Category Archive: Kings of the East

Sep 18

WWIII Fears Sparked As North Korea Fires Nuclear-Capable Missile From Pyongyang Into Japanese Air Space

North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, worsening already fraught U.S.-North Korea relations. In response, the United Nations Security Council voted to intensify sanctions, including imposing a limit on oil imports, against the hermit state. While the duration and scope of such a conflict would be difficult to measure, North Korea remained an immense risk, Fordham said.

by Geoffrey Grider September 14, 2017

Japan issued a missile alert to mobile phones and on national television, notifying citizens that a missile may have been launched by North Korea, Bloomberg News reports.

EDITOR’S NOTE: With each passing few weeks, North Korea keeps firing missiles, many of them nuclear capable. President Trump has been showing tremendous restraint, choosing for the time being to use sanctions instead of a military option. But as the missiles continue to fly across Japanese airspace, the military option is growing more and more likely. 

The unidentified missile passed over Japan airspace near Hokkaido on Friday at 7.06 am local time. The missile was fired from North Korea in an eastern direction, according to South Korea military.

The outbreak of military conflict on the Korean Peninsula would be destabilizing and could possibly result in a global war, according to Citi’s top global political analyst.

While it was impossible to put a number on the scale of the North Korea risk, war games carried out through history have simulated what could happen as a result, said Tina Fordham, managing director and chief global analyst at Citi.

“A conflict on the Korean Peninsula would not only be very disruptive in the region, but could potentially lead to World War III because of the U.S. security guarantee, so it would be internationalized overnight,” Fordham told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore.

North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, worsening already fraught U.S.-North Korea relations. In response, the United Nations Security Council voted to intensify sanctions, including imposing a limit on oil imports, against the hermit state.

While the duration and scope of such a conflict would be difficult to measure, North Korea remained an immense risk, Fordham said.

“It is the single biggest geopolitical threat and one that would also move markets … When we look at political risk, we look at whether it’s likely to cause an oil price shock or a growth shock. And in the North Korea case, if the worst were to happen, it would be both,” she added

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8718

Sep 11

BOOM! North Korea Successfully Tests Nuclear Bomb As Showdown With Rogue State Draws Ever Closer

In a televised statement, North Korea described the underground explosion, which triggered a large earthquake, as a “perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for an ICBM.” Pyongyang said “the creditability of the operation of the nuclear warhead is fully guaranteed.” The explosion at the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri in North Korea’s mountainous northeast triggered an initial magnitude-6.3 earthquake, followed by a magnitude-4.1 temblor that was possibly caused by a structural collapse, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

by Geoffrey Grider September 3, 2017

North Korea said it conducted a sixth and significantly larger nuclear test Sunday, stepping up pressure on President Donald Trump in what is shaping up to be his biggest foreign policy crisis.

EDITOR’S NOTE: North Korea is a nuclear power today because the capabilities for those weapons of global destruction were given to him by former Democrat President Bill Clinton. Today’s detonation of a massive hydrogen nuclear bomb by North Korea makes it clear that the only thing that will stop them is military force. Sanctions accomplish nothing. President Trump, at some point, must call for military action to curb Kim Jong-Un’s appetite for destruction. 

In a televised statement, North Korea described the underground explosion, which triggered a large earthquake, as a “perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for an ICBM.” Pyongyang said “the creditability of the operation of the nuclear warhead is fully guaranteed.”

The test came just hours after leader Kim Jong Un showed off what he described as a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The explosion at the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri in North Korea’s mountainous northeast triggered an initial magnitude-6.3 earthquake, followed by a magnitude-4.1 temblor that was possibly caused by a structural collapse, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

While it was unclear what set off the second quake, satellite imagery has captured evidence of tunneling activity at the nuclear test site in recent months. Any structural collapse might have been related to that.

According to the logarithmic scale used to measure earthquakes, the initial magnitude-6.3 tremor was 10 times bigger than the one triggered by the North’s previous nuclear test in September 2016, which the USGS said had a magnitude of 5.3.

The Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul put the magnitude of Sunday’s initial earthquake at 5.7

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization said seismic signals were picked up by 35 monitoring stations, suggesting that the size of the explosion was much larger than last time, when signals were picked up by 26 stations.

The latest nuclear test was estimated to have a yield of as high as 100 kilotons—about 10 times the power of the North’s previous test and roughly five times that of the atomic bomb that the U.S. dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, according to Kim Young-woo, a South Korean lawmaker who is chairman of the legislature’s defense committee and received a briefing from military authorities.

