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Kim Jong-un celebrates American Independence Day in style…


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Author Topic: Kim Jong-un celebrates American Independence Day in style…  (Read 1261 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #150 on: September 04, 2017, 12:37:20 am »


from The Washington Post....

North Korean leader inspects new H-bomb

There will be some skepticism from experts about the country's assertion that it mastered the
technology, but the propaganda claim raises the possibility of an imminent nuclear bomb test.


By FOSTER KLUG - Associated Press | 9:06PM EDT - Saturday, September 02, 2017

In this undated image distributed on September 3rd, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press.
In this undated image distributed on September 3rd, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location.
 — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press.


SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a new, “super explosive” hydrogen bomb meant to be loaded into an intercontinental ballistic missile, Pyongyang's state media said on Sunday, a claim to technological mastery that some outside experts will doubt but that raises the possibility of an imminent nuclear bomb test.

Photos released by North Korea showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that was apparently the purported thermonuclear weapon destined for an ICBM.

Aside from the factuality of the North's claim, the language in its statement seems a strong signal that Pyongyang will soon conduct another nuclear weapon test, which is crucial if North Korean scientists are to fulfill the national goal of an arsenal of viable nuclear ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. There's speculation that such a test could come on or around the September 9th anniversary of North Korea's national founding, something it did last year.

As part of the North's weapons work, Kim was said by his propaganda mavens to have made a visit to the Nuclear Weapons Institute and inspected a “homemade” H-bomb with “super explosive power” that “is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds (of) kiloton,” the state run Korean Central News Agency said.

North Korea in July conducted its first ever ICBM tests, part of a stunning jump in progress for the country's nuclear and missile program since Kim rose to power following his father's death in late 2011. The North followed its two tests of ICBMs, which, when perfected, could target large parts of the United States, by threatening to launch a salvo of its Hwasong-12 intermediate range missiles toward the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in August.

It flew a Hwasong-12 over northern Japan last week, the first such overflight by a missile capable of carrying nukes, in a launch Kim described as a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam, the home of major U.S. military facilities, and more ballistic missile tests targeting the Pacific.

To back up its bombast, North Korea needs to conduct nuclear tests. The first of its two such tests last year involved what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb; the second it said was its most powerful detonation ever. Experts and outside governments are skeptical of the hydrogen claim, but it is almost impossible to independently confirm North Korean statements about its highly secret weapons program.

It is clear, however, that each new missile and nuclear test gives the North invaluable information that allows big jumps in capability. A key question is how far North Korea has gotten in efforts to consistently shrink down nuclear warheads so they can fit on long-range missiles.

“Though we cannot verify the claim, (North Korea) wants us to believe that it can launch a thermonuclear strike now, if it is attacked. Importantly, (North Korea) will also want to test this warhead, probably at a larger yield, to demonstrate this capability,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

North Korea's claim that “this warhead is variable-yield and capable of specialized weapons effects implies a complex nuclear strategy. It shows (North Korea) is not only threatening assured destruction of the U.S. and allied cities in the event it is attacked, but also that (North Korea) is considering limited coercive nuclear strikes, or is seeking credible response options for U.S. ones.”

North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range missile to eventually carry smaller versions of those bombs.

South Korea's main spy agency has previously asserted that it does not think Pyongyang currently has the ability to develop miniaturized nuclear weapons that can be mounted on long-range ballistic missiles. Some experts, however, think the North may have mastered this technology.

In Washington, there was no immediate reaction from the White House or the State Department.

The North said in its statement on Sunday that its H-bomb “is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals.”

Kim, according to the statement, claimed that “all components of the H-bomb were homemade … thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants.”

In what could be read as a veiled warning of more nuclear tests, Kim underlined the need for scientists to “dynamically conduct the campaign for successfully concluding the final-stage research and development for perfecting the state nuclear force” and “set forth tasks to be fulfilled in the research into nukes.”


Associated Press writers Youkyung Lee and Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/nkorea-says-it-has-loaded-h-bomb-onto-icbm/2017/09/02/d75c7290-903b-11e7-9c53-6a169beb0953_story.html
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« Reply #151 on: September 04, 2017, 12:37:55 am »


from The Washington Post....

North Korea apparently conducts another nuclear test, South Korea says

An artificial earthquake was detected Sunday near the Pyongyang regime’s known
nuclear test site, officials said. The North Koreans earlier in the day claimed to have
developed a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on a long-range ballistic missile.


By ANNA FIFIELD | 12:42AM EDT - Sunday, September 03, 2017

North Korea said that it had developed a more advanced nuclear bomb with “great destructive power,” releasing photos of Kim Jong Un inspecting what his government described as a hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
North Korea said that it had developed a more advanced nuclear bomb with “great destructive power,” releasing photos of Kim Jong Un inspecting
what his government described as a hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.
 — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


TOKYO — North Korea appears to have conducted another nuclear test, the South Korean government said on Sunday after seismic authorities detected an artificial earthquake near Pyongyang regime's known nuclear test site.

This would be North Korea's sixth nuclear test, and the first since President Trump was inaugurated. The action probably will increase already high tensions between the Trump administration and Kim Jong Un's regime.

The U.S Geological Survey said it had recorded a 6.3 magnitude earthquake exactly at noon Sunday local time, near North Korea's known nuclear test site in Punggyeri, in the county's northeast region. The quake was felt in northern China, with emergency sirens blaring in Yanji, near the North Korean border, according to local media.

North Korea's recent nuclear tests have also happened exactly on the hour, often on meaningful dates for North Korea or the United States. It is a holiday weekend in the United States, which marks Labor Day on Monday.

A North Korean nuclear test in September of last year registered as a 5.3-magnitude earthquake at 9 a.m. on a national holiday marking the 68th anniversary of the formation of the communist regime by Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather.

South Korean authorities said Sunday's earthquake appeared to be artificial, consistent with a nuclear test.

President Moon Jae-in immediately called an emergency meeting of his national security council, and the chairman of his Joint Chiefs of Staff put the South Korean military on alert.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he “would not tolerate” another nuclear test.

Analysts had been expecting another nuclear test after North Korea said earlier on Sunday that it had developed a more advanced nuclear bomb with “great destructive power.” But they weren't expecting it so soon after the announcement.

On Sunday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency released photos of Kim Jong Un inspecting what his government described as a hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.

All the components of the “H-bomb” were “homemade” so North Korea could produce “powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying.

North Korea's latest claim on a hydrogen bomb could not be verified. Although it claimed that a nuclear test in January last year was of a hydrogen bomb, experts said the seismic waves generated were consistent with an ordinary nuclear device, not a thermonuclear one.

A sixth nuclear test by the North Koreans would be highly inflammatory for the United States and China, as well as North Korea's other neighbors.

China has expressed annoyance at North Korea's frequent ballistic missile launches, but analysts have said China probably would not take serious action — unless there is another nuclear test.

