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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: November 08, 2017, 01:32:50 PM »

South Korea’s Bow to Beijing
Seoul caves on Thaad missile defenses and a democratic alliance.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-In speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Nov. 7.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-In speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Nov. 7. Photo: jim watson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
By The Editorial Board
Nov. 7, 2017 6:17 p.m. ET
145 COMMENTS

Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Moon Jae-in for “great cooperation” on containing the threat from North Korea and said there has been “a lot of progress.” The South Korean President also made a show of unity after their summit in Seoul, but Mr. Moon’s recent actions suggest he is an unreliable friend.

Mr. Moon favors appeasing Kim Jong Un to lower tension on the Korean Peninsula, including direct talks even as the North continues its nuclear and missile tests. He wants to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Zone that provided Pyongyang with about $100 million in hard currency a year. That’s bad enough, but Mr. Moon is also working against U.S. policy in the wider region. Last week he caved to Chinese pressure on missile defense, rewarding Beijing for its bullying behavior and support for the Kim Jong Un regime.

Earlier this year, the missile threat from the North caused Seoul to deploy the U.S.-made Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense (Thaad), which can shoot down missiles in a range of more than 200 kilometers. Beijing objected forcefully, claiming that the system’s powerful radar could monitor China’s nuclear missile sites. Thaad also meshes with other U.S. missile defense systems at sea, in Japan and on American territory.

China’s larger fear is that South Korea will be drawn into a closer relationship with other U.S. allies. A key theme of Mr. Trump’s trip is cooperation among the region’s democracies to protect a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” building on past efforts to deepen ties between South Korea and Japan. If South Korea were to put aside its reservations about working with Japan, it would deal a serious blow to China’s bid for hegemony in Asia.

Beijing unleashed a diplomatic and economic assault this year to convince newly elected President Moon to back down on Thaad. Official spokesmen and state-run media blamed Seoul for harming relations. Beijing closed South Korean-owned stores in China, stopped Chinese tourists from visiting, and even blocked the broadcast of Korean television dramas.

Last week Mr. Moon folded. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha announced a deal to settle the Thaad dispute on Chinese terms. South Korea promised not to deploy more Thaad radars and launchers, leaving South Korea vulnerable to future North Korean attacks, since the six current launchers don’t cover northern South Korea, including the capital Seoul. Without more launchers, North Korean missiles could overwhelm the system.

Seoul also agreed not to join America’s regional missile-defense system, which will limit the effectiveness of the defenses in South Korea and Japan. And South Korea agreed not to join a military alliance with the U.S. and Japan in the future. So Beijing achieved its goal of stymieing the U.S. agenda of collective defense in Asia along the lines of Europe’s NATO.

What did Seoul get in return? A meeting between Mr. Moon and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of this week’s APEC summit in Vietnam, as well as a trip to Beijing this year. China tacitly agreed to stop its embargoes on South Korean products. No word on whether it will stop supporting Pyongyang with oil and food, but don’t count on it.

Mr. Moon has called for “balanced diplomacy” between the U.S. and China. But his willingness to compromise the security of his own country and its allies in the face of Chinese pressure is anything but balanced. It’s understandable that the U.S. and South Korean Presidents showed a united front Tuesday, but Mr. Moon’s actions have undermined the alliance against Kim Jong Un.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #351 on: November 09, 2017, 12:06:51 PM »

What Trump Really Said in South Korea
Nov 9, 2017
By Jacob L. Shapiro

The importance of any speech is tricky to gauge. Occasionally, they can have great significance, like when Secretary of State Dean Acheson left South Korea out of the U.S. security umbrella in a speech to the National Press Club in 1950, an omission that, in a way, helped start the Korean War. But mostly they reside in the garbage bin of history. There’s a wide gulf between rhetoric and reality, and what is said for political purposes often has little to do with the impersonal forces that shape action. I remember watching then-Secretary of State John Kerry thunder away at a State Department briefing about Syria’s use of chemical weapons in August 2013, thinking to myself that surely a U.S. military strike on Syria was imminent. (I even went on television and said as much. Thankfully, the internet saves all things, so I can always look back and relive my mistake.) At the time, I couldn’t see how else Kerry’s severe language could be explained. But of course, the U.S. decided not to strike, despite then-President Barack Obama’s red line and despite Kerry’s fiery speech.

