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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 691 times)
Admin Staff
Posts: 29132

Having fun in the hills!

« Reply #225 on: September 19, 2017, 01:43:10 am »

Hilarious....Trump obviously mistook the long queues for non-existant gasoline in Florida for North Korea.

The idiot Orange Goblin is going senile and getting things confused in his fucked-up mind!

from The Washington Post....

Trump's claim there were long gas lines in North Korea
has residents puzzled

While there are no obvious signs of lengthy lines forming,
there has been evidence of an increase in prices.

By ANNA FIFIELD | 3:49AM EDT - Monday, September 18, 2017

People gather to watch footage of the launch of a Hwasong-12 rocket, beside a billboard advertising North Korea's Pyeonghwa Motors, in Pyongyang on September 16th. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
People gather to watch footage of the launch of a Hwasong-12 rocket, beside a billboard advertising North Korea's Pyeonghwa Motors,
in Pyongyang on September 16th. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

TOKYO — In his latest Twitter outburst against North Korea, President Trump said that “long gas lines [are] forming in North Korea,” adding an exclamatory “Too bad!” (In the same tweet, he bestowed a new nickname on Kim Jong Un: “Rocket Man”.)

But where is the president getting this information about gas lines from?

Residents in the North Korean capital are scratching their heads. Although there are reports of price increases, they've seen no queues at the few service stations in Pyongyang, a capital of some two million that has more cars than it used to but is still far from congested.

“We are not aware of any long queues at the gas stations,” said one foreign resident of Pyongyang. “At least, I haven't noticed anything. I asked a few Koreans and they haven't seen anything either.”

Another said there had been no obvious change since the last sanctions resolution was passed by the U.N. Security Council. “Traffic on Friday was as heavy here as I've seen it. Normal on Saturday. Quieter on Sunday.” In other words, the same as every week.

In its effort to punish Kim Jong Un for his continued defiance — repeated missile launches, a huge nuclear test — the United States has been leading a push to cut off oil to the isolated state. Its efforts to impose a complete oil embargo on North Korea failed, with China and Russia threatening to use their veto powers to block such a resolution.

Instead, the new sanctions measures passed last week cap North Korea's imports of crude oil at the level it's been at over the past year and limits refined petroleum imports — including gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil — to two million barrels a year.

North Korea receives about 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products a year and four million barrels of crude. The new sanctions will cut oil exports to North Korea by about 30 percent, the United States mission to the United Nations said. Of that, 55 percent of the cut would be in refined products, it said, and the sanctions limit North Korea's ability to import substitutes.

But analysts say there is plenty of wiggle room for China to continue supplying oil to North Korea if it wants to — just as a “livelihood exception” for coal exports previously did.

While supporting the sanctions in principle, China has a patchy record when it comes to implementation, and implementation depends almost entirely on China. About 90 percent of North Korea's trade goes through China.

The sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on North Korea's military or nuclear weapons and missile programs, said David von Hippel and Peter Hayes of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability.

“These military sectors will have priority access to refined fuels, including likely fuel caches of significant volume that have already been stockpiled and provide a substantial buffer against the sanctions,” they wrote in a recent note. “Primarily, these sanctions will affect the civilian population.”

North Korea was constantly looking for — and finding — ways around the sanctions, making the state more resilient to existing and future sanctions, von Hippel and Hayes wrote.

That means the sanctions will have little effect on the desired goal now — reversing North Korea's missile and nuclear programs — and could diminish the leverage that the international community has over North Korea in the future. For example, when it needs to persuade North Korea to come back to denuclearization talks, the analysts said.

While there are no obvious signs of gas lines forming — no surprise in a country where there is almost no private car ownership — there has been evidence of an increase in prices.

Gasoline prices started to rise in certain parts of the country after North Korea's sixth nuclear test, conducted on September 3rd, apparently in anticipation of shortages.

In Pyongyang, one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of gasoline — that's how it's measured in North Korea — rose from 18,000 to 23,000 North Korean won ($20 to $25.56) during the first week of September, the Daily NK website reported, citing individuals in the capital. Diesel prices had also risen, it reported.

There have been blips like this several times this year, but analysts say they have seen no other signs of stress in the economy — like rising rice prices or sudden exchange rate fluctuations.

There have been some limitations on filling jerrycans, but this appeared to be a measure to stop reselling and had been in place for some time, one Pyongyang resident said.

Others say it will take time to see whether there is any effect from the sanctions — and certainly longer than the week it took before Trump claimed an impact.

• Anna Fifield is The 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:

 • VIDEO: Tracing Trump's comments on North Korea

 • VIDEO: U.S. and South Korea agree on more sanctions against Pyongyang

 • Ban on North Korean clothing exports will hurt women the most, experts say

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Posts: 898

« Reply #226 on: September 19, 2017, 06:31:37 am »

“We are not aware of any long queues at the gas stations,” said one foreign resident of Pyongyang"

....haha....what you mean that resident did not want to spend the rest of his life is prison for making "dear leader" look bad...😳

..jjeezzz...is there no bounds to the stupidity of the left🙄

...I guess it won't be long before the Washington Post will be calling ktj for political commentary on NZ ....w👌er

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Posts: 29132

Having fun in the hills!

« Reply #227 on: November 06, 2017, 12:19:06 pm »

from The Washington Post....

Securing North Korean nuclear sites would require
a ground invasion, Pentagon says

A Navy admiral sent a blunt assessment of the dangers of military action to lawmakers.

