The article originally appeared on India Today. 

Just a day after Donald Trump and Xi Jinping phone conversation over North Korea, China has strongly objected to a US led meeting in Canada’s Vancouver that called for strict implementation of sanctions imposed on North Korea.

Calling the meeting illegal and a Cold War vestige, a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Office said, “It will only drive a wedge among the international community and undermine the concerted efforts to seek proper settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.”

The US and Canada hosted Vancouver Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula on 16th January. The meeting was aimed at “the Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible Denuclearization of North Korea”, as the US State Department summed it.

Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, said the purpose of the meetings was to improve the effectiveness of the maximum pressure campaign and combat North Korea’s attempts to evade sanctions.

China raised objections over meeting and its participants, the 20 countries of the United Nations Command (UNC) that supported South Korea during the 1950s Korea War, “We all know that the so-called UN Command, as a product of the Cold War era, has long lost its relevance. As initiators of the meeting, the US and Canada co-hosted the meeting under the banner of the so-called UN Command sending states. That is Cold War mentality pure and simple.”

The meeting that excluded China and Russia was attended by 20 nations including the US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, France, Britain, the Philippines, Sweden and Australia and none of them had any trade relation with North Korea last year.

China argued that when no major parties of the Korean peninsula issue were present in the meeting, expecting any solution through it was a futile exercise, questioning the ‘legality and representativeness’ of the meeting.

China also countered the tough message of the military option that the US led meeting sent to North Korea. China’s Foreign Office said on the move, “Only through dialogue, equally addressing the reasonable concerns of all parties, can a way to an effective and peaceful resolution be found.”

Tillerson had warned that the ultimate responsibility for producing a new future lies with North Korea and it can only be achieved by abandoning its current path of pursuing missile and nuclear weapons technologies.

But if the North doesn’t do so and diplomacy fails, it may trigger military confrontation, “We have to recognize that the threat is growing and that if North Korea does not choose the pathway of engagement, discussion, negotiation then they themselves will trigger an option,” Tillerson had added.

The daylong meeting concluded with a joint announcement that a nuclear-armed North Korea was not acceptable and if the country desired a future, it must follow the path of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.

In spite of the international sanctions against its missile and nuclear weapons programme, North Korea successfully test fired many missiles last year including nuclear capable inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and detonated a hydrogen bomb as well.

The country has now declared itself a nuclear power, threatening the world with its recent military advances and its acts like firing missiles over Japan or threatening the US military base at Guam in the Pacific, coupled with its no holds barred war rhetoric, have escalated the tension like never before.



Article originally on India Today:

After a brief hiatus, North Korea has resumed its verbal assault against US President Donald Trump. And the country’s latest jibe at the US President tells the world that his acts are like ‘spasms of a lunatic’.

The trigger behind the latest outburst was Donald Trump’s ‘nuclear button’ tweet on 3rd January. In his typical fashion to exact fire and fury against North Korea through his tweets, Trump hit back on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s claims that the later had a nuclear button on his table and the whole America was in the striking range of his nuclear missiles.

Adding humiliating and stinging words for Kim Jong-un’s and his predecessors’ rule, calling it a depleted and food starved regime, Trump asserted that he, too, had a nuclear button which really worked, and in fact was a much bigger and more powerful one than Kim Jong-un’s.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times’. Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!

– Donald Trump on Twitter

Though it took two weeks for North Korea to hit back, probably due to the recent thaw in ties with South Korea and the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in the South next month, the verbal retort from the country was equally humiliating and stinging, mocking Trump on a scale that could match the buzz created by his tweet a fortnight ago.

A commentary in North Korea’s state-run publication Rodong Sinmun called Trump’s ‘bigger nuclear button’ tweet warning a bluff, ‘just a spasm of a lunatic frightened by the might of North Korea,’ by a person who has the habit and making reckless remarks, “Recently, Trump who is crazy about the hostile policy toward North Korea, has once again stunned the world by twitting that he has a ‘big and strong nuclear button.’ After these reckless remarks were twitted, they have become the target of scoff and criticism.”