On Nov. 8, U.S. President Donald Trump gave us a new speech to consider. Addressed to South Korea’s National Assembly, it had three main objectives. First, to convey to South Korea the gravity of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the depth of the United States’ commitment to preventing North Korea from acquiring nukes that threaten American soil. Second, to begin building a case to the American people for the U.S. to fight again on the Korean Peninsula. And third, to scare Kim Jong Un, and any country that may support his regime, into capitulating before a war starts. The odds of Trump achieving the third objective are slim at best, which means he will soon face a grave decision. What he decides will define his presidency and shape the balance of power in East Asia for years to come.

Peace Through Strength

Trump’s remarks to the National Assembly were effusive and complimentary, but the content of the message was no different from his prior comments about South Korea. In September, he took to Twitter to criticize Seoul for what he called appeasement of the North Koreans. Many feared at the time that Trump’s comments may poison relations between Seoul and Washington. The tweets, however, were only an expression of frictions that already existed. The problem in the relationship started May 9 with the election of President Moon Jae-in, whose administration opposes a pre-emptive U.S. strike on North Korea.

 U.S. President Donald Trump (R) addresses the National Assembly in Seoul on Nov. 8, 2017. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

This threw a wrench in U.S. plans. From an operational perspective, attacking North Korea without South Korea’s help makes an already difficult operation close to impossible. There had been several signs in the first half of the year that the U.S. was preparing for military action against North Korea. In fact, at one point in May, three U.S. aircraft carriers had converged on the Western Pacific, and the U.S. seemed poised to strike. But Moon’s election forced the U.S. to slow its preparations and devote additional time to diplomacy. From a political perspective, Seoul’s defiance of Washington suggested weakness. Pyongyang intuited that there may be a split in U.S.-South Korean relations that it could exploit to bring about one of its long-cherished goals: the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Korean Peninsula.

Despite Trump’s lofty rhetoric in Seoul, little has changed since the September tweets. South Korea and the U.S. still don’t see eye to eye on what should be done about North Korea. As long as that is the case, the U.S. will find it difficult to convince the North that it should fear American threats. So although Trump was far more gracious speaking to the South Korean National Assembly than he was on Twitter, his message was the same: Peace in our time can be achieved only through strength. Trump’s entire visit to Asia is symbolic, an attempt to shore up U.S. relations with key allies in the Pacific. But no ally is more important and more skeptical right now than South Korea, and no speech is going to allay South Korea’s concerns.

The Other Audiences

Other parts of Trump’s speech focused on the nature of North Korea’s dictatorship. These remarks were directed not at South Korean lawmakers – they are plenty familiar with their neighbor’s woeful economic situation and strict societal controls – but at the American public. That Trump’s speech was delivered at 11 a.m. Seoul time meant that it aired during prime-time hours in the United States. Trump laid out the reasons it is important for the United States to ensure that North Korea does not acquire nuclear capabilities. He made his argument from a security standpoint, an ethical standpoint and even a religious standpoint.

But the two men Trump was speaking to most forcefully were Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump’s words for Kim have been consistently bellicose, and that trend continued in Seoul. But Trump also went out of his way to criticize China in the speech. At one point, he told a story about a baby born in North Korea whose father was Chinese. The baby, according to Trump, was killed and taken away in a bucket, deemed undeserving of life because of its ethnic impurity. He finished the story with a rhetorical question: “So why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?”

Trump is now in China, meeting with Xi. Publicly he has said nice things about the Chinese leader – that he has been very helpful on the North Korea issue and that there are many areas where the U.S. and China will be able to cooperate, such as the much-ballyhooed but insignificant business deals that will be signed during the trip. But make no mistake – the main topic of conversation between Trump and Xi is North Korea, and here, Trump has very little to be happy about. The U.S. president will demand to know why China has been selective in its enforcement of sanctions against North Korea, and why China is trading more with North Korea in 2017 than it was in 2016, even if it has abided by restrictions on importing North Korean coal. Xi will continue his charade of looking helpful on North Korea without actually helping.

