'Donald Trump claims he has no choice but to threaten North Korea with war -- a war that would prove disastrous for multiple countries, if not the entire world.
In reality, from all appearances, Trump has no clue as to the choices available or the history at work.
Click here to help educate him -- or at least the U.S. media and some of those around him.
The fact that North Korea is a horrific dictatorship does not change the reality that threatening to attack that nuclear-armed country is an extremely reckless policy that gravely risks setting off a cataclysmic catastrophe.
North Korea has repeatedly offered to abandon its nuclear weapons program if the United States and South Korea would stop flying over North Korea practicing to bomb it as well as engaging in other explicitly threatening military exercises nearby.
North Korea has shown interest in developing a peace treaty with the South to finally end the Korean War.
North Korea adhered to an agreement to halt its nuclear weapons program right up until George W. Bush labeled it a member of an axis of evil and viciously attacked one of the other designated members, Iraq.
A lot of such information is unfamiliar to Americans. The "Background" links below provide a bit of that information.
Let's remind Trump and the U.S. media of this context, and of the options it opens up.
When Trump says he's sending ships to North Korea, people in North Korea with historical knowledge will remember the devastating bombing inflicted on the country by the United States nearly 70 years ago. The U.S. bombed dams, bridges, and villages. It dropped huge quantities of napalm. It dropped insects and feathers infected with anthrax, cholera, encephalitis, and bubonic plague.
The United States has never relinquished wartime command of the South Korean military, and it has been building big new bases in South Korea opposed by serious popular protests. The U.S. is building what it calls a missile defense system in South Korea that North Korea and China consider offensive and part of an offensive first-strike policy. The people of South Korea have been protesting it in huge numbers.
Click here to tell Trump some of the damaging policies that he has the option of halting.
Legally, when North Korea tests missiles it breaks no laws. The United States tests missiles all the time. But when the United States threatens war it commits a grave violation of the law as well as risks getting us all killed.
Let's chart a different course before it is too late.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
> Bruce Cumings, The Nation, "Korean War Games"
> Dave Chaddock: "This Must Be the Place: How the U.S. Waged Germ Warfare in the Korean War and Denied It Ever Since"
> John DeLury, The Washington Post: "Instead of threatening North Korea, Trump should try this" _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Lizzie Dearden @lizziedearden 2 days ago57 comments
The reclusive state claimed ‘hotbeds of evils in the world’ were targeting Mr Kim AP
North Korea has accused the CIA and South Korea of a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un with “biochemical substances”.
A statement from the ministry of state security claimed “hotbeds of evils in the world hatched a vicious plot” targeting Mr Kim during a public appearance for ceremonial events in Pyongyang.
It said a terrorist group backed by the CIA and South Korean spies had entered the country for the attempted assassination, vowing that an “anti-terrorist attack” would begin immediately.
North Korea building mysterious artificial islands'
North Korea threatens 'grave consequences' for China in rare criticism
China tells US and North Korea to ‘stop irritating each other’
The statement threatened that the “the last-ditch effort” of American “imperialists” and the South had gone “beyond the limits”.
“A hideous terrorists’ group, which the CIA and the National Intelligence Service infiltrated into the DPRK on the basis of covert and meticulous preparations to commit state-sponsored terrorism against the supreme leadership of the DPRK by use of biochemical substance, has been recently detected,” it continued.
It claimed the two intelligence agencies “ideologically corrupted” and bribed a North Korean with the surname Kim, turning him into “a terrorist full of repugnance and revenge against the supreme leadership of the DPRK”.
North Korea shows new missiles in huge parade amid nuclear fears
“They hatched a plot of letting human scum Kim commit bomb terrorism targeting the supreme leadership during events at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun and at military parade and public procession after his return home,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
“They told him that assassination by use of biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance is the best method that does not require access to the target, their lethal results will appear after six or twelve months.
“Then they handed him over $20,000 (£16,000) on two occasions and a satellite transmitter-receiver and let him get versed in it.”
KCNA, which frequently carries threats from the North Korean government, gave lengthy details about the alleged plot but claimed it could not be accomplished.
“Criminals going hell-bent to realise such a pipe dream cannot survive on this land even a moment,” it said.
Mr Kim recently watched huge military parades marking the Day of the Sun and the 85th anniversary of the North Korean army, which was celebrated with the country’s largest ever artillery drill.
In pictures: North Korea military drill
The leader’s estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was assassinated using VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur International Airport earlier this year.
The latest allegations emerged amid heightened tensions over a series of weapons tests carried out by the totalitarian state.
What would happen if Trump went to war with North Korea?
US President Donald Trump has vowed to “properly deal” with Pyongyang, raising fears of a preemptive strike that could provoke a nuclear response.
Mr Kim visited military detachments on two islets controlled by North Korea, while forming a strategy against the “South Korean puppet army”, state media reported on Friday.
“He said that the KPA elite artillery group defending the southwest front should keep highly alert to break the backbone of the enemy once ordered,” a KCNA report claimed, following the activation of the American Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence, or Thaad, missile defence system and intensified joint military drills.
During a visit to Jangjae and Mu islands, Mr Kim reportedly “acquainted and examined the plan for fire strike of the newly organised forces at the objects of the enemy”.
He toured facilities including barracks and a desalination plant, while “taking warm care” of soldiers and being photographed with their families.
North Korea test-fires an underwater strategic submarine ballistic missile (EPA)
North Korea has stationed multiple rocket launchers and artillery units on the two islands, where a shelling and rocket attack was launched on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island in 2010.
Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, said Washington was working on fresh sanctions against North Korea if it takes steps that merit a new response, and warned other countries would be punished for doing illicit business with Pyongyang.
The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved legislation to tighten sanctions on North Korea by targeting its shipping industry and companies that do business with the reclusive state.
Supporters hoped it would send a strong message to North Korea, amid international concern over the escalation of its nuclear programme.
If the sanctions are approved by the Senate and become law, they are likely to affect China, Pyongyang’s most important trade partner.
Beijing has been angered by North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and supported US sanctions, but foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said it opposes other countries using their own domestic law to impose unilateral sanctions.
Even as President Donald Trump sends an overture for peace talks with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, the Pentagon and Japan’s intelligence agency are running black operations to launch false-flag operations against Asian capitals as a pretext for war on the Korean Peninsula. Already, covert teams are pinning targets for black ops planners at the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, Japan’s carrier-borne helicopters are getting ready to transfer nuclear bombs onto US Marine Corps F-35B Lighting attack jets off Shikoku, the small Japanese island that fronts the Inland (Seto) Sea. In mid-January, the defect-plagued F-35s were forward-deployed to the Marine Corps Air Station at Iwakuni in Yamaguchi, the home prefecture of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Soon, these troubled aircraft will be launching World War III.
Mad Dogs Plan Pretext For A First Strike
The dispatch of reconnaissance team to civilian centers in Asia shows that Abe and Defense Secretary James Mattis are planning a false-flag attack to be blamed on the North Koreans to justify a massive US-Japan “counter-attack”, actually a first strike, with nuclear bombs. Over the past year, Abe has repeatedly asserted his first-strike doctrine and opposed international disarmament talks outlawing sneak attacks.
Preparations for the false-flag-counterstrike operations are underway with the rendezvous of the Japanese helicopter carrier Izumo with an as-yet unidentified US Navy supply vessel off the Boso Peninsula (Chiba Prefecture, due east of Tokyo). The sailing direction of the US supply ship indicates it came from Johnson Atoll, the US nuclear arsenal near the Hawaiian Islands, meaning it is transporting a cargo of nuclear bombs.
The supply ship, escorted by the gigantic Izumo, is now off the coast of Shikoku, Japan’s fourth-largest island that fronts the Inland Sea, or Seto Naikai. Aside from the ports of Osaka, Kobe and Hiroshima, the Inland Sea is the location of the US Marine Corps Air Station at Iwakuni, in Yamaguchi, Abe’s home province.
On January 18, 2017, the US Marines forward-deployed Fighter Attack Squadron 121, known as the “Green Knights”, at Iwakuni. The Marine version of the stealth fighter-bomber is capable of vertical landing on the decks of helicopter carriers and with angular lift can achieve short takeoffs.
Either the helicopters of the Izumo are delivering the warheads to Iwakuni in blatant violation of Japan’s Three Non-Nuclear Principles or, to evade detection from land observers, landing the F-35s on deck for ordnance loading.
At this point, before there is any sign of a cross-border offensive from North Korean forces, the US-Japan bomb-transfer is for an offensive naval-air operation, and therefore in clear violation of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan as well as the US-Japan Security Agreement. The treachery makes Shinzo Abe nothing less than a war criminal under Japanese law and American treaty.
Gen. Mattis is acting in aggressive violation of the defensive mission of the security treaty and therefore should be relieved of his duties just like the rogue commander in the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur, was recalled on April 11, 1951, for insubordination against the president because of his call for use of nuclear bombs against North Korea and China.
Insubordination is the exact charge that should be laid against Mattis when he illegally prepares for an expanded war without notifying Congress or the White House. A new Korean conflict would involve the Chinese and Soviet military forces, in direct contravention of President Donald Trump’s repeated calls for personal talks with the North Korean leader aimed at a diplomatic solution and a return to the 6-party talks on denuclearization. However difficult and long the path to a peaceful resolution, that is infinitely better than risking World War III.
Second Korean War is a Rerun
Marine Air Squadron 122 has a history in Korea, earning fame for its repeated attempts in 1952 to bomb the Sui-ho Dam, a major hydroelectric power dam. Intended to pressure the Northern side in the Panmunjeom truce talks, the damage to the power plant contributed to the massive toll of up to 5 million human lives, not only by war but through the total warfare against habitation, water supplies, agriculture, industries and even hospitals and schools.
Since those dark days, the recurrent insolence from senior American field commanders is an all-too frequent problem that arises from the practically autonomous military “empire” in the Pentagon’s archipelago of bases in the territories of tributary nations, far out of reach from the White House, Congress, courts and diplomatic corps. With their dirty dealings with corrupt host elites, including bribe-taking to deplete military stores of ammo and BX supplies of booze, raping and robbing local civilians, and whoring with camp followers, these garrisons are bilking the American taxpayers and doing anything except defending democracy.
The US military has been in a sorry state since long before the Vietnam conflict and dependent on crooked contractors to fix their failing equipment instead of demanding do-it-yourself designs of weapons systems. In a real war, the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord would easily win a shooting contest with today’s millennial crusaders.
To think that a Mad Dog and The Green Knights are going to achieve an easy victory over the Spartans of Asia, a reputation hard-earned by the North Koreans, is a fantasy no matter how many false flag attacks are scheduled. Taking his cue from President Harry Truman, Trump must reassert his stature as Commander in Chief, and retire Mattis to virtual reality gaming where he can slaughter every zombie in sight.
