South Korea broadcasts anti-North Korea propaganda at border in response to bomb test

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - In response to North Korea's latest nuclear test, South Korea on Thursday announced it would resume cross-border propaganda broadcasts that Pyongyang considers an act of war.

See Full Article

Seoul also began talks with Washington that could see the arrival of nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft and submarines to the Korean Peninsula.

From Seoul to Washington, Beijing to the United Nations, world powers are looking at ways to punish Pyongyang for the test of what it called a new and powerful hydrogen bomb.

The loudspeaker broadcasts, which will start Friday, are certain to infuriate authoritarian Pyongyang because they are meant to raise questions in North Korean minds about the infallibility of the ruling Kim family. South Korea stopped earlier broadcasts after it agreed with Pyongyang in late August on a package of measures aimed at easing animosities that had the rivals threatening war.

Experts, meanwhile, are trying to uncover more details about the detonation that drew worldwide skepticism and condemnation.

It may take weeks or longer to confirm or refute the North's claim that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, which would mark a major and unanticipated advance for its still-limited nuclear arsenal. Even a test of an atomic bomb, a less sophisticated and less powerful weapon, would push its scientists and engineers closer to their goal of building a nuclear warhead small enough to place on a missile that can reach the U.S. mainland.

Statements from the White House said President Barack Obama had spoken to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. The statements said the countries "agreed to work together to forge a united and strong international response to North Korea's latest reckless behaviour."

Obama also reaffirmed the "unshakeable U.S. commitment" to the security of South Korea and Japan, according to the statements.

South Korean and U.S. military leaders also discussed the deployment of U.S. "strategic assets" in the wake of the North's test, Seoul's Defence Ministry said Thursday.

Ministry officials refused to elaborate about what U.S. military assets were under consideration, but they likely refer to B-52 bombers, F-22 stealth fighters and nuclear-powered submarines.

When animosities sharply rose in the spring of 2013 following North Korea's third nuclear test, the U.S. took the unusual step of sending its most powerful warplanes - B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 stealth fighters and B-52 bombers - to drills with South Korea in a show of force. B-2 and B-52 bombers are capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

The UN Security Council held an emergency session and pledged to swiftly pursue new sanctions against North Korea, saying its test was a 'clear violation' of previous UN resolutions.

Four rounds of UN sanctions have aimed at reining in the North's nuclear and missile development programs, but Pyongyang has ignored them and moved ahead to modernize its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

When Seoul briefly restarted the loudspeaker broadcasts in August for the first time in 11 years in retaliation for land mine blasts blamed on Pyongyang that maimed two South Korean soldiers, the North threatened to attack the South.

In August, Seoul signed a package of agreements with Pyongyang on easing the standoff, which included a stop to broadcasts unless "abnormal" situation should occur again. Senior presidential official Cho Tae-yong said Thursday the broadcast will resume because the North's bomb test was a violation of the August agreements.

South Korea also said Thursday it will limit entry to a jointly run factory park in North Korea, the last major symbol of inter-Korean co-operation. The park's operation won't likely be affected much as the restriction will apply to clients, potential buyers and service providers from South Korea, rather than managers who commute to work with North Korean labourers.

North Korea said Wednesday it had successfully tested a "miniaturized" hydrogen bomb that elevated the country's "nuclear might to the next level."

But an early analysis by the U.S. government was "not consistent with the claims that the regime has made of a successful hydrogen bomb test," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

South Korea's spy service said it thought the estimated explosive yield from the blast was much smaller than what even a failed hydrogen bomb detonation would produce.

Some believe North Korea might have detonated a boosted fission bomb, a weapon considered halfway between an atomic bomb and an H-bomb.

But even if the North exploded a boosted fission bomb, its explosive yield, estimated at six kilotons, showed the test was likely a failure, a South Korean defence official said Thursday. An explosion two to five times more powerful would have been reported if it were successful, the official said, requesting anonymity because of department rules.

The North's 2013 test produced an estimated yield of 6-7 kilotons of explosives, according to South Korean officials.

Fusion is the main principle behind the hydrogen bomb, which can be hundreds of times more powerful than atomic bombs that use fission. In a hydrogen bomb, a nuclear fission explosion sets off a fusion reaction responsible for a powerful blast and radioactivity.

The hydrogen bomb already is the global standard for the five nations with the greatest nuclear capabilities: the U.S., Russia, France, the U.K. and China. Other nations may either have it or are working on it, despite a worldwide effort to contain such proliferation.