The obstacles that have blocked an attack so far are still in place. South Korea, the critical ally, remains unconvinced that the U.S. can protect Seoul from North Korea’s artillery. The U.S. electorate favors an attack right now, according to recent polls, but once the fighting starts, support in the U.S. would decline faster than North Korea’s resolve. And U.S. diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the peninsula are being stymied by China and Russia, both of which have an interest in seeing the U.S. bogged down and distracted with what is, from their perspectives, a side issue. It wouldn’t take much to watch Trump’s speech and come away thinking the U.S. is readying for an imminent attack on North Korea. (After 2013, I should know.) But it is more likely that this is a continuation of the U.S. attempt to cow North Korea into submission, not a cry to let slip the dogs of war.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: November 28, 2017, 09:50:20 AM »

China is sending a message on the Korean Peninsula. On Nov. 24, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced it would temporarily close the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge. The ministry stated that the bridge, which carries anywhere between 50 and 70 percent of the trade between China and North Korea, will be reopened after repairs have been made, possibly as soon as Dec. 4. The decision follows a Nov. 21 announcement that Air China would suspend flights between Beijing and North Korea, citing a lack of demand. Although both suspensions are justifiable, Beijing appears to be using these subtle maneuvers to signal displeasure with Pyongyang.

In the past, economic considerations alone have rarely dictated a decision to suspend the sensitive airline route, carried by China's most important state-owned airline. In addition, China's previous maintenance on the bridge typically stopped at the structure's halfway point, and don't seem to make a full closing of the bridge necessary. Despite anticipation that a four-day visit to North Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping's envoy earlier this month might improve bilateral relations, the recent announcements indicate a strained relationship.

The envoy visit — the first such communication between the two countries in at least a year — was ostensibly done as part of the Chinese Communist Party's tradition of sending diplomats to neighboring communist countries to inform them of leadership changes following the Party Congress. However, North Korea reportedly made several requests for China to ease sanctions during the envoy's visit, and the widely speculated meeting with Kim Jong Un didn't take place. In the end, Beijing seemingly snubbed the requests for leniency.

Instead, Beijing appears to be stepping up its enforcement of economic measures to comply with U.S. sanctions more closely. The Chinese government is reportedly conducting a thorough investigation of all companies trading with North Korea, as well as entities and individuals targeted by U.S. sanctions earlier this year. The authorities have also arrested the head of a major shipping company operating cargo ships linking North Korea and China, resulting in the suspension of nearly all shipping lines between the Chinese port city of Dalian and North Korea.

Beijing's decision to increase pressure on Pyongyang serves multiple purposes: to relieve U.S. pressure on China to cut economic ties with North Korea and to deter a U.S. military intervention on the Korean Peninsula. But China doesn't appear ready to change its fundamental policy toward North Korea. China has never been convinced that sanctions will alter North Korean behavior or stop the country from pursuing its nuclear program. Instead, China has argued sanctions will only further provoke North Korea and leave China to bear most of the consequences. Unless China's interests on the Korean Peninsula are guaranteed, the country will likely remain unwilling and unable to pressure North Korea enough to satisfy the United States.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #353 on: November 29, 2017, 10:23:37 AM »

Seven Crucial Truths About North Korea
 

North Koreans reacting to footage of a ballistic missile test being shown in a public square in Pyongyang this July. Kim Won-Jin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

You’re an Interpreter subscriber, so you weren’t surprised that North Korea would test another intercontinental ballistic missile, as it did on Tuesday. Nor were you surprised by its range, which appears to be potentially greater than in any previous test.
Still, it’s worth reviewing some of the basic truths that inform the grizzled — yet stoic — pessimism we’ve all developed together on this issue. If only for the sake of friends and family members to whom you might want to forward this, who can join you in being unsurprised by the next test.

(1) It’s over. We failed. North Korea is a nuclear power now.
Policymakers will debate for years the precise moment at which the door closed to preventing or rolling back North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. But that door is closed.  The North Koreans have little reason to give up their weapons programs, which bring them security against their otherwise vastly superior adversaries, and we have no way to make them.