Using choicest of words for him, like North Korea has been doing all along, the commentary added, “The spasm of Trump in the New Year reflects the desperate mental state of a loser who failed to check the vigorous advance of the army and people of the DPRK.” Trump’s mental health has been a favourite theme in North Korea’s anti-America propaganda and the country has used terms like ‘psychopath and mentally deranged dotard’.

And like the country has done in past, time and again, alleging Trump of escalating tension and ratcheting up war rhetoric, the commentary further said that the tweet, in fact, revealed who wants peace and who wants a nuclear war, “Experts on the Korean issue said that it is not fitting for the president to put the dangerous and serious issue like a nuclear war on twitter and it is an irresponsible behaviour leading the situation to the brink of a war.”

Trump, in fact, was widely panned after this ‘nuclear button’ tweet. Critics said the tweet would needlessly provoke North Korea at a time when the North had declared itself a nuclear power and the possibility of a nuclear war was more real than ever.

Also, after persistent demand from different quarters, Twitter, in fact, had to issue clarification that Trump’s tweet did not violate rules against abusive behaviour.


Tension between North Korea and the US has heightened to unprecedented levels since Donald Trump became US President last year.

Trump has been an advocate of adopting tough measures against the North, a rogue nation that is seen as a terror sponsor and nuclear proliferator.

Last year’s successful inter-continental ballistic missile and nuclear tests by the North only added to it.

Comments like ‘North Koreans will be met with fire and fury this world has never seen before’ or ‘the rocket-man or madman, Trump’s inventions for Kim Jong-un, will be tested like never before’ are common.

The North, in response, has its own range of words for Trump like ‘a gangster fond of playing with fire’, ‘unprecedented rude nonsense’, ‘frightened dog’, ‘psychopath’, ‘mentally deranged dotard’ or the latest one, ‘spasms of a lunatic’.



“….their inability to foresee the North’s rapid strides over the past several months now ranks among America’s most significant failures,” that is how a New York Times report sums up the feeling. The Times report is based on assessment and interviews of former and current US officials.

The hard-hitting report says when Donald Trump began his presidency last year, he was told by the US intelligence community that a North Korean Inter-continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the US mainland with a nuclear warhead was at least four years away, maybe six, by 2020 or 2022. They made similar assessment about North Korea’s efforts to detonate a hydrogen bomb that they calculated was years away.

Only that they happened within months, shocking the US intelligence community and the whole world.

On 4th July last year, the US Independence Day, North Korea test launched its first ICBM with a range of over 4000 miles, and the feat was surprising successful, as analysed by experts and intelligence community the world over. The US military base at Guam in the Western Pacific was now within the striking range of a North Korean missile.

On 28th July, it test fired another ICBM with a range of around 7000 miles and the US West Coast including cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle came into the North Korean striking range.

And on 28th November, it launched its most advanced and longest range ICBM yet, with a range of over 8000 miles, capable enough of hitting Washington and whole America.

As if these missile launches were not enough, to compound the humiliation of the US intelligence community, North Korea detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb, in fact a hydrogen bomb, on 3rd September last year. It was again surprisingly successful with analysts assessing that it was 15 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atom bomb.

In fact, the pace at which North Korea has achieved technological breakthroughs and military advances in 2017 has astonished the world. The country has now declared itself a nuclear power and openly resorts to nuclear blackmail to take on international sanctions being imposed on it for its continued missile and nuclear programme.


The US intelligence estimates about North Korean missile and nuclear programme were based on their past experiences of handling the country.

In April 2012, when Kim Jong-Un, the newly elevated North Korean dictator, tried to show the world his country’s prowess in ICBM technology with a satellite launch, the result was a disaster as the rocket exploded soon after its launch.

Though the rogue country continued with its missile and nuclear programme, failures piled up. In 2016, seven of the eight of North Korean Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) test launches failed, the Times report says. The failures, fuelled by elaborate sabotage programmes run by the US government, made its intelligence officials go with their assessment that the North was still few years away from achieving any breakthrough in its military aspirations.

But they failed to gauge the elaborate counter move by North Korea.

The success of North Korea’s missile and nuclear programme in 2017 proves Kim Jong-Un was running parallel missile programmes, may be to experiment more to plug the lapses of recurring failures in the existing technology his country was using or may be simply to dodge the global intelligence spying on the country. He also increased efforts manifold to build missile parts and fuel indigenously to take on international sanctions and sabotage efforts.