Evading Prosecution for Mass Murder
Since Mattis and Abe hope to conceal their crime of triggering a world war, they must unleash sufficient mass brutality to erase the public memory, as happened when B-52 carpet-bombing took attention off the fake Tonkin Gulf incident. Therefore it is important now to begin putting evidence on the record for illegal provocation of a World War and their coming crimes against humanity.
Nuclear warfare, with its indiscriminate killing of a large group of humanity, fits the definition of genocide. In the two times that atomic weapons were used against an enemy nation, the postwar United Nations did not deem those US attacks to constitute genocide due to the fact that wartime Japan was the sole remaining head of the Axis, its commission of atrocities against millions of people in Asia, and the immediate necessity to end World War II from sacrificing the lives of more Allied personnel.
Those arguments that exonerated President Harry Truman, the Manhattan Project scientists and air crews of the USAF bombers do not apply in the present case of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), however objectionable the regime’s policies may be to its critics. The use of nuclear weapons against the Korean people would be grossly disproportionate to whatever they might be guilty of in border skirmishes, verbal threats and rights abuses. Their own small ballistic force is a mere deterrent to the vast US threat and Japan’s secret nuclear-weapons program, which the UN has failed to probe.
A war-crazed neo-colonialist, Abe has found a fanatic “kobun” (underling) In 'Mad Dog' Mattis. At a crossroads to either World War or peace, the White House has only two options: Let these vicious rabid mutts spread their epidemic against the world population; or put them to sleep.
Out of Uniform Removes Geneva Protections
Before proceeding, in the interest of the rights of American service personnel assigned to undercover missions: Your superior officers are aware that Geneva Accords regarding the treatment of prisoners do not apply to military personnel captured out of uniform and in civilian attire for purposes of espionage. If taken, the international standards for humane treatment and limitations on interrogation become no longer in effect, leaving you to be treated as a foreign spy who can expect robust interrogation, unlimited incarceration and other lamentable types of inhumane treatment. Whether you volunteered or were ordered to participate in military reconnaissance of civilian centers will have no bearing on your sentencing. Your officers were in legal and ethical violation of U.S. law and the military code for endangering your lives and personal safety, but due to this problem the US Government will be under no obligation to provide support to your family members or even inform them of your whereabouts. The risk is entirely yours alone, and the odds of being caught are running against you by the minute.
In short, while it is understandable that you lack the knowledge or sense to refuse participation due to one verbal incentive or another, it would be a decades-long effort on my part to try to retrieve whatever is left of you to bring home to your loved ones. It falls on antiwar individuals like me to undo these snafus because your officers by then only want you to be silenced. At the end of the day, they’ll be drinking beer with their adversaries, while you’ll be forgotten like the yellow-ribbon POWS abandoned in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. So do a favor, and save me that thankless effort and spare your family and friends the needless hardship from this idiotic exercise.
Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor with The Japan Times group, is a science journalist who has conducted radioactivity studies in the Fukushima exclusion zone, where he has found evidence of large-scale plutonium extraction for nuclear weapons production. -
North Korea could try to launch a nuclear attack from space with satellites they already have
North Korea could be planning an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike on the US with two satellites already orbiting above the Earth, an expert has claimed.
Dr Peter Vincent Pry claims that Pyongyang may be secretly developing the ability to detonate a high-altitude nuclear weapon in space which would set off the pulse, wiping out electrical systems below.
The secretive kingdom is believed to have started a satellite programme during the 1980s and successfully launched two observation satellites in 2012 and 2016, which take an estimated 94 minutes to complete an orbit of the earth.
Dr Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security who sits a US Congress committee on EMPs, claimed North Korea is practising a “cyberage version” of battleship diplomacy so they can always have “one of [their satellites] very close to being over the United States”.
He said the North Koreans may use this as a bargaining chip if the US threatens to carry out military sanctions against the regime.
It follows months of increasingly aggressive rhetoric on both sides of the dispute over Pyongyang’s continued nuclear programme.
The Trump administration has warned that the Obama-era policy of “strategic patience” was over and the President has said he will solve the problem “with or without” China’s help.
Last week Donald Trump said he would like to resolve the situation peacefully but warned that a “major, major conflict” with North Korea is “absolutely possible”.
On the North Korean side, Pyongyang has threatened a “merciless response” to any US provocation.
Although people doubt North Korea has the technology to launch a direct attack on the US, experts warn they are getting closer and can still target Seoul or Tokyo.
Dr Pry said Pyongyang might be engaging in this different type of warfare after taking inspiration from a plan the Soviet Union drew up – but never carried out – to attack the US with an EMP during the Cold War.
He told far-right US website Breitbart he believed that the recent rocket tests looked “suspiciously like practice for an EMP attack”.
But nuclear non-proliferation expert Jeffrey Lewis said the claims that an EMP strike could wipe electrical systems below was “silly”.
In an article for Newsmax, he pointed to a test carried out by the US in 1962 known as “Starfish Prime”.
Although the bomb detonated nearly 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean was 100 times larger than the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, the only recorded effect was the failure of one set of street lights in Honolulu.
'South Korea on Monday offered to hold rare military talks with the North, aiming to ease tensions after Pyongyang tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile.
The offer of talks, the first since South Korea elected dovish President Moon Jae-In, came as the Red Cross in Seoul proposed a separate meeting to discuss reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
The South's defence ministry proposed a meeting to be held on Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom, while the Red Cross offered to hold talks on August 1 at the same venue.
If the government meeting goes ahead, it will mark the first official inter-Korea talks since December 2015. Moon's conservative predecessor, Park Geun-Hye, had refused to engage in substantive dialogue with Pyongyang unless the isolated regime made a tangible commitment to denuclearisation.
"We make the proposal for a meeting... aimed at stopping all hostile activities that escalate military tension along the land border," the defence ministry said in a statement.
The Red Cross said it hoped for "a positive response" from its counterpart in the North, hoping to hold a family reunions in early October. If realised, they would be the first in two years.....' _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Panmunjom, described as a faded theme park with a military twist, lies inside Korea's demilitarised zone and was where the armistice was signed to halt the Korean War in 1953 - and now could be set for more historic peace talks
SOLDIERS FACE OFF AT 'TRUCE VILLAGE' WHERE TALKS COULD BE HELD
This footage shows inside the heavily guarded village where North Korea meets South as leaders bid to ease tensions between the warring nations.
Panmunjom, known as a "truce village", lies inside Korea's demilitarised zone and is where the armistice was signed to halt the Korean War in 1953.
Described in reports as a " faded theme park with a military twist ", hundreds of armed soldiers stand on both sides of the village which contains about six huts.
Known as the Joint Security Area, the village contains about a half a dozen blue coloured huts where opposing soldiers stand guard face to face while no civilians are said to live there.
A North Korean soldier looks out as a South Korean soldier stands guard during a tour of Panmunjom (Image: AFP)
A North Korean soldier looks at South Korea in front of the blue coloured huts (Image: Getty Images AsiaPac)
US general admits North Korea's missiles COULD reach America but currently don't have "any degree of accuracy"
It is the scene for potential breakthrough talks between the warring neighbours following an invite by South Korea.
On Monday, officials offered to hold talks with North Korean counterparts to de-escalate tensions fanned after Pyongyang tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile.
The proposal is the first formal overture by the government of President Moon Jae-in, to discuss ways to avoid hostile acts near the heavily militarised border.
A North Korean soldier takes a photo of South Korea's new defence chief (not pictured) (Image: YNA)
Visitors wait for their bus in front of the UN Command Military Armistice Commission (Image: AFP)
A South Korean soldier stands guard at the truce village of Panmunjom (Image: REUTERS)
United States offer to 'broker peace talks' between North and South Koreato mark anniversary of Armistice
There was no immediate response from North Korea to the proposal for talks on Friday.
The two sides technically remain at war but Moon, who came to power in May, has pledged to engage North Korea in dialogue as well as bring pressure to impede its nuclear and missile programmes.
The offer comes after North Korea claimed to have conducted the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
earlier this month, and said it had mastered the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on the missile.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants dialogue with North Korea (Image: YNA)
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this month (Image: AFP)
"Talks and cooperation between the two Koreas to ease tension and bring about peace on the Korean peninsula will be
instrumental for pushing forth a mutual, virtuous cycle for inter-Korea relations and North Korea's nuclear problem," South Korea's unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a news briefing.
The United States, South Korea's main ally, which has been trying to rally international support for tougher sanctions on
North Korea, appeared cool to the proposal, recalling President Donald Trump's position that conditions must be right for dialogue.
"I think the President has made clear in the past with respect that any type of conditions that would have to be met are clearly far away from where we are now," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.
North Korea has yet to respond to the offer of talks (Image: AFP)
The South Korean defence ministry proposed talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all activities that fuel
tension at the military demarcation line.
Tongilgak is a North Korean building at the Panmunjom truce village on the border used for previous inter-Korea talks.
The last such talks were held in December 2015.
The aim of the talks would be to de-escalate tensions fanned by the missile test (Image: Getty Images AsiaPac)
South Korea also proposed separate talks by the rival states' Red Cross organisations to resume a humanitarian project
to reunite families separated during the 1950-53 Korean War.
The South Korean Red Cross suggested talks be held on Aug 1, with possible reunions over the Korean thanksgiving Chuseok holiday, which falls in October.
The last such reunions were in October 2015. _________________ --
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
(Reuters) - North Korea is ready to give the United States a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force if it takes military action against it, and will not put its nuclear program or its missiles on the negotiating table, it said in a statement to a regional meeting on Monday.
In a transcript of a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, which was distributed to media in Manila, Pyongyang called new U.N. sanctions "fabricated" and warned there would be "strong follow-up measures" and acts of justice. It said the resolution showed the United Nations had abused its authority.
It said its intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July proved that the entire United States was in its firing range, and those missiles were a legitimate means of self-defense.
It was not immediately clear whether the statement was read to the ASEAN Regional Forum on Monday.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Manolo Serapio Jr; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Nick Macfie) _________________ --
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Trump and North Korea: NBC report saying N
Korea may have miniature nuclear weapons;
what Trump actually said – 'fire and fury…..'
Dr Michael Bevacqua on BBC 5Live about
Guam Island which is 1/3 US military facilities.
Traders barely had time to enjoy the lull from the "Armageddon trade" - the rising possibility of a nuclear exchange between the US and North Korea, which peaked over the weekend when various US officials said a nuclear war is not imminent, echoed by a statement by N. Korea's state-run news agency KCNA, before a new set of worries promptly took over, chief among them the ongoing slow motion train wreck in Donald Trump's administration coupled with yesterday's double terrorist attacks in Spain. Alas, "nuclear war" risk is about to come back with a vengeance because on Monday US and South Korea are scheduled to begin joint military exercises, a massive show of force which every time in the past has infuriated North Korea, sometimes triggering a show of force.