Well, there’s one way: an invasion. But North Korea’s missiles are mobile, so it could fire off at least one or two before we were able to take them out. This means full-on war is virtually guaranteed to bring a North Korean nuclear strike against a major American city. (This assumes North Korea can mount a warhead on a missile, but we have little reason to doubt that they can.)

In technical terms, that is described as a “credible deterrent capability.” In non-technical terms, it means we have no options but to accept their nuclear status as a fact of life.


(2) North Korea can strike Washington and New York now.

Past tests demonstrated that North Korea can strike major West Coast cities in the U.S. This test, according to analysts, showed that it can reach East Coast cities now, too. That includes Washington and New York.  Alex Wellerstein, a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, put together some maps, using a tool he designed, showing the likely blast and radiation radius of hypothetical North Korean strikes on those cities. It’s disturbing stuff:




 

The blast and radiation radius of a hypothetical North Korean nuclear strike on New York Alex Wellerstein



The blast and radiation radius of a hypothetical North Korean nuclear strike on Washington. Alex Wellerstein



(3) North Korea is rational, which means it won’t start a war.

The “good” news is that North Korea has no intention of starting a war, which it would surely lose. In other words, no, North Korea is not going to nuke your city out of the blue.  This often gets lost in portrayals of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, as a wild-eyed lunatic. But as we’ve written many times, Mr. Kim might be eccentric, but he has repeatedly proven himself to be rational. Ruthless and morally reprehensible, but rational.

There is just no other plausible way to explain how he has won and held onto power in a country with such ruthless elite politics. Nor is there any other way to explain how he’s kept his country from succumbing to its enemies or the forces of history. And no rational leader invites national suicide, which is all Mr. Kim would achieve by provoking a war.

And the United States has its own nuclear weapons, as well as overwhelming conventional military superiority, to deter North Korea. And deterrence works. It’s how we’ve lived for decades with the threat of Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons. That same logic applies to North Korea.

(4) China isn’t going to solve the North Korea problem for us.

American leaders have, since North Korea’s nuclear program began, invested their hopes and their strategies in China. If only Beijing were properly motivated, the conventional wisdom goes, it could rein in its North Korean ally and neighbor.

But maybe it’s time to consider why this strategy never seems to work.

North Korea is convinced that giving up its nuclear weapons would invite an American invasion, as happened to Libya after it surrendered its own warheads. China can put a lot of pressure on little North Korea, but nothing that will scare Mr. Kim more than the threat of national destruction.

In any case, North Korea and China have been increasingly at odds. North Korea’s weapons tests often seemed timed to humiliate and defy Beijing. China has imposed its own sanctions in response. So while Americans sometimes perceive China as supporting North Korea’s provocations, in fact the opposite is true.

(5) North Korea can probably endure almost any level of economic punishment.

Even the most severe sanctions probably wouldn’t impose anything that North Korea hasn’t survived before. In the 1990s, the country’s economy and food supply collapsed simultaneously, setting off  a famine that killed up to one-tenth of the population.  Since then, North Korea has improved its agricultural practices. So while it would rather avoid another economic collapse, it probably believes, with some reason, that it could survive one if it had to.

(6) North Korea’s goal isn’t war, but it’s still scary.

No one knows for sure what Mr. Kim wants except for Mr. Kim, of course. But North Korea’s actions still speak pretty loudly. And they suggest one of two long-term strategies. Analysts disagree about which is more plausible; we see the case for both.

What these strategies have in common is a desire to secure North Korea’s place in the world.

Theory one, most widely held among experts, says that North Korea wants to use its nukes to pressure the world into accepting it as a legitimate member of the international community. This, the thinking goes, would bring trade and normalization while keeping Mr. Kim’s government in power, sort of like China’s opening in the 1970s. That’s scary because it means Mr. Kim isn’t giving up until we accept his government as it is — cruel, provocative and nuclear-armed.

Theory two, more controversial, says that North Korea ultimately wants to reunify with South Korea. The North can never be truly secure, in this view, as long as the freer and more prosperous South remains independent, implicitly undermining the North’s reason to exist as a separate state. This doesn’t mean invading and conquering South Korea outright, but rather slowly building ties between the two Koreas — and breaking the South away from its American protectors — until they reunify bloodlessly.

