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Unread 2017-10-10, 11:50 PM   #576
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God knows we need to funnel more money to defense because of our military is so weak. Luckily Trump's cabinet is now full of ex-military.
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Unread 2017-10-11, 08:20 AM   #577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
God knows we need to funnel more money to defense because of our military is so weak. Luckily Trump's cabinet is now full of ex-military.
Maybe we can grab Kim Jung Un one of your leather beaded bracelets and we can all be BFF?
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Unread 2017-10-11, 08:44 AM   #578
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Maybe we can grab Kim Jung Un one of your leather beaded bracelets and we can all be BFF?
Woah, shots fired. I like it!

If Rocketman did his homework, he should be afraid of Mattis. Because if he missteps, and the Donald gives a hint of laying waste, Mattis will be all-in.
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Unread 2017-10-11, 09:19 AM   #579
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then this happened ...

North Korean Hackers Stole U.S.-South Korean Military Plans, Lawmaker Says





United States soldiers during a joint military exercise with the South Korean military in Pocheon, near the heavily fortified border with North Korea. Credit Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean hackers stole a vast cache of data, including classified wartime contingency plans jointly drawn by the United States and South Korea, when they breached the computer network of the South Korean military last year, a South Korean lawmaker said Tuesday.
One of the plans included the South Korean military’s plan to remove the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, referred to as a “decapitation” plan, should war break out on the Korean Peninsula, the lawmaker, Rhee Cheol-hee, told reporters.
Mr. Rhee, a member of the governing Democratic Party who serves on the defense committee of the National Assembly, said he only recently learned of the scale of the North Korean hacking attack, which was first discovered in September last year.
It was not known whether any of the military’s top secrets were leaked, although Mr. Rhee said that nearly 300 lower-classification confidential documents were stolen. The military has not yet identified nearly 80 percent of the 235 gigabytes of leaked data, he said.


A Defense Ministry spokesman, Moon Sang-gyun, refused to comment on Mr. Rhee’s disclosure.

A spokesman for the Pentagon, Col. Robert Manning, would not discuss if the hack had occurred, repeating, when pressed, that he would not “discuss the specifics” of the incident.



In strong support for the total annihilation of North Korea. They deserve it and it is the only way we can secure ourselves. The sooner the...
Numerous communists in South Korea.Teachers, news papers, TV, civic activists, labor unions, and politicians are like slaves for North...


When will governments around the world realize that the Internet was never supposed to be secure, or used as a marketing tool or legitimate...





North Korea and South Korea have long had each other’s computer networks in their sights. The United States, piggybacking on South Korean operations, broke into the North’s computer systems in 2010, targeting the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the North’s equivalent of the C.I.A.
South Korean intelligence officials told lawmakers in June that Mr. Kim was desperate to get hold of South Korea’s decapitation plan. He had also begun using his deputies’ cars as decoys to move from place to place, they said.
When the hack was discovered last year, the ministry blamed North Korea. But it has acknowledged only that “some classified information” was stolen, saying that revealing more details would only benefit its enemies.
Some South Korean news media, citing anonymous sources, had earlier reported that the leaked data included wartime contingency plans. But Mr. Rhee is the first member of the parliamentary committee that oversees the military to disclose similar details.
It remained unclear how much the hacking has undermined the joint preparedness of the South Korean and United States militaries, with South Korean officials simply saying that they have been redressing whatever damage was caused by the cyberattack.
The military plans for dealing with North Korea have been rewritten in recent months by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, in response to the North’s accelerated threats.
The plan containing the so-called decapitation operation, Operations Plan 5015, had been updated in 2015 to reflect the growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea. Its details remain classified.







Under their mutual defense treaty, the United States takes operational control of South Korean troops in the event of war on the divided Korean Peninsula. The two allies hone their war plans through annual joint military exercises.
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As Mr. Kim, the North Korean leader, has accelerated his nuclear missile program in recent years, South Korean defense officials have publicly discussed pre-emptive strikes at critical missile and nuclear sites in North Korea and an operation to eliminate the North’s top leaders.
After North Korea’s sixth — and by far most powerful — nuclear test last month, the South Korean defense minister, Song Young-moo, told lawmakers in Seoul that a special forces unit with a task of removing Mr. Kim would be established by the end of the year.
Last month, United States strategic bombers and fighter jets also flew deep to the north along the east coast of North Korea in what some South Korean defense analysts said was an exercise to target the North Korean leadership in the event of conflict.
North Korea bristles at any threat to Mr. Kim, and a war of words has escalated between North Korea and the Trump administration. North Korea claimed a right to shoot down American warplanes flying in international airspace if they came near the country. When President Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea last month, Mr. Kim vowed to “tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
North Korea runs an army of hackers trained to disrupt enemy computer networks and steal cash and sensitive data. In the past decade, it has been blamed for numerous cyber-heists and other hacking attacks in South Korea and elsewhere.
In the attack in September last year, later code-named “Desert Wolf” by anti-hacking security officials, North Korean hackers infected 3,200 computers, including 700 connected to the South Korean military’s internal network, which is normally cut off from the internet. The attack even affected a computer used by the defense minister.
Investigators later learned that the hackers first infiltrated the network of a company providing a computer vaccine service to the ministry’s computer network in 2015. They said the hackers operated out of IP addresses originating in Shenyang, a city in northeast China that had long been cited as an operating ground for North Korean hackers.


The intruders used the vaccine server to infect internet-connected computers of the military with malicious codes in August last year, the investigators said. They could also infiltrate the malware into intranet computers when the military’s closed internal network was mistakenly linked to the internet during maintenance.
The break-in by the United States into North Korea’s own government networks in 2010 was documented in classified materials released by Edward J. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor. The New York Times reported in 2015 that the penetration figured in quickly identifying the North Korean origins of the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
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Unread 2017-10-13, 08:50 AM   #580
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Dave B must have forgotten to mail off his leather friendship bracelets

North Korea Renews Guam Threat Ahead of Joint Naval Exercise



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The American submarine Michigan approached a naval base in Busan, South Korea, on Friday. Credit Ha Kyung-Min/Newsis, via Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea — As the United States and South Korea prepared for next week’s joint naval exercise, North Korean officials on Friday renewed their threat to launch ballistic missiles near Guam, an American territory in the western Pacific.
The drill, which involves the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, is scheduled to begin on Monday in waters east and west of South Korea. The 10-day exercise will check the allies’ “communications, interoperability and partnership,” the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement.
The nuclear-powered submarine Michigan arrived at the South Korean port of Busan on Friday. American and South Korean warplanes will also join the exercise, which takes place amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s advancing nuclear missile program.
In recent months, President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, have amplified their countries’ military standoff by exchanging bellicose statements and personal insults.


Although both South Korea and the United States insist next week’s drill is defensive in nature, North Korea considers such war games rehearsals for invasion.






