MATTER OF SHORT TIME BEFORE NORTH KOREA IS ABLE TO NUKE US: PENTAGON

The article originally appeared on India Today.

A top US General has said that in a very short time North Korea would be able to attack the US mainland with its nuclear weapons.

During a Congressional hearing of the Armed Services Committee of the US Senate, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said that North Korea is now capable of launching a nuclear attack on the United States.

“It is the US military’s judgement that it is a matter of a “very short time” before North Korea is able to attack the US”, a report quoted him saying. Dunford informed the Congress that as North Korea has ratcheted up its war rhetoric to unprecedented levels, the US should plan accordingly.

Dunford, who is a Marine Corps General, added that the US Defence establishment is deploying 21 more missile interceptors in addition to 44 already in place and has spruced up intelligence on North Korea. While saying so, Dunford said that despite escalating its war rhetoric, North Korea has not changed its military posturing and the US forces are watching it closely.

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

ROCKET-MAN WHO?

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.

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 further said that Trump was a mentally deranged dotard, a frightened dog who barked louder and North Korea knew how to tame him. Kim concluded his statement by saying that the North Korean fire would surely and definitely tame Donald Trump. The country later also warned that it may soon detonate its most powerful hydrogen bomb yet over the Pacific.

This prompted Trump to term Kim a madman. He said that Kim Jong-Un was a madman who didn’t mind starving or killing his own people and for his acts he would be tested and punished like never before. Trump further added that de-nuclearisation was the only acceptable future of North Korea and later on signed an Executive Order imposing more sanctions on the nation.

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.

©SantoshChaubey

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AFTER KIM JONG UN’S OUTBURST, NORTH KOREA NOW TRIES TO PUT DONALD TRUMP IN THE DOCK

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”.

LATEST IN DONALD TRUMP – KIM JONG UN WAR OF WORDS

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.

©SantoshChaubey

TRUMP WARNS KIM JONG UN, A MADMAN, WILL BE TESTED LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator, is a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his own people, US President Donald Trump has concluded and therefore he will be tested and punished like never before.

@realDonaldTrump – Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!

Donald Trump’s warning came after Kim Jong Un lashed on him for his maiden United Nations General Assembly speech that spoke of totally destroying North Korea if it didn’t fall in line. 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.

The government of the Rocket Man, another term invented by Donald Trump to describe Kim Jong Un after a series of missile and nuclear tests by North Korea, also warned that North Korea 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.

©SantoshChaubey

NORTH KOREA CELEBRATES HYDROGEN BOMB DETONATION WITH A PUBLIC EVENT, LIKE IT HAD DONE AFTER ICBM LAUNCH

Like it had done after its first ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last month, that was surprisingly successful, North Korea organized a public event to celebrate its hydrogen bomb detonation on September 3 as well. Both the events were equally massive on scale, the available visuals show.

The hydrogen bomb test was North Korea’s sixth and till date most powerful nuclear test and like it had done after the ICBM launch, this time too, it didn’t forget to taunt the US and the world community by saying that more “gift packages to the US” were on the way.

Timing its first ICBM launch event with the American Independence Day on July 4 and the 45th anniversary of the July 4 statement, the first official communiqué on agreement between North Korea and South Korea on Korean reunification, North Korea then had said that North Korean ICBM was a gift to the US on its Independence Day. It had also warned the US and South Korea of heavy blows in the days to come.

North Korea’s official and only broadcaster Korean Central Television (KCTV) has released footage of the public event to celebrate the hydrogen bomb detonation, like it had done after the ICBM launch celebration, like it always do to push the North Korean propaganda.

We can see people lined up on both sides of roads waving and cheering a convoy of vehicles passing through a road and later gathered at the Kim Il Sung Square as part of the mass celebration event that also included song and dance by groups.

Here is one such footage available on the Twitter handle of the China Global Television Network (CGTN).

The video shows a jubilant North Korean anchor announcing that the “intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) mounting usage hydrogen bomb test was a perfect success” with a file footage of the possible hydrogen bomb detonation from the Korean Central Television (KCTV).

Another video footage here shows the song and dance sequence, huge public gathering the Kil Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

And like it had done after the ICBM launch, North Korea felicitated the scientists involved in the hydrogen bomb detonation that produced shockwaves measuring 6.3 on Richter Scale, who, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news agency of North Korea, vowed to attain the final goal of perfecting a North Korean nuclear force.

“The scientists visited the statues of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to make a report about their success and vow to successfully conclude their research and development campaign to attain the final-phase goals for perfecting the state nuclear force advanced at the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (in May 2016), true to the guidance of respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un”, the KCNA release said.

In spite of facing stiff sanctions that have crippled its economy, North Korea has been moving ahead with its missile and nuclear programme. But the world community is a divided lot when it comes to action against North Korea on its latest advances missile and nuclear advances.

