NORTH KOREA WARNS SOUTH KOREA OF NUCLEAR WAR IF THEY TAKE PART IN U.S. DRILL
FEB 13 2006
Stalinist North Korea has warned South Korea against sparking “nuclear war” by joining a US led international drill aimed at intercepting weapons of mass destruction, state media said.
Rodong Sinmun, the official communist party mouthpiece said late Saturday Seoul’s participation in the drill would be “conspiring with the US in its moves for a war of aggression.”
“It is also a dangerous act of bringing the disaster of a nuclear war to the Korean Peninsula,” Rodong said in a dispatch carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
South Korea said last month it would send a team to “observe” a US led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) drill off Australia in April and that it would get briefed regularly on the initiative.
But Seoul says it has yet to join the politically sensitive initiative, which Pyongyang believes aims largely to blockade North Korea, at a time of burgeoning inter Korean rapprochement.
North Korea is locked in a standoff with the United States and its allies over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.
The PSI a US-led drive to improve global efforts to intercept nuclear, chemical and biological weapons shipments by rogue states and terrorist groups was launched in May 2003.
It has since held joint manoeuvres involving ships and maritime patrol aircraft with over 60 nations signing up for the initiative.
The key signatories include the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia and Singapore.
China, a North Korean ally, and South Korea, which has sought closer ties with the North since a peace summit in 2000, have yet to join the initiative. afp
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