Friday, April 25, 2003

Pyongyang demands US security guarantee
'"The US should show its political will to make a bold switchover in its hostile policy toward the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] and prove it in practice," the North Korean statement said. It also called for the verification of US nuclear arms, and noted that Washington had used arms verification to start the war in Iraq."The DPRK-US talks should therefore discuss and settle the issue of the renunciation of its hostile intention and policy toward the DPRK before talking about the verification and dismantlement of physical deterrent force," it said. Pyongyang said the situation was so tense that war could break out at "any moment" because of the US.'

'"The lesson from the Iraq war is that we need to sign a non-aggression treaty to dispel worries about security," Mr Li said. Washington has assured North Korea it has no plans to invade - at the same time deploying 24 long-range bombers and stealth fighters to the region to support the 80,000 US troops and aircraft carrier stationed in South Korea and Japan.'

'The Prime Minister, John Howard, yesterday described North Korea as "the biggest security threat in our region" but refused to hypothesise about the prospect of a pre-emptive strike by the US on the country's nuclear installations, should Pyongyang not respond to the US's liking.'

It is clearly the United States that is the biggest threat to the region, and Howard's failure to distance himself from the 'pre-emptive strike' doctrine is grossly irresponsible. Labor of course has no coherent position.

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