Category: Kings of the East

China may be preparing for a crippling preemptive missile strike on US military bases

Business InsiderFebruary 7, 2017

(Military vehicles carry DF-10 ship-launched cruise missiles as they travel past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing Thursday Sept. 3, 2015.Andy Wong/Reuters)

A new report by Thomas Shugart on War On The Rocks details the disturbing level to which China appears to have planned out a crippling missile attack on US military bases in the Pacific should its interests in the region be threatened.

For some time analysts have noted that China seems to be tailoring its military to counter the US’s. For example, Beijing tested its “carrier killer‘ ballistic missile on a model of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, while its own aircraft carrier is designed for coastal defense and will likely be destined for the South China Sea.

But Shutgart’s investigation of satellite imagery comparing China’s missile testing grounds with US bases in the region shows an eerie pattern. It appears that China’s latest missile tests have all been geared towards knocking out US carriers, destroyers, and airfields in East Asia.

This falls right in line with one of China’s core military doctrines — “active defense.”

Essentially, if China thinks it is facing a foe that actively seeks to challenge its territorial cohesiveness or sovereignty, the PLA will engage the enemy through all available means: Legal challenges, psychological and cyber warfare, counter-space systems, and preemptive strikes.

Under President Donald Trump, the US has made the most serious challenges to China’s territory and sovereignty in recent history.

Trump and key members of his administration have chastised China for its “massive military fortress” in the South China Sea, and even threatened to cut off China’s access to the islands it has built and militarized in the region. Trump’s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen struck at the core of China’s very existence, as it could undermine China’s policy of considering Taiwan as a rogue province that must be back into Beijing’s fold.

View photos

china missiles csis

(CSIS Missile Defense Project)

China has already engaged its state-sponsored propaganda against the US, developed counter-space systems that could denude the US of its huge satellite-driven information advantage, and developed systems uniquely able to counter US stealth aircraft.

If the US continues to actively challenge China and seek to undermine its territorial cohesion, the next logical step in the PLA’s escalation may be to attempt to eviscerate US bases and assets throughout Asia with a blistering missile attack.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8344

North Korea Ready for ICBM Launch

January 02, 2017

 (PYONGYANG) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Sunday that the isolated, nuclear-capable country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

  • North Korea tested ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate during 2016, although some experts have said it is years away from developing an ICBM fitted with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States.
  • “Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBMrocket test launch preparation is in its last stage,” Kim said during a televised New Year’s Day speech.
  • The country has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The sanctions were tightened last month after Pyongyang conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 9.
  • A successful ICBM test launch would mark a significant step forward for secretive Pyongyang’s weapons capability.
  • ICBMs have a minimum range of about 5,500 km (3,418 miles), but some are designed to travel 10,000 km (6,214 miles) or further. California is roughly 9,000 km (5,592 miles) from North Korea.

North Korea has struggled to reliably deploy its intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile, succeeding just once in eight attempted launches last year.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen on Sunday called on North Korea “to refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric that threaten international peace and stability, and to make the strategic choice to fulfil its international obligations and commitments and return to serious talks.”

She urged “All states to use every available channel and means of influence to make clear to the DPRK and its enablers that launches using ballistic missile technology are unacceptable, and take steps to show there are consequences to the DPRK’s unlawful conduct.”

The Musudan is designed to fly about 3,000 km (1,860 miles), posing a threat to South Koreaand Japan, and possibly the U.S. territory of Guam.

South Korea’s Defence Ministry declined to comment on whether North Korea would test launch an ICBM soon.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8287

U.S. Bombers Send China, Russia, North Korea a Message

by William M. Arkin and Robert Windrem

Call it gunboat diplomacy from 35,000 feet.

Three times in the last two months, the United States has flown B-1 bombers, equipped with the latest non-nuclear cruise missiles, on missions in Europe and Asia meant to show adversaries as well as allies what one U.S. commander called “an unshakable commitment.”

The flights are part of strategic missions aimed at sending explicit messages to Russia, China and North Korea. Each of the B-1s is equipped with two dozen non-nuclear cruise missiles with highly accurate, bunker-busting warheads, a new capability.

“Deployment follows capability,” said Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, who tracks the missions. He explained that with the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), a cruise missile, the U.S. believes it has an intimidating, even if non-nuclear, capability.

The latest mission took place Monday night over the Korean peninsula, when two B-1 bombers flew within a few miles of the DMZ between North and South Korea, accompanied by U.S. F-16s and South Korean F-15s. Earlier in the mission, which was flown out of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the B-1s were escorted by Japanese F-15’s.

The U.S. left no doubt that the flyover was related to North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test, which took place four days ago.

“North Korea’s nuclear test is a dangerous escalation and poses an unacceptable threat,” Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Forces Korea commander, said in a statement Tuesday. “The United States has an unshakable commitment to defend allies in the region and will take necessary steps to do so, including operations like this one today.”

And to ensure that no one missed the point, the Defense Department released both still images and video of the mission.

The mission was one of three in recent weeks intended by the U.S. to act as deterrence, but which its adversaries claim are provocations.

