Truth Frequency Radio


Apr 07, 2013

A Forceful Message Calling for World Peace and the Survival of Humankind.

Global Research, April 07, 2013
21 October 2010

FidelChossudov2Global Research Editor’s Note

From October 12 to 15, 2010, I had extensive and detailed discussions with Fidel Castro in Havana, pertaining to the dangers of nuclear war, the global economic crisis and the nature of the New World Order. 

These meetings resulted in a wide-ranging and fruitful interview that was published by Global Research and Cuba Debate.

The following message by Fidel against Nuclear War was recorded on October 15, 2010. It is of particular relevance in the light of recent developments on the Korean peninsula. 

Below is the text of this brief and forceful message as well the video recording.

This important message is based on Fidel Castro’s analysis and understanding of the dangers of military escalation including the threats (confirmed by statements of President Obama and [former] Secretary of State Clinton) to use nuclear weapons on a pre-emptive basis against Iran and North Korea.

Michel Chossudovsky, April 7, 2013

Fidel Castro and Michel Chossudovsky, Havana, October 2010

 FIDEL’S HISTORIC MESSAGE ON THE DANGERS OF NUCLEAR WAR  (Transcript below)

TRANSCRIPT

The use of nuclear weapons in a new war would mean the end of humanity. This was candidly foreseen by scientist Albert Einstein who was able to measure their destructive capability to generate millions of degrees of heat, which would vaporize everything within a wide radius of action. This brilliant researcher had promoted the development of this weapon so that it would not become available to the genocidal Nazi regime.

Each and every government in the world has the obligation to respect the right to life of each and every nation and of the totality of all the peoples on the planet.

Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don’t harbour the least doubt that an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict.

The World’s peoples have an obligation to demand of their political leaders their Right to Live. When the life of humankind, of your people and your most beloved human beings run such a risk, nobody can afford to be indifferent; not one minute can be lost in demanding respect for that right; tomorrow will be too late.

Albert Einstein himself stated unmistakably: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. We fully comprehend what he wanted to convey, and he was absolutely right, yet in the wake of a global nuclear war, there wouldn’t be anybody around to make use of those sticks and stones.

There would be “collateral damage”, as the American political and military leaders always affirm, to justify the deaths of innocent people.

In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.

Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear!

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 15, 2010

 

U.S. preparing for nuclear conflict: reports of deployment of ‘doomsday’ plane to Korean theater

April 6, 2013NORTH KOREA – First the US fanfared the placement of two F-22 Raptors in the Osan Airbase of South Korea. Then it demonstratively launched a B-2 stealth bomber on a training mission over a South Korean gunnery range. Then it deployed an anti-ballistic missile defense system to Guam and positioned two guided-missile destroyers in the waters near Korea. And now, courtesy of the Aviationist, we learn that the Pentagon has escalated once more in an ongoing cat and mouse game with North Korea, of who blinks first, and dispatched several B-1 (“Bone”) Lancer strategic long-range bombers to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. What is different this time, however, is that unlike the previous very public and widely trumpeted reciprocal escalation steps, this particular deployment has been kept secret from the public (at least the broader public), “a fact that could be the sign that the U.S. is not only making symbolic moves (as the above mentioned ones), but it is preparing for the worst scenario: an attack on North Korea.” Even if U.S. bombers routinely deploy to Guam (where at least two B-2s are reportedly already based), the fact that seven “Bones” were apparently moving together is something a bit unusual, even if they were not going to Andersen AFB (they might need the weather report for UAM because it was an alternate airfield or simply a stopover on their way to somewhere else). Actually, it’s also weird that some many big bombers were flying together (as the “flight of seven” heard by Douglass seems to suggest) since a standard ferry flight of multiple planes would normally see the aircraft move individually. And, another strange thing is that the pilot talked about their destination in the clear: if they wanted it to be secret, they would speak on secure radios. Nevertheless, this might have been a non-standard deployment; a move ordered hours after U.S. satellites and spy planes from South Korea and Japan had spotted North Korean missiles being readied for launch. American B-1 bomber pilots have reportedly shifted their training programs, focusing on in East Asia, more than Afghanistan and the Middle East. And, above all, any training mission has many similarities with actual sorties that would be flown against a real enemy in combat. Finally, and most disturbing, is that another aircraft also in the process of deployment is none other than the E-6 Mercury “Doomsday” plane, which are among the pinnacle in US Air force nuclear war preparedness, tasked with “providing command and control of U.S. nuclear forces should ground-based control become inoperable” and whose core functions include conveying instructions from the National Command Authority to fleet ballistic missile submarines and also to further command post capabilities and control of land-based missiles and nuclear-armed bombers. Perhaps to Kim Jong-un the military escalation to nuclear war is only one big joke, but to the US it is increasingly appearing very serious. And perhaps this is precisely what the Pentagon wanted all along?

Putting the Squeeze on North Korea

Global Research, April 06, 2013
Global Research 4 February 2013

koreamap1Tensions are escalating since North Korea’s launch of a satellite into orbit on December 12, 2012. Overwrought news reports termed the launch a “threat” and a “provocation,” while U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor called it “irresponsible behavior.” Punishment for North Korea was swift in coming.North Korea’s Kwangmyongsong-3 was just one of 75 satellites that a variety of nations sent into space last year, but Pyongyang’s launch, and a failed launch earlier in the year on April 12, were the only ones singled out for condemnation. [1] In Western eyes, there was something uniquely threatening about the Kwangmyongsong-3 earth observation satellite, unlike the apparently more benign five military and three spy satellites the United States launched last year.

We are told that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, the official name for North Korea) used the satellite launch to test ballistic missile technology. But the North Koreans could hardly have sent their satellite into orbit by slingshot. The Kwangmyongsong-3 was equipped with a camera intended to help assess the nation’s natural resources and forest distribution and to collect crop estimates. The Western press was quick to scoff at the satellite as having no rational economic purpose. Although the satellite failed to become operable, a common enough experience for nations putting their first satellite into space, the intent was to support much-needed ecological recovery in North Korea and to aid agricultural planning.

Specialists argue that the DPRK’s Unha-3 missile, used for the launch, is not a suitable candidate for delivering a nuclear warhead. According to analyst Markus Schiller of Schmucker Technologie in Germany, for North Korea to “become a player in the ICBM game, they would have to develop a different kind of missile, with higher performance. And if they do that seriously, we would have to see flight tests every other month, over several years.” [2] The North Korean missile “was developed as a satellite launcher and not as a weapon,” Schiller says. “The technology was suited only for satellite launch.” Brian Weedan, a space expert at the Secure World Foundation, agrees, and points out that the missile took a sharp turn to avoid flying over Taiwan and the Philippines. “That is definitely something more associated with a space launch than with a ballistic missile launch. It’s not what you would expect to see with a missile test.” [3]

The Unha-3 is simply too small for the job of delivering a nuclear warhead, even assuming that the DPRK had miniaturized a nuclear bomb, an endeavor requiring significant time and effort. The North Koreans would also need to develop a long-range guidance system and a reentry vehicle capable of withstanding the heat of returning through the atmosphere. Experts consider the DPRK to be years away from achieving such steps. [4]

In regard to North Korea’s satellite launches, Lewis Franklin and Nick Hansen of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation remark, “The oft-repeated phrase ‘readily convertible to an ICBM’ posed by non-technical policy experts is engineering-wise unsupportable.” They explain that while other nations have utilized ICBMs for sending satellites into space, conversion of a light missile like the Uhha-3 into an ICBM “requires considerable redesign and testing, and no country has taken this route.” [5]

The other aspect of the launch that the U.S found so provocative was its violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874 of June 12, 2009, which enjoined the DPRK from conducting “any launch using ballistic missile technology.” That resolution was prompted by a North Korean nuclear test. Yet, when Israel, Pakistan and India – all non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – not only performed testing, but proceeded to build substantial nuclear arsenals and missiles capable of delivering nuclear payloads, no action was forthcoming. This double standard has not gone unnoticed in the DPRK, which understands that the distinction between the North Korean case and that of Israel, Pakistan and India hinges on the latter three nations being U.S. allies, while for decades it has been the target of Western sanctions, threats and pressure.

