Category: Kings of the East

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

Jul 05

Military option for North Korea being prepared for Trump, McMaster says

Published June 29, 2017

Fox News

Analyzing potential US policy options on North Korea

President Trump’s national security adviser said Wednesday that the administration is considering a wider range of strategies on how to deal with North Korea, including the military option.

“The threat is much more immediate now and so it’s clear that we can’t repeat the same approach – failed approach of the past,” H.R. McMaster, the adviser, said during a security conference with Homeland Security Chief John Kelly.

He said it would be insanity to continue to do the same thing the U.S. has done for years and expect a different result.

McMaster’s comments come a day before Trump is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. South Korea’s new leader vowed to stand firmly with Trump against North Korea, downplaying his past advocacy for a softer approach toward the isolated regime.

“Together we will achieve the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program, peace on the Korean Peninsula and eventually peace in Northeast Asia,” Moon said.

The talks between Moon and Trump, which begin with dinner on Thursday night and then formal talks on Friday, come amid intense wrangling over North Korea.

China is pushing the United States to start negotiations with the North. That prospect appears unlikely as Trump grows frustrated over Beijing’s level of economic pressure on the North, its wayward ally.

North Korea shows no sign of wanting to restart talks on abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

Moon told The Washington Post that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “unreasonable” and “very dangerous” and that pressure was necessary. But Moon said sanctions alone would not solve the problem, and dialogue was needed “under the right conditions.”

The THAAD missile defense is also expected to be on the agenda. Seoul delayed the full deployment of the U.S. system that is intended to protect South Korea and the 28,000 U.S. forces on the peninsula.

Moon’s government has ordered an environmental review before allowing additional launchers for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system. South Korean officials say that does not mean they are placating China or reversing the decision, which risks angering Washington.

The U.S. has stepped up shows of military force near the Korean Peninsula under Trump, and outrage in Washington over North Korea has only grown since the death last week of U.S. university student Otto Warmbier. He had spent 17 months in detention in the totalitarian nation for stealing a propaganda poster and returned home this month in a coma. Three other Americans and six South Koreans are still being held in the North.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8621

May 01

North Korea threat: Experts paint dark picture of what fallout of pre-emptive strike may look like

By Ryan Gaydos

Published April 26, 2017

Trump administration on same page over North Korea?

Foreign policy experts theorized Tuesday about what a pre-emptive military strike against North Korea may look like in the event that pressure from China and deepening isolation does little to stop Pyongyang’s rogue regime.

The Trump administration–which is holding an emergency meeting Wednesday at the White House– has said “all options” are on the table, but the White House appears to be losing patience with Pyongyang.

Former CIA analyst Bruce Klingner told Newsweek that Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, waould likely hit back with an artillery barrage in the event of a pre-emptive strike by the U.S. or an ally.

“Without moving a single soldier in its million-man army,” Klingner said. “The North could launch a devastating attack on Seoul.”

From there, a second Korean War could escalate.

Victor Cha, a former National Security Council staffer, theorized in his 2012 book “The Impossible State,” that North Korea could start an invasion by debilitating South Koreans with chemical weapons and cutting off options to flee the country.

“An arsenal of 600 chemically armed Scud missiles would be fired on all South Korean airports, train stations and marine ports, making it impossible for civilians to escape,” Cha wrote.

North Korea may be able to equip medium-range missiles with chemical weapons and launch them at Japan and U.S. bases, stemming the immediate flow of reinforcements. U.S. war experts believe Pyongyang would look to overrun Seoul before the allies could prop up South Korea’s armies. Cha said a possible war on the Korean Peninsula in 2017 “would be the most unforgiving battle conditions that can be imagined.”

Cha theorized the U.S. would dispatch about 20,000 troops per combat division, 10 Air Force wings of about 20 fighters per unit and up to five air craft carriers. Cha added that “U.S. and South Korean “soldiers would be fighting with little defense against DPRK artillery, aerial bombardments, and in an urban warfare environment polluted by 5,000 metric tons of DPRK chemical agents.”

Even with North Korea’s first wave of attacks, war planners still believe the U.S. and South Korea would come out on top, but the casualties could be catastrophic.

Gary Luck, the commander of the U.S.-Republic of Korea forces in 1994 under President Bill Clinton, estimated that a new Korean War could result in one million deaths and  $1 trillion of economic damage.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8507

Apr 24

North Korea: ‘Super-mighty pre-emptive strike’ will reduce US to ashes

Published April 20, 2017

FoxNews.com

VP Pence to North Korea: ‘Sword stands ready’

North Korean state media threatened to launch a “super-mighty pre-emptive strike” that would reduce South Korea and the United states “to ashes.”