It remains unclear whether North Korea will lash out with a weapons test during the exercise, as it often has in the past.
On Friday, a researcher at the Institute for American Studies at the North Korean Foreign Ministry warned that the joint exercise, as well as a flight by two American B-1B bombers over South Korea on Tuesday, compelled the North to “take military counteraction.”
The researcher, Kim Kwang-hak, did not elaborate but recalled North Korea’s August warning that it could launch missiles near Guam, home to the United States air base from which the B-1B long-range bombers took off on Tuesday. Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has said he would watch the Americans before deciding when to launch an “enveloping fire” around Guam.
“We have already warned several times that we will take counteractions for self-defense, including a salvo of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam,” Mr. Kim, the North Korean researcher, told the North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Friday. “The U.S. military action hardens our determination that the U.S. should be tamed with fire and lets us take our hand closer to the ‘trigger’ for taking the toughest countermeasure.”





North Korea has made similar threats against the United States for decades. But Mr. Trump has added to tensions in recent weeks by employing similarly tough talk, threatening to “totally destroy” or rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea. He has said Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea.
Despite Mr. Trump’s tough talk, John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, said on Thursday that North Korea’s nuclear threat was “manageable” for now.
Mr. Kelly added that Americans should be concerned that the North is getting closer to achieving the ability to hit the mainland United States with its missiles. He said there was already “great concern” about Americans living in Guam.
“Right now we think the threat is manageable,” Mr. Kelly told reporters at the White House. “Let’s hope that diplomacy works.”

Also on Friday, South Korea’s meteorological authorities said that they detected a small quake near the North’s underground nuclear test site, but that it was not caused by a man-made explosion. They have detected three similar tremors from near the test site since the North’s nuclear test on Sept. 3, in which North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb.

Some earthquake experts have attributed the recent tremors to underground cave-ins caused by that powerful test. Commercial satellite images have also found evidence of landslides near the North Korean site, raising fears of radioactive fallout if the North conducts another nuclear test there.
The previous test compelled Washington to accelerate its global campaign to exert sanctions and pressure on North Korea.
On Thursday, the United Arab Emirates said it would stop issuing new visas to North Korean workers. Kuwait and Qatar have taken similar steps in recent weeks. Several thousand North Korean workers have been working in Middle East construction sites, earning badly needed cash for their government.
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Unread 2017-10-16, 09:13 AM   #581
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Tense US-North Korea Standoff Slowly Escalates









SEOUL — As the tense nuclear standoff between North Korea and the United States continues to escalate, the risk of military conflict grows, while hopes for a peaceful solution remain remote.
On Sunday U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said diplomatic efforts to persuade the Kim Jong Un government to give up its nuclear and long range ballistic missile program will continue “until the first bomb drops.”
But President Donald Trump has been pessimistic on the prospect of finding any diplomatic solution. He has called Tillerson’s efforts a “waste of time” and indicated that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cannot be trusted to adhere to any diplomatic agreement as the leadership in Pyongyang has repeatedly violated past denuclearization deals.
"I think I might have a somewhat different attitude, and a different way than other people. I think perhaps I feel stronger and tougher on that subject, than other people," Trump said last week.
Systematic preparations
The Trump administration’s hardline stance demanding North Korea unilaterally stop developing a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the U.S. mainland could be a negotiating strategy, but critics fear it could also be laying the groundwork for the eventual use of military force.
“This administration not just Trump, this administration is systematically preparing for a time not that far off in the future, basically next year the way I interpreted it in context, when diplomacy has failed,” said John Delury, an international relations professor at Yonsei University in Seoul.

FILE - A man watches a TV screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 10, 2017.

A recent poll shows increasing U.S. support among President Donald Trump’s Republican supporters for a preemptive strike to take out North Korean nuclear or ballistic missile sites, although a strong majority of Americans still oppose the use of force.
While launching such a strike to prevent an imminent North Korean attack on the U.S. would be a justifiable use of force, it might be difficult to prove.
But any first strike military options, including possible cyberattacks to sabotage North Korean missile tests, or a decapitation strike to kill Kim Jong Un and the leadership in Pyongyang, would risk deadly retaliation against South Korea along with the 28,000 American troops stationed in the south, and could plunge the entire region into a nuclear war.
“I think that would be morally, diplomatically, strategically, politically a great disaster, not only for the people of Korea and the region, but for the United States of America too,” said North Korea analyst David Straub with the Sejong Institute.
Military brinksmanship
Yet neither side is acting to reduce tensions, as they remain locked in what seems a deadly game of brinksmanship.
The United States and South Korea began week-long joint Navy drills in the waters around the Korean peninsula that involve about 40 naval ships from both countries, including the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and U.S. submarine Michigan.
South Korean media is reporting that a U.S. Special Forces unit practicing for "decapitation" operations is taking part in the joint exercises.
The U.S. has also sent a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to participate in the Seoul air show this week.
And the U.S. forces in Korea will begin non-combatant evacuation training next week for service members and their families in case of a North Korean attack or other disaster.
North Korea in turn is expected to test another long-range missile soon. The North’s state news agency KCNA on Friday indicated a missile test might target waters near the U.S. territory of Guam." In August, Trump said the U.S. would respond “with fire and fury” to an earlier North Korean threat to target Guam.
Pyongyang says the Trump administration’s hostile intent, and the increased military buildup, further justify its need for a nuclear deterrent.
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Unread 2017-10-19, 10:27 AM   #582
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North Korea threatens 'unimaginable' strike on United States
Another day, another threat by North Korea to stage an "unimaginable" strike on the U.S. amid tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.
"The U.S. is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones. The U.S. should expect it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time," the North's Korean Central News Agency said Thursday.
The "targets" under North Korea's "nose" refer to joint U.S. and South Korean drills in waters off the Korean Peninsula with the U.S. aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan.
The military exercises run through Oct. 26. and come as President Trump has threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if the reclusive state resorts to using weapons against the U.S. or its allies. Pyongyang has repeatedly used dramatic language to threaten Washington. Trump has responded with inflammatory rhetoric.

North Korea fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and conducted its sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test last month. Experts disagree on how advanced its weapons program is, and whether it would match its words with action.

Diplomats from the U.S., South Korea and Japan met in Seoul on Wednesday to discuss how to respond to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said Washington views diplomacy as the primary means for solving the crisis, but it must be prepared for "any eventuality."

According to a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll published Thursday, a majority of Americans (54%) — Republicans and Democrats — view North Korea as the most immediate threat to the country. That represents a shift since July, when 41% of Americans viewed North Korea as the greatest immediate threat. The Islamic State terror group came in second, at 19%, down from 28% in July.
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Unread 2017-10-20, 08:46 AM   #583
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US preparing for North Korea's 'final step'





© Alex Wong/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: Central IntelligenceæAgency Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee with the other heads of the U.S. intelligence agencies in the Hart Senate Office… CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the United States has to act as if North Korea is on the verge of being able to strike it with a missile and act accordingly -- and that President Donald Trump is ready to do so.
"From a US policy perspective, we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective," Pompeo said Thursday at a security forum held by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "They are so far along in that, it's now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step."
"Whether it happens on Tuesday or a month from Tuesday, we're in a time where the President has concluded that we have a global effort to ensure that [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un does not obtain that capacity," Pompeo continued.

