(The Hankyoreh, 29 Nov. 2010) Both N.Korea and S.Korea have deployed troops and dispatched weapons systems to areas along the NLL
Tensions are heightening in the area around Yeonpyeong Island, with the confirmation that North Korean forces deployed multi-launch rocket systems (MLRSs) forward to a coastal location facing the island and opened additional naval artillery firing ports on Sunday, the first day of joint South Korea-U.S. exercises. The North Korean military was also reported to have stepped up its anti-air posture targeting aerial activity by South Korean fighter planes, with the forward deployment of SA-2 earth-to-air missiles in the area north of Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands.
“The North Korean military was found to have deployed some of its 122 mm MLRSs forward to an inland area near Kaemori, from which the attack on Yeonpyeong Island was launched, and opened additional 76.2 mm naval artillery firing ports besides the previous fourteen locations,” said a military official said Sunday. “The South Korean military is also stepping up its alertness posture to prepare for a potential provocation situation.”
Around thirty shots were detected in the Kaemori area around 11 a.m. Sunday, further raising tensions among South Korean military authorities. The South Korean military believes that North Korea fired thirty rounds of artillery inland for training purposes.
It was also confirmed that the North Korean military positioned anti-ship missiles on a launch pad in the area around Tungsangot in Hwanghae Province, near the West Sea Northern Limit Line (NLL).
“It appears that North Korea positioned SA-2 earth-to-air missiles to the front following the attack on Yeonpyeong Island,” said a government source. “The government is mobilizing all its resources to precisely monitor the movements.”
Military authorities are taking this activity from North Korea as targeting South Korean fighter planes flying in the area near the NLL. The SA-2 is an anti-aircraft missile developed by the former Soviet Union, and has a firing range of 13 to 30 kilometers. The anti-ship missiles positioned by North Korean on the West Sea coast north of the NLL include Samlets and Silkworms, with a firing range of 80 km.
“Vessels and forces with the North Korean Navy’s 8th squadron are on standby for emergency mobilization,” said another government source previously. “We suspect that a quasi-state-of-war has been declared.”
Currently, around 70 vessels, including patrol boats and high-speed boats, are reportedly on standby at Sagot in Ongjin County, Hwanghae Province, where the 8th squadron is stationed. This location is 32 km north of the NLL. The West Sea Fleet Command, which commands the 8th squadron, possesses around 420 escort vessels and guided missile boats, 130 air-cushioned landing craft, and 90 landing ships fast (LSF).
Leonid Petrov said to Russia Today TV (30 Nov. 2010) that American efforts to keep North Korea on edge are getting dangerously close to sparking a conflict. “It has been the fourth military exercise in the last eight months,” Petrov pointed out. “I believe the US is eager to make sure that the South Koreans, their main military allies in this region along with Japan, are well-trained, well-prepared. And that North Korea is weakened, paranoid, and intimidated. If South Korea and the United States start military exercises south of the 38th parallel or the northern limit line, their actions can easily be interpreted by North Koreans as a violation of the Armistice Agreement”…
(Berlingske Tidende 26.11.2010) Sydkorea har malet sig selv op i et hjørne, siger ekspert i koreanske forhold, Leonid Petrov, Australian National University. En militær aktion er udelukket. En længere konflikt ville være en katastrofe for landets økonomi, der er globalt orienteret og afhængig af eksport. Samtidig ville aktiemarkedet kollapse. For ikke at tale om enorme ødelæggelser af infrastruktur og tab af menneskeliv.
»Det forstår Lee Myung-bak. Men alligevel fortsætter han en selvdestruktiv politik, der afbryder dialogen med Nordkorea og kun resulterer i konfrontation. Han følger USAs linje, der forlanger en total afvikling af Nordkoreas atomvåben,« siger Leonid Petrov…