Sunday's events could also change the equation for Washington. Trump has been warning the Kim regime not to test him, warning on Twitter that the American military was “locked and loaded.”


• Anna Fifield is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, focusing on Japan and the Koreas. She previously reported for the Financial Times from Washington DC, Seoul, Sydney, London and from across the Middle East.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/north-korea-apparently-conducts-another-nuclear-test-south-korea-says/2017/09/03/7bce3ff6-905b-11e7-8df5-c2e5cf46c1e2_story.html
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« Reply #152 on: September 04, 2017, 03:08:13 pm »


from The Washington Post....

‘We'll see,’ Trump says on potentially attacking North Korea
over its nuclear test


He also met with military leaders, his national security team and Vice President Pence
to explore U.S. military options in the Asia-Pacific region.


By PHILIP RUCKER | 3:47PM EDT - Sunday, September 03, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and President Donald J. Trump.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and President Donald J. Trump.

THE CRISIS with North Korea escalated on Sunday as President Trump reviewed military options and suggested sweeping new economic sanctions in response to the crossing of a dangerous threshold by the isolated nation in detonating its most powerful nuclear weapon ever.

Defying Trump's blunt warnings, North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.

Though not yet confirmed, Pyongyang's apparent show of force was extraordinary — the hydrogen weapon is vastly more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — and drew swift condemnation in capitals around the globe. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the action “absolutely unacceptable.”

In Washington, Trump declared North Korea's latest provocation “very hostile and dangerous to the United States” and would not rule out a retaliatory strike. Asked as he left morning services at St. John's Church whether he was planning to attack North Korea, Trump told reporters, “We'll see.”

Trump sought to assign responsibility for the unfolding crisis to North Korea's neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region, firing off a series of tweets that signaled rifts in U.S. economic and security partnerships that for years have helped isolate and contain North Korea.

It fell to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to offer reassurances to the world that “the commitments among the allies are ironclad.”

Trump, who has been weighing termination of a free-trade agreement with South Korea, scolded the longtime U.S. ally for not being tough enough in managing the northern threat. He tweeted, “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in chose not to engage in an argument with Trump. He said his government is intent on achieving the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, in concert with “our allies.”

The South Korean military conducted bombing drills at dawn on Monday, practicing ballistic missile strikes on the North Korean nuclear test site at Punggye-ri.

Trump also said on Twitter that he was considering cutting off trade with any nation doing business with North Korea. China is by far the country's largest trading partner, but it also is the largest U.S. trading partner in terms of goods imported and exported. Such a move would amount to Trump's biggest trade salvo to date and would be nearly impossible to pull off without devastating the U.S. and global economies.

It would also drive up prices on many consumer goods. In 2016, U.S. companies exported $169.3 billion in goods to China and China exported $478.9 billion in goods to the United States.

Trump convened a Sunday afternoon White House meeting of his national security team, also attended by Vice President Pence. Mattis said that at the president's request they reviewed every military option and that Trump concluded the United States is prepared to defend itself and its allies.

“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming,” said Mattis, who was flanked by General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mattis added, “We are not looking for the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.”

The U.N. Security Council, whose members voted unanimously last month to pass a package of sanctions against North Korea, called an emergency meeting for Monday morning at the urging of the United States, Japan, South Korea and France, according to Nikki Haley, the United States' U.N. ambassador.

Trump spoke on Sunday by phone with Abe, and the two leaders confirmed the mutual defense commitments between the United States and Japan, according to the White House.

“President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal,” read a statement from the office of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump's response to North Korea's weekend nuclear test — its sixth ever, but the first since Trump took office — was subdued relative to his bellicose war of words last month with that country's 33-year-old leader, Kim Jong Un.

In a pair of tweets issued on Sunday morning, Trump wrote: “North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States … North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”

Nearly four weeks ago, Trump warned Kim that his continued nuclear provocations would be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Initially, North Korea seemed to back down from its threat of a nuclear strike in Guam, where many U.S. military personnel are stationed. Trump said of Kim at an August 22nd rally in Phoenix, “I respect the fact that, I believe, he is starting to respect us.”

That assessment turned out to be premature.

“North Korea right now is the most dangerous place on the face of the planet,” Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) said on ABC's “This Week”. Cruz said of Kim, “He is radical, he is unpredictable, he is extreme, and he is getting more and more dangerous weapons.”

General Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, warned that Trump's tweets could foul up his otherwise respectable plan to get tough on North Korea.

“You gotta watch the tweets,” Hayden said on CNN's “State of the Union”, “Mr. President, this is not a manhood issue; this is a national security issue. Don't let your pride get in the way of wise policy here.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, interviewed on “Fox News Sunday”, said he intended to “draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration that anybody who wants to do trade or business with them is prevented from doing trade or business with us.”

“We are going to work with our allies, we'll work with China, but people need to cut off North Korea economically,” Mnuchin added. “This is unacceptable behavior.”

The tumult in the region comes amid escalating economic tensions with South Korea, a long-standing economic and diplomatic partner of the United States. Trump is considering withdrawing from a free-trade agreement with the country, in keeping with his campaign promise.

The move would end what Trump considers unfair trade competition from other countries. But the president's advisers have cautioned that a withdrawal from the agreement would strain ties with South Korea amid the mounting North Korea nuclear crisis.

Asked by Fox anchor Chris Wallace whether Trump would pull the United States out of the agreement, Mnuchin said, “The president has made clear that where we have trade deficits with countries, we're going to renegotiate those deals.” He added that there have been “no decisions” yet with regard to the trade accord with South Korea.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (Republican-Tennessee) said he spoke on Sunday morning with White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly about the situation.

“We stand ready to work with the administration to support a comprehensive strategy that not only places an emphasis on deterrence but also empowers our allies and partners in the region, who must do far more to confront this threat,” Corker said in a statement.

Senator Jeff Flake (Republican-Arizona) acknowledged that “there are no good options” to manage the North Korea crisis but argued that “harsh rhetoric” does not appear to help slow Kim's nuclear program.

Flake said that ending the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement would be inadvisable.

“I don't think that that would be good in any circumstances,” Flake said on CNN. “Now it's particularly troubling, given what South Korea is faced with. I think we need to do more trade, not less, and withdrawing from trade agreements is a very troubling sign.”


Anna Fifield in Tokyo and Karoun Demirjian, Damian Paletta and Hamza Shaban in Washington contributed to this report.

• Philip Rucker is the White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post. He previously has covered Congress, the Obama White House, and the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. He joined The Post in 2005 as a local news reporter.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump says ‘we'll see’ about attacking North Korea

 • VIDEO: Trump sharply condemns North Korea's latest nuclear test

 • VIDEO: Why does North Korea hate the U.S.? Look to the Korean War.

