Tag Archive | "nORTH Korea"

Why North Korea Wants Nuke Deterrence


NOVANEWS

The revelation that North Korea hacked into South Korea’s military secrets and found U.S. plans for a preemptive “decapitation” of Pyongyang’s leadership explains its rush to build a nuclear deterrent, says Nicolas J S Davies.

Featured image: North Korean missile launch on March 6, 2017.

The Western media has been awash in speculation as to why, about a year ago, North Korea’s “crazy” leadership suddenly launched a crash program to vastly improve its ballistic missile capabilities. That question has now been answered.

In September 2016, North Korean cyber-defense forces hacked into South Korean military computers and downloaded 235 gigabytes of documents. The BBC has revealed that the documents included detailed U.S. plans to assassinate North Korea’s president, Kim Jong-un, and launch an all-out war on North Korea. The BBC’s main source for this story is Rhee Cheol-hee, a member of the Defense Committee of the South Korean National Assembly.

These plans for aggressive war have actually been long in the making. In 2003, the U.S. scrapped an agreement signed in 1994 under which North Korea suspended its nuclear program and the U.S. agreed to build two light water reactors in North Korea. The two countries also agreed to a step-by-step normalization of relations. Even after the U.S. scrapped the 1994 Agreed Framework in 2003, North Korea did not restart work on the two reactors frozen under that agreement, which could by now be producing enough plutonium to make several nuclear weapons every year.

However, since 2002-03, when President George W. Bush included North Korea in his “axis of evil,” withdrew from the Agreed Framework, and launched an invasion of Iraq over bogus WMD claims, North Korea once again began enriching uranium and making steady progress toward developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver them.

By 2016, the North Koreans also were keenly aware of the horrific fate of Iraq and Libya and their leaders after the countries did surrender their unconventional weapons. Not only did the U.S. lead bloody “regime change” invasions but the nations’ leaders were brutally murdered, Saddam Husseinby hanging and Muammar Gaddafi sodomized with a knife and then summarily shot in the head.

So, the discovery of the U.S. war plan in 2016 sounded alarm bells in Pyongyang and triggered an unprecedented crash program to quickly expand North Korea’s ballistic missile program. Its nuclear weapons tests established that it can produce a small number of first-generation nuclear weapons, but it needed a viable delivery system before it could be sure that its nuclear deterrent would be credible enough to deter a U.S. attack.

In other words, North Korea’s main goal has been to close the gap between its existing delivery systems and the missile technology it would need to actually launch a retaliatory nuclear strike against the United States. North Korea’s leaders see this as their only chance to escape the same kind of mass destruction visited on North Korea in the first Korean War, when U.S.-led air forces destroyed every city, town and industrial area and General Curtis LeMay boasted that the attacks had killed 20 percent of the population.

Through 2015 and early 2016, North Korea only tested one new missile, the Pukkuksong-1 submarine-launched missile. The missile launched from a submerged submarine and flew 300 miles on its final, successful test, which coincided with the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises in August 2016.

North Korea also launched its largest satellite to date in February 2016, but the launch vehicle seemed to be the same type as the Unha-3 used to launch a smaller satellite in 2012.

However, since the discovery of the U.S.-South Korean war plans a year ago, North Korea has vastly accelerated its missile development program, conducting at least 27 more tests of a wide range of new missiles and bringing it much closer to a credible nuclear deterrent. Here is a timeline of the tests:

Two failed tests of Hwasong-10 medium-range ballistic missiles in October 2016.

Two successful tests of Pukguksong-2 medium-range ballistic missiles, in February and May 2017. The missiles followed identical trajectories, rising to a height of 340 miles and landing in the sea 300 miles away. South Korean analysts believe this missile’s full range is at least 2,000 miles, and North Korea said the tests confirmed it is ready for mass production.

Four medium-range ballistic missiles that flew an average of 620 miles from the Tongchang-ri space center in March 2017.

Two apparently failed missile tests from Sinpo submarine base in April 2017.

Six tests of Hwasong-12 medium-range ballistic missiles (range: 2,300 to 3,700 miles) since April 2017.

A failed test of a missile believed to be a “KN-17” from Pukchang airbase in April 2017.

Test of a Scud-type anti-ship missile that flew 300 miles and landed in the Sea of Japan, and two other tests in May 2017.

Several cruise missiles fired from the East coast in June 2017.

A test of a powerful new rocket engine, maybe for an ICBM, in June 2017.

North Korea tested two Hwasong-14 “near-ICBMs” in July 2017. Based on these tests, the Hwasong-14 may be capable of hitting city-sized targets in Alaska or Hawaii with a single nuclear warhead, but cannot yet reach the U.S. West Coast.

Four more missiles tested in August 2017, including a Hwasong-12 that flew over Japan and travelled 1,700 miles before breaking up, maybe as a result of a failure in a “Post Boost Vehicle” added to improve range and accuracy.

Another ballistic missile flew 2,300 miles over the Pacific on September 15, 2017.

An analysis of the two tests of the Hwasong-14 in July by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) concluded that these missiles are not yet capable of carrying a 500 kg payload as far as Seattle or other U.S. West Coast cities. BAS notes that a first generation nuclear weapon based on the Pakistani model that North Korea is believed to be following could not weigh less than 500 kg, once the weight of the warhead casing and a heat shield to survive reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere are taken into account.

Global Reaction

Awareness of the role of the U.S. war plan in spurring the dramatic escalation of North Korea’s missile program should be a game changer in the world’s response to the crisis over Korea, since it demonstrates that the current acceleration of the North Korean missile program is a defensive response to a serious and potentially existential threat from the United States.

If the United Nations Security Council was not diplomatically and militarily intimidated by the United States, this knowledge should trigger urgent action in the Security Council to require all sides to make a firm commitment to peaceful and binding diplomacy to formally end the Korean War and remove the threat of war from all the people of Korea. And the whole world would unite politically and diplomatically to prevent the U.S. from using its veto to avoid accountability for its leading role in this crisis. Only a unified global response to potential U.S. aggression could possibly convince North Korea that it would have some protection if it eventually halted its nuclear weapons program.

But such unity in the face of a threat of U.S. aggression would be unprecedented. Most U.N. delegates quietly sat and listened on Sept. 19 when President Donald Trump delivered explicit threats of war and aggression against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, while boasting about his missile strike against Syria on April 6 over dubious and disputed claims about a chemical weapons incident.