The successful test launches of 2017 are driven by a new missile technology based on an old Soviet design that is more reliable and potent, the Times says. What he did that stunned the world was the speed with which his country mastered the new missile technology as it is believed that North Korea abandoned its old missile technology and started working on the new one just a 14 months ago, in October 2016.


It is not the first time that the US administration was caught off guard by intel failure on North Korea. In 2006, when North Korea had conducted its first nuclear test, the US could come to know only an hour before the test, and that too, when China informed about it.

In 2007, Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria which was being built by North Korea. America was surprised when Israel showed the photograph of the under construction reactor similar to North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor. Israel found the structure was a plutonium nuclear reactor and photographed many North Korean scientists and workers there.

In 2010, when North Korea successfully finished building uranium enrichment plant in its Yongbyon nuclear complex, the US was again surprised as the said nuclear complex was under constant satellite surveillance.

And, as the world knows now, 2017 has eclipsed all those failures, when we talk about the scale of US intelligence blunders on North Korea.



The article originally appeared on India Today. 

China has warned Japan against efforts to acquire F-35B stealth bombers and modify its existing Izumo class helicopter carriers to host them. Though there has been no official confirmation from Japan on the move, global media including Reuters have confirmed the development citing Japanese government sources.

Reminding Japan of its pledge to follow the path of militarization only for self-defence, Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of China’s foreign ministry, said Japan must not forget the commitment made to the international community, “We urge Japan to adhere to the policy of “exclusive defence”, stay committed to the path of peaceful development, act cautiously in the area of military security and do more to enhance mutual trust between regional countries and promote peace and stability in the region, instead of the opposite.”


But while it may be convenient for China to quote a historical development to press Japan from acquiring advanced military capabilities like aircraft carriers and stealth fighter jets, the truth is, times have changed. While Japan has proved itself as a peace-loving country in order to pay for excesses committed by its imperial forces that ended with the World War II, China has emerged as one of the most hardliner nations on earth with an expansionist mindset and is engaged in territorial disputes with many countries including Japan and India.

No one can forget the repeated war threats by the official Chinese media during the 73-day long Doklam standoff between China and India where China tried to usurp a disputed territory in Bhutan to build a road near the Indian border in order to gain strategic advantage.

What makes Chinese threat even more serious is the fact that the country that is run by an iron grip of dictatorial power, is now a major global power, both economically as well as militarily. In post-World War II era, it has fought wars with India and Vietnam to expand its borders, has built artificial islands to further its claims in the South China Sea in spite of global opposition, claims other islands and territories that are part of other countries and has been involved in countless skirmishes with its neighbouring countries on the issue.


Additionally, Japan is also facing a heightened threat from North Korea, a rogue country with China as its only ally. North Korea has already conducted almost half a dozen nuclear and ballistic missile tests including a hydrogen bomb and is threatening the world with nuclear war in response of the mounting pressure of global sanctions imposed on it for continuing with missile and nuclear programme.

In September, North Korea fired a missile over Japan. In October, it warned Japan of nuclear cloud over its skies if the country continued with its mission of pressuring North Korea to give up missile and nuclear programme. And in November, it launched its most advanced inter-continental ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. To add to the North Korean threat, there are credible intelligence reports that the country might be on the verge of starting production of biological weapons on military scale.


Japan and China has been traditional rivals. They have fought two full scale wars, in 1894-95 and from 1937 to 1945. The second Japan-China war was the largest Asian war of the 20th Century that cost millions of lives, especially in China. It has been such a sensitive issue in China that the country still observes state memorial for war victims and calls for a Japanese apology are routine.

And these two traditional rivals are vying for leadership role in Asia-Pacific. If China is trying to place itself at the centre of Asia-Pacific, its rivals, the US, Australia, Japan and India, are pushing for an Indo-Pacific vision of the reason. In his first national security strategy that he unveiled recently, US President Donald Trump, in fact, has termed China a strategic competitor while Japan, Australia and India as strategic friends.

