US Official: ‘Time is Running OUT’ To Avoid Nuclear War With North Korea

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser warned that now is the time to avoid a war with North Korea. H. R. McMaster, speaking at an event for the British think tank Policy Exchange, said ‘time is running out’ to prevent a nuclear war.
According to Newsweek, McMaster was previewing the new National Security Strategy, a document put out by each administration that shapes how it approaches foreign policy and national security issues during its tenure. Trump will unveil the full document on Monday.
McMaster’s remarks come just after North Korea demonstrated a missile last month that, experts say, puts the continental United States in range. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un have also traded verbal barbs, with Trump calling Kim ‘Rocket Man’ and Korean government outlets referring to Trump as a ‘dotard.’ Those threats and the advances in North Korea’s nuclear program have heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula and pushed the two sides toward what experts say would be a horrific nuclear war.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 13th, 2017.

Time For Dtente With North Korea

Authored by Robert McCoy via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
While the military and political environments on the Korean Peninsula have evolved, American policy towards the North has not changed since 1991
***
The reality is North Korea has nuclear weapons – perhaps thermonuclear bombs – and they are probably miniaturized enough to fit atop its missiles, one of which will soon be, if not already, able to reach all parts of the continental United States.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.

“The Threat Is Real” – Millions In Tokyo Join Nuclear Strike Evacuation Drills

Earlier this week, Hawaii reportedly tested its system of nuclear sirens for the first time since the 1960s as the state’s governor warned that he was taking North Korea’s threats of nuclear annihilation extremely seriously. Today, the Telegraph is reporting that the paranoia has spread to Japan, where millions of Tokyo residents will participate in evacuation drills meant to simulate their response to North Korean nuclear strike.
And Tokyo isn’t the first city to conduct these types of large scale drills: Towns facing the Korean Peninsula have conducted similar drills in recent months.
The national and city governments are to carry out a series of exercises between January and March to prepare for a potential attack on Tokyo, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported, the first time that a major Japanese city will have carried out responses to a simulated attack. Towns facing the Korean Peninsula have in recent months conducted similar drills, with residents instructed to seek shelter in response to sirens warning of an imminent missile strike.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.

South Korean Army Developing “Drone-Bot Combat Unit” To Swarm The North

As North Korea continues its saber-rattling exercises, with the latest coming via an ICBM test that confirmed the rogue nation could reach a bombing target anywhere in the continental U. S., the South has responded with similar displays of force largely consisting drills conducted in coordination with the United States military (see: In “Largest-Ever” Military Drill, US Orders 16,000 Troops, 230 Jets To Simulate War With North Korea).
Now, as the Financial Times points out this morning, South Korean preparations for a potential confrontation with their northern neighbor will include the creation of a weaponized drone unit that could be used to swarm North Korea in the event of a conflict.
Operated by the army, the unit will primarily engage in reconnaissance missions to survey developments at the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile sites, but could in future be used to launch swarm attacks, according to people familiar with the matter.
The establishment of the army unit follows calls from western officials and analysts for South Korea to improve its advanced surveillance technology.
‘South Korea’s army plans to create a drone-bot combat unit in 2018 and set up a professional combat team to operate it,’ an official at the Ministry of Defence confirmed.
‘South Korea has reached a level of consensus on swarm technology, but adoption will take a while,’ said a person familiar with the military developments. ‘The army is facing [political] pressure to reduce its forces, so it has to come up with new ideas.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.

More Details Emerge Of Yemeni Rebel Cruise Missile Launch On Abu Dhabi Nuclear Plant

Submitted by South Front
More details have emerged concerning the reported December 3rd firing of a cruise missile by Yemeni Houthi rebels toward a nuclear power plant under construction in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The cruise missile has been identified as a ‘Soumar’ missile, an Iranian-modified version of the Soviet-made Kh-55 cruise missile. With an operational range of 2500 km, the Kh-55s are equipped with guidance systems that allow them to maintain an altitude lower than 110 meters from the ground, thereby avoiding radar detection.
Local Yemeni sources confirmed that the cruise missile did not hit the target, having crashed in the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf. The UAE stated that it possesses an air defense system capable of dealing with any threat of any type or kind, adding that the nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi was well-protected, state news agency WAM reported on its Twitter account. The crash reasons are still unclear, but most likely it was a technical failure.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.

