This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
* North Korea threatens South Korea with military action
* Japan tries to resolve issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese
* Yemen’s president Saleh again says that he’ll step down
* Arab and Christian graves vandalized in Arab section of Jaffa, Israel
* Iraq sides with Syria and Iran against U.S. policy
North Korea threatens South Korea with military action
North Korea warned on Saturday it could take military action against South Korea in response to the South’s “ceaseless provocative war moves.” These claimed provocative moves included intrusioin of South Korean navy warships into North Korean waters, “while anti-communist right-wing conservative organizations scattered a lot of leaflets and undesirable USBs and pamphlets into areas of the north side (of the border).” It’s hard to know what to make of these threats. On the one hand, the North Koreans make hysterical threats all the time. On the other hand, the North Koreans have militarily attacked the South Koreans twice in 2010, killing dozens of of people. The paranoid North Koreans could launch a new military attack at any time, with or without the hysterical threats. Yonhap
From the North Korean news service on Saturday:
“The bellicose forces at home and abroad kicked up extremely reckless rackets of military confrontation with the DPRK [North Korea] in south Korea in September.
This is a military provocation to escalate military tension on the Korean Peninsula and an undisguised declaration of intention to do harm to the DPRK by force of arms.
Never before has there been such madcap DPRK-targeted saber-rattling including war confabs, war exercises and arms buildup as what happened last month.
Their saber-rattling was prompted by a sinister intention to derail the process for dialogue and peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Their reckless war moves are marring the atmosphere of dialogue and putting peace and stability on the peninsula at great peril. It admits of no argument that the U.S. and the south Korean authorities are chiefly to blame for confrontation hardly defused despite the DPRK’s patient efforts for improving the inter-Korean relations and the wishes of the international community for dialogue.”
Japan tries to resolve issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese
Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is expressing his intention to visit North Korea to help resolve the long-standing issue of dozens of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s-80s. Some were forced to teach Japanese language and culture to spies. Rights groups say some of the older abductees were apparently killed so that their identities could be adopted by North Korean agents. VOA
Yemen’s president Saleh again says that he’ll step down
Repeated a pattern he’s followed several times before, Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday that he would step down within a few days, acceding to the demands of opposition activists who began protesting on January 22 of this year. The offer to step down is thought to be a ploy motivated by the award on Friday of the Nobel Peace Prize to Tawakul Karmal, a Yemeni activist leading demonstrations against Saleh. LA Times
Arab and Christian graves vandalized in Arab section of Jaffa, Israel
As we recently reported, Israel’s security agency Shin Bet has recorded a growing number of terrorist attacks in the last year by Jewish settlers and activists. Less than a week after the arson of a mosque in northern Israel, dozens of Christian and Muslim graves were vandalized in an Arab section of the Israeli city of Jaffa on Thursday or Friday. Among the words spray-painted in Hebrew on the gravestones were “price tag” and “death to all Arabs.” The phrase “price tag” is frequently used by radical Israeli settlers to denote revenge attacks against Palestinians in response to moves by the Israeli government to evacuate illegal West Bank outposts, or as retribution for attacks by Palestinians. CNN
Iraq sides with Syria and Iran against U.S. policy
More than six months after the start of the Syrian uprising, Iraq is offering key moral and financial support to the country’s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, undermining a central U.S. policy objective. This is part of a trend that Iraq is siding with Iran as the Sunni Arab nations, led by Saudi Arabia, become more closely aligned with Pakistan and China. Washington Post