Archive for September 3, 2017

Mattis Holds EMERGENCY Press Conference on North Korea H-Bomb Test 9/3/17

September 3, 2017

Mattis Holds EMERGENCY Press Conference on North Korea H-Bomb Test 9/3/17 via YouTube

 

North Korea’s latest test: More diplomacy will only make matters worse, says Amb. Bolton

September 3, 2017

North Korea’s latest test: More diplomacy will only make matters worse, says Amb. Bolton, Fox Business, September 3, 2017

(Please see also, Powers may end up with Iranian model for NKorea. — DM)

Bolton said the U.S. has “fooled around” with North Korea for 25 years, and if that continues, the current situation will only worsen.

“It would be a lesson to every nuclear state in the world that if you just have patience enough you can wear the United States down. The notion that we can accept North Korea or Iran with any kind of nuclear capability just means that we will forever be at their mercy,” he said.

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Following North Korea’s announcement that it successfully tested a thermonuclear device on Sunday, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said more diplomacy will only make matters worse regarding the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear threat to surrounding countries and America.

“I think the only diplomatic option left is to end the regime in North Korea by effectively having the South take it over,” Bolton told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Anybody who thinks that more diplomacy with North Korea or sanctions, whether against North Korea or an effort to apply sanctions against China, is just giving North Korea more time to increase its nuclear arsenal, increase its ballistic missile capability, increase the accuracy of its guidance systems and put us, South Korea and Japan in more jeopardy.”

The artificial earthquake caused by the test was “five to six times stronger” than tremors created by previous tests; South Korean officials put the magnitude at 5.7 and the U.S. Geological Survey said it was a magnitude 6.3 Opens a New Window., according to The Associated Press.

In addition to the threat of the country launching a thermonuclear weapon, Bolton explained that the willingness of Kim Jong Un to sell anything for money is also quite worrisome.

“They could sell these weapons, ballistic missiles and the nuclear devices themselves to Iran in a heartbeat. North Korea can sell these devices to terrorist groups around the world; they could be used as electromagnetic pulse weapons (EMPs), not necessarily hitting targets, but destroying our electric grid’s capabilities,” the former ambassador said, adding that they could also be used for nuclear blackmail.

President Trump reacted to the news of the alleged test on Twitter saying, “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”

..North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.

He also criticized South Korea for not taking a tougher stand against the communist country.

South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!

 

Bolton said the U.S. has “fooled around” with North Korea for 25 years, and if that continues, the current situation will only worsen.

“It would be a lesson to every nuclear state in the world that if you just have patience enough you can wear the United States down. The notion that we can accept North Korea or Iran with any kind of nuclear capability just means that we will forever be at their mercy,” he said.

Powers may end up with Iranian model for NKorea

September 3, 2017

Powers may end up with Iranian model for NKorea, DEBKAfile, September 3, 2017

(Obama’s “deal” with Iran (also known as the Iran scam) worked perfectly — for Iran. An even better deal for North Korea? Great idea. Not. Perhaps the “Israeli option” is the only realistic option available. Please see also, Germany’s Merkel: Iran deal a model for solving North Korea problem. — DM)

The only time military action was applied against a North Korean nuclear facility was on Sept. 6, 2007 when the Israeli Air Force and special forces blew up the plutonium reactor under construction by North Korea in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zour, in Operation Orchard. This plant was intended to be Iran’s main supplier of plutonium and had it been finished, would have accelerated Tehran’s advance towards a hydrogen bomb.

The North Korean leader will want much more than the deal won by Tehran, for a 10-year moratorium against a $150 billion pledge and many other rewards. Kim, whose arsenal is far more advanced, will certainly go a lot higher. His leverage for extortion is unassailable. He can either bargain for a mountain of cash or carry on looming over his Pacific neighbors and the United States, armed with advanced ballistic missiles and a nuclear bomb. He would then be faithful to the legacy of his father Kim Jong-Il, who declared in 1995 that a nuclear program was the only guarantee of his dynasty’s survival.

For now, both Iran and North Korea, long in cahoots on their weapons programs, are riding high.

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Even North Korea’s 150-kiloton hydrogen bomb and avowed ability to fit it onto an intercontinental ballistic missile, as Kim Jong-un demonstrated Sunday, Sept. 3, have so far drawn nothing more decisive from the world’s powers that words of condemnation and threats of stronger sanctions..