Held every fall in South Korea, the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian war games are the world’s largest computerized command and control exercise. Some 30,000 U.S. soldiers and more than 50,000 South Korean troops usually take part, along with hundreds of thousands of first responders and civilians, some practicing for a potential chemical weapons attack.
Scheduled long before the recent diplomatic fallout between Washington and Pyongyang, the U.S. and South Korean militaries will simulate warfare with North Korea from Aug. 21 to 31, well aware that North Korea could respond with another missile test, according to McClatchy.
In light of this perceived provocation by North Korea, which will almost certainly prompt some reaction, Scott A. Snyder, a Korea specialist with the Council on Foreign Relations said “Over the course of the next two weeks I expect tensions to escalate. This is always a sensitive issue, but it is more hair-trigger as the North Koreans are very sensitive to the likely additional nuclear-capable aircraft flyovers.”
While the Pentagon has repeatedly stated that the biannual exercises are "defensive" in nature, both North Korea and China have long criticized them as a provocation and an affront to regional security. “There certainly will be some reaction,” said J.D. Williams, a retired Marine colonel and defense policy researcher at the RAND Corporation in California. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if North Korea conducted some kind of missile launch — not a test but a defiant demonstration of might.
As discussed earlier in the week, North Korea’s Kim backed off a threat to launch missiles at Guam, saying he’d watch “the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” before deciding on the launch, a decision that Trump quickly tweeted was “very wise and well reasoned.” While the exchange suggested that cooler heads were prevailing in the latest U.S. standoff with North Korea. But next week’s war games could rekindle hostilities. On Thursday, North Korean state media declared that the military exercises will “further drive the situation on the Korean Peninsula into a catastrophe.”
It's not just North Korea: Beijing will likely be rather unhappy too.
The exercise, along with one in March, often triggers anti-war protests in South Korea and condemnation from China. While Chinese President Xi Jinping has been noticeably cool toward Kim Jong Un, and has been critical of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, China has long wanted the United States to shrink its military footprint in Asia, including some 12 bases in South Korea and Japan.
In an editorial Monday, China’s Global Times newspaper, an arm of the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, lambasted the decision by the United States and South Korea to go ahead with Monday’s exercises.
“The drill will definitely provoke Pyongyang more, and Pyongyang is expected to make a more radical response,” the newspaper said. “If South Korea really wants no war on the Korean Peninsula, it should try to stop this military exercise.”
In other words, China - which is largely expected to rein in North Korea - is already hedging in case North Korea does something impulsive, suggesting the exercise itself could be the provocation that sets Kim off. And set him off, it will: in the past North Korea has reacted strongly during the biannual war games. In 2014, the north fired off scud missiles during the March exercises held by the U.S.-South Korean command, called Foul Eagle.
During the 2015 Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises, North Korea and South Korea exchanged artillery and rocket fire over their border. That exchange came after two South Korean soldiers were maimed stepping on land mines in the Demilitarized Zone. South Korea accused North Korean soldiers of sneaking across the border and planting the land mines.
Last week, China and Russia urged the United States to consider a “freeze for freeze” agreement to reduce tensions. In such a deal, Pyongyang would agree to suspend its tests of missiles and nuclear weapons, and Washington and Seoul would agree to suspend large-scale military exercises. That, however, is not happening: U.S. military experts say such a deal would give a lopsided advantage to North Korea, which could continue its military training even as the U.S.-South Korea exercises were suspended. “It is hard to imagine why the United States would accept that, because of the vulnerability it would create,” said Bruce Bennett, a senior defense researcher at RAND.
In a media briefing on Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States will continue to hold joint exercises with South Korea. And since North Korea will immediate see this "provocation" as a green light for a response, the respite that traders got from the "Armageddon trade" that sent the VIX soaring by one of its biggest and fastest intraday moves in history, may prove very short-lived. Perhaps the only silver lining is that the exercises don't begin until Monday, so traders don't have to do anything too crazy ahead of the weekend.
Mehdi Hasan - May 3 2017, 12:32 p.m. LEIA EM PORTUGUÊS - “WHY DO THEY hate us?”
It’s a question that has bewildered Americans again and again in the wake of 9/11, in reference to the Arab and Muslim worlds. These days, however, it’s a question increasingly asked about the reclusive North Koreans.
Let’s be clear: There is no doubt that the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea both fear and loathe the United States. Paranoia, resentment, and a crude anti-Americanism have been nurtured inside the Hermit Kingdom for decades. Children are taught to hate Americans in school while adults mark a “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” every year (it’s in June, in case you were wondering).
North Korean officials make wild threats against the United States while the regime, led by the brutal and sadistic Kim Jong-un, pumps out fake news in the form of self-serving propaganda, on an industrial scale. In the DPRK, anti-American hatred is a commodity never in short supply.
“The hate, though,” as longtime North Korea watcher Blaine Harden observed in the Washington Post, “is not all manufactured.” Some of it, he wrote, “is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.”
Forgets as in the “forgotten war.” Yes, the Korean War. Remember that? The one wedged between World War II and the Vietnam War? The first “hot” war of the Cold War, which took place between 1950 and 1953, and which has since been conveniently airbrushed from most discussions and debates about the “crazy” and “insane” regime in Pyongyang? Forgotten despite the fact that this particular war isn’t even over — it was halted by an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty — and despite the fact that the conflict saw the United States engage in numerous war crimes, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, continue to shape the way North Koreans view the United States, even if the residents of the United States remain blissfully ignorant of their country’s belligerent past.
For the record, it was the North Koreans, and not the Americans or their South Korean allies, who started the war in June 1950, when they crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded the south. Nevertheless, “What hardly any Americans know or remember,” University of Chicago historian Bruce Cumings writes in his book “The Korean War: A History,” “is that we carpet-bombed the north for three years with next to no concern for civilian casualties.”
How many Americans, for example, are aware of the fact that U.S. planes dropped on the Korean peninsula more bombs — 635,000 tons — and napalm — 32,557 tons — than during the entire Pacific campaign against the Japanese during World War II?
How many Americans know that “over a period of three years or so,” to quote Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, “we killed off … 20 percent of the population”?
Twenty. Percent. For a point of comparison, the Nazis exterminated 20 percent of Poland’s pre-World War II population. According to LeMay, “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea.”
South Korea and the United States began annual war games on Monday, U.S. Forces Korea said, amid heated warnings by Pyongyang that the exercises will worsen tensions in the region.
Tens of thousands of troops are taking part in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military drills, a largely computer-simulated exercise that runs for two weeks in the South.
They are described as defensive, but nuclear-armed Pyongyang views them as a highly provocative rehearsal for invasion.
The drills come during a standoff on the peninsula since Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) last month that appeared to bring much of the U.S. within range.
That sparked a grim warning by President Donald Trump that Washington could rain "fire and fury" on the North.
Pyongyang threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam -- a plan that leader Kim Jong-Un last week delayed, but warned could go ahead depending on Washington's next move.
While the allies are pushing ahead with the exercises that date back to 1976, around 17,500 U.S. troops will participate in the drills -- a cutback from last year.
South Korean media reports have said the U.S. was considering scrapping a plan to bring in two aircraft carriers to the peninsula.
But U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Sunday the smaller troop numbers were "by design to achieve the exercise objectives", denying suggestions Washington had cut them back to try to ease tensions with Pyongyang.
"This right now is an exercise to make certain that we're ready to defend South Korea and our allies over there," Mattis told reporters aboard an aircraft flying to Amman, Jordan.
U.S. Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris arrived in the South on Sunday to inspect the exercises and discuss growing North Korean nuclear and missile threats.
On the eve of the UFG drills, North Korea said the U.S. was "pouring gasoline on fire".
In a commentary carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the North warned of an "uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war" on the peninsula.
Washington was "mistaken" to think that such a war would take place on "somebody else's doorstep far away from them across the Pacific", it added.'
There's more than one way to relieve tensions - I guess those Yankers are still going down the list... _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
North Korea fires missile over Japan
Citizens on Japan's northern Hokkaido island warned to 'evacuate to basement'
Japan condemns launch as 'unprecedented threat'
South Korea responds with bombing drills
UN Security Council to hold meeting on Tuesday
China warns situation now at a 'tipping point'
'There's nowhere to run': Japanese residents tell of 'worrying' alerts
North Korea fired a missile over Japan early on Tuesday morning, officials said, as Tokyo warned citizens in the north of the country to take cover.
North Korea Fires Missiles At South KoreaNorth Korea FiresTrump Warns North Korea
The launch prompted a stark warning from China that tensions on the Korean peninsula had reached a "tipping point”.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing in Beijing that the situation was "now at a tipping point approaching a crisis."
Japan's warning system kicked in, advising citizens on its northern Hokkaido island to take precautions, as the missile headed towards land in what was a significant escalation of Kim Jong-un's military posturing.
The missile later broke into three pieces and landed in the sea. It flew for around 1,700 miles, reaching a maximum altitude of 350 miles, South Korean officials said. The Pentagon confirmed the launch.
The Japanese military made no attempt to shoot down the unidentified missile, but condemned the launch in the strongest terms possible..
"We will do our utmost to protect people's lives," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. "This reckless act of launching a missile that flies over our country is an unprecedented, serious and important threat."
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un smiles during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August23, 2017 - Credit: Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un smiles during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August23, 2017 Credit: Reuters
Following a 40-minute phone call with Donald Trump, he said he and the US president had agreed to escalate the pressure on North Korea. "We must immediately hold an emergency meeting at the United Nations, and further strengthen pressure against North Korea," Mr Abe said.
Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, and South Korea's foreign minister agreed to consider tougher sanctions against the North in response to the missile test, South Korea said.
Yoon Young-chan, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul, also told a briefing that South Korean fighter jets conducted bombing drills at a firing exercise ground after Pyongyang's latest missile launch.
Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, arrives at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 - Credit: Akio Kon/Bloomberg
“A missile passing over Japan is an unprecedented, grave and serious threat,” Shinzo Abe told reporters on Tuesday Credit: Akio Kon/Bloomberg
South Korea and the United States had discussed deploying additional "strategic assets" on the Korean peninsula, the presidential Blue House said in a statement, without giving any more details.
North Korea remained defiant.
"The US should know that it can neither browbeat the DPRK with any economic sanctions and military threats and blackmails nor make the DPRK flinch from the road chosen by itself," North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun said later on Tuesday, using the initials of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said he was "outraged at (the) reckless provocation by North Korea". He strongly condemned the "latest illegal missile launch". Theresa May is flying to Japan on Wednesday for trade talks.
Kim has overseen more than 80 missile tests - more than both his father and grandfather combined.
The regime fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Saturday in what was thought to be a response to US-South Korean joint military exercises.
Pedestrians watch the news on a huge screen displaying the trajectory of the missile that flew over Japan - Credit: AFP
Pedestrians watch the news on a huge screen displaying the trajectory of the missile that flew over Japan Credit: AFP
Saturday's launch was the first since Pyongyang test-fired a intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 28 that could have been designed to reach 6,200 miles, putting parts of the US mainland within reach. The North Korean dictator threatened to target Guam, the US territory, with a missile.