A spokesman for the defense ministry declined to comment.

South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said after a 90-minute emergency meeting of the National Security Council that Seoul would consider the possible deployment of what he described as the “most powerful strategic assets that the U.S. possesses,” without elaborating, according to a statement from the presidential Blue House.

The phrase “strategic assets” typically refers to stealth bombers, aircraft carriers or possibly nuclear weapons. The U.S. withdrew the last of its nuclear weapons from South Korea in 1991.

Mr. Chung, who also spoke by phone with Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, his counterpart at the White House, said that Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, had called for the “strongest punitive measures” against Pyongyang. That includes diplomatic measures and a new United Nations Security Council resolution to “completely isolate North Korea.”

In Sunday morning tweets, Mr. Trump said North Korea’s “words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.” He added: “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.” He also added: “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

While North Korea has made steady advances in both its nuclear and missile programs over the course of decades, Mr. Kim has greatly accelerated the pace of testing as the isolated country nears the ability to deliver a nuclear-tipped missile to the continental U.S.

Just this year, it has conducted a string of successful missile tests that have extended the proven range of its arsenal and introduced new capabilities that allow Pyongyang to fire missiles more quickly and with less warning. In July, it test-fired two ICBMs that experts say they believe are capable of reaching many parts of the U.S. mainland.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8699

Aug 18

The U.S. Military Will Be Conducting ‘A Major Military Exercise’ On The Korean Peninsula During The Solar Eclipse

By Michael Snyder, on August 16th, 2017

On August 21st, approximately 25,000 U.S. troops will join “tens of thousands” from the South Korean military to conduct a “major military exercise” that is already triggering threats from North Korea.  Considering the fact that any sort of provocation could cause a nuclear war to erupt on the Korean peninsula, is this really a wise thing to do?  The more research that I do on this upcoming solar eclipse, the stranger things become.  When I first started hearing about this eclipse many months ago, I didn’t pay too much attention, but now after looking into it extensively I do believe that it is going to be quite significant.

And I didn’t even know about this major military exercise that will happen during the eclipse until today.  The following comes from MSN

The U.S. military is preparing to launch a major military exercise with South Korea in coming days, and faces a dangerous balancing act: How do you reassure allies in the region that you are ready for a war with North Korea without provoking an actual conflict in the process?

The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise is scheduled for 10 days beginning Aug. 21, and will include about 25,000 U.S. troops along with tens of thousands of South Koreans. The exercise focuses on defending South Korea against an attack from the north, and each year triggers threats and rebukes from North Korea. But it comes at an especially sensitive time now, following the exchange of a series of threats between President Trump and North Korea.

Another thing that we just found out is that meteorologists are warning that a major hurricane could potentially start approaching the east coast of the United States during the time of the solar eclipse.  It has been almost 12 years since a major hurricane made landfall in this country, and so it is very odd that this would be happening all of a sudden.

As I have discussed previously, many believe that the upcoming solar eclipse and the 40 day period that follows may be some type of “warning” for America.  And traditionally, this 40 day period has been a time of repentance for the people of Israel

On August 21, a total solar eclipse will mark a trail from the Northwest US to the Southeast Atlantic Seaboard. The eclipse will occur on the last day of the Hebrew month Av, a day known as Yom Kippur Katan, the “small day of repentance.” The morning after the eclipse, Jews will  begin blowing the shofar every morning for a 40-day period of profound repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. This corresponds to the 40 days Moses was on Mount Sinai atoning for the Jewish people.

It is also very interesting to note that this eclipse comes exactly 33 days before the “Revelation 12 sign” that will appear in the heavens on September 23rd.  The first state that the solar eclipse of August 21st will cross will be Oregon, and many have noted that Oregon is our 33rd state.  And the solar eclipse will finish crossing the nation on the 33rd parallel in the state of South Carolina.

So is that just a coincidence?

It might be.

Another extremely interesting fact is that the very first large city that the path of the eclipse will cross is Salem, Oregon.  Of course Salem is short for Jerusalem, and it turns out that the path of the eclipse will reach Salem at just about the same time that the sun is setting in Jerusalem.

Another coincidence?

Maybe.

Seven years after the eclipse on August 21st, another one will cross our nation in 2024.  Together, the paths of those two eclipses will mark a giant “X” directly over the middle part of the country.  And amazingly, the combined time of the totality of those two eclipses will be seven minutes.

And this eclipse is just the beginning.  Over the subsequent 40 days there are quite a few critical events that people are buzzing about.  The following list comes from one of my previous articles

August 23 – A FEMA exercise known as “EarthEX2017” will simulate “catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks”

An exercise sponsored by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Energy set to take place on August 23 called EarthEX2017 will wargame responses to catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks.

