Thursday, December 12, 2013
Hyung-Jin Kim / The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
A woman reads messages on ribbons Sunday left by visitors to the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, expressing their wishes for the reunification of the two Koreas. North Korea last week suggested diplomats leave the country.
The Associated Press
In recent weeks, the U.S. has followed provocations from North Korea with shows of force connected to the joint exercises with South Korea. It has sent nuclear capable B-2 and B-52 bombers and stealth F-22 fighters to participate in the drills.
In addition, the U.S. said last week that two of the Navy's missile-defense ships were moved closer to the Korean Peninsula, and a land-based missile-defense system is being deployed to the Pacific territory of Guam later this month. The Pentagon last month announced longer-term plans to strengthen its U.S.-based missile defenses.
The U.S. military also is considering deploying an intelligence drone at the Misawa Air Base in northern Japan to step up surveillance of North Korea, a Japanese Defense Ministry official said Sunday.
Three Global Hawk surveillance planes are deployed on Guam and one of them is being considered for deployment in Japan, the official said on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak about the issue.
Also on Sunday, Iran's foreign ministry urged all sides to exercise restraint and not to move toward "provocative behavior."
"We think that the event that is intensifying between North Korea, South Korea and the United states should be controlled as soon as possible," Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying. "Both parties should not move toward a corner in which there is a threatening climate."
Mehmanparast's comments came two days after Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, the deputy chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, reportedly said North Korea had "no choice except confronting the U.S."