Analysts speculate the North may have tested a Hwasong-12 missile, a new intermediate-range projectile that Pyongyang recently threatened to fire towards Guam.
The missile landed nowhere near Guam, which is about 1,550 miles south of Tokyo, but the length of Tuesday's launch may have been designed for the North to show it could follow through on its threat.
The launch of a Hwasong-12 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea in May - Credit: AP
The launch of a Hwasong-12 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea in May Credit: AP
"The launch doubled as a threat to Washington, not only because of the US military bases in Japan, but also that the North showed it has the real capability to fire missiles to waters near Guam if it chose to shoot them in that direction," said Moon Seong Mook, a former South Korean military official and current analyst for the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy.
Seoul says the missile was launched from Sunan, which is where Pyongyang's international airport is, opening the possibility that North Korea launched a road-mobile missile from an airport runway.
North Korea fired what it said was a rocket carrying a communications satellite into orbit over Japan in 2009. The United States, Japan and South Korea considered it a ballistic missile test.
"It's pretty unusual," said Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies in California. "North Korea's early space launches in 1998 and 2009 went over Japan, but that's not the same thing as firing a missile."
Television and radio broadcasters broke into their regular programming with a "J-Alert" warning citizens of the missile launch. Bullet train services were temporarily halted and warnings went out over loudspeakers in towns in Hokkaido.
"I was woken by the missile alert on my cellphone," said Ayaka Nishijima, 41, an office worker from Morioka, the capital of Iwate prefecture, 300 km (180 miles) south of Cape Erimo.
"I didn't feel prepared at all. Even if we get these alerts there's nowhere to run. It's not like we have a basement or bomb shelter, all we can do is get away from the window," she told Reuters by text message.
Global markets reacted to the escalation in tensions, buying safe-haven assets such as gold, the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen, and selling stocks. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell almost 1 percent to a near four-month low, while South Korea's KOSPI index was down a similar percentage.
North Korea nuclear grid
North Korea nuclear grid
China says North Korea situation at 'tipping point'
China has warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a "tipping point” and that the situation was fast becoming a crisis after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan.
A foreign ministry spokeswoman also said the United States and South Korea are partly to blame, reiterating a long-held stance in Beijing.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the situation was "now at a tipping point approaching a crisis. At the same time there is an opportunity to reopen peace talks.
"We hope relevant parties can consider how we can de-escalate the situation on the peninsula and realise peace and stability on the peninsula," Hua told a regular briefing in Beijing.
The spokeswoman also made a call for the resumption of peace talks, saying "pressure and sanctions" against North Korea "cannot fundamentally solve the issue".
Ms Hua also repeated China’s position that North Korea should halt tests in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending military drills in the region.
North Korea 'will not flinch'
North Korea has issued a defiant message in response to warnings of further pressure from the US, Japan and South Korea.
"The US should know that it can neither browbeat the DPRK with any economic sanctions and military threats and blackmails nor make the DPRK flinch from the road chosen by itself," North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun said.
South Korea releases footage of new missiles
South Korea has released footage of its own missile tests it says were conducted last week in a response to the latest North Korean missile launch.
The South Korean military said on Tuesday it conducted three flight tests of two types of new missiles with ranges of 800 kilometers (497 miles) and 500 kilometers (310 miles) on August 24 and that the missiles were close to being operationally deployed.
The military released footage of the tests of the longer-range missile that showed the missile being fired from a truck-mounted launcher and hitting a land-based target.
South Korea hasn't officially named the missile yet, but it is tentatively called the Hyunmoo-2C.
The missile is considered a key component to the so-called "kill chain" pre-emptive strike capability the South is pursuing to cope with the North's growing nuclear and missile threat.
UN Security Council to hold meeting on Tuesday
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon over North Korea's latest missile launch at the request of Japan and the United States, diplomats said.
The planned meeting in New York comes as Washington and Tokyo agreed to step up pressure on Pyongyang after it fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.
Town's loudspeakers fail to relay warning
Residents on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido were warned of the North Korean missile launch by a "J-Alert" on their mobile phones, with loud alarms and an email that told people to stay indoors.
The system also is designed to kick in an automated voice repeating the warnings on area loudspeakers.
Hironori Matsuura, an official in the coastal town of Erimo, told AP the phone alarm worked but not the 50 speakers in the town.
Matsuura said people were stunned as this is the first time a North Korea missile is believed to have flown over Hokkaido. The town, which has about 4,800 residents, is checking on what went wrong with the speaker system.
"We all woke up," he said. "But there are no reports of any damage, and no one had to evacuate."
'There’s nowhere to run'
The Japanese government's J-Alert system broke into radio and TV programming, warning citizens of the possible missile. Bullet train services were temporarily halted and warnings went out over loudspeakers in towns in Hokkaido.
"I was woken by the missile alert on my cellphone," said Ayaka Nishijima, 41, an office worker from Morioka, the capital of Iwate prefecture, 180 miles south of Cape Erimo.
"I didn’t feel prepared at all. Even if we get these alerts there’s nowhere to run. It’s not like we have a basement or bomb shelter, all we can do is get away from the window," she told Reuters by text message.
Rocket alarm sirens in #Japan. Speaker speeks from a loudspeaker and warns the population
— بندر المغامسي (@bndr_almaghamsi) August 28, 2017
Fighter jets conduct bombing drills
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and South Korea's foreign minister have agreed to consider tougher sanctions against North Korea following the latest launch.
Yoon Young-chan, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul, also told a briefing that South Korean fighter jets conducted bombing drills at a firing exercise ground after Pyongyang's latest missile launch.
Separately, the South's Yonhap news agency cited an unidentified Blue House source as saying the US military was considering the deployment of strategic assets to the Korean peninsula.
Student says he woke to sirens
Trump and Abe discuss missile launch
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he agreed with US President Donald Trump in telephone talks to increase pressure on North Korea after the country's latest missile launch.
Trump also said that the United States was "100 percent with Japan" and he showed a strong commitment to Tokyo's defence, Abe told reporters.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters about North Korea's missile launch in Tokyo - Credit: Reuters
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters about North Korea's missile launch in Tokyo Credit: Reuters
Possible military reaction
South Korea's Yonhap news agency says the top US and South Korean military officers agreed to make a strong response to North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch, including possible unspecified military measures.
The chairmen of both countries' Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed on a phone call "to take response measures at the earliest possible time that can demonstrate the alliance's strong will including military measures," Yonhap reported, quoting the South Korean military.
What was the missile fired?
A former South Korean military official who is now an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies says the early flight data suggests the North Korean missile was likely a Hwasong-12, a new intermediate range missile that the North has recently threatened to fire toward Guam.
'...But what options does Trump really have? As we've detailed before, the scope for tough, unilateral action against Pyongyang is virtually nonexistent. The diplomatic chessboard is complex and has multiple players; the threat of military escalation or punitive strikes would put millions of lives at risk.
That dilemma demonstrates how the latest North Korean test was “perfectly calibrated to create political mischief,” Stephen Haggard, a U.S.-based Korea expert, said to my colleague Anna Fifield.
It panicked the Japanese, whose right-wing prime minister, Shinzo Abe, may now have further cause to beef up his nation's military capabilities. It adds to the headaches of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal who hopes for more productive engagement with Pyongyang. And it deepens China's awkward role in the crisis, caught between its position as the country with the most leverage over North Korea and its regional rivalries with Japan and South Korea....'
At the end of the day, WTF does the US (and it's poodles in NATO and the UN) have a right to say North Korea should not have nukes and delivery systems?
Or Iran, for that matter?
Sure, it means 'no more bullying; no more expansionism; NO MORE REGIME CHANGE, but so what? That's the way things should be, in an 'ideal' world.
'Course, that doesn't sit well with 'Full Spectrum Dominance' bythe US, and unlimited stealing of Palestinian and other's lands by Istrael, but tough titty.
Does anyone doubt for a moment they would only be used in self-defense?
If Afghanistan had had nukes, would they have been targeted under false pretenses? And Iraq? And Libya?
As a 'professed' Christian, I almost certainly shouldn't say this stuff, but I'll answer to my 'Maker', something I do not take lightly (being in my mid-'70's). _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday, which it said was an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, marking a dramatic escalation of the regime's stand-off with the United States and its allies.
The announcement from Pyongyang came a few hours after international seismic agencies detected a manmade earthquake near the North's test site, which Japanese and South Korean officials said was around 10 times more powerful than the tremor picked up after its last nuclear test a year ago.
There was no independent confirmation that the detonation, which drew swift international condemnation, was a hydrogen bomb rather than a less powerful atomic device. But Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo could not rule out the possibility that it was a hydrogen bomb.
The test is a direct challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump, who hours earlier had talked by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the "escalating" nuclear crisis in the region and has previously vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons that could threaten the United States.
North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions and sanctions, said in an announcement on state television that a hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong Un was a "perfect success".
The bomb was designed to be mounted on its newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the North said.
The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the nuclear test was "an extremely regrettable act" that was "in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community".
French President Emmanuel Macron said the international community must react firmly to this "new provocation", and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Seoul would push for strong steps to further isolate the North, including new UN sanctions.
Japan also raised the prospect of further sanctions, saying curbs on North Korea's oil trade would be on the table.
China, North Korea's sole major ally, said it strongly condemned the nuclear test and urged Pyongyang to stop its "wrong" actions. The United States has repeatedly urged Beijing to do more to rein in its neighbour.
North Korea claimed in January last year to have tested a miniaturised hydrogen bomb, also known as a thermonuclear device, but outside experts were sceptical, suggesting it could have been a "boosted device", an atomic bomb that uses some hydrogen isotopes to increase its explosive yield.
A U.S. official who studies North Korea's military and politics said it was too early to determine if a test supported the North's claim that it had succeeded in developing a thermonuclear weapon, "much less one that could be mounted on an ICBM and re-enter Earth's atmosphere without burning up".
The latest nuclear test comes amid heightened regional tension following Pyongyang's two tests of ICBMs in July that potentially could fly about 10,000 km (6,200 miles), putting many parts of the U.S. mainland within range.
Under third-generation leader Kim, North Korea has been pursuing a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on a long-range ballistic missile, without affecting its range and making it capable of surviving re-entry.
One expert said the size of Sunday's detonation, measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at magnitude 6.3, meant it was possible it could be a hydrogen bomb test.
"The power is 10 or 20 times or even more than previous ones," said Kune Y. Suh, a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University. "That scale is to the level where anyone can say a hydrogen bomb test."
AIR RAID SIRENS
In the Chinese city of Yanji, on the border with North Korea, witnesses said they felt a tremor that lasted roughly 10 seconds, followed by an aftershock.