The proposed quadrilateral has been a brainchild of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and can further increase Japan China rivalry, replacing the recent events of thaw in Japan-China ties based on points of mutual economic interests. Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping recently agreed for a new start to mend the bilateral ties as the peace and friendship agreement between the countries enters its 40th year in 2018.

Another issue that potential derail any Japan-China dialogue is China’s contentious claims in East and South China seas. China claims Japanese Senkaku islands in the East China Sea while Japan has been a vocal opponent of China’s militarization of South China Sea islands. Japan has been wary of China’s growing assertiveness in the East China Sea and Western Pacific and earlier this year, it had to rush a record number of fighter jets, significantly higher than the previous year, to Check Chinese activities.


The interplay of these factors make it essential for Japan to acquire military capability to act in self-defence on a scale that can counter missile and nuclear threat. And it cannot be done without advanced defence technologies like F-35A and F-35B fighter jets and the systems to host and launch them, i.e., the aircraft carriers.

Japan is acquiring 42 advanced F-35A stealth jets that require long runways and conventional take-off and landing. But to meet contingencies like a military hostility where missile attacks have destroyed its land runways or as is the case with remote Japanese islands, where only short runways are available, Japan’s ruling establishment is thinking to include F-35B stealth jets as well as these jets require short runways and can take-off and land vertically. The Izumo class helicopter carriers, that are 248 meters long, are designed in such a way that they can be modified and refitted to operate F-35Bs.

And doing so should not violate the spirit of Article 9 of Japanese constitution, as also interpreted by the Japanese establishment from time to time. Though the Article, shaped by the experiences of the World War II and the atomic bombs attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, literally means that Japan cannot maintain armed forces and war cannot be a mean to address international disputes, governments in Japan have reinterpreted it to raise a commendable self-defence force.

But, still Japan has no aircraft carriers. “Under its strictly defence-oriented policy, Japan has maintained that it cannot possess “attack aircraft carriers,” saying the vessels can be deemed offensive weapons that exceed the minimum capacity Japan needs for self-defence in light of the Constitution,” writes Japan Times.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to change that and “China’s growing maritime assertiveness” is central to the efforts, said Japan Times quoting government sources. Japan is currently debating if the Article 9 can be reviewed and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party “is weighing both moderate and drastic revisions.”



North Korea, the world’s war propaganda factory, has come with new threats of annihilating its enemies after the fresh round of crippling sanctions imposed on it by the United Nations Security Council. The latest round of sanctions is, in fact, very harsh as they target the lifeline of any country, its energy security.

They cut export of petroleum products to North Korea by 90 per cent. To cripple the country even more on this front, export of transportation vehicles, machinery, and industrial equipment has also been banned.

And to complete the economic blockade, as North Korea has termed it, all North Korea immigrants who are working in other countries, are to be repatriated within 24 months. These sanctions, in fact, will be far reaching in isolating North Korea, if Kim Jong-Un, Donald Trump’s rocket-man or madman, doesn’t launch a missile or nuclear attack before that, as his country threatens every other day.

Building up on its war rhetoric, the desperate nation that has been on a spree of testing missile, nuclear and biological weapons, has termed it an act of war, “We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the US 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 in the routine North Korean way, they say they are going to punish everyone who is acting its interests. “Those countries that raised their hands in favour of this sanctions resolution shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the ‘resolution’ and we will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done,” said a release by KCNA, the official North Korean news agency.

The recent advances made by the country in acquiring lethal weapons and strategic capabilities have emboldened its war rhetoric to unprecedented levels.

After a series of nuclear capable missile tests including the one last month that is being touted as its most sophisticated one and a hydrogen bomb detonation, North Korea has declared itself nuclear power and in fact has termed the demands of terrified US, of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons, a pipe dream, “The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country.”



The article originally appeared on India Today on 15 December.

An increasingly belligerent North Korean propaganda has gone a step ahead.

The country’s state-run newspaper Minju Choson – published by the North Korean cabinet – has written in a commentary that fearful of the North Korean might, the fate of America is in hands of its supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

Blaming the US President Donald Trump’s ignorance about North Korea, the commentary says the US tactics of nuclear blackmail and threat will no longer work “whether the US likes or not and wants or not”, adding that “the status of the standoff between the DPRK and US has come under the control of the faith and will of the North Korea which is holding the initiative.”