US-Supplied Defense System Failed To Intercept Houthi Missile Attack On Saudi Capital

A new study in the New York Times suggests that Saudi Arabia’s state of the art defense system failed to intercept the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels which nearly hit Riyadh’s international airport on November 4th. The report contradicts the official claims of the Saudi and American governments, which both announced immediately after the incident that the US-supplied Patriot missile defense system had successfully intercepted the Houthi fired Scud.
The analysis, which utilized open-source material in the form of available video and social media photos of the aftermath of the attack, was conducted by a team of missile experts, and threatens to shake confidence in the US system, which is currently implemented by American allies around the world from South Korea and Taiwan to Turkey, Israel and Japan, among others.
And notably President Trump himself had announced while aboard Air Force One on the day following the attack, ‘Our system knocked the missile out of the air.’ Trump also emphasized the importance of demonstrable success of the systems and added, ‘That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world.’
But The New York Times report begins with a flat contradiction of that claim:
The official story was clear: Saudi forces shot down a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group last month at Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. It was a victory for the Saudis and for the United States, which supplied the Patriot missile defense system.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.

Risk Fades On Report Japan Boosting Missile Defense Against “North Korea Threat”

Earlier we joked that today’s rally was losing steam, and it “needs a North Korean ICBM launch to find new strength.”
This rally needs a North Korean ICBM launch to find new strength
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 4, 2017

Well, there has been no new launch (yet), however according to several desks the reason why USDJPY has faded and why the risk bid has faded sending ES to session lows, is as a result of a Nikkei report that “Japan boosting missile defense to face North Korean threat” although a closer read leaves one skeptical if this is indeed the reason, considering the Nikkei is talking about long-term plans and nothing imminent, to wit:
Japan will overhaul its missile intercept command system starting in fiscal 2018 to cope with advancements in North Korea’s weapons technology, such as faster-descending missiles launched at a steeper trajectory.
The Japan Aerospace Defense Ground Environment, or JADGE, detects incoming missiles via radar and combines that information with data from American military satellites and other sources to determine the rockets’ trajectory and likely point of impact. If the missiles are expected to strike Japan, land- and ship-based interceptors are ordered to shoot them down.
But many believe the current system could have trouble dealing with high-powered missiles launched at a lofted trajectory, a method that sacrifices range for height and a speedy descent. The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea launched last Wednesday took such a path. Rapidly calculating a high-flying missile’s speed and direction and determining whether it was launched by friend or foe requires a great deal of computing power, and “it is possible the current system would not be able to keep up” to intercept such a rocket, an official from the Ministry of Defense said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.

South Korea, US Launch “Largest Ever” Aerial Drills As Pyongyang Warns Of Nuclear War

The US and South Korea launched their largest aerial drills yet on Monday, less than a week after North Korea tested its new Hwasong-15 missile which military observers said has the capacity to strike Washington DC, or nearly any other location in the continental US. The launched shattered nearly two months of calm as many suspected the North’s benefactors in China were making good on their promises to rein in the restive state’s belligerent behavior.
As we reported Sunday, the annual US-South Korean drills, called Vigilant Ace, will run until Friday. Six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters will be deployed among the more than 230 aircraft taking part. The North has condemned the exercises as yet another provocation.
F-35 fighters will also participate in the drill, which will involve the largest number of 5th generation fighters, according to a South Korea-based US Air Force spokesman quoted by Reuters.
Around 12,000 US troops, including the Marines and Navy, will join South Korean troops. Aircraft participating in the drills will take off from eight different US and South Korean military installations.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Explains Why Nuclear Holocaust Is Now Likely

Authored by Eric Zuesse,
The Stanford mathematician William J. Perry was a strategic nuclear advisor to U. S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and then he became U. S. Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton.
He stated in a speech on November 28th at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, that ‘inexplicably to me, we’re recreating the geopolitical hostility of the Cold War, and we’re rebuilding the nuclear dangers,’ and he went so far as to make clear why “I believe that the likelihood of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe today is actually greater than it was during the Cold War.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.