For the past 20 years or more, the United States has swaggered about as the “last remaining superpower” and the “indispensable nation,” a global law unto itself, using the dangers of terrorism and weapons proliferation and highly selective outrage over “dictators” as propaganda narratives to justify illegal wars, CIA-backed terrorism, its own weapons proliferation, and support for its favored dictators like the brutal rulers of Saudi Arabia and other Arab monarchies.

For even longer, the United States has been two-faced about international law, citing it when some adversary can be accused of a violation but ignoring it when the U.S. or its allies are trampling on the rights of some disfavored country. When the International Court of Justice convicted the United States of aggression (including acts of terrorism) against Nicaragua in 1986, the U.S. withdrew from the ICJ’s binding jurisdiction.

Since then, the U.S. has thumbed its nose at the entire structure of international law, confident in the political power of its propaganda or “information warfare” to cast itself as the guardian of law and order in the world, even as it systematically violates the most basic rules spelled out in the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions.

U.S. propaganda treats the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions, the world’s “Never again” to war, torture and the killing of millions of civilians in the Second World War, as relics of another time that it would be naive to take seriously.

But the results of the U.S. alternative — its lawless “might makes right” war policy — are now plain for all to see. In the past 16 years, America’s post-9/11 wars have already killed at least two million people, maybe many more, with no end in sight to the slaughter as the U.S.’s policy of illegal war keeps plunging country after country into intractable violence and chaos.

An Ally’s Fears

Just as North Korea’s missile programs are a rational defense strategy in the face of the threat Pyongyang faces from the U.S., the exposure of the U.S.’s war plan by American allies in South Korea is also a rational act of self-preservation, since they too are threatened by the possibility of war on the Korean peninsula.

Now maybe other U.S. allies, the wealthy countries that have provided political and diplomatic cover for the U.S.’s 20-year campaign of illegal war, will finally reassert their humanity, their sovereignty and their own obligations under international law, and start to rethink their roles as junior partners in U.S. aggression.

Countries like the U.K., France and Australia will sooner or later have to choose between forward-looking roles in a sustainable, peaceful multi-polar world and a slavish loyalty to the ever-more desperate death throes of U.S. hegemony. Now might be a good moment to make that choice, before they are dragged into new U.S. wars in Korea, Iran or Venezuela.

Even Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is afraid that Donald Trump will lead humanity into World War III. But it might come as a surprise to people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and parts of a dozen other countries already engulfed by U.S.-driven wars to learn that they are not already in the midst of World War III.

Perhaps what really worries the Senator is that he and his colleagues may no longer be able to sweep these endless atrocities under the plush carpets of the halls of Congress without a genteel Barack Obama in the White House to sweet-talk U.S. allies around the world and keep the millions being killed in U.S. wars off U.S. TVs and computer screens, out of sight and out of mind.

If politicians in the U.S. and around the world need the ugliness of Donald Trump as a mirror for their own greed, ignorance and temerity, to shame them into changing their ways, so be it – whatever it takes. But it should not escape anyone anywhere that the signature on this diabolical war plan that now threatens to kill millions of Koreans was not Donald Trump’s but Barack Obama’s.

George Orwell might well have been describing the partisan blindness of the West’s self-satisfied, so easily deluded, neoliberal society when he wrote this in 1945,

“Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labor, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its color when it is committed by our side… The Nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

Here’s the bottom line: The United States has been planning to assassinate Kim Jong Un and to launch an all-out war on North Korea. There. You’ve heard it. Now, can you still be manipulated into believing that Kim Jong Un is simply “crazy” and North Korea is the gravest threat to world peace?

Or do you now understand that the United States is the real threat to peace in Korea, just as it was in Iraq, Libya and many other countries where the leaders were deemed “crazy” and U.S. officials (and the Western mainstream media) promoted war as the only “rational” alternative?

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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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North Korea Solution Depends on ‘Containment of the US’


 NOVANEWS

No one wants nuclear war, yet that is the trajectory the US and NATO are on with not just North Korea, but potentially China and Russia too, journalist John Pilger fears. In fact, he says the crisis over North Korea is just “a sideshow to the main game.”

On Tuesday, investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger spoke with RT America’s Natasha Sweatte about the seemingly escalating nuclear situation on the Korean peninsula.

RT: What are your thoughts on what the North Korean ambassador to Russia said today, that no sanctions will make North Korea change its policies, adding that North Korea’s nuclear program will help his country manage the “hostile policy” of the US? Don’t you think it’s just an excuse for Kim Jong-un to build up his arsenal?

John Pilger: Look, the problem is not North Korea. The problem is not Russia. The problem is not China. The problem is the United States.

There have been a number of agreements in the past, 1992, 1994, between North and South Korea to denuclearize Korea. The problem is the United States, and you have to look at this broadly. The problem for the rest of the world actually, now, is the containment of the United States. The US used to, during the first Cold War, talk about the containment of the Soviet Union, but no. It’s the containment of the United States and frankly, it always has been.

Yes, it’s an unpredictable regime, but there’s absolutely no doubt that if North Korea hadn’t developed nuclear weapons, it would’ve been attacked. Or the same thing would have happened, something similar would have happened to North Korea as happened to Libya and Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan.

RT: Will China help enforce the UN sanctions, and do you think the country feels alarmed over the recent actions coming out of Pyongyang?

JP: No, China is mostly alarmed by the United States, not by North Korea. It’s always been rather a worry that North Korea might provoke the United States, but even these sanctions that have gone through the Security Council, the United Nations sanctions, China has all ways of getting ’round them. They use Chinese currency, Chinese firms, so they don’t really work anyway. China’s main concern is that Pyongyang will provoke the United States, and that’s always, historically, that’s always been China’s concern.

RT: And speaking of sanctions to North Korea, why do you think the United Nations is targeting some of the country’s biggest remaining foreign revenue streams, but leaving its oil alone, which clearly, it would need for its huge military?

JP: I don’t know, frankly, and I don’t think it actually matters. Because, these sanctions are just going to not work on North Korea. North Korea has, over the years, developed a way of life, a way of development, a way of developing its strategic weapons, knowing that it’s going to be almost in a permanent state of siege. So, I don’t think any of these sanctions matter at all.