(7) Worry, but don’t burst a blood vessel.

The greatest risk, analysts tend to say, is from an accident or miscalculation that might send North Korea and the United States into an unintended conflict. That’s how war would start.  Maybe, for instance, the United States sends a bomber near North Korea as a symbolic threat, but the bomber veers off course toward Pyongyang, which North Korea perceives as the start of a war, leading it to fire off its missiles in perceived self-defense.

These sorts of scenarios are unlikely, and require a whole bunch of things to go wrong. But the odds aren’t zero, and if it happened, entire cities could be destroyed. It’s hard to know how to conceptualize that sort of high-risk, low-probability event. It’s worth worrying about. But you’re still at far greater risk from, say, smoking. Or a car accident. Or not having sufficient health care.




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DougMacG
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« Reply #354 on: November 29, 2017, 11:05:43 AM »

What do folks here think of this?  I don't quite get what changed with one test, greater range?  As it flies higher and further, aren't we better able to shoot it down?

A merger with South Korea is absurd.  Un would have to conquer S.K. to rule them or give up power to be part of an economically advanced democracy.  Peaceful reunification is what our side wants, I thought.

Should Japan, S.K., Taiwan, others now go nuclear?  Should the US support that?

Does anyone remember when non-proliferation was our policy?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/could-north-koreas-missile-test-lead-to-talks-some-see-a-slight-opening/2017/11/29/412e4b78-d509-11e7-9461-ba77d604373d_story.html?utm_term=.8a579b7605f0

This could lead to talks?  What is there to talk about?  How about unilaterally assured destruction.

If I believe the NYT article, does this now free us to just contain them and ignore them, except for the military team in charge of shooting down whatever they launch and destroying them in a second strike situation.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #355 on: November 29, 2017, 11:17:53 AM »

Well, if I have it right, the gist of it was if we were going to stop them we would have to do so BEFORE the Norks had the capability they now assert they have proven themselves to have.

IMHO the idea of "No worries,  we now have the stability of MAD" misses that the Norks, who have military superiority over the Sorks,  (double check me on this) may now believe themselves free to act in ways that they would not have acted previously free of concern that were push to come to shove the US would go nuclear.

I've seen some quibbling that the Norks have yet to prove they can make a warhead that would survive re-entry, but in my opinion this is glib, facile, and stupid because re-entry is irrelevant to an EMP attack.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 11:23:51 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #356 on: November 29, 2017, 11:30:38 AM »

"But North Korea’s missiles are mobile, so it could fire off at least one or two before we were able to take them out. This means full-on war is virtually guaranteed to bring a North Korean nuclear strike against a major American city. (This assumes North Korea can mount a warhead on a missile, but we have little reason to doubt that they can.)"

This also neglects to say that we have no idea ( and I doubt) they have the guidance technology to explode over Manhattan.
 
So they are shooting missles due East .....   to blow up over the Ocean.  Hitting the Pacific Ocean is no great guidance feat.

And what logic.  If their getting nucs is really no biggie - that is unless some grave miscalculation - then what the hell we worrying about this for the past 25 yrs (while doing nothing but talk)

And so what if Iran gets nucs - they are rational - they do not want unilaterally assured destruction - so what.

Logical rationalizing away a gigantic threat does not make it go away

Magical thinking  - like all Democrats.



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DougMacG
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« Reply #357 on: November 30, 2017, 11:36:30 AM »

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/nikki-haley-to-china-cut-off-oil-to-north-korea-or-else.html

I will put this in the Nikki Haley thread as well.   wink
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #358 on: November 30, 2017, 11:37:35 AM »

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/29/china-bank-sanctions-north-korea-missile-response-/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTjJVMU56bGxOV00wTURoaiIsInQiOiJKV3F2ZzBCOENPbCtqOUZlSWF3XC9OdGpxNXNkRHY3NzBJZG1GazhnZE8ySDFzd2ZCZFpVSjdVWFRkc0xmZ0RmNVNGUVpBU1BXUlI1Smowb3hzamcxZUNPcFZ5blRrZ1NQejNqOTBralU2dXdHWEI4N0c3UEZ1am5Lb3lNdklLaCsifQ%3D%3D
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: December 02, 2017, 09:33:49 AM »

