Thursday, July 6, 2017

N Korean ICBM Test A Game Changer, 'War Drums Beating Louder', General Warns U.S. Is Prepared For War




North Korea ICBM test a game changer



North Korea successfully tested a multi-stage ICBM that many experts believe has the range to hit Alaska and perhaps even major population centers on the west coast of the US.
The missile, Hwasong-14, flew 580 miles reaching an altitude of 1,741 miles in its 39 minutes of flight. The flight profile suggested the missile had a range of about 5,000 miles and perhaps as much as 7,100 miles.
Alarm bells went off all over the world when the test became public. The planet's most paranoid, unstable regime is now in possession of a weapon that, once the technological hurdles of marrying a nuclear warhead to the missile are overcome, threatens tens of millions of lives.
Without exaggeration, the test is a game changer.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is impervious to the kinds of pressures that the world would normally place on a rogue nation. The North is already sanctioned to the hilt - the US and South Korea have no more cards to play in that game. Better enforcement of existing sanctions, including penalizing countries that allow North Korean citizens to work in their countries, would hardly cause a ripple.
Nothing, it seems, will deter the North from developing their nuclear program. And that includes pressure by China.

The U.N. Security Council, currently chaired by China, will hold an emergency meeting on the matter at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Wednesday, following a request by the United States, Japan and South Korea.
Diplomats say Beijing has not been fully enforcing existing international sanctions on its neighbor, and has resisted tougher measures, such as an oil embargo, bans on the North Korean airline and guest workers, and measures against Chinese banks and other firms doing business with the North.








Following North Korea's latest provocation, the launch of an ICBM that, for the first time, demonstrated North Korea's ability to strike the continental United States, General Vincent Brooks, Commander of Combined Forces Command and General Lee, Sun Jin, Chairman of the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a rather forceful combined statement directly warning North Korea they're prepared for war at any time.


"Self restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war. As this Alliance missile live fire shows, we are able to change our choice when so ordered by our Alliance national leaders," said Gen. Brooks. "It would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary."

“Despite North Korea’s repeated provocation, the ROK-U.S. Alliance is maintaining patience and self-restraint,” said Gen. Lee. “As the combined live fire demonstrated, we may make resolute decisions any time, if the Alliance Commanders in Chief order. Whoever thinks differently is making a serious misjudgment.”

The statement was issued after allied armies conducted a rare live-fire drill, launching tactical surface-to-surface missiles off the east coast of Korea—an action they said was aimed directly at “countering North Korea’s destabilizing and unlawful actions on July 4.”  The drill and tough language appeared meant to reassure Seoul after North Korea’s successful ICBM test, a significant advance.

Of course, despite the tough talk, with Seoul, a city of 10 million people, sitting just 35 miles south of the North Korean border, any military action would almost certainly result in devastating casualties for allied forces.  Per the Wall Street Journal:


Washington has considered military action against North Korea, but pulling the trigger presents serious risks. Seoul, a city of 10 million, sits just 35 miles from the North Korean border, where Pyongyang has assembled artillery that could inflict devastating damage on the densely populated South Korean capital.

“A single volley could deliver more than 350 metric tons of explosives across the South Korean capital, roughly the same amount of ordnance dropped by 11 B-52 bombers,” said a report published last year by Austin, Texas-based geopolitical consultancy Stratfor.

If attacked by the U.S., North Korea would also likely fire on U.S. ally Japan, which is within range of many of Pyongyang’s missiles. During one launch in March the North fired four missiles at once toward Japan, which some analysts interpreted as a warning that it could overwhelm any Japanese missile defense.

Meanwhile, Trump's efforts to enlist the help of China to impose sanctions have also seemingly failed:

Given that, it seems the world is inching dangerously closer to the inevitable deadline that will require global leaders to choose between a nuclear-armed North Korea with the capability of striking targets as far away as the west coast of the United States and some degree of military action.







The war drums are beating louder, and as US Ambassador to the UN Nicky Haley said moments ago as she speaks live (webcast), the North Korea launch is clear, sharp military escalation and the US will use the full range of its capabilities in North Korea including military force, "if it must." Her key soundbites from Reuters and Bloomberg:
  • HALEY: PREPARED TO USE THE FULL RANGE OF ITS CAPABILITIES TO DETER NORTH KOREA, INCLUDING MILITARY FORCE "IF WE MUST"
  • HALEY: U.S. WON'T HAVE PATIENCE FOR WATERED DOWN UN RESOLUTION
She also said that an escalated response needed in wake of ICBM launch, and sent a clear warning to China over supporting N. Korea whose launch shows North Korea "does not want to be part of a peaceful world":
  • HALEY SAYS COUNTRIES ALLOWING TRADE WITH NORTH KOREA IN VIOLATION OF U.N. SANCTIONS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TRADE WITH U.S.
In the speech she said that "today is a dark day - it is a dark day because yesterday's actions by North Korea made the world a more dangerous place."
She also added that North Korea's "actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution," and explained that previous sanctions against NK "have been insufficient to get them to change their destructive course."
There is still some hope that war may be avoided: Haley said that the U.S. will introduce a new UN resolution in coming days to increase sanctions against North Korea.
Haley's explicit warnings come after the US military warned earlier in the day it can counter any new North Korean missile threat (more on that in a subsequent post shortly).







North Korea's destabilizing actions are closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution and could force the United States to take military action, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday.

