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Park urges N.K. to halt vicious cycle

Posted April. 10, 2013 06:11,   


President Park Geun-hye expressed sincere regret over North Korea`s temporary suspension of the inter-Korean Kaesong industrial complex Tuesday. It is the first time that Park has directly expressed regret at the specific threat by the North. Pyongyang made additional threat the same day, saying, “Foreigners in South Korea should evacuate to secure their personal safety.” The South Korean military is maintaining a very high level of alert, judging that the North could launch mid-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea or the Pacific Ocean around Wednesday.

“It is highly disappointing that North Korea decided to temporarily suspend the Kaesong Industrial Complex that had been operating well,” President Park said in a cabinet meeting on the day. “Until when (the North) will continue the vicious cycle wherein it creates a crisis before making compromise and receiving assistance?” She went on to say, “If normal operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex becomes difficult, the inter-Korean cooperation fund will be used to compensate South Korean firms for damage, and spending of the fund, which has been raised for inter-Korean exchange and cooperation, will inevitably decline correspondingly,” hinting that her government is preparing measures to cope with possible closure of the industrial complex by the North.

“If the North breaks international rules and promises this way, suspending the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, no country or company in the world will want to invest in the North,” President Park said. “The North is urged to end wrong behaviors, and make righteous decision in a way that benefits the future of the entire Korean people.”

About three hours after Park’s remarks were made public, the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee of the North said in a spokesman’s statement, “All foreign organizations and companies, and foreigners including tourists in South Korea, will have to prepare measures to escape and disperse to ensure personal safety,” adding, “If the fuse of war is triggered on the Korean Peninsula, it will become a sacred war of ruthless vengeance by us as a full-scale warfare.”

With the North constantly raising the level of its threat day after day, chances are high that Pyongyang will launch mid-range Musudan ballistic missiles around Wednesday. “We are keeping close watch on moves regarding missiles including Scud, Rodong and Musudan across the North,” South Korea`s Defense Ministry source said. “The North could launch various types of missiles as ‘set of different models.” Another source said that if the North’s missile crosses the skies over Japan, a Japanese aegis destroyer could fire an SM-3 interceptor missile and intercept it.

The Sankei Shimbun in Japan reported that the North told diplomats from certain countries stationed in Pyongyang that “We plan to launch a missile that will cruise over Japanese territory and heads toward the Pacific Ocean as early as Wednesday,” citing multiple informed sources.