As I say, North Korea will be able to – they’ve stopped short at oil anyway – but North Korea will be supported by China. China just does it in a different way. They, instead of dealing with Koreans, deal with Chinese businessmen in Korea, so, like all sanctions, there are ways ‘round them.

Sanctions are irrelevant in a sense to this whole debate. What is needed is a peace treaty with North Korea, between the United States and North Korea and the government in Seoul.

But where it’s all heading is the most worrying thing of all. And we’ve just seen, although it’s not reported as far as I can tell in the United States, we’ve now seen a NATO document in Germany released by a research group there and in several of the German newspapers, that says that the whole question of whether NATO actually increases its nuclear weapons is the most important one.

And what this document is saying is that there is the beginning of the end of the intermediate range nuclear weapons treaty. That’s the most important treaty of the old Cold War. Once you take that away, then you’ve got the real threat of nuclear war between the great powers. So, in a way, North Korea is a sideshow to this. That’s the main game.

RT: And now it’s rumored that President Trump will visit China in November, and you know, he’s invited President Xi Jinping to Mar-a-Lago and has said some nice things about the president. Why do you think China hasn’t really stepped in by now to try and help ease tensions between the US and North Korea. Does China have too much of a stake in North Korea financially?

JP: I think China has stepped in to ease tensions. China and Russia have a strategic plan that they put to the United States that has been dismissed out of hand, that says if the United States and the government in South Korea stop these provocative military exercises, that he include as they put it, the decapitation of the Pyongyang regime, if they stop these provocative exercises, then the current testing in North Korea itself will cease.

So, China and Russia have actually come forward with positive plans. As I said at the beginning, the real problem to all this is the containment of the world’s biggest nuclear power, the United States.

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Russia and China Versus the West on North Korea


NOVANEWS

Their positions are world’s apart – evident in Monday’s Security Council meeting on North Korea.

Russia and China urge diplomacy to resolve a deepening crisis. They want tensions defused.

They oppose counterproductive tougher sanctions, threats and saber rattling, encouraging enhanced development of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Above all, they want war on the Korean peninsula avoided. They sensibly proposed a double-freeze.

In return for Washington, South Korea and Japan halting their provocative military exercises Pyongyang believes are rehearsals for war, Russia and China call for suspension of the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya warned that possible confrontation on the Korean peninsula is “high as never before,” peace experiencing a “serious test.”

He urged the international community to act “calmly and in a balanced way” – not “succumb to emotion.”

He criticized North Korea for undermining regional non-proliferation, posing a major threat to world peace – with possible “dire consequences” for its own country.

He urged diplomacy involving all relevant parties to defuse tensions and resolve the deepening crisis.

China’s UN envoy Liu Jieyi said his government won’t allow war and chaos on the Korean peninsula. He called for a dual-track, double-freeze explained above.

“(W)e we strongly urge (North Korea)…stop taking actions that are wrong, deteriorating the situation and not in line with its own interests either and truly return to the track of resolving the issue through dialogue,” he stressed.

Washington, Britain, France and Japan called for tougher sanctions in lieu of responsible diplomacy. After Monday’s meeting, US UN envoy Nikki Haley said she’s preparing a draft resolution, calling for tough new sanctions to be voted on in days.

Separately, Vladimir Putin and South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke by phone. Russia’s leader urged diplomacy over further escalating tensions.

In Washington, Trump approved the sale of billions of dollars of weapons and munitions to South Korea. Moon agreed to permit four more THAAD missile system installations in Seongju – where two others are already deployed.

China and Russia demand removal of existing ones from South Korean territory, calling them a serious threat to their security.

Moscow and Beijing are united for regional peace – adamant about wanting the threat of war eliminated.

Washington remains hardline, rejecting the only ways to reduce tensions on the peninsula and avoid possible war by accident or design.

Dangerously heightened tensions show no signs of easing. Unbending US hostility toward Pyongyang bears responsibility – the way it’s been throughout the DPRK’s history.

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North Korea and the “Axis of Evil”


NOVANEWS
 

This 2004 article by award winning author, peace activist  and Vietnam war veteran Brian Willson brings to light the process of demonization directed against the people of North Korea. 

In the words of General Curtis Lemay who led the bombing raids during the Korean war:  “Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population.” 

According to Brian Willson:

“It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerance of another.”

Let us carefully analyze the current context of confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang. Since the end of the Korean War, the DPRK has repeatedly put forward a proposal involving  a peace treaty, the reunification of North and South Korea,  the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, the end of the conduct, on a yearly basis of  a month-long U.S-South Korean war games.

This year’s US-South Korea war games in mid March involve a “hypothetical” US nuclear attack against the DPRK.  The war games constitute a deliberate act of provocation by the World’s foremost military power.

The media consensus –which nobody dare to challenge–  is that North Korea rather than the US  is a threat to global security. 

Where is the threat, North  Korea or the US?

A pre-emptive nuclear war against North Korea has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for over half a century.

Lets ask ourselves: Who is the Killer State? Who Possesses the WMDs? Who has the money and military hardware to pursue a global military agenda, in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East?

How could a small country of 25 million which lost 30 percent of its population as a result of US bombings in the 1950s constitute a threat to global security.

Why is this impoverished country –which has been the object of economic sanctions for the past sixty years– being threatened? 

Since the end of the Korean war the threat of a US led nuclear has been relentless, for more than half a century. 

Is Washington committed to world peace? 

Recent history suggests that countries which are opposed to US expansionism are routinely the object of acts of aggression.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, April 5, 2013, July 5, 2017


[This article was first published by Global Research in April 2004]

North Korea and the “Axis of Evil”

by S. Brian Willson

The demonization of North Korea by the United States government continues unrelentlessly. The wealthy oil and baseball man who claims to be president of the United States, used his first State of the Union address on January 29, 2002 to brand perennial enemy North Korea, along with former allies Iran and Iraq, as “the world’s most dangerous regimes” who now now form a threatening “axis of evil.” Unbeknown to the public, because it was intended to have remained a secret (whoops!), was the fact that this claimed president presented a “Nuclear Posture Review” report to Congress only three weeks earlier, on January 8, which ordered the Pentagon to prepare contingency plans for use of nuclear weapons. The first designated targets for nuclear attack were his newly identified members of the “axis of evil,” along with four other lucky nations as well – Syria, Libya, Russia, and China. That this is nothing short of a policy of ultimate terror remains unaddressed in the U.S. media.

