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North Korea deliberately provoked serious incident with South Korea

Below is the complete Special Report which has been sent by email into 6 different parts throughout yesterday to our subscribers:

There have been two main developments regarding North Korea (DPRK) in the last 48 hours. Firstly, North Korea says it’s about enriching LEU for a civilian power plant at a whole new modern facility. Secondly, 2:34 p.m. local time today, North Korea fired more than 100 artillery shells into Yeonpyeong Island off the west coast, killing two South Korean marines and wounding 21 people.

After the attacks began, according to Joongang Daily, Seoul dispatched F-16 fighter jets to the area which reported "suspicious movements" of military equipment on the North Korean coast near South Korea's Baekryeong Island, which is 17 kilometers away from the North Korean coast. At 6:05 p.m., South Korea released a statement saying that it would "severely punish additional North Korean provocation" although officials repeated they are committed to making "the best efforts not to worsen the situation,"

U.S. interagency team on North Korea led by Ambassador Steve Bosworth is in Tokyo and will be in Beijing tomorrow. United States position remains clear. North Korea has to take affirmative steps to denuclearize, State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley told the press. The Obama administration considers the incident as one concern that adds up to a "long list of concerns" about North Korea.

More information is being made available on throughout the day. Analysts here say there is real risk of escalation. Russia would be working at easing tensions, officials said they fear the situation could run out of any control. French analysts said such a risk remains low however, while the Americans said they're closely monitoring the situation. One told North Korea may have acted that way because it feared an imminent " action" against its newly-discovered allegedly nuclear-related installation.

Revelations that North Korea has secretly built a large uranium enrichment facility validate long-standing concerns about that nation's nuclear intentions and is a destabilizing force in the region, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s State of the Union and ABC’s This Week. He confirmed China is the key of the North Korean issue. We’ve been engaged with China for an extended period of time with respect to North Korea, Mullen said. A great part of (the solution) will have to be done through Beijing.

For the moment, no official written statement has been made available by both Chinese and Russian MFAs. The Kremlin has voiced much concern over such a sudden rise in tensions. According to Xinhua news agency, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular briefing Tuesday in Beijing that China had taken note of reports about "an exchange of fire between South Korea and the DPRK, urging related sides to do things conducive to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula,"

"We have noticed related reports and are concerned about the issue. The real situation needs to be confirmed," exactly said spokesman Hong Lei at the briefing. "We hope related parties do things conducive to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula," Hong said.

Also, Hong "urged all parties concerned to jointly create the conditions to restart the six-party talks at the earliest possible date". He added that "it has always been China's firm policy to realize denuclearization on the Peninsula through negotiation," Yesterday, France had expressed its concern about information gathered by Stanford Professor Siegfried S. Hecker who said that he has visited a uranium enrichment centrifuge facility in North Korea (DPRK).

Sources said approx. 2,000 centrifuges would be in operation in the country. Meanwhile in Iran, an official said that the actual process of producing nuclear fuel for Tehran's research reactor would start in September 2011.

"Enormous retaliation is going to be necessary to make North Korea incapable of provoking us again," South Korean President Lee told the press. "The provocation this time can be regarded as an invasion of South Korean territory. In particular, indiscriminate attacks on civilians are a grave matter," President Lee Myung-bak said at the headquarters of the Joint Chiefs of Staff here, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

"Given that North Korea maintains an offensive posture, I think the army, the navy and the air force should unite and retaliate against (the North's) provocation with multiple-fold firepower," he said. "The South Korean military will retaliate against any additional acts of provocation in a resolute manner," a statement issued by the Blue House (South Korean Presidency) reads.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz today said it is "significant" that the South Korean air force, rather than the United States, is leading its country’s air defenses at a time when North Korea has become increasingly provocative. U.S. Forces Korea is monitoring the situation closely, Schwartz said.

South Korea and its allies have considerable air power in the North Pacific region that North Korea should be mindful of, Schwartz said. " Today, at this moment, there is no question that there is very substantial air power in the North Pacific and that is something North Korea needs to be respectful of," he said.