"I was eating brunch just over the border here in Yanji when we felt the whole building shake," Michael Spavor, director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, which promotes business and cultural ties with North Korea. "It lasted for about five seconds. The city air raid sirens started going off."
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in Vienna said it had detected an "unusual seismic event" in North Korea that was larger than previous nuclear tests.
"North Korea's mission is quite clear when it comes to this latest atomic test: to develop a nuclear arsenal that can strike all of Asia and the U.S. homeland," Harry Kazianis, director of defence studies at the conservative Center for the National Interest in Washington, said.
"This test is just another step towards such a goal.
None of us should be shocked by Pyongyang's latest actions."
Earthquakes triggered by North Korean nuclear tests have gradually increased in magnitude since Pyongyang's first test in 2006, indicating the isolated country is steadily improving the destructive power of its nuclear technology.
Hours before the test, North Korea's state news agency KCNA had released pictures showing Kim Jong Un inspecting a silver-coloured, hourglass-shaped warhead during a visit to the country's nuclear weapons institute, accompanied by scientists.
Kim "watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM" and "set forth tasks to be fulfilled in the research into nukes", KCNA said.
The shape shows a marked difference from pictures of the ball-shaped device North Korea released in March last year, and appears to indicate the appearance of a two-stage thermonuclear weapon, said Lee Choon-geun, senior research fellow at state-run Science and Technology Policy Institute.
KCNA said North Korea "recently succeeded" in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb.
"All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes ... were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants," KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
Juche is North Korea's homegrown ideology of self-reliance that is a mix of Marxism and extreme nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather. It says its weapons programmes are needed to counter U.S. aggression.
A hydrogen bomb can achieve thousands of kilotons of explosive yield - massively more powerful than some 10 to 15 kilotons that North Korea's last nuclear test in September was estimated to have produced, similar to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high since last month when North Korea threatened to launch missiles into the sea near the strategically located U.S. Pacific territory of Guam after Trump said Pyongyang would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.
North Korea further raised regional tensions on Tuesday by launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, drawing international condemnation.
Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.
"It is believed that those aboard included Sydney Seiler, director for Korea at the U.S. National Security Council, and Joseph DeTrani, who headed the North Korea desk at the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
"They met with North Korean officials and discussed policies....
"The third visit that The Asahi Shimbun has confirmed is one that took place in November 2011."
Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju at the Haemaji Restaurant
Kim Jong-un visited Japan on a forged Brazilian passport.
Kim Jong-un 'secretly visits Tokyo' - Telegraph
Kim Jong Un is reported to have had posters of basketball star Michael Jordan on his wall during his schooldays.
In 2000, Kim got a Chicago Bulls T-shirt from Madeleine Albright.
Kim at school in Berne in Switzerland.
Reportedly, Kim is a diabetic and suffers from hypertension.
North Korea admits to Kim Jong-un's ill-health
Kim Jong Un.
Soviet records show that Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong il, was born in Russia.
Kim Jong il got Kim Jong Un to watch Disney cartoons for hours every day.
Kim Jong Un has spent some time in Switzerland.
The family often gets together in Switzerland at Lake Geneva and Interlaken.
Kim attended a Swiss boarding school in Berne in the mid 1990's.
He was enrolled as the son of the chauffeur of the North Korean Embassy.
Kim Jong Un (right) with his father. Disney is linked to CIA brainwashing.
Kim Jong-un's Swiss school was the "Liebefeld Steinhölzli" in Köniz near Bern.
Early life and education
Kim Jong-un was described by classmates as shy, awkward with girls, not interested politics, but very interested in sport.
Sometimes a car from the North Korean Embassy would drive him to Paris to watch an NBA exhibition game.
Kim has been photographed with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoč.
Kim Jong-Un's older brother, Kim Chong Chul, is a big fan of Eric Clapton.
He's been to four Clapton concerts, in Germany, and one in Singapore."
Kim Jong-Un likes to drink and party all night, just like his father.
Allegedly, certain Israelis and certain Americans supply nuclear materials to North Korea.
Kim Jong Un in Berne.
Berne is a major base for the CIA and its friends.
In 1943, future CIA Director Allen Dulles moved to Bern in Switzerland.
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Labels: Berne, Chicago Bulls, CIA, defence spending, Dulles, Kim Jong-Un, Lockheed Martin, military industrial complex, mind control, missiles, North Korea, nuclear, school, Switzerland, Trump
Brabantian11 August 2017 at 11:19
Very good from Lady Aang above
The big implication is that China must, absolutely must, be in on this farce along with both Trump & Kim Jong-Un
With South Korea's new President, Moon Jae-In, so little concerned, he declined to take Trump's phone call on this 'crisis' ... no need to interrupt summer holidays
It's all a show, and nuclear weapons do not exist and have never existed ... a dual scam for defrauding taxpayer trillions ... and letting some nations be bullies, such as 'Samson Option we will nuke everybody' Israel
(See nuclear engineer Anders Björkman - Hiroshima was proven to be chemical firebombing just like Tokyo or Yokohama - mushroom clouds are chemical - etc)
Anonymous12 August 2017 at 01:42
Oh, and again we have you here, Brabantian spewing BS. First off, go study whos behind axis of resistance, so far its ABSOLUTELY obvious you know nothing about it thinking RF/CH/whatever is chabad .
Next thing is denialism of Nuclear weapons. I wonder, with spewing geopolitical disinfo where the wind blows from...
Be great, enjoy your "2002 geopolitical reality you live in and dont forget to promote wannabe scientist who believe twin towers were brought down by .... vacuuum, that his house would withstand an asteroid impact and that every piece of footage (even by natural observer) has been created in order to confuse us.
Well I know by know who is trying to confuse others...
Anonymous13 August 2017 at 00:54
The only BS on this thread is your trolling and denialist tendencies. Quite smart for a Chatbot. Nuclear weapons will go bang anf I wouldn't want to bd standing next to one whrn it goes off.
That said. They are massively over stated. Wherd did all the radiation go in Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Precisely.
Like going to the moon, Nuclear Weapons are utter tripe.
Anonymous13 August 2017 at 07:00
Umm where did the radiation went? Well for sure ocean, air & us, look at the cancer rates, it's not just junk food..
Overstating & denialism isnt the same. He's at least deceptive
Frank Frivilous11 August 2017 at 22:33
Once again…..we've fallen back down the rabbit hole. None of this actually makes sense unless you accept the fact that the C.I.A. is only the enforcer for international finance.
Anonymous12 August 2017 at 04:33
Re the 'fake' missiles, punters might want to do a google image search on "s200 missile". Or read the first comment at the linked Sun article -
"The so called "bent" missile nose cone is not bent at all. It is the nose cone of a booster on an SA-5 Surface to Air missile (aka S-200) and it is deliberately canted away from the missile to assist separation after the boost phase."
Otherwise Aang, with silliness like the above, it seems that any story will do as long as it paints Korea black. Any word of babies flung from their incubators? What about human mincing machines in the basement? And what was that Libyan story? A whole city was going to be raped? Something like that.
Anonymous12 August 2017 at 04:59
Kim Jong Un is a 33 degree freemason
Donald Trump is a 33 degree freemason
Church = 33 degree freemason
Stalin = 33 degree freemason
roosevelt = 33 degree freemason
'...“The balance of military power between the US and its ‘allies’ (the imperial alliance structure is a major part of American power) scarcely needs elaboration or documentation. South Korea on its own has a military budget perhaps 30 times that of the North, has, generally speaking, much more advanced and modern equipment (it buys more weapons from the US than even Saudi Arabia) and, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), can field two and a half times more troops (standing army plus reservists) than the North. Bring in the US and its allies, including especially Japan, and the imbalance is astounding: a combined military budget of roughly $1 trillion against North Korea’s $1.2 to $10 billion. The portrayal of North Korea as a threat to the US is not merely wrong, it is preposterously and diametrically at variance with reality.”....'
'....These ‘war games’ are also the context in which the US dropped napalm and white phosphorus on North Korea completely destroying it from 1950-53. Up to 4 million Koreans would have lived had not the US instigated their war of aggression.
US General Douglas MacArthur testified to Congress in 1951 that:
‘The war in Korea has already destroyed that nation of 20,000,000 people. I have never seen such devastation. I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach, the last time I was there. After I looked at that wreckage and those thousands of women and children and everything, I vomited.”(‘Napalm – An American Biography’ by Robert Neer, Belknap Press, 2013, p. 100, quoted by Media Lens).
US Air Force General Curtis LeMay wrote:
“We burned down just about every city in North Korea and South Korea both…we killed off over a million civilians and drove several million more from their homes, with the inevitable additional tragedies bound to ensue.” (Ibid., p. 100, quoted by Media Lens).
This, and the imposition by the US of a military dictatorship on South Korea that imprisoned, tortured and killed political opponents, is also the reason why many people in Korea view Pyongyang’s relationship with the Americans from a position of defense rather than offense.
The ‘war games’ continue to be played decades later as a result of the expansion by the US of its military bases throughout the pacific region. From North Korea’s perspective, Washington’s provocation is akin to Russia or China deploying strategic nuclear weapons and thousands of their troops on the US-Mexico border and rehearsing military exercises that simulate the potential collapse of Washington.
Numerous other countries test their nuclear weapons – the United States included – but none elicit the kind of punishment that’s being meted out to North Korea. Pyongyang has done nothing to threaten Washington, rather the threats are the other way around. The aggressive US stance is, of course, in no way related to the probability, as Business Insider pointed out, that North Korea’s “mountainous regions are thought to sit on around 200 different minerals, including, crucially, a large number of rare earth metals… thought to be worth more than $6 trillion.”.....'
Photo by Stefan Krasowski | CC BY 2.0
Here’s what the media isn’t telling you about North Korea’s recent missile tests.
Last Monday, the DPRK fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island. The missile landed in the waters beyond the island harming neither people nor property.
The media immediately condemned the test as a “bold and provocative act” that showed the North’s defiance of UN resolutions and “contempt for its neighbors.” President Trump sharply criticized the missile test saying:
“Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.”
What the media failed to mention was that, for the last three weeks, Japan, South Korea and the US have been engaged in large-scale joint-military drills on Hokkaido Island and in South Korea. These needlessly provocative war games are designed to simulate an invasion of North Korea and a “decapitation” operation to remove (Re: Kill) the regime. North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un has asked the US repeatedly to end these military exercises, but the US has stubbornly refused. The US reserves the right to threaten anyone, anytime and anywhere even right on their doorstep. It’s part of what makes the US exceptional. Check out this excerpt from an article at Fox News:
“More than 3,500 American and Japanese troops kicked off a weeks-long joint military exercise Thursday against the backdrop of an increasingly belligerent North Korean regime. The exercise, known as Northern Viper 17, will take place on Hokkaido — Japan’s northern-most main island — and will last until Aug. 28….