Items from Nov. 29

North Korea: DailyNK, an online newspaper based in South Korea, reported that the North Koreans’ command-and-control system is limited in mountainous areas. According to the report, residents in these areas say they get orders from authorities in Pyongyang a week later than people living in other areas. What does the command-and-control system look like in North Korea’s south, where the bulk of the country’s artillery is located? What is the source of this report, and why would this media outlet release this information now?

•   Finding: North Korea’s military command structure is highly centralized, relying heavily on orders issued directly by the supreme leader. Its military doctrine has a rigid chain of command that is meticulously followed. But there are signs that decentralized command is possible during an attack. Each infantry regiment consists of three infantry battalions, each with its own artillery, which helps to ensure that regiments can act independently on the battlefield. We also know that, in the past, North Korea has had a number of unit-level storage depots throughout the country. The existence of these depots suggests that isolated emplacements are expected to continue to fight even without direction. On the other hand, North Korea’s behavior during artillery offensive fire in 2010 suggests that the military operated with a strong centralized command structure. The North successfully used “time on target” tactics. This is when rounds from different units, at varying distances, arrive at the same time on the same target. North Korea also demonstrated a high degree of inter-service coordination, with simultaneous, smooth operation of artillery, the navy and the air force. In preparation for the attack, North Korea laid new communications cable, and it was apparently a high-priority assignment – the work was obviously done using a mechanized trencher.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #360 on: December 04, 2017, 12:42:51 PM »

https://twitter.com/NorthmanTrader/status/877240223129882624
2 minute video

DONALD TRUMP on North Korea, in a 1999 interview with the great Tim Russert on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: RUSSERT: “You say … as president, you would be willing to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear capability.” TRUMP: “First I’d negotiate. I would negotiate like crazy. And I’d make sure that we tried to get the best deal possible. Look, Tim. If a man walks up to you on a street in Washington, because this doesn’t happen, of course, in New York … and puts a gun to your head and says give me your money, wouldn’t you rather know where he’s coming from before he had the gun in his hand?

“And these people, within three or four years, are going to be having nuclear weapons, they’re going to have those weapons pointed all over the world, and specifically at the United States, and wouldn’t you be better off solving this really … the biggest problem the world has is nuclear proliferation … If that negotiation doesn’t work, you better solve the problem now than solve it later, Tim … Jimmy Carter, who I really like, he went over there, so soft, these people are laughing at us.” …


RUSSERT: “Taking out their nuclear potential would create a fallout.” TRUMP: “Tim, do you know that this country gave them nuclear reactors, free fuel for 10 years. We virtually tried to bribe them into stopping and they’re continuing to what they’re doing. And they’re laughing at us, they think we’re a bunch of dummies. I’m saying that we have to do something to stop.” RUSSERT: “If the military told you, ‘Mr. Trump, you can’t do this’”. TRUMP: “You’re giving me two names. I don’t know. You want to do it in five years when they have warheads all over the place, every one of them pointing to New York City, to Washington and every one of our -- is that when you want to do it? Or do you want to do something now?
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ccp
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« Reply #361 on: December 04, 2017, 01:26:53 PM »

https://twitter.com/NorthmanTrader/status/877240223129882624
2 minute video

Clinton, the schmooze king thought he could charm the tyrant family, and he and we got taken for a ride.  W. kept putting it off while dealing with Iraq which we all know what happened with that .  And up next was the worse one of all O.  Who quietly decided behind all our backs Korea  was a fait accompli and just jived us all along that he was actually  serious about it.

Now we have the first man who is serious about it.  After, just as he predicted, the damage is done and the problem is 10 times as bad.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 05:20:04 PM by ccp » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #362 on: December 04, 2017, 02:14:51 PM »

"Clinton, the schmooze king thought he could charm the tyrant family, and he and we got taken for a ride.  W. kept putting it off while dealing with Iraq which we all know what happened with that .  And up next was the worse one of all O.  Who quietly decided behind all our backs Korea  was a fait accompli and just jived us all along that he actually  serious about it.
Now we have the first man who is serious about it.  After, just as he predicted, the damage is done and the problem is 10 times as bad."



