Nobody puts little Rocket Man in a corner. As we’ve noted time and time again, tensions between the US and North Korea have only intensified since Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed last month that the two countries were on the verge of a nuclear conflict, a warning that the North’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN echoed on Monday, but has so far done little to dent the rally in global stock markets. But with Russia at least ostensibly reining in support for Kim Jong Un’s increasingly isolated regime, Putin inadvertently channeled the late, great Patrick Swayze during a speech at the annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting on Thursday when he warned that foreign powers should avoid “backing North Korea into a corner.” Doing so would risk provoking a desperate, violent response, he said. Putin added that the North is a ‘sovereign state’ and reiterated his call that the standoff between the US and its regional allies and the Kim regime could only be resolved with dialogue – a solution that Russia and China – the North’s primary benefactor – have been pushing for months, NBC reported.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.
In what is probably a “slightly” exaggerated figure, North Korea claimed on Thursday that some 4.7 million students and workers have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the North Korean army since Kim Jong Un called Donald Trump a ‘dotard’ and vowed to retaliate against the US for President Donald Trump’s threats to “destroy” North Korea. If accurate, that figure would represent nearly 20% of the North’s population (the country is believed to be home to 25 million people, making it about half the size, population-wise as South Korea). Furthermore, according to the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s biggest newspaper among the volunteers were 1.2 million women, which was cited by South Korean news agency Yonhap. Of course, North Korea has made similar claims in the past when tensions with the US have intensified. Pyongyang usually claims that its young citizens voluntarily enlisted in the military in its propaganda campaigns aimed at bolstering national solidarity – even as recently as last month.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 28, 2017.
The United States has declared war on North Korea, according to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong. In a brief news conference in New York on Sept. 25, Ri said that US President Donald Trump’s recent statements to the UN General Assembly were tantamount to a declaration of war and that all of the members of the United Nations clearly heard that it was the United States that first declared war on North Korea. Therefore, Ri argued, Pyongyang has a right to self-defense under the UN charter and would be justified if it were to shoot down US strategic bombers, even outside North Korean territory. Over the past week, the rhetoric between the United States and North Korea has rapidly escalated. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un responded to Trump’s Sept. 19 UN speech by saying that Pyongyang was seriously considering the “highest level of hard-line countermeasures in history.” The statement, accompanied by a pic The United States has declared war on North Korea, according to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong. In a brief news conference in New York on Sept. 25, Ri said that US President Donald Trump’s recent statements to the UN General Assembly were tantamount to a declaration of war and that all of the members of the United Nations clearly heard that it was the United States that first declared war on North Korea. Therefore, Ri argued, Pyongyang has a right to self-defense under the UN charter and would be justified if it were to shoot down US strategic bombers, even outside the North Korean territory.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U. N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
The war of words between Trump and Kim escalated once again in the late hours on Saturday night, when President Trump sent another belligerent tweet directed at North Korea saying that if the country’s foreign minister was speaking for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in his threatening speech at the United Nations, “they won’t be around much longer.” “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U. N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 24, 2017.
In a considerably more aggressive, and less diplomatic, ‘story’ in China’s government mouthpiece Xinhua, writers warn: “It is not hard to tell that the situation has become a vicious circle where more missile tests trigger more sanctions, while more sanctions trigger more tests…” urging the double-freeze solution once again, saying that “the parties concerned need to respect each other’s security concerns.” At this moment, the United States and the DPRK, two key actors in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, should stay calm and exercise restraint, and avoid any provocative action or rhetoric that might further escalate tensions. Political courage, wisdom and a responsible attitude are required to address the current crisis, instead of provocations or threats. However, following last night’s less than veiled threat from North Korea that the next escalation will be to test a hydrogen-bomb over the Pacific: North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho suggested leader Kim Jong Un was considering testing ‘an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb’ over the Pacific in response to U. S. President Donald Trump’s threat at the United Nations to ‘totally destroy’ the country.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.