Interestingly enough, India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapon-capable ballistic missiles at around the time of North Korea’s failed satellite launch on April 12, 2012. [6] The Indian and Pakistani missiles did not carry satellites; these were purely military tests, a fact which did not perturb the Obama Administration. Criticism was reserved for North Korea alone, while in regard to India’s test, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner merely noted that the U.S. has a “very strong strategic and security partnership with India.” [7] Following Pakistan’s launch, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland’s only comment was, “What’s most important is that they do seem to have taken steps to inform the Indians.” [8] These mild remarks contrasted with the vociferous abuse poured upon North Korea for its non-nuclear capable missiles carrying satellites.

Since the April ballistic missile launches, India and Pakistan have continued their tests, including India’s test of a nuclear-capable ballistic missile fired from underwater, part of its program to develop submarine-based nuclear missiles. [9] India conducted its underwater ballistic missile test on January 27, only a few days after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on North Korea for putting a satellite into orbit.

When North Korea launched its satellite, India condemned the launch as “unwarranted,” and termed it an action adversely impacting peace and stability. [10] That same day, India test fired its nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile, again without complaint by the U.S. [11] And just days after passage of the UN Security Council resolution against the DPRK, Japan put two spy satellites into space, both aimed at North Korea. [12] Not surprisingly, these missile launches evoked no complaint from U.S. officials.

South Korea successfully placed its own satellite into orbit on January 30, 2013, with the complete support of the U.S., which only added to North Korea’s growing sense of irritation over the blatant double standard. The hypocrisy is quite breathtaking. The U.S. sits atop the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, possesses the largest military machine on earth, regularly invades or bombs other nations, threatens nations who refuse to bend to its will, turns a blind eye to tests of ballistic missiles by India, Pakistan and Israel, and it condemns the small nation of North Korea for engaging in “provocative” behavior by sending a peaceful satellite into space.

The DPRK bears the distinction of being the only nation to have a UN Security Council resolution in effect banning it from launching a satellite. Yet, the international outer space treaty affirms that outer space “shall be the province of all mankind,” and that “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind.” [13] Note the language used here: “without discrimination of any kind.” This is absolutely unambiguous. The treaty does not say “except when the powerful choose to deny this right to a small nation.”

Western analysts argue that when a UN Security Council resolution contradicts international law, it is the resolution that takes precedence. That view makes a mockery of international law, which ceases to have any meaning when it can be discarded at will by imperial dictate.

The UN Charter tasks the Security Council to deal with matters relating to “threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, or acts of aggression.” The DPRK Central Committee of the Workers Party of Korea explains that its satellite launches for peaceful purposes “bear no relationship with the issues of international peace and security.” Moreover, the Security Council has never seen fit to take issue with such nations as the United States and Japan “that are speeding up militarization by launching innumerable spy satellites.” [14]

Sensing that the DPRK’s impending satellite launch would present a welcome opportunity, the U.S. started lining up support for imposing further sanctions on the DPRK well before the launch took place. Already the most heavily sanctioned nation on earth, North Korea’s economy could only suffer more damage from new sanctions. That was precisely the Obama Administration’s aim.

In anticipation of North Korea’s missile launch, South Korea under the ever-hostile administration of Lee Myung-bak, worked with other nations to identify the few remaining international bank accounts held by North Korea which had not yet been closed due to U.S. pressure. The hope was that North Korea could be completely blocked from engaging in international trade. The Lee Administration, too, perceived the missile launch as an opportunity to inflict further economic damage on its neighbor to the north. [15]

The Chinese advocated resuming the six-party talks, which were last held in December 2008. “China really believes that we ought to re-engage with North Korea,” U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke remarked, but “we don’t believe that we should be rewarding their bad behavior by sitting down and talking with them.”  U.S. diplomats adamantly ruled out talks. During negotiations in December 2012, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice bluntly told a Chinese diplomat that his nation’s resistance to additional sanctions was “ridiculous.” Rice demanded that North Korea face “consequences” for its satellite launch. [16]

U.S. officials are fond of saying that they will not reward the DPRK for its “bad behavior” by talking with its officials, but one cannot help but wonder: just whose behavior is bad? North Korean officials, whose nation exercised its right under international law and put a peaceful satellite into orbit, a right granted to all nations, and who want dialogue, or U.S. officials, who petulantly refuse to engage in negotiations, and who only know how to bully and intimidate?

The first task was to get China onboard with the concept of imposing new sanctions on its neighbor. High-ranking U.S. and South Korean diplomats met with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing on December 17, 2012. The Chinese opposed sanctions, preferring a prudent response. “The Chinese side repeated its stance that it wants to keep peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” a South Korean diplomatic source revealed. But the U.S. had “a strong willingness” to impose sanctions. “The U.S. is also sending a message to China that it will have no choice but to beef up its military readiness against North Korea’s threats unless a resolution is adopted at the U.N. Security Council.” [17]

The United States had already taken a number of steps to increasingly militarize its relations with South Korea in recent months, and it is probable that the threat to expand the U.S. military presence in the region finally persuaded the Chinese to back UN sanctions, despite their inevitable destabilizing effect. A U.S. military buildup in the region would serve a double purpose, aimed not only at North Korea but surely China as well. The Chinese were also keen to avoid straining relations with the U.S, an important trading partner.

Once the U.S. and South Korea won Chinese agreement for a UN Security Council resolution, the Obama Administration had a wish list of harsh measures that it wanted to implement via the resolution. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland announced that the Obama Administration’s plan was “to continue to increase the pressure on the North Korean regime. And we’re looking at how best to do that, both bilaterally and with our partners going forward. Until they get the message, we’re going to have to continue to further isolate this regime.” Responding to a reporter who commented that North Korea “has long wanted direct talks with the U.S.,” and asked if the U.S. would consider that or stick to the six-party format, Nuland dismissively replied, “We and our partners are not in the business of rewarding them.” [18] There would be no talks of any kind.

