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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tensions Mount Over North Korea

With a nuclear test that could come as soon as Sunday, the North Koreans decided to stoke those fires a bit more today. There was an incursion today into South Korea by a few North Korean soldiers. You've got to hand it to the little runt for pushing boundaries he can't afford to:

Tensions mounted over North Korea's threat to test its first atomic bomb, with shots ringing out Saturday along the border with South Korea and Japan warning of harsh sanctions if Pyongyang goes nuclear.

With a possible test expected as early as Sunday, the
U.N. Security Council issued a stern statement Friday urging the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions and warning of unspecified consequences if the isolated, communist regime doesn't comply.

Jittery nations have warned a test would unravel regional security and possibly trigger an arms race.

A midday incursion Saturday by North Korean troops into the southern side of the no-man's-land separating North and South Korea only stoked the unease.

South Korean soldiers rattled off 40 warning shots at the five communist troops who crossed the center line of the Demilitarized Zone, the inter-Korean buffer.

It was unclear whether the North Korean advance was intended as a provocation, or was an attempt to go fishing at a nearby stream, an official at South Korea's
Joint Chiefs of Staff said on condition of anonymity, citing official policy. No one was hurt, and the North Koreans retreated.

While such border skirmishes are not unheard of, they are relatively rare. Saturday's incursion was only the second this year, the official said.

Meanwhile, world powers were stepping up diplomatic efforts to avert a nuclear test. Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe was to visit Beijing on Sunday for talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and then proceed to Seoul for talks with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun the following day.

A State Department spokesman, Kurtis Cooper, said Saturday the United States was concerned about North Korea's threat to test its first atomic bomb and that the department was closely monitoring the high tensions.

Also Saturday, South Korea's nuclear envoy announced he will visit Beijing on Monday for two days of talks with Chinese officials about the threatened nuclear test.

In a separate statement from Tokyo, Japan's Foreign Ministry said it was prepared to push for punitive measures at the
United Nations if the North goes ahead with the test.

''If North Korea conducts a nuclear weapons test despite the concerns expressed by international society, the Security Council must adopt a resolution outlining severely punitive measures,'' the ministry said.

Japan plans to step up economic sanctions against North Korea, tighten trade restrictions and freeze additional North Korea-linked bank accounts should a nuclear test be carried out, Japan's Nihon Keizai newspaper reported.

The U.N. statement adopted Friday expressed ''deep concern'' over North Korea's announcement Tuesday that it is planning a test.

The council acted amid speculation that a nuclear test could come on Sunday, the anniversary of North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il's appointment as head of the Korean Workers' Party in 1997.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi told Japan's TV Asahi: ''Based on the development so far, it would be best to view that a test is possible this weekend.''

The U.N. statement also urged North Korea to return to six-nation negotiations aimed at persuading the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions in exchange for security guarantees and badly needed economic aid.

Those talks, which involve the United States, China, Japan, Russia and North and South Korea, have been stalled since late last year, when North Korea boycotted the negotiations in response to American economic sanctions.

A North Korea expert in China, the North's closest ally, said only the removal of the sanctions could dissuade the North.

''North Korea has already made a decision to carry out a test,'' said Li Dunqiu of China's State Council Development Research Center, a Cabinet-level think tank. But ''if the U.S. removes sanctions ... then tensions can be eased. Otherwise launching a nuclear test is unavoidable for North Korea.''

The United States imposed economic restrictions on North Korea last year to punish it for alleged counterfeiting and money laundering.

North Korea said Tuesday it decided to act in the face of what it claimed was ''the U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war,'' but gave no date for the test. Washington has repeatedly said it has no intention of invading North Korea.

Things are coming to a head in the Pacific Rim regardless of what the world wants. And Kim Jong-Il seems bound and determined to push the matter to the limits of the world's patience. The only Pacific Rim country that kept their yaps shut were the Chinese. But as I have stated repeatedly--in chorus with the kids--North Korea is nothing more than a proxy for China. This is China's problem, but they'd rather not address it, and reign in their little pit-bull. If they go ahead with this test, then what befalls them is well deserved.

And as for Kim Jong-Il-s misspent worries regarding an invasion, I'd think twice about that. We have no intention of invading them; flateening them, yes, but there would be no invasion. A nuclear North Korea is a destabilizing lynch pin in the entire region. If they go nuclear, Japan, South Korea and the Phillipines are prepared to do whatever is necessary to put a ka-bosh to their plans. More sanctions, more isolation, and the potential for war with the South; These are possibilities that could befall the Communist regime in Pyongyang.

No one wants to see hostilities in the region, but Kim Jong-Il is master of his own destiny. If he chooses to continue down this path, the repercussions that will come down on his country is no one's fault but his own.

Sabrina McKinney


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