Claiming that North Korea has always emerged victorious, Minju Choson further writes that Trump is still in deep sleep not realizing the imminent danger he has put America in.

“The Trump group is attempting to seek a way out by pursuing a policy of military confrontation. This is nothing but a deathbed struggle by those alarmed by the might of North Korea.”

Warning the US to become prudent and think twice, the newspaper says the recent annual defence conference of the country under the guidance of their supreme leader Kim Jong-un has filled the North Korean people and its Army with iron faith and if the Americans try to annoy this valorous spirit, they will be forced to go for military confrontation which will ultimately result in victory and glory for North Korea and humiliating defeat for Trump and the US.

Though North Korean propaganda may say the US is blackmailing it, but the recent advances made by the country in acquiring lethal weapons and strategic capabilities, the nuclear capable inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can reach to the parts of America, a series of successful missile launches in recent months and a claimed detonation of hydrogen bomb, has emboldened its war rhetoric to unprecedented levels.

And unlike in past, the world has taken these military claims seriously, increasing manifold the threat perception about the isolated nation.

The most recent development has only added to it.

According to American and Asian intelligence officials, North Korea may have acquired capacity to produce biological weapons on military scale and in fact, the world has no way to find if the rogue nation has already begun it, as such facilities are concealed in its civilian factories.

Some experts also say the North may have been even trying to create super-germs in its labs using advanced genetic engineering.

That is why the world is giving dialogue a chance with no one in favour of direct military confrontation in spite of tough warnings and harsh war rhetoric from Trump and his administration.

World leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the United Nations have preferred diplomacy, dialogues and sanctions over a possibility of war or military confrontation to deal with North Korea, a stand that has forced even Trump and his team to take a soft approach hinting at dialogue.

The call for dialogue and diplomatic efforts was best summed up by United Nations chief Antonio Guterres yesterday when he warned that “the worst possible thing that could happen would be for us all to sleepwalk into a war that might have very dramatic circumstances.”



The article originally appeared on India Today on 12 December.

“Microbes by ton”, that is how a Washington Post story describes the bioweapons threat from North Korea, the rogue regime that has recently acquired Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) and has declared itself a nuclear power after claimed detonation of a hydrogen bomb.

But if the assessments of US and Asian intelligence officials are true, as the Washington Post and other stories on the subject in the global media quote, then a whole new chapter in North Korean threat to the world is about to begin, in extension of its regular warnings of launching nuclear attacks.

“North Korea is moving steadily to acquire the essential machinery that could potentially be used for an advanced bioweapons program, from factories that can produce microbes by the ton, to laboratories specializing in genetic modification,” the Post story writes.

There have long been speculation about North Korea developing weapons of biological warfare, after the country established in 1980s a biological weapons programme under Kim Il-Sung, current dictator Kim Jong-un’s father, but it never went beyond pathogens like smallpox and anthrax and even now there is no hard evidence to prove it.

But the way North Korea is moving these days, sending its scientists abroad to study advanced microbiology and acquiring machinery that can be used to produce biological weapons at large scale, analysts says “North Korea could quickly surge into industrial-scale production of biological pathogens if it chooses to do so.”

And the most horrible part of it, the intelligence agencies spying on North Korea may not find if North Korea actually has started producing biological weapons at military scale as they suspect North Korea is using civilian factories to conceal its programme. “If it started tomorrow we might not know it, unless we’re lucky enough to have an informant who happens to be in just the right place,” the Post story writes quoting an official.

Experts say genetic engineering to produce even more virulent strains of microbes or germs is another scientific breakthrough that North Korea might have been trying. According to a study, North Korea’s Biological Weapons Program, released in October by Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, North Korean and Chinese scientists jointly published a research paper in 2016 on producing new species of bacteria through genetic engineering.