“We are improving our readiness not only in the air, but as a logistical support team,” Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement. “We are in a prime location for contingency purposes and this exercise will only build upon our readiness in the case a real-world scenario occurs.” (US, Japanese troops begin joint military exercise amid North Korea threat”, Fox News)
Monday’s missile test (which flew over Hokkaido Island) was conducted just hours after the war games ended. The message was clear: The North is not going to be publicly humiliated and slapped around without responding. Rather than show weakness, the North demonstrated that it was prepared to defend itself against foreign aggression. In other words, the test was NOT a “bold and provocative act” (as the media stated) but a modest and well thought-out response by a country that has experienced 64 years of relentless hectoring, sanctions, demonization and saber rattling by Washington. The North responded because the Washington’s incitements required a response. End of story.
And the same is true of the three short-range ballistic missiles the North tested last week. (two of which apparently fizzled out shortly after launching.) These tests were a response to the 3 week-long joint-military drills in South Korea which involved 75,000 combat troops accompanied by hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, landing craft, heavy artillery, a full naval flotilla and flyovers by squadrons of state of the art fighters and strategic bombers. Was the North supposed to sit on its hands while this menacing display of brute military force took place right under its nose???
Of course not. Imagine if Russia engaged in a similar operation over the border in Mexico while the Russian fleet conducted “live fire” drills three miles outside of San Francisco Bay. What do you think Trump’s reaction would be?
He’d blow those boats out of the water faster than you could say “Jackie Robinson”, right?
So why the double standard when it comes to North Korea? Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
North Korea should be applauded for showing that it won’t be intimidated by the schoolyard bully. Kim knows that any confrontation with the US will end badly for the North, even so, he hasn’t caved in or allowed himself to be pushed around by the blustering, browbeating thugs in the White House. Booyah, Kim.
By the way, Trump’s response to Monday’s missile test was barely covered in the mainstream media, and for good reason. Here’s what happened two days later:
On Wednesday, a US-led flight-group of F-35B fighters, F-15 fighters and B-1B bombers conducted military operations over a training range east of Seoul. The B-1B’s, which are low-altitude nuclear bombers, dropped their dummy-bombs on the site and then returned to their home base. The show of force was intended to send a message to Pyongyang that Washington is unhappy with the North’s ballistic missile testing project and is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the North if it fails to heed Washington’s diktats.
So Washington is prepared to nuke the North if they don’t straighten up and do as they are told?
It sure looks that way, but who really knows? In any event, Kim has no choice but to stand firm. If he shows any sign of weakness, he knows he’s going to end up like Saddam and Gaddafi. And that, of course, is what’s driving the hyperbolic rhetoric; the North wants to avoid the Gaddafi scenario at all cost. (BTW, the reason Kim has threatened to fire missiles at the waters surrounding Guam is because Guam is the home of Anderson Airforce Base which is the point-of-origin for the B-1B nuclear-capable bombers that have been making threatening flyovers on the Korean Peninsula for some time now. The North feels like it has to respond to that existential threat.
Wouldn’t it help if the media mentioned that fact or does it better serve their agenda to make it look like Kim is barking mad by lashing out against the ‘totally innocent’ United States, a country that only seeks to preserve the peace wherever it goes?
Give me a break!
It is so hard to find anything in the media that doesn’t reflect Washington’s bias and hostility. Surprisingly, there was pretty decent article at CBS News last week written by a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia. It’s the only article I’ve found that accurately explains what’s really going on beyond the propaganda. Check it out:
“Prior to President Trump’s inauguration, North Korea made it clear it was prepared to give the new U.S. administration time to review the policy and come up with something better than President Obama’s. The only wrinkle was that if the U.S. went full-steam ahead with its annual joint exercises with South Korea (especially if that were accompanied by more talk of “decapitation” and more flights of strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula), the North would react strongly.
In short, the U.S. did, and the North reacted.
Behind-the-scenes contacts went up and down, but couldn’t get traction. In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paraded new missiles as a warning, to no effect. The regime launched the new systems, one after another. Still, Washington’s approach didn’t change.” (Analysis: Pyongyang’s view of the North Korea-U.S. crisis”, CBS News)
Okay, so now we know the truth: The North gave it their best shot and came up snakeeyes, mainly because Washington doesn’t want to negotiate, they’d rather twist arms (Russia and China), tighten the embargo and threaten war. That’s Trump’s solution. Here’s more from the same piece:
“On July 4, after North Korea’s first successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch, Kim sent a public signal that the North could put the nuclear and missile programs “on the table” if the U.S. changed its approach.
The U.S. did not, so the North launched another ICBM, very deliberately deeming it a warning to the U.S. that they were to be taken seriously. Still, more B-1 bombers flew over the Peninsula, and the U.N. Security Council passed new sanctions.” (CBS News)
So, the North was ready to do some serious horse-trading, but the US balked. Kim probably heard what a wheeler dealer Trump was and figured they could work something out. But it hasn’t happen. Trump has turned out to be a bigger bust than Obama, which is pretty bad. He not only refuses to negotiate but he also delivers bellicose threats almost every day. This isn’t what the North was expecting. They were expecting a “non interventionist” leader who might be receptive to a trade-off.
The current situation has left Kim with no good options. He can either cave in and terminate his missile program altogether or increase the frequency of the tests and hope that they pave the way for negotiations. Kim chose the latter.
Did he make a bad choice?
Is it a rational choice?
The North is betting that its nuclear weapons programs will be valuable bargaining chits in future negotiations with the United States. The North has no plan to nuke the west coast of the United States. That’s ridiculous! That doesn’t accomplish anything. What they want is to preserve their regime, procure security guarantees from Washington, lift the embargo, normalize relations with the South, extricate the US from the political affairs of the peninsula, and (hopefully) end the irritating and endlessly provocative 64 year US occupation. Yankee go home. Please.
Bottom line: The North is ready to deal. They want negotiations. They want to end the war. They want to put this whole nightmare behind them and get on with their lives. But Washington won’t let them because Washington likes the status quo. Washington wants to be a permanent feature in South Korea so it can encircle Russia and China with lethal missile systems and expand its geopolitical grip bringing the world closer to nuclear Armageddon.
That’s what Washington wants, and that’s why the crisis on the peninsula will continue to boil.
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More articles by:MIKE WHITNEY
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is what we know about North Korea's nuclear capabilities and motivation.
Who is in range of its missiles?
The Hwasong-14, North Korea's furthest-reaching intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), could theoretically travel about 10,400km. This potentially puts the whole world within range, except for:
US East Coast
This theoretical range was estimated based on the Hwasong-14 performance in a test-launch on July 28, when it flew for about 45 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan.
On September 15, North Korea's also tested its mid-range Hwasong-12 missile which travelled about 3,700km over Japan, and has a range potential of 4,000km, which includes Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean.
Can the missiles be shot down?
The US, South Korea and Japan are equipped with anti-missile systems that could potentially intercept and destroy ballistic missiles fired from North Korea, although missile intercept failures are common.
The US' anti-missile system was declared ready in 2004, but since then many intercept tests have failed.
South Korea has six Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) batteries deployed in Seongju, south of Seoul, and Japan is also equipped with the Patriot and the Aegis anti-ballistic missile systems.
WATCH: Why didn't Japan shoot down North's missiles? (0:5
Can it launch a nuclear attack?
North Korea claims that it can mount miniaturised nuclear warheads on its missiles, but these claims have not been independently verified.
To launch a nuclear attack, North Korea would need to produce nuclear devices small enough to fit on its missiles - this is not known to have yet been successfully developed and tested.
In March 2016, North Korea's KCNA news agency released a photo of Kim Jong-un in front of a small, ball-like object which it said was a miniaturised nuclear warhead.
In September 2017, KCNA released a photo of the North Korean leader inspecting what it said was a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded on an ICBM.
Undated photo of Kim Jong-un released on September 3, 2017. [KCNA/Reuters]
How many nukes does it have?
While North Korea asserts it will keep building up its nuclear arsenal in "quality and quantity", US officials estimate it has 60 nuclear weapons, whereas independent experts estimate it has enough uranium to produce six new nuclear bombs a year.
In September 2016, Siegfried Hecker of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, estimated that North Korea produced enough highly enriched uranium to make six additional nuclear bombs a year. Hecker had toured North Korea's main Yongbyon nuclear facility in 2010.
Experts and governments estimate plutonium production levels from tell-tale signs of reactor operation in satellite imagery.
Does it have the H-bomb?
In September 2017, North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test, this time detonating what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb (also known as an H-bomb).
The yield of the nuclear blast was estimated at about 100 kilotons, and was first detected as an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude with a depth of 23km.
The tremor was also felt in China, 400km from the test site.
An H-bomb can be 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima in World War II.
In January 2016, North Korea claimed to have detonated its first hydrogen bomb, but nuclear scientists examining the impact of the test questioned if the test was really that of an H-bomb.
How did it get nuclear weapons?
North Korea seems to be pursuing the development of nuclear weapons capability on its own.
Its nuclear programme started in the Soviet era with the construction of a nuclear reactor in Yongbyon in 1965, while it's first successful nuclear test was carried in 2006.
North Korea carried its sixth nuclear test in 2017 at the Punggye-ri site.
The experiment had been expected from April. Satellite images had shown workers pumping water out of a tunnel believed to have been being prepared for a forthcoming nuclear test, US monitors had said.
North Korea has a rich source of fissile material, both plutonium from its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and highly enriched uranium from other sites, US-based researchers claim.
Although the Yongbyon nuclear facility was built with help from Soviet engineers, the Soviet Union and China have denied supplying North Korea with nuclear weapons or helping it to build them.
China fought alongside the North Koreans in the 1953 Korean War, but in the interest of political stability in the region, claims to strongly oppose North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
Pakistan and India have both been linked to North Korea's nuclear programme.
In 2004, Pakistan's lead nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was put under house arrest for transferring nuclear technology, including centrifuges, to North Korea and other countries.
In a 2016 UN report accused an Indian technology institute of violating sanctions on North Korea by providing specialised training on " space instrumentation" to a North Korean student later involved in the Unha-3 rocket launch in 2012.
WATCH: US-North Korea war of words - Where is this heading? (25:00)
Why does it test nuclear weapons?
Analysis of the North Korean government's statements suggest that the leadership in Pyongyang sees in nuclear weapons the following benefits:
1. Guaranteeing security of the state
2. Economic development and prosperity
3. Gaining respect and prestige in the international arena
In April, North Korea's vice foreign minister said: "We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a US pre-emptive strike."
Pyongyang suspects that the annual joint drills between the US and South Korea are a rehearsal for an invasion of North Korea.
North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Choe Myong-nam, referred to those drills to justify his country's nuclear pursuits: "It is because of these hostile activities on the part of the United States and South Korea that we strengthen our national defence capability, as well as pre-emptive strike capabilities with nuclear forces as a centrepiece."