President Donald Trump called North Korea a rogue state whose words and actions were “hostile and dangerous to the United States” and convened a meeting with his national security team. Yet stronger sanctions are on the table, including stopping trade with countries doing business with North Korea.

Japan’s Shinzo Abe, already rattled by the North Korean missile that flew over his country, said the latest nuclear test, the most powerful thus far, “is completely unacceptable and we must lodge a strong protest.

South Korea said that its northern neighbor’s defiant sixth nuclear test should be met with the “strongest possible” response, including new UN Security Council sanctions to “completely isolate” the country.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Sunday to “appropriately deal with” the latest nuclear test by North Korea. The state news agency Xinhua said, “The two leaders agreed to stick to the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and keep close communication and coordination to deal with the new situation.”

But still, there is no sign of all these powers getting together for tangible, effective concerted action.

Since the Kim regime’s the first underground nuclear test on Oct. 9, 2006, almost every conceivable penalty and deterrent has been tried to rein in the rogue nation’s gallop towards a nuclear weapon, barring full-blown military aggression.

None worked, mainly because they were imposed piecemeal and never fully followed through. But most of all, this was because the big powers never lined up as one and pooled all their resources at the same time for concerted action. Sanctions were never comprehensive and so were never a solution.

The only time military action was applied against a North Korean nuclear facility was on Sept. 6, 2007 when the Israeli Air Force and special forces blew up the plutonium reactor under construction by North Korea in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zour, in Operation Orchard. This plant was intended to be Iran’s main supplier of plutonium and had it been finished, would have accelerated Tehran’s advance towards a hydrogen bomb.

The Israeli example has long been set aside, mainly since it was overtaken by Obama’s pro-Iran policy. Successive governments led by Binyamin Netanyahu also set this precedent aside over heavy resistance among Israel’s politicians and some of its generals to an attack on Iran’s nuclear program before it matured.

North Korea’s latest nuclear test was estimated by experts to be five times more powerful than the WWII bomb which destroyed Nagasaki. The Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty said it was evidence that Pyongyang’s nuclear program is “advancing rapidly.”

The leading world powers’ only real weapon against this advance is unity. But because this is so elusive, their governments – and because a military attack is seen as the worst option – those governments are apparently moving towards getting reconciled to living with a nuclear-armed Kim regime.

Against Iran, six world powers (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany), did team up and so were able to negotiate the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, which left its weapons and missile programs intact although relatively free of effective oversight.

If a similar lineup confronted Kim front-un with a collective seven-day ultimatum to dismantle those programs or else face their destruction, he might decided to sit down and talk.. As things stand today, he is free to shoot ballistic missiles over Japan and detonate a hydrogen bomb like a child’s firecrackers, while the world begs him on bended knee to come and discuss freezing his belligerent programs on the Iranian model.

The North Korean leader will want much more than the deal won by Tehran, for a 10-year moratorium against a $150 billion pledge and many other rewards. Kim, whose arsenal is far more advanced, will certainly go a lot higher. His leverage for extortion is unassailable. He can either bargain for a mountain of cash or carry on looming over his Pacific neighbors and the United States, armed with advanced ballistic missiles and a nuclear bomb. He would then be faithful to the legacy of his father Kim Jong-Il, who declared in 1995 that a nuclear program was the only guarantee of his dynasty’s survival.

Attempts to starve his country and force the regime into submission have fallen short. Even South Korea does not dare stop sending aid to allay its compatriots’ endemic famine. For now, both Iran and North Korea, long in cahoots on their weapons programs, are riding high.

Head of U.S.-Saudi Business Council: Trump Has ‘Heralded a New Era’ in Economic Growth

September 3, 2017

Head of U.S.-Saudi Business Council: Trump Has ‘Heralded a New Era’ in Economic Growth, Washington Free Beacon, September 3, 2017

President Donald Trump makes his way to board Air Force One in Riyadh / Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May “heralded a new era” in economic growth between the United States and its longtime ally, according to the head of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council.

Edward Burton, the president and chief executive of USSABC, which promotes bilateral investment between the United States and Saudi Arabia, said Trump’s visit “hit the reset button” between the two countries after more than a decade of strained relations.

