Connect with us

World

North Korea’s Kim says he has no desire for talks and repeats a threat to destroy South if provoked

North Korea’s Kim says he has no desire for talks and repeats a threat to destroy South if provoked

Published

on

North Korea's Kim says he has no desire for talks and repeats a threat to destroy South if provoked

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un restated he has no desire for diplomacy with South Korea and that the North would annihilate its rival if provoked, state media said Friday, in the latest of his belligerent statements that are raising tensions in the region.

During a visit to North Korea’s Defense Ministry on Thursday, Kim said his recent moves to cut ties with South Korea allow his military to take on a more aggressive posture “by securing lawfulness to strike and destroy (the South) whenever triggered.”

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased in recent months, with Kim elevating his weapons demonstrations and threats and the United States, South Korea and Japan strengthening their combined military exercises in response.
While most South Korean officials and experts have downplayed the possibility that Kim has real intent to engage in a war, concerns about a direct military provocation have grown as the North may try to ramp up pressure in an election year in South Korea and the United States.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported Kim said he took the initiative to “shake off the unrealistic pretense of dialogue and cooperation with the (South) Korean puppets who sought the collapse of our republic.” The agency said Kim on his visit to the ministry was accompanied by his daughter, thought to be named Kim Ju Ae, who some experts believe is being groomed as a future leader.

Advertisement

Kim Jong Un’s remarks came weeks after he declared to his rubber-stamp parliament that North Korea was abandoning its long-standing objective of a peaceful unification with South Korea and ordered the rewriting of its constitution to cement the South as its most hostile foreign adversary.

The North has since shut down government departments that handled affairs with the South, tore down a major unification monument and abolished laws that had governed past economic projects with the South.

Experts say Kim’s attempts to recalibrate relations with the South, which come amid a testing spree of potentially nuclear-capable weapons targeting neighboring rivals and the United States, are aimed at reducing Seoul’s voice and eventually forcing direct negotiations with Washington over the nuclear standoff. His long-term goal is to force the United States to accept the idea of the North as a nuclear power and negotiate security and economic concessions from a position of strength.

Other analysts say Kim may want to raise tensions with South Korea to maintain a sense of external threat for his domestic audience. Kim’s government has recently been strengthening campaigns to remove the influence of South Korean pop culture and language amongst his population, which he may see as beneficial to reinforcing the North’s national identity and prolonging his family’s dynastic rule.

In a pre-recorded interview with local television that aired Monday, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol described Kim’s government as “irrational” actors who are putting further strain on North Korea’s broken economy by aggressively expanding the country’s collection of nuclear weapons and missiles.

Advertisement

“We need to keep that in mind as we prepare to counter their security threats or provocations, preparing not just for actions based on rational judgments but also actions based on irrational conclusions,” Yoon said. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

US Coast Guard boards Chinese fishing boats near Kiribati, official says

US Coast Guard boards Chinese fishing boats near Kiribati, official says

Published

on

By

US Coast Guard boards Chinese fishing boats near Kiribati, official says

The US Coast Guard and Kiribati police boarded two Chinese fishing boats during a patrol against illegal fishing in the Pacific Islands nation’s vast exclusive economic zone this month but found no issues aboard, a coast guard official said.

The United States is seeking a bigger role for its coast guard in helping remote Pacific Islands nations monitor millions of kilometres of ocean – a rich tuna fishing ground – a move that also boosts surveillance as a rivalry with China over security ties in the region intensifies.

Reuters reported on Friday that Chinese police are working in Kiribati, with uniformed officers involved in community policing and a crime database program.

Kiribati, a nation of 115,000 residents, is considered strategic despite being small, as it is relatively close to Hawaii and controls a 3.5 million square kilometre (1.35 million square mile) exclusive economic zone. It is also host to a Japanese satellite tracking station.

Advertisement

Washington has flagged plans to build an embassy in Kiribati to compete with China, but has not yet done so.

Kiribati police officers were on patrol with the US Coast Guard as “ship riders” for the first time in almost a decade, between Feb. 11-16, a US Coast Guard Guam spokeswoman said.