North Korea also accused the CIA of plotting to assassinate its leader Kim Jong-un, while CIA Director Mike Pompeo announced a dedicated Mission Centre for the "serious threats ... emanating from North Korea".
WATCH: What do we really know about North Korea? (3:00)
Has North Korea declared war?
North Korea has not gone to war with any country since 1950, but has threatened to launch a "great war of justice for [Korean] national reunification" and to attack the US mainland in "full-out war... under the situation where the US hurts the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] by force of arms."
Following UN sanctions which North Korea considered a "violent violation of our sovereignty", Pyongyang has also threatened to attack Guam.
The Korean Peninsula was divided after the World War II in 1945. Nearly five years later, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting the three-year Korean War. The war ended in 1953 with an armistice (not a peace treaty) which means that North Korea is still technically at war with South Korea.
The US has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, while the Korean Peninsula has been divided by a 4km-wide demilitarised zone stretching 250km along the border.
This year, several shows of force and provocative threats have been exchanged between the US and North Korea since the joint military drills with South Korea began in March.
On August 29, four South Korean fighter jets bombed targets in North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test-launch while in September, it simulated an attack on North's latest nuclear test site.
North Korea has defiantly carried out missile test-launches despite regional and US condemnation and continues to develop its nuclear weapons capability.
September 20, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - American leaders have warned they will destroy North Korea if it threatens either the US or allies. But how much of this posturing by Washington is a bluff? And a very dangerous bluff at that.
There is a gaping contradiction in official US rhetoric. The Americans have already lambasted North Korea as a global threat due to its nuclear weapons program.
After mocking North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un earlier this week as "rocket man," US President Trump went on to vilify the communist Asian nation as a “global threat” during his address to the United Nations’ General Assembly.
With Pyongyang having conducted dozens of successful ballistic missile tests this year alone, some of which are reportedly capable of reaching North America, as well as having successfully carried out two underground test nuclear explosions, one might expect that Kim Jong-un has more than breached the supposed American threshold of threat posture.
So, if the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is indeed a threat, as Washington repeatedly declares, why don’t US forces take the military action that American leaders keep warning about?
One such action, in particular, would be to shoot down the ballistic missiles that North Korea has test-fired above the atmosphere over Japan. The latest test last week involved a ballistic missile that overshot Japan’s Hokkaido northern province and landed 3,700 kilometers away in the Pacific Ocean. That distance from Pyongyang also puts the US Pacific territory and military base of Guam within a target range of North Korean missiles.
This week, US Defense Secretary James Mattis was asked by reporters why American forces did not shoot down that missile or several others that have been test-fired by North Korea around the Korean Peninsula and over Japanese airspace.
"Those missiles are not directly threatening any of us," Mattis said Monday, according to Bloomberg reporting. "The bottom line is that when the missiles – were they to be a threat, whether it be to US territory, Guam, obviously Japan – Japan’s territory, that would elicit a different response from us," he added.
But hold on a moment. Mattis is here saying there is “no threat”, which is in contradiction to repeated US claims that North Korea is posing a threat.
OK, perhaps the Pentagon chief is selectively narrowing the definition of threat to mean North Korean missiles that are detected specifically being aimed at US territory and its allies.
Somehow, knowing the American gung-ho propensity for belligerence, that narrower definition of threat is not credible as an explanation for why the US forces have not shot down any North Korean missiles so far. The US is not known for restraint when it comes to using military power and especially when its officials brag about "amazing technology."
What’s really holding the Americans back from blasting North Korea rockets out of the sky?
A more plausible explanation is that the hi-tech, anti-missile systems which the Americans boast about are not at all what they’re cracked up to be. That is, these systems do not, in fact, provide a protective “shield” or “dome” from incoming ballistic warheads.
In Asia-Pacific, the US has sold billions of dollars-worth of these anti-missile systems to its allies in South Korea and Japan.
The systems are touted to provide “a layered defense” against attack. They include the Patriot system, for taking out short-range missiles; the newly installed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries that have controversially been installed in South Korea; and the Aegis onshore and offshore systems. The latter is supposed to give protective cover for a wider area encompassing thousands of kilometers.
Currently, there are some 14 US Navy destroyers patrolling the Asia-Pacific around Japan which are equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system. Some of these destroyers keep colliding with cargo vessels, which makes one wonder about the effectiveness of the supposed hi-tech radar systems onboard. If they can’t detect approaching oil tankers, how will they fare against supersonic warheads?
Anyway, despite undergoing development over three decades back to the “star wars” concept initiated under US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, the capability of these anti-missile systems is still very much an open question.
In an article this week in the American publication Defense One, author Joe Cirincione makes the following stark conclusion: “The reason why we don’t shoot down North Korea’s missiles is that we cannot.”
The article quotes several Pentagon missile-testing experts who candidly admit that the performance of the US anti-missile systems is only average at best. "It’s like a coin toss," says one former Pentagon official who oversaw system testing.
The problem is that the US anti-missile defense systems have never been tested in a stressful real-war scenario. They have only been deployed under strictly controlled test conditions in which all the launch and flight data are well rehearsed in advance, giving the anti-missile systems maximum chance to succeed in intercepting the incoming projectile. And yet despite favorable conditions, the performance of the system is only about 50 percent successful.
That means the American allies are nowhere near as protected as Washington boasts about.
How about the US mainland, how well protected is it?
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The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptors based in Alaska and California are designed to shoot down Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) aimed at the US mainland. However, as one Pentagon test director admitted, the performance record of this last line of defense is "dismal" – lower even than the lackluster Patriot, THAAD or Aegis.
In other words, not only are American allies not fully protected from a missile strike, neither is the US mainland.
Many independent analysts agree with North Korean official claims that the nation has reached the capability to hit US cities with a nuclear ICBM.
This is where the provocative rhetoric of US officials becomes exposed as a reckless bluff. Trump, Mattis and the ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley keep threatening North Korea with a pre-emptive military attack. Trump has said the strike would be "overwhelming," which hints at the use of nuclear weapons.
Washington’s bravado is partly based on a misplaced confidence or a bluff that its defenses are impregnable. That does not seem to be the case, as even US defense experts admit. Therefore, the US and its allies are far from invincible as they might believe.
If we factor in too that North Korea has a fleet of submarines which are also reportedly capable of launching ballistic missiles that makes American defenses even more vulnerable. Sub-launched missiles give much less chance of detection and interception.
Washington’s belligerent rhetoric is criminally reckless. Talking about "exhausting diplomacy" and "only military options" which will "destroy North Korea" is a huge reckless bluff aimed at intimidating Pyongyang into submission to give up its nuclear weapons.
The Americans deceitfully claim the right to "preventive war" when in reality what their words and actions amount to is "aggression."
If a war breaks out, US leaders have put the lives of millions of their citizens and allies at risk of nuclear horror.
American delusion of invincibility is one big catastrophic bluff.
Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. _________________ --
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
'In the end of the 1990’s I had the chance occasion to have a chat with the late James R. Lilley. Lilley was at the Davos World Economic Forum and by chance had sat at my dinner table together with a delegation from the China Peoples’ Liberation Army. As I was the only westerner at the table he struck up a conversation, and as he saw I was more than conversant in global politics, he began talking, perhaps more than he should have with one he did not know.
James R. Lilley was no outsider. A member, together with his close friend, George H.W. Bush, of the infamous Yale University Skull & Bones secret society, Lilley served some three decades at the CIA along with Bush. Both Lilley and Bush were US Ambassadors to China.
Lilley’s term in Beijing coincided with the May-June 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests. I have reason to believe he played the key US role in orchestrating that clash between thousands of protesting students and the Chinese government as one of Washington’s early Color Revolution attempts to destabilize communist China simultaneously with the CIA’s role in destabilizing the Soviet Union.
At the time of Tiananmen protests, the man who developed the handbook for color revolutions, Gene Sharp, of the Albert Einstein Institute, was in Beijing until the Chinese told him to leave, and George Soros’ Chinese NGO, the Fund for the Reform and Opening of China, after Tiananmen, was banned when Chinese security services found that the fund had links to the CIA.
This background is important to better situate who Lilley was – a consummate insider of the George Bush CIA “deep state” networks that try to remake the world to their liking. In our Davos talk, Lilley told me he had been furious at President G.H.W. Bush in the aftermath of Tiananmen for refusing to make a stronger denunciation of the Beijing government, that, for a massacre that he knew never took place.
In the event, in our Davos discussion we touched on events in Asia and the ongoing focus by Washington on North Korea’s nuclear program. Unexpectedly, Lilley made a remarkable statement to me. He said, “Simply put, at the end of the Cold War, if North Korea didn’t exist we would have to create it as an excuse to keep the Seventh Fleet in the region.” Shortly before our Davos discussion North Korea had launched a missile over Japan, causing huge anxieties across Asia.
What is Kim Jong Un?
Who or better said, what is Kim Jong Un? Since the death of his father in 2011 Kim Jong Un has consolidated power as absolute dictator. In December 2011 Kim became Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army. His earlier history has been carefully hidden. It has been verified that he attended school in Europe at Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in Köniz near Bern. Accounts say he lived in Switzerland, under a false name, from 1991 until 2000. There he reportedly developed a prodigious taste for French Bordeaux wines, Yves St Laurent cigarettes, Swiss Emmenthaler cheese and luxury Mercedes autos according to Kim Jong-il’s former personal chef, Kenji Fujimoto.
While Kim’s extensive stay in Europe might or might not have been the opportunity for US intelligence to nurture some kind of contact, Kim’s deeds since taking control have been a godsend to the US role in disrupting Chinese as well as Russian relations with both North Korea and with South Korea as well as with Japan.
One of Kim Jong Un’s earliest indications of a major shift in foreign policy away from Beijing came when he ordered the arrest of his uncle for treason in December, 2013. Jang Sung-taek had been vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission, second only to that of the Supreme Leader and was “key policy adviser” to the politically inexperienced Kim Jong-un on the death of Kim’s father. More importantly, Jang was well-known as China’s best friend in Pyongyang.
As Washington moved to implement its new Asia Pivot military encirclement policies against China, removal of Beijing’s most influential friend in North Korea would be very convenient, to put it mildly.......' _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15778 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:05 am Post subject:
It’s time we saw economic sanctions for what they really are – war crimes
Saddam Hussein and his senior lieutenants were rightly executed for their crimes, but the foreign politicians and officials who were responsible for the sanctions regime that killed so many deserved to stand beside them in the dock
North Korean ghost ships are washing up on the shores of Japan, sometimes with their starving sailors still on board Reuters
The first pathetic pieces of wreckage from North Korean fishing boats known as “ghost ships” to be found this year are washing up on the coast of northern Japan. These are the storm-battered remains of fragile wooden boats with unreliable engines in which North Korean fishermen go far out to sea in the middle of winter in a desperate search for fish.
