North Korea yesterday threatened to employ a pre-emptive attack, while also claiming it was committed to the six-party talks.
The North poured out anti-US rhetoric -- a tactic it has used in the past before entering negotiations -- claiming that Washington's "hostile policies" led it to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent, and warning against any attack to dislodge its leadership.
"The United States should be aware that the choice of a pre-emptive attack is not only theirs," the North's official news agency quoted the Cabinet newspaper Minju Joson as saying. "To stand against force with force is our unswerving method of response."
The commentary came amid a flurry of contacts aimed at convincing the North to resume six-nation talks, suspended since the third round ended last June, on its nuclear program.
Washington is awaiting a response to an overture it made May 13 -- days after the North announced it had removed fuel rods from a reactor, a possible step toward extracting weapons-grade plutonium -- at North Korea's office at the UN.
South Korea repeatedly raised the nuclear issue last week during its first face-to-face talks with the North in 10 months. Pyongyang refused to allow a mention of the issue in a final joint statement, but it agreed to follow-up meetings.
The two countries were holding talks yesterday in the North Korean border village of Kaesong on working out details of a South Korean delegation's visit to Pyongyang next month for the fifth anniversary of a historic summit accord.
There have been reports that President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) may be arranging a visit to Pyongyang. South Korean opposition leader Park Geun-hye met with Hu on Tuesday, and the South's Yonhap news agency quoted Hu as saying it will take time to overcome the mistrust between the North and the US.
"There would be a degree of difficulty in resuming the six-nation talks for a while," Hu was quoted as saying. "In recent days, North Korea and the United States have been sending positive messages. This looks like evidence that the two countries haven't completely shut their doors to dialogue and negotiations."
Yonhap also reported that South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun will meet with Bush in Washington on June 10 to discuss ways to bring the North back to nuclear disarmament talks. Roh's office wouldn't confirm the report.
North Korea on Tuesday repeated claims that its nuclear weapons protect regional peace.
"It is in the East Asian region, including the Korean Peninsula, where the US moves for vicious attacks and war ... are carried out most seriously," the Minju Joson said. "It is our nuclear deterrent that basically guarantees peace and stability."
Also see story:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to offer advanced 4-nanometer chips when its new US$12 billion plant in Arizona opens in 2024, an upgrade from its previous public statements, after US customers such as Apple Inc pushed the company to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. TSMC is expected to announce the new plan when US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visit the facility near Phoenix for a ceremony on Tuesday next week, the people said. The TSMC plant had been slated to make 5-nanometer semiconductors, a standard that would be far
PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE MEETING: The statement by the former US representative came as Congress is poised to back US$10 billion to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities Former US representative Will Hurd yesterday said visiting Taiwan has made him realize that China’s “one country, two systems” framework is not a feasible solution for Taiwan. Hurd, who is visiting Taiwan with an international delegation, made the remarks when meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei. There is bipartisan support for Taiwan in Washington, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing that only the 23.5 million Taiwanese can decide the nation’s future, said Hurd, a trustee at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund think tank. Former German lawmaker Marieluise Beck said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed mindsets