During an appearance CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ Sunday morning, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley admitted something that most of the international community – perhaps including Kim Jong Un himself – has known for weeks: The United Nations Security Council has just about reached the limit of its ability to economically punish North Korea. Responding to a question by CNN’s Dana Bash about whether President Donald Trump’s famous ‘fire and fury’ remark was an empty threat, Haley insisted that the US has held back out of a sense of ‘responsibility.’ But now that diplomatic solutions appear to be dwindling, she would be ‘perfectly happy’ handing the situation off to Defense Secretary James Mattis, the source of some of the US’s harshest rhetoric against North Korea. Mattis, Haley said, would ‘take care of it.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 17, 2017.
I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2017
It looks like Trump’s social media filter, Gen. Kelly, finally lost control (again) of Trump’s twitter feed, because in a barrage of Sunday morning tweets, which including both original content as well as retweets of others – as well as himself – president Trump has tweeted and retweeted at least 15 different things in the span of 2 hours, most notably his summary of his Saturday call with South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in, in which he called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ‘Rocket Man,’ and said that long gas lines forming in the rogue state are ‘too bad!’ after new U. N. sanctions cut oil exports to North Korea. ‘I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!’ Previously, the White House said Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches during a call on Saturday. ‘The two leaders noted that North Korea continues to defy the international community, even after the United Nations strongly condemned North Korea’s repeated provocations twice in the past week,’ the White House said in a statement. ‘President Trump and President Moon committed to continuing to take steps to strengthen deterrence and defense capabilities and to maximize economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea. The two leaders noted that they will continue their close consultations next week when they meet on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 17, 2017.
Shortly after the UN Security Council “strongly condemned” North Korea’s ‘highly provocative’ ballistic missile launch over Japan on Friday, Kim Jong Un vowed he would complete his nation’s nuclear program despite escalating international sanctions. On Saturday, state-run news agency KCNA quoted the leader, who said that North Korea is nearing its goal of “equilibrium of real force’ with the U. S. and claimed that North Korea’s nuclear program is nearly complete. KCNA added that Friday’s latest missile test was aimed at ‘calming down the belligerence of the U. S.’ and ‘confirming action procedures of actual war,’ the state-run agency said in a statement. Kim personally guided the launch of the latest Hwasong-12 missile, it added.
Hwasong-12 missile lifting off from Pyongyang, on Aug. 29. KCNA also said that Kim expressed great satisfaction over the launch, which he said verified the ‘combat efficiency and reliability’ of the missile and the success of efforts to increase its power. While the English version of the report was less straightforward, AP noted that the Korean version quoted Kim as declaring the missile as operationally ready. He vowed to complete his nuclear weapons program in the face of strengthening international sanctions, the agency said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 16, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… Eminent author and filmaker, John Pilger speaks to RT about the ratcheting up of tensions between the US and North Korea, led, of course, by the US and its vassal states in the EU. In the last two days, the UN Security Council imposed the harshest-ever sanctions againstNorth Korea. These sanctions restricted North Korea’s oil imports and banned textile exports, all an attempt to severely inhibit the recalcitrant nation’s defensive nuclear and ballistic missile capability and to increase pressure to bring DPRK supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, to the negotiating table with the US. ‘Today, we are attempting to take the future of the North Korean nuclear program out of the hands of its outlaw regime,’ said Nikki Haley, the U. S. ambassador to the United Nations. ‘Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea,’ she added. ‘And today the Security Council is saying if North Korea does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves.’ Russia’s President Putin had previously made it clear that North Korea would not bow to such pressure: ‘They would rather eat grass but will not give up the [nuclear] program if they do not feel safe,’ In an article written in April 2017, John Pilger, expressed fears regarding the escalation of military conflict by the Trump administration: ‘The United States is at a critical moment. Having exported its all-powerful manufacturing base, run down its industry and reduced millions of its once-hopeful people to poverty, principal American power today is brute force. When Donald Trump launched his missile attack on Syria – following his bombing of a mosque and a school – he was having dinner in Florida with the President of China, Xi Jinping.
Just over a week after North Korea’s test of a nuclear device, the United States has secured a fresh set of UN sanctions against the country. The speed with which the United Nations Security Council adopted these measures is unprecedented – sanctions on North Korea ordinarily take weeks of back and forth with China, North Korea’s main defender, as well as consultations with Russia. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley even thanked China, in particular, Chinese President Xi Jinping. The new UN sanctions will bite deeper into the North Korean economy than those past, but fall short of the sweeping measures included in a version leaked Sept. 7. That draft included a full ban on a range of oil products sold to North Korea, a freeze on the assets and travel of top North Korean leaders – including Kim Jong Un – as well blacklisting military-controlled airline Air Koryo. These broad measures – particularly the oil embargo – were unpalatable for both China and Russia, neither of which wants to see North Korea collapse. Negotiations toward the end of the week led to a second draft of the resolution, circulated Sept. 10.