Pompeo is among a number of former officials who have been signaling the increased possibility of a slide into military confrontation with North Korea over its refusal to back down from its nuclear program.
The CIA chief spoke at the forum shortly before national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who also said the President wasn't prepared to accept a nuclear Pyongyang.
The Trump administration comments came a day after former CIA Director John Brennan put the chances of military conflict with North Korea as high as 20% to 25%.
The isolated Asian nation conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September, claiming it had detonated a miniaturized hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on a missile. It's also been steadily working on its missile capabilities, firing 22 missiles during 15 tests from February to mid-September.
Even as other countries have urged caution, dialogue and reciprocal confidence-building measures, Trump has belittled the North Korean leader as "rocket man," dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's efforts to broker a diplomatic solution, and hinted that he is ready to take military action.
Asked at Thursday's event about the threat posed by North Korea, McMaster said that Trump will not accept a nuclear North Korea that threatens the US, putting the administration in a "race" to resolve the increasingly tense standoff before it devolves into a military confrontation.
"He's not going to accept this regime threatening the United States with nuclear weapons," McMaster said. "There are those who would say, well, why not accept and deter. Well, accept and deter is unacceptable."
"So this puts us in a situation where we are in a race to resolve this short of military action," McMaster said. "Everybody knows it. We all know it. ... Our allies and partners know it. China knows it. Russia knows it."
Brennan, speaking Wednesday night at Fordham University School of Law, stressed that, "there really is no good military solution to this issue."

"A 1 in 4, 1 in 5 chance"


"The prospects for military conflict on the Korean Peninsula are greater than they have been in several decades," he said. "I don't think it's likely or probable, but if it's a one in four, one in five chance, that's too high." Asked if that's the rating he'd give for the chances of conflict, he said, "Yeah, I guess I would."
Brennan sketched out a scenario in which, "some kind of limited military engagement that would result in some deaths, that could then quickly trigger some retaliatory strikes that could escalate." On top of that "conventional scenario of escalation," he reminded the crowd that North Korea has finely honed cyber capabilities.
"So I think we have to be mindful here that there are a number of scenarios here that could lead to an escalation that we really need to be trying to avoid," Brennan said. Trump isn't helping on that score, he said.
"You have two leaders of the two major protagonist countries that are hurling these broadsides back and forth, and they have a lot of personal political face involved in it," he said.
"I don't agree that the tack that Mr. Trump has taken is a constructive and productive one," Brennan said, calling the references to "Rocket Man" and other insults "irresponsible."
McMaster praised Trump's handling of the crisis, saying that the President's leadership had created the possibility of an "unprecedented level of international cooperation on the issue."
He also praised Tillerson's efforts to increase international pressure on North Korea, which has moved some countries to cut diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, expel its ambassadors and in some cases, ban North Korean guest workers. North Korea, meanwhile, has said it won't be willing to talk to the US until it ensures it has missile and nuclear capabilities.
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Unread 2017-10-25, 10:35 AM   #584
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Breakdown in North Korea Talks Sounds Alarms on Capitol Hill



WASHINGTON — Diplomatic efforts between the United States and North Korea are in peril with Pyongyang shunning talks in response to President Donald Trump’s increased public attacks on Kim Jong Un, according to multiple U.S. government and congressional officials.
Joseph Yun, a top American diplomat to North Korea, has been warning of the breakdown in meetings on Capitol Hill and seeking help to persuade the administration to prioritize diplomacy over the heated rhetoric that appears to be pushing the two nuclear powers closer toward conflict, sources familiar with the discussions told NBC News.
The warnings from Yun and Congressional officials come as the president prepares for his first official trip to Asia next month and as tensions between the two nations are near an all-time high. Officials throughout government worry that a lack of diplomacy increases the risks of military action in the region.
They also explain some of the alarmist comments that have been made by Republican and Democratic Senators in recent weeks, most notable Foreign Relations Committee chair Sen. Bob Corker who has said repeatedly that the president is undercutting diplomatic efforts.





While few think that Trump would order a pre-emptive strike, a lack of communication between the two countries or through China increases the chances of miscommunication, leading to a further escalation.
Yun’s diplomatic efforts are on their “last legs,” one U.S. official said, adding that Yun is frustrated by an inability to communicate the urgency of the diplomatic situation to the White House.
“It is not so much that North Korea is shutting down, it’s that the message from the U.S. government is, ‘surrender without a fight or surrender with a fight,’” a separate U.S. official told NBC News.
Related: Don't Back Kim Jong Un Into a Corner, Putin Warns
A Congressional aide who has spoken with Yun directly says the diplomat is searching for a “hail Mary” attempt to restart any sort of talks, including perhaps a high-level envoy or dispatching Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Yun was not available for comment, but East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau spokesman Justin Higgins told NBC News: “We can’t comment on allegations from anonymous sources. What I can say is that Ambassador Yun has been faithfully executing the Trump administration’s North Korea policy since Jan. 20, including his trip to North Korea at the president’s direction to bring American citizen Otto Warmbier back to the United States after a year in captivity.” The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
“We are running out of time” Yun, the deputy assistant secretary for Korea and Japan at the State Department, has told Congressional aides and government officials that the White House has “handicapped” diplomacy.
Corker used similar language when he said recently that tweets from Trump have raised tensions and undercut Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“When you kneecap that effort you really move our country into a binary choice which could lead to a world war. So yes, I want him to support diplomatic efforts, not embarrass and really malign efforts that are underway,” Corker said on NBC’s TODAY on Tuesday.
Trump’s war of words with the North Korean leader have escalated in recent months. He warned that Kim will be met with “fire and fury” and in a speech at the United Nations, Trump named him “Little Rocket Man.”
The president departs Nov. 3 and will visit with U.S. allies in Japan and South Korea who are increasingly worried about escalating tensions in the region. Trump is also visiting China, which doesn’t want to see a collapsed North Korea on its border. China has been financially supporting the regime but is also a critical partner for the U.S. in dealing with North Korea.
Kim Jong Un KCNA / Reuters file
It appears unlikely that Trump will visit the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, although the White House says a final decision has not been made. Most presidents since Ronald Reagan have visited the region during an Asia trip. Vice President Mike Pence went earlier this year as did Tillerson.
Tillerson, originally skeptical of diplomacy, has come around to believing that talks with the North Koreans are increasingly important, a Congressional source said, as the country has ramped up its testing of long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles with increasing success and progressing on his nuclear weapons program.
While in China last month, Tillerson said the U.S. is talking directly with North Korea. "We have lines of communications to Pyongyang," he told reporters. "We’re not in a dark situation, a blackout. We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them."
Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj hosted Tillerson for talks on Wednesday and said India will keep its small embassy in North Korea open as a potential channel for diplomatic talks. "I told Secretary Tillerson that some of their friendly countries should maintain embassies there so that some channels of communication are kept open," Swaraj told reporters.
.
Trump, however, seems to disagree with that approach. He told Tillerson on Twitter that he is “wasting his time” trying to talk to North Korea.
That exchange caused Corker to defend Tillerson and escalate a public feud with the president. Corker recently told the Washington Post that the president has “castrated” Tillerson.
While Corker wouldn’t directly respond to stalled diplomacy with North Korea, he told NBC News that “these are the kinds of thing that I’m speaking to.”
“Either we’re going to deal with this and deal with China (who is key to North Korea) in a serious way and appropriately use diplomacy as one of our levers or we’re going to end up with a binary choice. And that’s what I’ve been speaking to,” Corker said.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said last week that North Korea is only months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities.