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper for North Korea’s ruling Worker’s Party, wrote, “In the case of our super-mighty pre-emptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes,” according to Reuters. The rogue nation also claimed the U.S. and its allies “should not mess with us.”

The threat came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. was exploring ways to pressure North Korea to the negotiation table over its nuclear program.

“We’re reviewing all the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as the other ways in which we can bring pressure on the regime in Pyongyang to re-engage with us,” Tillerson said on Wednesday. “But re-engage with us on a different footing than past talks have been held.”

The seretive regime also released a propaganda video over the weekend that showed a simulated nuclear missile attack destroying an unidentified American city. A cemetery and American flag appeared with flames superimposed over the footage.

Tensions continue to mount as Trump takes a harder stance against North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Last week, the president made comments to Fox Business that he was sending an “armada” to deter Pyongyang.

“We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier,” Trump told the Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo last week. “We have the best military people on Earth.  And I will say this: [North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un] is doing the wrong thing.”

The U.S. Navy said on Tuesday the carrier, USS Carl Vinson, was heading toward the Korean Peninsula, but only after it passes through Australia.

Pyongyang has promised to continue building its “nuclear deterrant” to prepare for any perceived or real attacks, adding that Trump’s administration was “more vicious and more aggressive” than the administration under former President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, the country attempted to launch an intermediate-range Musudan missile, but it blew up within seconds, one official said. The test occured at an air base near the city of Wonsan North Korea’s east coast along the Sea of Japan.

Vice President Mike Pence touched down in South Korea Sunday for his 10-day tour of Asia, where he said the “era of strategic patience” with North Korea was over.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan echoed the same sentiment during his visit to London. Ryan said allowing Kim to “have that kind of power” was unacceptable

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8496

Apr 13

Trump warns China on North Korea: Help solve the problem or ‘we will’

By Cody Derespina

Published April 11, 2017

FoxNews.com

President Trump on Tuesday said North Korea “is looking for trouble” and vowed to get the murderous regime of dictator Kim Jong-Un under control with or without China’s help.

Trump sent the warning in a pair of tweets just days after he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. China traditionally has acted as a counterweight on North Korea, helping to moderate some actions of the isolated country. Trump indicated a favorable trade deal could await China if they stepped up pressure on North Korea; however, Trump also appeared ready to reign in the provocative nation on his own.

“I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!” Trump tweeted.

He added: “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”

The tweets echo Trump’s comments to The Financial Times earlier this month, in which he spoke cryptically but forcefully about North Korea.

“China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump said. “And if they do, that will be very good for China. And if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone. If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.”

North Korea has drawn U.S. ire recently following a series of ballistic missile tests. There is also fear the country’s nuclear program is progressing.

Pyongyang said Monday it would “hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences” after the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group was sent to waters off the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. and South Korea are engaging in war games in the region, which North Korea is suspicious of, viewing the exercise as a practice for a hypothetical invasion of North Korea.

Trump’s decision to bomb a Syrian airbase last week in response to the war-torn country’s chemical weapon attack on a rebel-held area also may have strengthened the perception that Trump could consider a military solution to the North Korea issue. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemingly did nothing to downplay that possibility in recent, somewhat ambiguous comments.

“President Trump is willing to act when governments and actors cross the line,” Tillerson said.

Adding to tensions, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that activity appeared to be taking place at a North Korean nuclear test site ahead of the April 15 anniversary of the communist country’s founding.

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Apr 11

U.S. Navy strike group to move toward Korean peninsula: U.S. official

By Idrees Ali | WASHINGTON

A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program.

Earlier this month North Korea tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile which only traveled a fraction of its range.

The strike group, called Carl Vinson, includes an aircraft carrier and will make its way from Singapore toward the Korean peninsula, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.

“We feel the increased presence is necessary,” the official said, citing North Korea’s worrisome behavior.

FILE PHOTO – Sailors man the rails of the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, as it departs its home port in San Diego, California August 22, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The news was first reported by Reuters.

In a statement late Saturday, the U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet said the strike group had been directed to sail north, but it did not specify the destination. The military vessels will operate in the Western Pacific rather than making previously planned port visits to Australia, it added.

This year North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un, have repeatedly indicated an intercontinental ballistic missile test or something similar could be coming, possibly as soon as April 15, the 105th birthday of North Korea’s founding president and celebrated annually as “the Day of the Sun.”

Earlier this week U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Florida, where Trump pressed his counterpart to do more to curb North Korea’s nuclear program.

Trump’s national security aides have completed a review of U.S. options to try to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. These include economic and military measures but lean more toward sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing to rein in its reclusive neighbor.

Although the option of pre-emptive military strikes on North Korea is not off the table, the review prioritizes less-risky steps and de-emphasizes direct military action.

Trump spoke with South Korea’s acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday, the White House said on Saturday in a statement which did not mention the strike group.

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