This post was published at The Young Turks
As much of the world celebrates the Christmas Holiday, it’s business as usual on the geo-political front. And as we have repeatedly warned in recent years, numerous countries including military super powers Russia and China are actively mobilizing their armies for a widespread armed conflict.
With North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowing this weekend to never give up his nuclear ambitions and President Trump having made it clear that the United States will not allow the North to possess nuclear weapons capable of striking America, it appears that confrontation is inevitable.
Further signaling what may come to pass in 2018 is General Robert Neller, who spoke to Marines in Europe during his annual Christmas tour:
Neller emphasized to the Marines that they should remain ready to fight at all times, predicting a ‘big-ass fight’ on the horizon.
‘I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,’ Neller said. ‘ … You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence.’
This post was published at shtfplan on December 25th, 2017.
One day after the UN humiliated Donald Trump, when 128 nations voted for a UN resolution demanding the US president revoke his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, on Friday Trump scored a significant victory at the same venue – his third of the day after signing off on the tax and stopgap bills – when the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions targeting North Korea’s economy after the latest launch of a ballistic missile last month that Kim Jong Un’s regime said shows it can now target the entire continental U. S.
The new restrictions are meant to slash North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products, further restrict shipping and impose a 12-month deadline for expatriate North Korean workers to be sent home, according to Bloomberg. “Under the new sanctions, oil exports will be limited to their current level, which has already begun to result in shortages around the country,” the NY Times added. “Countries around the world will be ordered to expel North Korean workers, a key source of hard currency. Nations would also be urged to inspect all North Korean shipping and halt ship-to-ship transfers of fuel, which the North has used to evade sanctions.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.
In recent years, North Korea has frustrated the US intelligence community, which has struggled to determine exactly how Kim Jong Un and his regime have managed to make so much progress, so quickly in their quest to develop a nuclear weapon capable of striking the Continental US.
The international community has authorized one round of sanctions after another, and yet they appear to have little impact on the country’s economy. If anything, these efforts have only served to strengthen the Kim’s grip on power by feeding the narrative – taught to every North Korean child – that the US is an evil, imperialist antagonist bent on subjugating the North.
While the exact means by which the North has managed to survive such immense international pressure remain a mystery, the New York Times has a theory: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has cultivated an aura of reverence and celebrity around the country’s nuclear scientists.
These celebrity scientists are known by nicknames like the ‘nuclear duo’ and the ‘missile quartet’.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 17, 2017.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan.
North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D. C.
Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that missile, which could be fired with precision, and survive the severe vibrations of re-entry. More tests and more time are needed for that.
Thus, U. S. markets brushed off the news of Kim’s Hwasong-15 missile and roared to record heights on Wednesday and Thursday.
President Donald Trump took it less well.
‘Little Rocket Man’ is one ‘sick puppy,’ he told an audience in Missouri.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.
North Korea alarmed the international community on Tuesday when, after a two-month lull, it fired a Hwasong-15 ICBM into the waters west of Japan. State media touted the launch as its most powerful missile yet. Judging by the missile’s peak height reached during its flight, experts say the North now has the capacity to strike nearly any location in the Continental US. Now, the North’s state media released dozens of photos and a video after Wednesday’s launch of the new Hwasong-15 missile, which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared had ‘finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force’. The photos show Kim Jong-un personally overseeing the launch of the missile, an obvious source of national pride.
Pyongyang claimed the Hwasong-15 reached an altitude of around 4,475 kilometers and flew 950 kilometers during its flight, which lasted 53 minutes.
Kim Jong-un was shown in delight as the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15’s test was successfully launched, in these photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 30, 2017.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.
The tense situation over North Korea’s nuclear program has one top Russian diplomat sounding the alarm. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said that the world can no longer turn a ‘blind eye’ to alarming speed with which North Korea is advancing their weapons of mass destruction.
North Korea’s nuclear program could evolve into an ‘apocalyptic’ scenario, Morgulov said. He was speaking at the opening of the eighth annual Asian Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club, which is being held in Seoul, South Korea, CNBC reports. ‘I hope that a common sense, pragmatism, and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners,’ Morgulov added.
The Russian diplomat’s remarks come amid global concerns over North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s refusal to abandon his nuclear ambitions despite mounting international pressure. North Korea has conducted a record number of long-range missile tests this year, and in early September it carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
Tensions continue to heighten as Kim and President Donald Trump trade numerous threats and insults. Over the summer, Trump warned Pyongyang it would be met with ‘fire and fury’ if it didn’t stop threatening the U. S. In late September while addressing the United Nations for the first time, he threatened to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea if it forced the U. S. to defend itself or its allies. In a speech to South Korea’s National Assembly, president Trump denounced Kim’s regime but also offered the erratic leader a path to peace if he agreed to cease long-range missile tests and move toward denuclearization. North Korea rejected his offer and said the president had ‘begged’ for nuclear war during his Asia trip.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 28th, 2017.
North Korea’s state-run propaganda machine has seized on Donald Trump’s aborted trip to the DMZ, calling him a ‘coward’ for canceling his visit to the heavily fortified border. And just to make sure there is nothing lost in translation, state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmin said Trump deserves the ‘death penalty’ for insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
An editorial in the ruling party newspaper focused its anger on Trump in a recent issue, criticizing him after he vowed to bring the North Korean regime to heel if it doesn’t surrender its nuclear weapons and half its program of nuclear enrichment during a speech to South Korean lawmakers last week during the beginning of Trump’s 12-day, five-nation tour across Asia – which was intended to rally regional support for the US’s push to force North Korea to disarm.
‘The worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared [to] malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership,’ the editorial said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.
President Donald Trump departed for China this morning, the third leg of his 12-day tour of Asia – his first visit to the continent since taking office – but not before delivering a “rousing speech” to South Korean lawmakers where he warned the North not to ‘underestimate’ the US – a sharp change in tone from yesterday, when he encouraged the North to ‘make a deal’ with the US that he said would be in their mutual interest. During his address in Seoul, Trump directed his words at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warning him that ‘the weapons that you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face.’ More details on Trump’s speech from Reuters:
‘This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past,’ Mr. Trump said in an address to South Korean lawmakers Wednesday. ‘Do not underestimate us, and do not try us.’
The president called on Mr. Kim to abandon his country’s nuclear-weapons program as he contrasted the successful capitalist economy of South Korea with that of the North, whose economy is many times smaller. Both countries’ output was similar in 1953, when the end of the Korean War left the peninsula divided.
‘North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned – it is a hell that no person deserves,’ Mr. Trump said, referring to North Korea’s founding leader, Kim Il Sung. ‘We will offer a path to a much better future,’ he continued. ‘It begins with an end to the aggression of your regime, a stop to the development of ballistic missiles and complete, verifiable and total denuclearization.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.
President Donald Trump’s 12-day Asia tour kicked off in Japan last night, where discussions between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were punctuated by the deadly mass shooting that claimed 26 lives in a small-town Texas church. But not before Trump could engage in some customary saber-rattling aimed at his favorite verbal sparring partner, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump’s meeting with Abe was the first time the two world leaders have met face to face since late September, when they discussed strategies for containing the North Korean nuclear threat on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, including how to pressure China and Russia to increase economic pressure on their restive neighbor, according to Reuters.
Not much has changed since then; though South Korean and US intelligence have detected signs of movement around some of the North’s missile-launch sites, the country has so far refrained from engaging in any more missile or nuclear tests since it fired a medium-range missile over Japan on Sept. 15.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 6, 2017.
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.
This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/26/2017.