Elite Israeli forces seized North Korean nuclear material

LONDON, Sept 23 (AFP) - Elite Israeli forces seized North Korean nuclear material during
a raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israeli warplanes bombed it September 6,
Sunday Times reported Sunday.It quoted well-placed sources as saying the commandos
seized the material from a compound near Dayr az-Zwar in northern Syria and that tests
of it in Israel showed it was of North Korean origin. An unidentified senior American source
quoted by The Sunday Times added that the US government sought proof of nuclear-related
activities before allowing the air strike by F-151 warplanes to go ahead.(Posted @ 09:00 PST)

"pleasure groups"

According to former bodyguard Kim Myong-chul, she caught his eye as one of the 2,000 girls employed in Kim Jong-il's "pleasure groups". Each "pleasure group" is composed of three teams - a "satisfaction team", which performs sexual services; a "happiness team", which provides massage, and a "dancing and singing team".

A classified document issued by the Workers' Party titled "The Project to Guarantee Longevity of the Great Leader and the Dear Leader is the Sacred Duty of all Party Members and Party Committees" describes how the girls are recruited and trained.

N. Korea's Growing Drug Trade Seen in Botched Heroin Delivery

Richard C. Paddock and Barbara Demick; Los Angeles Times; May 21, 2003; pg. A.1

Smuggling heroin is more effective in destroying the West than making nuclear weapons.

"It's a good way to kill a country," he said.
"You don't have to fire bullets.
They'll make a lot of profit, and they'll bring the young of the country down to their knees."

North Korea and Zimbabwe

The notorious North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade killed an estimated 20,000 ethnic Matabele in quashing resistance to his rule, explaining why the MDC draws much support from that area to the west of the country.

Former U.S. ambassador John Bolton criticized the U.S. government

for releasing $25 million (?18.8 million) to North Korea,
declared that using military force against Iran would be preferable to allowing a nuclear Iran and said it is time to contemplate regime change in Sudan.
As for North Korea, he said the U.S. government's decision to release US$25 million (?18.8 million) of Pyongyang's funds "is a mistake".
After an off-the-record speech Tuesday to the Hudson Institute, a non-partisan policy research organization,
Bolton told a group of reporters that Iran will not give up its nuclear ambitions and North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons.
Bolton, who has returned to the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he has very little confidence that China is going to guarantee that North Korea uses the money for humanitarian programs.
"I think it's a signal of weakness," he said. "It's a terrible signal to Iran and other would-be proliferators, and it's a further example of letting North Korea out of the corner that they put themselves
in through the nuclear test in October."
Bolton said North Korea's boycott of six-party talks on Tuesday over a dispute on when the US$25 million (?18.8 million)
will be released from the Macau bank follows Pyongyang's negotiating tactics ? agonize over a deal, sign it, then start renegging on it.
"They're just doing it again," he said. "It's why I've compared this to jumping into a bowl of molasses."


Officers find 1.5 million contraband cigarette packs on North Korean ship
The coast guard detected yesterday a freight vessel off Katakolo, southwest Greece,
that was attempting to smuggle into the country 1.5 million packets of cigarettes.
The seven crew members on the North Korean-flagged Evva vessel were arrested.
The Merchant Marine Ministry said that the cigarettes were destined for Greece and that unpaid taxes and dues from the shipment reached 3.5 million euros.
Authorities said that they found the ship about 6 nautical miles off the port of Katakolo after receiving a tip-off about a suspicious vessel.

North Korea wants Japanese blood

North Korea's deputy foreign minister, Choe Su Hon said
"Koreans have deep grudge toward Japan wich have to be paid off with blood." at the U.N. General Assembly.

N Korea threatens to bolster war deterrent

Financial Times, UK Jul 16, 2006
North Korea threatened on Sunday to “bolster its war deterrent” in response to UN-agreed sanctions to curb its missile programme,
but the US and China told Pyongyang it faced no option but to return to talks.
Pyongyang had re-sponded angrily to the UN decision, saying it would not be “bound to it in the least”,
and asserting that “the vicious hostile policy of the US towards [North Korea] and the irresponsibility of the UN Security Council have created an extremely dangerous situation on the Korean peninsula”,
according to the state news agency, quoting a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman.
“Our republic will bolster its war deterrent for self-defence in every way, by all means and methods now that the situation has reach-ed the worst phase due to the extremely hostile act of the US.”

