News Review - 11 May 2018
northKorea

A poor nation that struggles to feed its own people… yet a nation with nuclear weapons… that even threatens the USA… what’s going on in

North Korea?

In the 21st century, how can the richest, most powerful nation on earth be threatened by one of the world’s poorest nations? Strange, but true! The US finds itself under threat from one of the poorest nations on earth – tiny North Korea! And that threat appears to be real!

First, a brief history of North Korea, and then a look at how it came to have the ability to attack the USA.

20th Century Korea Overview

1900: “Korea fell under Japanese domination. Korea was made a Japanese ‘protectorate’ which meant that Japan now controlled Korean foreign policy and its relations with other countries. A Japanese official was sent to run things. He was assassinated in 1909. That gave the Japanese an excuse to annex Korea which they did in 1910.

The Colonial Period In Korea (1910-1945)

The Japanese turned Korea into a colony to supply Japan with food. However they also built bridges, railways and roads. The Japanese also built many factories in Korea. Japanese attempts to turn Korea into part of Japan were ended in 1945 when they surrendered to the allies.

Even before the war ended, Russia and the USA had agreed that after the war Korea would be divided into two zones, Russian and American. In August 1945 Russian troops entered the north. In September, after the Japanese surrender, American troops landed in the south. Korea was divided in two along an imaginary line, the 38th parallel. Korea became two countries, one Communist, and one Democratic.

The Korean War

The North Korean army invaded the south on 25 June 1950. They quickly drove south and captured Seoul. The UN Security Council invited members to help the south. The war ended in a stalemate and on 27 July 1953 a cease-fire was signed. The 38th parallel was once again the border between the two countries.

The South Korean Economic Miracle

In 1988 the Olympics were held in Seoul which brought South Korea into the international limelight.

By the 1990s South Korea had become a fairly rich nation and its people had quite a high standard of living. It was also a democratic country. In the 1990s the government began to deregulate industry.

North Korea In The Late 20th Century

In stark contrast is North Korea. After Russian troops occupied the north a communist government was installed. Kim Il Sung was made ruler. Like many dictators he created a ‘cult of personality’ by erecting statues of himself everywhere. Schoolchildren were taught to see him as the fount of all wisdom. In fact he created a very repressive regime. Kim Il Sung died in 1994 but was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-Il. He died in 2011 and he was followed by his son Kim Jong Un.

Today the population of North Korea is 25 million while the population of South Korea is 51 million.” ( localhistories.org)

Trade: China Replaces Russia

After the Soviet Union fell, North Korea lost its principal economic partner — which contributed in part to the famine of the 1990s. As the years went on, China increasingly took the Soviet Union’s old place as economic guarantor, ramping up both imports from and exports to the North. China makes up roughly 90 percent of North Korean trade, providing a vital role in propping up the Kim regime through (for example) coal exports that keep its power plants running. This could potentially give China serious leverage over North Korea — if it chose to use it.( vox.com)

History tells us why North Korea really wants the bomb!

When you understand the reason why North Korea wants ‘the bomb’, it seems highly unlikely that the regime would be willing to bargain away its prized program.

“Why does Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, want nuclear weapons and why is he so keen on them reaching US cities? The answer is simple: Kim lives in terror of an American attack. This is not the paranoia of a madman. Post-1945 history gives him good reason for such fears.

In 2002, President George W Bush bracketed North Korea with Iraq and Iran in an ‘axis of evil’. We all know what happened to non-nuclear Iraq. If your country had a history like that, wouldn’t you want a nuclear deterrent?” ( newstatesman.com)

North Korea Nuclear Tests: What Did They Achieve?

9 October 2006 - “An announcement by Pyongyang that it had carried out its first nuclear explosion.

25 May 2009 - The second test was bigger, with an estimated yield of between two and eight kilotonnes.

12 February 2013 - The North said it had tested ‘a miniaturised and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously’.

6 January 2016 - thermonuclear claim. The first indication was again a report of an ‘artificial quake’ in North Korea, registering about magnitude 5.1, close to Punggye-ri.

9 September 2016 - North Korea announced its fifth nuclear test in 2016 in September.

3 September 2017 - ‘the biggest yet’ - North Korea claimed it has successfully tested what the world has worried about - a miniaturised hydrogen bomb that could be loaded on to a long-range missile. Seismic readings of 6.3 indicated the test was bigger than any other that has been conducted.

Some early estimates said that the test came in at about 100-150 kilotonnes, potentially 10 times larger than last time.” ( bbc.co.uk)

North Korea Missile tests

In 2016, North Korea tested 26 missiles; 16 were successful and 10 failed, according to a database maintained by the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

‘The fact that they are willing to test missiles so frequently suggests they are not really worried about supply,’ Narang said. ‘ And if you didn’t have the ability to produce so many missiles, then you might be a little more reluctant to test’.( theatlantic.com)

Now: US Within Range!

