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Unread 2017-12-06, 02:40 PM   #601
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China Hints That It May Back North Korea in the Event of a War



The increasingly tense stand-off between the U.S. and North Korea may have hit a new high this week.
As U.S. and South Korean military units conducted an annual air power exercise over the Korean Peninsula, China’s air force reportedly staged exercises in “routes and areas it has never flown before” over the Yellow and East Seas. The exercise involved reconnaissance planes, fighter jets, an early warning and control aircraft, and a joint operation with surface-to-air missile units.


The South China Morning Post quotes Li Jie, a Beijing-based military expert, as saying the drills were done specifically to send a message to Donald Trump.
“The timing of this high-profile announcement by the [People’s Liberation Army] is also a warning to Washington and Seoul not to provoke Pyongyang any further,” Jie told the Post.

The U.S. and South Korea used over 200 aircraft in their recent drills. North Korea has protested the exercise as an “all out provocation.”
Whether Jie is correct about the intentions of the Chinese air force is tricky to determine at this point. China has previously condemned North Korea for launching test missiles and, three months ago, backed U.N. sanctions against the country after a significant nuclear test.
Trump’s view of how China has reacted to North Korea’s actions, as judged by his tweets, has run the gamut. In early November, he wrote “My meetings with President Xi Jinping were very productive on both trade and the subject of North Korea. He is a highly respected and powerful representative of his people.” He praised the country for sending an envoy to speak with the North Korean government, but seemed frustrated earlier this month by the lack of results from that meeting.
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Unread 2017-12-07, 02:08 PM   #602
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North Korea's latest launch tried to simulate a sneak attack, but the US reportedly saw it coming



KCNA
  • North Korea's latest launch was at night — which many consider to have been a demonstration that it could launch a surprise attack.
  • But US intelligence sources reportedly said they knew three days in advance and watched the missile preparation.
  • Knowing in advance gives the US time to evaluate the proper response.

North Korea launched its latest ICBM in the dead of night, which many analysts have interpreted as an attempt to show the US that they could launch a surprise nuclear attack on the US.
But the US had been aware of the preparations for launch three days in advance, and observed the missile being erected and prepared for hours, US intelligence sources told The Diplomat's Ankit Panda.
Each time North Korea launches a missile, it releases pictures that usually feature Kim Jong Un in an observation stand. Spotting this stand reliably helps the US determine where and when North Korea may be plotting a launch, according to Panda.
In the case of the latest launch of the Hwasong-15, which experts say can strike anywhere in the US with a nuclear payload, North Korea used a mobile stand possibly to avoid detection, according to Panda.
But the US, with a network of satellites, drones, and spy planes frequently patrolling the skies above North Korea, spotted the test anyway.

While North Korea prepared the surprise, off-season, launch, the US reportedly knew days in advance and had time to make the critical decision of whether or not to strike at the launch site.
So despite North Korea showing the impressive ability to launch a missile in the dead of night, it seems it still hasn't quite mastered pulling a fast one on the US military.
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Unread 2017-12-08, 09:38 AM   #603
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Russia Says North Korea Wants to Talk to U.S., But Are Trump and Kim Ready?




North Korea is ready to talk directly to the U.S. about “guarantees for its security” after trading threats of war with President Donald Trump, Russia’s top diplomat has said.
“We are ready to take part in facilitating such negotiations,” said Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, offering the latest indication that Moscow seeks to bill itself as peace broker in the spiraling crisis around North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
The rogue state has conducted a series of tests this year to declare itself now capable of striking U.S. territory with nuclear missiles.

Speaking after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Vienna on Thursday, Lavrov said that he had made his American colleagues aware of Russia’s position, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reports.
Trump has regularly expressed skepticism over engaging in dialogue with North Korea and the diplomatic relationship between Washington and Pyongyang has long been limited. One of the most significant talks between the two sides occurred in 1994 against the wishes of then-President Bill Clinton, as his predecessor Jimmy Carter voluntarily visited Pyongyang to strike a deal with the regime of Kim Il Sung, grandfather of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Despite Trump's rhetoric, Tillerson has vowed to continue the diplomatic effort "until the first bomb drops" and some reports suggest it may not be U.S. reluctance that is holding up the process behind the scenes.
The main U.S. negotiator with North Korea Joseph Yun now has a “broader mandate” in his calls to Pyongyang than before. A senior State Department official told Reuters last month that calls have “not been limited at all, both (in) frequency and substance.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a bilateral meeting during a ministerial council of OSCE Foreign Ministers in Vienna, Austria, December 7, 2017. Ronald Zak/Pool/Reuters
This report came less than a month after a North Korean official told CNN that Pyongyang is not willing to meet Washington at a negotiating table. The official did not quash the idea of diplomacy for good but said: “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."
Pyongyang has repeatedly made clear that it seeks public recognition by the U.S. of its nuclear status. A summit with top U.S. officials, chaired by another nuclear power such as Russia, could create this impression better than behind-the-scenes talks.
The U.S. administration's line on North Korea, and what the solution to the crisis around it should be, remains unclear. Late last month, following another missile test, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called for "all countries should sever diplomatic relations with North Korea" and "cut off trade with the regime."
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Unread 2017-12-21, 02:50 PM   #604
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The US reportedly wants a limited strike on North Korea to give Kim Jong Un a 'bloody nose'