 • In latest test, North Korea detonates its most powerful nuclear device yet

 • Trump preparing withdrawal from South Korea trade deal, a move opposed by top aides

 • Trump reiterates warning to N. Korea: ‘Fire and fury’ may not have been ‘tough enough’


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-calls-north-koreas-nuclear-test-very-hostile-and-dangerous-scolds-south-korea/2017/09/03/a1429980-90a1-11e7-8754-d478688d23b4_story.html
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« Reply #153 on: September 04, 2017, 03:44:41 pm »

Quote
Trump also said on Twitter that he was considering cutting off trade with any nation doing business with North Korea. China is by far the country's largest trading partner, but it also is the largest U.S. trading partner in terms of goods imported and exported. Such a move would amount to Trump's biggest trade salvo to date and would be nearly impossible to pull off without devastating the U.S. and global economies.

It would also drive up prices on many consumer goods. In 2016, U.S. companies exported $169.3 billion in goods to China and China exported $478.9 billion in goods to the United States.


YES!! BRING IT ON!!!

Trump would be STUPID enough to cut off trade with China.

However, that could be a GOOD THING because it would CRASH THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.

Time to get in the beer & popcorn and settle in to watch the FUN.
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« Reply #154 on: September 04, 2017, 03:54:03 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Seoul tries to ignore Trump's criticism:
‘They worry he's kind of nuts,’ one observer says


South Koreans are puzzled by president’s “appeasement” jab and his attitude toward negotiations.

By ANNA FIFIELD | 7:22PM EDT - Sunday, September 03, 2017

North Koreans watch a news report showing North Korea's nuclear test on a screen in Pyongyang, North Korea. — Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters.
North Koreans watch a news report showing North Korea's nuclear test on a screen in Pyongyang, North Korea. — Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters.

TOKYO — South Korea's president tried late on Sunday to dismiss talk of a dispute between Seoul and Washington over how to deal with North Korea following its sixth nuclear test, after President Trump criticized the South Korean approach as “appeasement”.

Moon Jae-in's office said that his government would continue to work towards peaceful denuclearization after tweets and actions from Trump that have left South Koreans scratching their heads at why the American president is attacking an ally at such a sensitive time.

As if to underline Seoul's willingness to be tough, the South Korean military conducted bombing drills at dawn on Monday, practicing ballistic missile strikes on the North Korean nuclear test site at Punggye-ri.

The South Korean military calculated the distance to the site and practiced having F-15 jet fighters accurately hit the target, the joint chiefs of staff said on Monday morning.

“This drill was conducted to send a strong warning to North Korea for its sixth nuclear test,” it said.




After North Korea conducted its nuclear test on Sunday, Trump tweeted: “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

Trump did not talk to Moon on the phone during Sunday — in stark contrast to the two calls he had with Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan and a leader who has proven much more willing to agree with his American counterpart. This will worsen anxieties in Seoul that Tokyo is seen as “the favorite ally,” analysts said.

Moon, who was elected in May, advocated engagement with North Korea but has also acknowledged the need for pressure to bring the Pyongyang regime back to talks. He has also come around to an agreement between his predecessor and the U.S. military to deploy an anti-missile system in South Korea.

Trump's tweet was widely reported across South Korean media, and Moon's office responded to the tweet with a measured statement on Sunday night.

“South Korea is a country that experienced a fratricidal war. The destruction of war should not be repeated in this land,” it said. “We will not give up and will continue to push for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means working together with our allies.”

Trump's twitter jab came amid news that the U.S. president has instructed advisers to prepare to withdraw from a free-trade agreement with South Korea — a move that is resolutely opposed by South Korea and one that would undermine the two countries' economic alliance.

Analysts said Trump's actions were puzzling.

“It's strange to see Trump going after South Korea more aggressively than he's going after China, especially since China also thinks that dialogue is central to solving this problem,” said John Delury, a professor of international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul.

In an earlier tweet, Trump had said that China “was trying to help,” although he added it was “with little success.”

Delury said that the “passive aggressive” tone of Trump's tweets suggested that Moon had been standing up to the American president during their previous phone calls. They spoke on Friday after North Korea sent a missile over Japan.

“It sounds like Moon is saying, ‘We're going to have to talk to these guys’ — which is true — and Trump is frustrated,” Delury said, noting that the latest tweet seemed to address Moon directly, with its “like I told you.”

Trump's tweet was even more puzzling, analysts say, because Trump himself — both as a candidate and as president — had repeatedly suggested he would be willing to talk to North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un.

On the campaign trail, Trump said that he would be happy to have a burger in a boardroom with Kim, and in recent months he has called Kim a “smart cookie” and has said he would be “honored” to meet him.

South Korea's response overall to Trump's recent pronouncements has been much more muted than its past explosions against its protector — a sign that they know Trump is a different kind of president.

“They think they're dealing with an unreasonable partner and complaining about it isn't going to help — in fact, it might make it worse,” said David Straub, a former State Department official who dealt with both Koreas and recently published a book about anti-Americanism in South Korea.

“Opinion polls show South Koreans have one of the lowest rates of regard for Trump in the world and they don't consider him to be a reasonable person,” Straub said. “In fact, they worry he's kind of nuts, but they still want the alliance.”

On the Sunday talk shows in the United States, there was plenty of criticism of Trump's words.

“You gotta watch the tweets,” Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force general and former head of the National Security Agency and the CIA who has been critical of Trump, said on CNN's “State of the Union”.

“I think we had an unforced error over the weekend when we brought up the free trade agreement with our South Korea friends on whom we have to cooperate…. It's wrong on the merits, and it's certainly not integrated into a broader approach to northeast Asia,” Hayden said. He served as NSA director from 1999 to 2005 and led the CIA from 2006 until 2009.

Representative Adam B. Schiff (Democrat-California), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also questioned Trump's decision to admonish South Korea when the nation appears to be facing a growing threat.

“We need to be working hand in hand with South Korea, and with Japan,” he said, also on CNN. “Why we would want to show divisions with South Korea makes no sense at all.”

Even before the nuclear test, Trump's approach to South Korea, an ally since the end of World War II, had been under question. Analysts were asking why Trump would rip up the free-trade agreement with South Korea at all, rather than revising it, let alone at a time when a united front was needed in the region.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that “no decisions” had been made but that trade deals must be in the United States' economic interest.

“The president has made clear that where we have trade deficits with countries, we're going to renegotiate those deals,” Mnuchin said on Fox News.


Yoonjung Seo in Seoul and Hamza Shaban in Washington contributed to this report.

• Anna Fifield is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, focusing on Japan and the Koreas. She previously reported for the Financial Times from Washington DC, Seoul, Sydney, London and from across the Middle East.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Trump's tweets include jab at ally South Korea

 • Don’t be surprised by North Korea's missiles. Kim Jong Un is doing what he said he would.

