S Korea says 'more provocation' expected of North soon
Iran Press TV
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:51AM
South Korea says it worries that North Korea would take more "provocative action" in the Korean Peninsula region next month, when the anniversary of the establishment of its communist party arrives.
South Korea's National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong told President Moon Jae-in in a meeting on Thursday that he expected Pyongyang to likely "act around October 10 and 18" without giving further details, according to Park Wan-ju, a legislator and the chief spokesperson of the ruling Democratic Party.
Chung "also said there are worries over military conflict being sparked by accidental incidents," Park added.
North Korea is expected to hold the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of North Korea on October 10, a highly important public holiday with extravagant festivities.
Pyongyang caused an uproar when it conducted its sixth and biggest nuclear test on September 3. The nuclear test significantly raised already high tensions with the United States, South Korea, and Japan.
The North also recently fired two missiles over Japanese airspace, causing further tensions.
An exchange of threats and counter-threats ensued, which together with reported increased military posturing by both sides, has raised the risk of a potential armed confrontation.
North Korea is under growing international pressure over its missile and military nuclear programs and has been subjected to an array of sanctions by the United Nations. However, Pyongyang says it needs to continue and develop the programs as a deterrent against hostility by the US and its regional allies, including Japan and South Korea, where the US has installed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in open defiance of North Korea and also China and Russia.
The two Koreas have since the early 1950s been in a state of hostility – war, to be precise. From 1950 to 1953, a UN force led by the United States fought for the South, and China fought for the North in a series of battles known as the Korean War. The fighting ended when 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement was signed. However, no peace treaty has been signed since then, meaning that South Korea is technically still at war with North Korea.
Russia and China have repeatedly warned that the escalating crisis on the Korean Peninsula has no military solution.
In the Thursday meeting, President Moon "said the United States speaks of military and diplomatic options, but South Korea can't go through war again," Park further said.
North Korea has said that recent remarks by President Trump at the UN General Assembly constituted a declaration of war against Pyongyang. There, Trump said the US would "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary.
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