“Certainly from a business perspective, it’s loud and clear the present administration respects the potency of Saudi capital invested in the U.S. and vice versa,” Burton told the Washington Free Beacon. “The Trump administration made clear it does not look at the Saudi market through its corporate community strictly through the lens of oil and weapons. It wants, and is encouraging, a broad-based engagement between American companies and Saudi companies.”

Burton, who served as commercial attaché at the U.S. embassy in Riyadh between 2003 and 2006, said the U.S.-Saudi business environment today is like “night and day” compared to ten years ago, when Americans were reeling from a series of Saudi-borne terrorist incidents, including the 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah.

Burton described a “pronounced retrenchment” at the time on the part of large U.S. companies due to terrorism concerns. Bilateral business relations worsened again last year after Congress unanimously passed a bill allowing the families of September 11 victims to sue the Saudi government over its alleged links to terrorism.

In response, the Saudi government, which has long denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks, threatened to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars of American assets.

The tide turned in May when United States and Saudi companies signed more than $55 billion in deals during a visit by Trump. The House of Saud sought to use the visit in part to promote its Vision 2030 plan to modernize the country’s economy and move away from its overreliance on oil.

“There’s a direct relationship between the president’s visit and at least some of the renewed optimism and interest,” Burton said. “Many times international business takes their cues from senior government leadership, and in this instance that’s surely the case.”

Three months after Trump’s trip, the U.S. company Dow Chemical announced plans to increase by 15 percent its stake in Saudi-based Sadara, the largest petrochemical project in the world. Dow said in a statement it signed a non-binding agreement with Saudi Aramco to boost equity in Sadara to 50 percent.

Burton said the move reflects conversations he’s had with both U.S. and Saudi business leaders, who have said the public should continue to expect a progression of such deals.

Trump says ‘appeasement’ will not work after N.Korea nuke test

September 3, 2017

Trump says ‘appeasement’ will not work after N.Korea nuke test, Breitbart, September 3, 2017

(Please see also, Getting Tough on North Korea: Iran and Other Mirages. The thrust of the linked article is that sanctions won’t work and that some form of “a broader political-military effort to stabilize the situation” is necessary.  As asked in my parenthetical comment on the article,

Do we need merely “to stabilize the situation,” or do we need to do something more drastic to change it so that North Korea will (a) cease to be a nuclear threat now and (b) be disabled from becoming one again? “

I think we need to disable North Korea from ever becoming a nuclear power again. While China urges patience, sanctions and appeasement of North Korea, China is threatening to “reunite” Taiwan with military force rather than through appeasement or sanctions. Please see also, Chinese Official Says China Might Invade Taiwan If “Peaceful Reunification Takes Too Long”. Getting rid of North Korea’s nuclear threat has already taken too long. — DM)

AFP

Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump declared Sunday that “appeasement with North Korea” will not work, after Pyongyang claimed it had successfully tested a missile-ready hydrogen bomb.

“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test,” Trump said. “Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

His comments came hours after the US Geological Survey picked up a 6.3 magnitude “explosion” in North Korea, which Pyongyang confirmed was a nuclear test, its sixth.

The isolated regime said this one was of a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted atop a ballistic missile, sharply raising the stakes in a US-North Korea confrontation.

Trump last month threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” if it continued to threaten the United States, but he refrained from direct threats in his latest tweets.

“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” he said.

“North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”

Chinese Official Says China Might Invade Taiwan If “Peaceful Reunification Takes Too Long”

September 3, 2017

Chinese Official Says China Might Invade Taiwan If “Peaceful Reunification Takes Too Long”, Synglobe, September 3, 2017

(Please see also, Taiwan Receives U.S. Navy Frigates, Plans Purchase of American Fighter Jets. — DM)

Image by DrRandomFactor via Wikimedia Commons

With regard to Taiwan’s internal politics, Wang implicitly admitted that the majority of Taiwanese voters had rejected cross-strait unification.

“There is no longer a balance of power between the pan-blue and the pan-green coalition,” he said, adding that “the Guomindang cannot effectively counter the DDP anymore” and that “Taiwanese public opinion is increasingly opposed to reunification”. The probability of peaceful reunification “has not been completely lost”, but it is “gradually being lost”, he said.