“They are close enough now in their capabilities that from a U.S. policy perspective we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving” their objective of being able to strike the United States.
Former CIA Director John Brennan has warned that Trump’s actions toward North Korea have been “rather provocative.”






“I think he’s trying to demonstrate that he is tough and he’s trying to intimidate opponents, but at the same time he is not experienced at all in international brinkmanship and on these issues,” Brennan said on the TODAY last week. “I’m hoping that Rex Tillerson is going to continue some of his efforts to address these issues behind the scenes.”
Speaking at a conference last week, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the U.S. is "in a race to resolve this short of military action.”
“We are not out of time,” he said. “But we are running out of time.”
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Unread 2017-10-27, 09:24 AM   #585
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Stop threatening nuclear catastrophe, US warns N Korea

Visiting the demilitarised zone in South Korea, Pentagon chief Mattis says the US does not want war with North Korea.







James Mattis, centre, and South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo look into North Korea from the DMZ on Friday [Jung Yeon-je via AP]


The United States does not want war with North Korea, the US military chief said on the demilitarised zone metres away from the communist state, as he warned Pyongyang to stop threatening "catastrophe" with its nuclear weapons.
James Mattis made the brief comments standing next to South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo on Friday, describing Kim Jong-un's leadership as an "oppressive regime" that mistreats its people while its neighbour to the south offers a vibrant democracy.
"Our goal is not war but rather the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," Mattis was quoted as saying by South Korea's Yonhap news agency at Panmunjom village.
The United States has about 30,000 American troops stationed in South Korea, a remnant of the 1950-1953 war on the peninsula that has never officially ended, with only an armistice agreement signed.
Song said North Korea can never use its nuclear weapons. "If it does, it will face retaliation by the strong combined force of South Korea and the US," he warned.
North Korea must to return to dialogue between the two Koreas, Song added.
The threat of nuclear war has escalated in recent months as President Donald Trump has intensified his rhetoric against Kim's regime, including saying he would "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the US or its allies.
Pyongyang responded by threatening to detonate a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere after its sixth and most powerful underground nuclear test last month.
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Unread 2017-10-31, 11:04 AM   #586
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North Korea accused of stealing warship blueprints in hack




North Korea's cyber army appears to be going after real weapons.

Hackers tied to Kim Jong Un's regime stole blueprints and other information about warships and submarines last year when they broke into one of the world's biggest shipbuilders, according to South Korean lawmaker Kyeong Dae-soo.

Blueprints, shipbuilding technology, weapons systems and test data related to submarines and destroyers were among roughly 60 classified military documents taken from Daewoo Shipbuilding last year, according to Kyeong's office. It said it was summarizing information it had received from the South Korean Defense Ministry and several military agencies.
The hackers are believed to have accessed some 40,000 documents in all.
Kyeong, a member of the opposition party, learned of the Daewoo hack at an intelligence briefing last week, according to a spokesman for the lawmaker. The South Korean Defense Ministry declined to comment on the matter, but said it is working to strengthen military security.


Related: North Korea's long history of hacking
Daewoo has built several South Korean warships and submarines, all part of the country's defenses against North Korea.


A Daewoo spokeswoman declined to comment, beyond saying that the company is looking into the matter.
The Daewoo hack is the latest case to come to light suggesting North Korea is using its hacking abilities to try to gain an edgein the tense standoff with the U.S. and its allies over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
Earlier this month, another South Korean lawmaker revealed that North Korean hackers allegedly stole classified military documents from a Defense Ministry database. Among the documents stolen were a South Korea-U.S. wartime operation plan and a document that included procedures to "decapitate" North Korean leadership.
Related: North Korea is trying to amass a bitcoin war chest
North Korean hackers have alsobeen tied to otherhigh profile cyberattacks, including the massive ransomware attack WannaCry earlier this year, a series of attacks on global banks that came to light last year and the hacking of Sony Pictures in 2014.
The North Korean government has repeatedly denied involvement in international cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity experts say the latest alleged heist shows the risks for government contractors.
"State versus state espionage has moved into the digital realm," said Bryce Boland, Asia Pacific chief technology officer with cybersecurity firm FireEye.
Companies "involved in state activities like defense are considered fair game by cyber spies," he said.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 12:50 PM   #587
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Don't expect war with North Korea to be gentlemanly

Current defence systems in place might not be fully effective against a North Korea attack.





Kim Jong-Un looks on during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency [KCNA via Reuters]


It is a mistake to imagine that any potential war with North Korea will be like a gentlemanly game of chess, in which each side takes turns and the understandings for offence and defence are robust. This misperception is particularly evident in two areas.
First, it is assumed that the missile defences currently bristling around South Korea and Japan will protect them from short, medium and long-range intercontinental missiles sent from North Korea. The hopes in this area are pinned on remarkable achievements of these systems tracking and destroying missiles.
The well-touted examples in this area include the Aegis and Terminal High Altitude Defence (THAAD) systems against medium-range missiles, which have successful interception rates of 83 percent and 100 percent, respectively. The short-range missile defence systems, such as the Patriot, also appears to have improved greatly in recent times.
Although these figures sound impressive, they are spoiled by a number of considerations. First, although the success rate for hitting short and medium-range missiles appears good, the success rate for destroying intercontinental missiles is only just about 50 percent.
Second, most of the testing is conducted in near perfect conditions, in which one target is carefully tracked and destroyed. Third, the scale of the deployment is small. That is, with the American Ground-based Midcourse Defence system against intercontinental missiles, only 44 interceptors have been deployed. With the THAAD, only one battery (with 48 interceptor missiles) has been deployed in South Korea, although this has been supplemented with 16 batteries of Patriot missiles (each with 16 launchers).


INFOGRAPHIC Infographic: What is the reach of N Korea's missiles?