Japan's government said it aimed to adopt measures to restrict the transfer of funds to North Korea.
Tokyo has a foreign exchange restriction law, but until now the cabinet had made no decision to implement it.

The flow of funds from Japan to North Korea is thought to have dwindled considerably over recent years,
and Tokyo's banning of the ferry service to North Korea, after its recent missile tests, has further cut off opportunities for Korean residents in Japan to carry suitcases of cash there.

Other transfers are made by companies through banks in Hong Kong, Macao and Switzerland,
including owners of pachinko (pinball) parlours, many of whom are of Korean descent.

Japanese banks with links to the Macao-based Banco Delta Asia, which has been the target of US sanctions, have already voluntarily suspended transactions.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who has tussled with the North before,

could not resist a response to Pak,
and requested the floor after the North Korean left the council chamber.

"This has been a historic day ? not only have we unanimously adopted resolution 1695, but North Korea
has set a world record in rejecting it within 45 minutes after its adoption," he said.

U.N. tolerates cruel bully in North Korea
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, whose name translates roughly as Seriously Mentally Il, is the worst kind of tyrant.

Yes, there are degrees of tyrannical behavior. It’s not necessarily an oxymoron to call some dictators “benevolent,” proof positive that everything is relative.

North Korea’s bizarre and reclusive dictator is at the other end of the scale of tyranny. The term wicked comes to mind, but even that’s not far enough in the other direction. Sometimes the language does fail us.

Kim is the most ruthless kind of dictator. He starves his own people, seemingly for his own pleasure. He keeps an entire nation in primitive bondage, while playing with expensive, high-tech toys like ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. He is a menace in the international neighborhood, an intimidating bully on the school ground.

One Associated Press dispatch from Washington last week said that U.S. officials “can’t read the mind” of the crazy dictator. Duh.

Whatever is on his mind is so obviously scrambled that it would require a psychological descrambler not yet invented to decipher whatever mess is going on in his head. And it’s impossible to read the heart of someone who doesn’t have one.

But it’s not impossible to assess the usefulness of the United Nations, which is an oxymoron.

Have you ever observed a more disunited, dysfunctional bunch? Where is there any indication of “unity” in this international Animal House?

“Don’t Feed the Animals”

How to Begin Dealing with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il
J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.
First, strict segregation is employed; the animals aren’t permitted to roam freely among the humans.
The greatest danger represented by the DPRK’s missile program is proliferation whether to terrorist groups or other
internationally troublesome regimes like that of the Islamic Republic of Iran (the technical affinities between Iranian
Shehab-5 and Shehab-6 missiles and the North Korean Taepodong betray the ties between Pyongyang and Tehran).
Nor is the question of proliferation speculative: we now know that the two tons of enriched uranium that Libya
surrendered came from North Korea and not from the A.Q. Khan network in Pakistan as previously thought. The U.S.
must seek a regimen of strict inspections of every plane, train, and boat headed to or from North Korea. Pyongyang
might not like it, but since its economy is wholly dependent upon external life support, it has little choice. And while
Beijing and Seoul might also look askance, their national interests will dictate that they go along if only to avoid
stronger action.

Second, visitors aren’t allowed to feed the animals, lest they create dependencies and encourage bad habits.

10 Most Censored Countries

New York, May 2, 2006?North Koreans live in the most censored country in the world, a new analysis
by the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. Communist North Korea is the world’s deepest
information void; there is not a single independent journalist, and all radio and television receivers
in the country are sold locked to government-specified frequencies. Burma, Turkmenistan, Equatorial
Guinea, and Libya round out the top five nations on CPJ’s list of the “10 Most Censored Countries.”

1st North Korean Defectors Arrive in L.A.

Six North Korean defectors ? the first refugees the U.S. has admitted from the totalitarian nation
? arrived in Southern California on Saturday bearing accounts of famine,
sexual enslavement, torture and repression.