That Koreans are deeply concerned is an understatement. However, they understand the context in which their “evil” is being portrayed, not an altogether new threat levelled at them. However, the dangerous escalation of policy rhetoric following the 9-11 tragedy now boldly warns the world of virtual total war. Vice-president Richard Cheney, another oil man from Texas, declares that the U.S. is now considering military actions against forty to fifty nations, and that the war “may never end” and “become a permanent part of the way we live.”1 The Pentagon has declared that the widening gap between the “Haves” and “Have-nots” poses a serious challenge to the U.S., requiring a doctrine of “full spectrum dominance.” Thus, the U.S. demands total capacity to conquer every place and its inhabitants in and around the Earth, from deep underground bunkers, including those in North Korea and Iraq, through land, sea, and air, to outer space. All options for achieving global and spatial hegemony are now on the table. Already, the U.S. military is deployed in 100 different countries.2 Total war, permanent war. Terror!

Addiction to use of terror by the United States is nothing new. The civilization was founded and has been sustained by use of terror as a primary policy. For example, in 1779, General George Washington ordered destruction of the “merciless Indian savages” of upstate New York, instructing his generals to “chastize” them with “terror.” The generals dutifully carried out these orders. In 1866, General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered “extermination” with vindictive earnestness of the Sioux. They were virtually exterminated. Secretary of War Elihu Root (1899-1904) under President’s McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, justified the ruthless U.S. military conduct in the Philippines that savagely killed a half-million citizens by citing “precedents of the highest authority:” Washington’s and Sherman’s earlier orders.3

War against nations around the world is not new either. The U.S., over its history, has militarily intervened over 400 times, covertly thousands of times, in over one hundred nations.4 Virtually all these interventions have been lawless. It has bombed at least eighteen nations since it dropped Atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. It has used chemical warfare against Southeast Asia, and has provided chemical warfare agents for use by other nations such as Iraq. It has used biological warfare against China, North Korea, and Cuba. The Koreans are quite aware of most of this history. Most U.S. Americans are not. But now the U.S. has declared a unilateral terrorist war on the whole world.5

Two of the interventions in the Nineteenth Century were inflicted against Korea, the first in 1866. The second, larger one, in 1871, witnessed the landing of over 700 marines and sailors on Kanghwa beach on the west side of Korea seeking to establish the first phases of colonization. Destroying several forts while inflicting over 600 casualties on the defending Korean natives, the U.S. withdrew realizing that in order to assure hegemonic success, a much larger, permanent military presence would be necessary. The North Korean people regularly remark about this U.S. invasion, even though most in South Korea do not know of it due to historic censorship. Most in the U.S. don’t know about it either, for similar reasons, even though in all of the Nineteenth Century, this was the largest U.S. military force to land on foreign soil outside of Mexico and Canada until the “Spanish American War” in 1898.

 

I believe it important for U.S. Americans to place themselves in the position of people living in targeted countries. That North Korea, a nation of 24 million people, i.e., one-twentieth the population of the U.S., many of them poor, a land slightly larger in area than the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, continues to be one of the most demonized nations and least understood, totally perplexes the Korean people. It is worthwhile to seek an understanding of their perspective.

I recently visited that nation and talked with a number of her citizens. I travelled 900 ground miles through six of North Korea’s nine provinces, as well as spending time in Pyongyang, the capital, and several other cities. I talked with dozens of people from all walks of life. Though times have been hard for North Koreans, especially in the 1990s, they long ago proudly rebuilt all of their dozens of cities, thousands of villages, and hundreds of dykes and dams destroyed during the war.

U.S. interference into the sovereign life of Korea immediately upon the 1945 surrender of the hated Japanese, who had occupied the Korean Peninsula for forty years, is one of the major crimes of the Twentieth Century, from which the Korean people have never recovered. (SEE “United States Government War Crimes,” Spring 2002 – issue # 1 of Global Outlook). From a North Korean’s perspective they (1) have vigorously opposed the unlawful and egregious division of their country from day one to the present, (2) were blamed for starting the “Korean War” which in fact had been a struggle between a minority of wealthy Koreans supporting continued colonization in collaboration with the U.S. and those majority Koreans who opposed it, (3) proudly and courageously held the U.S. and its “crony U.N. allies” to a stalemate during the “War,” and (4) have been tragically and unfairly considered a hostile nation ever since. They have not forgotten the forty years of Japanese occupation that preceded the U.S. imposed division and subsequent occupation that continues in the South. They deeply yearn for reunification of their historically unified culture.

Everyone I talked with, dozens and dozens of folks, lost one if not many more family members during the war, especially from the continuous bombing, much of it incendiary and napalm, deliberately dropped on virtually every space in the country. “Every means of communication, every installation, factory, city, and village” was ordered bombed by General MacArthur in the fall of 1950. It never stopped until the day of the armistice on July 27, 1953. The pained memories of people are still obvious, and their anger at “America” is often expressed, though they were very welcoming and gracious to me. Ten million Korean families remain permanently separated from each other due to the military patrolled and fenced dividing line spanning 150 miles across the entire Peninsula.

Let us make it very clear here for western readers. North Korea was virtually totally destroyed during the “Korean War.” U.S. General Douglas MacArthur’s architect for the criminal air campaign was Strategic Air Command head General Curtis LeMay who had proudly conducted the earlier March 10 – August 15, 1945 continuous incendiary bombings of Japan that had destroyed 63 major cities and murdered a million citizens. (The deadly Atomic bombings actually killed far fewer people.) Eight years later, after destroying North Korea’s 78 cities and thousands of her villages, and killing countless numbers of her civilians, LeMay remarked, “Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population.”6 It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerance of another.

Virtually every person wanted to know what I thought of Bush’s recent accusation of North Korea as part of an “axis of evil.” Each of the three governments comprising Bush’s “axis of evil” of course immediately condemned the remarks, North Korea being no exception. I shared with them my own outrage and fears, and they seemed relieved to know that not all “Americans” are so cruel and bellicose. As with people in so many other nations with whom the U.S. has treated with hostility, they simply cannot understand why the U.S. is so obsessed with them.

