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“No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain,” [President of China Xi Jinping] said in a speech at an annual regional business forum in Boao, China. Mr. Xi did not single out any countries or disputes, but in separate remarks, China’s Foreign Ministry repeated its “grave concern” over the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

In the past week, China’s Foreign Ministry has released several statements saying that it considers the North Korean situation to be of “grave concern.” On Sunday, the ministry repeated that phrase, saying that China had requested that North Korea protect foreign diplomats living in Pyongyang, the North’s capital.

For a fifth consecutive day, North Korea blocked South Korean workers and supplies from entering the [Kaesong] factory park, forcing 13 plants to stop production as of Sunday.

The most concerning detail of this story may be the ongoing shutdown at Kaesong, which could get much worse in a hurry.

What we should really watch for is if North Korea prevents the South Korean workers from leaving Kaesong, which could be interpreted by the South Korean government as a hostage situation, says Stephan Haggard, professor of Korea-Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

"Everything else," he said, "is just talk."

Meanwhile the war of pictures has already begun.
As military tensions continued to rise between North and South Korea yesterday, the propaganda war was well under way. The North released photos of attack dogs ripping apart an effigy of a South Korean leader. And the South staged an exhibition of disturbing images depicting atrocities it says were carried out in the North and verified by North Korean defectors.
And once again the only ray of light in this murky and explosive soup emanates from the Pentagon.
THE US has postponed an intercontinental ballistic missile test next week amid mounting tensions with North Korea. A senior defence official said that Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel delayed the long-planned Minuteman 3 test at an Air Force base in California because of concerns the launch could be misinterpreted and exacerbate the current crisis.
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