On Tuesday, a B-1 bomber from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas landed at Ostrava Air Force Base in the Czech Republic, part of the deployment of a non-nuclear bomber strike group to Europe for exercise Ample Strike, according to official Pentagon reports. The B-1 joined a B-52 that flew to Ostrava two weeks ago.

Kristensen said that while the U.S. had deployed a B-1 to the Czech Republic “on a good will mission” in the past, this is different. “It’s part of a strike package of bombers deployed as part of a NATO exercise,” he said, and as such is more likely to attract Russian attention.

Kristensen also noted that last month, as part of the same NATO exercise, a B-52 was deployed to neighboring Slovakia, also a first as part of an exercise.

Earlier this summer, a B-1 and a B-2 stealth bomber were deployed to Andersen AFB in Guam, from which the Air Force’s venerable B-52 still flies. It marked the first time all three U.S. strategic bombers have been deployed to Asia simultaneously. The Pentagon again left little to the imagination, calling the deployment “Continuous Bomber Presence.”

Then, on August 17, again working with regional allies, the U.S. flew all three bomber types on a mission over the disputed South China Sea, where the People’s Republic of China is trying to assert dominance over islands and sea lanes that U.S. allies like Japan and Philippines also claim.

‘A Flood of Reckless Nuclear Attacks’

On Tuesday, the response from North Korea to Monday’s exercise came in a statement from KCNA, the North’s official news agency.

“Any sanction, provocation and pressure cannot ruin our status as a nuclear state and evil political and military provocations will only result in a flood of reckless nuclear attacks that will bring a final destruction,” KCNA said.

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials tell NBC News that flights by Chinese bombers on Monday were meant as a counter to last month’s U.S. bomber overflights of the South China Sea.

According to a Defense Ministry statement on one of its blogs, on Monday China carried out an exercise in the Bashi Channel, between the Philippines’ northernmost island of Luzon and Taiwan. Both countries dispute China’s claims in the South China Sea.

“Bombers, fighters, and early warning and aerial refueling aircraft” flew through the channel on Monday, Reuters reported, based on the blog statement. “This move is to raise the air force’s abilities via training, to meet the needs to maintaining national sovereignty, protecting national security and guaranteeing peaceful development.”

In fact, according to a senior Air Force official, this might be the first time in history when the United States, China and Russia are all employing long-range bombers in conventional warfare tasks and deterrence missions.

Russia has repeatedly bombed targets in Syria using long-range bombers, its first combat experience since the war in Chechnya. China has been flying regular patrols in the South China Sea as part of its demonstration of greater military muscle.

All of these aircraft are potentially capable of carrying nuclear weapons, the official said, but this is “conventional deterrence and signaling.” Long-range assets — bombers and missiles — are now on par with nuclear and cyber weapons as elements of the new strategic triad.

Kristensen says much of the U.S. strategy is driven by its recent deployment of the extended-range JASSM missile. Each B-1 can carry up to 24 for them, each with a 1,000-pound penetrating warhead. It reportedly can hit a target 600 miles away with an accuracy of eight feet.

“It’s a significant but little noticed shift,” he said

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8132

North Korea, China want to undo the Japan-South Korea Alliance that the US helped broker

By James K. Glassman

Published August 08, 2016

With the world preoccupied by America’s raucous election, the U.K.’s vote to exit the E.U., and continued terrorism in Europe and the Middle East, North Korea fired a missile Wednesday more than 600 miles into Japanese waters, just 155 miles off its shores.

The launch defied a resolution approved in March by the United Nations, the fifth since 2006, that bars development of nuclear and ballistic missile technology and applies broad sanctions. In recent weeks, North Korea and China have been protesting plans by South Korea to deploy a missile defense system developed by the United States, and the missile launch may have been a reaction. But it seems much more.

North Korea and China have been deploying a strategy of undermining cooperation between the two largest democracies in the region, South Korea and Japan, which comprise the fulcrum for the Obama Administration’s “pivot to Asia.” Attacks on this alliance will almost certainly intensify as we approach Aug. 15, the 71st anniversary of the surrender of Japan, ending World War II.

In December, the United States played a key role in helping South Korea and Japan forge an agreement to end a dispute involving so-called  “comfort women” that had been festering for decades. The Japanese government agreed to compensate Korean women who were used for sex by Japanese troops, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe renewed an apology.

The agreement had far broader implications. It was a major step in ending the animosity between the two countries that had seriously infected economic and security relations. Between 2012 and 2014, for example, Japan-South Korea trade fell 17 percent, and tourism dropped sharply.

In headlines, the Guardian newspaper of Britain called the so-called comfort women deal “a triumph for Japan and the U.S.,” and The Washington Post concluded that it “offers strategic benefit to U.S. in Asia-Pacific.” President Obama intervened several times personally during the two years of negotiations, trying to bring Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye closer to together. He phoned to congratulate the two on the agreement, praising them for “having the courage and vision to forge a lasting settlement to this difficult issue.”

Also facilitating the agreement was Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, who was slashed in March 2015 by a knife-wielding attacker.

