Friday, February 18, 2005

Pyongyang alleged bomb : a bargaining ticket, again?!

North Korea Radio transcript puzzles analysts and
watchers and these S K press articles describe the
various and hectic channels of communication.


Quotes :

A transcript obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo of a Monday
broadcast by a state-run North Korean radio station
appears to contradict Pyongyang’s claim last week that
the regime has nuclear weapons. But its meaning was not
entirely clear, and experts were divided over what
significance it had, if any. The newspaper obtained a
transcript of a Monday broadcast by a state-run radio
station which, on Feb. 10, had broadcast the regime's
announcement that it had nuclear weapons.

The Monday transcript included this statement: "The
United States, which has been intoxicated with victories
in invasion wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has designated
our republic, which it called part of an axis of evil,
as the next target to attack, while circulating theories
of nuclear and missile threats that we are not in
possession of." Asked to comment on this statement _
which, though somewhat ambiguous in the original Korean,
seems to assert that the regime is "not in possession"
of "nuclear and missile threats" _ some observers
suggested that the apparent discrepancy may suggest
conflict within the North's power elite.

But intelligence officers point out that there have been
no other signs of such a conflict in recent days. Jun
Bong-geun, director of the private Institute for Peace
and Cooperation, called the apparent discrepancy hard to
understand, given the North Korean regime's absolute
control over the media. "It could be that there was a
miscommunication between the foreign ministry and the
state media," said Mr. Jun.
(Source: Joong Ang Ilbo; Lee Young-jong, Brian Lee)

South Koreans Unfazed by Nuke Threat from North

A majority of South Koreans are unconcerned by North
Korea’s Feb. 10 announcement that it has nuclear

In a public opinion poll conducted Tuesday by TNS Korea
at the request of the Korea Society Opinion Institute
(KSOI) on 700 adult men and women nationwide, 58.9
percent of respondents said they felt no insecurity
following North Korea's recent declaration.

KSOI said that among those under 40, the highly educated
and white collar workers, levels of insecurity were very
low, while for over-50s, the less educated and low
income earners, feelings of insecurity were acute.

Asked about a solution to the nuclear issue, 74.7
percent responded that Seoul needed to send a special
envoy to Pyongyang or hold an intra-Korean summit and
persuade the North to give up its nuclear weapons.
Another 22.8 percent said pressure like the freezing
intra-Korean economic cooperation or sanctions was

end of quotes

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