The Defense Department affirmed its alliance with South Korea and is closely monitoring the situation on the Korean peninsula in the wake of today's North Korean artillery attack on South Korea. "We will honor our alliance obligations to the South, and we are determined to promote peace and security on the peninsula," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today in an interview on MSNBC.

The Defense Department views North Korea’s actions "with concern," Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan told reporters today. However, "At this point it’s premature to say that we’re considering any [military] action," Lapan said.

From Beijing, China, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen W. Bosworth declared that he has no theory about why today's incident happened. He affirmed both the United States and China "strongly believe that a multilateral, diplomatic approach is the only way to realistically resolve these problems".

* Below is the transcript of the latest briefing delivered by the White House. When asked if the U.S. will support some sort of emergency Security Council meeting, the White House official answers the U.S. is "going to work with its partners and figure out if that's the most appropriate way forward". Only the text that concerns North Korea has been reproduced below:

Q Does the President consider North Korea’s actions an act of war?

MR. BURTON: As you know, the President is outraged by these actions. And as we said in the statement earlier today, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally in South Korea. And as the President said in Korea, we're fully committed to their defense.

Our condolences go to the victims of this attack. And we'll be working with South Korea and the international community in coming days on the best way forward in securing peace and stability in the region.

The President will speak with President Lee at some point soon. They’re still working out the time at which they talk.

Q Any specifics on what we will be doing to stand with South Korea? Are we sending additional troops? Are we moving any ships into the area?

MR. BURTON: We're going to continue to work with them, but I don't have any news for you on any specifics.

Q Can you tell us how he heard, when he heard, what kind of discussions he’s had so far?

MR. BURTON: He heard from Tom Donilon this morning at 3:55 a.m. Secretary Gates spoke with his counterpart this morning and there’s been other contact between the governments. But we're continuing to work very closely with them.

Q Will he call President Hu?

MR. BURTON: I don't know that that's on the docket, but he'll do what’s appropriate.

Q Did he make any calls to anyone before leaving the White House this morning?

MR. BURTON: Not that I know of.

Q Does the President view this as an act of provocation?

MR. BURTON: It’s an outrageous act. The President thinks that North Korea is not living up to their obligations and they ought to live up to the obligations that are signed in the armistice agreement and international law.

Q So "outrageous act," not a "provocative act"?

MR. BURTON: I mean, I don't want to get out the thesaurus on all the things that the President thinks are terrible what they’ve done.

Q What about involving the U.N.? Would the U.S. support some sort of emergency Security Council meeting or some sort of action by the U.N.?

MR. BURTON: We're going to work with our partners and figure out if that's the most appropriate way forward.

Q North Korea has been pretty clear all along that what they want is to get back into talks with the U.S. Is that on the table or a serious issue at all?

MR. BURTON: What North Korea needs to do is live up to their international obligations and make real progress in ending their illegal nuclear program. So the United States is obviously committed to security and stability in the region, and we’ll do what we think is appropriate to getting there.

Q Will we hear from the President today on North Korea? Will he make any statement or -- on camera?

MR. BURTON: I wouldn't anticipate that.

Q No comment today from the President?

MR. BURTON: I wouldn't anticipate that. Later today he’s taping an interview with Barbara Walters. I imagine it will come up, but there’s no plan for him to step to a podium and make a --

Q Will this change if things escalate? Will he make a statement today -- do you anticipate that?

MR. BURTON: I’m not going to get into an hypothetical -- anything can happen.

Q When you look at North Korea calling these American scientists to show off their new nuclear plant, and then this fusillade on this island in South Korea, I mean, do you guys think this is a cry for attention?

MR. BURTON: Well, North Korea has a pattern of doing things that are provocative. This is a particularly outrageous act, and we’re going to be doing everything that we need to do in order to make sure that we’re defending our ally in South Korea and that there’s security and stability in the region.

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