assembles missiles near coast facing Taiwan
(Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, April 2, 2002)
China's military is deploying more short-range ballistic missiles
near the coast opposite Taiwan, as tensions in the region
are increasing over growing U.S. support for the island. .
. . The shipment is part of a continuing Chinese missile buildup
that has raised questions among senior defense officials about
Beijing's announced commitment to seeking a peaceful resolution
of its dispute with Taiwan. . . . Deputy Defense Secretary
Paul Wolfowitz said in an interview with The Washington Times
in August that the buildup of missiles near Taiwan has been
steady and is destablizing. . . . China's government also
was angered by disclosure of a secret U.S. nuclear policy
review that said nuclear weapons could be used against China
if a conflict over Taiwan broke out. . . . The Pentagon took
steps to update its war plans to defend Taiwan last year after
President Bush announced the United States would do "whatever
it takes" to defend the island from mainland attack.
. . . "Where we are right now is that China is capable
of causing a great deal of damage to Taiwan, damage that cannot
be stopped by the Taiwanese armed forces or by forces of the
United States, if they were ordered in," Adm. Blair said.
Hard - Liners See End of N.Korea Accord
(REUTERS, March 29, 2002)
The White House sent a strong message, ruling it could not
be sure Pyongyang was adhering to the agreement that was hailed
as a landmark on signing eight years ago and aimed to freeze
its nuclear weapons program. . . . It was a dramatic break
with the administration of former President Bill Clinton,
which negotiated the accord called the Agreed Framework to
resolve a nuclear crisis with Pyongyang. . . . U.S. officials
said administration hard-liners who are most suspicious of
Pyongyang see this year's certification decision as a first
step toward unraveling the agreement altogether. . . . It
occurred after Bush toughened his rhetoric following the Sept.
11 attacks on America and put North Korea in an "axis
of evil" with Iran and Iraq, claiming each was intent
on developing weapons of mass destruction. . . . "It
was a transitional move away from saying, 'Everything is fine.'
It's saying, 'Be on notice. You've got a year to go,"'
one official said. . . . Bush has given formal notice that
the United States will withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic
Missile treaty and has refused to support ratification of
the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. He has taken issue
with other pacts as well.
South Korea stage war exercises - North Korea calls it Declaration
(Jong-Heon Lee, UPI, 3/21/2002)
South Korea and the United States on Thursday launched their
largest joint military exercises since the Korean War over
the protest of North Korea, which termed the exercises a declaration
of war. . . . North Korea blasted the drills as preparations
for invasion. A North Korean Foreign Ministry statement claimed
the exercises were part of "very dangerous war gambles
to seize the chance to provoke a nuclear war" targeting
the North. . . . Exercises involve the 37,000 U.S. troops
stationed in South Korea and parts of U.S. forces from bases
around the Pacific region as well as 650,000 South Korean
soldiers. . . . U.S. President George Bush dubbed the Pyongyang
government part of "an axis of evil" with Iran and
Iraq in his January State of the Union address.
Korea Hits Out at U.S. Nuclear Arms Review
(Reuters, March 13, 2002)
North Korea said Wednesday it would react strongly to a nuclear
arms review that U.S. newspapers say includes contingency
plans for using atomic weapons against seven countries including
the communist North. . . . "The DPRK will not remain
a passive onlooker to the Bush administration's inclusion
of the DPRK in the seven countries, targets of U.S. nuclear
attack, but take a strong countermeasure against it,"
it said. . . . DPRK is the acronym for the country's official
title -- the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. . . .
"If the U.S. intends to mount a nuclear attack on any
part of the DPRK just as it did on Hiroshima, it is grossly
mistaken," KCNA said, referring to one of two Japanese
cities hit by U.S. atomic bombs at the end of World War Two.
. . . "A nuclear war to be imposed by the U.S. nuclear
fanatics upon the DPRK would mean their ruin in nuclear disaster."
. . . Pyongyang's suspected nuclear weapons program brought
it to the brink of conflict with Washington in 1994, before
a diplomatic deal was struck to freeze the program in exchange
for oil supplies and Western-built nuclear reactors. . . .
The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times reported last
weekend the Pentagon had conducted a secret nuclear posture
review that raised the possibility of developing new types
of nuclear arms and described contingency plans for using
them against Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and North
Korea. . . . North Korea said the latest reports indicated
the Bush administration was "working in real earnest
to prepare a dangerous nuclear war to bring nuclear disasters
to our planet and humankind.
India Stifles Free Speech
Arundhati Roy Convicted of Contempt
(Nirmala George, Common Dreams News Center, March 7, 2002)
"I am prepared to suffer the consequences," she
said. "The message is clear. Any citizen who dares to
criticize the court does so at his or her peril." . .
. Roy won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel
"The God of Small Things." She has written articles
criticizing India's nuclear program and is a prominent campaigner
against the Narmada Dam, the nation's biggest hydroelectric
project. . . . Opposing attorneys in the Narmada case accused
her of contempt of court. When the court began considering
that, she filed an affidavit suggesting she should not have
to appear before the panel. She said it "creates a disturbing
impression that there is an inclination on the part of the
court to silence criticism and muzzle dissent." . . .
Although the contempt charges against her in the original
case were dismissed, the Supreme Court itself accused her
of contempt for the comments in her affidavit and convicted
her Wednesday. . . . A two-judge panel said she was guilty
of "scandalizing it and lowering its dignity through
her statements." . . . Police detained about 200 protesters
at the Supreme Court building Wednesday, saying they would
be released later. Many are Narmada Valley residents whose
homes could be flooded when the dam is built. . . . Opponents
of the project say it will harm small farmers and displace
tens of thousands of villagers. Roy donated her Booker Prize
winnings - about $30,000 - to the campaign against the dam.
. . . Roy's lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, said she will challenge
the conviction, calling it a "setback to the freedom
of the common citizen to discuss matters of enormous public
Also see: The
Algebra of Infinite Justice by Arundhati Roy