By DAN LAMOTHE and CAROL MORELLO | 10:00PM EDT - Saturday, November 04, 2017

This file photo taken on October 26th, 2017 shows North Korean soldiers looking south at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South Korea. — Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
This file photo taken on October 26th, 2017 shows North Korean soldiers looking south at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone
on the border between North and South Korea. — Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

THE ONLY WAY to locate and secure all of North Korea's nuclear weapons sites “with complete certainty” is through an invasion of ground forces, and in the event of conflict, Pyongyang could use biological and chemical weapons, the Pentagon told lawmakers in a new, blunt assessment of what war on the Korean Peninsula might look like.

The Pentagon, in a letter to lawmakers, said that a full discussion of U.S. capabilities to “counter North Korea's ability to respond with a nuclear weapon and to eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons located in deeply buried, underground facilities” is best suited for a classified briefing.

The letter also said that Pentagon leaders “assess that North Korea may consider the use of biological weapons” and that the country “has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood and choking agents.”

The Pentagon repeated that a detailed discussion of how the United States would respond to the threat could not be discussed in public.

The letter was written by Rear Admiral Michael J. Dumont, the vice director of the Pentagon's Joint Staff, in response to a request for information from two House members about “expected casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea,” including for civilians and U.S. and allied forces in South Korea, Japan and Guam.

“A decision to attack or invade another country will have ramifications for our troops and taxpayers, as well as the region, for decades,” Ted Lieu (Democrat-California) and Ruben Gallego (Democrat-Arizona) wrote to the Pentagon. “We have not heard detailed analysis of expected U.S. or allied force casualties, expected civilian casualties, what plans exist for the aftermath of a strike — including continuity of the South Korean Government.”

The Pentagon said that calculating “best- or worst-case casualty scenarios” was challenging and would depend on the “nature, intensity and duration” of a North Korean attack; how much warning civilians would have to get to the thousands of shelters in South Korea; and the ability of U.S. and South Korean forces to respond to North Korean artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles with their own retaliatory barrage and airstrikes.

The letter noted that Seoul, the South Korean capital, is a densely populated area with 25 million residents.

Any operation to pursue North Korean nuclear weapons would likely be spearheaded by U.S. Special Operations troops. Last year, President Barack Obama and then-Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter gave U.S. Special Operations Command a new, leading role coordinating the Pentagon's effort to counter weapons of mass destruction. SOCOM did not receive any new legal authorities for the mission but gained influence in how the military responds to such threats.

Elite U.S. forces have long trained to respond in the case of a so-called “loose nuke” in the hands of terrorists. But senior officials said SOCOM is increasingly focused on North Korea.

Dumont said the military backs the current U.S. strategy on North Korea, which is led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and focuses on ratcheting up economic and diplomatic pressure as the primary effort to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to stop developing nuclear weapons. Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., have emphasized that during trips to Seoul this year.

In contrast, President Trump, who goes unmentioned in the Pentagon letter, has taunted Kim as “Rocket Man” and expressed frustration with diplomatic efforts, hinting that he is considering pre-emptive military force.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted on October 1st, adding, “Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!”

On October 7th, Trump added in additional tweets that North Korea had “made fools” of U.S. negotiators. “Sorry, but only one thing will work!” he said.

Mattis and other Pentagon leaders have often cited the grave threat faced by Seoul, but the military much less frequently draws attention to its plans for an underground hunt for nuclear weapons.

Air Force Colonel Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Dumont and other Pentagon officials had no additional comment about the letter.

A senior U.S. military official in South Korea, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing operations, said that while the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea maintain a high degree of readiness, he “has to believe” that North Korea does not want a war, given all of the nations aligned against it.

“If you open the history books, this is not the first time that we've been in a heavy provocation cycle,” the official said. On the side of South Korea and the United States, he said, “there is no action taken without extreme consideration of not putting this in a position where a fight is going to happen.”

Dumont's letter also notes that “we have not seen any change in the offensive posture of North Korea's forces.”

A statement by 16 lawmakers, released simultaneously with the Pentagon letter, urged Trump to stop making “provocative statements” that impede diplomatic efforts and risk the lives of U.S. troops.

The Pentagon's “assessment underscores what we've known all along: There are no good military options for North Korea,” said the statement, organized by Lieu and Gallego and signed by 14 other members of Congress who are veterans, all but one of them Democrats.

In a telephone interview, Lieu said that the intent of asking the Pentagon for information was to spell out the cataclysmic consequences of war with North Korea and the aftermath.

“It's important for people to understand what a war with a nuclear power would look like,” said Lieu, citing estimates of 300,000 dead in the first few days alone. More than 100,000 Americans are potentially at risk.

Lieu, who spent part of his time in the Air Force on Guam preparing for military action against North Korea, called the letter a confirmation that a conflict would result in a “bloody, protracted ground war.” The Joint Chiefs, he believes, are “trying to send a message to the American public,” he said.

“This is grim,” Lieu said. “We need to understand what war means. And it hasn't been articulated very well. I think they're trying to articulate some of that.”

Gallego said that he wanted information because of what he sees as a cavalier attitude in the White House about military action in North Korea. The idea that a ground invasion would be needed to secure nuclear weapons is eye-opening, he said, and raises the possibility of the U.S. military losing thousands of troops.

“I think that you're dealing with career professionals at the Pentagon who realize that the drumbeats of war could actually end up leading us to war,” he said. “They want to make sure that there is full transparency and information out there about what can occur if our civilian leaders make wrong calculations.”

The Pentagon letter also notes the possibility of “opposition from China or Russia.”

“The Department of Defense maintains a set of up-to-date contingency plans to secure our vital national security interests,” Dumont wrote. “These plans account for a wide range of possibilities, including third-party intervention, and address how best to ‘contain escalation’.”

The letter says that both “Russia or China may prefer to avoid conflict with the United States, or possibly cooperate with us.”

• Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.

• Carol Morello is the diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, covering the State Department.

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