The 2004 North Korean Human Rights Act mandates that the United States take in refugees, but until this month, none had been admitted, in part
because South Korea and China thought that such a move would set back six-nation talks aimed at getting North Korea to dismantle nuclear weapons.

A few North Koreans who resettled in South Korea have applied for asylum in the U.S., claiming they were treated badly in South Korea. One such application was granted in April.

No More Gambling on N. Korea

MACAO ? By the time financial authorities cracked down on North Korea's dealings here, it was like the classic moment of feigned ignorance in "Casablanca"
when Capt. Louis Renault declares, "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."
For decades, the former Portuguese colony was renowned as the favorite haunt of counterfeiters, drug runners and spies, a kind of real-life "Casablanca" whose old-world cobblestone sidewalks
and smoke-filled baccarat parlors probably hatched more intrigues than any script could contain.
Banks here handled millions of dollars on behalf of North Korea's isolated communist government,
which has been long accused by the United States of selling illegal drugs to raise hard currency. The nation's founder, Kim Il Sung, and his son, current leader Kim Jong Il, allegedly kept their ill-gotten gains in Macao.
And a North Korean terrorist confessed to plotting the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner from a hotel here overlooking the South China Sea.
But now the welcome mat has been rolled up, and the North Koreans, who didn't have many friends tobegin with, find themselves distinctly unwelcome in this autonomously governed Chinese territory.
In February, Macao's banking regulators froze $25 million worth of North Korean accounts in the Banco Delta Asia, a bank the U.S. Treasury Department had accused in September of
helping the North Korean government launder money and distribute counterfeit U.S. currency.
"Today people here want to do business with the Americans, not the North Koreans," said Jose Rocha Dinis, director of the Jornal Tribunal de Macau,
a Portuguese-language newspaper, as he drove along a waterfront cluttered with construction cranes. "When they are seeking investment from the outside, they can't let the North Koreans get in the way."

N.Korean defector says disabled newborns are killed

22 Mar 2006 12:13:22 GMT
Source: Reuters
SEOUL, March 22 (Reuters) - North Korea has no people with physical disabilities because they are killed
almost as soon as they are born, a physician who defected from the communist state said on Wednesday.

Ri Kwang-chol, who fled to the South last year, told a forum of rights activists that the practice of killing
newborns was widespread but denied he himself took part in it.

"There are no people with physical defects in North Korea," Ri told members of the New Right Union,
which groups local activists and North Korean refugees.

He said babies born with physical disabilities were killed in infancy in hospitals or in homes and were quickly buried.

North Korea suggested Tuesday it had

the ability to launch a pre-emptive attack on the United States,
according to the North's official news agency. A Foreign Ministry
spokesman said the North had built atomic weapons to counter the U.S. nuclear threat.

Japan officials raid N.Korean freighter

Media reports said the vessel had carried ingredients for sarin nerve gas to North Korea from the Japanese cities of Osaka and Kobe 10 years ago.

Australia to destroy North Korean drug smuggling ship

Kim's Bad Habit Monday, Jan. 30, 2006

A confidential report compiled by investigators working for a coalition of
major U.S., European and Japanese tobacco companies indicates
that North Korea has developed a highly lucrative source of hard currency: counterfeit cigarettes.
The 11-page document, a copy of which was obtained by TIME,
outlines in unprecedented detail the inner workings of this illicit business
and the extent to which
it may have led North Korea's rogue regime to ally itself with crime syndicates
from mainland China and Taiwan.

The report estimates that production from 10 to 12 North Korean factories
in the counterfeiting business may total 41 billion cigarettes a year,
generating annual revenues of $520 million to $720 million.

the U.S. is trying to pressure Kim to abandon his nuclear-weapons program
by cracking down on his regime's income from business exploits as diverse
as trafficking drugs and counterfeiting $100 bills.

Three of the factories that are said to be located in the Rajin area on
the northeast coast of North Korea are allegedly run or financed by crime
syndicates from Taiwan.
One of these factories, equipped with second-hand equipment from China,
has allegedly counterfeited such brands as Mild Seven,
Dunhill and Benson & Hedges.