 • Priest who's visited North Korea more than 50 times wonders if he can go again


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-latest-test-north-korea-detonates-its-most-powerful-nuclear-device-yet/2017/09/03/4c5202ea-90b4-11e7-8754-d478688d23b4_story.html
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« Reply #155 on: September 04, 2017, 03:54:52 pm »


It's good there are ADULTS, such as the White House Chief of Staff, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defence, in the room with Donald J. Trump, who, although supposedly an adult, has the maturity of a three-year-old spoilt brat and spouts garbage out of his mouth (or via his fingers onto Twitter) without first engaging his brain; and who desperately needs those ADULTS to supervise him and moderate his behaviour so he doesn't completely chuck all of his toys out of the cot in a massive tantrum.
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« Reply #156 on: September 04, 2017, 04:19:23 pm »

Great. You've worked out how the presidency works and has always worked in the US.😁
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« Reply #157 on: September 04, 2017, 04:27:56 pm »

Great. You've worked out how the presidency works and has always worked in the US.😁


Yes....although the American system has never had to deal with an immature, narcissistic, stupid president until now.

That is, until Donald J. Trump ended up in The White House.

I guess with all those dumb bible-bashing, gun-toting, white-trash boofheads dreaming of past glories while experiencing the reality of a waning superpower, it was only going to be a matter of time before they voted a total CLOWN & IDIOT into power in The White House.

So it's good there are ADULTS in the room with that CLOWN & IDIOT, eh?

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« Reply #158 on: September 04, 2017, 04:30:55 pm »


from The Washington Post....

North Korea defies predictions — again — with early grasp
of weapons milestone


Many experts thought Kim’s long-sought H-bomb was months, perhaps years, away.

By JOBY WARRICK | 8:15PM EDT - Sunday, September 03, 2017

Residents watch a big video screen on Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang showing newsreader Ri Chun-Hee as she announces that the country has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on September 3rd, 2017. — Photograph: Kim Won-Jin/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Residents watch a big video screen on Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang showing newsreader Ri Chun-Hee as she announces that the country
has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on September 3rd, 2017. — Photograph: Kim Won-Jin/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


THE DEVICE that shook the mountains over the Punggye-ri test site on Sunday represented a quantum leap for North Korea's nuclear capability, producing an explosion at least five times greater than the country's previous tests and easily powerful enough to devastate a large city.

And if studies confirm that the bomb was a thermonuclear weapon — as North Korea claims — it would be a triumph of a different scale: a major technical milestone reached well ahead of predictions, putting the world's most destructive force in the hands of the country's 33-year-old autocrat.

The feat instantly erased lingering skepticism about Pyongyang's technical capabilities and brought the prospect of nuclear-tipped North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles a step closer to reality, U.S. analysts and weapons experts said. Many predicted that a miniaturized version of the presumed thermonuclear bomb would soon be in North Korea's grasp, and that it probably already exists.

“North Korea has achieved a capability to wipe out a big chunk of any major city,” said Sue Mi Terry, a former senior analyst on North Korea at the CIA and now managing director for Korea at the Bower Group Asia. “If the North didn't test a hydrogen bomb, as they said they did this time around, they will get there very soon.”

The blast, at exactly noon local time in the country's northeastern mountains, produced seismic waves equivalent to a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, or 10 times as strong as the country's last nuclear test, which occurred a year ago this week. A conclusive analysis will take days or weeks, but weapons experts said the sheer force of the explosion is highly suggestive of a thermonuclear bomb. Sometimes called hydrogen bombs or H-bombs, these second-generation nuclear devices entered U.S. and Soviet arsenals in the 1950s, threatening adversaries with a vastly greater destructive force compared with atomic bombs dropped on Japan in the final days of World War II.

Because of the H-bomb's relatively complex two-stage design, many experts thought it would be months, or perhaps years, before North Korea's scientists could master the necessary technology. When Pyongyang boasted last year that it had tested a thermonuclear device, many U.S. experts dismissed the claim as propaganda.

By early Sunday, Washington time, the skepticism had mostly evaporated.

“There's little doubt in my mind,” said James M. Acton, a physicist and co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank. “North Korea has been hinting for a while that it was working on an H-bomb — even apart from the photos it released last night — so this should not come as a huge surprise. But it does represent a significant technological advance.”

The apparently successful test came hours after leader Kim Jong Un appeared on state-run television with what appeared to be a prototype of a new North Korean thermonuclear bomb, in a remarkable display of his confidence in the capabilities of his country's weapons engineers. Given other recent technical gains in producing long-range missiles and miniaturized warheads, U.S. experts said there is little doubt about North Korea's ability to eventually master all the steps needed to send a nuclear-tipped missile halfway around the world.

Although it is not known for certain that North Korea can build a miniaturized thermonuclear warhead that can fit on a missile, Acton said, “I believe we have to assume it can.”

Peter Zimmerman, a nuclear physicist and former chief scientist for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said initial calculations based on seismic readings suggested a device with a yield of up to 200 kilotons — a destructive force 13 times as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, and probably “too big for a pure fission bomb.” Moreover, the prototype displayed by Kim on the eve of the test “pretty well shows they know the essentials of a thermonuclear device design,” he said.

Several other nuclear experts noted that the vaguely peanut-shaped metallic device shown on North Korean television bore features that were broadly consistent with a two-stage hydrogen bomb, although it did not resemble any weapon in past or current U.S. arsenals.

“This was a major step forward for the [North Korean] scientists and engineers,” Zimmerman said. “Their first test was a dud; the next couple were very low yield. Since then, their yields have steadily gone up. But this is a discontinuity indicating the introduction of new technology.”

The technical hurdles appear to be falling at a surprising clip, considering North Korea's economic backwardness and diplomatic isolation. Yet, Pyongyang's progress with nuclear weapons roughly parallels that of other countries that developed the same weapons decades ago, said Jeffrey Lewis, founder of Arms Control Wonk, an influential blog focused on nuclear weapons proliferation.

“If you look at the United States, the Soviet Union and China, by their fifth nuclear tests they were all well on their way to thermonuclear weapons,” Lewis said. “There is no reason to think that North Korea couldn't do this. The materials are pretty straightforward, so that's not a problem. In the past, the trick was the concept. But you also need tests and data to understand how the materials behave.”

For long-time North Korea watchers, Sunday's test was another in a succession of technical surprises. Exactly two months earlier, on July 4th, Pyongyang launched what many experts think was the country's first intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of reaching Alaska and perhaps cities in the Midwestern United States. Weeks later, U.S. intelligence officials formally concluded that North Korea is able to build miniaturized nuclear warheads that can fit inside the country's long-range missiles.

In each case, North Koreans announced the achievement of the new milestone well in advance — often eliciting scoffs from experts — before they offered proof. Given the rapid pace of North Korea's advances, analysts can no longer afford to dismiss Kim's claims as mere propaganda or empty boasts, said Joshua Pollack, an expert on nuclear and missile proliferation.