Though the research paper writes that it is “it is highly unlikely that the typing of these genomes will provide know-how for biological weapons development effort,” the Post story says it is evidence of North Korea’s ambition to acquire cutting edge genetic and microbiological sciences. The ambition raises a valid doubt that it may be used to create even more potent germs, especially when North Korea’s proven ability and credentials to carry out such advanced scientific research have been limited so far. Attempts to produce such super-germs is not new and met with mixed success during the cold war era.

An analysis by Amplyfi, an artificial intelligence company, on North Korean efforts to acquire advanced genetic and biotech capabilities, in fact, has shown that search on topics like “gene expression” and “nucleic acid sequence” from North Korea has gone up voluminously in the last two years.

The Post report writes quoting Amplyfi co-founder Chris Ganje “There are worrying indicators of unintended support and it is obvious that the international community and larger institutions need to be cautious in providing seemingly benign academic scientific education and training to North Korea,” as to circumvent international monitoring, North Korea is trying to gain technological insights from academic institutions, NGOs and private organizations.

South Korea has warned in past that it may launch biological attack thorough its special operations forces (SOF), a Rand Corporation paper, The Challenge of North Korean Biological Weapons, says.

The paper that details submission before the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities of the United States House of Representatives in October 2013 writes, “Indeed, North Korea special forces are a likely means for delivering North Korean biological weapons. North Korea has some 200,000 special forces, a small fraction of which could deliver devastating biological attacks against South Korea, Japan, and even the United States.”



The article originally appeared on India Today.

After Kim Jong Un’s vitriolic outburst that called Donald Trump a frightened dog and a mentally deranged dotard on his warning to totally destroy North Korea, North Korea is now trying to put Donald Trump in the dock for his “thrice-cursed sophism”.

In a reaction to Trump’s maiden United Nations General Assembly speech, KCNA, the official news agency of North Korea, has said that Trump’s speech has shocked not just the United Nations but the whole world.

While speaking at the UNGA on September 19, Trump had warned that if the United States was forced to defend itself or its allies, it would have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea adding that the Rocket Man was on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.

Trump invented the term Rocket Man to describe Kim Jong Un after a series of missile and nuclear tests by North Korea under his watch.

Trump’s speech has been widely panned by media outfits and world leaders and that may have given North Korea a chance to browbeat its own propaganda, even if Trump didn’t mean it so and it was just a bad choice of words, something that usually happens with him.

Commentaries and reports in publications like The Washington Post, CNN, Financial Times, The Guardian and reactions of leaders like UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron, Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and many others termed Trump’s assertions wrong and miscalculated. They found Trump’s remarks could give rise to fatal misunderstandings as Guterres put it.

A Washington Post commentary said that Trump’s words implied that he threatened not just to uproot the North Korean regime but the entire nation along with its people while The Guardian wrote that Trump’s language cannot be seen as funny as “he controls a nuclear arsenal powerful enough to annihilate humanity several times over.”

Declaring Trump’s remarks as heinous and something that something “that can be uttered by the boss of gangsters rather than by a politician”, KCNA added in its release that “the international community was raising voices of denunciation, being deeply concerned about such outbursts and wild words as “total destruction” of a sovereign state, not just “overturn of social system” and “regime change”.


In the latest, Donald Trump has concluded that Kim Jong Un is a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his own people and for his acts he will be tested and punished like never before.

Donald Trump’s warning came after Kim Jong Un lashed on him for his UNGA speech. Trump said that denuclearization was the only acceptable future of North Korea and later on signed an Executive Order imposing more sanctions on the nation.

In response to Trump’s warning, Kim described him as a gangster fond of playing with fire and displaying an unprecedented rude nonsense one had never heard from any of his predecessors.

He didn’t stop at this. He further said that Trump was a mentally deranged dotard, a frightened dog who barked louder and North Korea knew how to tame him.

And like Donald Trump had warned North Korea last month that if it escalated nuclear threat, it would be met with fire and fury like the world had never seen, Kim concluded that the North Korean fire would surely and definitely tame Donald Trump. North Korea also warned that it may soon detonate its most powerful hydrogen bomb yet over the Pacific.

Earlier this month, on September 3, North Korea had detonated a hydrogen bomb in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date and Pyongyang had warned of more ‘gift packages’ for Washington which came true when it test fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan on September 15.



“China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral.”