The exercise will simulate a “subcontinent-scale, long duration power outage, with cascading failures of all other infrastructures,” according to the official Earth Ex website.

“Black sky events” are defined as, “Catastrophic occurrences caused by man or nature that bring society to its knees.”

September 1 – This marks the start of FEMA’s annual “National Preparedness Month“.

September 1 – The U.S. State Department’s ban on U.S. citizens traveling into North Korea goes into effect.  Many are concerned that this is yet another sign that we are moving toward war with North Korea.

September 11 – This will be the 16th anniversary of 9/11.

September 20 – Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset.

September 21The UN International Day Of Peace

September 23 – This is the date of what has become known as “the Revelation 12 sign”.  If you are not familiar with this alignment yet, the following is a very brief summary

On September 23rd a unique astronomical alignment of the Sun, Moon, constellation Virgo, constellation Leo, and planets Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Venus is going to fulfill this passage from the book of Revelation:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.

September 24 – Very important national elections will be held in Germany.

September 29 – Yom Kippur begins at sunset, and it concludes on September 30th.  Of course September 30th will be the end of a 40 day period that began back on the day of the Great American Eclipse on August 21st.

September 29 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the debt ceiling will be breached on this day if Congress does not raise it by then.

September 30 – If Congress does not pass a budget by the end of this day, there will be a government shutdown just like we witnessed in 2013.

And all of this comes at a time when anger, hatred and racial tension are reaching a fever pitch in this country.

Let us pray for peace both at home and abroad, because at this moment we are rapidly approaching a boiling point.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8675

Aug 16

China implements UN sanctions against North Korea, as Trump trade probe looms

Published August 14, 2017

Fox News

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

China made the announcement amid not only Pyongyang’s escalating war of words with the United States regarding the North Korea nuclear missile program, but also as President Trump was reportedly set to order an investigation into China’s trade practice — a probe which could lead the U.S. to levy its own sanctions on Beijing.

Trump has sought China’s help in dealing with North Korea, as China has remained one of the last defenders of dictator Kim Jong Un and could apply enormous financial pressure should it turn on the North Korean leader.

But in recent months, Trump has grown increasingly wary of getting any substantial aid from China, leading to the trade probe, as Axios has reported. Trump, as a presidential candidate, heavily criticized China, only to initially soften his tone upon winning the White House.

Trump tweeted Monday he was set to “focus on trade,” but didn’t specifically cite China.

Just hours before Trump was believed ready to announce the trade investigation, however, China’s Commerce Ministry on Monday announced that all imports of coal, iron ore, lead concentrates and ore, lead and seafood from North Korea would be banned.

There was some disagreement about when the sanctions would go into effect. The Associated Press reported the ban would start at midnight on Sept. 5, but Reuters wrote it could begin as early as Tuesday.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved the tough new sanctions on Aug. 5 in a bid to punish North Korea for its escalating nuclear missile programs. The sanctions include a ban on exports valued at more than $1 billion.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes members of his nation’s military.  (Reuters)

The U.S.-drafted resolution looks to increase economic pressure on North Korea in an attempt to open up negotiations on the nuclear missile program.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley praised the resolution, calling it “the single largest economic sanctions passage” against Pyongyang.

However, she cautioned other council members that sanctions were not enough: “We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem, not even close.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8667

Aug 14

This Is The Closest That The U.S. Has Been To Nuclear War Since The Cuban Missile Crisis

By Michael Snyder, on August 8th, 2017

Are we on the verge of a nuclear war with North Korea?  It has now been confirmed that North Korea has successfully created a miniaturized nuclear warhead, and last month they tested a missile that can reach at least half of the continental United States.  Since 1994 the U.S. has been trying to stop North Korea’s nuclear program, and every effort to do so has completely failed.  Last September, the North Koreans detonated a nuclear device that was estimated to be in the 20 to 30 kiloton range, and back in January President Trump pledged to stop the North Koreans before they would ever have the capability to deliver such a weapon to U.S. cities.  But now the North Koreans have already achieved that goal, and they plan to ultimately create an entire fleet of ICBMs capable of hitting every city in America.

Right now, North Korea and the Trump administration are locked in a game of nuclear chicken.  Kim Jong Un’s regime is never, ever, ever going to give up their nuclear weapons program, and so that means that either Donald Trump is going to have to back down, find another way to deal with North Korea, or use military force to eliminate their nuclear threat.