North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Reuters/KCNA
  • The US is considering a limited strike on North Korea to give Kim Jong Un a metaphorical "bloody nose," The Telegraph reported.
  • The US has plenty of options for delivering a short, sharp strike against North Korea that could deny it the ability to test and perfect intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • But a US attack on North Korea would be a gamble that a limited strike won't turn into all-out nuclear war.

After months of resolutely declaring that it cannot and will not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea, the US is reportedly planning a "bloody nose" attack to send Pyongyang a message.
The Daily Telegraph cited "well-placed" sources as saying the Trump administration had "dramatically" stepped up preparations for a military response to North Korea's nuclear provocations.
Those possible responses include destroying a launch site before North Korea could test a missile and targeting a stockpile of weapons, according to The Telegraph.
"The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we're serious," a former US security official briefed on policy told The Telegraph.
The report said the Trump administration had the April 7 strike on a Syrian airfield in mind as a blueprint for the move against North Korea.
Attacking North Korea would make the Syria strike look easy

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 7 launches a land-attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea on April 7. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP
When US Navy ships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield, President Donald Trump had the world's support in attacking a nation accused of using chemical weapons on its own people.
Syria's military was already stretched thin fighting a civil war and multiple Islamist terrorist groups. The strike went virtually unpunished.
But that most likely wouldn't be the case with a US strike on North Korea, which has a massive standing army and a military posture geared toward offense.
And there are practical reasons the US can't just blow up a North Korean missile launch site. As Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said on Twitter, "Mobile missiles don't need launch sites, Donald."
Instead of using designated launch sites, North Korea puts its missiles on mobile launchers, some of which have treads to launch from off-road locations.
Lately, North Korea has varied its launch sites, most likely to make it harder for the US to track and possibly intercept missiles.
If the US wants to give you a bloody nose, nothing can stop it

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team completed Warrior Strike IX, a four-day training exercise, on December 15. Spc. Jordan Buck va DVIDSHUB
The US does have tools to give North Korea a "bloody nose."
Short of blowing up a launch site, which could kill launch officers — and possibly Kim Jong Un, as he usually watches launches from close by — the US could attempt to intercept North Korea's next missile launch.
The US and allies have not only increased missile-defense deployments to the region — they've also deployed F-35 stealth fighters that have some capability to shoot down missile launches.
Submarines like the USS Michigan, which has frequently visited South Korea in recent months, could send a volley of cruise missiles at any military site in North Korea without ever surfacing.
Forward-deployed Aegis guided-missile destroyers in the US Navy could intercept the missiles as they launched, Sid Trevethan, a former US Navy specialist in ballistic missile defense and electronic countermeasures, told Business Insider.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis recently said that though North Korea's last ballistic missile test demonstrated a very long range, he's not convinced the entire missile system works. US policy on North Korea explicitly calls for denying it the means to perfect its missile program.
Destroying North Korean missiles during launch would rob Pyongyang of valuable testing and could ensure it never tests an ICBM at full range, meaning it could never be fully confident in its ability to hit the US.
Calling Kim's bluff risks nuclear war

