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South Korea: Seoul rules out negotiation over THAAD payment

BreakingNews @en di

South Korea on Monday ruled out any future negotiation over who should pay for a US advanced missile defense system to be deployed here, but left open the possibility that the Trump administration might use the issue as leverage against Seoul during the allies’ defense-sharing negotiations scheduled to take place next year. Citing the Status of Forces Agreement and a classified separate agreement with US Forces in Korea, the Defense Ministry stressed that the allies had agreed that the US would pay for the deployment and operation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Missile Defense system, with Seoul providing land and supporting infrastructure.

Korea to develop battery-powered submarines by 2027.

BreakingNews @en di

The military plans to build three lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery-powered submarines by 2027, according to Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) officials Friday. Samsung SDI will make the batteries. Hanwha Techwin will develop a system for integrating them into the submarines that Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering will manufacture. It is part of a long-term project to replace aging submarines. The Navy will have nine 3,000-ton submarines equipped with domestic technologies in a decade if the project is completed as planned, according to DAPA

The second arrest warrant for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

The independent counsel team filed a request for an arrest warrant for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong for a second time, Tuesday, on charges of bribery involving President Park Geun-hye and her confidant Choi Soon-sil. The Seoul Central District Court will hold a hearing to determine the validity of the team’s request Thursday.  The team also sought an arrest warrant for Park Sang-jin, president of Samsung Electronics. Park allegedly played a key role in carrying out Lee’s orders on providing the financial support for Choi.

European complaints against DPRK missile launches

In the early morning of yesterday, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has launched a ballistic missile, another violation of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolution 2321 adopted in November 2016.

The DPRK’s repeated disregard of its international obligations is provocative and unacceptable. The DPRK must halt all launches using ballistic missile technology and abandon once and for all its ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, as required by the UN Security Council. We call on the DPRK not to raise tensions further and to re-engage in a credible and meaningful dialogue with the international community, in particular the Six-Party Talks“. That’s what the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) Spokeperson said, from Brussels.
The High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini will speak in the coming days to the Foreign Ministers of international partners to further discuss the international response.

DKPR’s behaviour continues to worry all the international community. Of course, Brussels seems to be so far from Pyongyang, but is a common opinion thet the nuclear tests and, generally speaking, the nuclear proliferation in the northern part of the Korean peninsula constitues a real danger for all countries.

Of course, the game hides some differents and complicated balances: first of all, the role of China, which missiles paradein facts is the only trade partner for the DKPR. Also Putin’s Russia aims to keep the remote control of the region and – despite of the Trump’s russia – fliendly policy – does not like very much the american “temporary” presence in South Korea… and also american missiles and army in the area. Anyway, the Kim’s last launch makes some doubts rise. It is not a secret that one of the Trump’s ideas for the region was to reduce the american military contingent in the peninsula. So, this launch could seriously put in danger all the plans and political efforts to reduce Uncle Sam’s troops.

According to some geopolitical studies, North Korea and South Korea will never fight – directly – one each other. This, because the goals for each contendant in a new war, beetween the two enemies, could cancel each other. The common opinion – extremely summing – is that the DKPR has a strong defensive asset and a very well-motivated army, that could easily face attacks from south also using old planes, cold-war subarines and very obsolete boats. The South Korean Army is well trained and equipped, with new systems, boats and submarines, but her weakness is in the leadership (some units are entirely directed by american officers in charge), in the ideological motivation and, of course, in the potential feeling of loneliness without a clear american guidance and support. And we all know the political scandal that recently hit the Southkorean political leadership. That’s why this missile launch, in an moment while academics started to speculate about a progressive and slow american withdrawal, change the scene of play. Of course, the launch is a muscles demonstrations, but its meaning seems to be changed.

From an european point of view, we can only wait the next days. For sure, since now, the EU has been supporting international efforts to promote peace, stability, denuclearisation and an improvement in the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Since 1998, the EU has been conducting regular political dialogue with the DPRK. The European Community established diplomatic relations in May 2001 and some EU countries have diplomatic relations with the DPRK.  As far as we can read on the official EU institutions’ websites and portals, the EU has been involved in providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities in the DPRK since 1195. Current activities are mainly oriented towards support for the agricultural sector and are financed under the Food Security Thematic Programme of the Development Cooperation Instrument.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe condemned the North’s missile launch

Americas/Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on sunday, the first provocation since the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The JCS said the missile was believed to be an ungraded version of the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), considering its speed. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is currently visiting the U.S., condemned the North’s missile launch in a hurriedly arranged joint news conference with Trump hours after the surprise provocation. Trump said he fully sides with Shinzo Abe in condemnation of the North, but fell short of disclosing how he would react to the North’s provocations.

Incentives won’t push North Korea to give up nuclear weapons

BreakingNews @en di

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) — An incentive-oriented approach won’t help the world reach its goal of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, a high-profile defector who served Pyongyang said Thursday. “We should not think that giving incentives to North Korea will help resolve Pyongyang’s nuclear issue,” Thae Yong-ho, a former diplomat who arrived in South Korea last year, told a forum in Seoul. He was at the gathering as a panelist, a first for him since his defection. Thae said that no matter how appealing incentives are, North Korea will not accept them if Pyongyang judges they do not benefit the one-man rule of its leader Kim Jong-un.

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