S. Korea confirms cut-off of military hotline with DPRK
||Pyongyang says it's ready for combat
North Korea repeated threats to target US military bases on March 26 as Washington and its allies tightened economic sanctions against the isolated country by targeting Pyongyang's main foreign exchange bank with new measures.
US dismisses Pyongyang's fresh threats
The Obama administration on March 26 dismissed Pyongyang's fresh threats of striking bases in the United States and the Republic of Korea as following a pattern "designed to raise tensions and intimidate others."
South Korea confirmed the notification by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of cutting off military communications hotline.
S. Korea lifts urgent military alert near border with DPRK
South Korean military has lifted the highest alert "Jindogae1" near the northern border area as no signs of intrusion from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) were found, Yonhap news reported on March 27, citing military sources.
●Global Times (English edition)
Zhang Liangui, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC
The North believes that the US has no intention to start a war against it. Even if the US does, China will object to it, and the US may not risk confrontation with China.
The North Korea proclaimed another Korean war unavoidable and called for mobilization for war. It probably wanted to threaten concerned countries and force them into silence. Besides, being a nuclear state could boost the North's confidence in its fantasies of a North-led unification.
●Global Times (Chinese edition)
Ruan Zongze, deputy head of the China Institute of International Studies
Tensions on the peninsula will continue to intensify if South Korean President Park Geun-hye refuses to soften her stance. The actions both South Korea and the US are taking are not the right way to solve the crisis, Ruan told the Global Times on March 26.
“It’s still too early to say whether sanctions against North Korea would mean China has changed its policies,” Ruan noted, adding that “Even though the two nations share a special relationship, China will not shy away from criticizing or expressing its dissatisfaction with North Korea.”
Wang Fan, professor at China Foreign Affairs University
“Sino-US cooperation will add to China’s impact on North Korea, as well as facilitate cooperation between the US and North Korea,” according to Wang.
“The solution to the North Korean nuclear issue is to create a multilateral security mechanism based on the Six-Party Talks and mutual cooperation. Security on the Peninsula means security for all nations involved,” Wang added
Liu Jiangyong, professor at the Institute of Modern International Relations, Tsinghua University
By preparing for combat, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un can consolidate his authority and win trust from military officials. Because South Korea has just changed leadership, any threat from North Korea could be considered a show of power. With the US-South Korea joint drills fresh in mind, Kim’s call for combat can be regarded as a natural response to external threats. We should be cautious not misstep and trigger a war, something that ultimately no one wants to see.
“North Korea’s call for combat is a push to force the US, South Korea and other countries to make concessions,” commentator Zheng Hao said in an interview with Phoenix TV.
“However, it is unclear why Pyongyang made the announcement while Chinese President Xi Jinping is conducting his first state visits overseas. If Pyongyang really wants to start a war, which is very unlikely to happen, is Beijing prepared?”
|China again called on all parties to show restraint. "At present, the situation on the Korean peninsula remains complex and sensitive," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
"North Korea's bellicose rhetoric and the threats that they engage in follow a pattern designed to raise tensions and intimidate others," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a regular press briefing. "As we say consistently, the DPRK will achieve nothing by these threats or provocations, which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia."
North Korea has put its military on high alert, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.