knivesandcoffee asks: But isn't that graphic useless without some context? I mean what is the size of North Korea's military compared to the South or to the US?
» SFB says: I think that’s a fair point (and it’s one a lot of people in the comments on that link have raised), but I think it also shows that the country has enough firepower that it could do something. As the article itself puts it: “While North Korean arms are mostly antiquated, much of it dating back half a century, what they lack in modernity they make up for in both volume and location.” Now, whether or not the graphic was particularly useful because it was designed to be never-ending is another question entirely (it could use some compare/contrast), but just because the size of the military may perhaps be smaller than the United States or South Korea, if they’re the first to launch an attack, does it really matter? — Ernie @ SFB
North Korea’s statement advising foreigners to make plans to evacuate Seoul is more unhelpful rhetoric that serves only to escalate tensions. This kind of rhetoric will only further isolate North Korea from the international community, and we continue to urge the North Korean leadership to heed President Obama’s call to choose the path of peace and to come into compliance with its international obligations.White House spokesman Jay Carney • Responding to North Korea’s rather surprising anti-tourism warning on Tuesday, mere hours after North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency warned foreigners in South Korea that the country’s military couldn’t be blamed if they were hurt should war break out on the Korean peninsula. The latest threats from North Korea come on the eve of previously announced ballistic missile testing which has already put a number of countries in the region on edge. source
In the present situation, China believes all sides must remain calm and exercise restraint and not take actions which are mutually provocative, and must certainly not take actions which will worsen the situation.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei • Responding to the news that North Korea has barred South Korean workers from entering the jointly-run Kaesong Industrial Region six miles north of the infamous Demilitarized Zone which separates the North and South. While North Korea has apparently decided to deny South Koreans’ access to the complex, those already inside of Kaesong are reportedly not being threatened or held against their will. source
The bottom line is simply that what Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative. It is dangerous, reckless. The United States will not accept the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) as a nuclear state. …the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan. We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry • Speaking sternly on a North Korean declaration to reopen its primary nuclear reactor complex in Yongbyon. North Korean state media reported that the reactors, as well as a uranium enrichment facility, were shut down and disabled as part of a 2007 agreement with the United States, which the government now plans to “readjust and restart.” This is not the first indication of a renewed international belligerence on the part of North Korea and its hereditary leader, Kim Jong-un — they also declared last week that they were entering a “state of war” with neighboring South Korea. source
We’ve seen reports of a new and unconstructive statement from North Korea. We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies. But we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats and today’s announcement follows that familiar pattern.Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the National Security Council • Speaking on the vocal threats by the North Korean state of impending military action, be it against the United States (they recently released a video showing a fantasy invasion/overthrow of the U.S. mainland), or South Korea (they’ve also announced a “state of war” against their southern neighbors). The response from the U.S. is instructive in the difficulty of assessing North Korean threats — at the same time as all such proclamations must be taken with a requisite level of seriousness, their state has long made militaristic threats boisterously, and uneventfully. source
North Korea is suspected of its third nuclear test after a seismic event was detected near the site of the regime’s previous tests. A UN Security Council diplomat has anonymously told Reuters that the event was in fact a test.
Read more about the event from CNN.
Follow updates on BreakingNews.com.
From the CNN report: “‘It’s a nuclear test,’ said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. ‘That magnitude and that location — it’s awfully unlikely it’s anything else.’”