Tags: Barack Obama | North Korea | United Nations | kim jong un | sanctions | south korea

North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat at Tense and Critical Stage

Image: North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat at Tense and Critical Stage

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands at the end of a joint press conference following their meeting in Beijing, China, on March 18, 2017. Tillerson arrived in Beijing last month for talks with Chinese leaders expected to focus on North Korea's nuclear program, trade, and S. China Sea disputes. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

By Larry Bell
Monday, 03 Apr 2017 08:57 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Never imagine for a moment that North Korea can be lightly dismissed as merely a backward country headed by a blustering tyrant with a bad haircut. Recent and continuing nuclear and ballistic missile demonstrations underscore a much more disturbing reality.

During 2016, Pyongyang conducted at least 25 missiles launches (yes, including multiple failures), along with two nuclear tests. Last August, a submarine-launched ballistic missile traveled more than 300 miles into Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone.

This month three of four North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missiles dropped within 200 miles of Japan’s coastline.

Their mobile KN-08 and KN-14 intercontinental missiles are believed to be capable of reaching America’s mainland.

As former CIA director R. James Woolsey, Jr., warns in a Feb. 28 Wall Street Journal article, any notions that Pyongyang lacks "miniaturized" nuclear warheads for missile delivery, and that its weapons are primitive, even after five nuclear tests, are dangerous delusions.

He wrote, "History suggests that North Korea already has nuclear-missile warheads and a sophisticated array of nuclear weapons."

A most terrifying aspect of this circumstance is that gamma ray electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) produced by low-yield nuclear devices detonated in the atmosphere from space launches, can create unthinkable human carnage.

Woolsey reported that "A single EMP warhead detonated over North America could permanently black out the U.S. and Canada and kill up to 90 percent of the population through starvation and societal collapse."

All previous efforts to neutralize nuclear missile threats to America and our South Korean allies have been dismal failures.

U.S. trade sanctions imposed upon North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1988 were lifted by the Bush administration in 2008 in exchange for denuclearization promises that Pyongyang ignored. Last year the Obama administration placed significant new sanctions on North Korea, also with no effect.

North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un apparently emulates his grandfather Kim Il Sung’s two-track policy which combined economic growth with a nuclear weapons program supported by the Soviet Union. After the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Kim Il Sung agreed to a deal with the U.S. to freeze nuclear development.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s secret bomb-grade uranium enrichment program continued.

Kim Jong Un’s grandfather is credited for leading his country to relative prosperity which surpassed South Korea’s following the Korean War that he initiated.

His economic strategy concentrated upon heavy industry and mineral exports — coal in particular. Coal continues to be a primary export commodity under Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Following export restrictions imposed by world powers in response to a February missile test, about 90 percent of that coal currently goes to China. Even China now reportedly supports more severe U.N. sanctions against trade with North Korea . . . coal included.

Like his grandfather, Kim Jong Un is firmly committed to an aggressive nuclear-arms push that will enhance his international standing and intimidate South Korea.

He has also bolstered his domestic profile by commissioning major housing and recreation projects in Pyongyang, including high rise apartments, riding stables, a water park and a dolphin aquarium.

Kim Jong Un’s civil persona masks a brutally demented and scary demeanor.

For evidence, look no further than the 2013 execution of his uncle; the dramatic demise by antiaircraft fire of his defense minister; the purge of more than 100 of his top government officials; and the recent arranged murder of his estranged half-brother at a Malaysia airport using a super-toxic VX nerve agent.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., "China is the only one that can control Kim Jong Un, this crazy fat kid that’s running North Korea." Nevertheless, Beijing has big issues with the U.S. and South Korea defense policies as well.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that North Korea tests and joint U.S. drills with South Korea across the border are causing tensions to increase like two "accelerating trains coming toward each other with neither side willing to give way."

Yi’s comments were made the day after the U.S. began to deploy first elements of an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system for South Korea and Japan which can penetrate China’s provocative military incursions in the South China Sea.

Whereas China argues that the standoff calls for a mutual halt of military operations on both sides to ease tensions and reopen negotiations, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner responded, "This is apples and oranges. What we are doing in terms of our defense cooperation with South Korea is no way comparable to the blatant disregard that North Korea has shown with respect to international law."

Speaking in Seoul, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, "Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table."

Meanwhile, the stalemate remains crazy-serious.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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LarryBell
Kim Jong Un’s civil persona masks a brutally demented and scary demeanor. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that North Korea tests and joint U.S. drills with South Korea across the border are causing tensions to increase. Meanwhile, the stalemate remains crazy-serious.
kim jong un, sanctions, south korea
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