Worse than not doing anything about the threats, our Dem Presidents made threats worse while calling bad agreements accomplishments, Clinton and Madam Halfbright on NK and Obama with Iran.  If you believed them, these threats were dealt with.  George W and Cheney didn't strike NK nuclear facilities, but at least we knew these terrible threats were left behind, growing to haunt us later.

Our form of government (4 year Presidential terms) is great but not well-suited for dealing with long term threats these multi-generational, dictatorial enemies who can fight longer wars.  Harry Truman, a Democrat, didn't use his 4 year term as an excuse for inaction.  He ordered the use of atomic weapons less than 4 months after learning of that capability. but that situation was different - we were already at war with Japan.

Pre-emptive action is difficult to take in our system, but leaving threats in place to grow is far worse.

North Korea is not an isolated threat.  They are proliferators.  They aren't going to sit still during another 4, 8, 16, 32 years of inaction. 

We took no action against the Iranian regime after recovering our hostages and then thousands of Americans were killed in Iraq with Made in Iran IEDs.

Trump said to China what I have been asking him to say.  It is in their own best interest to put down the nuclear threat of North Korea.  Why does the Chinese inner circle want Japan, S.K, Taiwan and others, Vietnam, Australia, all nations to be nuclear armed?  If an NK missile can now reach halfway around the world to Washington DC, it can reach anywhere on earth.

Does Russia want Japan and the whole region to be nuclear armed?

I am so old that I remember when even Democrats were anti-proliferation, and the Chinese and Russians too.

We stopped Saddam.  Isn't it someone else's turn?  If not, Mr. Trump, do something, and do it now - while we have resources in the area and before their capabilities grow further.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 02:25:13 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #363 on: December 05, 2017, 11:04:08 AM »

http://havokjournal.com/national-security/evacuation-order-things-are-getting-real-in-korea/?utm_source=Havok+Journal&utm_campaign=a7325e126e-Havok_Journal_Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_566058f87c-a7325e126e-214571297
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G M
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« Reply #364 on: December 05, 2017, 11:08:06 AM »


This is a clue!
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G M
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« Reply #365 on: December 05, 2017, 08:53:32 PM »


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/05/threat-real-millions-tokyo-take-part-north-korean-nuclear-attack/

This too.

You'd think they wouldn't need the drills, given all their experiences with constant Kaiju attacks.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #366 on: December 07, 2017, 06:42:54 AM »

In North Korea, Is the United States’ Loss Russia’s Gain?
Dec 7, 2017

 
By Xander Snyder
Last week, North Korea conducted yet another missile test, and yet again the world clutched its pearls in horror. The thing is, North Korean weapons tests are, by their nature, provocative, so we shouldn’t be too surprised when they incite condemnation among countries whose security they would impair. What is sometimes surprising, though, are what the reactions reveal about a country’s intentions – and therefore how that country means to use the North Korea crisis to its advantage.

Leverage

Russia is a case in point. On Dec. 5, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Moscow was prepared to “exert its influence” on Pyongyang to resolve the brewing conflict. In fact, he had outlined a three-part strategy even before the missile test. The first part would require the United States to halt military drills with South Korea. North Korea would, in turn, stop testing its missiles. The second part would entail direct negotiations between North Korea, South Korea and the United States. The third part would involve a process where “all the involved countries [would] discuss the entire complex of issues of collective security in Asia.” The implication, of course, is that Russia would have a role in creating the agreement.

The deputy foreign minister’s proposals are hardly novel, but they raise some important questions. In what ways and to what degree does Russia have leverage over North Korea? What outcome would best advance Moscow’s interests?

The answer to the first question likely begins and ends with oil. Russia has long been suspected of supplying North Korea with oil (international sanctions limit such activity), but recent reports from a collective of journalists called Asia Press International claim that the price of oil there has fallen by 40 percent. We have not yet confirmed the amount of oil Russia has exported to North Korea, and so we have not verified the fall of the price of oil, but it’s easy to see why Russia would want to help Pyongyang. Doing so creates dependency, and dependency creates leverage that Russia could use in future negotiations with China or the United States.

