US Vice President Mike Pence has issued a fresh warning to North Korea, saying that Washington will counter any potential attack with an “overwhelming and effective” response.
Speaking from the deck of the aircraft carrier ‘USS Ronald Reagan’, docked in Yokosuka, Japan, Pence told 2,500 American sailors that North Korea is “the most dangerous and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific.”
“The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready,” he said, as quoted by AP.
He went on to vow that the US would “defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response.”
Pence also said that North Korea’s latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation, and assured Asian allies that the Washington is ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The VP noted the Trump administration will “work diligently” with allies, including Japan and China, in order to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang. However, he told the sailors that “readiness is the key.”
He also said the US will honor its alliance with Pacific Rim nations to protect freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea – most of which Beijing lays claim to, despite conflicting claims from other Asian nations.
The comments were made during Pence's 10-day trip to the Asia-Pacific region, which includes South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis simultaneously denounced North Korea's latest missile launch attempt during his Middle East tour, telling reporters in Saudi Arabia that “the leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile.”
The defense secretary credited China with trying to help get the North Korean situation “under control,” with the goal of denuclearizing the peninsula.
As part of his hardline stance against North Korea, Trump announced last week that he had sent an “armada” as a warning to Pyongyang.
For its part, North Korea has accused the US of disturbing global peace and stability by using “gangster-like logic” which may result in a nuclear breaking out on the Korean Peninsula “at any moment.”
The march to war is deafening, but the reasons for it go beyond the elements of military conflict and political intrigue. Underlying it all, the reasons are economic.
With a nothing-doing economy that has long dragged on the American soul, there is a growing temptation to wipe the slate clean, and launch a wider war – all with the wider aim of igniting a new economic engine.
Theoretically, the economy would spruce up on the same gin that fueled WWII – and not only delivered a victory, but solidified America a prosperous superpower while vanquishing the Great Depression.
The thought is twisted, and perhaps more and more likely everyday. Something like economic gains off of spilling blood – true military industrial complex stuff.
I hope they know what they're doing, and that the rest of the country can maintain a strong moral fiber, because if that scenario is green-lighted, things could get pretty grim, pretty quick.
The constant Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com speaks with economist Martin Armstrong, who sees war coming as a result of the bad economy:
Former hedge fund manager Martin Armstrong, who is an expert on economic and political cycles, says, “You have to understand what makes war even take place? It does not unfold when everybody is fat and happy. Simple as that. You turn the economy down, and that’s when you get war. It’s the way politics works.”
According to reports out of top Chinese mainstream news outlets, the RAND Corporation recently presented a shocking proposal to the Pentagon in which it lobbied for a war to be started with a major foreign power in an attempt to stimulate the American economy and prevent a recession.
China’s biggest media outlet, Sohu.com, speculated that the target of the new war would probably be China or Russia, but that it could also be Iran or another middle eastern country. Japan was also mentioned as a potential target for the reason that Japan holds the most U.S. debt.
North Korea was considered as a target but ruled out because the scale of such a war would not be large enough for RAND’s requirements.
One would hope that good people, or at least sane people who don’t wish to start a global nuclear war, will oppose the RAND proposal, such as top the military generals who threatened to quit if Bush ordered an attack on Iran. Admiral William Fallon, the head of US Central Command, quit in March last year as a result of his opposition to Bush administration policy on Iran.
As both Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have stated, the Clinton-Obama era of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over. The usual suspects in the mainstream media have been warning that Trump is provoking Pyongyang into war on the Korean peninsula. The counter is that the administration isn’t willing to wait till North Korea has the operational capability to nuke an American city like Seattle or Honolulu.
What is not being discussed is a much bigger and more imminent threat that makes action imperative, an existential one for the United States.
The nightmare scenario of an America sent back centuries in time before electricity, refrigeration, and smart phones has grown unnervingly closer with the presence of two North Korean satellites with orbits over a blissfully unaware American populace and an Obama administration that was indifferent to the apocalyptic threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.
On Feb. 7, 2016, North Korea launched a second satellite, the KMS-4, to join their KMS-3 satellite launched in December of 2012. In an article in the Washington Times on April 24, 2016, R. James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Peter Vincent Fry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security as well as director of the Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, warned of the dangers of an apocalyptic EMP attack that these and similar satellites pose:
Both satellites now are in south polar orbits, evading many U.S. missile defense radars and flying over the United States from the south, where our defenses are limited. Both satellites -- if nuclear armed -- could make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that could blackout the U.S. electric grid for months or years, thereby killing millions.
Technologically, such an EMP attack is easy -- since the weapon detonates at high-altitude, in space, no shock absorbers, heat shield, or vehicle for atmospheric re-entry is necessary. Since the radius of the EMP is enormous, thousands of kilometers, accuracy matters little. Almost any nuclear weapon will do.
Moreover, North Korea probably has nuclear weapons specially designed, not to make a big explosion, but to emit lots of gamma rays to generate high-frequency EMP. Senior Russian generals warned EMP Commissioners in 2004 that their EMP nuclear warhead design leaked “accidentally” to North Korea, and unemployed Russian scientists found work in North Korea’s nuclear weapons progra
Woolsey and Pry, along with former Reagan science adviser William R. Graham, chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, Ambassador Henry Cooper, director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief negotiator at the Defense and Space Talks with the USSR; and Fritz Ermarth, chairman of the National Intelligence Council; warned of the North Korean EMP threat an article in the February 12, 2016, issue of National Review:
We, who have spent our professional lifetimes analyzing and defending against nuclear-missile threats, warned years ago that North Korea’s Unha-3 space launch vehicle could carry a small nuclear warhead and detonate it a hundred or so miles over the United States to create an EMP, leading to a protracted nationwide blackout. The resulting societal chaos could kill millions.
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