China, Russia and even South Korea, North Korea’s traditional rival and the US’s traditional ally, are not in favour of military action and are instead focusing on talks and sanctions. Russia has warned that the military hysteria around North Korea could lead to a global catastrophe. And even the emergency UN Security Council meeting held after North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test remained divided and failed to reach to a conclusion on a decisive action against the rogue nation.

©SantoshChaubey

NORTH KOREA HAD FIRMED UP PLANS TO BUILD A NUCLEAR FORCE A YEAR AGO, WORLD INGORED WARNING SIGNALS

The article originally appeared on India Today.

North Korea is working to perfect its state nuclear force and its recent acts, including the successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launch and hydrogen bomb detonation, with provocative signals like more such “gift packages” are in the pipeline and the assertion that it is planning to strike the US military base in Guam suggest that it is successfully moving ahead in that direction.

That appears to be the case according to a release by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). According to a KCNA release available on North Korean media aggregators, North Korea is working to perfect its state nuclear force the blueprint was laid down during the Seventh Congress of the Worker’s Party of Korea in May 2016. The WPK Congress had decided to advance its strategic targets and had vowed to work hard to build its nuclear force. The warning signals from North Korea was largely ignored by major world powers then.

On September 3, North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test yet when it claimed to successfully detonate a hydrogen bomb. Like it had done with its first ever successful ICBM test launch last month, the country felicitated the scientists involved in the operation and organized public event to celebrate its success.

According to the KCNA release, “the scientists visited the statues of former North Korean presidents Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill to make a report about their success and vowed to successfully conclude their research and development campaign to attain the final-phase goals for perfecting the state nuclear force advanced at the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea.”

Currently, there are eight countries in the world possessing nuclear weapons. Five of them, US, Russia, UK, France and China, are nuclear weapon states who have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty NPT. Three other countries, India, Pakistan and North Korea, who are non-NPT signatories, have declared themselves as nuclear powers. Israel is also considered a nuclear power though it has never publicly accepted it.

But only four out of these eight declared nuclear powers, US, UK, Russia and France, have deployed strategic nuclear warheads on ICBMs and at heavy bomber bases, an analysis from the Federation of American Scientists published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says.

And North Korea’s provocations say it might go on to become the fifth country of the nuclear bloc to strategically deploy nuclear warheads with its repeated threats to target US territories.

Barring Pakistan and North Korea, all other nuclear powers are responsible countries. China, the only major ally of North Korea, even has no deployed strategic warheads the FAS analysis says. Pakistan is under heavy international scrutiny and pressure for its nuclear programme. Also, it is widely believed that North Korea got nuclear technology from Pakistan.

©SantoshChaubey

DONALD TRUMP SAYS MILITARY ACTION AGAINST N KOREA NOT FIRST CHOICE, DISCUSSES OPTIONS WITH XI JINPING

The article originally appeared on India Today.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged ideas for the resolution of the North Korean nuclear crisis during a phone conversation, China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported.

North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb on September 3, in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date. Pyongyang has warned of more ‘gift packages’ for Washington.

“President Xi stressed that China is committed towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and relies on dialogue and negotiations to appropriately resolve the issue,” CGTN said in a release

In response, Trump expressed deep concern over the North Korean threat, and pressed for more communication with China with a view to resolve the crisis as soon as possible.

MILITARY ACTION NOT FIRST CHOICE: TRUMP

Trump today said military action against North Korea isn’t the US’ first choice, and that he’d like to exhaust other options first, Reuters reported.

This is in stark contrast to Trump’s earlier remarks.

Last month, Trump had warned North Korea of “fire and fury” in case of a nuclear threat. He spoke of military action on different occasions, and said direct talks were “no more an option.”

On Tuesday, he even allowed US allies South Korea and Japan to buy more highly sophisticated US weapons.

But the opinion on action on North Korea has been highly divided and it might have pushed Trump to reconsider his options.

China and Russia do not favour the military option. Nor do the South Koreans, for that matter. All them are focussing on talks and sanctions.

Russia advocates a diplomatic approach, and has said the military hysteria surrounding North Korea could lead to a global catastrophe.

Meanwhile, the emergency UN Security Council meeting held after North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test failed to reach a conclusion on a decisive action against Pyongyang.

©SantoshChaubey

NOW CHINESE STATE MEDIA WADES INTO US-NORTH KOREA ROW, SAYS CHINA WOULD COUNTER US ACTION AGAINST NORTH KOREA

“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.

©SantoshChaubey

DONALD TRUMP SAYS NORTH KOREA WILL BE MET WITH FIRE AND FURY IF IT THREATENS US

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.

HARSHER SANCTIONS

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.

NUCLEAR PROGRAMME

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.

©SantoshChaubey