Often all that survives is the shattered wooden hull of the boat cast up on the shore, but in some cases the Japanese find the bodies of fishermen who died of hunger and thirst as they drifted across the Sea of Japan. Occasionally, a few famished survivors are alive and explain that their engine failed or they ran out of fuel or they were victims of some other fatal mishap.
The number of “ghost ships” is rising with no fewer than 104 found in 2017, which is more than in any previous year, though the real figure must be higher because many boats will have sunk without trace in the 600 miles of rough sea between North Korea and Japan.
The reason so many fishermen risk and lose their lives is hunger in North Korea where fish is the cheapest form of protein. The government imposes quotas for fishermen that force them to go far out to sea. Part of their catch is then sold on to China for cash, making fish one of the biggest of North Korea’s few export items.
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The fact that North Korean fishermen took greater risks and died in greater numbers last year is evidence that international sanctions imposed on North Korea are, in a certain sense, a success: the country is clearly under severe economic pressure. But, as with sanctions elsewhere in the world past and present, the pressure is not on the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who looks particularly plump and well-fed, but on the poor and the powerless.
The record of economic sanctions in forcing political change is dismal, but as a way of reducing a country to poverty and misery it is difficult to beat. UN sanctions were imposed against Iraq from 1990 until 2003. Supposedly, it was directed against Saddam Hussein and his regime, though it did nothing to dislodge or weaken them: on the contrary, the Baathist political elite took advantage of the scarcity of various items to enrich themselves by becoming the sole suppliers. Saddam’s odious elder son Uday made vast profits by controlling the import of cigarettes into Iraq.
The bureaucrats in charge of UN sanctions in Iraq always pretended that they prevented Saddam rebuilding his military strength. This was always a hypocritical lie: the Iraqi army did not fight for him in 1991 at the beginning of sanctions any more than it did when they ended. It was absurd to imagine that dictators like Kim Jong-un or Saddam Hussein would be influenced by the sufferings of their people.
These are very real: I used to visit Iraqi hospitals in the 1990s where the oxygen had run out and there were no tyres for the ambulances. Once, I was pursued across a field in Diyala province north of Baghdad by local farmers holding up dusty X-rays of their children because they thought I might be a visiting foreign doctor.
Saddam Hussein and his senior lieutenants were rightly executed for their crimes, but the foreign politicians and officials who were responsible for the sanctions regime that killed so many deserved to stand beside them in the dock. It is time that the imposition of economic sanctions should be seen as a war crime, since it involves the collective punishment of millions of innocent civilians who die, sicken or are reduced to living off scraps from the garbage dumps.
UN security council unanimously agrees new sanctions for North Korea
There is nothing very new in this. Economic sanctions are like a medieval siege but with a modern PR apparatus attached to justify what is being done. A difference is that such sieges used to be directed at starving out a single town or city while now they are aimed at squeezing whole countries into submission.
An attraction for politicians is that sanctions can be sold to the public, though of course not to people at the receiving end, as more humane than military action. There is usually a pretence that foodstuffs and medical equipment are being allowed through freely and no mention is made of the financial and other regulatory obstacles making it impossible to deliver them.
An example of this is the draconian sanctions imposed on Syria by the US and EU which were meant to target President Bashar al-Assad and help remove him from power. They have wholly failed to do this, but a UN internal report leaked in 2016 shows all too convincingly the effect of the embargo in stopping the delivery of aid by international aid agencies. They cannot import the aid despite waivers because banks and commercial companies dare not risk being penalised for having anything to do with Syria. The report quotes a European doctor working in Syria as saying that “the indirect effect of sanctions … makes the import of the medical instruments and other medical supplies immensely difficult, near impossible.”
People should be just as outraged by the impact of this sort of thing as they are by the destruction of hospitals by bombing and artillery fire. But the picture of X-ray or kidney dialysis machines lacking essential spare parts is never going to compete for impact with film of dead and wounded on the front line. And those who die because medical equipment has been disabled by sanctions are likely to do so undramatically and out of sight.
World leaders call to keep sanctions on North Korea
Trump official says he expects new sanctions to be imposed on Iran
North Korea said to get fuel from Russian ships
We should encourage the EU to enforce sanctions against Poland
Embargoes are dull and war is exciting. A few failed rocket strikes against Riyadh by the Houthi forces in Yemen was heavily publicised, though no Saudis were killed. Compare this to the scant coverage of the Saudi embargo on Houthi-held Yemen which has helped cause the largest man-made famine in recent history. In addition, there are over one million cholera cases suspected and 2,000 Yemenis have died from the illness according to the World Health Organisation.
PR gambits justifying sanctions are often the same regardless of circumstances. One is to claim that the economic damage caused prevents those who are targeted spending money on guns and terror. President Trump denounces the nuclear deal with Iran on the grounds that it frees up money to finance Iranian foreign ventures, though the cost of these is small and, in Iraq, Iranian activities probably make a profit.
On Friday, president Trump announced that his administration would be hitting North Korea with the “heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before.” The new penalties target dozens of ships and shipping companies that have (allegedly) been helping Pyongyang sustain its economy — and thus, its nuclear program. Specifically, these firms have allegedly enabled Kim Jong Un’s regime to evade previous sanctions by helping it trade illicitly with other countries while at sea, as opposed to on land, where such verboten commerce would be more easily detected.
Well, the ‘New York Slimes’ would say that, wouldn’t they?
Lots of ‘reported’ and ‘un-named officials’ , plenty of testimony from ‘Rebel’ sources, but sweet FA evidence.
Still, who needs evidence when you have ‘the UN’ and other ‘independent’ sources, like the ‘White Helmets’, to rely on?
Of course, the ‘NY Slimes’ can be relied on for unbiased, truthful reporting, surely?
I’m sure the BBC would back them up, along with the rest of our MSM propaganda shower.
Nazdarovya! _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
'‘On Wednesday, February 21st, the UK’s Minister of Defence, Conservative Gavin Williamson, announced that the United Kingdom is changing its fundamental defence strategy from one that’s targeted against non-state terrorists (Al Qaeda, etc.), to one that’s targeted instead against three countries: Russia, China, and North Korea. He acknowledged that a massive increase in military spending will be needed for this, and that “savings” will have to be found in other areas of Government-spending, such as the health services, and in military spending against terrorism…..’
How can we possibly be worried about the NHS, when the Great Russian Bear, the Chinese Dragon and the N. Korean 'Rocket Man' are after us?
Thank Old Nick, we have the Tories to save us! _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First
Does the necessity of self-defense leave ‘no choice of means, and no moment of deliberation’?
An intercontinental ballistic missile on display at a North Korean military parade in Pyongyang on Feb. 2.
An intercontinental ballistic missile on display at a North Korean military parade in Pyongyang on Feb. 2. PHOTO: YONHAP NEWS/ZUMA PRESS
By John Bolton
Feb. 28, 2018 6:59 p.m. ET
The Winter Olympics’ closing ceremonies also concluded North Korea’s propaganda effort to divert attention from its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs. And although President Trump announced more economic sanctions against Pyongyang last week, he also bluntly presaged “Phase Two” of U.S. action against the Kim regime, which “may be a very rough thing.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in January that Pyongyang was within “a handful of months” of being able to deliver nuclear warheads to the U.S. How long must America wait before it acts to eliminate that threat?
Pre-emption opponents argue that action is not justified because Pyongyang does not constitute an “imminent threat.” They are wrong. The threat is imminent, and the case against pre-emption rests on the misinterpretation of a standard that derives from prenuclear, pre-ballistic-missile times. Given the gaps in U.S. intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute. That would risk striking after the North has deliverable nuclear weapons, a much more dangerous situation.
In assessing the timing of pre-emptive attacks, the classic formulation is Daniel Webster’s test of “necessity.” British forces in 1837 invaded U.S. territory to destroy the steamboat Caroline, which Canadian rebels had used to transport weapons into Ontario.
Webster asserted that Britain failed to show that “the necessity of self-defense was instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment of deliberation.” Pre-emption opponents would argue that Britain should have waited until the Caroline reached Canada before attacking.
Would an American strike today against North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program violate Webster’s necessity test? Clearly not. Necessity in the nuclear and ballistic-missile age is simply different than in the age of steam. What was once remote is now, as a practical matter, near; what was previously time-consuming to deliver can now arrive in minutes; and the level of destructiveness of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is infinitely greater than that of the steamship Caroline’s weapons cargo.
Timing and distance have long been recognized as surrogate measures defining the seriousness of military threats, thereby serving as criteria to justify pre-emptive political or military actions. In the days of sail, maritime states were recognized as controlling territorial waters (above and below the surface) for three nautical miles out to sea. In the early 18th century, that was the farthest distance cannonballs could reach, hence defining a state’s outer defense perimeter. While some states asserted broader maritime claims, the three-mile limit was widely accepted in Europe.
Technological developments inevitably challenged maritime-state defenses. Over time, many nations extended their territorial claims, but the U.S. adhered to the three-mile limit until World War II. After proclaiming U.S. neutrality in 1939, in large measure to limit the activities of belligerent-power warships and submarines in our waters, President Franklin D. Roosevelt quickly realized the three-mile limit was an invitation for aggression. German submarines were sinking ships off the coast within sight of Boston and New York.
In May 1941, Roosevelt told the Pan-American Union that “if the Axis Powers fail to gain control of the seas, then they are certainly defeated.” He explained that our defenses had “to relate . . . to the lightning speed of modern warfare.” He scoffed at those waiting “until bombs actually drop in the streets” of U.S. cities: “Our Bunker Hill of tomorrow may be several thousand miles from Boston.” Accordingly, over time, Roosevelt vastly extended America’s “waters of self defense” to include Greenland, Iceland and even parts of West Africa.
Similarly in 1988, President Reagan unilaterally extended U.S. territorial waters from three to 12 miles. Reagan’s executive order cited U.S. national security and other significant interests in this expansion, and administration officials underlined that a major rationale was making it harder for Soviet spy ships to gather information.
In short, both Roosevelt and Reagan acted unilaterally to adjust to new realities. They did not reify time and distance, or confuse the concrete for the existential. They adjusted the measures to reality, not the reverse.
Although the Caroline criteria are often cited in pre-emption debates, they are merely customary international law, which is interpreted and modified in light of changing state practice. In contemporary times, Israel has already twice struck nuclear-weapons programs in hostile states: destroying the Osirak reactor outside Baghdad in 1981 and a Syrian reactor being built by North Koreans in 2007.
This is how we should think today about the threat of nuclear warheads delivered by ballistic missiles. In 1837 Britain unleashed pre-emptive “fire and fury” against a wooden steamboat. It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current “necessity” posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.
Mr. Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad” (Simon & Schuster, 2007).
_________________ 'Come and see the violence inherent in the system.
Help, help, I'm being repressed!'
“The more you tighten your grip, the more Star Systems will slip through your fingers.”
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