Although supported by other anti-missile technologies, these ones will be the forefront of trying to stop, at best guess, 200 missile launchers and between 600 to 1000 short-range missiles and maybe 100 other medium and long-range missiles coming in from North Korea.
It can be expected that North Korea would fire most of these with great speed, deception and strategy, to attack, overpower and trick the missile defences. This attack would be nothing like the near perfect field conditions that most missile testing is currently conducted.
North's chemical and biological weapon stockpile

The second misperception is that although missiles may be the preferred delivery system for nuclear weapons, this is not the case for the other weapons of mass destruction, namely chemical and biological weapons that North Korea may possess.
The base problem here is that although the international community agreed to prohibit both chemical and biological weapons as methods of warfare in 1925 and then updated these prohibitions for bioweapons in 1972 and chemical weapons in 1993, it is not at all clear that North Korea considers itself bound by these considerations. That is, although North Korea signatory to the 1925 agreement, it is not a signatory to 1993 convention, and although it has adhered to the 1972 convention, it has fallen far behind the rudimentary expectations in this area.
In short, be sceptical about what the missile defences can actually achieve, expect chemical weapons to be part of the mix and don't be surprised if bioweapons were also thrown in.
Of chemical weapons, the strongest evidence of what they possess is the assassination of Kim Jong-nam with VX gas in Malaysia. This proof followed decades of speculation that North Korea was manufacturing chemical weapons.
Current South Korean estimates suggest that the North has an existing stockpile of between 2,500 and 5,000 metric tonnes of chemical weapons (pdf). Although chemical weapons can also be delivered by missile, plane or human hands, it is likely that the North Korean ones would be delivered by the 5,400 rocket launchers and 4,400 artillery pieces that they are believed to possess.




Although some analysts argue that Kim Jong-un's highly publicised official visits to seemingly unimportant pesticide factories and other laboratories in North Korea signal the existence of a covert bioweapons programme, our knowledge in this area is nothing more than guesswork.
Although it appears likely that North Korea has been developing bioweapons since the 1960s (pdf), and probably has understanding of about 13 types of biological weapons (including plague, anthrax, cholera and smallpox), there is no unambiguous evidence suggesting a large scale, advanced and successful bioweapons programme and production in North Korea.
There are currently black holes of knowledge with regards to whether North Korea have successfully weaponised biological material and passed the barriers that stopped others; whether they have effective delivery systems (which could be missiles, drones, planes and/or human agents) and whether they have defence measures to ensure that any pathogens do not backlash against their own population.
However, this scarcity of information within a country shrouded in secrecy, which has continually surprised the international community with advances in nuclear and missile technology, should not, under any circumstances, be taken as proof that they do not possess effective bioweapons.
In short, there aren't fully effective defences established to protect South Korea, Japan or other countries in case North Korea decides to go to war.
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Unread 2017-11-06, 10:31 AM   #588
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Veterans in Congress speak out against invading North Korea



Veterans in Congress are concerned about the possibility of a ground invasion of North Korea, which they said could kill millions of people. They have asked President Trump to tone down his rhetoric.
"It could kill millions of South Koreans and put troops and civilians in Guam and Japan at risk," they stated Monday.
California Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, along with 15 fellow veterans from the House and Senate, issued the bipartisan joint statement.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Del. Gregorio Sablan is one of the congressmen who joined in the statement.



The statement comes after a letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a report from the Congressional Research Service on the military action against North Korea.
North Korea has made a number of threats against Guam as tensions between Pyongyang and the United States and its allies have increased in recent months.
Trump has previously threatened North Korea to "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble and has also said the country could face "fire and fury".
The letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staffs states that the only way to destroy North Korea's nuclear arsenal is through a ground invasion, according to the congressmen who issued the statement.
“That is deeply disturbing and could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting," they stated.
The congressmen said, as veterans, they have defended the nation and remain committed to the country's security.
"We also understand that entering into a protracted and massive ground war with North Korea would be disastrous for U.S. troops and our allies," they said.
The Joint Chiefs said they have no reason to believe North Korea would resist using its stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, the congressmen stated.
A nonpartisan report by the Congressional Research Service indicates conflict on the peninsula could impact as many as 25 million people on either side of the border, including more than 100,000 U.S. citizens, the statement states.
"We must pursue every other option before even considering a massive ground invasion. The administration has also failed to articulate any plans to prevent the military conflict from expanding beyond the Korean Peninsula and to manage what happens after the conflict is over. We’re still engaged in the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan with no end in sight," the statement reads.
"The president needs to stop making provocative statements that hinder diplomatic options and put American troops further at risk," they said.
The Joint Chiefs’ assessment and the CRS report demonstrate that every diplomatic and economic option must be exhausted before military options are considered, they said.
"If President Trump does intend to pursue a military option against North Korea, he must come to Congress as required by our Constitution. The stakes are too high and the potential outcome too grave for President Trump to violate his constitutional duty to come to Congress to authorize and oversee use of force," they said.
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Unread 2017-11-07, 10:38 AM   #589
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U.S. Invasion of North Korea Would Be ‘Very Bloody, Very Quickly,’ Expert Warns


What would it look like if the U.S. military launched a ground invasion of North Korea? Experts warn it could get "very bloody."
The Joint Chiefs of Staff recently said the only way to eliminate Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal with "complete certainty" would be to launch a ground invasion. There is limited intelligence on Kim Jong Un's regime and the locations of its military assets, which means airstrikes are not a fully reliable option.
If a ground invasion did occur it would be a part of a multipronged military effort, Mark Fitzpatrick, the executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies office in Washington, told Newsweek.
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The invasion would primarily involve South Korean troops and U.S. special forces would provide intelligence and support. "The key part of a ground invasion would be the effort to seize North Korea’s nuclear assets.... The issue would be finding out where they are," Fitzpatrick said.
If a U.S.-led ground invasion of North Korea did occur it would be a part of a multipronged, complex military effort. Getty Images
But before the involvement of ground forces, U.S. stealth aircraft, such as the F-22 and the B-2 bomber, would likely target any known nuclear sites or facilities (as well as the launching pads for intercontinental ballistic missiles). Then, U.S. and South Korean special forces would be parachuted in to locate and neutralize the remaining nuclear weapons. This would occur "rather early on" if full-blown conflict broke out, according to Fitzpatrick, who at one point was stationed in Seoul as a U.S. Foreign Services officer.
"This effort to seize the nuclear weapons—they wouldn’t wait too long until after war-level hostilities broke out. They would have to try to seize them before they’re used," he said.
Fitzpatrick warned such a conflict could "get very bloody, very quickly," noting that millions were killed during the Korean War in the 1950s, including roughly 33,000 U.S. troops. Even without the use of nuclear weapons, Fitzpatrick believes a war could rapidly result in over a million wounded or dead on either side.
"I think North Korea probably would use its nuclear weapons, at a relatively early stage of escalation, and would probably use them against U.S. bases in Japan and/or South Korea," he said.
But Fitzpatrick also emphasized he does not believe the U.S. would "purposefully" start a war with Kim Jong Un's regime. "The most likely scenario for war breaking out would probably be North Korea misinterpretating a statement or move [from the U.S. government]," he said.
President Donald Trump has been quite aggressive in his rhetoric toward North Korea. Over the summer, Trump said the reclusive nation would be met with "with fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it didn't stop threatening the U.S. Subsequently, as he addressed the United Nations for the first time in late September, Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it forced the U.S. to defend itself or its allies. Pyongyang, which conducted its sixth nuclear test in early September, has responded by threatening to conduct a seventh nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean.
Trump's advisers have publicly championed diplomacy when it comes to dealing with Pyongyang, but the president seemingly believes a military option is the best way forward.
The U.S. has roughly 24,000 troops stationed in South Korea and approximately 40,000 in Japan, a significant and formidable military presence. Meanwhile, North Korea has roughly 1.2 million troops, approximately 11,000 artillery units and is believed to have around 60 nuclear weapons. The U.S. might be the more advanced and equipped force, but it's widely agreed millions of innocent lives would be lost if it went to war with Kim's regime.
There's no guarantee North Korea's nukes would be wiped out before the country could retaliate, meaning millions of people—including 100,000 Americans living in the region—would be in imminent danger. Japanese and South Korean civilians would be under direct threat, as would U.S. troops and civilians stationed in those countries and in the nearby U.S. territory of Guam.
A recent Congressional Research Service report estimated as many as 300,000 could die in the first few days of fighting between the U.S. and North Korea, even without the use of nukes, and a separate assessment determined upwards of 2.1 million could perish if nuclear detonations occurred over Tokyo or Seoul.
In short, this is precisely why many feel there are no good military options when it comes to North Korea.
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Unread 2017-11-16, 11:58 AM   #590
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China appears to have crossed Trump on North Korea