According to the BBC, the accused South Korean man, Kim Ki-jong, attacked the Japanese ambassador to South Korea in 2010 and later tried to erect a memorial altar in the heart of Seoul to the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

Obama brought Park and Abe together during a nuclear summit meeting at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to The Hague in 2014. It was the first time the two Asian leaders had met despite being in office for more than a year. North Korea’s aggressive policies were the backdrop for the comfort women talks.

Abe and Park spoke within 24 hours of a North Korean nuclear test that occurred shortly after the comfort women agreement. That contact showed that working through the wartime claims deal had helped establish “a relationship of trust,” said a special adviser to Abe.

But trust and unity between South Korea and Japan, especially with U.S. encouragement, is precisely what the North Koreans oppose, and they continue to try to drive a wedge between the two nations. North Korea immediately attacked the December agreement and mobilized its allies.

The Association of Koreas in Japan for Peaceful Reunification, for example, issued a statement saying: “For South Korea, there is no more humiliating diplomacy than to reach such a deal with Japan.”

Now, more than seven months after the agreement was reached, the response to “an issue that the Korean media often treated as central to South Korean identity” seems to have “dropped out of the newspapers,” according to Robert Kelly, who teaches at Pusan University.

The truth is that the comfort women issue has been a favorite hot-button issue for politicians across Asia, but now that it’s been settled in South Korea and Japan, you can still expect North Korea and China to exploit it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8080

South China Sea Decision Causes Beijing Defiance

July 13, 2016
China vowed to take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty over the South China Sea and said it had the right to set up an air defense zone, after rejecting an international tribunal’s ruling denying its claims to the energy-rich waters.
Chinese state media called the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague a “puppet” of external forces after it ruled that China had breached the Philippines’ sovereign rights by endangering its ships and fishing and oil projects.
Beijing has repeatedly blamed the United States for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, where its territorial claims overlap in parts with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
“China will take all necessary measures to protect its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said in a front page commentary on Wednesday.
The case, covering a region that is home to one of the world’s busiest trade routes, has been seen as a test of China’s rising power and its economic and strategic rivalry with the United States.
Underscoring China’s rebuffing of the ruling, state media said that two new airports in the Spratlys, on Mischief Reef and Subi Reef, both received test flights from civilian aircraft on Wednesday.
Beijing called the Philippines’ claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea “baseless” and an “act of bad faith”. In a government white paper published on Wednesday, China also said its fishing boats had been harassed and attacked by the Philippines around the disputed Spratly Islands.
“On whether China will set up an air defense zone over the South China Sea, what we have to make clear first is that China has the right to… But whether we need one in the South China Sea depends on the level of threats we face,” Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters in Beijing, adding that China hoped to return to bilateral talks with Manila.
“We hope that other countries don’t use this opportunity to threaten China, and hope that other countries can work hard with China, meet us halfway, and maintain the South China Sea’s peace and stability and not turn the South China Sea in a source of war.”
U.S. officials have previously said they feared China may respond to the ruling by declaring an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea, as it did in the East China Sea in 2013, or by stepping up its building and fortification of artificial islands.
China’s Liu also took aim at the judges on the tribunal, saying that as not one of them was Asian they could not possibly understand the issue and it was unfair of them to try.
COMPLICATED, UNCLEAR
The Philippines reacted cautiously to the ruling late on Tuesday, calling for “restraint and sobriety”, but the mood at President Rodrigo Duterte’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday was “upbeat”, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he had spoken to U.S. counterpart Ash Carter ahead of the ruling who told him China had assured the United States it would exercise restraint, and the U.S. made the same assurance. Carter had sought and been given the same assurance from the Philippines, Lorenzana added.
“The ruling can serve as a foundation on which we can start the process of negotiations which hopefully will eventually lead to the peaceful settlement of the maritime dispute in the South ChinaSea,” Charles Jose, a spokesman for the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, said.
One of the lawyers who argued the Philippines’ case said how and when the country would enforce the tribunal’s ruling was complicated.
“There’s no timeline for this game. It might have an extended period of gestation,” said Florin Ternal Hilbay, a former solicitor general. “I would assume our diplomats have read the decision and understand the complexities and consequences of enforcing the decision.”
Global intelligence firm Stratfor said fishermen from China or the Philippines were the greatest potential disruptors in the region, beyond the easy control of law enforcement.
“The greatest struggle for both countries will be to rein them in, preferably before they get to sea, lest they disrupt the delicate peace,” Stratfor said in a note.
In moves likely to antagonize Beijing, the coastguards of Japan and the Philippines took part in simulated rescue and medical response exercises off Manila Bay on Wednesday, part of what the two countries have called efforts to improve maritime security and combat crime and piracy.
Japan and China are involved in a separate territorial dispute in the East China Sea and Beijing has warned Tokyo against meddling in the South China Sea dispute.
PIVOT PRESSURE
Beijing’s ambassador to the United States earlier blamed the rise in tension in the region on the United States’ “pivot” toward Asia in the past few years. Cui Tiankai said the arbitration case “will probably open the door of abusing arbitration procedures.
“It will certainly undermine and weaken the motivation of states to engage in negotiations and consultations for solving their disputes,” Cui said at a forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. “It will certainly intensify conflict and even confrontation.”
South Korea on Wednesday announced the planned location of a U.S. THAAD anti-missile defense unit against North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats, a system that has angered Chinaand prompted a North Korean warning of retaliation.
President Barack Obama’s top Asia policy adviser, Daniel Kritenbrink, said the United States had no interest in stirring tensions in the South China Sea as a pretext for involvement in the region.
“We have an enduring interest in seeing territorial and maritime disputes in the Asia Pacific, including in the South China Sea, resolved peacefully, without coercion and in a manner that is consistent with international law,” Kritenbrink said at the same forum.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen boarded a navy frigate in southern Taiwan ahead of its departure for the South China Sea early on Wednesday, a regular patrol pushed forward due to the Hague decision, which Taipei rejected.
“This patrol mission is to show the determination of the Taiwan people to defend our national interest,” Tsai said from the warship.
China considers self-ruled Taiwan a breakaway province to be united with the mainland eventually, and by force if necessary.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8049

China’s Nuclear Subs Are Ready to Terrorize the Sea

China’s about to join an exclusive club for nuclear powers. After decades of development, 2016 could be the year the Chinese navy finally sends its ballistic-missile submarines—“SSBN” is the Pentagon’s designation—to sea for the first time for operational patrols with live, nuclear-tipped rockets.
If indeed the Jin-class subs head to sea this year, China will achieve a level of nuclear strike capability that, at present, just two countries—the United States and Russia—can match or exceed.
“China will probably conduct its first SSBN nuclear deterrence patrol sometime in 2016,” the Pentagon warned in the latest edition of its annual report on the Chinese military, published in mid-May (PDF). Once the Jins set sail, Beijing will command a nuclear “triad” composed of ground-, air-, and sea-launched nuclear weapons.
That’s a big deal, according to the dominant theory of nuclear warfare. “The theory is that a diverse array of delivery systems creates survivability by complicating a first strike,” Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on nuclear geopolitics with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told The Daily Beast.
In other words, if a country possesses all three kinds of nukes, it’s harder for an enemy to wipe them all out in a surprise attack. And if you can’t destroy your enemy’s entire atomic arsenal, he can nuke you back—so you’d better not attack at all.
The word for that is “deterrence.” And China could be on the verge of gaining a deterrence capability that most countries simply can’t afford. China reportedly possesses several hundred atomic warheads, but no one outside of the Chinese Communist Party leadership and, perhaps, top foreign intelligence agencies, knows the exact number.
Regardless, that’s far fewer than the roughly 7,000 warheads that the U.S. and Russia each possess but more than any of the world’s other nuclear powers, with the possible exception of France. And compared to Beijing only Moscow and Washington boast a wider range of launchers for their nukes.
The Chinese military’s rocket branch maintains around a hundred long-range rockets in land-based silos. The Chinese air force’s H-6 bombers first dropped atomic bombs back in the 1970s—and modern versions of the bombers can fire cruise missiles that are compatible with nuclear warheads. When the Jins are finally war-ready, they will complete Beijing’s land-air-sea atomic triad.
To be fair, the Chinese vessels are, in a sense, playing catch-up. The Soviet Union and the United States deployed the first nuclear ballistic-missile submarines at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s—and France and the United Kingdom soon followed suit. Today the U.S. Navy’s 14 Ohio-class missile subs take turns quietly sailing deep in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, ready to fire their 24 nuclear-tipped rockets on a moment’s notice.
Russia, France, and the U.K. still operate SSBNs, and India is developing one of its own. The Chinese navy began tinkering with missile subs in 1981. The experimental Xia-class vessel and its JL-1 rocket were technological failures and never sailed on an operational mission.
Since 2007, the Chinese navy has completed four of the follow-on Jin-class subs and is reportedly planning on building four more. More than 400 feet long, a Jin can carry as many as a dozen JL-2 rockets, each with a range of 4,500 miles. A Jin sailing in the central Pacific Ocean could strike targets anywhere in the United States.
If the Jins finally deploy this year, a whopping 35 years will have passed since China first tried to develop a functional SSBN. But developing a missile sub is hard.
Expensive, too. China has not disclosed the cost of the Jins, but consider that the U.S. Navy plans to spend $97 billion replacing its 14 Ohios with a dozen new submarines. Missile subs are big and complex—and their rockets are, too. Training reliable crews and designing an effective command-and-control system are equally difficult to do. Chinese subs have been plagued with quality-control problems.
“While it is clear that the [Chinese navy] is making strides towards correcting these issues, the capabilities of China’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet remain in a process of maturity,” the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, explains on its website.
To Beijing, achieving a nuclear triad is apparently worth the labor and expense. But Lewis cautions against reading the development of the Chinese atomic triad as the result of some sort of clear, top-down policy.
Officials in the U.S. and Russia take for granted the wisdom of a nuclear triad. But in fact, the triads in both of those countries developed as a result of rivalries within their respective militaries. During the early Cold War, the U.S. Navy lobbied lawmakers and the president for missile submarines in part to wrest from the U.S. Air Force some of the funding and prestige that came with being America’s main nuclear strike force.
The same internal conflict could be behind the Jins’ development. And whether China’s missile subs set sail for the first time this year could depend as much on politics as on technology and training. “There are a lot of rivalries and intrigues playing out that might result in a triad—or not,” Lewis said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7966

Nuclear War With North Korea Coming?