“What they show us is going to be the real deal, or very true to life,” said Pollack, a senior researcher with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey, California. “Given the closeness in time between the exhibition of the device and the actual test, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the actual device” shown on state-run television the day before the blast.

“They have very good reasons to show exactly what they've got, because they're trying to enhance their credibility,” Pollack added. “I give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.”


• Joby Warrick joined The Washington Post's national staff in 1996. He has covered national security, the environment and the Middle East and currently writes about terrorism. He is the author of two books, including 2015's Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS", which was awarded a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL: Fire, fury — and confusion

 • Facing North Korea, Washington and Seoul must avoid war with each other


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-defies-predictions--again--with-early-grasp-of-weapons-milestone/2017/09/03/068ac20c-90db-11e7-89fa-bb822a46da5b_story.html
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« Reply #159 on: September 04, 2017, 04:39:05 pm »

Ah huh. How many refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Libya courtesy of the lefty messiah Obama's genius policies???
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« Reply #160 on: September 04, 2017, 04:56:12 pm »

Remind us again which US president aided the disintegration of Syria?

Which US president presided over growing racial division in the US, including cop killings by racial terrorists?
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« Reply #161 on: September 04, 2017, 05:30:32 pm »


Ah, yes....the racist white-trash in America who couldn't handle having a NIGGER in The White House.

They're the filth who voted Donald Trump into power.

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« Reply #162 on: September 04, 2017, 08:40:06 pm »

I think NZ needs to think seriously about funding our own nuclear defense capability ...Justin case America or Fiji attack us🙄
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« Reply #163 on: September 04, 2017, 09:19:34 pm »


I'll tell you what....all you idiots who want something like that volunteer to pay additional tax to cover the cost.

99% of us Kiwis don't see the need, so we'll just sit back and watch you bleed yourself dry.

Then we'll invoke the nuclear-free legislation to boot you into jail for breaking the law.
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« Reply #164 on: September 04, 2017, 10:14:50 pm »

Ktj....
"I'll tell you what....all you idiots who want something like that volunteer to pay additional tax to cover the cost."

Buggar off, just use all the money that we spend on the clean rivers, environment, kiwirail👌
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« Reply #165 on: September 06, 2017, 10:06:09 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Have we reached a point of no return?

With a nuclear battle of nitwits and our attention flitting about at will, it seems worse is yet to come.

By KATHLEEN PARKER | 7:22PM EDT - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

A man in Seoul watches a television showing President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Ahn Young-Joon/Associated Press.
A man in Seoul watches a television showing President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Ahn Young-Joon/Associated Press.

IT HAS become axiomatic that when President Trump says or does something over the top or below the belt, beware the unseen.

His cunning use of distraction turns red herrings green with envy.

The template works like this: Trump says something outrageous that drives Washington's Bubble Belt wild. The media leaps to outrage while bookers haul in “experts” to intone the obvious in exchange for makeup and a limo.

Next, the same talking heads, commentators and columnists lament the time wasted on such trivia as, say, first lady Melania Trump's wearing stiletto heels to visit victims of Hurricane Harvey. Critics and the media itself lament that Important Issues are being ignored while attention is turned on, oh, whether Ivanka and Jared are being snubbed by the D.C. in-crowd, such as it is. The point is taken, but one should note that nothing is ever being ignored by everyone. Or, rather, everything of import is being monitored and commented upon by someone.

But then, broadcast and cable producers know — and Trump knows deeply — that most Americans don't really care that much about what they insist they care about. A few headlines will get most through the morning. Twitter and Facebook keep the curious plied with updates, and by day's end, who really wants to plunge into tax reform?

It is true, nonetheless, that when Trump needs time to fidget with something that actually matters, he tosses a dead fish into the Dasani tank and waits for the media herdlings to begin their march toward the trough.

Temporarily spared the spotlight, Trump fluffs the thatched nest atop his head and invites his brain to hatch some very bad ideas. Thus, we seem to be on the brink of a nuclear confrontation with North Korea. Remember when we used to worry about Trump having his finger on the nuclear launch button? Square that. When the other antagonist is North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, the nightmare can't be dismissed as the twisted hankie of the persistently worried.

Never have two less qualified “leaders” been so endowed with such devastating power without the requisite impulse control upon which living civilizations depend. Not to mention that these two nuke hecklers are unmercifully coifed to resemble cartoon characters so that we, the soberly sane, are left to ponder our face-melting demise as a clown showdown between two renegade circus performers. The horror movie It, featuring a diabolical clown and opening this week, couldn't pay for better timing.

Meanwhile, one seeks cooler comfort in the memory of the Cuban missile crisis between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and President John F. Kennedy. At least these men were capable of finding an alternative to worst-case scenarios. There seems to be no such inclination on North Korea's part or, frankly, on Trump's. Unless our reality star-in-chief holds his sagacity in reserve for special occasions such as this, there's little reason to assume or hope he'll diplomatically temper his counterpart's apparent need to demonstrate his manhood.

In July, Trump was typically eloquent in describing his approach to thwarting disaster:

“We'll handle North Korea. We'll be able to handle North Korea. It will be handled. We handle everything.”

Whew, that.

As further insult to reason, this isn't even a conflict over something at least historically rational, such as the now nearly charming contest between communism and Americanism. No battle of wits, the U.S.-North Korea stare-down is more accurately a battle of nitwits who seem to think threatening nuclear holocaust and mutual destruction is a contest to see who has bigger hands.

No one would suggest that Trump is responsible for all the nail biting these past few months or that Kim's missile and nuclear tests aren't deadly serious. But Trump surely has exacerbated matters with his “fire and fury” rhetoric. The goading language of ultimatum, more than a bluffing tactic, is an inflammatory agent such that the possible moves inexorably toward the inevitable. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, the president's toughest-talking Cabinet member, recently said: “We have kicked the can down the road long enough. There is no more road left.”

Perhaps Kim might argue the same. Meanwhile, a can-kicking strategy (i.e., containment and diplomacy) seems a not-irrational substitute for mutual annihilation. Have we reached a point of no return? Will the president of the United States fire Kim, or will he invent some new distraction (staffers: Watch your backs) while he becomes a stealth, wartime leader?

Stay tuned. But first: What will Melania wear to the presidential bunker?


• Kathleen Parker writes a twice-weekly column on politics and culture for The Washington Post. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary In 2010.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • The Washington Post's View: There are only two ways forward on North Korea

 • Jackson Diehl: Why aren't we talking about regime change in North Korea?

 • David Ignatius: In dealing with North Korea, Trump needs allies — not bombast

 • Jennifer Rubin: It's not clear what to do about North Korea. But it's clear what not to do.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/have-we-reached-a-point-of-no-return/2017/09/05/22e7bf2a-9272-11e7-89fa-bb822a46da5b_story.html
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« Reply #166 on: September 06, 2017, 10:07:42 pm »


Yep....Trump is definitely a stupid fuckwit as he plays “chicken” with Kim Jong-un.

