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394 words - May 6, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On April 29, five United Nations agencies issued an urgent appeal for USD 29.4 million to meet the most critical health and nutrition needs of the people of North Korea (DPRK) for the rest of this year. On May 2, the US Department of State "understood" that a DPRK court convicted US citizen Kenneth Bae for hostile acts against the DPRK and sentenced him to 15 years of compulsory labor.
After skyrocketing tensions between the DPRK on the one hand, South Korea, Japan and the United States on the other hand, no good news has emerged for months as regards the DPRK whose ongoing nuclear and ballistic programs increased fears of further "provocations" on behalf of its 29-year-old leader Kim Jong-un. And this is not the latest report published by the US Department of Defense (DOD) which will ease the situation.
North Korea's pursuit of nuclear capabilities and development of long-range ballistic missile programs make it one of the most critical US security challenges in Northeast Asia, according to the DOD's first report to Congress on the DPRK's military development. Titled Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People's Republic of Korea 2012, the report draws a detailed picture of the North Korean military forces. It pointed out three main facts.
Firstly, despite "serious resource shortfalls and aging hardware," the Korean People's Army can deploy a military force, including special operations units, that is able to "inflict great damage" on South Korea. Secondly, provocation remains the main political strategy of the DPRK to "achieve national goals". The report notably highlighted the sinking by DPRK forces of the South Korean naval vessel, Chenoan, killing 46 South Korean sailors in 2010. Thirdly, the ongoing development of nuclear and ballistic capabilities put the DPRK at the very top of the threats to "regional stability and US national security."
United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1718, 1874 and 2087 failed to completely prevent the DPRK from developing deadly devices and from becoming one the world's most worrying security challenge, the report acknowledged. This DOD report, the first that entirely focused on the DPRK, showed the United States really takes the DPRK's military development seriously.
This is something that might satisfy Leader Kim after all.
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