Thursday, Mar 06, 2003
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By P. S. Suryanarayana
With the U.S. making it clear that "all options remain on the table'' to deal with North Korea, the DPRK reiterated its demand for a bilateral non-aggression pact.
As seen from East Asia, Washington's move to reinforce its military presence in the West Pacific, through the deployment of some additional state-of-the-art warplanes, has been seized upon by North Korea as a new sign of America's incremental `bellicosity' in this region, ahead of a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq.
It is in this context that South Korea's Unification Minister, Jeong Se-hyun, made light of Pyongyang's suspicions that the U.S. might now be poised to launch a pre-emptive strike against the DPRK's nuclear-arms-related facilities.
In Seoul's reckoning, the U.S. would not go against the anti-war sentiments of the South Korean people as regards their own neighbourhood.
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