Rice Calls on North Korea To End Its Self-Imposed Isolation

05 January 2006
Secretary notes U.S. working to close "loopholes" in Nonproliferation Treaty
Washington -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on North Korea to
end its self-imposed isolation, saying
the United States is prepared to engage the county "in a major way" if
the Pyongyang regime abandons its nuclear weapons program.
Speaking to reporters in Washington on January 5, Rice said:
"(I)t's a North Korean choice to be isolated,
not American policy to isolate them."
The secretary acknowledged that Pyongyang is "a dangerous regime."
The secretary said U.S. sanctions on North Korean companies were imposed
because of illegal activities such as counterfeiting U.S. currency.
The United States, she said, has "no illusions about the nature of
the North Korean regime.
We have no illusions about what is happening to the North Korean people
and about the need to speak out on those issues

The U.S. won't lift sanctions against North Korea

because the country is run by a ``criminal regime'' that exports weapons
and smuggles drugs, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea said.

North Korea's government said it won't return to talks aimed at dismantling
the country's nuclear weapons program unless the U.S. lifts sanctions
against North Korean companies
allegedly engaging in illegal activities, the North's official
Korean Central News Agency said on Dec. 3.

``What we have to remember is that North Korea is a criminal regime,''
U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow told reporters
from South Korean media during a breakfast seminar in downtown Seoul.
``We cannot lift sanctions when North Korea is exporting dangerous weapons
and smuggling drugs.''

Jenkins Photo Proof Of Kidnapping?

Oct. 26, 2005
(CBS) A never-before-seen photo obtained by 60 Minutes raises new questions
about one of the most bizarre incidents of espionage in modern history.

The photo comes from U.S. army deserter Robert Jenkins, who spent 39 years
in North Korea and was released just last year.

It seems, at first glance, like a typical family snapshot. Jenkins sits
beside his wife and oldest child on a beach in North Korea. But the new
and potentially explosive information concerns a woman in the left-hand
corner of the frame. Jenkins says she is a Thai national who was kidnapped
by North Korean agents from Macau, near Hong Kong, in 1978.

If what Jenkins says is true, it would represent the first photographic
evidence that North Korea abducted ordinary citizens from Asian countries
other than Japan and South Korea.
http://www.cbsnews.com/images/2005/10/25/image979682g.jpg 画像

N.Korea seen as source of counterfeit U.S. currency

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's government is producing high-quality
counterfeit $100 bills and is working with criminal groups in China
to sell the fake U.S. money internationally, U.S. officials say.

Don't trust; do verify

An agreement intended to abort North Korea's nuclear program was reached
once before, only to be flouted and later abandoned by the North Koreans.

North Korea needs to be held strictly accountable for honoring its promises;
in 1994, it agreed to freeze its nuclear program in return for aid, only
to renege on the deal.

This time, it should be given the help it was promised only in return for
measurable, verifiable progress in the dissolution of its weapons programs.

The North Koreans double-crossed the world once before. They can't be
allowed to do it again.

Deal unclear as N Korea demands reactors

Tuesday, September 20
There has been mixed reaction to North Korea's statement that it will not
give up its nuclear weapons until the United States provides the country
with civilian atomic reactors.

A senior US official says North Korea's claim is not in line with
the deal signed in Beijing.

"This was obviously not the agreement they signed and we will see what the coming weeks bring," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

U.S. News & World Report 7/27/05

Bush administration officials to consider trying to move the issue
to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions and
a de facto quarantine.
The administration also revved up efforts to deny the North Korean
regime proceeds from its reported trafficking in drugs, cigarettes,
and counterfeit currency.

the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
North Korean Officials Have Long History in Crime, U.S. Official Says
"More recently, there have been very clear indications, especially
from a series of methamphetamine seizures in Japan,
that North Koreans traffic in, and probably manufacture,
methamphetamine drugs," he said.
North Korea, Bach said, is also involved in counterfeiting, smuggling,
and trade in endangered species.