Koreans were relieved to learn that a recent poll had indicated eighty percent of South Koreans were against the U.S. belligerant stance against their northern neighbors. The North Korean government described Bush as a “typical rogue and a kingpin of terrorism” as he was visiting the South in February, only three weeks after presenting his threatening State of the Union address.7 It was also encouraging that the two Koreas resumed quiet diplomatic talks in March just as the U.S. and South Korea were once again conducting their regular, large-scale, joint military exercises so enraging to the North, and to an increasing number of people in the South among the growing reunification movement there.8

In the English-language newspaper, The Pyongyang Times, (February 23, 2002) there were articles entitled “US Is Empire of the Devil,” Korea Will Never Be a Threat to the US,” and “Bush’s Remarks Stand Condemned.” Quite frankly, all three of these articles relate a truth about the U.S. that would draw a consensus from many quarters around the world.

While in country, together we listened to Bush’s March 14 Voice of America (VOA) radio chastizement of North Korea. First, he stated that the North’s 200,000 prisoner population was proof of terrible repression. Though I had no way of knowing the number of prisoners in the North, any more than Bush did, I do know that the United States has 2 million prisoners which is similar in per-capita detention rate to that of North Korea if the 200,000 figure is accurate. Furthermore, the U.S. has a minimum of 3 million persons, mostly minority and poor, under state supervision of parole and probation. The U.S. sweeps its class and race problems into prison.

Second, Bush declared that half the population was considered unreliable and, as a result, received less monthly food rations. The Koreans are a proud people living in a Confucian tradition, having rebuilt their nation from virtual total destruction during the Korean war. I did not notice any obvious display of dissent. That some Koreans are desperate due to lack of food, water, and heat, especially in some rural areas, does not necessarily translate into dissent, though some are seeking relief by travel to neighboring countries.9

Third, Bush claimed that Koreans who listen to foreign radio are targeted for execution. Together we regularly listened to U.S.VOA radio broadcasts and they freely discussed the content of the broadcasts without fear of reprisals.

Fourth, Bush condemned the DPRK for spending too much on its military, causing food shortages for the people. Note: Again it must be remembered that it was the U.S. that unilaterally divided Korea following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, and subsequently ruled with a military occupation government in the south, overseeing the elimination of virtually the entire popular movement of (majority) opposition to U.S. occupation, murdering hundreds of thousands of people. The consequent Korean civil war that openly raged in 1948-1950 was completely ignored when the U.S. defined the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. The U.S. remains at war with the DPRK, never having signed a peace treaty with her. The war has left a deep scar in the Korean character with a memory that is regularly provoked by continued belligerance directed at the DPRK. The U.S. regularly holds joint military exercises with South Korean military forces aimed at the DPRK. The U.S. retains 37,000 military troops at 100 installations south of the 38th parallel. The U.S. has its largest Asian bombing range where it practices bombs five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, despite opposition from many South Koreans. And now Bush has identified North Korea as part of an “axis of evil” targeted for nuclear attack. This is no remote idea to North Koreans. The U.S. possesses nuclear weapons on ships and planes in the Pacific region surrounding North Korea. Virtually every nation in this perilous position would be concerned about their defense.

It is worth noting that the United States is the leading military spender in the world resulting in substantial underfunding of its own indispensable social programs.

Fifth, Bush accused the DPRK of selling weapons to other nations. That is like the pot calling the kettle black. The U.S. is by far the largest manufacturer of conventional, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the world. It is also the largest seller of these weapons, and has used conventional (against dozens of nations), biological (Cuba, China, Korea, perhaps others), chemical (Southeast Asia), and nuclear (Japan, and threatened to use them on at least 20 other occasions) weapons. In addition it has armed other nations with these weapons of mass destruction, including Iraq, one of those countries now identified as part of the “axis of evil.” In the year 2000, international arms sales were nearly $37 billion, with the U.S. being directly responsible for just over half of those sales. South Korea was the third largest buyer of weapons from the United States with $3.2 worth of military hardware.10  And in January 2002, South Korea was seriously contemplating purchasing an additional $3.2 billion worth of 40 F-X fighter jets from U.S. arms giant Boeing.

At the conclusion of this VOA radio broadcast, Koreans and I looked at each other in disbelief. But we also knew that we were in solidarity with each other as part of the human family. When I said goodbye to my new friends we embraced knowing that we live in a single world made up of a rich diversity of ideas and species. We know that we are going to live or die together, and hope that the arrogant and dangerous rhetoric and militarism of the United States will soon end so we can all live in peace. However, for that to happen, there will need to be a dramatic awakening among the people and a corresponding expression of massive nonviolent opposition that will make such threatening behavior impossible to carry out.

Notes

1. Bob Woodward, “CIA Told To Do ‘Whatever Necessary’ to Kill Bin Laden,” The Washington Post, October 21, 2001.

2. Bradley Graham, “Pentagon Plans New Command For U.S. Four Star Officer, Would Over See Homeland Defense,” The Washington Post, January 26, 2002.

3. Richard Drinnon, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building. New York: Schocken Books, 1990, p. 329.

4. B.M. Blechman and S.S. Kaplan, Force Without War: U.S. Armed Forces As A Political Instrument. Wash., D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1978, Appendix B; Congressional Research Service (Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division), Instances of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1993. Wash., D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 1993; William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Intervention Since World War II. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1995; John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1991.

5. William Blum, Rogue State. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2000; Stephan Endicott and Edward Hagerman, The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets From the Early Cold War and Korea. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1998.

6. Richard Rhodes, “The General and World War III,” The New Yorker, June 19, 1995, p. 53.

7.”North Korea Calls Bush ‘Kingpin of Terrorism,” Reuters wire story, February 23, 2002.

8.”South Korea Envoy to Travel North,” BBC News Online: World: Asia-Pacific, March 25, 2002. Retrieved March 26, 2002, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/world/asia-pacific/newsid_1891000/1891457.stm

9. Ji-Yeon Yuh, “North Korean Enemy Should Be Made Friend,” The Baltimore Sun, February 27, 2002.

10. Thom Shanker, “Global Arms Sales Rise Again, and the U.S. Leads the Pack, ” The New York Times, August 20, 2001.

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on North Korea and the “Axis of Evil”

If North Korea didn’t exist the US would create it


NOVANEWS
Reuters

There is only one reason why the US is obsessed with North Korea. It allows the US to maintain a massive military presence in East Asia. If not for tensions on the Korean peninsula, the US would lose its rationale for its network of military bases in the region, which are primarily meant to threaten and contain China.

In its latest move early June 2017, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted a resolution drafted by the United States to expand the scope of sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its latest missile tests.