U.S. negotiators insisted that the UN Security Council pass a resolution rather than a presidential statement, so that it would carry more force. Under pressure, the Chinese relented. The specific sanctions to be imposed were another matter. There the Chinese were more successful. The U.S. wanted to maximize the damage that would be inflicted on the North Korean people. Chinese Ambassador to the UN Li Baodong said, “The initial draft prepared by the UNSC contained a number of sanctions, but China believed that such measures would not be helpful in defusing the situation and would only cause harm to the North Korean economy and the lives of its people. As a result of more than a month of protracted negotiations, these provisions were removed from the final draft of the resolution.” [19]

UN Security Council resolution 2087 passed unanimously on January 22, 2013, ordering the DPRK to cease launching satellites, and that “any further such activities” would result in its “determination to take significant action.” A number of measures were imposed, including travel bans and asset freezes on specified individuals involved in the DPRK’s space program and banking officials assisting in its financial dealings. Asset freezes were also slapped on the North Korean Committee for Space Technology and North Korean banks and firms involved in the space program, essentially blocking those organizations from engaging in normal international financial transactions. [20]

The U.S. and South Korea immediately began planning further sanctions that they could impose on a bilateral basis. The U.S. had already stopped food aid to North Korea many months beforehand. Among the alternatives the U.S. and South Korea discussed were stepping up inspections of North Korean ships and ways to hamper North Korean ships from travelling near the Korean Peninsula. [21] The U.S. Treasury Department wasted little time in implementing its first set of bilateral sanctions, acting the day after passage of the UN Security Council resolution. It announced that all assets under U.S. control would be frozen held by two North Korean bankers and Hong Kong-based Leader International Trading Limited. [22]

South Korea had already revised its Public Order in Open Ports Act so that it required entry clearance for container ships having visited a North Korean port during the prior 180 days; an increase from the earlier 60 day limit. A South Korean official said that Seoul intended to target shipments into and out of the DPRK. “We are considering sanctions in marine transport. Now that we have already set the legal grounds, we will start talks with other countries over additional sanctions.” [23] The intention is to cut maritime supply routes to North Korea.

Pressure on North Korea is two-fold: economic sanctions and military presence. In the midst of UN Security Council deliberations, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called for the reorientation of NATO, to “broaden the scope of our alliance security discussions beyond European and regional issues.”  The U.S. has led the expansion of NATO military operations first in its bombing operations in the Balkans, then later in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The aim is for NATO to support aggressive U.S. military operations, across all continents that adjoin Europe and the Mediterranean. “In particular,” Panetta continued, “I strongly believe that Europe should join the United States in increasing and deepening defense engagement with the Asia-Pacific region…The bottom line is that Europe should not fear our rebalance to Asia; Europe should join it.” [24]

However, there is one thing one can say about the North Koreans.  They are never cowed by imperial bullying.

Shortly before passage of the UN Security Council resolution, the DPRK sent a message to the United States, calling for negotiations to settle security concerns. That message apparently went unanswered. [25]

As soon as the UN resolution passed, the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK issued its response, stating that it “flatly rejects the unjust acts of the UNSC aimed at wantonly violating the sovereignty of the DPRK and depriving it of the right to launch satellites for peaceful purposes. The hostile forces are seriously mistaken if they think they can bring down the DPRK with sanctions and pressure.” The Foreign Ministry asserted that the “DPRK will continue to exercise its independent and legitimate right to launch satellites for peaceful purposes while abiding by the universally recognized international law on the use of space for peaceful purposes.” Furthermore, “the DPRK will continuously launch satellites for peaceful purposes.”

Noting that U.S. hostility remains unchanged, the DPRK Foreign Ministry concluded that “the prospect for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has become gloomier,” and so “there may be talks for peace and stability…but no talks for the denuclearization of the peninsula.” North Korea, it said, “will take steps for physical counteraction to bolster the military capabilities for self-defense, including nuclear deterrence…to cope with the evermore undisguised moves of the U.S. to apply sanctions and apply pressure against the DPRK.” [26] First a peace settlement must be reached; only then can talks on denuclearization can proceed.

Events on the Korean Peninsula are heading in a potentially dangerous direction. New sanctions on the DPRK and the refusal of the Obama Administration to engage in dialogue have eliminated any exit strategy. North Korea, feeling threatened, may conduct another nuclear test to further develop the best defense it has against military aggression and to assert its independence. However, South Korea promises “very grave consequences” if it follows that path. [27] The U.S. has made similarly threatening statements.

According to South Korean presidential national security advisor Chun Yung-woo, consequences must be imposed on the DPRK that it finds intolerable. North Korea must choose between nuclear weapons or its survival, he declared. “No other options must be allowed.” [28]

Ratcheting up pressure on the DPRK, the U.S. and South Korea kicked off joint naval military exercises in the East Sea on February 4, 2013, including the nuclear submarine USS San Francisco. “Through this joint military exercise, we will be able to deliver a message to North Korea that if they engage in a defiant act, it won’t be tolerated,” warned Jung Seung-jo, chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. [29]

North Korea has always responded in kind. When approached diplomatically, it negotiates and when threatened, it resists. Neither the U.S. nor South Korea is open to dialogue at the present time. Both are bent on exacerbating tensions.

China is attempting to dissuade the DPRK from carrying out another nuclear test, aware of the dangers that U.S. and South Korean aggressive reaction could present. But even if North Korea refrains from conducting another nuclear test, it is clear that the U.S. is seeking a pretext – any pretext – to squeeze North Korea harder, and it may not take much to plunge the Korean Peninsula into a terrible crisis.

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Korea Truth Commission. He is the author of the book Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit.

http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Liberators-Militarism-Mayhem-Pursuit/dp/1595265708

Notes

[1] http://www.satelliteonthenet.co.uk/index.php/2012

[2] “Experts Say North Korea Still Years Away from Reliable Rockets,” Associated Press, December 12, 2012.

[3] Ken Dilanian, “Experts Debate North Korea’s Missile Goals and Capability,” Los Angeles Times, January 9, 2013.

[4] “Experts Say North Korea Still Years Away from Reliable Rockets,” Associated Press, December 12, 2012.

[5] Steven Haggard, “More on the Missile Test,” Peterson Institute for International Economics, March 19, 2012.

[6] Aleksandr Zakharovich Zhebin, “Pyongyang will Respond to the United Nations with a Nuclear Explosion: North Korea is Abandoning the Promises of Denuclearization,” Nezavismaya Gazeta, January 25, 2013.

[7] Heather Timmons and Jim Yardley, “Signs of an Asian Arms Buildup in India’s Missile Test,” New York Times, April 19, 2012.

[8] Sami Zubeiri, “Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile,” Agence France-Presse, April 25, 2012.

[9] “India Tests Underwater Ballistic Missile,” UPI, January 27, 2013.

[10] “India Terms North Korean Rocket Launch ‘Unwarranted,” Deccan Herald, December 12, 2012.

[11] “India Successfully Test-fires Agni-I Ballistic Missile,” Press Trust of India, December 12, 2012.

[12] Stephen Clark, “Japan Launches Spy Satellites into Orbit,” Space Flight Now, January 28, 2013.

[14] Ri Hyon-to, “We Reject the UN Security Council ‘Resolution’ Fabricated Under US Initiative,” Rodong Sinmun, January 29, 2013.

[15] Kim Young-jin, “Seoul Seeks to Freeze NK Accounts,” Korea Times, December 5, 2012.

[16] “N. Korea Not Expected to See U.N. Penalties this Year for Rocket Launch,” Global Security Newswire, December 18, 2012.

“China Resists Moves to Sanction N. Korea: Diplomats,” Agence France-Presse, December 18, 2012.

[17] “U.S. Pressing China to Back U.N. Punishment for N. Korea: Source,” Yonhap, December 18, 2012.

[18] Victoria Nuland, Daily Press Briefing, U.S. Department of State, December 17, 2012.

[19] Park Min-hee, “What Made China Vote for UN Sanctions on North Korea?”, Hankoreh, January 24, 2013.

“China Says New UN Resolution on DPRK ‘Generally Balanced,’ Xinhua, January 23, 2013.

[20] UN Security Council SC/10891, “Security Council Condemns Use of Ballistic Missile Technology in Launch by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in Resolution 2087 (2013),” January 22, 2013.

[21] “S. Korea, U.S. Ponders ‘Additional Sanctions’ Against N. Korea,” Yonhap, January 23, 2013.