North Korean soldiers at military training in March 2013. Reuters/KCNA
The US knows what capabilities it has to counter North Korea, but not how North Korea would respond.
If the US were to send Tomahawk missiles toward a launch site, North Korea might interpret the incoming salvo as targeting its supreme leader and being an outright act of war.
Immediately, Kim could order North Korea's massive artillery installations to open fire on Seoul, potentially killing tens of thousands within hours.
The bloody-nose scenario comes down to a gamble on whether North Korea is ready to enter all-out war over a limited strike.
North Korea has sunk US and South Korean ships without proportionate punishment in the past. It has shelled South Korean islands, captured Americans and South Koreans, and killed civilians without US retaliation.
North Korea, despite having the weaker hand militarily, has often gambled that the US and South Korea value prosperity and peace — albeit an uneasy peace — too much to respond tit-for-tat to its military provocations.
A US attack on North Korea might just call a long-standing bluff and show that Pyongyang's bark is worse than its bite — or it might unleash nuclear war.
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Unread 2017-12-21, 03:20 PM   #605
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great, going from world leader to world bully, this should turn out just fine.
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Unread 2017-12-21, 03:43 PM   #606
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That has to be just a "what if", if they strike NK they better strike to kill not "give a bloody nose" otherwise SK/Japan will be hammered. Can we stop with the world police bullshit.
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Unread 2017-12-21, 03:58 PM   #607
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Good lord, I hope we don't strike actually strike them. They're annoying now, but Jesus, don't give them any reason to actually start killing people outside of their boarders...
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Unread 2017-12-24, 09:59 AM   #608
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“The Daily Telegraph cited "well-placed" sources as saying”......
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Unread 2017-12-26, 02:39 PM   #609
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Russia willing to mediate US-North Korea talks: report






© Getty

Russia said Tuesday it is willing to mediate talks between the United States and North Korea, should the two countries accept its offer, Reuters reported.
“Russia’s readiness to clear the way for de-escalation is obvious,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly told reporters during a phone call.
The offer comes amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang with both countries intensifying their rhetoric this year.

Russia has long urged for the two states to come to the negotiating table and diplomatically work to reduce tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile weapons development program, which Pyongyang continues to pursue despite harsh sanctions from the United Nations.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday called for the two states to begin negotiations, underscoring Russia's readiness to serve as a facilitator of the meeting, according to the report.
South Korea also offered an optimistic prediction on Tuesday, saying in the new year, North Korea may be willing to engage in talks with the U.S., Reuters reported.
“North Korea will seek negotiation with United States, while continuing to pursue its effort to be recognized as a de facto nuclear-possessing country,” according to a report released by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which reportedly did not provide any reasons to support its conclusion.
Seoul's 2018 prediction, however, comes after it has established a specialized military team that will be ready to deal with the north's nuclear threats.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the White House have sent mixed messages regarding the administration's stance toward North Korea after Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile late last month.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimonySkier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at OlympicsPoll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with RussiaMORE said he would not be willing to start diplomatic talks unless North Korea agrees to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to impose new, harsher sanctions on North Korea in response to its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.
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Unread 2017-12-26, 03:42 PM   #610
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North Korea’s War Supplies Shut Off by China As Oil and Fuel Sanctions Take Toll

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China shut off all oil and fuel products to North Korea last month, further strangling Kim Jong Un’s regime amid increasing international sanctions and cries for China to toughen its economic and diplomatic policies with its oppressive neighbor.

China also blocked off North Korean imports of iron, coal and lead in November, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing data from China’s General Administration of Customs. The block appeared to be even harsher than sanctions placed on the North by the United Nations this year. New U.N. sanctions enacted last week capped oil shipments to the North for any trade partner at 500,000 barrels in a single year.
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The new sanctions, along with others put in place earlier this year, place Kim’s regime in a perilous position. The limited North Korean economy may struggle to fund its nuclear and missile defense, and also maintain order within the totalitarian regime, without sufficient imports.
China, long the North’s top trade partner, also hindered the trade of gasoline, diesel or fuel oil and jet fuel. Jet fuel had not been completely blocked for the North by China since February 2015.
November marked the second consecutive month China did not send gasoline or diesel to the North.
North Korea has threatened war on the United States and blasted the United Nations for economic sanctions. The limited North Korean economy may struggle to fund its nuclear and missile defense, and also maintain order within the totalitarian regime, without sufficient imports. KCNA via Getty Images
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said she was unaware of the oil export figures, but stated China had always enforced the sanctions against Kim’s government.
“As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea,” the spokeswoman said at a press briefing. “We have already established a set of effective operating mechanisms and methods.”
China is North Korea’s top fuel provider, and the cutoff coincides with new sanctions unanimously passed by the U.N. Security Council last week to punish Kim for missile tests and threats of an attack against the U.S.
By a 15-0 vote, the U.N. council tightened fuel shipments and ordered North Korean workers overseas to return to their homeland. China and Russia both voted to impose the sanctions, with a large number of North Korean workers already in the latter country.
The regime responded to the new sanctions Sunday, calling them an “act of war” and accusing the U.S. of asking for trouble.
“We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the U.S. and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region, and categorically reject the ‘resolution,’” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a statement.
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