"North Korea's destabilizing escalation is a threat to all nations, in the region and beyond. Their actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution. The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must," Haley said at an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council.













German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated earlier remarks that Europe can no longer rely on the United States.

In claiming that EU members — and Europe as a whole — can no longer rely upon Washington, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued a call to arms, saying that the continent must take its fate into its own hands.
Just two days before the G20 summit of world leaders, which will include the attendance of the increasingly polarizing figure of US President Donald Trump, Merkel doubled down on earlier remarks, affirming that Europe "really must take our fate into our own hands," according to the Washington Examiner.

Insisting that her pointed remarks are not to be interpreted in any way except literally, Merkel added: "yes, exactly that way," in an interview with the Associated Press.







The nation of Poland prepared a hero's welcome for U.S. President Donald Trump in advance of his Wednesday night arrival in Warsaw. But the Polish government executed a decidedly understated ceremony to greet Air Force One at Chopin Airport.
Lawmakers in the formerly communist nation see in Trump a mirror of their own brand of nationalism that has seen many Poles bristle against an iron-fisted European Union centered on Germany.
Among the European nations, Poland is one of the holdouts against the notion of resettling massive numbers of foreigners.
'The Polish government has the same position as Americans — we want strict restrictions on refugees,” legislator Krzysztof Mróz told The Wall Street Journal
For Trump's arrival, President Andrzej Duda sent his top aides to put on a far smaller affair than the all-out pomp and circumstance that awaited the U.S. leader in Saudi Arabia when he deplaned on his first foreign presidential trip six weeks ago.








In 1962 the former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson quipped that: «Britain had lost an Empire and yet to find a role». Well, perhaps the same can now tentatively be said of the United States in these early, but profoundly debilitating days, of the Trump administration and its chaotic, incoherent foreign policy. The Trump administration's approach to traditional American allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia has been belligerent, nonsensical and highly neurotic. American foreign policy is a complete mess and the only people and country this is inflicting real damage on is the United States. For too long the United States’ global strategic posture has been one of extreme dominance, interference and intervention. 

Dominating Europe through NATO by pushing for unwise expansion of NATO's borders all the way right up to Russia's backyard. Dominating the Middle East through CIA interference, absurd and dangerous alliances with repressive Islamist backing Gulf Monarchies such as Saudi Arabia or barbaric secular military dictatorships such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 1970s and 1980s. Dominating the Asia-Pacific with its aircraft carrier (Japan) and certain puppet governments in South Korea; brutal and misguided interventions such as the grotesque Vietnam War and ludicrous/unnecessary «freedom of navigation» and «freedom of overflight» operations in the South China Sea. 

America now must learn the hard truth of it's global position during this period of the Trump administration and beyond: the days of the United States dominating the world in an arrogant, absolutist, heavy-handed fashion and dictating to other nations what they can and cannot do (in particular in other nations territorial spheres of influence and backyards such as the South China Sea) are over and the United States must come to realise this and make the required if painful adjustment. It is no longer the only superpower on the planet and the days of American unilateral leadership are over whether it be political leadership, economic leadership or military leadership. 

The European Union is just as powerful economically as the United States when you combine the EU27 GDPs or PPPs. Russia is resurgent on the world stage, in particular in the Middle East, and most likely will be the main broker of peace in Syria. China is catching up economically fast on the United States and will undoubtedly overtake it economically within a few years (if it has not already) to become the planets number one economy while the days of American extreme and reckless military and political interference in the Middle East and Asia have produced nothing but chaos, violence, death & destruction and should be heavily curtailed with the prime examples being Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Korea. 








While the world watches in jest as  Japanese residents prepare for the possibility of a confrontation with North Korea by panic buying nuclear shelters and air purifiers, we may soon realize that their efforts to desperately acquire protective gear and equipment for nuclear disaster were quite prescient.
Yesterday, North Korea successfully tested what is reportedly an ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) capable of striking Alaska from the Korean peninsula. Coupled with their purported advancements in nuclear technology, North Korea may now have the ability to launch devastating attacks on their southern neighbor, Japan and even the United States. And if they have not yet achieved the ability to fit a nuclear warhead on an ICBM and deliver it effectively to its target, they are inching closer by the day.
So close, in fact, that Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi’s recent remarks on the matter suggest that we are nearing a dangerous breaking point:

“Currently tensions are high and we certainly would like to see a de-escalation,” Liu told a news conference at UN headquarters as China takes over the Security Council presidency in July.
“If tension only goes up … then sooner or later it will get out of control and the consequences would be disastrous,” he said.

Earlier this year President Trump deployed three carrier strike groups to the region, signaling the real possibility that the United States will no longer follow what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calls a policy of “strategic patience” employed by Trump’s predecessors.
Though the threat seems to be muted by global media, China and Russia appear to be taking it very seriously, with both having reportedly deployed tens of thousands of troops and equipment to their respective borders with the North.

All of the signs suggest that military action is about to occur. And while most Americans may think that North Korea would be another Iraq, wherein the battle could be won in a matter days, the fact is that North Korea has a massive military and now, as confirmed yesterday, an ICBM capable of striking long-range targets.

War is coming. President Trump has made this very clear and North Korea does not appear to be heeding his warning. All bets will be off once the missiles start flying.
Because all three of the world’s major super powers will be involved in one way or another it is not only possible, but quite likely that things could spiral out of control very quickly.



















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