[22] Press Release, “Treasury Sanctions Company and Individuals Linked to North Korean Weapons of Mass Destruction Program,” U.S. Department of Treasury, January 24, 2013.

[23] Park Hyung-ki and Shin Hyon-hee, “S. Korea Analyzed Salvaged N. Korean Rocket Debris,” Korea Herald, December 14, 2012.

[24] Jorge Benitez, “Panetta: NATO Needs to Join U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific,” Atlantic Council NATO Alliance News Blog, January 18, 2013.

[25] “N. Korea Sends ‘Ultimatum’ to U.S. on Nuke Issue: Newspaper,” Yonhap, January 21, 2013.

[26] “DPRK Refutes UNSC’s ‘Resolution’ Pulling Up DPRK over its Satellite Launch,” KCNA, January 23, 2013.

[27] “S. Korea Warns N. Korea Will Face ‘Grave Consequences’ in Case of Nuclear Test,” Yonhap, January 31, 2013.

[28 “S. Korea Calls for ‘Intolerable’ Sanctions Against N. Korea’s Nuke Ambition,” Yonhap, January 30, 2013.

[29] Jeong Yong-soo, “U.S. Sends Submarine to East Sea,” JoongAng Ilbo, February 2, 2013.

Park Byong-su, “Large South Korea-US Military Exercises to Involve Nuclear Submarine,” Hanyoreh, February 2, 2013.

 

US delays intercontinental missile test over N. Korea tensions

Published time: April 07, 2013 00:36
Edited time: April 07, 2013 12:11

RT

This June 16, 2010 US Air Force file image shows a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile successfully launching June 16, 2010 from Launch Facility-10 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.(AFP Photo / Joe Davila)

The Pentagon has put on hold an intercontinental ballistic missile test in California, planned for next week, citing rising tensions with North Korea.

According to an official, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has expressed concern that performing any tests at present could be misconstrued and lead to an escalation of the situation with North Korea. He therefore, decided to postpone the ‘Minuteman 3’ missile test until next month, the official said on Friday – although the test itself bears no connection to the ongoing military exercises between South Korea and the US around the Korean Peninsula.

The defense official added that “this is the logical, prudent and responsible course of action to take.”

The 450 ‘Minuteman 3’ missiles America has can circle the globe, and are part of the three branches of the US nuclear arsenal. Other such weapons include submarine-launched ballistic missiles and those capable of being launched by bombers and stealth bombers, like the B-52 and the B-2.

Some of the latest developments in the current escalation of war rhetoric between the United States and North Korea have included Pyongyang declaring that it now has final approval for a nuclear strike on US bases in the Pacific and South Korea. The announcement earlier this week came on the heels of the US deploying its F-22 fighter jets, a ‘USS Fitzgerald’ destroyer, and strengthening its missile defenses in the region.

In the meantime, North Korea has sent out a proposal to all foreign embassies on its territory to evacuate, although, so far no embassy has done so.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un holds up a pistol as he supervises pistol and automatic file firing drills at the second battalion under North Korea People's Army (KPA), in this still image taken from video footage released on April 5, 2013.(Reuters / KRT via Reuters Tv)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un holds up a pistol as he supervises pistol and automatic file firing drills at the second battalion under North Korea People’s Army (KPA), in this still image taken from video footage released on April 5, 2013.(Reuters / KRT via Reuters Tv)

“The security of the German embassy and its exposure to danger are continually being evaluated,” the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “For now, the embassy can continue working.”

Currently, about two dozen countries have embassies in North Korea. Most of the represented governments have already made it clear they had no immediate plans to withdraw personnel; some suggested the advisory was just a ruse to fuel growing global anxiety over the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Sunday said there are no signs of repositioning of the North Korean armed forces, despite its government’s “paranoid rhetoric,” and there is no real need to recall diplomatic staff.

“It’s important to keep calm as well as to be firm and united about this,” Hague stressed.

However, there was still some “danger of miscalculation by the North Korean regime which has worked itself up into this frenetic state of rhetoric in recent weeks,” he added, saying that the UK and its international allies will keep the situation “under close review.”

Tensions are now higher than they have been at any moment during this latest standoff, which followed Pyongyang’s third mid-range missile test in February, provoking international condemnation and a fresh round of UN Security Council sanctions, to which Pyongyang has replied with the threat of a nuclear strike on the US.

Last week, Pyongyang declared it had entered a state of war with its southern neighbor, following an earlier decision to withdrawal from the 60-year armistice that ended the Korean War. North Korea had previously threatened to pull out of the 1953 armistice if the South did not halt a joint annual military exercise with the US.

Despite the worrying rhetoric and the displays of military power between the two countries, Washington says it has no evidence of North Korea engaging in any kind of mobilization effort for a large-scale attack.

Full Article

 

Fidel Castro: The Danger of Nuclear War. We Have an Obligation to Prevent a War against Korea

“The duty of avoiding war is also his [Obama] and that of the people of the United States.”

Global Research, April 06, 2013

fidelA few days ago I mentioned the great challenges humanity is currently facing. Intelligent life emerged on our planet approximately 200,000 years ago, although new discoveries demonstrate something else.

This is not to confuse intelligent life with the existence of life which, from its elemental forms in our solar system, emerged millions of years ago.

A virtually infinite number of life forms exist. In the sophisticated work of the world’s most eminent scientists the idea has already been conceived of reproducing the sounds which followed the Big Bang, the great explosion which took place more than 13.7 billion years ago.

This introduction would be too extensive if it was not to explain the gravity of an event as unbelievable and absurd as the situation created in the Korean Peninsula, within a geographic area containing close to five billion of the seven billion persons currently inhabiting the planet.

This is about one of the most serious dangers of nuclear war since the October Crisis around Cuba in 1962, 50 years ago.

In 1950, a war was unleashed there [the Korean Peninsula] which cost millions of lives. It came barely five years after two atomic bombs were exploded over the defenseless cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which, in a matter of seconds, killed and irradiated hundreds of thousands of people.

General Douglas MacArthur wanted to utilize atomic weapons against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Not even Harry Truman allowed that.

It has been affirmed that the People’s Republic of China lost one million valiant soldiers in order to prevent the installation of an enemy army on that country’s border with its homeland. For its part, the Soviet army provided weapons, air support, technological and economic aid.

I had the honor of meeting Kim Il Sung, a historic figure, notably courageous and revolutionary.

If war breaks out there, the peoples of both parts of the Peninsula will be terribly sacrificed, without benefit to all or either of them. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was always friendly with Cuba, as Cuba has always been and will continue to be with her.

Now that the country has demonstrated its technical and scientific achievements, we remind her of her duties to the countries which have been her great friends, and it would be unjust to forget that such a war would particularly affect more than 70% of the population of the planet.

If a conflict of that nature should break out there, the government of Barack Obama in his second mandate would be buried in a deluge of images which would present him as the most sinister character in the history of the United States. The duty of avoiding war is also his and that of the people of the United States.

