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DPRK declares no-navigation zone in western border: S.Korea

English.news.cn   2014-03-31 11:06:35

SEOUL, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) declared a no-navigation zone in waters near the western maritime border Monday, indicating another missile launches, South Korea's Defense Ministry said.

The DPRK issued the warning, which bans ships from sailing near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), or the disputed sea border, hinting that it would conduct firing exercises with rocket-propelled artillery guns near the tense maritime border.

Army Col. Wi Wong-seop, vice spokesman at the South Korean Defense Ministry, told a routine press briefing that Pyongyang informed Seoul of its shooting exercise plan, saying such a notice is believed to have an intention of raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The spokesman said the South Korean military has thoroughly prepared for possible provocations while operating emergency management teams to brace for possible incidents.

Pyongyang has not issued such warnings when they launched short- and medium-range missiles in recent weeks, causing strong backlashes from neighboring countries for its violation of the international maritime law.

On March 4 when the DPRK fired projectiles from its newly developed multiple-rocket launcher, one passenger jet was flying near the trajectory of the rockets at roughly the same time.

The China Southern Airlines jet with more than 200 passengers on board was heading for Shenyang from Tokyo when it passed through the same sky off the eastern coast of the DPRK as the trajectory of one of the shells.

Meanwhile, the DPRK was known to have issued the no-navigation warning in its eastern coast since Wednesday when it fired two ballistic missiles, believed to be of the Rodong class, indicating another missile launches from the DPRK toward its eastern waters.

The Rodong missiles, launched from the DPRK's southeastern region, landed in Japan's air defense identification zone. The missile is known to have a range of about 1,300 km capable of carrying nuclear warhead.

Even before launching the Rodong missiles, Pyongyang fired a volley of short-range missiles and rocket-propelled artillery shells over the past weeks in what appeared to be in protest against the joint annual military exercises between South Korea and the United States.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin cautioned last December that the DPRK would highly likely provoke between late January and March this year following the purge and execution of Jang Song-Thaek, once-powerful uncle of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

Wi said that the DPRK's bellicose rhetoric and military threats tended to be focused on the period Minister Kim mentioned, noting that during the period, annual war games between South Korea and the United States tended to be conducted.

The "Key Resolve" command post exercise, which began on Feb. 24, ended on March 6, but the "Foal Eagle" field training exercise will last until April 18 despite the DPRK's earlier call for delay or cancellation of the drills, which Pyongyang has denounced as the rehearsal for a northward invasion.

Related:

S.Korea warns price-paying for DPRK's nuclear test threats

SEOUL, March 30 (Xinhua) -- South Korea warned Sunday that if the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would conduct another nuclear test, Pyongyang will have to pay the price for it.

"If North Korea (DPRK) ignores a grave demand from neighboring countries and the international community and conducts its (fourth) nuclear test, it will have to pay the price for it," Seoul's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Full story

DPRK vows not to rule out new form of nuclear test if U.S. sticks to hostile policy

PYONGYANG, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday vowed not to rule out the possibility of conducting a new form of nuclear test if the United States continues its hostile policy towards Pyongyang.

"We do not rule out the new form of nuclear test to further strengthen our nuclear deterrence," a Foreign Ministry statement was quoted by the official news agency KCNA as saying.  Full story

DPRK lashes out at South Korea "gangsters" after alleged boat attack

PYONGYANG, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday lashed out at the South Korean military and government for a "series of severe hostile acts" over an alleged violent incident involving a DPRK fishing boat.

"The group of gangsters of the South Korean navy will pay a dear price for their shuddering atrocities," said a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in a rare organized press conference in the capital Pyongyang, with participants including ambassadors and diplomats from dozens of countries, and representatives of U.N. organizations in Pyongyang.   Full story

Editor: chengyang
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