Prior to this the UNSC had slapped North Korea with six rounds of sanctions, but Washington and its allies have been pushing for more powerful and crippling sanctions in an attempt to halt the increasing wave of missile tests by Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, President Trump said “all options are on the table” (implying a military solution), while his Vice President Pence declared the “end of strategic patience.” Pence added:

“The patience of the United States in this region has run out …………The world has witnessed the strength and resolve of the US in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan.

Pence was alluding to the 59 cruise missiles the US launched at a Syrian military airfield, and the 22,000-pound “mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat by the United States, dropped in Afghanistan.

US war games

Right after striking Syria, President Trump dispatched a giant armada led by an aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, to the Korean peninsula as a show of force. The US also dispatched a nuclear-powered guided missile submarine, the USS Michigan, to the region, capable of launching up to 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of about 1,000 miles. The 6,900-tonne USS Cheyenne arrived in the South Korean port of Busan.

The US also has nearly 80,000 military personnel in South Korea and Japan, as well as military aircraft and other hardware on a high state of alert in South Korea. The USS Ronald Reagan and its carrier strike group are based at the Japanese port of Yokosuka, while the US 7th Fleet, armed with tactical nuclear weapons, patrols the region.

US nukes are also based in South Korea and Guam, while heavy B-1 and B-52 bombers can fly from North America to Korea. In the event of a war with North Korea, the US military takes over the South Korean military with some 625,000 personnel as well as naval, air and anti-missile systems.

To top it all, U.S. performs, twice annually, the largest war games in the world with South Korea, in which it practises an assassination of North Korea’s top leadership, the invasion and occupation of North Korea, and a nuclear first strike against North Korea with imitation armaments.

The Foal Eagle war games include 300,000 South Korean soldiers and 15,000 US troops. This year, the exercises also feature Navy SEAL Team Six, which is best known for assassinating Osama bin Laden on Obama’s orders.

Moreover, an American plan was made public last September proclaiming that “the North’s capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map if it shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon”.

THAAD provokes anger

The US also installed an advanced missile system in South Korea, known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). This provoked strong opposition from China and Russia who consider it a provocative move and a threat to their national security. Chinese Foreign Ministry said:

“The THAAD deployment by the US severely disrupts regional strategic balance, undermines the strategic security interests of regional countries, including China, and does no good to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,”

THAAD system has also enraged the people of South Korea. The government there deployed 8,000 riot police to forcibly remove the residents and Buddhist monks protesting near the THAAD site.  Over 900 shaved their heads in protest. They expressed concerns about the electromagnetic waves emitted by the radar and the long-term impact on their health and agriculture

Police evicted the protestors to clear a path for 38 US military vehicles carrying THAAD parts and equipment. A total of 12 protesters sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital.

Under such conditions, any military action, however limited, would trigger a conflict that could draw in neighbouring countries. American administrations have been contemplating the idea of pre-emptive strike against North Korea, but were quickly restrained, knowing that it would prompt a counter-reaction. They couldn’t justify military action that would endanger lives of millions of Koreans, with 28,500 U.S. soldiers and 230,000 Americans living there.

US shreds peace pact 

In 1994 President Clinton entered a framework agreement under which North Korea that would end its efforts to develop nuclear weapons, while the U.S. would cut down its hostile acts.

It worked, as up to 2000 North Korea abandoned its nuclear weapons programs. Enter George W. Bush and he immediately launches an assault on North Korea, with his “axis of evil” mantra and explicit aim of regime change. North Korea in turn reverts to its erstwhile nuclear programme.

Once again, the two countries entered an agreement in 2005 and once again Bush shredded it and reverted to sanctions. North Korea backed off, and resumed its nuclear program. As Noam Chomsky said:

“If you like it, one can say it’s the worst regime in history, whatever you like, but they have been following a pretty rational tit-for-tat policy”.

DPRK not suicidal

Ex-US president Jimmy Carter once spoke about American militarism, saying since World War II, the country has been at war. He added that he “could not think of any place on earth today where the United States is working to promote peace”.

In the early 1990s, Carter met North Korean leader Kim II Sung who expressed the desire for a peace treaty with the United States. The result was a successful treaty that ended the Korean nuclear weapons program and economic embargo, allowing Americans to search for the remains of Korean War veterans.

While Bush dismantled that agreement, Obama intensified war games with South Korea, including a simulated nuclear attack on North Korea, and tightened the economic stranglehold.

In his address Carter said: “I’ve been there two or three times since the 1994 agreement, and I can tell you what the North Koreans want is a peace treaty with the United States and they want the 60-year economic embargo lifted against their people, so they can have an equal chance to trade… They make a lot of mistakes, but if the United States would just talk to the North Koreans…I believe…we could have peace, and the United States would be a lot better off in the long run.”

In fact North Korea has threatened to retaliate only in response to a U.S. pre-emptive military strike. In the 7th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea, its leader Kim Jong Un affirmed that his country “would not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty was violated.”

Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, who helped negotiate a freeze of North Korea’s nuclear program during the Clinton administration, agrees: “I believe that the danger of a North Korean ICBM program is not that they would launch an unprovoked attack on the United States. They are not suicidal.”

Lesson from Gaddafi

Perhaps it would be suicidal for them to give up their nuclear arsenal, after what happened to Gaddafi of Libya.

Undoubtedly, Kim Jong Un knows only too well how Gaddafi ended his days, the way he was overthrown and then lynched under US/NATO command. By surrendering his military weaponry, he signed his death warrant. He submitted his weapons and deposited some $200 billion of Libyan national wealth in Western banks. Yet in the end the West took its skin.

In the West it is rarely brought to light that the US has repeatedly turned down North Korea’s offers to end nuclear weapon development. Offers have been put forward by North Korea back to the Clinton administration in the 1990s but were then rejected by the US.

The most recent proposal was made in 2015 when North Korea offered to “halt nuclear testing if the United States would cancel an annual spring military exercise with South Korea”, but Washington rejected the proposal.

War crime

It is hardly surprising that North Koreans want peace, for they remember the war in the fifties when the US Air Force carpet-bombed their country with incendiaries and explosives, dropping 635,000 tons of explosive bombs and up to 40,000 tons of napalm.

They remember the worst atrocities carried out by South Korean police, who took part in prostitution rings, racketeering, blackmail and the execution of thousands of political prisoners, and routine execution of prisoners of war, including old men, women and children. Western reporters who revealed these atrocities had US censorship imposed on them.