11th hour diplomatic mission underway to avoid war: US to deploy fleet of drones to region

April 6, 2013NORTH KOREA – Tensions remain high on the Korean Peninsula, amid reports the US has deployed an unmanned spy plane to Japan to boost its surveillance after North Korea readied missile launchers on its east coast. The Global Hawk will be stationed at the US airbase in Misawa, northern Japan, in the first ever deployment of the aircraft in the country, the Sankei Shimbun reported, quoting government sources. The US military informed Japan last month about plans to deploy the plane between June and September but has brought the date forward. It comes after North Korea warned foreign diplomats they may not be safe in the country if war breaks out. Pyongyang asked foreign embassies whether they were considering evacuating staff, saying the government could not guarantee their safety in the event of conflict from April 10. The British Foreign Office dismissed the warning as “rhetoric.” However, an urgent international effort to defuse the situation is under way. The heads of EU missions are to meet to hammer out a common position on the crisis, while the US works its diplomatic channels to resolve the stand-off with Pyongyang. US Secretary of State John Kerry has been holding talks with officials in South Korea, as well as China – historically North Korea’s ally – to see if the Chinese can put any more pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to back down. Reporting from the South Korean capital Seoul, Sky’s Asia Correspondent Mark Stone, said: “In the skies above the Korean Peninsula there are spy planes operating. There will be drones – American drones – operating before long from a base in Japan. They are trying to get as much of a sense as possible of what it is that Kim Jong-Un is doing on the ground with his weaponry. We know he has some pretty sophisticated weaponry. There are artillery rounds just over the border. They could in theory hit Seoul. That’s a big concern for South Korea.”

Military Confrontation: Obama Administration has ‘Cut off all Negotiations over North Korea’

Global Research, April 06, 2013

nuclear1The US leader follows a policy, which strangles N. Korea “through sanctions and economic measures in the hope that it’ll collapse at some point,” a member of think tank for the advisory board at the Korea Policy Institute, Gregory Elich, told RT.Elich believes the United States is interested in the collapse of the North, as the US “can establish their military bases right on the border with China, meaning an encirclement of that nation.” He also added that America never “never tolerated a country that won’t put its economy at the service of foreign corporations.”

View video at  http://on.rt.com/3wdlpw

RT: Neither side seems to benefit economically from Pyongyang’s latest decision not to allow South Koreans to work in the joint industrial zone. Why is the North taking such a decisive step?

Gregory Elich: Basically there is a whole history leading up to this current impasse that they’ve reached and for instance under military consultative meeting that South Korea and the United Stated held back in October , they developed a new military plan for North Korea. So, even in a minor conflict, that both the US and South Korea would hit North Korea with considerable force. According to the South Korean Ministry of National Defense that policy would play in both peace time and war time. Under the missile technology control regime, the US allows South Korea an exemption on ballistic missile range, so they can now build a ballistic missiles that would hit the entire territory of North Korea. North Korea is under sanctions. Basically, North Korea has few options to resist…

RT: I am sorry. You are talking about international law here. Is North Korea playing with fire by restarting its Yongbyon nuclear facility or is it a vital move for the country at this point?

GE: No. As far as starting the Yongbyon nuclear facility is a symbolic move on North Korea’s part. It really makes little difference as far as a nuclear weapons program. It takes many months to restart the facility and at best it can produce enough plutonium for only one bomb per year. I think the rhetoric coming out of North Korea and the restarting of the Yongbyon nuclear facility are symbolic on North Korea’s part and it’s basically sending the message to the United States. Look, if you are heading for more sanctions, including sanctions on North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, which is a primary institution for international trade, and you have always threatening military moves you’re making toward us, if you think you are going to crush us, we’re going to hit you back harder than you expect. I think this is basically what the message North Korea is sending.

RT: Whose fault is it here do you think? Or, perhaps, Pyongyang and Washington are both just at fault here?

GE: Well anyone who knows anything about North Korea knows, that if you approach diplomatically, they will negotiate, but if threat they’re threatened or bullied, they’ll respond with firmness. So, we kind of have a feedback loop, where the Obama administration come in and cut off all negotiations over North Korea. There was nothing in the last few years. Obama’s following a policy of what it calls strategic patience, which is in effect a slow strangulation of North Korea through sanctions and economic measures in the hope that it’ll collapse at some point of time…

RT: If there’s a hope on America’s part, that Pyongyang will collapse at some point in time, then what is that hope about? Is it about America having an opportunity for another geo-strategic positioning? I mean isn’t the US presence in South Korea and other parts of the Far East big enough?

GE: It’s never big enough. The United States has over a hundred bases throughout the world. If North Korea collapses, the US can establish their military bases right on the border with China. Meaning, an encirclement of that nation. Also there are considerable mineral deposits in North Korea, which would be useful for exploitation by US corporations. And the United States has never tolerated a country that won’t put its economy at the service of foreign corporations…

Full Article

 

The rise of the East: Russian bomber conducts practice strikes on US missile defenses in Asia

April 6, 2013RUSSIA – A Russian bomber recently carried out simulated cruise missile attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Asia, raising new questions about Moscow’s goal in future U.S.-Russian defense talks. According to U.S. officials, a Russian Tu-22M Backfire bomber on Feb. 26 simulated firing air-launched cruise missiles at an Aegis ship deployed near Japan as part of U.S. missile defenses. A second mock attack was conducted Feb. 27 against a ground-based missile defense site in Japan that officials did not identify further. The Pentagon operates an X-band missile defense radar on the northern tip of Japan that is designed to monitor North Korean missile launches and transmit the data to missile-firing ships. The bomber targeting comes as Russia is building up forces in the Pacific by modernizing submarines and building a spy ship specifically for intelligence-gathering against U.S. missile defenses. Officials said it was not clear why the Russians conducted the practice strikes. However, the simulations may indicate Moscow has targeted its offensive ballistic missiles on Japan or U.S. military bases in the region. U.S. missile defenses in Asia currently are at a heightened alert status as a result of tensions with North Korea. The communist state has threatened to conduct nuclear missile attacks on the United States and South Korea. The incidents were detected by U.S. intelligence-gathering systems in the region and reported recently inside the Pentagon. “As a matter of policy we do not comment on matters of intelligence,” Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson said when asked about the Backfire bomber incident. The Tu-22 bomber can carry up to three air-launched Kh-22 land attack cruise missiles. The bomber has a range of about 2,500 miles. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney said the Backfire targeting is troubling. “Russia continues to conduct aggressive offensive missile training in the Pacific against U.S. and Allied Forces,” McInerney said. “We should understand that they look at ‘reset’ differently than we do,” said the retired three-star general, who once commanded forces in Alaska. “They look at it as regaining their previous USSR position as a superpower while this administration is moving towards unilateral disarmament.” Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy during the George W. Bush administration, said it is difficult to assess why the Russians carried out the simulated strikes. Edelman said practice runs may be “a demonstration of continued Russia opposition to and hyping of their animosity toward U.S. missile defense deployments globally.”

North Korea: Beyond the Cold War Theatrics, is there Really a Nuclear Threat to the US?

Global Research, April 06, 2013

nuclear2The recent show of force by the United States marks one of the lowest points in modern diplomacy, but beyond the geopolitical theatrics it turns out that very little is actually known about the North Korean threat.

North Korea’s recent series of weekly verbal provocations towards Seoul and their ally the US – should be taken seriously in diplomatic terms, but is Pyongyang’s bark worse than its bite?

Instead of taking the high road of international diplomacy, Obama’s war hawks chose a more neoconservative approach by baiting the North with a nuclear-capable B-2 Stealth flyover of the country by the US, by F22 aerial exercises and a US Navy Destroyer parked off the South Korean peninsula this week. Further fanning the flames, China also mobilised some of its own troops and military assets along the North Korean border.

Dear Leader: N.Korean propaganda is bolstered by Washington DC’s own validation of it.

The regime in Pyongyang is clearly one on the brink of collapse. The reality is that the crypto-Marxist North Korean nation is one of the planet’s most marginalized states, not only on a diplomatic level, but also on an economically too – as evidenced by the state’s extreme internal propaganda designed to reinforce the state’s unworldly narrative for its own population.