Just as well there are adults in the room at the White House to moderate the immature Trump; adults such as the White House Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Defence, and the Secretary of State.
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« Reply #167 on: September 06, 2017, 10:20:00 pm »

Kim is making himself into an OBL. Remember him?
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« Reply #168 on: September 06, 2017, 10:24:23 pm »

KTJ your symptoms are highly indicative of Trump Derangement Syndrome. These days there is therapy available. Maybe Kiwirail has an in house psych?
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« Reply #169 on: September 06, 2017, 10:25:01 pm »


Trump appears to have smaller hands than Kim.

I wonder if this means that Trump's dick is smaller than Kim's dick?
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« Reply #170 on: September 06, 2017, 11:10:04 pm »

I don't know KTJ. My mind isn't occupied with thinking about men's genitals 😁
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« Reply #171 on: September 06, 2017, 11:38:46 pm »


from The Washington Post....

History shows us how calamitous the North Korea crisis could become

Wars often result from bellicose rhetoric and bad information.

By DAVID IGNATIUS | 7:22PM EDT - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

German soldiers on the front lines during World War I. — Photograph: Library of Congress/National Audio-Visual Conservation Center.
German soldiers on the front lines during World War I. — Photograph: Library of Congress/National Audio-Visual Conservation Center.

WHEN today's historians look at the confrontation between the United States and North Korea, they're likely to hear echoes of ultimatums, bluffs and botched messages that accompanied conflicts of the past, often with catastrophic consequences.

“The one thing that's certain when you choose war as a policy is that you don't know how it will end,” says Mark Stoler, a diplomatic and military historian at the University of Vermont. This fog of uncertainty should be a caution for policymakers now in dealing with North Korea.

History teaches that wars often result from bellicose rhetoric and bad information. Sometimes leaders fail to act strongly enough to deter aggression, as at Munich in 1938. But more often, as in August 1914, conflict results from a cascade of errors that produces an outcome that no one would have wanted.

World War I is probably the clearest example of how miscalculation can produce a global disaster. As Stoler recounted to me in an interview, each player was caught in “the cult of the offensive,” believing that his nation's aims could be fulfilled in a short war, at relatively low cost.

It was a tragic sequence: After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria asked for Germany's support against Serbia; Kaiser Wilhelm foolishly offered a “blank check”. Russia, Serbia's ally, began mobilizing forces; Germany countered with its own mobilization, as did France, and then Britain.

In the nuclear age, the costs of miscalculation are much greater, but good sense (and luck) have prevailed, so far. Evan Thomas explains in Ike's Bluff that President Dwight D. Eisenhower appeared close to the brink in the Korean War in 1953. “If the Chinese and North Koreans failed to come to terms, American diplomats were to broadly hint, the United States would expand the war with nuclear weapons,” he writes. Whether Eisenhower would have dropped the bomb is anyone's guess; amazingly, it's not clear his ominous messages were even passed on or understood.

Eisenhower played chicken again in 1958, when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave him an ultimatum that the United States must remove its troops from Berlin. Ike promised his aides that he was “all in” against this threat. But soon after, he invited the Soviet leader to visit the United States, and after an intimate weekend with the president's grandchildren at his farm in Gettysburg, Khrushchev backed off.

The Cuban missile crisis is the ultimate moment of nuclear brinkmanship. But this story is murkier than it's sometimes described, says Philip Zelikow, co-author with Graham Allison of Essence of Decision, the classic study of the event. President John F. Kennedy made an ultimatum to Khrushchev on October 27th, 1962, that averted war. But that was only after Khrushchev ignored a September 13th warning against putting nuclear weapons in Cuba. Would Kennedy really have gone to war if Khrushchev hadn't backed down? He told a Navy commander later that he would have started combat operations on October 30th.

Modern history shows how wars are interwoven with promises and ultimatums, some honored and others ignored, Zelikow explains. Germany offered the 1916 “Sussex Pledge” that its submarines wouldn't attack American ships and then did so anyway, drawing the United States into war. China warned in 1965 that an American invasion of North Vietnam would bring Chinese intervention, and U.S. troops stayed below the demilitarized zone. America advised Iraq in 1991 that unless its troops left Kuwait, the United States would attack. The Iraqis didn't, and America did. And in a folly whose consequences persist to this day, America invaded Iraq in 2003 because of false intelligence that it had weapons of mass destruction.

How should we apply history to the current standoff with North Korea? First, messaging is critically important. With so much at stake, it's crazy for President Trump to be sending sensitive signals about war and peace in 140-character public tweets. Second, evidence suggests that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a genuinely dangerous risk-taker. U.S. officials calculate that he has conducted more than 80 missile or bomb tests since becoming ruler in 2011, compared with just 20 under his father.

Would the impulsive Kim ever be ready for negotiations with Trump? So far, he has spurned peace overtures from the United States, answering American calls for restraint with three more tests. North Korea claims he's acting defensively, provoked by joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea last month.

Is Kim's position a charade? Let's find out. No new U.S.-South Korean exercises are scheduled until next March. That offers a six-month window to push Pyongyang to explore options. As history shows, the consequences of making a mistake in war are calamitous.


• David Ignatius writes a twice-a-week foreign affairs column for The Washington Post and contributes to the PostPartisan blog.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • The Washington Post's View: Fire, fury and confusion

 • Michael Gerson: A huge question for Trump's North Korea crisis

 • Michael Dobbs: What Trump should know about the Cuban missile crisis


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/history-shows-us-how-calamitous-the-north-korea-crisis-could-become/2017/09/05/a7263d38-9282-11e7-89fa-bb822a46da5b_story.html
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« Reply #172 on: September 09, 2017, 01:06:11 am »


from The Washington Post....

Trump's zigzagging approach to North Korea veers
toward military options


U.S. approach to rising threat has included carrots, sticks and lots of tweets.

By ANNE GEARAN | 6:54PM EDT - Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, walks with Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford, right, to speak to members of the media regarding the escalating crisis in North Korea's nuclear threats outside the West Wing of the White House on Sunday. — Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, walks with Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford, right, to speak to members of the media
regarding the escalating crisis in North Korea's nuclear threats outside the West Wing of the White House on Sunday.
 — Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press.


PRESIDENT TRUMP's approach to the rapidly rising threat from North Korea has veered from empathy for the country's bellicose leader to finger-pointing at China to quick-tempered threats of possible military action.

The administration's goals and tactics have also shifted, from isolating North Korea to reassuring leader Kim Jong Un that the United States won't overthrow him to threats of, as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis put it, “annihilation”.

Before Pyongyang's sixth and largest nuclear test on Sunday, Trump had said U.S. military options were “locked and loaded” should North Korea behave rashly.

On Wednesday, Trump sounded subdued and statesmanlike.

“We're going to see what happens,” Trump said when asked whether he is considering military action against North Korea. “We'll see what happens. Certainly, that's not our first choice, but we will see what happens.”