"The second . . . is the sale of illegal drugs. And third is a combination of remittances from illegal and quasi-illegal activity outside the country from,
basically, organized criminal networks in Japan and elsewhere."
John Bolton said the U.S. has focused on all three categories to prevent North Korea's "dictatorship" from getting its hands on funds.

Remember the Pueblo

Published: July 19, 2005
PYONGYANG, North Korea
Moored on a river here in the North Korean capital is the U.S.S. Pueblo,
described as an "armed spy ship of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces."

The Pueblo is the Navy ship that North Korea seized in 1968 in waters off the
country's east coast, setting off an international crisis.

Col. Kim Jung Rok, who helped storm the Pueblo as a 28-year-old sailor, is now
in charge of the ship.
The Pueblo is the Navy ship that North Korea seized in 1968 in waters off
the country's east coast, setting off an international crisis.
One American sailor was killed and 82 others were imprisoned for nearly
a year and tortured into writing confessions. To signal that the confessions
were forced, the sailors listed accomplices like the television character
Maxwell Smart.

When forced to pose for a photo, some crew members extended their middle
fingers to the camera, explaining to the North Korean photographer that
this was a Hawaiian good luck sign. After the photo was published and
the North Korean guards realized they'd been had, the sailors suffered
a week of particularly brutal torture.

As the first Navy vessel to surrender in peacetime since 1807, the Pueblo
was a humiliation for America. And it has become a propaganda trophy for
North Korea, with ordinary Koreans paraded through in organized tours
to fire up nationalist support for the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il.

Behind Enemy Lines

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Published: July 12, 2005
I was able to get a visa to North Korea (after being "banned for life" after my last visit, in 1989,
for reasons that remain unclear) by tagging along with The Times's publisher,
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., on a visit here.
The government arranged for us to interview senior officials, including
the vice president, the foreign minister and a three-star general.

General Li said that if the U.S. launched a surgical strike, the result "will be all-out war."
I asked whether that meant North Korea would use nuclear weapons
(most likely against Japan).
He answered grimly, "I said, 'We will use all means.' "

Li Chan Bok, a leading general in the North Korean Army, made it clear that even
as the six-party talks staggered on, his country would add to its nuclear arsenal.
"To defend our sovereignty and our system," he said, "we cannot but increase our
number of nuclear weapons as a deterrent force."

U.S. Halts Search for Its War Dead in North Korea

By REUTERS   May 26, 2005
WASHINGTON, May 25 - The Pentagon on Wednesday suspended United States efforts inside
North Korea to find remains of American troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War,
accusing the government in Pyongyang of creating an atmosphere dangerous to American

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld recommended the suspension of efforts that began in
1996 to recover the remains, said Lawrence Di Rita, chief Pentagon spokesman.

Mr. Di Rita cited the "uncertain environment created by North Korea's unwillingness to
participate in the six-party talks" on North Korea's nuclear program, its recent
declarations regarding its intentions to develop nuclear weapons, and its withdrawn from
the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

North Korea 'facing food crisis'

The World Food Programme (WFP) has repeated its warning of a food crisis in North Korea
and says the situation is getting worse by the day.
The WFP regional director, Anthony Banbury, said contributions from overseas had all but
dried up.
He said the organisation was having to cut handouts to some of those most in need.
North Korea has depended on food aid from overseas for the last decade.
But major donors have made no new contributions this year and the WFP is warning of
disaster if they do not resume shipments.

N. Korea won't rule out pre-emptive attack

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 AP
The North poured out anti-American rhetoric -- a tactic it has used in the past
before entering negotiations --
by claiming that Washington's “hostile policies” led it to develop nuclear
weapons as a deterrent and warning against any attack to dislodge its leadership.
“The United States should be aware that the choice of a pre-emptive attack
is not only theirs,”
the North's official news agency quoted the cabinet newspaper Minju Joson as saying.
“To stand against force with force is our unswerving method of response.”

N. Korea Nuke Test Would Pose Challenges

May 23, 2005
WASHINGTON ? A nuclear weapons test by North Korea would reverberate around the
world, altering the nuclear balance in Asia and posing stark new challenges for
U.S. policy-makers and military planners.