“We’re Getting Close To Military Conflict”: Sen. Graham Urges Evacuation Of Americans From South Korea

Neocon Senator Lindsay Graham was stoking the flame of what is looking like increasingly probable war with North Korea today, when he warned on national TV that rising tensions between the the US and Pyongyang means preparations for war need to be taken, and that dependents of U. S. military personnel in South Korea should be relocated after the latest North Korean missile test.
Speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation”, Sen. Graham said that “we’re getting close to a military conflict because North Korea’s marching toward marrying up the technology of an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top that cannot only get to America but deliver the weapon. We’re running out of time.”
Graham then urged American dependants should no longer be sent to South Korea, and added that it’s time to start evacuating dependents out of North Korea’s southern neighbor: “South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour. It’s crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea. So I want them to stop sending dependents. And I think it’s now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.

Pentagon To Deploy THAAD Anti-Missile Systems On West Coast To Protect Against North Korean ICBM Attack

Days after North Korea launched its most advanced ICBM which reportedly can hit a target anywhere in the United States with its 8,000+ mile range, Pyongyang said the U. S. is “begging” for a nuclear war by planning the “largest-ever” joint aerial drill with South Korea, according to Bloomberg. ‘Should the Korean peninsula and the world be embroiled in the crucible of nuclear war because of the reckless nuclear war mania of the U. S., the U. S. will have to accept full responsibility for it,’ North Korea’s state-run KCNA said Saturday, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As we previously reported, the statement came after Yonhap News reported that six U. S. Raptor stealth fighters planes arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a joint air drill named “Vigilant Ace 18” scheduled for Dec. 4 to 8. The F-22s flew into South Korea together in a show of force. The stealth fighters, however, were just a small part of the upcoming show of force: according to local media, some 230 aircraft and up to 16,000 soldiers and airmen are taking part in the drill, which is one of the biggest ever of its kind.
Meanwhile, in addition to Lindsey Graham’s warning that US civilians in South Korea should evacuate ahead of “military conflict”, in response to North Korea’s recently enhanced capabilities, the United States is beefing up security on the West Coast.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.

Yemen Rebels Claim They Fired Missile At Abu Dhabi Nuclear Plant

Two days after Israel reportedly destroyed an alleged Iranian airbase in the city of al-Qiswa near Damascus in Syria, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed they fired a cruise missile toward the $20 bilion Barakh nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi in the UAE (which is still under construction) which “successfully hit its target”, the group’s television service said on its website Sunday, however without providing evidence.
The launch was in retaliation for the closing of sea and air ports, it said without offering evidence or providing further details. The statement quoted a Houthi leader who warned against continuing the blockade, ‘affirming Yemenis’ right to take sensitive steps.’
‘The missile force announces the launching of a winged cruise missile … toward the al-Barakah nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi,’ the website said. It gave no further details. The claim comes as the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition, celebrates its National Day.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.

In “Largest-Ever” Military Drill, US Orders 16,000 Troops, 230 Jets To Simulate War With North Korea

Just days after Pyongyang launched its most advanced ICBM, one which experts warned has the potential to hit a target anywhere on the territory of the United States, North Korea said the U. S. is ‘begging’ for a nuclear war by planning the ‘largest-ever’ joint aerial drill with South Korea just after concluding an exercise with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, Bloomberg reported.
‘Should the Korean peninsula and the world be embroiled in the crucible of nuclear war because of the reckless nuclear war mania of the U. S., the U. S. will have to accept full responsibility for it,’ North Korea’s state-run KCNA said Saturday, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The statement came after Yonhap News reported that six U. S. Raptor stealth fighters planes arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a joint air drill named “Vigilant Ace 18” scheduled for Dec. 4 to 8. The F-22s flew into South Korea together in a show of force. The stealth fighters, however, were just a small part of the upcoming show of force: according to local media, some 230 aircraft and up to 16,000 soldiers and airmen are taking part in the drill, which is one of the biggest ever of its kind.
As part of “Vigilant Ace”, US and South Korean forces will be rehearsing for a full-scale war with North Korea, with Yonhap noting that “allies plan to stage simulated attacks on mock North Korean nuclear and missile targets.”
Despite Pyongyang’s harsh rhetoric, US commanders have downplayed the drill – claiming it is ‘regular’ and not a direct response to North Korea.
According to the WSJ, at least 230 US and Southg Korean warplanes will take part, alongside 12,000 US troops from the Air Force, Marines and Navy and airmen with another 4,000 expected to represent Seoul.” The drill, which lasts from December 4 until December 8, will see aircraft flying over eight airbases in across the Korean Peninsula.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.