And time is quickly running out for Trump to make a decision, because now that North Korea has the ability to produce miniaturized nuclear warheads, the game has completely changed.  The following comes from the Washington Post

North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.

The new analysis completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The U.S. calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts believe the number of bombs is much smaller.

The truth is that nobody actually knows how many nukes North Korea has at this point, and they are pumping out more all the time.

Yes, the Trump administration could order an absolutely devastating military strike on North Korea.  But if the North Koreans even get off one nuke in response, it will be the greatest disaster for humanity since at least World War II.

But at this point Trump doesn’t sound like someone that intends to back down.  In fact, on Tuesday he threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” if they keep threatening us…

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said from the clubhouse at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J. “He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

In response to Trump’s comments, the North Koreans threatened to hit Guam with a pre-emptive strike…

If Trump thought that his bluff would be sufficient to finally shut up North Korea, and put an end to Kim’s provocative behavior, well… bluff called because North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency reported moments ago that not only did N.Korea escalate the tensions up another notch, but explicitly warned that it could carry out a “pre-emptive operation once the US shows signs of provocation”, and that it is “seriously considering a strategy to strike Guam with mid-to-long range missiles.”

Most Americans appear to be completely oblivious to the seriousness of this crisis.  Once we hit North Korea, they will respond.  A single nuke could potentially kill millions in Tokyo, Japan or Seoul, South Korea.  And the North Koreans also have some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet.  If things take a bad turn, we could see death and destruction on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented.

And if the North Koreans launch an invasion of South Korea, we will instantly be committed to a new Korean War and thousands upon thousands of our young men and women will be sent over there to fight and die.

There is no possible way that a military conflict with North Korea is going to end well.  If things go badly, millions could die, and if things go really badly tens of millions of people could end up dead.

But members of the Trump administration continue to insist that “a military option” is on the table…

In an interview broadcast Saturday on MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Show, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the prospect of a North Korea armed with nuclear-tipped ICBMs would be “intolerable, from the president’s perspective.”

“We have to provide all options . . . and that includes a military option,” he said.

Of course letting North Korea construct an entire fleet of ICBMs that could endanger the entire planet is not exactly a palatable option either.  The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all kicked the can down the road year after year, and now we facing a nightmare problem that does not appear to have a good solution.

Unfortunately for Trump, time has now run out and a decision has to be made

“Today is the day that we can definitely say North Korea is a nuclear power,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, told USA TODAY. “There is no more time to stick our heads in the sand and think we have months or years to confront this challenge.”

Let us pray that a way can be found to derail North Korea’s nuclear program that does not involve us going to war.

Because the moment that U.S. forces start striking North Korea, the North Koreans could literally unleash hell if they are inclined to do so.

It appears that we are now closer to nuclear war than we have been at any point since the Cuban missile crisis.  A nuclear holocaust was avoided back then, and hopefully a way will be found to avoid one now.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8660

Aug 09

North Korea could soon develop a hydrogen bomb more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan

By Harry J. Kazianis Published August 04, 2017

Fox News

What can the US do to fight North Korean aggression?

As if the news out of North Korea wasn’t bad enough, things might get a lot worse within the next 18 months. We should not be surprised if the Communist dictatorship develops a hydrogen bomb – the ultimate atomic weapon – with the potential to kill millions of people.

A Defense Department official I spoke to recently on the condition of not revealing his name told me it now appears the North Koreans are working to finish development of an H-bomb, and that they could succeed in as soon as six to 18 months. Such a bomb would be many times more powerful than the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan that led to the end of World War II.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un claimed early last year to have tested an H-bomb, but most experts debunked such claims, arguing that the North had developed what is called a boosted fission weapon – or in layman’s terms, a more powerful atomic bomb. However, reports at the time coming out of South Korea claimed that North Korea was likely “one level away from a hydrogen bomb.”

If U.S. missile defenses failed to stop a North Korean H-bomb from landing in our nation’s capital it could kill roughly 500,000 people and injure another 900,000. If an H-bomb hit New York City, the death toll could reach over 1.7 million.

When North Korea test-launched a second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last Friday, it proved beyond doubt that it has the capability to hit much of the western half of our nation with such a missile.

Some experts  even argued that the ICBM tested last week could go as far as Chicago, or with some tweaking, potentially New York City or even Washington, D.C. North Korea proved earlier that it has atomic bombs, by detonating them in tests.