November 2017 - “South Korea’s military said the latest missile fired from an area near Pyongyang traveled 960 kilometers (596 miles) and reached a height of 4,500 kilometers (2,796 miles). This demonstrates a potential operational range of 13,000 kilometer (8,100 miles), which would put Washington DC, and all other parts of the continental United States comfortably within reach, according to US analyst David Wright.” ( time.com)

How Did North Korea Get Nuclear Weapons?

“North Korea is known for its bluster and outrageous propaganda, but the nuclear threat posed by the country is taken seriously by those in the know.

US President Donald Trump has made it clear that he considers North Korea a legitimate threat. In early April, Trump dispatched the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula, and said ‘major, major conflict’ was quite possible.

But how did a country as isolated and impoverished as North Korea get its hands on nuclear weapons in the first place?

After the war, North Korea tried to convince its wartime ally China to share its nuclear weapons technologies. Supreme Leader Kim Il-Sung, grandfather of present-day leader Kim Jong-Un, twice asked Chinese ruler Mao Zedong for help but was refused both times, according to The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History.

Denied an easy path to a nuclear bomb, North Korea set about cobbling together an indigenous nuclear weapons program.

Soviet Support

As a founding member of the Soviet-led Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, North Korea had for years sent its scientists to the Soviet Union for nuclear energy training, according to a timeline compiled by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). The Soviets even helped North Korea set up its first nuclear reactor in 1964.

Pakistani Proliferation

“The groundwork for North Korea’s uranium nuclear weapons program was laid in the ’90s, with substantial help from Dr AQ Khan, the pioneer of Pakistan’s atomic bomb program. Khan orchestrated the clandestine transfer of uranium centrifuges, enrichment machines and technical data to North Korea over a period of several years. North Korea provided ballistic missile technologies to Pakistan.

‘North Korea is very creative in the way that it goes about sanctions evasion, and the patterns in which it goes about it vary,’ Andrea Berger, a senior researcher with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told Global News.

Berger says North Korea often sends trusted nationals to China to set up front companies, often in collaboration with Chinese citizens. These companies then import equipment from Western manufacturers, who often have no way of knowing that the companies are really fronts controlled by the North Korean regime.

Melissa Hanham, a researcher who analyzes open source data and photos to assess North Korea’s weapons programs said, ‘North Korea has shown that it’s dedicated to acquiring nuclear weapons, and it’s very hard to stop any country that’s completely dedicated’.” ( globalnews.ca)

North Korean Scientists: Dedicated Or Fearful?

“Shortly after North Korea launched the Hwasong-12 in May, the scientists who developed the intermediate-range ballistic missile were honored on the streets of Pyongyang as national heroes.

Although scientists are honored and rewarded, they also remain under pressure to produce increasingly better results. There’s a real possibility, said Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT, that Kim, like his father Kim Jong Il, ‘ threatened these scientists with their lives if they don’t make progress. That can be a very powerful motivator’ .” ( theatlantic.com)

North Korea Had External Help In Building Its Nuclear Weapons

“The North Korean communist regime may have had outside help in advancing its nuclear weapons program, according to a new report from Jane’s by IHS Markit, a defense intelligence company.

According to the release, the North Korean regime allegedly made significant progress on its nuclear weapons programs within a very short timeframe. It refers to these as ‘unprecedented advances,’ and notes that North Korea claims it displayed four of the missiles during its February 8 military parade in Pyongyang.

This was unlikely accomplished without outside help. The Jane’s press release states, ‘it is highly likely that North Korea made use of foreign knowledge, technology or hardware in the development of the Hwaseong-15 ICBM.’

The report notes, ‘Given the limited time and test resource available to North Korea, it is highly unlikely that North Korea could design, develop, engine test and integrate the components into … intercontinental missile systems without external assistance.’

A breakdown of the missile shows it contains Soviet-era Russian technology; and uses a modified Chinese mobile launcher.( ntd.tv)


North Korea BLUFF: Kim freezing nuclear trials ONLY because of HUMILIATING truth

Is this the truth, or propoganda? Most of the news on this “event” came from Chinese sources. Are they trying to tell the world that the threat is over… and now we can have peace? What they omit is the fact that North Korea has several other options available.

When you understand the reason why North Korea wants the bomb, it seems highly unlikely that the regime would be willing to bargain away its prized program.

North Korea should not be taken at face value when it claims it is working towards denuclearisation because the hermit state is only doing so to hide an embarrassing secret, experts have warned.

Chinese experts believe the North Korean leader is only showing signs of escalating the nuclear crisis because his crumbling testing sites have collapsed.