North Korea was carpet-bombed for three years by US, destroying every town and village. In the words of Air Force General Curtis LeMay: “We burned down every town in North Korea …. Over a period of three years or so we killed – what – 20 percent of the population”.

To quote Senator John Glenn, a Korea war veteran who ended up as an astronaut, “We did a lot of napalm work …. You could strafe them, bomb them, napalm them, flying in low. Quite a variety of weapons.”

And in the final stages of the war, mass bombing (1,514 sorties) of hydro-electric and irrigation dams was done, flooding and destroying huge areas of farmland and crops. Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.

Quoting Professor Charles Armstrong, Director of the Centre for Korean Research (Columbia University):

“The physical destruction and loss of life on both sides was almost beyond comprehension, but the North suffered the greater damage, due to American saturation bombing and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating UN (read US) forces”.

Chief Justice William O. Douglas visited Korea in the summer of 1952 and declared, “I had seen the war-battered cities of Europe; but I had not seen devastation until I had seen Korea.”

One can thus barely blame North Korea if today it is highly militarised, displaying deep antipathy towards the state that rained death and destruction on its people, towns and villages. That mass killing and destruction of civilians was war crimes never brought to any court of justice.

US strategy

Instead, the US carries on with its threats of regime change and gun-boat diplomacy. Dennis Etler of Cabrillo College in California says the US refuses to deescalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula in order to maintain its network of military bases in East Asia and contain China.

“There is only one reason why US seeks to quarantine the DPRK. It allows the US to maintain a military presence in East Asia. If not for tensions on the Korean peninsula, the US would lose its rationale for its network of military bases in the region, which are primarily meant to threaten and contain China” he adds.

James R. Lilley puts it succinctly when he says: “At the end of the Cold War, if North Korea didn’t exist we would have to create it as an excuse to keep the Seventh Fleet in the region.”

He is talking of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 70 to 80 ships and submarines, 300 aircraft and approximately 40,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel

Lilley speaks as an insider, having been member, together with his close friend, George H.W. Bush, of the infamous Yale University Skull & Bones secret society. He served some three decades at the CIA along with Bush. Both Lilley and Bush were US Ambassadors to China.

Posted in North KoreaComments Off on If North Korea didn’t exist the US would create it

North Korea claims major breakthrough with first ICBM test


NOVANEWS

North Korea’s declaration that it had successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile able to reach the US mainland triggered a joint Chinese-Russian appeal for a military freeze to lower the tension between Pyongyang and Washington.

Experts said the device could reach Alaska. The launch came as Americans prepared to mark Independence Day and sparked a Twitter outburst from President Donald Trump who urged China to act to “end this nonsense once and for all”.

The North’s possession of a working ICBM — something that Trump has vowed “won’t happen” — could be a game-changer for countries seeking to thwart the military goals of the isolated state.

China and Russia called for a moratorium on further missile and nuclear tests by Pyongyang after a meeting between leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in Moscow. They also called for a simultaneous suspension of large-scale US-South Korea military exercises.

“The opposing sides should start negotiations and affirm general principles of their relations including the non-use of force, rejection of aggression and peaceful coexistence,” the joint statement said.

British foreign minister Boris Johnson asked the international community to “redouble its efforts to impose a price on this regime, which strains every nerve and sinew to build nuclear weapons and launch illegal missiles.”

The “landmark” test of a Hwasong-14 missile was overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un, an emotional female announcer said on state Korean Central Television.

The broadcaster showed his handwritten order to carry out the launch, and pictures of him grinning in celebration, clenching his fist.

The rocket was “a very powerful ICBM that can strike any place in the world”, the announcer said, and “a major breakthrough in the history of our republic”.

The North’s Academy of Defence Science, which developed the missile, said it reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometres and flew 933 kilometres, calling it the “final gate to rounding off the state nuclear force”.

There are still doubts whether the North can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile nose cone, or if it has mastered the technology needed for it to survive the difficult re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

But it has made great progress in its missile capabilities since Kim came to power. He has overseen three nuclear tests and multiple rocket launches.

In response to the launch but before the announcement, Trump asked on Twitter: “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”

The United Nations has imposed multiple sets of sanctions on Pyongyang, which retorts that it needs nuclear arms to defend itself against the threat of invasion.

– ‘All of Alaska’ –

US Pacific Command confirmed the test and said it was a land-based, intermediate range missile that flew for 37 minutes before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, adding the launch did not pose a threat to North America.

Moscow’s defence ministry called it medium-range. But Tokyo — in whose exclusive economic zone it came down — estimated the maximum altitude to have “greatly exceeded” 2,500 kilometres, prompting arms control specialist Jeffrey Lewis to respond on Twitter: “That’s it. It’s an ICBM. An ICBM that can hit Anchorage not San Francisco, but still.”

David Wright, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote on the organisation’s allthingsnuclear blog that the available figures implied the missile had “a maximum range of roughly 6,700 km on a standard trajectory”.

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

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: “This launch clearly shows that the threat has grown.”

The US, Japan and South Korea will hold a summit on the issue on the sidelines of this week’s G20 meeting, he added. “Also I will encourage President Xi Jinping and President Putin to take more constructive measures.”

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In warned the North against crossing “the bridge of no return.”

– ‘Not wise’ –

Washington, South Korea’s security guarantor, has more than 28,000 troops in the country to defend it from its communist neighbour. Fears of conflict reached a peak earlier this year as the Trump administration suggested military action was an option under consideration.

There has also been anger in the United States over the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student detained in North Korea for around 18 months before he was returned home in a coma in June.

Trump has been pinning his hopes on China — North Korea’s main diplomatic ally — to pressure Pyongyang.

Last week he declared that Beijing’s efforts had failed, but returned to the idea on Twitter following the launch: “Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

Posted in North KoreaComments Off on North Korea claims major breakthrough with first ICBM test

North Korea says ballistic missile test successful


NOVANEWS

North Korea confirmed its recent test-firing of a ballistic missile was “successful”, the state-run news agency KCNA reported Tuesday, a day after the projectile landed in waters close to Japan.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “guided” the launch — the third missile test by the nuclear-armed regime in less than three weeks — which was carried out in defiance of UN sanctions warnings and US threats of possible military action.

“The ballistic rocket flew toward the east sky where the day broke and correctly hit a planned target point… after flying over the middle shooting range,” the report said.

