by Jack Losh, The Sun, April 6, 2013 (excerpts)
North Korean government said it would not be able to guarantee the safety of foreign embassies from April 10….even Russian diplomats have been advised to evacuate….
It is still unclear why next Wednesday has been set as a deadline – but it is sure to spark fears despot Kim Jong-un will launch an attack after that date. This week South Korean workers employed in factories in the North were also told to leave by April 10….
Today, a Foreign Office spokesman reportedly said: “We can confirm that the British Embassy in Pyongyang received a communication from the North Korean government this morning.
“It said that the North Korean government would be unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organisations in the country in the event of conflict from April 10.”
The Foreign Office today confirmed that it has “no immediate plans to withdraw our embassy” in Pyongyang and said it condemned the “provocation” by the North Korean government….
The dramatic development came as North Korea moved a second missile to its east coast in a further threat to Japan, South Korea and US Pacific bases.
The rogue state has already transported a Musudan missile with a range of 1,800 miles (3,000km) to the same area.
The official added: “The North is apparently intent on firing the missiles without prior warning.”
The range of the second missile is unknown though it is believed to be an inter-continental ballistic KN-08 missile, which is untested by the regime.
Read … April 10
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North Korea May be able to Nuke S Korea, Japan
AP: Experts say it's easier to design a nuclear warhead that works on a shorter-range missile than one for an intercontinental missile that could target the U.S.
The assessment of David Albright at the Institute for Science and International Security think-tank is that North Korea has the capability to mount a warhead on its Nodong missile, which has a range of 800 miles (1,280 kilometers) and could hit in South Korea and most of Japan.
He said in his analysis, published after the latest nuclear test, that it is an uncertain estimate, and the warhead's reliability remains unclear.
Albright contends that the experience of Pakistan could serve as precedent.
Pakistan bought the Nodong from North Korea after its first flight test in 1993, then adapted and produced it for its own use. Pakistan, which conducted its first nuclear test in 1998, is said to have taken less than 10 years to miniaturize a warhead before that test, Albright said.
North Korea also obtained technology from the trafficking network of A.Q. Khan, a disgraced pioneer of Pakistan's nuclear program, acquiring centrifuges for enriching uranium. According to the Congressional Research Service, Khan may also have supplied a Chinese-origin nuclear weapon design he provided to Libya and Iran, which could have helped the North in developing a warhead for a ballistic missile.
But Siegfried Hecker at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, who has visited North Korea seven times and been granted unusual access to its nuclear facilities, is skeptical the North has advanced that far in miniaturization of a nuclear device.
"Nobody outside of a small elite in North Korea knows — and even they don't know for sure," he said in an emailed response to questions from The Associated Press. "I agree that we cannot rule it out for one of their shorter-range missiles, but we simply don't know."
"Thanks to A.Q. Khan, they almost certainly have designs for such a device that could fit on some of their short- or medium-range missiles," said Hecker, who last visited the North in November 2010. "But it is a long way from having a design and having confidence that you can put a warhead on a missile and have it survive the thermal and mechanical stresses during launch and along its entire trajectory."
read … Axis of Evil
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Chinese President Xi Jinping expresses concern over North Korea’s rhetoric
WaPo: Responding to regional worries over North Korea’s bellicose threats, China on Sunday expressed concern and what appeared to be veiled criticism of its longtime ally.
“No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping at an economic forum in Hainan province. Avoiding mentioning North Korea by name, Xi said, “While pursuing its own interests, a country should accommodate the legitimate interests of others.”
Xi said that the international community and its collective scrutiny should act as a platform for common development rather than an “arena where gladiators fight each other.”
On Sunday, China’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying it was “seriously concerned” about the “continuously escalating tensions.”
The comments from China come on the heels of several days of escalating threats by North Korea on the United States and South Korea, including the possibility of nuclear attacks.
China — long seen as a key factor propping up the regime in Pyongyang — recently has shown signs of frustration after North Korea ignored its pleas not to carry out a recent nuclear test….
China’s statement Sunday, posted on the Web site of its Foreign Ministry , also seemed to dismiss as empty rhetoric North Korea’s warnings Friday that diplomats should think about leaving Pyongyang because of increasing tensions. Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China’s embassy in Pyongyang is operating normally….
read … China Too