies with factories in the area, who told that their business was getting affected due to politics.
Seoul has asked Pyongyang to make sure the citizens return safely as it worries that North Korean officials may not let people leave the park which is just 10 kilometers over the border.
A regulation by Pyongyang which was newly drafted in September 2014 would have allowed North Korea to detain South Korean entrepreneurs in Kaesong in the case of an unsettled dispute in business, but Seoul had rejected it.
Sources: NDTV, Zee News
US officials reported on Thursday of increased activity in the North Korean missile site, hinting at a possible space launch in the coming days, as told to Reuters.
Reeling in under possible sanctions from the United Nations Security Council for nuclear tests conducted on January 6th, North Korea has been under watch by Washington as it fears that the country might be using the space program to improve its missile capabilities.
Intelligence reports indicate that propellant and other components were moved to the Sohae satellite launch facility and a test could be conducted within weeks. “Our concern though is … it’s the same technology to develop ICBMs” (inter-continental ballistic missiles), one of the officials said.
Chief analytics officer, Joe Bermudez of the AllSource Analysis firm stated that construction, vehicular movement and other activities pointed at preparations for a rocket engine test. Although intelligence shows activity at the launch pad, it still remains unclear if a rocket has reached the site.
North Korea is reportedly constructing covers such as buildings around the launch site to prevent foreign satellites from detecting any sensitive activity. 38 North, a North Korea monitoring project said that the shelter is large enough to hide the first stage of an intermediate range ballistic missile, a rocket engine or its Unha space launch vehicle.
North Korea’s nuclear saber-rattling has reached a new peak. North Korean officials have made clear their intent to conduct a third nuclear test (earlier tests were in 2006 and 2009), as well as further rocket launches specifically designed to demonstrate missile reach extending to the U.S. North Korea is not believed to have the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States, although its December launch showed it had the capacity to deliver a rocket that could travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles), potentially putting San Francisco in range, according to an intelligence assessment by South Korea. ‘We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States,’ North Korea’s National Defence Commission said, according to state news agency KCNA.
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