Andrew Harnik/AP
  • Donald Trump on Wednesday said China backed him on North Korea.
  • But the next day China contradicted him.
  • Even South Korea has expressed doubts about Trump's goal in dealing with North Korea.

After a 12-day trip to Asia in which President Donald Trump stressed his friendship and mutual understanding with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing appears to have crossed Trump on a key issue: North Korea.
At every turn during his trip, Trump insisted that the US's goal was North Korea's denuclearization. He stressed the "grave threat" he said the rogue nuclear nation posed to millions in the region and around the world.
But China seems to have rejected the idea of denuclearization and instead wants the US to settle for a freeze in North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for a freeze in the US's military drills with South Korea.
On Wednesday, Trump said he and Xi "agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze-for-freeze agreement like those that have consistently failed in the past."
On Thursday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said a dual suspension, the Chinese's preferred term for the "freeze-for-freeze" deal, was the "most feasible, fair, and sensible plan in the present situation."

The difference of opinion has gone on for years, with China repeatedly suggesting the dual freeze and the US routinely rejecting it.
Back in March, when China made the same suggestion, Mark Toner, then the acting spokesman for the State Department, explained the US's objection.
Toner said comparing the US's transparent, planned, defensive, 40-year-old military drills with North Korea's illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles was a case of "apples to oranges."
The return to the old stalemate between China and the US undercuts the progress Trump hailed after returning from his Asia trip.
But even beyond the stalemate, South Korea, the US's staunch ally, also expressed doubts about the practicality of denuclearization.
"If talks begin to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, I feel it will be realistically difficult for North Korea to completely destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at a developed stage," South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a briefing Tuesday.
"If so, North Korea's nuclear program should be suspended, and negotiations could go on to pursue complete denuclearization," Moon said.
Both China and South Korea appear more willing to meet North Korea in the middle, as Pyongyang, using the abbreviation for the country's official name, has sworn it will "never put the issue related to the supreme interests of the DPRK [nuclear weapons] and security of its people on the bargaining table."
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Unread 2017-11-28, 02:27 PM   #591
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North Korea fires new ballistic missile, South Korea says







Image copyright Reuters Image caption North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in July North Korea has fired a ballistic missile, South Korea's military chiefs say.
South Korea's military said it had responded with a "precision strike" missile exercise.
The US Pentagon said it was still assessing the "probable" launch, which happened at approximately 03:30 local time (18:30 GMT).
South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the missile flew eastward from Pyongsong, South Pyongan province.
It is not clear how far it went or whether it flew over Japan as other missiles did earlier this year.
North Korea has test fired several other missiles this year, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles, as tensions increase over its nuclear programme.




South Korean and US authorities are working together to analyse the latest missile's trajectory, according to a statement from South Korean military chiefs. It is unclear what range it had.
North Korea is thought to be focusing efforts on building long-range missiles with the potential of reaching the mainland continental US. Pyongyang officials said the first of the longer-range missiles it tested in July could hit "any part of the world", but the US military called it an intermediate-range missile instead.
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Unread 2017-11-28, 02:41 PM   #592
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They don't have the balls to use it for real. Just more saber rattling.
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Unread 2017-11-28, 02:45 PM   #593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyLee View Post
They don't have the balls to use it for real. Just more saber rattling.
But does he have the intelligence not to use it?
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Unread 2017-11-28, 03:35 PM   #594
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But does he have the intelligence not to use it?
Absolutely. He isn't stupid nor are his advisers.
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Unread 2017-11-28, 04:25 PM   #595
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idk, I think at some point they will just say f it and launch at us.
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Unread 2017-11-28, 10:00 PM   #596
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North Korea fires missile that shows it can hit 'everywhere in the world'






Story highlights

  • The missile went higher than any previous North Korean test
  • North Korea has tested 23 missiles in 16 tests since February



Washington (CNN)North Korea issued a direct challenge to President Donald Trump with the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that Defense Secretary James Mattis said demonstrates it has the ability to hit "everywhere in the world."

Pyongyang launched a Hwasong-14 missile in the early hours of Wednesday morning local time that flew higher, and demonstrated a longer range, than any of its previous tests.
It was the first missile fired in almost two months, and came despite Trump's repeated warnings, delivered again during this trip to South Korea earlier this month in a direct message to North Korea: "do not try us."
The missile launched Wednesday spent around 53 minutes in the air, reaching a height of up to 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles), before splashing down in waters around 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Japan's Aomori prefecture, according to authorities in Japan and South Korea.








Trump on North Korea launch: We will handle it 00:17



Hours after the launch, Trump sounded more restrained, telling reporters Tuesday at the White House that the US "will handle" the situation. "We will take care of it," the President said, adding later that North Korea "is a situation that we will handle."










Mattis, who was with Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, outlined how much tougher that situation has become. The test missile, he said, went "higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken" and demonstrates that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now has the ability to hit "everywhere in the world basically."
"The bottom line is, it's a continued effort to build a threat -- a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States," Mattis concluded.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strongly condemned the launch and called for redoubled international pressure on Pyongyang, saying that the US "remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization." But he added a lightly veiled warning about limited US patience.
"Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now," Tillerson said.








Graham warns of war with North Korea 01:42



Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who sits on the Armed Services Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that, "If we have to go to war to stop this, we will. If there's a war with North Korea it will be because North Korea brought it on itself, and we're headed to a war if things don't change."
On Wednesday, a North Korea official reiterated comments made to CNN in October that there would be no diplomacy until the country has proven its nuclear capabilities.
The official added the two steps needed to achieve this goal were the "testing of a long-range ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile)" capable of reaching the US, followed by an above-ground nuclear detonation.
"Before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States," the official said, referring to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Prior to today's launch, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had warned of devastating consequences if the US takes military action against North Korea. Pyongyang can batter Seoul with a barrage of conventional weapons, putting millions of South Koreans and more than 28,000 US troops stationed there within easy target range.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking from Tokyo, issued a warning of his own. The latest missile launch, he said, "significantly undermines the strong determination of the international community's peaceful resolution of the issue."
International diplomacy swiftly kicked into high gear, with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley requesting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council with her counterparts from South Korea and Japan. That meeting is set to take place Wednesday afternoon.
Carrots and sticks


Meanwhile, Tillerson announced that the US and Canada will convene a meeting of nations that contribute military forces to the UN Command that supports South Korea to discuss "how the global community can counter North Korea's threat to international peace."
For decades, multiple US administrations and international coalitions have tried and failed to curb Pyongyang's nuclear program, whether they've used carrots or sticks. Sometimes, North Korea has taken the carrots -- aid and greater access to the international system -- and still continued its program. Sanctions, the latest round of which the US announced on November 22, seem to have made little difference in curbing North Korea's resolve to obtain nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning told reporters Tuesday that the missile was "launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 1,000 kilometers before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan's Economic Exclusion Zone."
"The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America, our territories or our allies," Manning added.