Yet, it could also induce China, Russia and other powers to join the United States
in seeking U.N.-approved penalties against the hard-line communist country,
analysts and diplomats suggest.

Turkey expels North Koreans in drug case

Police say the pair, who have diplomatic immunity, brought a large number of pills from Bulgaria,
where they are based, and delivered them to two Turks, who were arrested in the Istanbul raid

Text of North Korean government nuclear statement ABC News

May 11, 2005
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea announced on Wednesday it had finished extracting
nuclear fuel rods from its Yongbyon plant and increased the size of its atomic
weapons arsenal which has raised alarm across the region and beyond.
Following is the text of a statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry carried
in the English-language service of the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). DPRK stands for the state's official title, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Japan has long been North Korea's shopping mall of choice when it comes to military components.
It has the advantages of proximity, advanced technology and a large population of ethnic Koreans,
many with family ties to the North or to the pro-Pyongyang General Assn. of Korean Residents in Japan.
Barbara Demic

Rice Warns North Korea of U.S. Might

Although the United States no longer stores nuclear weapons on
the Korean peninsula, it has long-range missiles and other weapons
within striking distance of the North.

The U.S. Air Force rotates heavy bombers, including Stealth B-2s,
onto its base on the island of Guam in the western Pacific.
It maintains F-15E and other fighter jets in Japan and South Korea.

An American aircraft carrier is based off Japan, and the Navy has
made clear it can move more vessels into the region on short notice.

The Bush administration, facing a series of recent provocations from North Korea

is debating a plan to seek a United Nations resolution empowering all nations
to intercept shipments in or out of the country that may contain nuclear materials or components,
say senior administration officials and diplomats who have been briefed on the proposal.

Interview With James Rosen of Fox News

SECRETARY RICE: Well, we will know when we’ve had the discussions with
our allies and with our colleagues in the six-party talks when it’s time to do that.

But I just want to reiterate to you: The North Koreans are not confused about the security situation
on the Korean Peninsula. There is a strong deterrent on the Korean Peninsula. There is a strong effort
to monitor North Korean activity. There is a Proliferation Security Initiative that has the potential to
intercept suspicious cargo. It is not as if we are sitting idly by waiting for the North Koreans to come
back to thesix -party talks. That’s the best course for what the North Koreans would like, which is
acceptance into the international community and therefore the possibility to get economic assistance.
But we have a strong deterrent. Our allies -- our alliances are strong in the region. Security is being

Country Reports on Terrorism

2004, April 2005 
United States Department of State
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism

Page. 90 North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is not known to
have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean
Airlines flight in 1987. At a summit with Japanese Prime Minister
Koizumi in Pyongyang in September 2002, National Defense Commission
Chairman Kim Jong Il acknowledged the involvement of DPRK “special
institutions” in the kidnapping of Japanese citizens and said that
those responsible had already been punished. Pyongyang in 2003
allowed the return to Japan of five surviving abductees, and in 2004
of eight family members, mostly children, of those abductees.
Questions about the fate of other abductees remain the subject of
ongoing negotiations between Japan and the DPRK. In November, the DPRK
returned to Japan what it identified as the remains of two Japanese
abductees whom the North had reported as having died in North Korea.
Subsequent DNA testing in Japan indicated that the remains were not
those of Megumi Yokota or Kaoru Matsuki, as Pyongyang had claimed,
and the issue remained contentious at year’s end. Four Japanese Red
Army members remain in the DPRK following their involvement in a jet
hijacking in 1970; five of their family members returned to Japan in
2004. Although it is a party to six international conventions and
protocols relating to terrorism, Pyongyang has not taken substantial
steps to cooperate in efforts to combat international terrorism.

White House May Go to U.N. Over North Korean Shipments

It would enable the United States and other nations to
intercept shipments in international waters off the Korean Peninsula
and to force down aircraft for inspection.