You’ve probably heard this one before. After the United Nations unanimously voted to impose stricter sanctions on Kim Jong Un’s regime on Monday, North Korea again vociferously rejected the unanimous Security Council decision and issued its latest in a string of threats, recycling verbatim language it had used on Monday (local time) when the US was still calling for a total ban on energy imports to the North. At the time, the North warned that it would inflict ‘the greatest possible pain’ on the US if more sanctions were to be imposed. Well, later that day, the Security Council unanimously voted to impose “stricter” (not really) sanctions on the North. The resolution cut North Korean exports by 90% and reduced the refined products available to North Korea by 44% and fuel by 30%, however it did not touch the North Korean oil trade, a key factor for Beijing. Of course, this represented a dramatic watering-down of the US’s original sanctions proposal, which excluded Trump’s prior demands for an oil import ban as well as an international asset freeze on the government and leader Kim Jong Un, concessions made in an attempt to win the support of Moscow and Beijing.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 12, 2017.
In the latest indication that the US is desperate to reach a diplomatic compromise over North Korea, even if it means appeasing Beijing and Moscow, Reuters reports that while the UN Security Council is set to vote on Monday afternoon on a U. S.-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over latest nuclear test, as discussed on Friday, the new draft no longer proposes blacklisting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while also dropping a proposed oil embargo – something Beijing had vocally opposed – and instead intends to impose a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of 2m barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. *** In short: the US has materially weakened its proposed North Korea sanctions, “in an attempt to appease” Pyongyang’s allies Beijing and Moscow following negotiations over the past few days. In order to pass, a resolution needs nine of the 15 Security Council members to vote in favor and no vetoes by any of the five permanent members – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.
It is now Sept. 9 in North Korea, meaning the country’s celebration of the 69th anniversary of the creation of the North Korean state has officially begun. Last year, the country celebrated its 68th anniversary with its fifth nuclear test. This year, the US and South Korea are anticipating another demonstration of military strength from the isolated country – most likely another missile test. According to the Associated Press, Seoul’s Unification Ministry spokeswoman Eugene Lee said Friday that Pyongyang could potentially conduct its next ICBM tests this weekend or around Oct. 10. On the previous North Korean holiday, which took place in April, Kim Jong Un paraded what appeared to be an arsenal of ICBM’s through the center of Pyongyang to celebrate the birthday of Kim Il Sung, Kim’s grandfather and the founder of North Korea. Any missile test would be the country’s first since it fired a medium-range missile over the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, an escalation that alarmed US and Japanese officials and briefly sent stocks reeling before the dip was immediately bought. A few days before, the North fired three short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.
On Thursday, amid de-escalation chatter, President Trump once again insisted that US military action in North Korea remains a possibility should the North continue its threatening behavior against the US and its allies. If the US were to strike, it would be a ‘sad day’ for the isolated North, Trump promised, adding that while ‘it would be great’ if the issue of containing the North’s nuclear program could be resolved without military action, ‘nothing is inevitable.’ Not peace, not war. Meanwhile, instead of remorse, Kim Jong Un has only expressed what appears to be frustration that global financial markets aren’t taking his threats more seriously, and has vowed to continue. With its neighbor and client state threatening to upset the global apple cart, China on Thursday hinted that it could support tighter UN economic sanctions, but also pushed the two sides to begin a dialogue. Meanwhile, Russia Today reports that the US military is continuing to prepare for another ground war on the continent. A recent procurement posting suggests that the US Army is seeking a contractor to train its forces in South Korea to respond to potential attacks involving a weapon of mass destruction.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.