Knowing full well that North Korea is already being strangled economically – effectively being starved by blanket UN and other sanctions, is it such a wise move for the US to poke them further?

As the young Kim Jung-un carries on his late father’s tradition of surreal state-run propaganda campaigns, so does the United States carry on with its own, slightly more sophisticated brand of propaganda as well. For the average American, their general grasp of geopolitical risk and strategy is still on the level of the film Team America, and Washington knows this, and has regularly attempts to pass off shallow intelligence as definitive, and building its foreign policy on top of this.

Still, amongst all the public war chatter back and forth between the US, South Korea and North Korea, one serious question is being mostly ignored – with regards to Pyongyang, what is exactly real, and what is fiction? If we ask this question, then the next most logical question naturally follows: to what degree is Washington DC inflating the threat from North Korea, and why?

Full Article

Financial Warfare: The Recolonization of Korea. Seoul Black Monday. IMF Intervention in Korea

Global Research, April 06, 2013
Global Research 10 July 2000

Author’s Note

This article first published in July 2000 identifies the process whereby South Korean capitalism was literally hijacked at the height of the 1997-98 Asian Crisis. The objective was also to destabilize and its major business conglomerates as well as take  over its banking system. The IMF reforms triggered a string of bankruptcies and the downfall of industrial wages.

The IMF program applied to a advanced market economy was to undermine national sovereignty as well as shunt the process of reunification of North and South Korea.  The longer term objective is to open up North Korea to Western corporate capital as well as transform the DPRK  into a new cheap labor frontier of the global economy. That was the fate of Vietnam starting in the early 1990s upon the lifting of  US economic sanctions.

The deadly sanctions regime imposed on Pyongyang over a period of more than half a century combined with the relentless threat to wage a nuclear attack against North Korea are intended to eventually impose the “Free Market” on the DPRK Korea under the guidance of Wall Street and the IMF. 

An expanded and updated version of this text was subsequently included in the second edition of my book,  The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Global Research, Montreal, 2003. 

Full Article

North Korea: Beyond the cold war theatrics, is there really a nuclear threat to US?

The recent show of force by the United States marks one of the lowest points in modern diplomacy, but beyond the geopolitical theatrics it turns out that very little is actually known about the North Korean threat.

Patrick Henningsen
Activist PostNorth Korea’s recent series of weekly verbal provocations towards Seoul and their ally the US – should be taken seriously in diplomatic terms, but is Pyongyang’s bark worse than its bite?

Instead of taking the high road of international diplomacy, Obama’s war hawks chose a more neoconservative approach by baiting the North with a nuclear-capable B-2 Stealth flyover of the country by the US, by F22 aerial exercises and a US Navy Destroyer parked off the South Korean peninsula this week.

Further fanning the flames, China also mobilised some of its own troops and military assets along the North Korean border.

The regime in Pyongyang is clearly one on the brink of collapse. The reality is that the crypto-Marxist North Korean nation is one of the planet’s most marginalized states, not only on a diplomatic level, but also economically – as evidenced by the state’s extreme internal propaganda designed to reinforce the state’s unworldly narrative for its own population.

Knowing full well that North Korea is already being strangled economically – effectively being starved by blanket UN and other sanctions, is it such a wise move for the US to poke them further?

As the young Kim Jong-un carries on his late father’s tradition of surreal state-run propaganda campaigns, so does the United States carry on with its own, slightly more sophisticated brand of propaganda as well. For the average American, their general grasp of geopolitical risk and strategy is still on the level of the film Team America, and Washington knows this, and has regularly attempted to pass off shallow intelligence as definitive, and building its foreign policy on top of this.

Still, amongst all the public war chatter back and forth between the US, South Korea and North Korea, one serious question is being mostly ignored – with regards to Pyongyang, what is exactly real, and what is fiction? If we ask this question, then the next most logical question naturally follows: to what degree is Washington DC inflating the threat from North Korea, and why?

The US ‘War Economy’

One can also argue that there are very powerful vested interests in the US corporate structure who have and will continue to benefit from a heated arms build-up, and will certainly use the North Korea threat as a justification to push forward spending, especially in light Washington’s new-found austerity culture ushered in through recent budget sequestrations. America’s new pivot towards Asia provides the catch-all policy net, while the two-way propaganda duel between the two countries provides the fear needed to justify a new military build up in the region.

In recent weeks and months, experts in Washington and the UN have been at pains to clarify and actually prove the full scope and ability of the North Korean nuclear threat, which so far are mostly theatre and of little substance.

Full Article

Obama erects national defense against North Korean nukes with network of ‘Nuke Free Zone’ signs

Friday, April 05, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) It’s sheer genius. Never doubt the brilliance of the democratic party when it comes to national defense. President Barack Obama has announced the immediate deployment of a west coast network of “Nuke Free Zone” signs that will prevent nukes from striking America is exactly the same way “Gun Free Zone” signs stop school shootings.

“It’s time we took action to ensure the safety of American citizens,” Obama declared at a Friday press conference, during which he held up the new “Nuke Free Zone” signs for everyone to see. “And to the American people, I say your government is protecting you, putting your tax dollars to work for the noble cause of self-preservation.”

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein was quick to applaud the measure, citing the importance of “doing something constructive” to protect America from the nuclear threats of Kim Jong-Un, the leftist dictatorial leader of North Korea who was first given nuclear fuel refining technology by the USA.

Full Article

Fidel Castro labels N. Korean crisis ‘absurd,’ urges restraint

Published time: April 05, 2013 16:01
Edited time: April 05, 2013 16:41

RT

Fidel Castro (Reuters/Desmond Boylan)

The leader of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro has urged North Korea and the USA to avoid confrontation and warned that if a war broke out on the Korean peninsula it would affect over 70 per cent of the planet’s population.

As the North Korean nuclear stand-off continues, the 86-year-old Communist icon and former President Castro blasted “the gravity of such an incredible and absurd event” in the region which is home to five out of seven billion people living on Earth.

A war in the region would result in “a terrible slaughter of people” in both North and South Korea and neither of them would benefit from it, Fidel Castro wrote in an article in Cuban Granma newspaper, cites AFP.

Now that Pyongyang has “has demonstrated its technical and scientific advances, we remind them of their duties with those countries that have been their great friends,” the Cuban leader pointed out.

The Comandante believes that the “duty” to avoid the violence is also in the hands of the White House and the American people. In case of a war, President Barack Obama would turn into “the most ominous leader” in the history of the country, Castro added.

In the Cuban leader’s view, the current situation on the Korean Peninsula poses the most serious threat of a nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 – a two-week confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States over placing nuclear missiles on the Caribbean island.

Castro, who stepped down as president in 2008 due to health problems, handing power to his brother Raul, still remains influential in Cuba as well as with Communists around the globe. He occasionally writes a column titled “Reflections of Comrade Fidel” published in the state media. The post on the North Korean crisis is the first one since June 2012.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been soaring over the past several months, prompted by the republic’s long-range rocket-launch in December and its February nuclear test, leading to fresh UN sanctions against Pyongyang. UN-South Korean military drills in the region only added fuel to the fire, with the North issuing a series of threats of nuclear war.

On Friday, Pyongyang asked foreign embassies to consider evacuation from the republic amid growing tensions. According to the British Foreign Office, the DPRK said it will be ‘unable to guarantee’ safeties of embassies and international organizations after April 10.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out that for now it was just “a proposal” rather than a request. Moscow is examining the situation, but is not planning to evacuate diplomats yet.