“The two People’s Republic of China (PRC) flagged fishing vessels were boarded as part of routine maritime law enforcement activities to ensure compliance with regulations within the Kiribati Exclusive Economic Zone,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed comments.

No concerns were reported during the boardings, she said.

“Both Kiribati officers from the Kiribati Police Maritime Unit and US Coast Guard officers were involved in the boarding operations. This collaboration underscores the partnership between the two nations in upholding maritime law and good governance,” she added.

Advertisement

The Kiribati president’s office and Chinese embassy did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Kiribati’s acting police commissioner, Eeri Aritiera, told Reuters last week that Chinese police on the island work with local police.

China built a large embassy on the main island, Tarawa, after Kiribati switched ties from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

Ukraine downs nine Russian drones, three missiles, air force says

Ukraine downs nine Russian drones, three missiles, air force says

Published

on

By

Ukraine downs nine Russian drones, three missiles, air force says

Russia launched 14 attack drones and a barrage of missiles at Ukraine overnight, with air defence systems destroying nine drones as well as three guided missiles over the Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions, Ukraine’s air force said on Monday.

Russia also launched two S-300 missiles from anti-aircraft missile systems and one air-to-surface Kh-31P missile, the air force said on the Telegram messaging app.

It was not clear what happened to the missiles and drones that were not downed. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

Taiwan ally Tuvalu names Feleti Teo as new prime minister

Taiwan ally Tuvalu names Feleti Teo as new prime minister

Published

on

By

Taiwan ally Tuvalu names Feleti Teo as new prime minister

Tuvalu on Monday announced former attorney general and fisheries official Feleti Teo as its new prime minister, after he was elected unopposed by lawmakers in the Pacific Islands nation, officials said.

Former Prime Minister Kausea Natano lost his seat in a general election on Jan. 26 closely watched by Taiwan, China, the US and Australia, amid a geopolitical tussle for influence in the South Pacific.

Tuvalu, with a population of about 11,200 spread across nine islands, is one of three remaining Pacific allies of Taiwan, after Nauru cut ties last month and switched to Beijing, which had promised more development help.

Teo received unanimous support from the 16 lawmakers, two lawmakers told Reuters on Monday.

Advertisement

Teo, who was educated in New Zealand and Australia, was Tuvalu’s first attorney general. He has decades of experience as a senior official in the regional fisheries organisation and has worked with the Pacific Islands Forum, the region’s major political and economic group. Fishing is a major source of revenue in the Pacific islands.

“Feleti Teo was declared by the Governor General as Prime Minister for Tuvalu,” Tuvalu’s government secretary, Tufoua Panapa, said in an emailed statement.

Tuvalu lawmaker Simon Kofe congratulated Teo in a social media post.

“It is the first time in our history that a Prime Minister has been nominated unopposed,” he said.

The election result in Tuvalu had been delayed by a month as dangerous weather stopped boats from bringing new lawmakers to the capital to vote for prime minister, highlighting why climate change is the top political issue in the Pacific Islands nation.

Advertisement

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said its ambassador to Tuvalu, Andrew Lin, expressed Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s congratulations to Teo, adding that deputy foreign minister Tien Chung-kwang will visit Tuvalu in the near future.

Teo is a friend of Taiwan’s and has visited many times, and has said relations are stable and that maintaining ties is the widespread consensus in Tuvalu, the ministry added.

Taiwan previously said it was paying close attention to the election after Tuvalu’s finance minister in the previous government, Seve Paeniu, said the issue of diplomatic recognition of Taiwan or China should be debated by the new government.

There had also been calls by some lawmakers to review a wide-ranging deal signed with Australia in November, that allows Canberra to vet Tuvalu’s police, port and telecommunication cooperation with other nations, in return for a defence guarantee and allowing citizens threatened by rising seas to migrate.

The deal was seen as an effort to curb China’s rising influence as an infrastructure provider in the Pacific Islands.

Advertisement

Teo’s position on Taiwan ties, and the Australian security and migration pact, have not been made public.

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on social media he looked forward to working with Teo.

“Australia deeply values our relationship with Tuvalu, in the spirit of the Falepili Union,” he wrote, referring to the migration pact.

Tuvalu’s ministry would be announced at an oath taking ceremony for the new government later this week, Panapa said.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN