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S Korean Ruling Party Slams N Korean Foreign Minister’s UN Speech

NOVANEWS

A passerby looks at a TV screen reporting news about North Korea's missile launch in Tokyo, Japan September 15, 2017

On Sunday, South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party criticized the speech North Korea’s Foreign Minister made at the UN General Assembly meeting.

(Sputnik) — South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party criticized on Sunday the speech made by North Korea’s Foreign Minister at the UN General Assembly in New York and called for responsibility.

“North Korea tried to justify its nuclear programs… But the international community will only regard the North’s claims as groundless sophistry… North Korea must also keep in mind that the only way to achieve the realization of international justice isn’t by carrying out reckless provocations but by taking action responsibly as a member of the international community,” the party’s spokeswoman said, as quoted by Yonhap News Agency.

On Saturday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said, addressing the UN General Assembly, that Pyongyang would prevent any US attacks which used “merciless preemptive action.” The statement was a response to US President Donald Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend the United States or its allies, voiced on Tuesday.

Related:

South Korea Fires Ballistic Missiles in Response to North’s Latest Test-Launch
South Korean President Threatens to Destroy North Korea
South Korea Opposes Nuclear Weapons Deployment Over Risk of Arms Race With North
South Korea, US Show Off Air Power in Joint War Games Amid Tensions With North

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Kim Saves Trump’s Butt!

NOVANEWS

“You just can’t make this stuff up!” – Jim W. Dean

Kim Saves Trump’s Butt!

Will Trump thank Kim in Trump’s UN speech? Even with Two Million Korean, Japanese, Chinese & American deaths, clueless Americans ‘LOVE a new Korea War by Trump. How much is Trump’s ass worth?

[ Editor’s Note: Thomas lays out the age old proven ploy of how Presidents with low poll numbers love finding someone to have a war with, especially someone little, like North Korea. I am no fan of Mr. Kim, a cartoonish character, but I think he should be the North Korean people’s problem, as so many political leaders are, like Mr. Trump.

But I do have a problem with the US putting conditions on the Korean talks, despite Kim’s offer to stop all testing. All he asked for was an moratorium on US-South Korea war-gaming drills, which is a reasonable request, backed by both China and Russia, and which the US instantly rejected. Snubbed like that in front of his people, Kim continued testing, which is exactly what I feel the US wanted him to do so Trump could play the Big Kahuna protector of America.

At this point it was all strictly theater, with Kim happily a participant in the game, but there was no way he could enter talks with preconditions when the US would accept none. It was a reminder of back when Roosevelt and Churchill had a cable phone call to toughen up the last State Department offer to Japan on the eve of WWII to make sure it was unacceptable. We have all been here before… Jim W. Dean ]

I smell a chaos theory “incident” being shopped around, with the US refusing talks with North Korea

…by Thomas J. Mattingly, for Veterans Today

A new Gallup Poll shows that Americans widely favor a Trump military strike on North Korea and Kim Jong-Un to stop Kim & Co. from developing nukes and ICBMs that can hit the U.S. No matter how quickly that Trump and the U.S. military strike North Korea, Kim’s military can fire +/-250,000 rockets, artillery shells and missiles at South Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. Maybe nukes too. +/-2 Million dead in weeks. Worth it?

As per Friday’s Gallup Poll, Americans favor Trump’s “fire and fury” approach to Kim and North Korea by a wide majority of 58% to 39% (with 82% of Republicans, 37% of Democrats and 56% of Independents favoring what amounts to a new Korean War by Trump) – if sanctions and diplomacy fail. In 2003 (as per Gallup), only 47% of Americans favored military action against North Korea and Kim’s father.

Friday, North Korea responded to new UN sanctions and to Trump’s threats against North Korea, China & Russia by firing a missile that can hit U.S. military bases on Guam.

Background

For cause, U.S. Justice Department Independent Counsel Robert Mueller and Congress are investigating Trump’s family, Trump’s associates and Trump for criminal acts (e.g., money laundering and election collusion with Russian gangsters). Trump’s popularity among voters is at +/-35%. For various reasons, Republicans, Democrats and Trump’s ‘base’ are all upset with Trump. Removing Trump may soon be much easier – unless Trump relies on Kim for ‘help.’

If Trump’s poll numbers after reckless military action against North Korea rise from +/-35% now to a new +/-58% (those favoring Trump military action if sanctions & diplomacy fail), then Kim will have saved Trump from Impeachment & Removal – and saved Trump’s presidency.

Loosely supported by Russia, China’s position is: (1) If Kim and North Korea try to attack first, then China will remain neutral; and (2) If Trump and U.S. try to attack North Korea first, then China will ‘neutralize’ any U.S. military threats to North Korea. For support on China’s and/or Russia’s probable ability to ‘neutralize’ U.S. military threats with inexpensive electronic warfare, see VT’s De-Nuking the Trump-Kim Pissing Contest and sources linked therein.

Thus, if Trump & U.S. can provoke Kim & North Korea into doing something stupid, then China and Russia will stand down – initially. Especially after the new Gallup Poll, for Trump to save his own ass, Trump is effectively saying: ‘Obi-Won Kim, you’re my only hope!’

Both North Koreans and South Koreans are sitting ducks — more than 2 million dead in a few weeks

During the Korean War (1950 to 1953), China and ‘Russia’ sided with North Korea. More than one million Chinese troops came to the aid of North Korea (with 800,000+ Chinese casualties, as per U.S. DoD). North Korea fought a war against U.S., United Nations and South Korea. 36,000+ dead Americans, 500,000+ dead South Koreans and 500,000+ dead North Koreans. With China and Russia siding with North Korea (again), any Trump-initiated new Korean War would effectively mean World War 3. Worth it?

Unless clueless Americans come to their senses soon, then Trump & Co. can legitimately interpret the recent Gallup Poll to mean that Americans favor World War 3. South Koreans and others beg to differ. “Korean Lives Matter”? Maybe not, says Trump.

Trump will address world leaders at the UN on Tuesday. After Friday’s Gallup Poll shed light on the path to a Trump revival by using Kim and the lives of all Koreans as grist for the Trump mill, Trump’s step-and-fetch-it UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said that Trump will ‘slap his foes and hug his friends. In his UN speech, will Trump thank Kim for saving Trump’s butt?

On Sunday, paving a path for Trump to unleash military “fire and fury” and +/-2 million deaths, Haley said that Trump had ‘run out of options’ in the UN; and Trump National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Friday that “We’ve been kicking the can down the road, and we’re out of road.” Americans favor Trump’s “fire and fury” against Kim and North Korea if sanctions and diplomacy fail. So, Haley and McMaster are just removing those obstacles for Trump.

In his UN speech, will Trump thank Kim for saving Trump’s butt?

When Ivanka-tears-motivated ‘Daddy Trump’ illegally attacked a Syrian air base with NO international verification of alleged Syrian chemical weapons use and NO vote in Congress (as Trump demanded of Obama), Trump’s standing with media pundits and Congress rose.

Before 9/11, U.S. President GW Bush’s approval was falling (at 51% before 9/11). After 9/11, GW Bush’s popularity soared to the Highest in Gallup History (90%). Trump learned these lessons well. Pathologically narcissistic Trump loves adulation – no matter how short-lived.

China’s Xi Jinping, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have other plans. China, Russia, most Americans and others still favor negotiations with Kim & North Korea.

However, VT’s articles by Ian Greenhalgh and Jeff Smith (Doctor Strangelove Returns: How I Learned to Live with the North Korean Bomb andIt’s a Mad, M.A.D. World: North Korea’s Potential Arms Exports Reshape East-West Geopolitics“) show that China helped North Korea in quickly developing advanced nukes and ICBMs. Exclusive investigative journalism.

VT’s De-Nuking the Trump-Kim Pissing Contest.indicates that a comprehensive treaty to end the Korean War and to end nuke use and proliferation by all is a solution – “the only solution,” as per knowledgeable Washington insiders close to Republicans and Democrats.

Of course, Trump can propose such a comprehensive treaty in his UN speech. However, as per Trump’s ‘fetching’ & petulantly belligerent UN Ambassador, Trump will play to the Gallup-shown U.S. popularity of catastrophic military options. Make America ‘Gape’ Again?

Kim’s, My and Trump’s Motivations

The Korean War was North Korea’s 9/11 – multiplied by a few orders of magnitude. Kim and all Koreans still remember the Korean War (firsthand or secondhand). While staying at his home three times in late 1980s, a retired Korean CIA deputy director and I discussed the Korean War, Kim’s father & grandfather, and what could & should be done. Interesting talks.

My U.S. Navy Captain father served in the WW2 Pacific theater and was active in U.S. Navy reserves (stateside) during the Korean War. I remember it well (including Ike’s 1961 TV talk).

Virtually all North and South Koreans, most global leaders, and most others favor a treaty finally ending the Korean War on just terms & conditions – and an end to nuke proliferation & use by all (not just by Kim and North Korea).

Who knows about Trump? Trump may just want to thank Kim for saving Trump’s butt. Sad.

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Fears of Nuclear War Grow After Trump’s Threat to Annihilate North Korea

US President Donald Trump’s fascistic tirade at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, in which he declared Washington “ready, willing and able” to “totally destroy North Korea,” shocked and horrified people around the world yesterday.

The North Korean regime’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned that it might now attack US targets if it detects that US forces are preparing to destroy it. The KCNA said Pyongyang would prepare a “resolute and pre-emptive strike if they show any slight sign of provocation. In case the US opts for confrontation and war at last… it will meet horrible nuclear strike and miserable and final ruin.”

As UN officials and the world’s other major powers react to Trump’s speech, it is ever clearer that the ruling elite internationally is politically bankrupt, in a state of perplexity, terror and denial in the face of the danger that Washington will launch or provoke a nuclear war. None of them have any way to stop military escalation by the imperialist hegemon at the center of the world capitalist system. They are silent on the barbaric nature of Trump’s remarks and the danger of a nuclear war that could destroy humanity.

At the UN General Assembly in New York, where Trump had delivered his genocidal threats against the North Korean people the day before, dozens of countries signed a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Brazilian President Michel Temer was the first head of state to sign the treaty. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hailed it as “an important step toward the universally held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.”

In fact, the treaty was an elaborate and impotent charade. It was boycotted by the United States, Britain, and France, all of which have nuclear weapons. Since each of these powers can veto adoption of the treaty at the UN Security Council, the treaty is dead on arrival. The NATO alliance also issued a statement that was silent on Trump’s threats against North Korea, but denounced the treaty, saying it “disregards the realities of the increasingly challenging security environment.”

In one of the few comments addressing the scope of the war that is being prepared, China’s state-run Global Times warned that the initial US attack on North Korea could claim hundreds of millions of lives in densely-populated areas of Northeast Asia. However, it said nothing on what would occur after the initial US strike, and sought to soften its criticisms of Trump by dividing the blame equally between Trump and North Korea.

It wrote,

“‘Totally destroying North Korea’ would bring an unbearable ecological disaster to Northeast Asia. Northeast China, the Shandong peninsula and South Korea would all be engulfed by nuclear fallout. Thus the US president, instead of boasting of military strength, should try to avoid such a war… If a nuclear war broke out, that would be a crime against Chinese and South Koreans by Pyongyang and Washington.”

While the Global Times did not say how the Chinese regime might respond to such an attack, it is well known that its nuclear missiles can reach the entire continental United States. As China and Russia hold a joint naval exercise between Vladivostok and the Sea of Okhotsk, north of the Korean Peninsula, it is clear that Beijing and Moscow are preparing retaliatory action that could rapidly spiral into a global war with US forces in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and throughout the world.

Russia is currently carrying out its Zapad military exercise, and yesterday the TASS news agency reported that Russian forces had successfully tested RS-24 strategic nuclear missiles, which hit their targets in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula.

Trump’s threats have also exposed the deep rift between the United States and the European powers, particularly Germany and France. Without addressing or condemning Trump’s threat of a genocidal attack on North Korea, European officials and media made clear that they are moving into overt opposition to US foreign policy across a range of issues and military conflicts worldwide.

The French daily Le Monde commented,

“For the rest of the international community, [Trump’s] speech is a terrible challenge. This is particularly the case for Europe, the privileged partner and ally of the United States, now opposed to Washington on numerous issues like the climate, Iran, multilateralism. President Emmanuel Macron’s speech two hours later was a striking contradiction to Trump. The Atlantic alliance is losing its meaning.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that in North Korea,

“only a peaceful, diplomatic solution to this conflict is possible. Anything else would lead to catastrophe, I am deeply convinced of that.” She added that she would fight “with all my strength” for a peaceful solution.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel blandly called Trump’s genocidal threats “inappropriate,” adding:

“Such warlike rhetoric does not get us a single step further.”

French President Emmanuel Macron had already spoken at the UN just after Trump’s speech, which Macron pointedly did not attend. He said that France “will oppose any escalation” in Korea, as well as against other regimes around the world threatened by Trump. Macron said a unilateral attempt to scupper the 2015 Iranian nuclear treaty, as Trump is threatening, would be “irresponsible” and added that he had warned Tehran and Washington that a “deadly spiral” into war was possible.

There is little doubt that the European governments will respond to the growing threat of war by accelerating their multi-billion-euro defense spending increases, led by Germany and its now three-year-old campaign to re-militarize its foreign policy.

Like Trump’s UN speech itself, the reaction of the European and international powers is the product of a long evolution. In the quarter century since the Stalinist bureaucracy dissolved the Soviet Union, removing the military counterweight to Washington, US imperialism sought to counteract its growing economic weakness by resorting to escalating aggressive war in the Middle East and across the globe. It continued to serve as the financial and military linchpin of world capitalism, however, and a model for the increasingly militaristic and austerity policies of its European rivals.

The lack of any international condemnation of Trump’s threat to murder 25 million North Koreans is a measure of the political degeneration of the ruling class worldwide. They are saying nothing because—after a quarter century in which the European powers and other US allies joined US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or Libya, Syria, and Ukraine—they themselves are prepared to resort to war and horrific levels of violence.

The bankruptcy of the ruling elite underscores that the only force that can oppose the drive to war is the international working class, acting on a socialist and revolutionary program. This points to the significance of Trump’s vitriolic denunciation of socialism in his speech to the UN, which politicians and the media passed over in virtually total silence. The political representatives of a corrupt and super-rich ruling class, well aware that they are on the verge of a horrific nuclear conflagration, fear that a war crisis could provoke a rapid political shift in the population and the complete discrediting of world capitalism.

Instead, the European powers as well as China and Russia are moving into ever sharper diplomatic and strategic conflict with the United States. At the UN Security Council yesterday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko requested OSCE monitors be dispatched to the disputed Russophone Donbass region, where Kiev has faced opposition from Russian-backed militias since the 2014 NATO-backed coup in Ukraine.

There are continuing calls in Washington to arm the Ukrainian regime against Moscow—a policy which pushed Germany and France to warn of the danger of “total war” with Russia and conclude a separate peace deal with Ukraine and Russia in 2015 in Minsk. Yesterday, Macron announced that France would seek a new meeting with Germany, Russia and Ukraine to “continue, in the context of the Minsk accords, the de-escalation of violence and reforms in Ukraine.”


 

“This book is a ‘must’ resource – a richly documented and systematic diagnosis of the supremely pathological geo-strategic planning of US wars since ‘9-11’ against non-nuclear countries to seize their oil fields and resources under cover of ‘freedom and democracy’.”
John McMurtry, Professor of Philosophy, Guelph University

“In a world where engineered, pre-emptive, or more fashionably “humanitarian” wars of aggression have become the norm, this challenging book may be our final wake-up call.”
-Denis Halliday, Former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations

Michel Chossudovsky exposes the insanity of our privatized war machine. Iran is being targeted with nuclear weapons as part of a war agenda built on distortions and lies for the purpose of private profit. The real aims are oil, financial hegemony and global control. The price could be nuclear holocaust. When weapons become the hottest export of the world’s only superpower, and diplomats work as salesmen for the defense industry, the whole world is recklessly endangered. If we must have a military, it belongs entirely in the public sector. No one should profit from mass death and destruction.
Ellen Brown, author of ‘Web of Debt’ and president of the Public Banking Institute   

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UN Security Council Resolution 2375 on North Korea: Preparation for War?

NOVANEWS

“Decapitation Units” expose the US-ROK Axis of State Terrorism

There is now a discernible pattern to US manipulation of the UN Security Council when it wants UN endorsement for US-NATO acts of aggression. It is a formula which led to the destruction of Iraq and Libya, and in 1950-1953 led to the destruction of North Korea and most of South Korea. This deadly trajectory is once again becoming visible, and the code is revealed in the three words: “all necessary measures,” which are deciphered to mean US-NATO aggressive war.

This formula begins with sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter: approximately eleven sanctions have been inflicted upon North Korea, and four presidential statements. The sanctions are, in themselves aggressive action, intended to weaken and demoralize the intended nation-targeted victim, and ultimately destroy the will, the spirit and unity of the nation. The now twelve sanctions on the DPRK are reminiscent of the words Richard Nixon used for the CIA engineered destruction of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile:

“Make the economy scream!!”

The goal of these resolutions is the total destruction of the targeted victim-nation, in the present case, the independent socialist government of North Korea. Because the bar is continually raised, and it is impossible to comply with these imperialistic sanctions without betraying and destroying the core values of the nation being targeted, eventually the US compels the Security Council to announce that more “robust” (violent) measures are required, the end resulting in military attack upon the targeted nation.

Each sanction is a humiliation, an act of psychological violence and an assault on the dignity of the people of the targeted country. The sanctions are intended to cause such misery among the people of the nation targeted that havoc will result, culminating in regime change. If the victim has the strength to resist, more overt aggression will be used.

On September 8, 2017 the U.S. draft resolution revealed their ultimate intent: demanding the power to board North Korean ships, and use “all necessary measures” (military force) to coerce compliance to inspect their cargo. Although this demand was deleted from the sanctions resolution 2375 adopted on September 11, such coercion, if it had remained in the resolution finally agreed upon, would have the violation of the sovereignty of the DPRK, and would have constituted a form of rape of North Korea. Resistance by Russia and China resulted in the abandonment of that particular form of violation of the DPRK, but the cumulative force of the resolutions, now numbering 12, are strangling the economy and people of North Korea, and the US-NATO trajectory seems intent upon some form of military aggression, with or without UN Security Council approval.

In the September 18 issue of “The New Yorker,” author Evan Osnos quotes his North Korean guide, Pak, saying:

“If the US puts sanctions and sanctions and sanctions and sanctions, they drive us to the edge of the cliff, we will attack. That’s how the world wars have started. Don’t push us too hard because you’re going to start a war. And we should say, we’re not going to die alone.”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg

On September 9, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said:

“North Korea is a global threat and requires a global response; and that, of course, also includes NATO.”

UK’s Defense Minister Michael Fallon supported NATO’s position.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s crude insinuation that “North Korea is begging for war” so grossly distorts the truth that the DPRK referred to her as a “political prostitute,” and the US Ambassador’s reference to the Chinese-Russian proposal of “suspension for suspension” as “insulting,” is a shocking repudiation of the only viable step toward beginning negotiated reduction of tension, leading to a peaceful resolution of this crisis. The US Ambassador’s absurd comment reveals her deliberate falsification of the realities involved and her reversal of cause and effect is a form of paranoia. North Korea needs nuclear defenses to protect itself from violent aggression by the South-Korean-US axis.

Article 2 of the China/DPRK Mutual Assistance Treaty obligates China to defend North Korea if the US attacks. If the DPRK attacks first, China will not assist. While the DPRK will not initiate attack, ever, it is being subjected to intolerable provocations, set-ups and false-flag operations which may make it impossible to avoid counter-actions in defense.

The US Ambassador, many of the Security Council members, willingly or unwillingly and many others elsewhere are, it seems, deliberately refusing to respect, nor take responsibility for the horrifying massacre of 3-4 million North Koreans between 1950-1953, and ignore fact that the ongoing menace of South Korean and US military threats are inflicting an unendurable state of terror upon North Koreans, to which they must respond in the only way that will either ensure their survival or raise the cost of an attack against them to a point that the US-NATO-Japan- ROK axis are reluctant or unwilling to pay.

It is therefore alarming evidence of a stealthy plan to attack and overwhelm the DPRK in every conceivable way, that yesterday’s New York Times announced South Korea’s plan to “Decapitate” the North Korean leadership. …”The measures have raised questions about whether South Korea and the United States, its most important ally, are laying the groundwork to kill or incapacitate Mr. Kim and his top aides before they can even order an attack.” This again recalls the Nixon-Kissinger-CIA Chilean coup scenario, when “make the economy scream” was not sufficient to incite a popular uprising to overthrow the government of Socialist President Allende, and the honorable Chilean top military leadership refused to enact a coup d’etat, which would have violated the constitution. Thereupon, the Nixon-Kissinger-CIA axis arranged the assassination of Chile’s loyal top military leaders, beginning with General Rene Schneider, who was kidnapped and murdered for refusing to stage a coup, and his loyal second in command, General Carlos Prats was cruelly degraded and forced out of Chile. Eventually the CIA found a compliant officer, and a pawn, Pinochet.

The leadership of the DPRK has sought meetings with the US leadership for decades. The North Koreans never refused negotiations. The US refused all such meetings, perhaps assuming they could impose US will by force, in any case. South Korean “Decapitation Units” directly contradict US Secretary of State Tillerson’s assurance that the US “does not seek regime change, nor regime collapse.” The new South Korean “Decapitation Unit,” the “Spartan 3000, will be mandated to conduct ‘cross-border raids with retooled helicopters and transport planes that penetrate North Korea at night.” This is a situation absolutely identical to the South Korean provocations that led to the 1950-1953 Korean war.

During the September 11 Security Council meeting at which the new sanctions resolution was adopted, Chinese Ambassador Liu stated:

“We hope the US will incorporate the following four ‘don’ts into its relevant policies regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: don’t seek regime change, don’t incite a collapse of the regime, don’t seek an accelerated reunification effort of the peninsula, and don’t send its military north of the thirty-eighth parallel.”

Russian Ambassador Nebenzia stated: “The measures involving financial and economic pressure on the leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had basically been exhausted and any further restrictions would be tantamount to attempts to suffocate its economy, including the placing of a total embargo on the country and provoking a deep humanitarian crisis. In other words, what we are talking about here is not just cutting off the channels that allow for banned nuclear and missile activities, but, rather, inflicting unacceptable damage on innocent civilians……Furthermore, the authors’ unwillingness to include in the resolution the idea of using the good offices and mediation potential of the Secretary-General, as well as the refusal to reaffirm the statement made by the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Tillerson, on the ‘Four Nos’—that there are no plans to start a war, effect regime change, force the reunification of the two Koreas or violate the 38th parallel—all give rise to very serious questions in our minds to which we have not yet received answers.

The UN Secretary General is adamantly opposed to a military solution, and equally adamant that only a negotiated solution is permissible. However, the US opposes his utilizing his “good offices” to peacefully resolve the crisis.

While it is impossible to predict the outcome, when taken together, the US actions seem to indicate their intent to attack the DPRK, overtly or covertly, or through proxies, though the risks are catastrophic. Only the dangerous possibility of China’s involvement could deter this intent. North Korea is now being crushed economically and subjected to intolerable provocations. Although the “status quo” may appear to be in the interest of all parties, recalcitrant and irrational aggressive forces are being unleashed within US-NATO, with or without UN authorization. If US-NATO military power is permitted to obliterate North Korea, their resultant intoxication with military force, combined with their economic weakness makes it inevitable that China and Russia are their next quarry. It is imperative that Russia and China take this seriously, as they surely do. The time is long overdue for Russia and China to use their veto power. Their appeasement of US/NATO interests is short-sighted and enabling a war of possibly incalculable proportions. It is preferable to live with a nuclear armed North Korea than to die in a nuclear holocaust. Indeed, even the venerable Susan Rice factored in this option.

Former President Jimmy Carter (Source: The Carter Center / Facebook)

And it is time for US-NATO to heed the words of former President Jimmy Carter:

“The North Koreans emphasized that they wanted peaceful relations with the United States and their neighbors, but were convinced that we planned a preemptive military strike against their country. They want a peace treaty, especially with America to replace the ceasefire agreement that had existed since the end of the Korean war in 1953, and to end the economic sanctions that had been very damaging to them during that long interim period. A commitment to peace by the United States and North Korea is crucial.”

Yesterday the North Korean Foreign Ministry stated that the UN Security Council resolutions are an “infringement on its legitimate right to self-defense, and aim at completely suffocating its state and people through full-scale economic blockade.” These United Nations Resolutions are deliberate provocations, actually inflaming and exacerbating this crisis. And it is possible that the authors of the September 11 Resolution anticipated and actually intended this outcome. War is profitable. It should be no surprise that today North Korea launched another missile, demonstrating its capacity. And today the UN Security Council is holding another “emergency” meeting. One can only hope that Russia and China will take a stand against any continuation of this vicious spiral.

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Kim Jong-Un Delivers Rare Personal Address to Donald Trump

NOVANEWS

Kim Jong-Un’s full statement is reproduced below.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un has offered a rare personal statement in the aftermath of the US President’s remarks at the United Nations General Assembly which threatened the destruction of North Korea. Additionally, Donald Trump referred to the man North Koreans call the Great Marshall as “Rocket Man”, in an apparent reference to a song by the musician Elton John.

Kim Jong-Un’s personal reply is reproduced below in its entirety:

The speech made by the US president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.

Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereotyped, prepared remarks a little from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world’s biggest official diplomatic stage.

A frightened dog barks louder.

I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.

The mentally deranged behaviour of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats and regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.

After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.

His remarks which described the US option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.

Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.

Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the US pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.

This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.

I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.

Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.

I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.

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Unmasked: Trump Doctrine Vows Carnage for New Axis of Evil

NOVANEWS

North Korea, Iran, Venezuela are targets in “compassionate” America’s war on the “wicked few.” It’s almost as though Washington felt its hegemony threatened

 

Featured image: Paul Delaroche, Napoléon à Fontainebleau, 1840. With other global powers increasingly at odds with US foreign policy under Donald Trump, the nation’s hegemony on the world stage may soon face its own crisis point. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of  “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller.

One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president of the United States, facing the bloated bureaucracy that passes for the “international community,” threatened to “wipe off the map” the whole of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (25 million people). And may however many millions of South Koreans who perish as collateral damage be damned.

Multiple attempts have been made to connect Trump’s threats to the madman theory cooked up by “Tricky Dicky” Nixon in cahoots with Henry Kissinger, according to which the USSR must always be under the impression the then-US president was crazy enough to, literally, go nuclear. But the DPRK will not be much impressed with this madman remix.

That leaves, on the table, a way more terrifying upgrade of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Trump repeatedly invoked Truman in his speech). Frantic gaming will now be in effect in both Moscow and Beijing: Russia and China have their own stability / connectivity strategy under development to contain Pyongyang.

The Trump Doctrine has finally been enounced and a new axis of evil delineated. The winners are North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. Syria under Assad is a sort of mini-evil, and so is Cuba. Crucially, Ukraine and the South China Sea only got a fleeting mention from Trump, with no blunt accusations against Russia and China. That may reflect at least some degree of realpolitik; without “RC” – the Russia-China strategic partnership at the heart of the BRICS bloc and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – there’s no possible solution to the Korean Peninsula stand-off.

In this epic battle of the “righteous many” against the “wicked few,” with the US described as a “compassionate nation” that wants “harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife,” it’s a bit of a stretch to have Islamic State – portrayed as being not remotely as “evil” as North Korea or Iran – get only a few paragraphs.

The art of unraveling a deal

According to the Trump Doctrine, Iran is “an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” a “murderous regime” profiting from a nuclear deal that is “an embarrassment to the United States.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted:

 “Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times – not the 21st century UN – unworthy of a reply.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov once again stressed full support for the nuclear deal ahead of a P5+1 ministers’ meeting scheduled for Wednesday, when Zarif was due to be seated at the same table as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Under review: compliance with the deal. Tillerson is the only one who wants a renegotiation.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has, in fact, developed an unassailable argument on the nuclear negotiations. He says the deal – which the P5+1 and the IAEA all agree is working – could be used as a model elsewhere. German chancellor Angela Merkel concurs. But, Rouhani says, if the US suddenly decides to unilaterally pull out, how could the North Koreans possibly be convinced it’s worth their while to sit down to negotiate anything with the Americans ?

What the Trump Doctrine is aiming at is, in fact, a favourite old neo-con play, reverting back to the dynamics of the Dick Cheney-driven Washington-Tehran Cold War years.

This script runs as follows: Iran must be isolated (by the West, only now that won’t fly with the Europeans); Iran is “destabilizing” the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, the ideological foundry of all strands of Salafi-jihadism, gets a free pass); and Iran, because it’s developing ballistic that could – allegedly – carry nuclear warheads, is the new North Korea.

That lays the groundwork for Trump to decertify the deal on October 15. Such a dangerous geopolitical outcome would then pit Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi against Tehran, Moscow and Beijing, with European capitals non-aligned. That’s hardly compatible with a “compassionate nation” which wants “harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife.”

Afghanistan comes to South America

The Trump Doctrine, as enounced, privileges the absolute sovereignty of the nation-state. But then there are those pesky “rogue regimes” which must be, well, regime-changed. Enter Venezuela, now on “the brink of total collapse,” and run by a “dictator”; thus, America “cannot stand by and watch.”

No standing by, indeed. On Monday, Trump had dinner in New York with the presidents of Colombia, Peru and Brazil (the last indicted by the country’s Attorney General as the leader of a criminal organization and enjoying an inverted Kim dynasty rating of 95% unpopularity). On the menu: regime change in Venezuela.

Venezuelan “dictator” Maduro happens to be supported by Moscow and, most crucially, Beijing, which buys oil and has invested widely in infrastructure in the country with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht crippled by the Car Wash investigation.

The stakes in Venezuela are extremely high. In early November, Brazilian and American forces will be deployed in a joint military exercise in the Amazon rainforest, at the Tri-Border between Peru, Brazil and Colombia. Call it a rehearsal for regime change in Venezuela. South America could well turn into the new Afghanistan, a consequence that flows from Trump’s assertion that “major portions of the world are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell.”

For all the lofty spin about “sovereignty”, the new axis of evil is all about, once again, regime change.

Russia-China aim to defuse the nuclear stand-off, then seduce North Korea into sharing in the interpenetration of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), via a new Trans-Korea Railway and investments in DPRK ports. The name of the game is Eurasian integration.

Iran is a key node of BRI. It’s also a future full member of the SCO, it’s connected – via the North-South Transport Corridor – with India and Russia, and is a possible future supplier of natural gas to Europe. The name of the game, once again, is Eurasian integration.

Venezuela, meanwhile, holds the largest unexplored oil reserves on the planet, and is targeted by Beijing as a sort of advanced BRI node in South America.

The Trump Doctrine introduces a new set of problems for Russia-China. Putin and Xi do dream of reenacting a balance of power similar to that of the Concert of Europe, which lasted from 1815 (after Napoleon’s defeat) until the brink of World War I in 1914. That’s when Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia decided that no European nation should be able to emulate the hegemony of France under Napoleon. In sitting as judge and executioner, Trump’s “compassionate” America certainly seems intent on echoing such hegemony.

Posted in USA, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela0 Comments

Trump Threatens North Korea with “Effective and Overwhelming” Military Force

NOVANEWS
 

In the wake of North Korea’s missile launch, US President Trump and his top officials have once again threatened to use military force to end the supposed threat posed by the small, economically backward country and its limited nuclear arsenal.

Speaking at an Air Force installation outside Washington, Trump condemned North Korea and declared that the US would “defend our people, our nations, and our civilization, from all who dare to threaten our way of life.”

Against the backdrop of a nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber, Trump told the assembled Air Force personnel:

“After seeing your capabilities and commitment here today, I am more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming.”

Trump and his top officials have repeatedly stressed that “all options are on the table” and hinted the US would use its vast nuclear capability against North Korea.

The UN Security Council has issued a statement after its emergency session on Friday condemning North Korea’s latest test of an intermediate range missile that flew over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean as “highly provocative.”

Under pressure from Washington, the UN Security Council on Monday imposed its harshest sanctions yet on North Korea over its sixth nuclear test on September 3. The latest resolution banned the purchase of North Korean textile exports, restricted the hire of its guest workers and capped its oil imports.

Yesterday’s statement called on all UN member states to “fully, comprehensively and immediately” implement all the sanctions. At the same time, it stressed the need to “reduce tension in the Korean Peninsula” and to promote “a peaceful and comprehensive solution.”

Trump, however, has already dismissed the latest UN sanctions. Speaking on Tuesday, he declared that the UN vote was “just another very small step, not a big deal,” adding that he did not know “if it has any impact.” He said that the sanctions would pale in comparison to “what ultimately will have to happen” to North Korea.

Yesterday, senior Trump officials warned that time was running out for any diplomatic solution.

At a White House briefing yesterday, national security adviser H.R. McMaster underscored the willingness of the US to use military force.

“For those who have said, and been commenting about a lack of a military option, there is a military option.”

While saying that “now it [military force] is not what we would prefer to do,” McMaster warned that time was short.

“We’ve been kicking the can down the road, and we’re out of road,” he said.

Speaking at the same briefing, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley suggested that the UN had run out of options and she would support the use of the military against North Korea.

“There is not a whole lot the Security Council is going to be able to do from here when you have cut 90 percent of the trade and 30 percent of the oil to [North Korea],” Haley said. “So, having said that, I have no problem with kicking it to [US Defense Secretary James] Mattis because I think he has plenty of options.”

The provocative US threats of war are also directed at putting even more pressure on China and also Russia to strong-arm the Pyongyang regime into capitulating to US demands to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Beijing and Moscow to take “direct actions of their own.” He called on all countries to implement UN sanctions but singled out China saying that it supplied North Korea with “most of its oil” and Russia as the “largest employer of North Korean forced labour.”

“China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,” Tillerson declared.

Earlier this week, US Assistant Treasury Secretary Marshall Billingslea accused China of circumventing UN sanctions and assisting in the trade of banned goods with North Korea. He claimed to have evidence of Chinese and Russian collusion in the smuggling of coal out of North Korea.

Billingslea said that the Trump administration had told China that if it wished to avoid further sanctions, the United States needs to “urgently” see action. The US has already imposed bans on a number of Chinese individuals and entities, including the Bank of Dandong, over their alleged business dealings with North Korea.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on that the US has “sent a message that anybody that wanted to trade with North Korea, we consider them not trading with us. We can put economic sanctions to stop people trading.”

Mnuchin’s comments echo those of Trump who threatened to cut off trade with China if it did not end all business dealings with North Korea. The threats make clear that the Trump administration’s reckless escalation of the confrontation with North Korea is part of a broader strategy aimed at undermining China, which is regarded by the US as the main obstacle to its regional and global hegemony.

China and Russia are caught in a bind. Both countries have opposed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs because the US has exploited them to justify its military build-up throughout Asia.

Beijing is also concerned that South Korea and Japan will use North Korea as a pretext to develop their own nuclear arsenal. South Korea’s defence minister has already suggested that the US return tactical nuclear weapons to his country.

At the same time, China and Russia do not want to see either a war in their backyard on the Korean Peninsula or a political crisis in Pyongyang that could be exploited by Washington to install a pro-US regime.

The Russian foreign ministry yesterday joined with China in condemning North Korea’s latest missile test over mainland Japan, but at the same time criticised the US for its “aggressive” role in the crisis.

“Regrettably, aggressive rhetoric is the only thing coming from Washington,” a spokesman said.

China and Russia are continuing to push for a resumption of negotiations based on a halt by the US and South Korea on large joint military exercises, in return for North Korea suspending further nuclear and missile tests. The US has repeatedly dismissed any pause in its war games with South Korea.

In response to the latest North Korean missile test, the South Korean military fired a short-range ballistic missile into waters 250 kilometres off its east coast. The South Korean President Moon Jae-inbluntly warned North Korea that “we have the power to destroy North Korea and make it unable to recover.”

Posted in USA, North Korea0 Comments

US to Blame for North Korea’s Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs

NOVANEWS
 

Longstanding US hostility toward the DPRK poses a serious threat to its security – its leadership acting rationally to defend itself against feared US aggression.

Failure to develop the strongest possible deterrent would be irresponsible. The menace America poses forced North Korea to prepare for the worst.

The lesson of defenseless nations victimized by US aggression is not lost on its government and military officials.

The root of the problem on the Korean peninsula lies in Washington, not Pyongyang.

“The nature of the North Korea nuclear problem is a security issue. The core of it is the conflict between the US and North Korea,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying explained, adding:

“The cause of escalating tensions is not China, and the key to the problem is also not China. Parties…directly involved should do their duty and, any attempts to push away the problem is irresponsible.”

Beijing already made great sacrifices by agreeing to harsh sanctions on Pyongyang, Hua stressed. Her comments indicate China’s unlikelihood to permit further Security Council sanctions on the country.

Knowing they’re counterproductive, making things worse, not better, why didn’t China and Russia put a stop to them by vetoing the latest US draft Security Council resolution and earlier ones, heightening, not easing tensions, forcing the DPRK to continue developing its nuclear and ballistic missile deterrents, its only option given the major threat it faces.

According to Korean affairs expert Cai Jian,

“North Korea will not stop developing nuclear weapons because of the sanctions, as the regime now sees greater importance in increasing its bargaining power before any negotiations take place.”

“The firing of a second missile over Japan basically shows that North Korea could hit Guam, which it has threatened to do. So I still think it is not an option for the US to start a war when it seems North Korea’s nuclear weapons are more developed than expected. Both sides will have to sit down somehow.”

Stepping back from the brink on the Korean peninsula and avoiding possible war is only possible through diplomacy, an option Washington rejects, wanting endless political and economic war on Pyongyang to continue, threatening hostilities, risking possible conflict by accident or design.

After decades of an uneasy armistice, successive US administrations from Truman to Trump, refusing to formally end the 1950s war with a peace treaty, their unwillingness to respect North Korea’s sovereign independence, and today’s menacing US posture toward the country makes resolving things no simple task no matter what happens going forward.

Time and again, Washington showed it’s untrustworthy, lacking good faith, breaching deals made, North Korea and other countries leery of negotiating with a duplicitous partner.

The deplorable way America treats Iran shows what other independent countries are up against.

Aggressive wars Washington is waging against nonbelligerent states reveal the real threat North Korea faces, the same one Tehran faced for years.

Russia’s lower house State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky called Pyongyang’s latest missile test, three days after newly imposed sanctions, “a clear challenge for the global community.”

The launch “proves the uselessness of sanctions and pressure,” what Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinpingstress while opposing the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs because they heighten regional tensions and risk possible war.

“There is a need to search for a diplomatic solution to the North Korea issue rather than hold military drills near North Korea’s borders, threatening to conduct preventive strikes and reciprocal missile launches,” Slutsky stressed.

The obvious need is unacceptable to Washington.

“(T)alking is not the answer,” Trump roared.

“Political prostitute”  Nikki Haley called the Sino/Russian double-freeze proposal “insulting.” Dealing with a belligerent nation like America to resolve major issues diplomatically is near-impossible.

Its favored strategy is endless wars of aggression. It could smash North Korea harder than earlier if it wishes. The major difference between now and then is the DPRK can hit back hard – against US regional forces, South Korea and Japan.

War on the peninsula would threaten millions of people. If waged with nuclear weapons, millions could perish.

China and Russia could be forced to intervene because of the threat to their security.

The worst case scenario is unlikely but risky enough to go all-out to prevent. Large-scale conflicts begin incrementally, the way WW I and II developed.

America wasn’t involved in the first world war until more than two-and-a-half years after it began (April 1917) – over two years after Hitler attacked Poland in September 1939.

Tens of millions of people perished in both conflicts. How many regional lives would be lost if Washington dares attack North Korea, especially if nuclear war erupts?

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Congress Approves Sanctions on Iran, Russia And North Korea

NOVANEWS

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,October 2017, pp. 30-31

Special Report

By Shirl McArthur

AS REPORTED IN previous issues, AIPAC strongly promoted S. 722, introduced in March by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), a wide-ranging measure to impose sanctions “in relation to Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights.” But before the bill was brought to a vote by the full Senate, a Democratic amendment adding sanctions on Russia to the bill was agreed to by a vote of 97-2. The amendment also included a provision giving Congress the power to block any presidential effort to independently scale back existing Russian sanctions. On June 15, the Senate passed the amended bill by a vote of 98-2. The no votes were cast by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). However, the bill could not be passed by the House in its Senate-passed form, because the House parliamentarian ruled that it violates the constitutional provision that revenue bills must originate in the House.

So on July 24, after House leaders agreed to add the substance of a bill passed by the House in May to impose sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear and financial sectors, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced a slightly modified version of S. 722 as H.R. 3364. The modified bill was quickly passed, by the House on July 25 by a vote of 419-3 (the no votes cast by Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan, John Duncan of Tennessee and Thomas Massie of Kentucky), and by the Senate on July 27, again by a vote of 98-2. It was signed by President Donald Trump on Aug. 2 as P.L. 115-44. Congressional Democrats quickly praised the bill’s congressional review requirement as a rebuke to Trump’s apparent attitude toward Russia.

Previously Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), with two Democratic co-sponsors, on July 12 introduced H.R. 3203 imposing sanctions on Iran. In introducing it, Engel described it as a “House version of the Senate’s Russia-Iran Sanctions Bill.” However, the House Republican leadership chose to ignore it. Also, on July 26 Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) introduced H.R. 3425 to authorize state and local governments to adopt and enforce measures restricting investment in Iran. It has 21 co-sponsors, including DeSantis. The previously described Iran sanctions bill, H.R. 1698, introduced by Royce in March, continues to gain co-sponsors. It now has 318, including Royce.

At least five measures were introduced attacking Hezbollah and, directly or indirectly, Iran.

At least five measures were introduced attacking Hezbollah and, directly or indirectly, Iran. The one receiving the most support is H.Res. 359, introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) on May 25. It would urge “the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.” It was marked up and ordered to be reported to the full House on July 27. It has 48 co-sponsors, including Deutch.

On June 29 Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) with 10 co-sponsors introduced H.R. 3118 concerned about “Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere.” Identical bills were introduced on July 20 “to impose additional sanctions with respect to Hezbollah”: S. 1595 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and eight co-sponsors, and H.R. 3329 was introduced in the House by Royce and 13 co-sponsors. And also on July 20 Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and four co-sponsors introduced H.R. 3342 to impose sanctions on persons responsible for human rights violations by Hezbollah’s use of civilians as human shields.

The other previously described Iran-related measures have made little progress, as shown in the “Status Updates” box.

ACLU OBJECTS TO CRIMINALIZING SUPPORT FOR BDS

Of the previously described bills that claim to be pro-Israel but in fact are pro-settlements, S. 720, introduced by Sens. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in March, and H.R. 1697, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) also in March, have received the most attention. On July 17 the ACLU published a letter to members of Congress opposing the bills because they would violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The letter says, in part, “the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.” Then, on July 20, the ALCU published a post entitled, “The First Amendment Protects the Right to Boycott Israel.” So, on July 20, Cardin and Portman released a letter claiming that “nothing in [S. 720] restricts constitutionally protected free speech or limits criticism of Israel or its policies.” However, the text of the bill clearly prohibits U.S. persons from supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, “or requesting the imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.” S. 720 now has 49 co-sponsors, including Cardin and Portman, and H.R. 1697 has 254, including Roskam.

The other two “Combating BDS” [“Boycott, Divest, and Sanction”] bills strongly promoted by AIPAC have also gained some support. According to both S. 170, introduced by Rubio in January, and H.R. 2856, introduced in June by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), “a State or local government may adopt and enforce measures” to divest state or local assets from, or prohibit investment of state or local assets in, an entity that knowingly engages in BDS activity targeting Israel, or “Israel-controlled territories.” S. 170 has 45 co-sponsors, including Rubio, and H.R. 2856 has 83 co-sponsors, including McHenry.

JERUSALEM, ANTI-PALESTINIAN, ANTI-U.N. BILLS INTRODUCED

While most of the previously described measures saying the U.S. Embassy in Israel should be moved to Jerusalem have made little progress, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), with four co-sponsors, tried a different approach in introducing H.R. 3547 on July 28. It would “authorize the secretary of state to establish a permanent residence in Jerusalem, Israel, for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.”

Some of the previously introduced anti-Palestinian bills have made some progress. H.R. 1164, called the “Taylor Force Act” (after a former U.S. army officer killed in a Palestinian attack), introduced in February by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), now has 111 co-sponsors, including Lamborn. Its companion bill, S. 1697, with the same title, was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with 19 co-sponsors on Aug. 1. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee marked up S. 1697 and ordered it reported to the full Senate by a vote of 17-4 on Aug. 3. Both bills would prohibit aid to the West Bank and Gaza unless, among other things, the PA is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens by Palestinian individuals.

H.R. 2712, introduced in May by Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), which would impose sanctions on the PA, now has 22 co-sponsors, including Mast. And S. 474, introduced in February by Graham, which would limit aid to the West Bank and Gaza, now has 20 co-sponsors, including Graham.

A new anti-U.N. measure is H.Res. 433, introduced July 11 by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) with three co-sponsors. It would “disapprove of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Inscription of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger.”

H.Res. 393, introduced June 20 by Hastings and four co-sponsors, would express “support for addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict in a concurrent track with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” rather than the previous strategy of solving the Palestinian conflict first before moving on to a regional peace. It also expresses support for a two-state solution.

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT SYRIAN CIVILIANS

The full House on May 17 passed H.R. 1677, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection” bill introduced by Engel in March. It would impose sanctions on persons responsible for committing human rights violations and hindering access to humanitarian relief in Syria. When passed it had 109 co-sponsors, including Engel. H.R. 1785, “to require a comprehensive regional strategy to destroy ISIS and its affiliates,” introduced in March by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), still has 14 co-sponsors, including Kinzinger.

H.Res. 252, expressing the sense of the House on “the challenges posed to long-term stability in Lebanon by the conflict in Syria and supporting the establishment of safe zones in Syria,” introduced in April by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), now has 12 co-sponsors, including LaHood. The similar S.Res. 196, introduced in June by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) still has three co-sponsors, including Shaheen.

S.J. Res. 43, introduced in May by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), urging the passage of a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS still has no additional co-sponsors. But a new, unusually broad AUMF measure, H.J.Res. 112, was introduced July 20 by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA). It would authorize the use of force “against Islamic Extremism.”

THREE MEASURES URGE BILATERAL COOPERATION

S.Res. 108, “reaffirming the commitment of the U.S. to the U.S.-Egypt partnership,” was introduced by Cardin on April 3, with six co-sponsors. Also, on May 24 Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), with eight co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 2646, the “U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation” bill. It would extend Jordan’s inclusion among the countries eligible for certain streamlined defense sales. And on June 29 Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-WV) introduced H.R. 3146, urging the conclusion of a U.S.-Turkey Free Trade agreement.

 

SIDEBAR

Status Updates

H.R. 380, to direct the secretary of state to submit a report on designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization, introduced in January by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), now has 23 co-sponsors, including McCaul.

H.R. 566, introduced in January by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) to require a report on the use by Iran of commercial aircraft for military activities, now has seven co-sponsors, including Roskam.

H.R. 257, the Jerusalem Embassy bill introduced in January by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), now has 34 co-sponsors, including Franks.

H.R. 1159, introduced in February by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) encouraging U.S.-Israel space cooperation, now has 31 co-sponsors, including Kilmer.

H.R. 377, introduced in January by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and aimed at designating the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, now has 65 co-sponsors, including Diaz-Balart. —S.M.

Posted in Iran, North Korea, Russia0 Comments

It’s a Mad, M.A.D. World: North Korea’s Potential Arms Exports Reshape East-West Geopolitics

NOVANEWS

It’s a Mad, M.A.D. World

North Korea’s Potential Arms Exports Reshape East-West Geopolitics

Asymmetric M.A.D. – Kim, Assad, Xi & Putin: How Dr. Strangelove’s Cats Can Eat Trump’s & Bibi’s M.A.D. Canaries

Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) works well against those who do not have covert defences and against those who fear their own destruction. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un certainly wants to assure his own survival, but Kim is willing to engage in a “scorched earth” policy against South Korea and others if U.S. President Donald J. Trump and the U.S. attack North Korea first.

With VT author Jeff Smith, Part 1 of this series of articles on Kim and North Korea (“Doctor Strangelove Returns: How I Learned to Live with the North Korean Bomb“) detailed how North Korea obtained nuclear weapons; why China would help; and what North Korea’s possession and proliferation of such nukes would enable North Korea and others to do.

This article (Part 2) details North Korean exports of “Scud” missiles to Iraq, Syria, United Arab Emirates etc. and the potential for North Korea to export “Scud Nukes” to countries that have been victims of unacknowledged mini-nuke attacks (e.g., Syria, Donbass, Yemen and others). As detailed in VT’s earlier articles, China also experienced an unacknowledged mini-nuke attack on Tianjin, the port city closest to the Chinese capital, Beijing. Thus, China had adequate motivation to help North Korea with asymmetric M.A.D.

North Korea’s Missile Programme

The Hwasong-5 North Korean tactical ballistic missile was derived from the Soviet R-17 Elbrus missile. It is one of several missiles with the NATO reporting name Scud.

North Korea obtained its first R-17 missiles from Egypt in 1979 or 1980, in return for assistance during the Yom Kippur War against Israel. As relations with the Soviet Union were rather strained at the time, and Chinese assistance had proven unreliable, the North Koreans set about reverse engineering the Egyptian missiles. This process was accompanied by the construction of a missile-building infrastructure, of which the main elements were the 125 factory at Pyongyang, a research and development institute at Sanum-dong and the Musudan-ri Launch Facility.

The first missile prototypes were completed in 1984. Designated Hwasong-5, and known in the West as the “Scud Mod. A”, they were identical to the R-17Es obtained from Egypt. The first test flights occurred in April 1984, but the first version saw only limited production, and no operational deployment, as its purpose was only to validate the production process.

Production of the definitive version of the Hwasong-5 (“Scud Mod. B” or “Scud-B”) began at a slow rate in 1985. The type incorporated several minor improvements over the original Soviet design. The range with a 1000 kilogram warhead was increased from 280 to 320 kilometres, and an array of payloads was developed, including high explosive (HE), cluster, chemical, and possibly biological warheads. Throughout the production cycle, until it was phased out in favour of the Hwasong-6 in 1989, the DPRK manufacturers are thought to have carried out small enhancements, in particular to the guidance system, but the exact details are unknown.

Tongchang-ri: In this March 6, 2017, photo distributed by the North Korean government, four extended range Scud missiles lift off from their mobile launchers in Tongchang-ri in North Pyongan Province, North Korea. The four Scuds fell into the ocean 300 to 350 kilometers (185 to 220 miles) from the coast of Japan. The ruling party’s newspaper stated it was not a test to see if the missiles would work but rather a “drill” to train the troops who will “strike the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in a contingency.”

 North Korean Finds Strategic Partners

In 1985, Iran acquired 90 to 100 Hwasong-5 missiles from North Korea in a deal worth US$500 million. As part of the deal, North Korea agreed on a missile technology transfer, and it helped Iran establish a production line. In Iran, the Hwasong-5 was produced as the Shahab-1. United Arab Emirates purchased Hwasong-5 missiles in 1989.

Work on an extended-range version of the Hwasong-5 began in 1988, and with only relatively minor modifications, a new type was produced from 1989, designated Hwasong-6 (“Scud Mod. C” or “Scud-C”). It was first tested in June 1990, and entered full-scale production the same year, or in 1991.

To increase range over its predecessor, the Hwasong-6 has its payload decreased to 770 kg (1,700 lb) and the length of the rocket body extended to increase the propellant by 25%; accuracy is 700–1,000 meters circular error probability (CEP). Such range is sufficient to strike targets as far away as western Japan.

By 1999, North Korea was estimated to have produced 600 to 1,000 Hwasong-6 missiles, of which 25 had been launched in tests, 300 to 500 had been exported, and 300 to 600 were in service with the Korean People’s Army.

The Hwasong-6 was exported to Iran, where it is designated as the Shahab-2 and to Syria, where it is manufactured under licence with Chinese assistance, further export sales were made to Yemen.

Iranian Shahab-3 on i’s mobile launcher. You can’t find the missile-launchers before the missiles are fired – as the high number of Iraqi Scud launches throughout the 1991 Gulf War attests.

Gulf War 1 – Iraqi Scuds Bombard Israel & Saudi Arabia

The most famous use of Scud missiles came during the 1991 Gulf War when Iraq fired 88 locally modified Scuds at Saudi Arabia (46) and Israel (42) during January and February 1991.

The greatest tactical achievement of the Iraqi missile campaign was the destruction of a US military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on 25 February 1991, when 28 soldiers were killed and another 110 injured, effectively taking out of action an entire supply company, composed mainly of reservists from Pennsylvania.

One of the units involved in this incident, the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, specializing in water-purification, suffered the heaviest toll among US troops deployed in the Persian Gulf, with 81% of its soldiers killed or wounded. The other unit badly hit by the strike was the 47th Quartermaster Detachment.

Patriot’s Failure Illustrates The Fallacy of ABM Defence

In response to the Iraqi missiles, the US installed Patriot SAM batteries in both Israel and Saudi Arabia and claimed to be highly successful at intercepting incoming Scuds. President George H. W. Bush declared “Patriot is 41 for 42: 42 Scuds engaged, 41 intercepted!” However, it was later shown that no Scuds were successfully intercepted.

The failure of the Patriot system in tracking the Iraqi missile over Dhahran was alleged to have been provoked by a shift in the range gate of the radar, due to the continuous use of the software for more than 100 hours without resetting.

Today Patriot in it’s PAC-3 form is still widely deployed, including by Japan as a defence against North Korean missiles, however, it is highly unlikely that either Patriot nor its THAAD successor would be any more effective in the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) role than was witnessed in 1991.

On November 2, 2006, Iran fired unarmed missiles to begin 10 days of military simulations. Iranian state television reported “dozens of missiles were fired including Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 missiles. The missiles had ranges from 300 km to up to 2,000 km. … Iranian experts have made some changes to Shahab-3 missiles installing cluster warheads in them with the capacity to carry 1,400 bombs.” These launches come after some United States-led military exercises in the Persian Gulf on October 30, 2006, meant to train for blocking the transport of weapons of mass destruction.

From Scud Missiles to Thermonuclear Warheads

As we have seen, North Korea exported large numbers of Scud missiles and found willing partners to share the financial and technical burden of its missile development programme in Iran and Syria.

In part one of this article we laid out the technical details and background to how North Korea obtained it’s own thermonuclear warheads. North Korea will have the ability to manufacture more of these warheads, and there is no doubt that they will seek to export them to other nations wishing to acquire their own nuclear arsenals.

The list of nations who would be potential customers is long but at the top of the list would be North Korea’s existing strategic partners in Iran and Syria, nations who have been prime customers for North Korean arms exports for decades and who have had long-standing manufacturing partnerships with North Korea to produce ballistic missiles. Both Syria and Iraq had their own nuclear programmes, but both had to abandon them in the face of intense international pressure and both had their nuclear reactors attacked by Israeli airstrikes in order to prevent their possible use for production of weapons grade fissile materials.

These factors, compounded by the US-Israeli-Saudi campaign to destroy Syria, Iraq, Yemen and eventually Iran, which has been disguised under the flag of Islamic State act as major motivators for Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran to wish to arm themselves with nuclear weapons as deterrence against further aggression.

A tactical nuke explodes on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital, San’a

The Victims of Nuclear Strikes Seek Deterrence

As VT has reported, Syria, Iraq and Yemen have all been victims of assault by nuclear weapons. The Yemeni capital San’a was struck by a tactical nuclear weapon on 2015, most likely dropped by an Israeli F-16 fighter bomber.

Syria has been struck multiple times, including an Israeli tactical strike against Damascus that was disguised by an artillery barrage fired by the Israeli controlled ‘rebels’ who occupy the Syrian territory bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan heights. Other instances we know of include a strike on Syrian military positions near Aleppo.

Iraq was also struck by nukes several times, both during Gulf War 1 in 1991 when the Republican Guard were reduced to quivering wrecks who meekly surrendered after being hit by tactical nukes and in Gulf War 2 in 2003-4 when tough pockets of Iraqi resistance in Fallujah and the Baghdad Airport were taken out by tactical nuclear strikes. There was also the Baghdad marketplace truck bombing of 2015 where a small nuke was detonated and credit claimed by Islamic State.

The fact that these nations have fallen victim to nuclear attack provides powerful motivation for them to arm themselves with nuclear weapons in order to deter future nuclear attacks. These nations already possess the ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads, thanks to their long partnerships with North Korea, so it does not take much imagination to see how the next logical step is for North Korea to supply them with those warheads and as we explained in part one of this article, those warheads are thermonuclear devices with explosive yields of 150 to 200 kilotonnes.

Soon no nation will be able to use nuclear weapons with impunity, they will risk thremonuclear retaliation

Mutually Assured Destruction Will Soon Arise in The Middle East

The prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen arming themselves with ballistic missiles tipped with thermonuclear warheads will doubtless make the blood of the rulers of Israel and Saudi Arabia run very cold indeed. Their nations are within range of ballistic missile strikes from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and their major cities would be reduced to smouldering piles of ash by a thermonuclear weapon of the type North Korea is now producing.

Where Israel & Saudi Arabia have hitherto-fore been able to carry out tactical nuclear strikes with impunity, that will no longer be the case once North Korea begins to export its thermonuclear warheads. If Israel and their Saudi cohorts repeated their nuclear strikes on Damascus or San’a, they would be running the risk of seeing Tel-Aviv or Riyadh incinerated in response.

This new era of Mutually Assured Destruction will be just one part of a new world order that is truly multi-polar, where the USA is no longer the ‘bully in the yard’ and able to manipulate and coerce other nations or to carry out regime change. This new world order will no longer be dominated by any single power, rather, we will see Russia, China and India become legitimate superpowers in their own right; smaller nations like Iran and Venezuela will no longer be victimised.

Although, at first hearing, it may sound incongruous, but I believe that this new world order where thermonuclear weapons have become widespread will be more peaceful and stable than the old unipolar world order. Furthermore, I believe that leaders across the globe, not least those in Moscow to Beijing feel the same way, otherwise they would not have stood by and allowed North Korea to develop thermonuclear weapons and would be taking active steps to ensure Pyongyang not only ceased to develop it’s nuclear arsenal, but to also ensure there was no chance of such weapons proliferating.

In part 3 of this series of articles we will delve deeper into the underlying geopolitical machinations that have lead to the dawn of this new thermonuclear reality.

See Also: De-Nuking the Trump-Kim Pissing Contest by Thomas J. Mattingly

 

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