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And so it begins.....


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Japan debates strikes on N. Korea


TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Japan said Monday it was considering whether a pre-emptive strike on the North's missile bases would violate its constitution, signaling a hardening stance ahead of a possible U.N. Security Council vote on Tokyo's proposal for sanctions against the regime.


While Japan talked of sanctions, China -- North Korea's top ally and benefactor -- pressed ahead with its diplomatic efforts to draw North Korea back to stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear weapons program, dispatching a high-profile delegation to Pyongyang on Monday.


U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill huddled with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and other officials in Tokyo on a tour of the region to coordinate a common strategy on the North's missile tests last week and urge Pyongyang to drop its months-long boycott of the nuclear talks.


North Korea's missile tests last week caused no injuries or damage, but they sparked international condemnation. Officials in Japan -- badly shaken by the tests -- said Monday they were mulling whether their pacifist constitution allowed pre-emptive strikes on North Korean missile targets.


"If we accept that there is no other option to prevent an attack ... there is the view that attacking the launch base of the guided missiles is within the constitutional right of self-defense. We need to deepen discussion," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe.


Japan's U.S.-drafted constitution, untouched since it was enacted after World War II, foreswears the use of war to settle international disputes, but the government has interpreted that to allow defensive forces. The question is whether such a pre-emptive strike could be defined as self-defense.


The discussions Monday came ahead of a possible vote Monday in the U.N. Security Council on Japan's U.S.-backed resolution to prohibit nations from procuring missiles or missile-related "items, materials goods and technology" from North Korea.


While the U.S., Britain and France were behind the measure, the other two veto-wielding members of the council, China and Russia, favor a softer approach. Speculation was high that Russia would abstain if it came to a vote, but a Chinese veto was still considered a possibility.


U.S. officials were calling for China to take a bolder stand with the North and to use its influence with Pyongyang to persuade it to return to the six-party talks, which are hosted by Beijing. Hill said Washington was working with both China and Russia to force a common approach.


Still, he raised a rare question about how influential Beijing really was with the enigmatic regime.


"I must say the issue of China's influence on DPRK is one that concerns us," Hill told reporters. "China said to the DPRK, `Don't fire those missiles,' but the DPRK fired them. So I think everybody, especially the Chinese, are a little bit worried about it."


The DPKR refers to the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.


Despite the opposition, Japan showed no signs of backing away from the U.N. resolution.


"It's important for the international community to express a strong will in response to the North Korean missile launches," Abe told reporters. "This resolution is an effective way of expressing that."


China was also active on the U.N. front.


Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing "exchanged views" by phone Sunday with his counterparts from 11 council members and South Korea, the Foreign Ministry said on its Web site. He "stressed that any action should be conducive to maintaining the peace and stability in the region and the unity of the Security Council," the two-sentence statement said without elaborating.


On Monday, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, China's chief nuclear negotiator, and Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu arrived in Pyongyang for a six-day stay. The two governments exchanged congratulatory messages marking the 45th anniversary of a friendship treaty between the neighbors.


The Chinese government hasn't said whether Wu or Hui would bring up the six-nation nuclear talks. But a ministry spokeswoman said last week that China was "making assiduous efforts" in pushing for a resumption of the negotiations.


Talks have been deadlocked since November because of a boycott by Pyongyang in protest of a crackdown by Washington on the regime's alleged money-laundering and other financial crimes.


A North Korean delegation was expected in China on Tuesday to mark the treaty anniversary.


North Korea agreed in September 2005 to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for aid and energy, but no progress has been made to implement that accord.


As a way out of the impasse, China has suggested an informal gathering which could allow Pyongyang to technically stand by its boycott, but at the same time meet with the other five parties. Hill backed the proposal on Saturday, and said Washington could meet with the North on the sidelines of such a meeting.


Hill said he discussed the proposal with Japan's Aso, but he refused to provide any details.

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this may sound a little over the top but living 9 miles from D.C. isn't feeling so safe anymore.



This may get really ugly during the next year. The middle east is a mess right now and now the far east is looking at full scale armies clashing.



Man oh man I'm happy we have Mexico and Canada bordering us. the worst that can happen with them is a bunch of Beer drinking, hockey loving people that say "Aboot" coming down and telling us our health are is a joke and a bunch of low wage people hopping the border to steal jobs.

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lol.....yep, its the monkey cage syndrom....who is gonna be the 1st one to throw his poop!! then all hell breaks loose!!


Russia just knocked off that piece of chit Baseyev too, so the Chechans will be murdering more schoolchildren soon.

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Where does France fit in?



They will sit on the side lines until someone decides to invade them, at which time they will take a few pot shots, then run for the hills and wait for us to save their sorry ungrateful asses.

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France would be the first country to nuke someone. They have no military worth anything to defend itself conventionally and would be forced to go nuclear. I guarantee it. I'd bet on it if any of us would be left to settle up.

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