Importantly, some would argue we don’t have clear evidence that North Korea has developed an atomic bomb small enough to fit on a warhead atop an ICBM. And there’s no evidence that North Korea has so far developed a far more powerful hydrogen bomb – let alone a miniaturized version that could travel on top of a missile to reach our shores.

There is also no clear evidence that North Korea has perfected a way to shield a nuclear warhead so it can reenter the atmosphere and hit its target upon reentry. That’s a big obstacle, but certainly not insurmountable. America solved the reentry puzzle in 1957 when we developed the first ICBMs, so it’s absurd to say North Korea couldn’t possibly do the same 60 years later.

Hydrogen bombs are heavier than a standard atomic device, so Kim would potentially need a more advanced missile than what he has tested so far to carry a larger payload to hit the United States. But unfortunately for us, North Korea seems to be working on such a missile, known as the KN-08.

The three-stage KN-08 could have the capability to carry a hydrogen bomb over a long range, thanks to its more advanced configuration. Some have even argued this could be the next missile North Korea might test.

So just how dangerous would Pyongyang be with hydrogen bomb?

If U.S. missile defenses failed to stop a North Korean H-bomb from landing in our nation’s capital it could kill roughly 500,000 people and injure another 900,000, according to publicly available simulators on the internet developed by experts. My own office in Washington would likely be vaporized.

If an H-bomb hit New York City, the death toll could reach over 1.7 million.

Why think about such frightening scenarios? Because many politicians, defense officials, and experts talk as if such a threat is years away – as if we still have time to stop Kim from developing nuclear weapons.

The simple fact is this: we have run of out road. Yes, Pyongyang might have some technical riddles to solve, but we need to work under the premise that Kim now has nuclear weapons that can strike the U.S. homeland.

Considering how many times in the last year North Korea has shocked us – developing its deadly nuclear and missile arsenal faster than anyone expected – we simply have no choice but to carefully prepare for the possibility of being attacked by North Korea’s atomic weapons.

Unfortunately, there’s little chance we can turn back the clock and make North Korea a non-nuclear nation, but at minimum we must stop any further nuclear advances by the North.

Perhaps many people continue to deny what our eyes keep telling us about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs for a simple reason: our brains won’t allow us to contemplate the frightening prospect.

It’s understandable that we don’t want to believe a regime so brutal to its own people – an outlaw state run by a despotic ruler who has death camps eerily similar to Nazi Germany – is now armed with weapons that can kill millions of Americans, taking its reign of terror global.

Now, to be fair, it’s hard to believe that Kim would be foolish enough to turn his repeated threats into action and attack the U.S. with atomic or hydrogen warheads mounted on ICBMS. Washington would launch a devastating counterattack that would wipe North Korea off the map. But our leaders would be irresponsible if they fail to take action to protect our nation from such a North Korean strike, no matter how unlikely it seems today.

We must abandon the stick-our-heads-in-the-sand mentality – the notion that Pyongyang simply couldn’t build nuclear weapons or ICBMs – that got us in this mess in the first place.

Denial of what is right in front of us, especially when it comes to North Korea, is a dangerous game – one we must avoid. Denying the possibility of a North Korean nuclear attack on the United States until some day in the future only invites disaster.

A U.S. attack to knock out North Korea’s missiles and nuclear forces would be a dangerous move. Since it already is armed with atomic weapons and a powerful arsenal of conventional weapons, North Korea could respond to a U.S. attack with a nuclear strike against South Korea, Japan or possibly even our own country.

Short of starting a second Korean War, the Trump administration simply has no choice but to spring into action and do all it can to stop or at least dramatically slow the North Korean nuclear threat. Our best shot at this would be to do everything we can to take away the financial resources that North Korea needs to develop, test and deploy hydrogen bombs and even more powerful ICBMs.

Considering the fact that the North Korean economy is one-third the size of Ethiopia’s, taking away any capital the regime needs would make a nuclear program harder and harder to fund. North Korea’s population is already starving, as Kim spends huge sums on weapons instead of meeting the needs of his own people.

The best way to weaken North Korea’s economy further, as I have said before, is to go after any entities that are helping the rogue regime evade international sanctions and raise capital illegally. We should also go after those who might be directly or indirectly providing aid to Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs. And that means China will be in the Trump administration’s crosshairs, as it should be.

If we can end our denial of what North Korea’s military machine can accomplish, we might have a real chance of dramatically slowing down or stopping Kim Jong Un from developing the most dangerous of all nuclear weapons. But pretending it can’t happen is not only a bad idea – it guarantees it will happen

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8653

Aug 07

China Threatens War With India Amid Border Standoff

August 02, 2017

China’s director of the Chinese Defense Ministry’s Center for International Security Cooperation told India to “leave Chinese land or face war’ during a heated debate.

