- SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea
accused the United States on Sunday of planning to attack the communist
state after the war in Afghanistan and said it would deal
telling blows" to U.S. troops.
- "The U.S. designation of the DPRK as the target
of the post- Afghanistan war operation compels the Korean people to be
in full combat preparedness to lay down their lives for the country,"
said the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.
- "The DPRK is not Afghanistan. The DPRK is ready
for defence and attack," it said. DPRK is the acronym for North
official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
- A South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman said he was
unable to comment on whether any unusual troop movements had been detected
in North Korea. He said he was unaware of Sunday's commentary, carried
on North's Korea Central News Agency (KCNA).
- North Korea's state media has ratcheted up anti-American
propaganda in recent weeks, criticising the U.S.-led campaign against
and threatening to build up its military to counter what it alleges are
- The poor but heavily armed communist state has taken
particular umbrage at U.S. calls for inspections to hunt for suspected
weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical arms.
- NORTH SPURNS TALKS,
- The Rodong Sinmun said U.S. calls for talks with North
Korea were a "peace hoax" and repeated Pyongyang's recent
that the United States was using its anti-terrorism campaign to prepare
to attack the North.
- "The U.S. deployment of more task forces in South
Korea on the plea of filling up 'vacuum of combat power' was designed to
conduct an operation in the wake of the war in Afghanistan," it
- Washington has moved fighters into South Korea to replace
forces shifted to areas near Afghanistan. The United States has 37,000
troops stationed in South Korea to prevent a repeat of the North Korean
invasion that sparked the 1950-53 Korean War.
- North Korea frequently uses bluster and threats as a
tool to extract concessions from South Korea or get the attention of the
South's ally, the United States, analysts say.
- Sunday's commentary blamed the United States for delays
in the construction of nuclear reactors promised under the 1994 Agreed
Framework pact, which froze the North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons
- The $4.6 billion deal requires Western countries and
South Korea to build two light-water reactors that make it more difficult
to extract weapons grade plutonium.
- The Agreed Framework also obliges North Korea to open
its atomic facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog, before critical reactor
equipment is installed.
- North, which remains technically at war with South Korea
because they failed to sign a peace treaty at the end of the Korean
has not started cooperating with IAEA inspections, raising concern in
- Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited.
All rights reserved.