By Michael Snyder, on March 13th, 2016
On Sunday, North Korea warned the United States that it could wipe out Manhattan with a single hydrogen bomb, and earlier this month North Korea threatened to make a “preemptive and offensive nuclear strike” on the United States in response to aggressive military exercises currently being jointly conducted by South Korea and the U.S. military. So does nuclear war with North Korea actually pose a significant security risk to this country? Well, according to the Washington Post the entire west coast of the United States is within reach of North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. The only question is whether or not North Korea’s ultra-paranoid leader Kim Jong Un would ever actually press the button.
Most Americans don’t realize this, but nuclear war with North Korea is now closer than it has ever been before. In the past, North Korea’s technical capabilities were greatly limited, but now all of that has apparently changed. Just consider what has taken place within just the past few months. The following comes from a timeline that was put together by the Arms Control Association…
January 6, 2016: North Korea announces it conducted a fourth nuclear weapons test, claiming to have detonated a hydrogen bomb for the first time. Monitoring stations from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization detect the seismic activity from the test. The type of device tested remains unclear, although experts doubt it was of a hydrogen bomb based on seismic evidence.
February 7, 2016: North Korea launches a long-range ballistic missile carrying what it has said is an earth observation satellite in defiance of United Nations sanctions barring it from using ballistic missile technology, drawing strong international condemnation from other governments which believe it will advance North Korea’s military ballistic missile capabilities.
March 2, 2016: The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2270 condemning the nuclear test and launch of early 2016, and demanding that North Korea not conduct further tests and immediately suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program. Resolution 2270 expands existing sanctions on North Korea by adding to the list of sanctioned individuals and entities, introducing new financial sanctions, and banning states from supplying aviation fuel and other specified minerals to North Korea. Resolution 2270 also introduces a requirement that UN member states inspect all cargo in transit to or from North Korea for illicit goods and arms.
In response to these moves, South Korea and the U.S. military have launched the largest military exercises in the history of South Korea. More than 300,000 troops have gathered to simulate an invasion of North Korea and practice the elimination of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction. These military exercises being held over a period of eight weeks, and this is precisely what caused North Korea to threaten us with a “preemptive and offensive nuclear strike“.
And on Sunday, North Korea boasted that they could reduce Manhattan to ashes with a single hydrogen bomb…
“Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union,” DPRK Today, a state-run outlet, reported Sunday. DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.
“If this H-bomb were to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile and fall on Manhattan in New York City, all the people there would be killed immediately and the city would burn down to ashes,” the report said, citing a nuclear scientist named Cho Hyong Il.
I don’t know about you, but I find statements such as these to be quite alarming.
Earlier this month, Kim Jong Un put his nuclear weapons on alert “for use at any time”, and Reuters is reporting that he has just ordered his military to conduct even more nuclear weapon tests.
So why is there so little concern about this in the United States?
Sometimes it is the enemy that you underestimate the most that ends up being your greatest threat.
Meanwhile, in the midst of everything else, a North Korean submarine “has gone missing”…
The North Korean regime lost contact with one of its submarines earlier this week, three U.S. officials familiar with the latest information told CNN.
The U.S. military had been observing the submarine operate off North Korea’s east coast when the vessel stopped, and U.S. spy satellites, aircraft and ships have been secretly watching for days as the North Korean navy searched for the missing sub.
The U.S. is unsure if the missing vessel is adrift under the sea or whether it has sunk, the officials said, but believes it suffered some type of failure during an exercise.
At a time when tensions on the Korean peninsula are near an all-time high, this is a very disturbing development. The last thing that we need is some sort of “trigger event” that could cause the North Koreans to want to start pressing buttons.
Most Americans don’t realize this, but hatred for America is one of the centerpieces of North Korean society. In fact, they have an entire month each year during which they celebrate how much they hate us. The following comes form a New York Post article that was published last June…
June is something like Hate America Month in North Korea.
Officially, it’s called “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” and — more so than usual — it’s a time for North Koreans to swarm to war museums, mobilize for gatherings denouncing the evils of the United States and join in a general, nationwide whipping up of anti-American sentiment.
The culmination this year came Thursday — the 65th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War — with a 100,000-strong rally in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Stadium.
If Manhattan actually was reduced to a pile of ashes by a hydrogen bomb, there would be dancing in the streets of Pyongyang.
So let us not underestimate the threat that North Korea poses. They hate us enough to want to completely destroy us, they now have the technological capability of hitting major west coast cities with nukes, and they have an ultra-paranoid young leader with his hand on the trigger. Meanwhile, we have an increasingly aggressive leader of our own sitting in the White House that seems to like to yank Kim Jong Un’s chain.
If push came to shove, North Korea would attempt to hit American targets with nukes.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7845

North Korea fires two missiles as U.S., South conduct drills

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution, as South Korean and U.S. forces conducted massive war games.
The North also announced on Thursday it has scrapped all agreements with the South on commercial exchange projects and would “liquidate” South Korean assets left behind in its territory.
North Korea has a large stockpile of short-range missiles and is developing long-range and intercontinental missiles as well. The missiles fired on Thursday flew about 500 km (300 miles) off its east coast city of Wonsan and were likely from the Soviet-developed Scud series, South Korea’s defence ministry said.
Japan, which is within range of the longer-range variant of Scud missiles or the upgraded Rodong missiles, lodged a protest through the North Korean embassy in Beijing, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.
North Korea often fires short-range missiles when tensions rise on the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang gets particularly upset about the annual U.S.-South Korea drills, which its says are preparations for an invasion.
The U.S. and South Korea remain technically at war with the North because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armed truce instead of a peace agreement.
Around 17,000 U.S. military personnel are participating alongside some 300,000 South Korean troops in what South Korea’s Defence Ministry has called the “largest-ever” joint military exercises.
North Korea on Sunday warned it would make a “pre-emptive and offensive nuclear strike” in response to the exercises.
“LIQUIDATING” ASSETS
After Thursday’s missile launches, North Korea announced it would “liquidate” South Korean assets left behind in the Kaesong industrial zone and in the Mount Kumgang tourist zone.
Seoul suspended operations in the jointly-run zone last month as punishment for the North’s rocket launch and nuclear test.
Mount Kumgang was the first major inter-Korean cooperation project. Thousands of South Koreans visited the resort between 1998 and 2008. Seoul ended the tours in 2008 after a North Korean soldier shot dead a South Korean tourist who wandered into a restricted zone.
North Korea is also livid about stepped up United Nations sanctions adopted last week following its recent nuclear test and long-range missile launch.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said the Thursday’s missile launches again violated a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions and it would refer the matter to the Council sanctions committee mandated to enforce the resolutions.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei described the situation on the Korean Peninsula as “complex and sensitive”.
“All sides should stop their provocative words and deeds to avoid a further rise in tensions,” he said.
MINIATURISED WARHEADS
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country has miniaturised nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles, state media reported on Wednesday, and called on his military to be prepared to mount pre-emptive attacks against the United States and South Korea.
It was his first direct comment on the technology needed to deploy nuclear missiles. North Korean state media released photographs it said showed Kim Jong Un inspecting a spherical miniaturised warhead. State media has previously made that claim, which has been widely questioned and never independently verified.
South Korea’s defence ministry said it did not believe the North has successfully miniaturised a nuclear warhead or deployed a functioning intercontinental ballistic missile.
State Department spokesman John Kirby declined to comment on Kim’s claim to have miniaturised nuclear warheads and accused him of “provocative rhetoric.”
“I’d say the young man needs to pay more attention to the North Korean people and taking care of them than in pursuing these sorts of reckless capabilities,” Kirby said.
The Pentagon said this week it had not seen North Korea demonstrate a capability to miniaturise a nuclear warhead. But Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the department was working on U.S. ballistic missile defences to be prepared.
North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 but its claim to have set off a miniaturised hydrogen bomb last month has been disputed by the U.S. and South Korean governments and many experts, who said the blast was too small to back it up.

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North Korea Just Tested A Hydrogen Bomb Getting Ready For World War III (Told You That 2016 Will Be An Interesting Year)

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says it has conducted a successful hydrogen bomb test, a surprise announcement.
Just hours before the explanation, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center said it had detected unusual seismic activity in North Korea. It wasn’t immediately clear whether North Korea has conducted its fourth nuclear test, or if it was a natural earthquake.
The agency said on its website on Wednesday it had measured the magnitude of the seismic activity at 5.1.
A South Korean meteorological agency said shortly after the event the “man-made” event registered magnitude 4.3.
The event is near the site of a 2013 underground nuclear test conducted by North Korea.
Japanese meteorological officials observed the tremor was very shallow, similar to past tests.
Earlier in the day, the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said new satellite images indicated North Korea was proceeding with the development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, despite reports of a failed test a few weeks ago.
The imagery suggested the submarine was seaworthy, and that new testing activity may be conducted.
The imagery also shows North Korea is constructing facilities that could accommodate the building of bigger submarines.
Missiles launched from submerged vessels would be harder to detect that land-based ones, but the institute said North Korea likely remains years away from having an operational system.
A hydrogen bomb is so powerful that it includes an atomic bomb inside the core which is only used as a trigger.. and when it explodes, it sets off fusion reactions in the nearby deuterium/tritium. It is called a hydrogen bomb because deuterium & tritium are simply isotopes of hydrogen.
With this staged design, it is possible to have a thermonuclear bomb which is far more powerful than an atomic bomb. In fact, the hydrogen (fusion piece) of this is thought to be completely scalable (the bomb may be as powerful as desired and it is limited only by practicality/engineering).
SHOULD WE FEAR NORTH KOREA WITH THE H BOMB?
No. We should fear Japan more than North Korea. We feared Saddam more than what comes after him. Today we fear Russia more than Turkey. We should fear what the world are not afraid of more than the nations that the media tells us to fear. Japan will use this to make its argument for its own armament. Japan will join Turkey in the future. 2016 as it turns out is more interesting than I even thought.
When it comes to North Korea we should consider China uniting with Korea to fight Japan in the future. According to Jing-dong Yuan, Director of Research for East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and an Associate Professor of International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a prominent Chinese analyst has listed the desires of Japan as such, summing the Japanese issues and goals that will spark conflict:
…its [Japan’s] desire to achieve greater independence of US control and to attain great power status, a growing emphasis on military power, fear of nuclear and missile threats in the region, as well as the rise of neighboring countries (such a China), and a revisionist approach to history. (1)
All of these goals and concerns are interconnected. The fanatic and dangerous reactionary ideas of Shinzo Abe and his ilk, which are promulgated through historic revisionism, cannot be accomplished without a powerful military; a powerful military with “great power status” is only possible with independence from the US; independence from the US can be obtained by Japan taking advantage of America’s fears of a rising China and North Korea, thus convincing the Americans to enable Japan to boost its military might in the name of defending itself against neighboring threatening countries.
Taking advantage of a worrisome situation, like North Korea testing nuclear weapons, is an old and typical trick of every aspiring tyranny. A disaster, or distressful situation, can be used as, in the words of Machiavelli, “an opportunity” to “introduce whatever form” one thinks fit. (2)
After North Korea detonated a nuclear device as a test in 2006, the US and Japan came up with a resolution “that could have been cited at some future point as authorizing the use of military force” against North Korea. Russia and China produced their own resolution which actually defeated and overrode the proposition of the US and Japan.
This conclusion reveals two things: (1) Russia, regardless of current prospects of significant trade with Japan, comprehends the potential threat of a militarily enabled Japan; (2) Japan is using the perceived threat of North Korea and China to convince the US to remove the restrictions placed on its military defenses. This conviction is already ongoing. As Hiroko Tabuchi, a New York Times reporter in Japan, writes:
Washington has generally been keen for Japan to take on a more active military presence in the region to counterbalance China’s growing might.
The Japanese are stubborn and relentless in this issue. In April, a panel of Japanese government experts are expected to propose to Shinzo Abe a reinterpretation of the Japanese constitution in regards to weapons, in order to allow Japan to use weapons for defense against North Korea. Just last month, in February, Abe used the scenario of North Korea attacking the United States and Japan coming to its defense and using weapons to prevent arms being transferred to North Korea, expressing his urgent desire for a more militarily independent Japan. After picking the hypothetical situation of if “North Korea attacked the United States”, Abe said:
When the international community imposes economic sanctions, we also have to discuss whether we should prevent weapons and ammunition from being transported to North Korea.
Japan understands that it has to display a pro-American stance, a facade that it is truly looking after the US as a balancer in Asia and a defender against China and North Korea. If Japan wants to receive American military support against China for the Senkaku islands, the Japanese have to assure the US that it will fight side by side with the Americans. A member of an advisory panel related to national security issues for the Abe administration, made this point clear:
The United States does not want to fight for such islets …Unless Japan shows that it is prepared to fight together with the United States when the time comes, the United States will say to Japan about defense of its outlying islands, “OK, sayonara.”
Nonetheless, America’s willingness to defend Japan against China should not be belittled in any way. When China established an air defense zone over in the Senkaku islands, “the United States sent two unarmed B-52 bombers through the airspace, after which China appeared to backpedal from its threats.”
Shinzo Abe has increased military spending, shifting Japan, militarily speaking, to its most powerful state since the end of WW2. Hiroko Tabuchi gives us these details:
“Mr. Abe has also increased military spending for the first time in a decade, and loosened self-imposed restrictions on exporting weapons. A new defense plan calls for the acquisition of drones and amphibious assault vehicles to prepare for the prospect of a prolonged rivalry with China.”
And of course this is taking place under the watch of the US, who is enabling and allowing Japan to do so for the sake of keeping China in check, just as the US is empowering Turkey by arming jihadists in Syria in order to keep Iran in check.
Japan should not be underestimated. Their naval power is formidable enough, that James Holmes of the U.S. Naval War College, conceded “that there is a reasonable chance that Japan could defeat China in a naval conflict today—even if fighting all by itself.” (3)
As America continues to follow its current path, you will see a rising Japan under the red sun, and from a friend it will turn to a foe. With this you will also witness a rise in Buddhist fanaticism, just as in Turkey we are seeing the revival of Islamic fundamentalism. There are definitely similarities between both religions, and the two of them will give fortitude to the violent spirits of the two peoples, the Japanese and the Turks.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7704

Russia jet SHOT DOWN: Turkey to face ‘consequences’ as Putin calls act ‘stab in back’