(WASHINGTON) A combative Indian defense expert who accused Beijing of running bellicose news stories against Delhi drew a strong response from his Chinese TV show counterpart, who said Indian troops must leave the contested Doklam area if they do not want war.

The remarks came amid a heated debate between a retired Indian Army major general and now defense commentator, Ashok Mehta, and the director of the Chinese Defense Ministry’s Center for International Security Cooperation, Senior Colonel Zhou Bo.

The two officers were apparently invited to comment on the tense border standoff over the Doklam plateau – a contested area sandwiched between India, China and Bhutan – on a Tuesday news show run by China Global Television Network (CGTN).

Offered to speak first, Mehta fired off a lengthy yet passionate tirade, accusing the Chinese of fanning anti-Indian sentiments in an overly aggressive way.

“Chinese media, think tanks, Xinhua, Global Times, PLA Daily have written the most aggressive and most belligerent stories about threatening India, taking India to war, opening a two-front conflict, teaching India a lesson,” the former general complained. “I mean, that kind of language is not being used in India!” Mehta added.

Asked by the news anchor if he could provide any proof and name specific Chinese articles featuring warmongering rhetoric, the Indian expert failed to cite any, but instead recalled his professional background.

“I retired from the army in 1991, and I’m in the media since 1991,” Mehta replied. “I am on TV, I am a columnist, so I study dozens of newspapers and magazines,” he said.

“General, you have been talking too much! This is not the right way of having this conversation,” Zhao interrupted.

“Let me just use a few seconds – you [Indian troops] are on Chinese territory, so if you do not want a war, you’ve got to go away from Chinese territory,” the senior colonel remarked.

The on-air spat comes amid a tense border standoff over the narrow plateau of Doklam (Donglang in Chinese) that flared up in June. China and India’s ally, Bhutan, have been disputing the area at the tri-junction of the countries’ borders for decades. Whereas India says the area belongs to Bhutan, China claims it as its own territory.

Zhou rhetorically asked how India had the “courage” to enter the area, emphasizing that “you had no right to do that … you were not invited by Bhutan.”

“This is not Chinese territory!” Mehta fired back while seen reading a piece of paper. “The Bhutanese said loud and clear that it is a disputed territory … and asked not to disturb the status quo.”

Tensions between Beijing and Delhi quickly escalated this June when Chinese construction brigades started building a road on the plateau. Bhutan requested help from India, which deployed troops along the border.

India opposed the construction of the road, arguing it will give the Chinese a solid leverage in moving closer to the strategic Siliguri Corridor, also known as the ‘Chicken’s Neck,’ a narrow stretch of land which connects India’s northeastern states to the rest of the country.

China demanded that India withdraw troops from Bhutan, citing as a rebuttal of its claim historical documents which it says prove the plateau belongs to Beijing.

Also in July, the Chinese military staged massive live-fire drills in Tibet, lying in proximity to the Doklam plateau. The war games involved soldiers armed with rocket launchers, machine guns and mortars.

In a statement on Wednesday, Beijing said Indian troops were still present on Chinese territory, and that China had acted cautiously, demanding that Delhi pull out its forces.

“But the Indian side not only has not taken any actual steps to correct its mistake, it has concocted all sorts of reasons that don’t have a leg to stand on, to make up excuses for the Indian military’s illegal crossing of the border,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, as cited by Reuters.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8649

Aug 02

The U.S. Is Inches From A War With North Korea In Which Millions Could Die

By Michael Snyder, on July 30th, 2017

We are just inches away from the outbreak of World War III, and yet most Americans seem completely oblivious to what is happening.  On Friday, North Korea conducted a missile test which proved that it now has the capability of hitting major U.S. cities in the western half of the country.  Every diplomatic effort to end North Korea’s nuclear program has completely failed, the Chinese have shown that they do not intend to do much of anything to intervene in this crisis, and the United Nations is a dead end.  Given enough time, the North Koreans will build hundreds of ICBMs capable of delivering nukes to cities all over America, and the Trump administration has already indicated that they will never accept this.  If no other way can be found to derail North Korea’s nuclear program, President Trump will almost certainly order a military strike, and that could set off a war in which millions could die.

Personally, I am stunned that North Korea’s missile test on Friday didn’t receive more attention from the mainstream media, because the truth is that this was the biggest step toward war on the Korean peninsula since 1953

After North Korea’s missile launch on Friday, the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists shared its fears that the country’s latest weapon had the capacity to reach major US cities.

