N. Korea imposes no-fly, no-sail zones off both coasts – report

b4ee000 hkg8324362 N. Korea imposes no fly, no sail zones off both coasts   report

The move indicates that Pyongyang intends to conduct majormilitary drills and the test-firing of short-to-medium rangemissiles also remains a possibility, South Korea’s Yonhap newsagency said on Wednesday.”The North’s military … is preparing large-scale combinedmilitary exercises so it may have blocked off the areas fornautical firing or fighter jet firing exercises,” Yonhap quoteda South Korean government source as saying.”But the firing of missiles cannot be ruled out.”The agency also reported that North Korea has already begunsubmarine drills as it steps up preparations for nationwidemilitary exercises.In February, Kim Min-seok, a South Korean ministry spokesmansaid a large-scale military drill was likely to be held in theNorth due to the unusually high levelsof participation by the North’s artillery, special forces andair force over the winter months.The report follows Pyongyang’s threat to scrap a ceasefire whichended the 1950-53 Korean War due to an ongoing military US-SouthKorean military drill. The North further said it will cut off amilitary phone line in the truce village of Panmunjom.On Wednesday the South Korean military issued anuncharacteristically harsh warning, saying it would strike theNorth’s command leadership if provoked.  “If North Korea attempts a provocation that threatens the lives andsecurity of our people, our military will forcefully and decisivelystrike not only the origin of provocation and its supportingforces, but also its command leadership,” said Maj. Gen. KimYong-hyun, chief operations officer at the military’s Office ofJoint Chiefs of Staff. “We make it clear that we are allprepared.”Building tensions on the Korean Peninsula come as the 15-nationUN Security Council prepares to ‘significantly expand’ sanctions onNorth Korea over a third nuclear test conducted in February.Several UN envoys said on Tuesday that a vote on the draftsanctions resolution agreed upon by Washington and Beijing wasexpected on Thursday.The sanctions would explicitly ban the sale of luxury goods whichare a regular staple of North Korea’s ruling elite and make it moredifficult for Pyongyang to transfer funds globally, a councildiplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

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N. Korea imposes no-fly, no-sail zones off both coasts – report

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