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N. Korea threatens to shoot down U.S. planes

N. Korea threatens to shoot down U.S. planes

Pyongyang accuses U.S. of spying on site of an impending rocket launch

updated 2:41 p.m. ET, Wed., April. 1, 2009

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea accused the United States of spying on the site of an impending rocket launch and threatened Wednesday to shoot down any U.S. planes that intrude into its airspace.

North Korea says it will send a communications satellite into orbit on a multistage rocket between April 4 and 8. The United States, South Korea and Japan suspect the reclusive country is using the launch to test long-range missile technology, and they warn Pyongyang would face sanctions under a U.N. Security Council resolution banning it from ballistic activity.

Pyongyang's state radio accused U.S. RC-135 surveillance aircraft of spying on the launch site on its northeastern coast, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry, which is in charge of monitoring the North.

"If the brigandish U.S. imperialists dare to infiltrate spy planes into our airspace to interfere with our peaceful satellite launch preparations, our revolutionary armed forces will mercilessly shoot them down," the ministry quoted the radio as saying.

It was unclear what capability North Korea has to shoot down the high-flying Boeing RC-135, which can reach altitudes of nearly 10 miles. The threat came a day after the North claimed the United States and South Korea conducted about 190 spy flights over its territory in March, including over the sea off the launch site.

The U.S. military in South Korea declined to comment on the spying allegations or the North's threat.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said at a summit Tuesday with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak that Pyongyang's launch would breach the U.N. resolution, and he pledged to respond in step with Seoul, Lee's office said.

Lee, in London for the G-20 summit, told Brown it was important for the international community to show a concerted response to the North's move, his office said.

Lee and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso also agreed at a summit Wednesday to "work together to make sure the international community shows a united response" to a North Korean launch, a statement from Lee's office said.

Aso said he will push for new U.N. sanctions if the launch takes place, while Lee "stressed the need to clearly show to North Korea, through close coordination of the international community, that it cannot always have its own way," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted Lee's spokesman Lee Dong-kwan as telling South Korean reporters.

Clinton criticizes ‘provocation’
In the Netherlands, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Pyongyang's move "an unfortunate and continuing example of provocation by the North Koreans."

"There will be consequences, certainly, in the United Nations Security Council if they proceed with the launch," she said.

Clinton also strongly backed Japan's plans to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket debris, saying the country "has every right to protect and defend its territory from what is clearly a missile launch."

Japan has deployed battleships with antimissile systems off its northern coast and stationed Patriot missile interceptors around Tokyo to shoot down any wayward rocket parts that the North has said might fall over the area.

Tokyo has said it is only protecting its territory and has no intention of trying to shoot down the rocket itself, but North Korea said it is not convinced and accused Japan of inciting militarism at home to justify developing a nuclear weapons program of its own.

If Japan tries to intercept the satellite, the North's army "will consider this as the start of Japan's war of re-invasion ... and mercilessly destroy all its interceptor means and citadels with the most powerful military means," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday.

Details of North’s technology unclear
The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank that provides detailed analysis about North Korea — said in a report that the country is believed to have "assembled and deployed nuclear warheads" recently for its medium-range Rodong missiles, which are capable of striking Japan.

But its Seoul-based expert, Daniel Pinkston, said it is unclear if it has mastered the technology necessary to miniaturize the warheads and put them on Rodong missiles, which have a range of 620 to 930 miles.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, the North announced Tuesday it will indict and try two American journalists accused of crossing the border illegally from China on March 17 and engaging in "hostile acts."

Are you worried? What are your thoughts?


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by on Apr. 1, 2009 at 9:27 PM
Replies (21-24):
by Bronze Member on Apr. 2, 2009 at 4:49 PM

PYONGAYONG?? What the hell is that? Sounds like a ping pong ball being hit around. Maybe that's what he/she/it needs. A good whack with a ping pong racket.

by Member on Apr. 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Wow.... you honestly think that after 9-11 anyone wanted to "talk things out".  You are loopy!  Bush wasn't "murder happy" and neither was his father.  Look up FACTS about war and you will see that the media does NOT portray what actually happens over there...

As for North Korea.  They are a HORRIBLE country.  They beat and murder their own citizens, they threaten other countries, and their leader is crazy and talks about how Hitler's "ideas" were great ones...  So yeah... if they try to shoot down one of our planes damn right we retaliate.  That would be an act of war and we would not be the only country to go after them.  Multiple countries have been wanting to get rid of N.K for a very long time...

by Member on Apr. 2, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Ditto, again.  Nobody ever seems to consider Clinton's role in 9-11.  It's interesting to me, bc people blame Bush for everything that happened while he was president (even though the Congress was a Democratic majority for his second term); but the same people are blaming Obama's decisions on Bush...even though Obama is the one in office NOW.

Cracks me a shaking my head can't believe the lack of cause-effect responsibility trail people SHOULD see.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Quoting honeysuckle171:

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Yes he was hungry for war he was starting shit up because he wanted OIL AND RULE OVER ANOTHER COUNTRY ???? DON'T YOU REMEMBER OR ARE YOU OBLIVIOUS TO THE FACT OF WHATS REALLY GOING ON??????????

Wow...  I'm obviously not the oblivious one.  Look into Clinton's terms and see who was really trying to "start shit".    I'm done arguing with you because it is apparent that you have already been brainwashed by the media...

Have a good day.

by on Apr. 2, 2009 at 5:45 PM
That's fine no one has to argue with me I'M RIGHT NONE OF YOU DON'T WANT TO ADMIT THE DISASTROUS PART BUSH played in this bullshit You all are quick to blame it on "DEMOCRATS" for the republicans bullshit so go on and continue to let THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND
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