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N. Korea threatens 2nd and 3rd attacks against naval drill

N. Korea threatens 2nd and 3rd attacks against naval drill

Posted November. 26, 2010 10:09,   


Tension in the Yellow Sea is rising again despite the lingering smoke from shells fired at Yeonpyeong Island.

Immediately after the news came out that South Korea and the U.S. will hold a naval drill with an American aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea from Sunday, North Korea threatened second and third attacks in retaliation if the South commits another military provocation.

In a phone interview, North Korea’s representative to the U.N. said, “The territorial waters are clearly our territory. Our republic has never tolerated an invasion of its territory.”

U.S. experts on the Korean Peninsula also warned of additional provocations by the North, saying Pyongyang, which crossed the line by attacking Yeonpyeong in an unprecedented action since the 1953 armistice, will likely commit another provocation equal in scale or stronger.

The North’s staunch ally China is also expressing fears over the naval exercise in the Yellow Sea.

○ North Korea still to open fire

“The (Yellow Sea) has become a territory of dispute because the U.S. arbitrarily drew the Northern Limited Line in our territorial waters,” the North Korean representative in the border region of Panmunjom said Thursday in a notice rejecting a general-level meeting proposed by the U.N. Command on the attack on Yeonpyeong. “If South Korea commits a military provocation again, we will launch a second and third attack without hesitation.”

In the notice, Pyongyang said, “This incident shows that South Korea violated the armistice and the U.S. set the fire of dispute in the (Yellow) Sea. If the U.S. wants to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula, it should stop South Korea from invading our waters and committing military provocations such as firing shells to protect the sea border.”

○ “We’ve never tolerated a territorial invasion.”

The North said, “South Korea fired first on our territorial waters. We have never tolerated invasion of our territory.”

A source close to the North Korean representative to the U.N. said in a five-minute phone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo, “Because territorial waters are part of a country’s territory, South Korea created a dangerous situation by firing (first) in a military drill.”

“South Korea fired first while conducting the drill around 1 p.m. Tuesday near our side. Would the U.S. stay quiet if artillery is fired off the shores of New York? The responsibility of the provocation lies solely with the South. If the South remains quiet, we will take no additional action.”

○ Provocation likely on land, air and sea.

Georgetown University professor Victor Cha, who served as director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council under the George W. Bush administration, said that given the situation, the North will likely to provoke more often due to two factors – increased uncertainty in North Korea and its power succession, adding it could use the South Korea-U.S. naval drill as an excuse for another provocation.