When it launched the missile on Friday, North Korea aimed it on a high trajectory which allowed the weapon to crash in to the Sea of Japan.

The ground range of the test was 6,500 miles, according to multiple agencies, and it had a flight time of around 47 minutes.

If the missile had been fired at a standard trajectory, it could have easily reached Los Angeles, Denver or Chicago.

In other words, more than half the continental United States is now within range of North Korean missiles…

Preliminary data from the launch reveals that half, if not most, of the continental U.S. would be in range of the missile tested Friday.

“Looks like it pretty much can get to New York, Boston and probably falls just short of Washington,” David Wright, co-director and senior scientist for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNBC.

This is supposed to be a red line for President Trump, and it will be extremely interesting to see how he responds in the days ahead.

On Twitter, Trump sounded like a man that is completely out of patience with North Korea

“Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

In addition to Trump, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is also indicating that time for diplomatic maneuvering has run out

The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”

The Trump administration has already made it very clear that they will not be going to the UN Security Council with this matter because they believe that would be a dead end.

At this point, the available options for dealing with North Korea are narrowing rapidly, and direct military action appears to be gaining favor.  In fact, General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy released a statement on Saturday night warning that the U.S. is ready to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force”

The U.S. and its allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” if necessary, against North Korea, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces warned Saturday night.

The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, came after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that American citizens are now banned from traveling to North Korea.  That is the kind of action that you would take just prior to a war.

But an attack on North Korea would not be easy.  We don’t even know exactly how many nuclear weapons they actually have, and they are promising to start launching nukes if we choose to strike them…

“If the Yankees . . . dare brandish the nuclear stick on this land again . . . the DPRK will clearly teach them manners with the nuclear strategic force,” the spokesman said.

North Korea is honeycombed with underground tunnels and bunkers.  There is no possible way that we could hit all of their nukes on a first strike, and if the North Koreans even get off a single nuke in response it is going to be an unprecedented disaster.

Could you imagine what would happen if a North Korean nuke hit Tokyo or Seoul?

Even one nuke could kill millions in those densely populated cities, and financial markets all over the world would almost instantly implode.

And North Korea also has some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet.  Within moments of an attack, thousands of North Korean artillery pieces and rockets would start raining fire on Seoul, and even just a few chemical or biological warheads would cause immense devastation in that city of about 10 million people.

In addition, North Korean forces are poised to invade South Korea at literally any moment, and the only way that South Korea could survive such an invasion would be direct intervention by U.S. forces.

On top of everything else, what if the North Koreans were able to successfully launch a nuke or two toward our major cities?  Or what if they already have the technology to set off an EMP blast high in the atmosphere above the continental United States?  Or what if their agents that are already embedded here start releasing biological agents in our major cities?

These are nightmare scenarios that most Americans never even consider, but they would be very real possibilities in the event that we go to war with North Korea.

I just don’t see how a direct military conflict with North Korea could possibly end well.  For those that still doubt this, please consider the words of General Mark Milley

“A war in the Korean Peninsula would be highly deadly. It would be horrific,” warned Gen. Milley. “The United States military along with the South Korean military would utterly destroy the North Korean military — but that would be done at high cost.”

“But we are at a point in time where tough choices will have to be made,” he continued. “We are going to have to make conscious decisions that are going to have significant consequences and I will just stop there. It’s not going to be a pretty picture — I can tell you that. It’s going to be very violent.

A war with North Korea would be the most disastrous event for our planet since World War II, and it is something that we want to avoid at all costs.

Unfortunately, events are moving us in the direction of such a war very rapidly now, and it is very difficult to see how we are going to avoid such a scenario.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8641

Jul 17

U.S. Moves Toward Acting Alone on N. Korea Amid UN Stalemate

The United Nations logo is displayed on a door at U.N. headquarters in New York February 26, 2011.

July 12, 2017Chinese companies and banks funneling money into Pyongyang’s weapons program is now prompting the United States to move towards unilaterally tightening sanctions on North Korea.

Breitbart reporting on the subject said that, recently unsealed court filings as offering clues that the White House is ready to act on its own in sanctioning banks. In those filings, the Justice Department pointed to a network associated with five companies linked to a Chinese national that hid transactions to help finance the North Korean regime.

Analysts told the Journal that some Chinese banks handle allegedly laundered money that could be targeted. While efforts to shut down North Korea’s missile program have stumbled in recent years, officials said the missile launch was a game changer, particularly as it put Alaska within reach.