How A Dubious BBC Report Gave Israel The “Green Light” For Last Night’s Attack On Syria

Syrian state television has confirmed that Israel attacked a military base outside of Damascus overnight on Friday, which Israeli media reports involved both surface-to-surface missiles and airstrikes, while Syria says its air defense systems were engaged and intercepted two missiles. Like other recent strikes inside Syria, the Israeli jets reportedly fired from over Lebanese airspace, in order to avoid both Syrian anti-aircraft missile systems and provoking a Russian response. Though the extent of the damage or casualties is not yet known, Syrian media has confirmed material damage to the base, and other reports indicate mass power outages in some of parts of Damascus occurred immediately after the attack, which SANA says happened at 12:30am local time.
It appears the base is likely the same one featured in a November BBC report which showed satellite images detailing the purported construction and renovation of an “Iranian military base” near El-Kiswah, which lies 14 km (8 miles) south of Damascus. As we’ve noted before, the BBC report was dubiously sourced to “a Western intelligence source” and the story was quickly utilized by Israeli leaders to ratchet up rhetoric in preparing its case before the international community for further attacks on the supposed Iranian targets. Israel has long justified its attacks inside Syria by claiming to be acting against Hezbollah and Iranian facilities and arms depots.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 2, 2017.

South Korea Unveils Plan To Strike North Korean Missile Launchers

North Korea launched its Hwasong-15 ICBM into the waters west of Japan at 3:17 am local time on Wednesday. Barely six minutes later, South Korean artillery, air force, and Navy sprang into action and began firing missiles into the waters off eastern Korea – yet another military show of force meant to intimidate the North into ceasing its missile strikes.
The retaliatory display was calibrated to target a spot in the waters off the Korean peninsula that was exactly as far away as Pyongsong, a town about 20 miles north of Pyongyang where the Hwasong 15 was reportedly launched. The distance was meant to signify that the South Korean military could destroy the North’s missile launchers if it chose to do so, the Wall Street Journal.
But while the precision strike probably impressed any bystanders who were watching, in reality, the South’s technology for detecting and responding to North Korean missile launches is still unreliable.
But detecting missile tests is an imperfect science, involving misses as well as hits. In a conflict situation, North Korea is likely to take more steps to conceal its movements, for instance by deploying decoy launchers, said Yang Uk, senior defense researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, a Seoul think tank. In such a scenario, the likelihood falls that South Korean, U. S. or Japanese forces would pinpoint the exact launch site, Mr. Yang said. Still, he viewed the South’s response to the missile test as a success, especially considering the short time the military needed to return fire.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.

Pat Buchanan Explains “Little Rocket Man’s Risky Game”

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’s Newest Missile Is Capable Of Carrying Multiple Warheads

Contrary to the South Korean government’s initial analysis, the missile launched by North Korea into the waters west of Japan yesterday could represent an important advancement in the country’s missile technology that would allow it to carry multiple warheads.
***
According to a report in Japanese business newspaper Nikkei, photos of the Hwasong-15 published by local North Korean media showcase a newly developed launch system and casing.
Rodong Sinmun, a mouthpiece for the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, published photos of the Hwasong-15, the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile, at liftoff and mounted on what appears to be a newly developed mobile launch system. The missile seems to involve a completely new rocket, judging by its size and shape, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said Thursday. The ministry’s initial analysis Wednesday claimed the Hwasong-15 was merely a retooled version of the Hwasong-14 ICBMs launched in July.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.

US Asks China to Cut Off Oil Supply to North Korea

hina should cut off North Korea’s access to crude oil following the latest missile launch from Pyongyang, and Washington has asked it to do just that, the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, adding that ‘if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.’
The US has for months insisted that more radical measures be taken against the North Korean regime, but Beijing has been reluctant to step up the pressure too much, wary of bringing a refugee crisis on its own head in case of an open military conflict in the region.
Haley’s warning comes on the heels of the third intercontinental missile test launch that North Korea announced earlier this week, claiming now its missiles can hit any location in the United States. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un said this test showed that North Korea had become a full nuclear power.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/30/2017.

North Korea Releases Photos Of ICBM Capable Of Striking The US

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.