Last year a major facility was destroyed, leaving hundreds dead, while earthquakes have also triggered landslides in testing areas deep in the mountains. Chinese experts said they have been notified of ‘unprecedented risk of radioactive exposure’ following the collapse of several nuclear testing sites near the North Korean borders. This test is believed to have badly destabilised the mountainside-based facility.” ( express.co.uk)

Kim-Xi Meeting Presents A New Challenge For Trump On North Korea

“A secretive meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and China’s Xi Jinping this week showcased enduring bonds between the two countries, highlighting the diplomatic challenge facing President Trump.

The Beijing meeting, analysts said, was staged to show that North Korea-China ties are back on track, as underscored by photographs of energetic handshakes and an account of a heartfelt toast from Kim.

The message to the United States: Any moves on North Korea must go through Xi.” ( washingtonpost.com)

The News Behind The News

Given the fact that North Korea is called a hermit state, poor and underdeveloped, the sheer scale of their nuclear project is huge…

“Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, told me, it was a ‘mystery’ how Pyongyang had made gains so rapid that they were now viewed as a threat to the United States. Pollack said North Korea has ‘been systematically underrated for years.’ Narang told me the pace of North Korea’s development surpasses similar programs in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Israel, and even France — and showcases the country’s metallurgical and engineering technology.

Whatever the motivation, the results are impressive. Consider this: In 2016, North Korea tested 26 missiles; 16 were successful and 10 failed, according to a database maintained by the Nuclear Threat Initiative.’

The fact that they are willing to test missiles so frequently suggests they are not really worried about supply,’ Narang said. ‘And if you didn’t have the ability to produce so many missiles, then you might be a little more reluctant to test’.” ( theatlantic.com)

Where Does The Money Come From?

IF “the pace of North Korea’s development surpasses similar programs in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Israel, and even France”, where does the money come from?

“The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in North Korea was worth a mere 16.12 billion US dollars in 2015. The GDP value of North Korea represents 0.03 percent of the world economy.” ( tradingeconomics.com)

How can they afford a nuclear program with a GDP of a mere $16 billion? It’s not possible! Compare that to South Korea – at 1,411 billion US dollars – or the US $20+ trillion!

Is somebody else helping foot the bill?

And if so – who …and why?

Here is a pointer to the “who”!

As a previous article pointed out:

“Given the limited time and test resource available to North Korea, it is highly unlikely that North Korea could design, develop, engine test and integrate the components into … intercontinental missile systems without external assistance.

A breakdown of the missile shows it contains Soviet-era Russian technology; and uses a modified Chinese mobile launcher.( ntd.tv)

Given that China controls 90% of all trade with North Korea, and that it was Russia that helped get the North’s nuclear program up and running, and that the missiles and launchers are of Russian and Chinese origin, the “who” seems none too well hidden!

That being the case, the next question is: WHY?

China wants the US military out of South Korea. That would make it much easier for China to attack Taiwan, and take control of the South China Sea. Recent news items point in this direction.

“The withdrawal of some 28,000 US troops stationed in South Korea may be on the table in future negotiations between the US and North Korea, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said on the heels of a landmark inter-Korean summit.

Asked if US forces will remain in South Korea provided Seoul and Pyongyang replace their 1953 truce with a formal peace treaty, Mattis indicated that the continued US military presence in South Korea may become a part of the bargain with the North .” ( rt.com)

Taiwan Under Threat

“Taiwan on Sunday thanked the White House for standing up to China, after Beijing threatened US airlines to change the way they listed Taiwan on their websites.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) last month quietly sent a letter to three dozen international airlines, including a number from the US, ordering them to describe Taiwan as part of China instead of a separate country.

China has long maintained that Taiwan is part of China and will eventually be reunified with the mainland, while Taiwan considers itself a separate country from the Republic of China. The US recognizes China’s position, but does not take a stance on Taiwan’s status.” ( breitbart.com)

America Under Threat – From Both Russia And China

America is involved in a war in Syria. Syria is backed by Iran. Iran is backed by Russia. Tensions are high. Iran is hard at work trying to obtain nuclear weapons. If they succeed, Saudi Arabia will follow suit! The only mid-East nation with nuclear weapons is Israel. President Trump is challenging the Iran nuclear deal while Iran is threatening to sink US ships. This is one crisis away from a disaster!

Meanwhile, China is claiming control of the South China Sea area – and is challenging US power of the region. Removing the US military from South Korea would help China’s cause. The US also supports Taiwan, which China will not tolerate! This is another area that is one crisis away from a disaster.

On top of all this, tiny North Korea apparently has nuclear missiles that could reach the US!

As Mr Armstrong warned:

“Are we deceiving ourselves? Do we reason foolishly that nuclear and other mass-destruction weapons are so frightening that no one will dare unleash them? No weapon of increased mass destruction ever yet has been produced that was not used!

The nuclear family includes smaller nations beside the Soviet Union and the USA. A madman in a smaller nation could set off the nuclear war that could spread to destroy all mankind!( The Plain Truth – February 1981)

Watch for two important upcoming events:

President Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal – due May 12th

President Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - now set for June 12th in Singapore.