CNN allegedly found a North Korean defector through University researchers working in conjunction with the South Korean government. The news outlet interviewed the alleged defector, who claims Kim Jong-Un’s days as ‘supreme leader’ are numbered. CNN says that the defector had worked among the elites in Pyongyang. In order to protect the man’s anonymity, the descriptions and his name were omitted from the interview. He is said to fear being hunted down by North Korea and his family harmed should his identity be known. He is by far, however, the most recent defector CNN has ever interviewed; he’s only been free from North Korea for one year. But, he had a few predictions about the North’s borderline psychopathic dictator… In 2011, Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, died. Kim Jong Un took over and ‘tried his best,’ says the defector. He gave gifts, and in a public appearance, allowed his voice to be broadcast on North Korean state run television. The perception among the people was that life was about to improve inside North Korea. ‘It was a false image,’ he says.
This post was published at shtfplan on September 7th, 2017.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org, By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong Un has gotten the world’s attention. What else does he want? Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what damage Kim could visit on U. S. troops and bases in South Korea, Okinawa and Guam, his country would be destroyed and the regime his grandfather built annihilated. ‘The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,’ wrote Sun Tzu. Kim likely has something like this in mind. His nuclear and missile tests have already called the bluff of George W. Bush who, in his ‘axis of evil’ speech, declared that the world’s worst regimes would not be allowed to acquire the world’s worst weapons. Arguably the world’s worst regime now has the world’s worst weapon, an H-bomb, with ICBMs to follow.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2017.
The South China Post reported that Chinese scientists fear that a mountain in North Korea under which the last five bombs detonated as tests, may collapse crumbling into a crater. They fear that the radiation underground would then leak across region. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the escalating crisis concerning North Korea’s weapons program is placing the world at risk of developing into a ‘global catastrophe’ with massive casualties. Putin has UNREALISTICALLY said that the only way to resolve the crisis was through diplomacy. For that to be even a possibility, it requires talking. Kim Jong Un has not even met with the leader of China – its once closet Allies. Let’s put this is perspective. Why is Kim pushing the world to the brink? Kim Jong Un looks at this differently He believes that the survival of his regime depends on possessing nuclear weapons. He is most likely NOT interested in starting a nuclear war for he cannot be so stupid to believe he would win. Yet, Kim also realizes that the prospect of the USA sending a nuke to North Korea is also not likely for that would antagonize China and risk pollution drifting to South Korea and Japan, not to mention China. So with all the saber rattling, Kim is not stupid and realizes that the USA cannot launch a first strike.
An open military conflict in Northern Asia would disrupt more than a third of global seaborne crude oil trade, Wood Mackenzie warned last week amid yet another escalation between North Korea, its neighbors, and the U. S. Such a conflict would cripple North Asia’s production and refining capacity, the consultancy said. Some 65 percent of Asia’s crude oil refining capacity is located in China, Japan, and South Korea, so the effects of an open war would be far-reaching and potentially long-lasting. The most pressing question, then, is how likely such an open conflict is. Pyongyang seems determined to expand its military capabilities with intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry a nuclear head. State media claim that the nuclear head is a fact, releasing a photo featuring the country’s leader Kim Jong Un inspecting said weapon. After a quick succession of ballistic missile tests over the last couple of months that put South Korea, Japan, and the U. S. on red alert, more nuclear talk from Pyongyang is exactly what the world does not need. Yet it is what we are getting.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2017.
It should be obvious, now, even to the most vocal and acetic naysayers that no matter how much they try to declare that nothing will happen regarding North Korea, they’re wrong. It is happening, as we speak, and the buildup reached a high octave with North Korea’s sixth nuclear detonation, one that experts are saying was between 100 to 120 kilotons. This detonation occurred in North Korea’s test facility on Sunday, and North Korean news stated that it was a hydrogen bomb. Here’s a Wall Street Journal article excerpt: ‘In a televised statement, North Korea described the underground explosion, which triggered a large earthquake, as a ‘perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for an ICBM.’ Pyongyang said, ‘the creditability of the operation of the nuclear warhead is fully guaranteed.’ The test came just hours after leader Kim Jong Un showed off what he described as a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.’ Now, the Western Consumer Marketing/Euro Arrogance-Confidence News Networks and Politicos all decried North Korea’s capabilities for years. The news-twisters and politicos still only begrudgingly admit what recognized experts have been jumping up and down to warn the public about for years, namely this:
This post was published at shtfplan on September 4th, 2017.