Just how big a threat North Korea's nuclear program poses is a mystery. North Korea is thought to have a handful of rudimentary nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range missile to carry smaller versions of those bombs.

Some analysts say the North probably hasn't achieved the technology needed to make a miniaturized warhead that could fit on a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. But debate is growing on just how far the North has advanced.

To build its nuclear program, the North must explode new and more advanced devices so scientists can improve their designs and technology. Nuclear-tipped missiles could then be used as deterrents and diplomatic bargaining chips - especially against the U.S., which Pyongyang has long pushed to withdraw its troops from the region and to sign a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War.

U.S. aircraft designed to detect evidence of a nuclear test, such as radioactive particulate matter and blast-related noble gases, could be deployed from a U.S. base on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Japanese media said Tokyo mobilized its own reconnaissance aircraft over the Sea of Japan to try to collect atmospheric data.

-----

Associated Press writers Kim Tong-hyung and Youkyung Lee contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Canadian describes harrowing tale of Dominica destruction in Hurricane Maria aftermath

    World News CTV News
    It’s been a week since Hurricane Maria pummelled Dominica, and Patrick Mullins still vividly remembers his experience on the ground as the powerful storm tore through the Caribbean island. The 67 -year-old Ontario resident was in Dominica working on a project with local youth when Maria made landfall. Source
  • Paralympian sues University of Regina over accident that left her a quadriplegic

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- A Paralympian who was left paralyzed after a diving accident says she knew the injury was bad the moment it happened. Miranda Biletski testified Monday in Court of Queen's Bench in Regina, where she is suing the University of Regina for negligence. Source
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko rejects call for anti-corruption court

    World News CBC News
    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says judicial reform aimed at rooting out corruption in his country will be introduced in two weeks, but the leader rejects calls for the creation of an independent anti-corruption court. "I am absolutely confident that it is vital for us to create anti-corruption system in the whole court institution of Ukraine," Poroshenko said in an exclusive interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton. Source
  • 'Save our liberty!' Protesters in wheelchairs disrupt hearing on Obamacare replacement bill

    World News CBC News
    Protesters in wheelchairs interrupted Monday's U.S. Senate hearing on the Republican health-care bill aimed at repealing and replacing "Obamacare." "No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!" they shouted at the Senate finance committee meeting. The noisy protests forced committee chairman Orrin Hatch to recess the hearing just moments after it began. Source
  • Edmonton police officer disciplined for lying about being a helicopter pilot

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- An Edmonton police officer has been docked a week's pay for lying about being a helicopter pilot. Const. Jess Bagan pleaded guilty last year to two counts of misconduct in what police are calling a unique case. Source
  • Search on for hunter in Saskatchewan who had set out to find 2 others

    Canada News CTV News
    BUFFALO NARROWS, Sask. -- Mounties and civilians are searching in northern Saskatchewan for a man who was searching for two missing hunters. RCMP say the search is in the Frobisher Lake area north of Buffalo Narrows, about 500 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon. Source
  • Northern Saskatchewan hunter found safe, search called off

    Canada News CTV News
    BUFFALO NARROWS, Sask. - Mounties say the search has been called off for a man in northern Saskatchewan as he has been located and is fine. They had believed that 53-year-old Brent Caissy of Buffalo Narrows went alone in a white jet boat to the area to search for two hunters who were last heard from on Sept. Source
  • Man charged with manslaughter charge in Alberta carfentanil death

    Canada News CTV News
    EDSON, Alta. - An Alberta man faces a manslaughter charge after police allege he supplied pills in a carfentanil overdose. RCMP say 48-year-old Guy Kennedy was found dead in a hotel room in Edson, Alta. Source
  • B.C. man acquitted of 4 terrorism charges related to Facebook posts

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - A British Columbia man accused of using his Facebook account to express support of "lone wolf" terrorist attacks has been acquitted of all charges. Othman Hamdan's judge-alone trial began in June, when he pleaded not guilty to encouraging the commission of murder, assault and mischief as well as inducing and instructing someone to carry out a terrorist act. Source
  • Ex-cop arrested near White House with arsenal of weapons

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — A man arrested near the White House Sunday morning is a former Memphis police officer who had an arsenal of weapons in his car and believed the CIA had implanted a chip in his head, according to court documents. Source