Defector recovering after daring escape 03:23



Even so, David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists said that if the missile hadn't been lofted into the sky and had flown on a standard trajectory, it would have been capable of traveling 13,000 kilometers, or 8,100 miles. "Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, DC, and in fact any part of the continental United States," Wright said in a statement, though he noted that range probably wouldn't be possible if the missile were fitted with a heavy nuclear warhead.
Still, Hawaii emergency management officials and Gov. David Ige have discussed the first test of an "attack warning" siren since the Cold War in light of the threat of possible nuclear attack. Monthly tests will begin Friday.
Guam's Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense posted on Facebook that it had been notified that North Korea "conducted a ballistic missile launch" but said there was no immediate threat to Guam or the Marianas.
But the Center for International and Strategic Studies, which closely monitors North Korean launches through its Beyond Parallel initiative, said historical data shows that Pyongyang is set to significantly ratchet up its testing in the first half of 2018.
South Korea demonstrated some of its efforts to prepare for North Korean hostilities on Tuesday. The country's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the South Korean military had carried out a "precision missile strike drill" just minutes after North Korea's launch.
The precision missile strike matched the flight distance of the North Korean missile and landed in waters off the east coast of South Korea.
'On hair trigger alert'


The point, Mattis told reporters in Washington, was "to make certain North Korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our ally."
Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists who previously worked as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said the South Korean goal was to show the North that "it has the ability to hit the North's mobile missile launchers or leadership targets."
"It is a measured and pointed response but also a reminder that the peninsula remains on hair-trigger alert," he told CNN. "In this situation, provocations or even mistakes could quickly escalate out of control."
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter that Trump "was briefed, while missile was still in the air, on the situation in North Korea."








Mysterious 'ghost ships' wash ashore in Japan 01:55



The missile was launched from the west part of North Korea and is likely to have landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone after flying for about 50 minutes, according to Masaki Hikida, public relations officer at Japan's Ministry of Defense.
A 50-minute flight time would suggest that this was a major ICBM test "possibly in operational settings" and should "disabuse US officials from thinking military displays, sanctions, or threats are deterring North Korean tests," according to Mount.
"Today's test proves that Pyongyang still feels able to test at will," he told CNN, adding it also shows the Trump administration "has to get serious about deterring an atmospheric nuclear test."
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho had hinted in September that Pyongyang could carry out an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean, possibly by strapping a warhead atop a missile or dropping it from an airplane.
US defense and intelligence officials had been growing increasingly puzzled as to why Kim had not tested a ballistic missile since September.

North Korea may be capable of launching a nuclear missile in 2018, South Korea says


North Korea has launched missiles at an unprecedented rate in 2017, testing two in July that also demonstrated intercontinental range.
Before Wednesday's test, North Korea had fired 22 missiles without active warheads during 15 tests since February. US officials say North Korea is continuing to develop its missiles, rocket fuel and engines, as well as targeting and guidance systems.
The US believes Pyongyang may be able to put a miniaturized warhead on a missile sometime in 2018 -- giving it the theoretical capability to launch a missile with a warhead atop it that could reach the US.
It is currently testing a more advanced version of its existing ICBM, a US official told CNN earlier this month.
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Unread 2017-11-29, 02:20 PM   #597
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North Korea Claims New Missile Makes It A Nuclear Power






A man in Seoul, South Korea, watches a local news report about North Korea's missile launch on Wednesday.


Lee Jin-man/AP

North Korea says a new intercontinental ballistic missile tested on Wednesday proves it has a nuclear deterrent that can reach any target in the United States.
According to a statement from the Korean Central News Agency, the ICBM is capable of carrying a "super-large heavy warhead, which is capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S."
The missile was launched in the early morning hours local time on Wednesday from a site near Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. It soared almost 2,500 miles into space and traveled a distance of around 620 miles east before crashing into the Sea of Japan. The total flight time of 53 minutes was longer than North Korea's two previous ICBM tests.
The missile was lofted high into space on a "fly-ball" trajectory, as a way to avoid alarming neighboring nations. But independent analysts say that if it had been aimed differently, it could have traveled more than 8,000 miles.
"This range could cover all of the mainland United States, including Florida," says Melissa Hanham, a senior researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif. "It's a much farther range than they had ever demonstrated with their previous ICBM tests."
In response to the test, President Trump tweeted that sanctions would soon be ratcheted up on the North.


Quote:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!
8:40 AM - Nov 29, 2017

North Korea has long had a stated goal of being able to hit anywhere in the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped ICBM. The North's young leader, Kim Jong Un, has posed in front of maps targeting cities such as New York and Washington, D.C. This latest test appears to show the country has that capability, says Vipin Narang, an associate political science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"I think they're confident now that they can hold the U.S. Eastern Seaboard at risk, which is a big deal," Narang says.
North Korea designated its new missile a "Hwasong-15." In July, it conducted two tests of the Hwasong-14, an ICBM capable of hitting targets in much of the U.S. mainland. Many experts suspect the "new" missile might actually be a variant of the Hwasong-14. "Maybe it's a higher-thrust engine on the first or second stage," Narang says. "But until we see pictures, we don't know what it is."
This new missile is designed to deliver a nuclear warhead that the North has been testing separately underground.
Earlier this year, North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test yet. Independent monitors put the yield in the range of 100 to 600 kilotons, similar to that of modern U.S. nuclear weapons. News reports in August stated that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency now believes that North Korea had "miniaturized" some of its nuclear devices in order to fit them onto a missile.
Not everyone believes the North's claim that all this activity means the country can strike the U.S. with a nuclear warhead. "There are a lot of things that are still not 100 percent sure about North Korean missiles," says Markus Schiller, an aerospace engineer with Schmucker Technologie, a German company that consults on security issues. There are still questions about accuracy, practical use and whether a warhead could survive launch and re-entry, he points out.
But Narang says that continuing to doubt the North's capabilities might be dangerous. The ultimate proof that the North can do what it says would be the launch of a live nuclear warhead over the Pacific Ocean. North Korea has suggested it might try such a test, but Narang and many others think that could prove catastrophic. "There's just a lot of risk of things going wrong," he says.
In the end, even if the North's claims that it can strike all of the U.S. aren't completely proven, Narang suspects policymakers might need to accept North Korea as a nuclear power.
"Do they need to hit New York with certainty and accuracy? No," he says. "A 30 percent chance that they can park one on the Upper East Side is enough to deter us."
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Unread 2017-11-29, 03:59 PM   #598
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Just wipe this fucker out.