TURKISH warplanes have shot down a Russian jet which they claim flew into the country’s airspace.
By Alix Culbertson
PUBLISHED: 08:14, Tue, Nov 24, 2015 | UPDATED: 14:04, Tue, Nov 24, 2015 Getty
The plane crashed in Syria after violating Turkey’s airspace, the country claims
The aircraft was shot down after it was warned 10 times in five minutes to leave Turkish airspace, a Turkish military official has said.
It was just over the Syrian border in Turkey when it was downed by F16 Fighting Falcon jets belonging to Turkey, the official added.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin said the plane was 4km into Syria and had not violated Turkey’s airspace as it flew at an altitude of 6,000 metres – and claimed it was shot down from the ground not the air.
NATO has announced it will be holding an extraordinary session at 4pm GMT in Brussels after Turkey requested it following the incident.
Unverified sources have claimed Russia is currently sending a warship across the Dardenelles from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean.
Mr Putin said the pilots did not threaten anyone and the incident will have “serious consequences” for Turkish-Russian relations as he called it a “stab in the back”.
The president added: “Large amounts of oil from militants go to and through Turkey.”
The incident is the first time a Russian or Soviet plane has been shot down by a NATO member since the 1950s.
It would be wrong to talk about consequences and relations between Russia and Turkey at the moment
Kremlin
Two pilots managed to eject from the jet and were seen landing with the help of parachutes.
The jet is reported to be a Russian Su-24 flown by a pair of Russian pilots, with one believed to have been captured by Syrian rebels from the Alweya Al-Ashar (Brigade of the 10th) which consists of Turkmen with strong links to Turkey.
He was initially thought to be alive but rebels have now said they have recovered both pilots’ bodies.
The second pilot is believed to have died in the crash after footage was released by Syrian rebels appearing to show them crowding around a body saying “Allahu Akbar” – God is Great in Arabic.
Russia is currently fighting in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad’s troops against the rebels and Islamic State (ISIS).
Sources say the brigade has now launched “a counter-offensive” against President Bashar and Russian troops in a bid to take back the Turkman mountains.
Russian plane shot down over Turkey
Tue, November 24, 2015
A Russian Su-24 fighter jet has been shot out of the sky over the Turkish-Syrian border.
Turkish presidential sources have said the jet was downed in line with the rules of engagement after violating the country’s airspace and failing to heed warnings.
He said the pilot was warned 10 times before they deployed the F16s to shoot it down.
A government official said: “We are trying to identify the nationality of the plane.”
Turkish military
The Turkish military released the flight radar they say is from the Russian jet they shot
Russia’s foreign minister Sergy Lavrov was expected to land in Istanbul at 4.30pm today – the same time as the urgent NATO meeting – ahead of talks with the Turkish government tomorrow, but so far there is no indication he will be leaving Moscow soon as he is in meetings with Mr Putin.
The Kremlin’s deputy speaker said while the world is grouping together against Islamic State, Turkey is helping them.
He said: “Turkey demonstrates it’s solidarity with the terrorists.”
The Kremlin called it a “very serious incident” but said it is too early to draw firm conclusions.
Video footage shows a plane exploding in the air before the fireball fell onto a Turkmen mountain near a village on the northern Syrian side of the border.
British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said: “Clearly this is a serious incident but it wouldn’t be wise to comment further until we have the facts.”
A Downing Street spokesman added: “We will continue to work closely with the Turks and we will stand by the offers of support we have made to them already.”
One of the Russian pilots has been captured by Syrian rebels
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the warplane crashed in a mountainous area in the northern countryside of Latakia province.
The fate of the crew was unknown, the Observatory said, adding there had been aerial bombardment in the area earlier, where pro-government forces have been battling insurgents on the ground.
While fears have arisen over the consequences of the downed plane, the European Council’s President, Donald Tusk, tweeted: “In this dangerous moment after downing of Russian jet, all should remain cool headed and calm.”
Turkish military
The Russian fighter jet went over a small section of Turkey, according to the Turkish military
Turkey called this week for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighboring Syria, and last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the bombing of their villages.
Ankara has traditionally expressed solidarity with Syrian Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.
About 1,700 people have fled the mountainous Syrian area to the Turkish border as a result of fighting in the last three days, a Turkish official said on Monday.
Russian jets have bombed the area in support of ground operations by Syrian government forces.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office said he had spoken with the chief of military staff and the foreign minister about developments on the border, but did not mention the downed jet.
He instructed them to consult with NATO and the UN on the latest developments on the Syrian border.
Turkey has continually warned Russia and Syria not to edge into their airspace, and has said them it would shoot any planes violating that.
In October, when Russian planes flew into Turkish airspace two days in a row, NATO – of which Turkey is a leading member – released a statement which said: “Allies strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace, and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace. Allies also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behaviour.
“They call on the Russian Federation to cease and desist, and immediately explain these violations.
“Allies call on the Russian side to take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not take place in the future.”
The Sukhoi SU-24 is a supersonic, all weather attack aircraft developed in Russia. The aircraft features avariable-sweep wing, twin-engines and a side-by-side seating arrangement for its two crew.
It was the first of Russia’s aircraft to carry an integrated digital navigation and attack system.

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