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N. Korean military warns of ‘special actions soon’

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Published : 2012-04-23 20:48
Updated : 2012-04-23 20:48

North Korea’s military on Monday threatened to take “special actions soon” against the Seoul government and conservative media in response of President Lee Myung-bak’s criticism of the communist regime.

The North’s “special action operation unit” said it will take only “three to four minutes” to launch the attacks through “unprecedented means and methods of their own style.”

The threat came after Lee on Friday called on the North to conduct land reform to improve the livelihoods of North Korean people in a speech at the South’s Institute for Unification Education.

The North said Lee went too far by saying that the North not only needs bread but individual freedom and human rights.

It also criticized the South’s Thursday unveiling of missiles designed to deter North Korean missiles in the wake of the North’s rocket launch on April 13. Pyongyang called the South’s move a “mad provocation.”

“The special actions of our revolutionary armed forces will start soon to meet the reckless challenge of the group of traitors,” the North’s army said in a dispatch carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

“Once the above-said special actions kick off, they will reduce all the rat-like groups and the bases for provocations to ashes in three or four minutes, in much shorter time, by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style,” the military unit said.

Pyongyang mentioned specific names of the South Korean media including local daily Donga Ilbo and broadcasters such as KBS, MBC and YTN, as the major target.

“We, the revolutionary military power, do not know empty words,” the North said.

Earlier in a press briefing, the South’s Unification Ministry spokesperson Kim Hyung-suk said the North’s slander against the South crossed the line.

“North Korea defiantly went ahead with the launch of a long-range missile and its provocative act disappointed our South Korean people and the international community,” Kim said.

“On top of that, North Korea recently went overboard denouncing and threatening the South.”

Cheong Seong-chang, North Korea analyst at the Sejong Institute, said Cheong Wa Dae, the South Korean government and South Korean media should prepare all kinds of terrorism including biochemical terrorism and cyber attacks.

“Kim Jong-un is the most hawkish person in boosting the North’s regime’s hard-line policy towards the South,” Cheong said.

North Korea has been pouring out harsh criticism against the Lee’s government in recent days, especially since it claimed that Lee insulted the North’s celebrations of the centenary of its late founder Kim Il-sung’s birth on April 15.

During the celebrations, the North unveiled new ballistic missiles at a military parade.

However, the North’s missiles seem to be a fake, a U.S. expert was quoted by multiple news reports.

David Wright, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists and co-director of Global Security Program, raised doubts as to whether the newly presented missiles were real in Washington at a forum organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Friday.

He said the unveiled missiles seem to have been made with multiple layers of paper.

Comparing multiple photographs taken by foreign journalists invited for the parade in Pyongyang, Wright said the six new missiles had different locations of electric wire ducts and belts.

If the missiles were real, the components of the missiles had to have the same locations, he said.

Meanwhile, the South Korean government has reportedly asked China if Beijing offered sources for the North’s missile carrier unveiled at the military parade.

Analysts said China may have provided the 16-wheel truck but China has denied it, AP reported.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)

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