The Trump administration has shown a more muscular stance on North Korea and had been eyeing more sanctions even before the launch. However, the unilateral option will look more enticing to U.S. officials considering the stalemate in the U.N. Security Council

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8636

Jul 10

Experts: North Korea’s missile was a ‘real ICBM’ — and a grave milestone

By Joby Warrick July 4 at 8:36 PM

The North Korean missile that soared high above the Sea of Japan on Tuesday was hailed by state-run television as a “shining success.” But to U.S. officials, it was a most unwelcome surprise: a weapon with intercontinental range, delivered years before most Western experts believed such a feat possible.

Hours after the apparently successful test, intelligence agencies continued to run calculations to determine precisely how the missile, dubbed the Hwasong-14, performed in its maiden flight. But the consensus among missile experts was that North Korea had achieved a long-sought milestone, demonstrating a capability of striking targets thousands of miles from its coast.

Initial Pentagon assessments said North Korea had tested a “land-based, intermediate-range” missile that landed in the Sea of Japan just under 600 linear miles from its launch point, Panghyon Airfield, near the Chinese border. The State Department and the Pentagon later confirmed North Korea had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM. Government and independent analyses showed the missile traveling in a steep arc that topped out at more than 1,740 vertical miles above the Earth’s surface.

If flown in a more typical trajectory, the missile would have easily traveled 4,000 miles, potentially putting all of Alaska within its range, according to former government officials and independent analysts. A missile that exceeds a range of 3,400 miles is classified as an ICBM.

“This is a big deal: It’s an ICBM, not a ‘kind of’ ICBM,’ ” said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “And there’s no reason to think that this is going to be the maximum range.”

[North Korea at top of agenda as U.S., South Koreans hold summit]

David Wright, senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, calculated in a published analysis that the Hwasong-14’s demonstrated capability exceeded 4,100 linear miles, based on estimates released Tuesday.

“That range would not be enough to reach the Lower 48 states or the large islands of Hawaii, but would allow it to reach all of Alaska,” Wright said.

North Korea’s apparent accomplishment puts it well ahead of schedule in its years-long quest to develop a true ICBM. The Hwasong-14 tested Tuesday could not have reached the U.S. mainland, analysts say, and there’s no evidence to date that North Korea is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead to fit on one of its longer-range missiles. But there is now little reason to doubt that both are within North Korea’s grasp, weapons experts say.

“In the past five years, we have seen significant, and much more rapid than expected, development of their ballistic-missiles capability,” said Victor Cha, a former director of Asian affairs for the George W. Bush administration’s National Security Council. “Their capabilities have exceeded our expectations on a consistent basis.”

While U.S. intelligence officials have sought, with some success, to disrupt North Korea’s progress, Pyongyang has achieved breakthroughs in multiple areas, such as the development of solid-fuel rocket engines and mobile-launch capabilities, including rockets that can be fired from submarines. Early analysis suggests that the Hwasong-14 uses a new kind of indigenously built ballistic-missile engine, one that North Korea unveiled with fanfare on March 18. Nearly all the country’s previous ballistic missiles used engines based on modifications of older, Soviet-era technology.

“It’s not a copy of a crappy Soviet engine, and it’s not a pair of Soviet engines kludged together — it’s the real thing,” Lewis said. “When they first unveiled the engine on March 18, they said that the ‘world would soon see what this means.’ I think we’re now seeing them take that basic engine design and execute it for an ICBM.”

In announcing the test in a special TV broadcast Tuesday, North Korean officials proclaimed that the country had achieved an ICBM capability that would safeguard the communist government from attacks by the United States and other adversaries. According to U.S. analysts, leader Kim Jong Un has long calculated that nuclear-armed ICBMs are the best deterrence against threats to his survival, as any perceived aggression against him could trigger a retaliatory strike targeting U.S. cities.

“As the dignified nuclear power who possesses the strongest intercontinental ballistic rocket which is capable of hitting any part of the world along with the nuclear weapons, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will fundamentally terminate the U.S. nuclear war threats and blackmail and credibly protect the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region,” a government spokeswoman said in a bulletin read on state-run television.

The spokeswoman said that the missile’s trajectory was deliberately set “at the highest angle” to avoid harming nearby countries.

That claim rang true to U.S. analysts, who agreed the high arc was probably intended to avoid the possibility of hitting Japanese territory. Moreover, the rocket’s flight path would help North Korea secure another objective: secrecy. By sending the spent engine splashing into the deep waters of the Sea of Japan, Pyongyang ensured it would be hard, if not impossible, for U.S. and Japanese divers to retrieve the parts.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8629

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