Due to concerns over China’s growing military might, the Taiwanese government will increase its defence budget by 50% in 2018 and focus on developing its domestic defence industry.

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In a recent interview Wang Zaixi (王在希), a former vice-chairman of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said that Beijing might resort to the use of force if “peaceful re-unification” between China and Taiwan “takes too long”.

Wang’s statements echo the increasingly assertive stance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) towards the island since Xi Jinping took office in 2012.

In the interview Wang Zaixi stated that although the Taiwan question is a complex issue that must be resolved in the long term, there “must be a sense of urgency towards cross-strait reunification.”

Wang blamed Taiwan‘s democratic process for slowing down the prospect of a peaceful solution of the cross-strait issue, arguing that because of the transfer of power from the pro-unification to the pro-independence coalition the possibility of peaceful unification “is gradually being lost.”

In 2014 and 2015 the Guomindang, Taiwan’s pro-unification party, suffered major electoral setbacks, losing the parliamentary majority to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which rejects rapprochement with China.

Read: China-Taiwan Tensions and the Guomindang’s Existential Crisis

Wang stated that the DPP administration is slowly promoting “Taiwanese independence”. He warned that the path towards Taiwan’s de jure independence “is unfeasible and would be catastrophic for our Taiwanese compatriots”.

Wang signalled that although no timetable for unification can at present be set, the CCP will not tolerate the resolution of the issue to drag on for too long. He cited Article 8 of China’s Anti-Secession Law, which states that “[i]n the event that … possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Calling unification “an irresistible trend that cannot be avoided” Wang said that “the Taiwan issue has been evolving for 68 years already, it cannot be allowed to drag on for a 100 years, 1.3 billion compatriots cannot accept [this issue] to continue indefinitely”.

As to how the Taiwan issue could be solved peacefully, Wang argued that a cross-strait agreement laying out gradual steps towards unification could be reached between the two sides.

He added that mainland China hopes for “peaceful reunification”, but that the option of “reunification by force”  (武統) cannot be ruled out. “Although peace might not bring about reunification, reunification will certainly bring about cross-strait peace,” he concluded.

In recent years China has been pushing more aggressively towards cross-strait unification. At a meeting with a Taiwanese envoy in October 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the solution of the Taiwan issue “cannot wait forever”.

Since at that time Taiwan was still ruled by the Guomindang, Xi’s statement was not a reaction to Taipei’s hostility, but a sign that the Chinese leader is determined to pursue a more assertive Taiwan policy than his predecessors.

Due to concerns over China’s growing military might, the Taiwanese government will increase its defence budget by 50% in 2018 and focus on developing its domestic defence industry.

Hydrogen bomb in NKorea’s biggest nuclear test yet

September 3, 2017

Source: Hydrogen bomb in NKorea’s biggest nuclear test yet

DEBKAfile Special Report September 3, 2017, 8:12 AM (IDT)


North Korea celebrated its sixth and most powerful nuclear test Sunday, boasting it had launched a hydrogen bomb outfitted for intercontinental ballistic missiles. The US Geological Survey recorded a 6.3 magnitude earth tremor, felt and confirmed in Seoul and China, from North Korea’s test side in Punggye-ri in the northeast region. It was manmade and attributed to this test, which seismic experts with Norway’s Norsar believe had an explosive yield of about 120 kilotons.

The Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty said the test is evidence that North Korea’s nuclear program is “advancing rapidly.”

Seismologists also noted a second tremor of a 4.1 magnitude, which occurred at the same location minutes after the first one and they categorized as a “collapse.”

As tensions around the peninsula ratcheted up further, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster addressed the test in an emergency phone call with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, for about 20 minutes after the detonation.

No response was forthcoming from the White House or the State Department.

The North Korean leader Kim Jng-un inspected the new H-bomb at his nation’s Nuclear Weapons Institute, according to a Sunday statement from the state-run Korean News Agency. The bomb was portrayed as part of North Korea’s stated program to build a nuclear arsenal capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

In July, North Korea conducted a pair of ICBM tests for the first time.

Weeks after a North Korean ballistic missile flew over Japanese air space, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement on Sunday saying “If North Korea has indeed gone ahead with