South Korea’s military earlier said the Scud-type missile travelled eastward for 450 km (280 miles). Japan said it believed it had fallen into its exclusive economic zone, extending 200 nautical miles from the coast.

The missile test triggered swift condemnation from US President Donald Trump who said it showed “disrespect” for neighbouring China, the North’s sole major ally, which has sought to dampen tensions over Pyongyang’s weapons programme.

Several rounds of UN sanctions have done little to stop the isolated regime from pushing ahead with its ambition to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental US.

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Pravda: North Korea, Nuclear war to start on the Day of the Sun


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North Korea: Nuclear war to start on the Day of the Sun. 60271.jpeg

North Korea may have the ability to launch missiles with warheads filled with nerve gas, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, April 13. Abe also said that North Korea may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or launch ballistic missiles again.

“There is a possibility that North Korea is already capable of delivering missiles with sarin in its  warheads,” the Japanese prime minister said at parliamentary hearings, Reuters reports. Shinzo Abe recalled the infamous sarin attack in the Tokyo subway system from 1995. The attack, conducted by Aum Shinrikyo Japanese sect, killed 12 people.

On April 15, North Korea will celebrate the 105th anniversary since the birth of the founder of the DPRK, Kim Il Sung. This is the largest national holiday in the country, which is called the Day of the Sun. Kim Il Sung is referred to as the “Sun of the Nation” in the DPRK. In the past, North Korean leaders would test weapons on April 15.

Meanwhile, spokespeople for the South Korean Defense Ministry expressed their readiness to show resistance to “provocations of the North,” which may follow in connection with the celebration of the Day of the Sun on April 15. In addition, Seoul does not exclude a possibility of either a nuclear or a missile test on the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army, which the North celebrates on April 25.

Reportedly, the DPRK is prepared for a new nuclear test. According to 38 North U.S.-Korea Institute, commercial satellite images of the North Korean nuclear test site in Phungeri showed activity at the northern terminal, as well as new activity in the main administrative zone and a certain number of personnel around the command center of the test site. The images were taken on April 12.

Against the backdrop of growing tension on the Korean Peninsula, a question arises about further actions of the allies of the two Koreas. According to Japanese media outlets, the USA supposedly considers only two options for the situation to develop: either China increases pressure on the DPRK, or the United States attacks North Korea, should Beijing continue demonstration inaction.

Noteworthy, the US administration welcomed China’s move to abstain fro the voting in favor for the draft resolution of the UN Security Council to investigate the chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib. China made the decision following President Xi Jinping’s official visit to the United States. The White House called the decision a huge diplomatic victory.

In the meantime, Syrian President Bashar Assad expressed his support for the DPRK by sending a telegram to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un congratulating him on the 105th anniversary of his grandfather’s birthday. In the message, Assad calls the DPRK and Syria “friendly countries,” that counteract to “insane ambitions of major powers” whose intent is to subjugate other countries through expansionist and predatory policies.

Russia, for its part, is also monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula. On April 11, a group of Russian Navy warships arrived at the South Korean port of Pusan. The official goal of the campaign is the demonstration of the St. Andrew’s flag in the Asia-Pacific region and the further development of naval cooperation with APR countries.

On April 13, commander of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Federation, Admiral Sergei Avakyants had a meeting with commander of the South Korean Navy, Vice Admiral Chung Jin Sobu. The meeting took place at the naval base of Pusan. The officials discusses issues of international military cooperation between the fleets of the two countries.

In the meanwhile, US aircraft carrier strike group lead by USS Carl Vinson is heading to the shores of South Korea. The group includes a missile cruiser and two missile destroyers.

DPRK officials, commenting on the dispatch of US ships to the Korean Peninsula, declared their readiness to get involved in a military confrontation with the United States should tensions escalate further. “We will take most severe countermeasures against the provocateurs to defend ourselves with the might of our weapons,” spokespeople for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said.

Pravda.Ru requested an opinion about the current development on the Korean Peninsula from Yevgeny Kim, an expert with the Center for Korean Studies at the Institute of the Far East.

“Do you think that a military conflict between North Korea and the USA is possible indeed?”

“I do not think that the Americans are crazy enough to attack North Korea, given the situation that has developed so far. The Northerners can answer. This is not Syria! They will certainly attack US ships and army bases. They have their own missiles for the purpose.”

“What does the South Korean press say at the moment?”

“The South Korean press considers the dialogue between Trump and Xi Jinping most important now. Xi Jinping has just returned from Washington. Yesterday, the Chinese leader had a telephone conversation with Trump. The fact is that Xi Jinping still believes the crisis should be resolved peacefully.

“The Americans may attack first, and then say that it was Pyongyang that attacked them first. They will use it as a reason to strike North Korea. They can do it easily, they have done that before – they started the war in Vietnam that way. They said that the Vietnamese attacked an American destroyer and a cruiser, but in fact it turned out that nothing like that happened, but the USA had already started military actions against Vietnam.

“Let’s remember the year 2013, when a decision was made to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria. ISIL terrorists staged a provocation back then too. They blew up ammo near Damascus and accused Assad of that. The Americans interfered, but Russia came to regulate the problem peacefully. Russia  said that Damascus was willing to destroy all of its chemical weapons.

“The Americans want China to put more pressure on North Korea – not only politically, but also economically. Strengthening economic sanctions against the DPRK could be an option.

“I would also like to pay attention to the recent statement from a representative of DPRK’s Ministry of Defense, who said that the Americans were trying to intimidate Pyongyang with their aircraft carriers, but North Korea would respond to the Americans accordingly. He then added: “We will not move a muscle to the actions of the Americans.”

“What does it mean?”

“North Korea is not going to take an initiative to strike the US aircraft carrier. Those people in Pyongyang are not crazy at all, they know perfectly well what an aircraft carrier is and what it can do. I’m sure that we will not see provocations on the part of North Korea: they do not want a military conflict to happen.”

“Is there any information about the evacuation of Pyongyang?”

“North Korea has repeatedly said before that the country was prepared for a military attack. They say that they can hide all their people in the mountains. I think that they have announced evacuation to be on the safe side, because the Americans are unpredictable.”

“They ordered the evacuation of 25 percent of Pyongyang residents – this is 600,000 people. Is it real?”

“They have mobilization programs in case of war. It can be real.”

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