This is what an editorial in China’s official publication Global Times, known for taking extreme positions, says. The official mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party has been issuing war threats and warnings of disastrous consequences to India on a daily basis ever since the India-China border standoff in Doklam Plateau began in June.

It is an established fact that China is the only factor that has let North Korea, a rogue state, become increasingly belligerent over the years in spite of global sanctions that have been in place for decades. China, in fact, is the only major trading partner of North Korea and accounts for over 80 per cent of North Korean trade.

After North Korea’s first Inter-continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test, that was surprisingly successful, and its increasing threats of launching a nuclear missile on the US, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last week imposed even harsher sanctions on North Korea in an aim to reduce its exports by one-third.

But seeing the history of China always extending olive branch to North Korea, experts are divided on whether imposing more sanctions on North Korea will be of any help. Even though China has announced to support the sanctions, its track record says it has never implemented such international agreements in past and they merely remained on paper.

In the same doublespeak, China’s state run media says here if North Korea attacks the US, China should remain neutral but would prevent any US or South Korean attempt to overthrow the war friendly dictatorial regime of North Korea, “If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

That clearly means China would not take any pre-emptive step to stop North Korea from taking that disastrous step and would not allow even the US and South Korea to do so, even if it means a nuclear attack by the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Clearly taking the line of China’s interests first, the editorial goes on to say that “China will firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China’s interests are concerned.”

US President Donald Trump has warned that the US is fully prepared, locked and loaded, to face any North Korean threat following his reaction to unleash fire and fury on North Korea after it was revealed that North Korea had developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead for its missiles that could effectively reach the US mainland.

In response, North Korea has said that it is readying plans to launch missile attack on Guam, an US island in the Pacific. Guam is a major US military installation housing the Naval Base Guam and the Anderson Air Force Base. Apart from high-end military assets like the B52 bombers and the nuclear powered fast attack submarines, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), an anti-ballistic missile defence system, are deployed here. Recently, the US deployed THAAD in South Korea to counter any missile attack threat from North Korea. China sees presence of THAAD in the Korean Peninsula a challenge its sovereignty in its area of influence and has been vehemently opposing it.

North Korea has been rapidly revving up its nuclear and missile programme after successful test launches of nuclear capable ICBMs. Trump, who had said earlier that he would not allow North Korea to have an ICBM, had reacted strongly on North Korean ICBM saying the US was drawing plans for its “pretty severe” response.



The article originally appeared on India Today on 9 August.

US President Donald Trump has warned North Korea that “if it escalates nuclear threat, it will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”, the US media has said. A tough response from him was expected after it was revealed earlier in the day that North Korea had produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be fitted inside its missiles. The revelation was based on the assessment of the US intelligence agencies.

Terming Trump’s threat extraordinary, a CNN report quoted him as saying, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen.”

On Monday, North Korea ‘vowed’ to teach US a severe lesson. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said if the US used military force, North Korea would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons.


Earlier, on Saturday, the United Nations Security Council slapped even harsher sanctions on North Korea, in an aim to reduce its exports by one-third.

Hitting back, North Korea said “it would make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country.”

Experts are divided on whether imposing more sanctions on North Korea will be of any help – because even though China, its biggest trading partner, has announced to support the sanctions, its track record says it has never implemented such international agreements in past and they merely remained on paper.


North Korea has been rapidly revving up its nuclear and missile programme after it successfully test fired its first inter-continental ballistic missile last month which according to experts was a new type unlike the previous North Korean missile tests and with a range of over 8,000 km. Such a missile can easily reach the American mainland.

North Korea’s ICBM had left the major world powers divided. A Russia-China joint statement was soft and put the onus of North Korea’s missile launch on annual US-South Korea military drills in the region and the deployment of the US anti-ballistic missile defence system THAAD in South Korea.
Trump, who had said earlier he would not allow North Korea to have an ICBM, had reacted strongly. He then said the US was drawing plans for its “pretty severe” response.

The US, with South Korea, held a military drill in response to North Korea’s ICBM and the US allies held an emergency UN Security Council meeting where the US’ UN Ambassador Nikki Haley asserted that the US could use “considerable military forces” if situation demanded.