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Unread 2017-12-03, 08:52 PM   #599
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US stealth jets arrive in South Korea as North Korean rhetoric heats up

(Meredith Image)
By Brad Lendon and Taehoon Lee CNN
(CNN) -- Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated over the weekend as US stealth fighters moved into the region and official sources from both North Korea and the US said the chances of war are growing.
The bellicose rhetoric from North Korea came in two phases: On Saturday, a statement from its Foreign Ministry said US President Donald Trump is "begging for a nuclear war" through what it called an "extremely dangerous nuclear gamble on the Korean Peninsula";
A day later, a commentary from Pyongyang's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, said US-South Korea joint air exercises scheduled for Monday to Friday are a "dangerous provocation" pushing the region "to the brink of a nuclear war."
From the US side, White House national security adviser HR McMaster told a conference in California on Saturday that the chances for war on the Korean Peninsula grow daily.
"I think it's increasing every day, which means that we are in a race, really, we are in a race to be able to solve this problem," McMaster told an audience at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley.
McMaster made the comment when asked if North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday had increased the chance of war.
"There are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict, but it is a race because he's getting closer and closer, and there's not much time left," McMaster said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
With every missile launch or nuclear test, Kim has improved his country's capabilities, McMaster said.
Air combat exercise to begin
Meanwhile, South Korean media showed six US Air Force F-22 Raptors, Washington's top-of-the-line stealth fighters, arriving in South Korea on Saturday to participate in the Vigilant Ace 18 air combat exercise, an annual US-South Korea drill the US Air Force says is designed to boost the "combat effectiveness" of the alliance.
Some 230 aircraft and 12,000 personnel from the US and South Korea are participating in the weeklong exercise, according to a US Air Force statement.
A South Korean defense official confirmed to CNN on Sunday that the US is sending dozens of high-end fighters, bombers and support aircraft to the drills.
"The US aircraft that have landed on South Korea include six F-22s, six F-35s, six EA-18Gs," the official said. "More than 10 F-15Cs and F-16s have also been deployed for the drill."
These aircraft will stay in South Korea for the week. They will be joined by more F-35bs -- the Marine Corps version, based in Japan -- B-1 bombers and E-3 airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that will fly in to join the wargames and then return to bases elsewhere, the official said.
But it is the stealth fighters that experts say pose the biggest threat to Pyongyang.
Cloaked with the world's most advanced stealth coating, the F-22s and F-35s would likely be called upon to lead a potential air campaign against North Korea should the situation escalate to the point of using military force, experts say.
While the North Korean military maintains capable anti-air weaponry, their radar systems would be unable to detect the stealth fighters before a strike on those defensive systems.
The Rodong Sinmun commentary said the aerial wargames show "the enemies' moves to start a nuclear war have reached a dangerous stage."
"It is an open, all-out provocation against the DPRK, which may lead to a nuclear war any moment," it continued.
But it also put up bravado over the presence of the F-22s and F-35s.
"The stealth fighters which the enemies boast so much of will not escape the fate of a tiger moth," the North Korean commentary said.
North Korean threat to US mainland
The exercises come less than a week after Pyongyang fired off an intercontinental ballistic missile it claims can reach the "whole" mainland of the United States.
A US official said Saturday technical analysis of that missile's flight is ongoing but the "the North Koreans had problems with re-entry."
It is likely the ballistic missile, fired higher than any previous North Korean missile, broke up as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere, the official said.
Still, the ability of the new missile to fly higher and longer than others in the past signals North Korea's intent to develop weapons capable of attacking the US.
At the California forum, McMaster said Kim was extremely unlikely to change his behavior "without some significant new actions in the form of much more severe sanctions" and "complete enforcement of the sanctions that are in place."
He pushed China to do more, including cutting off North Korean oil imports.
"We're asking China not to do us or anybody else a favor," he said. "We're asking China to act in China's interest, as they should, and we believe increasingly that it's in China's urgent interest to do more."
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Unread 2017-12-04, 01:17 PM   #600
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Will North Korea's Kim Jong Un Destroy the Environment With His Nuclear Bombs?



North Korea’s pursuit to successfully launch a long-range nuclear missile brings about a number of questions. Among them: How would the bombs affect the environment?
Although Kim Jong Un has yet to impact the United States’ physical environment, his nuclear tests have already caused extensive damage on his own soil. Testing at the country’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility has caused a majority of the trees—about 80 percent—in the area to die, according to defectors from the region. The defectors, who were interviewed by The Research Association of VIsion of North Korea, also noted that the underground wells no longer had water, according to a report published in Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper.
Another notable concern is the bomb’s potential to contaminate the area with radioactive material. Although North Korean government radiation levels came back normal in September, there’s the still risk of future leaks, especially if more tests are conducted, Chinese scientists told the South China Morning Post.


North Korea’s pursuit to successfully launch a long-range nuclear missile brings about a number of questions. Among them: How would the bombs affect the environment?
Although Kim Jong Un has yet to impact the United States’ physical environment, his nuclear tests have already caused extensive damage on his own soil. Testing at the country’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility has caused a majority of the trees—about 80 percent—in the area to die, according to defectors from the region. The defectors, who were interviewed by The Research Association of VIsion of North Korea, also noted that the underground wells no longer had water, according to a report published in Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper.
Another notable concern is the bomb’s potential to contaminate the area with radioactive material. Although North Korean government radiation levels came back normal in September, there’s the still risk of future leaks, especially if more tests are conducted, Chinese scientists told the South China Morning Post.
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The scientists warned that another nuclear test under Mount Mantap could cause it to collapse and suffer a radiation leak.
“We call it ‘taking the roof off’: If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things,” Wang Naiyan, former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and senior researcher on China’s nuclear weapons program, told the South China Morning Post.
Activists in Berlin march during a demonstration against nuclear weapons on November 18. Adam Berry/Getty Images
Radiation also would impact other forms of life.
“In areas where humans are killed or injured by radiation, the same lethality for animals would be expected. If large herds of farm animals were affected, poor sanitation could become a significant problem,” authors of the book Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons wrote.
The authors noted that plants would get hit hard too, especially pine and spruce, because they are among the species that are the most sensitive to radiation.
Nuclear symbols seen during a demonstration against nuclear weapons in Berlin on November 18. Adam Berry/Getty Images
“It is conceivable that forests could be killed, which in turn could result in forest fires. The demise of the pine forest near the Chernobyl plant was one notable example of this effect,” the authors, who are part of the National Academies of Sciences, wrote.
Earth’s ozone layer would also take a large hit from nuclear blasts, according to a 2006 study. Climate scientists who conducted the research found that the extent of damage capable of nuclear weapons could impact the Earth for decades.
"Nuclear weapons are the greatest environmental danger to the planet from humans—not global warming or ozone depletion," Alan Robock, a coauthor of the study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, told The Guardian.
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