We are deeply concerned over the aggravation – verbal so far – of tensions,” Lavrov said on Friday.  “We want to understand the reasons behind such a decision,” he told journalists.

North Korea nuclear threat escalates

  • Updated
    9:33 am, April 5th, 2013
  • 7:47 am, April 4th, 2013
  • Sun News Canada

North Korea nuclear threat escalates

North Korea is warning the United States to be read for nuclear war and statements from US Secretary of State Chuck Hagel indicate the threat is not being taken lightly.

In response to the North Korean government’s authorization of nuclear strikes on the US, American military forces are expected to ramp up missile defence systems to Guam.  North Korea is reportedly moving a medium-range missile to its east coast.

Biden in 2001: ‘I Worry That a Narrow-Minded Pursuit of Missile Defense’ Could Damage ‘Negotiations with North Korea’

April 4, 2013
biden

(CNSNews.com) — While the United States now is utilizing its missile defense systems in the wake of saber-rattling by North Korea, back on July 24, 2001, then Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) chaired a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in which he said in a prepared statement, “I worry that a narrow-minded pursuit of missile defense” would “derail” U.S. negotiations with the Communist-run North Korea.

In his statement, Biden criticized the Bush administration proposal for a missile defense system, questioning whether the costs of missile defense outweighed its benefits.

“I worry that funds devoted to missile defense, or the recent tax cut, are hurting our ability to meet these more current and realistic threats,” Biden said.

“And I worry that a narrow-minded pursuit of missile defense, without having any notion of what missile defense to develop, could derail both our programs in Russia, as well as our negotiations with North Korea,” he added.

Biden went on to ask whether the Bush plan for a missile defense system would make the United States “more, or less, secure.”

Full Article

Amid N. Korean Threats, CIA No Longer Reports to Congress on Missile Proliferation

April 5, 2013

721 report(CNSNews.com) – North Korean missile threats against the United States and its allies are simmering at a time when a legislative requirement for a recurring CIA report on the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology has been repealed.Since the late 1990s the “Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions” has recorded developments in the areas of WMD and missile procurement and development around the world. North Korea and Iran have both featured prominently.

The documents – sometimes dubbed “721 reports” since they are a requirement of Section 721 of the 1997 Intelligence Authorization Act –also have tracked the longstanding collaboration between North Korea and Iran in developing ballistic missile technology.

That collaboration may be of particular significance right now:  South Korean military officials believe that an intermediate-range missile which the North reportedly has moved into position on its east coast in possible preparation for a launch is a North Korean-developed Musudan, which some experts suspect is a variant of Iran’s Shahab missile.

North Korea is not known to have flight-tested the Musudan, whose existence first became known in the West when it appeared in a military parade in Pyongyang in October 2010.

North Korea and Iran both have made advances in the ballistic missile field over the past decade, and the CIA and other experts believe the collaboration runs both ways; experts from each country have been observed monitoring launches by the other.

Full Article

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Attack; U.S. Sending Missile Defense Shield to Guam

April 3, 2013

THAAD missile defense system(CNSNews.com) – As the Pentagon announced the deployment of a ground-based missile defense shield to Guam, North Korea early Thursday morning issued a new threat, declaring that nuclear strikes on U.S. targets have now been authorized and that “the moment of explosion is approaching fast.”

Pyongyang’s military command in a statement said it was formally notifying the White House and Pentagon that “merciless operations” against the U.S., involving “cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified” nuclear weapons, have been approved.

News of the latest warning broke in South Korea shortly after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. was taking the North Koreans’ threats seriously, noting that “they have nuclear capacity now, they have missile delivery capacity now.”

“Some of the actions they’ve taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger and threat to the interests – certainly of our allies, starting with South Korea and Japan – and also the threats that the North Koreans have leveled directly at the United States regarding our base in Guam, threatened Hawaii, threatened the West Coast of the United States,” he said in response to a question after delivering a speech at the National Defense University.

“It only takes being wrong once, and I don’t want to be the secretary of defense that was wrong once,” Hagel continued. “So we will continue to take these threats seriously. I hope the North will ratchet this very dangerous rhetoric down.”

The Pentagon announced that it would deploy a ground-based missile defense shield to Guam “in the coming weeks as a precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat.”

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system involves a tracking radar, a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles and an integrated fire-control system.

“This deployment will strengthen defense capabilities for American citizens in the U.S. territory of Guam and U.S. forces stationed there,” the Pentagon statement said, urging North Korea’s leaders to stop the provocations and “choose the path of peace.”

“The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies, and our national interests.”

Full Article

 


The Dangers of War: What is Behind the US-North Korea Conflict?

Global Research, April 01, 2013

What’s happening between the U.S. and North Korea to produce such headlines this week as “Korean Tensions Escalate,” and  “North Korea Threatens U.S.”?

The New York Times reported March 30:

“This week, North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jung-un, ordered his underlings to prepare for a missile attack on the United States. He appeared at a command center in front of a wall map with the bold, unlikely title, ‘Plans to Attack the Mainland U.S.’ Earlier in the month, his generals boasted of developing a ‘Korean-style’ nuclear warhead that could be fitted atop a long-range missile.”

The U.S. is well aware North Korea’s statements are not backed up by sufficient military power to implement its rhetorical threats, but appears to be escalating tensions all the same. What’s up? I’ll have to go back a bit to explain the situation.

Since the end of the Korean War 60 years ago, the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) has repeatedly put forward virtually the same four proposals to the United States. They are:

1. A peace treaty to end the Korean War.

2. The reunification of Korea, which has been “temporarily” divided into North and South since 1945.

3. An end to the U.S. occupation of South Korea and a discontinuation of annual month-long U.S-South Korean war games.

4. Bilateral talks between Washington and Pyongyang to end tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The U.S. and its South Korean protectorate have rejected each proposal over the years. As a consequence, the peninsula has remained extremely unstable since the 1950s. It has now reached the point where Washington has used this year’s war games, which began in early March, as a vehicle for staging a mock nuclear attack on North Korea by flying two nuclear-capable B-2 Stealth bombers over the region March 28. Three days later, the White House ordered F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to South Korea, a further escalation of tensions.

Here is what is behind the four proposals.

1. The U.S. refuses to sign a peace treaty to end the Korean War. It has only agreed to an armistice. An armistice is a temporary cessation of fighting by mutual consent. The armistice signed July 27, 1953, was supposed to transform into a peace treaty when “a final peaceful settlement is achieved.” The lack of a treaty means war could resume at any moment.  North Korea does not want a war with the U.S., history’s most powerful military state. It wants a peace treaty.

2. Two Koreas exist as the product of an agreement between the USSR (which borderd Korea and helped to liberate the northern part of country from Japan in World War II) and the U.S., which occupied the southern half.  Although socialism prevailed in the north and capitalism in the south, it was not to be a permanent split. The two big powers were to withdraw after a couple of years, allowing the country to reunify. Russia did so; the U.S. didn’t. Then came the devastating three-year war in 1950. Since then, North Korea has made several different proposals to end the separation that has lasted since 1945. The most recent proposal, I believe, is “one country two systems.” This means that while both halves unify, the south remains capitalist and the north remains socialist. It will be difficult but not impossible. Washington does not want this. It seeks the whole peninsula, bringing its military apparatus directly to the border with China, and Russia as well.