While Trump has accused his predecessors of not being tough on North Korea, the zigzagging U.S. response and the president's willingness to talk openly about a military attack could be creating its own set of problems by raising the price of an eventual deal and probably making negotiations impossible for now, Asia security analysts said.

“Kim Jong Un is not begging for war,” said Daniel Russel, who was the State Department's top diplomat for Asia until earlier this year. “What he wants is not conflict but some kind of major concession” from the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan.

Kim, in contrast to Trump, has been relentlessly consistent.

During Trump's nearly eight months in office, North Korea's leader has, as promised, accelerated development of a more powerful nuclear weapon and long-range missiles that could deliver a warhead to U.S. shores. The goal, Asia security specialists said, is to cut off U.S. military options and force the United States and the rest of the world to make concessions.

“Kim Jong Un has a very scrutable game plan,” said Russel, now a fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute. “Leverage his nuclear threat and monetize it.”

That strategy predates Trump and U.S. officials have long complained about a shakedown for years.

But Trump's response has been far different than recent administrations' and, at times, has seemed more off the cuff than the result of deliberative planning.

He recently mused about cutting off all trade with nations that do business with North Korea, a practical impossibility and a proposal at odds with the U.S. strategy of engaging China and other nations in international economic sanctions against North Korea.

Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday and told reporters that the 45-minute conversation about North Korea was productive.

“President Xi would like to do something. We'll see whether or not he can do it,” Trump said. “But we will not be putting up with what's happening in North Korea. I believe that President Xi agrees with me 100 percent. He doesn't want to see what's happening there, either.”

The muddled U.S. message includes offers of diplomacy from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and threats of additional economic sanctions from U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and of a “massive military response” from Mattis.

Haley told the U.N. Security Council at an emergency session on Monday that Kim is “begging for war”.

Trump had appeared to endorse diplomatic outreach before writing it off as pointless in a Twitter message on August 30th.

“Talking is not the answer!” he wrote then.


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks news media outside the West Wing of the White House on Sunday. — Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks news media outside the West Wing of the White House on Sunday.
 — Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press.


Democrats have criticized Trump's handling of the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, arguing a more measured approach is needed.

The president of the United States needs to be on the phone conducting diplomacy, not these hot and cold tweets,” Senator Chris Van Hollen (Democrat-Maryland) said on Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC. “We want to work with China, and we want to get them to put pressure on North Korea. On one hand, he tweets that his best buddy is President Xi, and the next day he tweets something very different.”

China is the most important partner in making any economic penalties stick. Beijing worked with the United States to approve tough new export bans on North Korea last month, a strong signal of Chinese irritation with a regime it protects but cannot fully control. Beijing has signaled opposition to new penalties, potentially including an oil embargo, that the United States is now seeking through the United Nations.

“The time has come to exhaust all diplomatic means to end this crisis, and that means quickly enacting the strongest possible measures here in the U.N. Security Council,” Haley said on Monday.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders emphasized pressure and military options.

“Look, we've been clear about what our priorities are: that now is not the time for us to spend a lot of time focused on talking with North Korea, but putting all measures of pressure that we can,” she said. “All options are on the table, and we’re going to continue to keep them on the table until we get the results that we're looking for.”

It is not clear where Tillerson's diplomatic overture stands. A week before North Korea's latest nuclear test, of a hydrogen bomb, Tillerson told Fox News Sunday that the United States hoped Kim would take the “different path” that negotiations could offer.

“We're going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign as I have described it, working with allies, working with China as well to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table,” he said in the August 27th interview.

Tillerson has gone so far as to directly address North Korea, and offer assurances that the United States does not plan to invade.

“We are not your enemy,” he said on August 1st.

Since then, North Korea has twice test-fired missiles and conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet. And at least until Wednesday, Trump had increasingly emphasized military responses.

He referred only to military advisers and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, a retired Marine general, when tweeting about a White House emergency session on North Korea on Sunday.

“I will be meeting General Kelly, General Mattis and other military leaders at the White House to discuss North Korea,” Trump wrote.

Mattis later told reporters the session was a “small-group national security meeting” with Trump and Vice President Pence.

Any threat to the United States or its allies “will be met with a massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming,” Mattis said on Sunday.

He advised Kim to heed international warnings to stand down, but he did not call for talks or repeat earlier warnings that he sees no military solution to the North Korean problem.

“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country — namely, North Korea,” Mattis said. “But, as I said, we have many options to do so.”


• Anne Gearan is a national politics correspondent for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump: ‘We will not be putting up with’ North Korea

 • Republicans and Democrats urge Trump not to cancel South Korea trade deal

 • ‘We'll see’ Trump says of potential attack over North Korean nuclear test

 • As Tillerson tries to calm fears in Asia, Trump talks tough


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-zigzagging-approach-to-north-korea-veers-toward-military-options/2017/09/06/44763718-9315-11e7-aace-04b862b2b3f3_story.html
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« Reply #173 on: September 09, 2017, 01:06:23 am »


from The Washington Post....

Will Trump lower the nuclear bar?

Eisenhower had the wisdom to be appalled by nuclear weapons. Not Trump.

By GEORGE F. WILL | 7:37PM EDT - Wednesday, September 06, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Reuters.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Reuters.

THE U.S. Air Force “sniffer plane” was collecting air samples off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula on September 3rd, 1949, when it gathered evidence of radioactivity, confirming that the war-shattered Soviet Union had tested a nuclear device. The Soviets' August 29th, 1949, test had come faster than expected.

Dating from the detonation at the Trinity Site in New Mexico on July 16th, 1945, the basic science of nuclear explosions is more than 72 years old — three years older than the North Korean nation. Ballistic missile technology is more than 60 years old. The problems of miniaturizing warheads for mounting on missiles, and of ensuring the warheads' survival en route to targets, are not sufficient to stymie a nation — consider Pakistan, whose annual per capita income is less than $2,000 — that is determined to have a nuclear arsenal.

North Korea has one and is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles faster than expected and with ostentatious indifference to U.S. proclamations. On January 2nd, President-elect Donald Trump scampered up the rhetorical escalation ladder, unlimbering his heavy artillery — an exclamation point — to tweet about North Korea's promised ICBM test: “It won't happen!” It did. North Korea's most audacious act, firing a missile over Japan, came seven days after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised North Korea's “restraint”.

Pyongyang's “signaling” does not involve abstruse semiotics: It wants a global nuclear reach, and as The Economist magazine says, the world's unpalatable options are the improbable (productive negotiations), the feeble (more sanctions) and the terrifying (military pre-emption). Concerning the latter, there is no bright line, but there is a distinction to be drawn, however imprecisely, between pre-emptive war and preventive war. The former constitutes self-defense in response to a clear and present danger — repelling an act of aggression presumed with reasonable certainty to be imminent. The latter is an act of anticipation — and, to be candid, of aggression — to forestall the emergence of a clear and present danger.

When Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen”, was he threatening to cross the nuclear weapons threshold? This has been contemplated before regarding North Korea. Former General Douglas MacArthur, who had been fired by President Harry S. Truman for insubordination, handed President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower a memorandum on how “to clear North Korea of enemy forces”: “This could be accomplished through the atomic bombing of enemy military concentrations and installations in North Korea and the sowing of fields of suitable radio-active materials, the by-product of atomic manufacture, to close major lines of enemy supply and communication….”

MacArthur badly misjudged Eisenhower, whose biographer Jean Edward Smith says that during the Potsdam Conference (July 17th to August 2nd, 1945), when Eisenhower was told of the New Mexico test — his first knowledge of the new weapon — “he was appalled” and “was the only one at Potsdam who opposed using the bomb.” Smith says:

“As president, Eisenhower would twice be presented with recommendations from his National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the bomb be used; first, in Vietnam to protect the French at Dien Bien Phu, then against China at the time of the Formosa Strait crisis. Both times Eisenhower rejected the recommendations. As a former supreme commander, Eisenhower had the confidence to do so, where other presidents might not have. And by rejecting the use of the bomb, there is no question that Eisenhower raised the threshold at which atomic weaponry could be employed — a legacy we continue to enjoy.”

But for how long? The non-proliferation regime has been remarkably successful. During the 1960 presidential campaign, John Kennedy cited “indications” that by 1964 there would be “10, 15 or 20” nuclear powers. As president, he said that by 1975 there might be 20. Now, however, North Korea, the ninth, might be joined by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, among others, unless U.S. leadership produces, regarding North Korea, conspicuously credible deterrence. The reservoir of presidential credibility is not brimful.

On August 1st, Senator Lindsey O. Graham (Republican-South Carolina) said Trump had told him that “there will be a war with North Korea” if it continues to develop ICBMs capable of reaching the United States. “We'll see,” said Trump on Sunday, responding to this shouted question: “Will you attack North Korea?” You?

Are Congress's constitutional powers regarding war so atrophied that it supinely hopes for mere post facto notification? Ten months after November 8th, that day's costs, until now largely aesthetic, are suddenly, although not altogether unpredictably, more serious than were perhaps contemplated by his 62,984,825 voters.


• George F. Will writes a twice-weekly column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • David Ignatius: History shows us how calamitous the North Korea crisis could become

 • Jennifer Rubin: Trump's latest empty threat on North Korea

 • Ted Gup: The world has already seen ‘fire and fury’

 • Charles Krauthammer: North Korea: The Rubicon is crossed

 • George F. Will: Trump tweets a red line for North Korea


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/will-trump-lower-the-nuclear-bar/2017/09/06/f90bbc2e-926c-11e7-89fa-bb822a46da5b_story.html
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« Reply #174 on: September 09, 2017, 01:06:36 am »


from The Washington Post....

China will back fresh U.N. measures on North Korea
over nuclear tests


But China's foreign minister does not say whether Beijing would back crippling steps
such as cutting oil shipments to the North.


By EMILY RAUHALA | 7:29AM EDT - Thursday, September 07, 2017

Trucks transport goods to North Korea through the Friendship Bridge linking China and North Korea on September 5th. — Photograph: Minoru Iwasaki/Associated Press.
Trucks transport goods to North Korea through the Friendship Bridge linking China and North Korea on September 5th.
 — Photograph: Minoru Iwasaki/Associated Press.


BEIJING — China’s foreign minister said on Thursday that Beijing would support further U.N.-imposed “measures” against North Korea following its largest nuclear test, but stopped short of saying whether China would back crippling economic sanctions such as halts to fuel shipments.

The comments by Wang Yi suggested possible room for co-operation over U.S.-drafted plans to increase pressures on North Korea after its nuclear test earlier this week.

President Trump has made pressuring China to “do more” on North Korea a priority. After Sunday's missile test, he tweeted that Pyongyang has become a “threat and embarrassment to China”— a rather pointed critique of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China — the main economic lifeline for North Korea — has long been hesitant to completely cut off the crude oil supply to North Korea, wary that economic instability could bring a flood of refugees to the border and U.S. soldiers to its doorstep.

“Given the new developments on the Korean Peninsula, China agrees that the U.N. Security Council should respond further by taking necessary measures,” Wang, the foreign minister, told reporters.

“We believe that sanctions and pressure are only half of the key to resolving the issue. The other half is dialogue and negotiation,” he added.

Wang did not specify what type of measures he had in mind, compounding questions about what the international community can do next.

The United States is seeking the toughest-yet U.N. sanctions against North Korea, according to a draft resolution circulated on Wednesday. The sanctions would stop all oil and natural gas exports and freeze the government's foreign financial assets.

North Korea greeted the proposal with a threat: “We will respond to the barbaric plotting around sanctions and pressure by the United States with powerful counter measures of our own,” read a statement delivered at a summit in Russia on Thursday.

Russia, which has veto power at the United Nations, has also expressed opposition to the plan.

Russia and China are in favor of a “double suspension” deal that would see North Korea halt nuclear and missile tests if the United States and South Korea stop holding joint military exercises — a plan that the U.S. and South Korea have rejected.

But after a Wednesday night phone call with the Chinese president, Trump struck a more conciliatory tone, suggesting that he and Xi were largely in agreement on what to do.

“I believe that President Xi agrees with me 100 percent,” Trump told reporters. “He doesn't want to see what's happening there either.”

“We had a very, very frank and very strong phone call,” Trump continued. “President Xi would like to do something.”

Trump, like Wang, failed to specify what that something might be.

From China's perspective, an oil cutoff would be a major step.

Jin Qiangyi, a professor at the Center for North and South Korean Studies at Yanbian University, said cutting off North Korea's oil supply could mean “trouble” for China.

“What would we do if there was chaos after cutting off oil?” he asked. “Besides, oil is the last card we have.”

Zhang Liangui, a North Korean studies expert at the Communist Party's Central Party School in Beijing, said that Sunday's nuclear test sparked real fear about contamination near the China-North Korea border, a fact that could encourage China to finally play the card.

But even if China went ahead with oil sanctions, Zhang said, Russia could still block the plan.

“Whether North Korea has nuclear missiles or not does not mean as much to Russia as it does to China,” he said. “Therefore, Russia might be seeing things from a very different angle.”


Luna Lin contributed from Beijing.

• Emily Rauhala is a China Correspondent for The Washington Post. She was previously a Beijing-based correspondent for TIME, and an editor at the magazine's Hong Kong office.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Trump's North Korean options have growing military tone

 • VIDEO: Three things China can do to rein in North Korea


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-will-back-fresh-un-sanctions-on-north-korea-over-nuclear-tests/2017/09/07/afc6ac52-93a9-11e7-b9bc-b2f7903bab0d_story.html
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