Khamenei rebuffs U.S. offer of direct talks
Marcus George, Reuters – Feb 7, 2013
Iran’s highest authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Thursday slapped down an offer of direct talks made by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden this week, saying they would not solve the problem between them.
U.S. Increases Pressure of Economic War on Tehran
Thomas Erdbrink and David E. Sanger, The New York Times – Feb 7, 2013
The West escalated the economic war another notch on Wednesday, imposing a new set of restrictions intended to force Iran into what amounts to a form of barter trade for oil, because payments for oil deliveries can no longer be sent to accounts inside Iran.
EU court rules for second time against Iran bank sanctions
Reuters – Feb 6, 2013
A European Union court has ruled that the EU should lift sanctions it imposed on one of Iran’s largest banks, the second such judgment that could complicate Western efforts to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic. The ruling further weakens the EU’s sanctions regime imposed against Iran’s nuclear program, just weeks before six powers are due to resume stalled negotiations with Iran aimed at addressing fears that Tehran is seeking the bomb.
N.K. urged to halt nuke threats
Lee Joo-hee, The Korea Herald – Feb 7, 2013
Park, Saenuri Party chairman Hwang Woo-yea and Democratic United Party interim leader Moon Hee-sang affirmed in a statement North Korea’s nuclear armament would not be tolerated and that any attempt would be met with strong measures from the members of the six-party talks, the U.N. and the international community. The three also urged the North to abide by all U.N. Security Council resolutions and uphold its promise to denuclearize for improved inter-Korean relations and sustainable peace on the Korean peninsula.
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman: preemptive strike would be made against NK nukes
Kang Tae-ho, The Hankyoreh – Feb 7, 2013
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff responded on Feb. 6 that the South Korean military would risk war in attempting a preemptive strike against North Korea if signs of an imminent nuclear weapon launch against the South were detected.
Chinese newspaper says Pyongyang should pay a heavy price for nuke test
Seong Yeon-cheol, The Hankyoreh – Feb 7, 2013
An editorial in the Global Times, a major Chinese state-run daily newspaper, reported on Feb. 6 that Beijing would risk a fallout with Pyongyang to take “appropriate action” if North Korea carries out a third nuclear test. With this editorial in the Global Times, China showed its strong opposition to a test and made explicit mention of the possibility of relations with North Korea going sour.
NK nuclear threat puts China in dilemma
Ling Yuhuan, Global Times – Feb 7, 2013
As analysts around the world search for clues to a possible third nuclear test by North Korea and speculate on the impact that the test might bring to the already tense Korean Peninsula, some experts also expressed concerns about the diplomatic pressure that China will face in the wake of such a test.
What will North Korea’s nuclear test reveal?
AFP, Yahoo! News – Feb 8, 2013
North Korea’s expected atomic test will offer a rare chance to gauge where its nuclear programme is headed, with most expert attention focused on what type of device is detonated and how.