Keeping the oil flowing, moreover, serves Moscow’s interests by helping to preserve the power of Kim Jong Un. Russia may not be a particularly close ally of North Korea, but its shared border means that its security is, to an extent, tied to North Korea’s. If Pyongyang and Washington go to war, how long would Russia tolerate the presence of U.S. troops so close to its border? How many North Korean refugees would it allow in its territory? The Kim regime, for all its faults, insulates Russia from the devil it doesn’t know.

This helps to explain why some 1,000 Russian marines are conducting live-fire exercises in Primorye, near Russia’s border with North Korea, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Military exercises in Russia’s east are not unprecedented, but they are uncommon. (The last time Russia conducted military exercises in the Far East was February 2016.) The U.S. and South Korea, meanwhile, are conducting exercises involving 230 warplanes and 12,000 troops. For its part, China is performing naval exercises in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, having alluded in a state-supported newspaper that South Korea could become a major rival.

Valid though Russia’s reasons for helping Pyongyang may be, Moscow’s peace plan suffers from the same flaw that every other proposed plan suffers: compliance. The U.S. wants North Korea to suspend its nuclear weapons program entirely. The only way to ensure that that happens is on-the-ground inspections to which Kim would never agree.

The plan also ignores North Korea’s technological advancement. It’s true that North Korea had not tested its missiles in more than 70 days, and it’s true that the U.S.-South Korean military exercises may be to blame for the tests’ resumption. But the most recent test showcased significant improvements in range and in deliverable payload weight. If North Korea can improve its missiles without live-testing them, then clearly a moratorium won’t arrest the program. The Russian proposal, if implemented, would fail to resolve this issue.

Damned If It Does, Damned If It Doesn’t

As for the United States, Washington has no good options. Failing to prevent North Korea from acquiring a deliverable nuclear weapon – which it can then use, with impunity, to make demands of its neighbors – undermines the credibility of the United States’ security guarantee in the Pacific. Executing a pre-emptive attack that forces South Korea into a war risks undermining the same credibility. A security guarantee isn’t a security guarantee if a country has to fight and die in a war it didn’t want.

Faced with this impossible situation, the U.S. has through some media leaks shown it is considering unconventional ways to disarm North Korea without invading it. On Dec. 6, two anonymous U.S. officials leaked details about a microwave weapon that could be delivered on a low-flying missile to destroy electronics that the North would need to launch its intercontinental ballistic missiles. Whether these technologies would work, let alone if they exist, is beside the point. Creating the appearance of viable alternatives gives the U.S. some maneuverability in a world full of red lines.

The U.S. is also focusing on ballistic missile defense, reportedly now scouting for additional locations on the West Coast to erect systems. But ballistic missile defense systems are simply not yet reliable enough to provide the surety needed to construct a dependable strategy around them. In fact, on Dec. 4, The New York Times reported that U.S.-supplied BMD systems may have failed as many as five times in preventing missile attacks on Saudi Arabia by Yemeni rebels.
 
(click to enlarge)

North Korea will soon possess a deliverable nuclear weapon – if it does not possess one already. The speed with which it has developed its program has exceeded expectations, including ours. Some analysts believe Pyongyang will have one in only a few months. The window for U.S. intervention, if it even still exists, is rapidly closing. But even if the U.S. were to attack North Korea, there is no guarantee it would destroy the nuclear program entirely. And there’s nothing to stop the survivors from starting from scratch in the event their program were, in fact, annihilated. This time they would have even more effective propaganda to galvanize the public.

The United States, then, is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. It can bet the lives of soldiers on the uncertain prospect of taking out North Korea’s nuclear program. It can conduct a pre-emptive nuclear attack. Or it can live with a nuclear North Korea. It’s an unenviable position, to say the least.
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ccp
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« Reply #367 on: December 11, 2017, 06:24:29 AM »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinchon_Museum_of_American_War_Atrocities
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