Thursday, June 3, 2010

N. Korean envoy says war is near.

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - A North Korean envoy said on Thursday that war could erupt at any time on the divided Korean peninsula because of tension with Seoul over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

"The present situation of the Korean peninsula is so grave that a war may break out any moment," Ri Jang Gon, North Korea's deputy ambassador in Geneva, told the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.

North Korea's troops were on "full alert and readiness to promptly react to any retaliation," including the scenario of all-out war, he told the forum.

Ri, departing from his prepared remarks, said that only the conclusion of a peace treaty between the two countries would lead to the "successful denuclearization" of the peninsula. The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice but no formal peace treaty.

Communist North Korea, hit with U.N. sanctions after testing nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, is still under international pressure to dismantle its nuclear programme.

Ri repeated Pyongyang's assertion that North Korea had nothing to do with the sinking of the Cheonan warship which killed 46 sailors -- the deadliest military incident since the Korean War.

South Korea has accused North Korea of firing a torpedo at the vessel and said it will bring the case to the U.N. Security Council. A report by international investigators last month also accused North Korea of torpedoing the vessel.

Ri accused South Korea of trying to create a shocking incident in order to ignite a campaign against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea's official name.

South Korean ambassador Im Han-taek took the floor at the Geneva forum to voice regret at Ri's remarks, adding: "We believe it is only for propaganda purposes."

U.S. disarmament ambassador Laura Kennedy also rejected Ri's accusations that Washington had backed Seoul in "groundlessly" blaming the sinking on a North Korean submarine.

"I agree that the situation on the Korean peninsula is very grave but I disagree with the statement made and reject those allegations against my country," Kennedy said.

"The investigation carried out was scrupulous and painstaking and we certainly accept without doubt the results which clearly indicated where the blame lay," she added.

(Editing by Jonathan Lynn and Angus MacSwan)

Stealth ATV

Raytheon is entering the automotive market with an innovative new All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) aimed at the special forces market. Hybrid-Defense Reconnaissance Assault (Hy-DRA) was officially launched at the Special Operations Forces Exhibition (SOFEX), held in Amman, Jordan in May 2010. What sets Hy-DRA apart from other all-terrain vehicles is the advanced, hybrid-electric drive system (HED) enabling the vehicle to perform with unique stealth capabilities. The vehicle has a top speed of 96 km/h (60 mph). Its range is 563 km (350 miles) in hybrid mode. Employing its silent 'stealth mode', the Hy-DRA can travel on battery power only for about 29 km (18 miles) at up to 80 km/h (50 mph).

According to Raytheon, Hy-DRA offers near-silent vehicle operation with four high-torque electric hub motors that provide four wheel drive capability. The electric motor can also be used in a static mode as a power generator, supporting deployed forces with up to 30 kilowatt of power. The vehicle uses an advanced electronic control panel with embedded moving map navigation display.

The HyDRA can carry a payload of 453 kg (1,000 lb) or tow 1.4 tons (3,000 lb.) It is configured to accommodate a crew of three – driver in the front, and two team members in the back seats, facing forward. The vehicle can be used as a weapons platform, deliver supplies off-road used for combat evacuation, carrying two litters.
The vehicle weighs 1.088 tons (2,400 lb) and is designed for internal load inside a Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Each Osprey can carry a single vehicle while a Chinook medium-lift helicopter or can carry multiple Hy-DRAs. Even the Black Hawk can sling-load a Hy-DRA.

Today's excerpt from The Interceptors Club and the Secret of the Black Manta


Excalibur sat on the runway, engines running at idle.

Static looked at it through the spotting scope.

“It’s just sitting there.” Freaks said. “Why aren’t they putting it in the air?”

“They can’t. They know if they crash it - - it’s the end for them.”

“What are they going to do?

As Static watched Excalibur he saw something that gave him an idea.

Slowly the cockpit transparency opened.

“Oh my gosh look!” Static said. Do you see what I see?”

“Sure do, bro. What do we do?”

Static thought about it for about a half a second, the answer to their problem suddenly as clear as the blue sky above.

“If I can get down there without being seen, I can get in the cockpit and set the remote frequency to our channel so we can control it.” Static said.

Freaks didn’t like the idea of leaving their safe place on the mesa.

“I don’t know. Someone could see you and then what?”

Static knew he had to do something. Something Harley had said kept running through his brain: “The Universe provides. This was that moment. He had to seize it. There was no other choice.

Clipping his walkie-talkie to his belt, he rose and left his protective cover on the mesa.

“Cover me’ He shouted to Freaks. If you see anyone coming - holler at me on the walkie.” Static said as he began to make his way toward Excalibur.

Freaks knew better then to try and change his mind. Although he knew he was taking a risk, he also knew the risk was greater if they did not act.

Freaks picked up his radio and keyed the microphone.

“Thunderpants Base, Static is making his way to the lady. The hatch is open and he thinks he can set the frequency for Remote Control so we can pinch her.”

Convair came on the line immediately.

“No!” his anger spilled out of the radio. “It’s too risky. I told you guys to stay back!”

“Sorry boss. It’s too late. He’s half way there.” Freaks replied.


Yeah -right: Pentagon denies aircraft carrier being deployed to Korean Peninsula

By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
June 3, 2010 8:34 a.m. EDT

Pentagon denies aircraft carrier being sent to Korean Peninsula
Sources: U.S. Navy expected to announce carrier's deployment
Response to alleged North Korean attack on South Korean warship in March
Washington (CNN) -- The Pentagon denied Thursday it has approved sending the aircraft carrier

USS George Washington to the Yellow Sea off the Korean Peninsula, where North Korea allegedly sank a South Korean warship in March.
Two U.S. military officials said the U.S. Navy was expected to make the announcement Thursday. The officials declined to speak on the record because the announcement had not been made.
But Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told CNN, "No carriers are going anywhere near there anytime soon." However, the military officials are planning for the deployment and said they expect it to be announced.

The carrier deployment comes as the U.S. Navy and Republic of Korea warships are scheduled to conduct a joint naval exercise that the two nations vowed to undertake in response to the alleged North Korean attack on the South Korean ship. It's not clear to what extent the aircraft carrier will be part of that exercise.

The carrier is expected to be accompanied by a U.S. destroyer and submarine, the officials said. The U.S. ships plan to conduct exercises separate from those previously announced.
But the move is considered to be sending a signal to North Korea about the U.S. commitment to defending South Korea. The Navy sent a carrier to the Yellow Sea last year for exercises, considered an unusual move because it had been several years since that had happened, one of the officials said.

North Korea is blamed for a torpedo attack on a South Korean navy vessel, the Cheonan. Forty-six sailors were killed.


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