3. Washington has kept between 25,000 and over 40,000 troops in South Korea since the end of the war. They remain — along with America’s fleets, nuclear bomber bases and troop installations in close proximity to the peninsula — a reminder of two things. One is that “We can crush the north.” The other is “We own South Korea.” Pyongyang sees it that way — all the more so since President Obama decided to “pivot” to Asia. While the pivot contains an economic and trade aspect, its primary purpose is to increase America’s already substantial military power in the region in order to intensify the threat to China and North Korea.

4. The Korean War was basically a conflict between the DPRK and the U.S. That is, while a number of UN countries fought in the war, the U.S. was in charge, dominated the fighting against North Korea and was responsible for the deaths of millions of Koreans north of the 38th parallel dividing line. It is entirely logical that Pyongyang seeks talks directly with Washington to resolve differences and reach a peaceful settlement leading toward a treaty. The U.S. has consistently refused.

These four points are not new. They were put forward in the 1950s. I visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a journalist for the (U.S.) Guardian newspaper three times during the 1970s for a total of eight weeks. Time after time, in discussions with officials, I was asked about a peace treaty, reunification, withdrawal of U.S. troops from the south, and face-to-face talks. The situation is the same today. The U.S. won’t budge.

Why not? Washington wants to get rid of the communist regime before allowing peace to prevail on the peninsula. No “one state, two systems” for Uncle Sam, by jingo! He wants one state that pledges allegiance to — guess who?

In the interim, the existence of a “bellicose” North Korea justifies Washington’s surrounding the north with a veritable ring of firepower in the northwest Pacific close enough to almost, but not quite, singe China. A “dangerous” DPRK is also useful in keeping Japan well within the U.S. orbit. It also is another excuse for once-pacifist Japan to boost its already formidable arsenal.

In this connection I’ll quote from a Feb. 15 article from Foreign Policy in Focus byChristine Hong and Hyun Le: “Framing of North Korea as the region’s foremost security threat obscures the disingenuous nature of U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy in the region, specifically the identity between what his advisers dub ‘strategic patience,’ on the one hand, and his forward-deployed military posture and alliance with regional hawks on the other. Examining Obama’s aggressive North Korea policy and its consequences is crucial to understanding why demonstrations of military might — of politics by other means, to borrow from Carl von Clausewitz — are the only avenues of communication North Korea appears to have with the United States at this juncture.”

Here’s another quote from ANSWER Coalition leader Brian Becker:

“The Pentagon and the South Korean military today —and throughout the past year — have been staging massive war games that simulate the invasion and bombing of North Korea. Few people in the United States know the real situation. The work of the war propaganda machine is designed to make sure that the American people do not join together to demand an end to the dangerous and threatening actions of the Pentagon on the Korean Peninsula.

“The propaganda campaign is in full swing now as the Pentagon climbs the escalation ladder in the most militarized part of the planet. North Korea is depicted as the provocateur and aggressor whenever it asserts that they have the right and capability to defend their country. Even as the Pentagon simulates the nuclear destruction of a country that it had already tried to bomb into the Stone Age, the corporate-owned media characterizes this extremely provocative act as a sign of resolve and a measure of self-defense.”

And from Stratfor, the private intelligence service that is often in the know:

“Much of North Korea’s behavior can be considered rhetorical, but it is nonetheless unclear how far Pyongyang is willing to go if it still cannot force negotiations through belligerence.”

The objective of initiating negotiations is here taken for granted.

Pyongyang’s “bellicosity” is almost entirely verbal — several decibels too loud for our ears, perhaps — but North Korea is a small country in difficult circumstances that well remembers the extraordinary brutality Washington visited up the territory in the 1950s. Millions of Koreans died. TheU.S. carpet bombings were criminal. North Korea is determined to go down fighting if it happens again, but hope their preparedness will avoid war and lead to talks and a treatry.

Their large and well-trained army is for defense. The purpose of the rockets they are building and their talk about nuclear weapons is principally to scare away the wolf at the door.

In the short run, the recent inflammatory rhetoric from Kim Jong-un is in direct response to this year’s month-long U.S.-South Korea war games, which he interprets as a possible prelude for another war. Kim’s longer run purpose is to create a sufficiently worrisome crisis that the U.S. finally agrees to bilateral talks and possibly a peace treaty and removal of foreign troops. Some form of reunification could come later in talks between north and south.

I suspect the present confrontations will simmer down after the war games end. The Obama Administration has no intention to create the conditions leading to a peace treaty — especially now that White House attention seems riveted on East Asia where it perceives an eventual risk to its global geopolitical supremacy.

Jack A. Smith, editor of Activist Newsletter

Chinese navy conducts West Pacific live-fire drill

xinhuanet.com
April 1, 2013

The Chinese navy conducted a target-practice drill using live ammunition in the public waters of the west Pacific Ocean on Sunday.

The drill was conducted by the Chinese Navy’s Nanhai Fleet.

The fleet, since entering the training sections of the West Pacific, has also run anti-terrorism and anti-piracy exercises, as well as anti-missile, anti-air strike, anti-submarine exercises, and practice of daytime landing of warship-carried helicopters plus search-and-rescue.

Wang Zhihe, judge with the Nanhai Fleet military court, said the Chinese navy conducting offshore drills in designated training sections of public waters conforms with international law and the common practices of navies around the world.

Russia Not Obliged to Notify West of War Games – Ministry

en.rian.ru
April 1, 2013

Russia was not obligated to notify Western countries beforehand of its recent snap military exercises, a top Russian Defense Ministry official said Monday.

“The mechanism of checks today is such that we only need to notify Western countries when we hold planned events,” Sergei Ryzhkov, the chief of the ministry’s treaty implementation department, told journalists.

“If exercises occur suddenly, we may notify them [other countries] only when the exercises begin,” Ryzhkov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered snap drills on Thursday, as concerns persist over the combat readiness of the armed forces in Russia.

The Black Sea exercise, which ended on Sunday, involved up to 7,000 military personnel, including rapid deployment, airborne and special task forces, more than 30 warships, about 250 armored vehicles, up to 20 pieces of artillery and 20 aircraft.

The unscheduled exercise was the second in the span of two months and followed a major shake-up at the top of a military establishment demoralized by persistent evidence of rampant corruption.

Ryzhkov added that in line with the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, other countries should be notified of war games only when at least 9,000 troops participate in the drills.

Furthermore, when the number of troops taking part in the drills equals or exceeds 13,000, such exercises should be subject to foreign observation, he said.

Sunday Times: Israel planted spy equipment to monitor Russian Navy

DEBKAfile  March 31, 2013, 5:38 PM (GMT+02:00)

 

The British Sunday Times reports that earlier this month, Israeli spy equipment planted by the Israeli Navy’s Shayetet 13 was uncovered on an uninhabited Mediterranean island opposite the Russian naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Syria’s sate TV showed a camera, six large batteries, cables and transmitters, along with fake rocks for camouflaging the equipment. The Hizballah TV station Al-Manar reported the gear could track Russian warship movements and relay images in real time.
The S. Times added that the equipment was transported by submarine which carried the Israeli commandoes to the island twice – once to obtain samples for the fake rocks and again to install it and check it was working.

 

North Korea enters a state of war with South Korea

DEBKAfile  March 30, 2013, 5:18 AM (GMT+02:00)

North Korea is entering a “state of war” with South Korea, its state-run news service reports, Saturday.
The statement, carried by the communist country’s KCNA news agency, says inter-Korean relations will be dealt with in a wartime manner.
“From this time on, the North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly,” the statement said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned Friday that his rocket forces were ready “to settle accounts with the U.S” after U.S. nuclear-capable B-2 bombers dropped dummy munitions in joint military drills with South Korea.

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