Sunday, 24 January, 2016

North Korea puts U.S., South Korea forces on highest alert

A U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber flies over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek South Korea Sunday Jan. 10 2016. The powerful U.S. B-52 bomber flew low over South Ko South Korea resumes propaganda broadcasts into North Korea
Dana Christensen | 23 January, 2016, 05:58

North Korea's fourth nuclear test has quickly escalated into the most high-profile standoff with the belligerent, brainwashed country in three years.

"Even though we do not pose any threat to them, North Koreans have used the excuse of the threat posed by the USA and our allies to develop their risky capabilities", he added.

North Korea has expanded propaganda broadcasts in border areas in response to South Korea's resumption of such broadcasts, a Seoul official said on Monday.

Seoul's current envoy to the talks is to meet his Washington and Tokyo counterparts Wednesday, before moving on to China for dialogue with Beijing's representative the following day.

"They absolutely took notice", CNN's Will Ripley reported from the North Korean capital.

The U.S. military has almost 30,000 troops in South Korea, but can also quickly deploy additional conventional forces and armaments including nuclear weapons from regional bases in Japan and Guam.

"It is the legitimate right of a sovereign state and a fair action that nobody can criticize", the North's Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying during a tour of the Armed Forces Ministry.

The center, opened on January 1 by Kim Jong Un, is centered around a replica of the 2012 rocket that launched North Korea's first and only satellite into orbit.

China fears North Korea's nuclear programme destabilises its neighbourhood and gives the United States a pretext to send weapons and forces to the region.

Scaparrotti was touring the base, which is 55 kilometers south of the capital Seoul, together with South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Lee Sun-jin.

South Koreans living near the Demilitarized Zone are anxious about the possibility of a North Korean attack with tensions high after Pyongyang's nuclear test last week.

The display of military might came as North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un today justified his country's first hydrogen bomb test as self-defence to prevent nuclear war with the United States, in his first comments since the explosion. A top North Korean official told a rally on Friday that the broadcasts had pushed the rival Koreas to the "brink of war".

Seoul's unification ministry said Monday that it will restrict entrance of South Korean workers into the Kaesong industrial complex, the only remaining symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation, from Tuesday.

The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic bomber and part of the U.S. Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Pacific Command said.

It may take weeks or longer to confirm or refute the North's claim that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, which would mark a major and unanticipated advance for its still-limited nuclear arsenal.

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