U.S. warns of possible N. Korea nuke test

Associated Press Writer
VIENNA, Austria ? The United States is warning allies that North Korea may be
ready to carry out an underground nuclear test as early as June, diplomats
said Saturday.
The diplomats told The Associated Press that the information had been
apparently gathered in part from satellite imagery. They spoke on condition of
anonymity due to the sensitivity of discussing intelligence information.
The reported U.S. warnings reflected growing fears in Washington that the
North is going ahead with efforts to develop nuclear weapons after South Korean
officials said Pyongyang had recently shut down a reactor, possibly to harvest
plutonium that could be used in an underground test.
The 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon generates spent fuel rods laced with
plutonium, but they must be removed and reprocessed to extract the plutonium
for use in an atomic weapon. They can be removed only if the reactor has been
shut down.
North Korea restarted the reactor after expelling U.N. monitors at the end of 2002.
On Friday, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill - Washington's point-
man on North Korea - warned the communist state against conducting a nuclear
test, saying such a move would be a "truly troubling" complication for
suspended six-nation talks on halting Pyongyang;s nuclear program.
The negotiations - among the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and
Russia - stalled last June after three inconclusive rounds.
The U.S. mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna declined
comment, and an official close to the IAEA told the AP he was not aware that
Washington had informed the agency of the most recent concerns. After the North
quit the IAEA in 2002, the agency was left with no direct access to or overview
of the country's nuclear program.
The U.S. intelligence community believes North Korea has one or more nuclear
weapons, and has untested two- and three-stage missiles capable of reaching
U.S. soil. But it has been unclear whether Pyongyang has yet developed the
technology to miniaturize a nuclear weapon so it fits on a missile, and provide
it with the guidance systems so it can hit a target.

The United States and South Korea have called on China - the North's major
ally to play a bigger role in convincing Pyongyang to return to the negotiations.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun plans to discuss the standoff with his
Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, in Moscow on May 9 during Russia's celebration
of the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe.
Resuming the six-nation talks gained urgency in February when the North claimed
it already has produced nuclear weapons and would boycott further negotiations.

S. Korea Downplays N. Korea Missile Test

SEOUL, South Korea May 1, 2005 ― South Korea on Monday
played down the significance of a North Korean missile
test the day before, saying it involved a short-range
missile without nuclear capabilities and warning against
linking the issue to a dispute over the North's atomic ambitions.

North Korea apparently test fired a missile into
the Sea of Japan on Sunday, raising new fears about
Pyongyang's nuclear intentions just days after a U.S.
intelligence official said the secretive Stalinist state
could arm a missile with a nuclear warhead.

"The missile that North Korea recently fired is
a short-range missile and is far from the one that can
arry a nuclear weapon," Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min-soon
told South Korea's Yonhap news agency. "This isn't a case
to be linked to the nuclear dispute."

Japan, EU urge N.Korea to scrap nuclear reactors

Mon May 2, 2005 08:36 AM ET
The two sides also urged North Korea to respect a resolution
adopted by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights last month on
alleged abuses in the reclusive communist state.

The resolution expressed deep concern at torture, public executions,
arbitrary detention, "infanticide," imposition of the death penalty
for political reasons, the existence of a large number of prison
camps and extensive use of forced labour.

Yen Falls on North Korean Missile Firing: World's Biggest Mover

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- The yen fell against the dollar,
the biggest fluctuation of any currency today, after the U.S.
said North Korea fired a missile into the Sea of Japan,
increasing concern about the communist nation's nuclear-weapons program.
Japan, which is within range of North Korean missiles, the U.S.
and other nations want Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
North Korea has told Japan that any move to impose economic sanctions
would be considered a declaration of war. Instability may hurt
the outlook for investment in the region and threaten Japan's economic
recovery http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000102&sid=atdWyMIok3e0&refer=uk

N. Korea's Growing Drug Trade Seen in Botched Heroin Delivery

Richard C. Paddock and Barbara Demick;
Los Angeles Times; May 21, 2003; pg. A.1
Smuggling heroin is more effective in destroying
the West than making nuclear weapons.

"It's a good way to kill a country," he said.
"You don't have to fire bullets.
They'll make a lot of profit, and they'll bring
the young of the country down to their knees."


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