Frances Martel – February 5, 2018
China is reportedly moving missile defense batteries and troops closer to its border with North Korea, a potential sign that Beijing anticipates either a large refugee wave north or a military disturbance triggered by the belligerence of communist dictator Kim Jong-un.
The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo cited Radio Free Asia (RFA) in a report Monday, stating that RFA had compiled evidence that China had “late last year deployed another missile defense battery at an armored division in Helong, west of Longjing in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture.”
The “North Korean source in China” speaking to RFA also noted that Pyongyang had observed the movement of 300,000 troops closer to the North Korean border and “missile defense batteries near North Korean reservoirs by the Apnok and Duman rivers.” The batteries would prevent the violent outpouring of those reservoirs into China in the event of an airstrike.
Spencer Ackerman – January 23, 2018
The Central Intelligence Agency is briefing President Donald Trump on the risks and opportunities of a limited attack on North Korea, its director suggested on Tuesday.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo would not discuss the “wisdom of a preemptive strike” on Pyongyang or its nuclear weapons program, he told an audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. But in rare public remarks, Pompeo portrayed North Korea as an urgent priority for the agency, and disclosed aspects of its role in setting back Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program during his first year at Langley.
Kim is a rational man, Pompeo said the CIA had assessed. But it’s less clear that Kim takes seriously the prospect of a U.S. attack, something that could blunder the world into a devastating nuclear conflict.
Pompeo would not answer if options exist for Trump to attack North Korea short of a nuclear war. Analysts warn a limited strike would lead to such a war should North Korea retaliate and prompt escalation.
Ryan Pickrell – January 11, 2017
Satellite imagery shows “significant tunneling” at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, a report revealed Thursday.
In his New Year’s address, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un said the North is “open to dialogue” with the South, and the two sides met face-to-face for the first time in two years Tuesday. While the two Koreas noted the need for peace on the peninsula, the North expressed frustration when the South tried to address its illegal nuclear program.
North Korea supposedly extended an olive branch in the speech to its southern neighbor. The young North Korean despot also ordered the mass production and rapid deployment of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles to bolster the state nuclear force.
The North Korean leader claimed that he has a button on his desk to order a nuclear strike against the U.S., but for Kim to field a reliable nuclear deterrent against the U.S. and its allies, additional weapons testing will be undoubtedly be required.
Katherine Lam – January 2, 2018
Kim Jong Un has ordered his rocket scientists to construct North Korea’s biggest ballistic missile ever, and the despot reportedly plans to launch the record rocket on the regimes 70th anniversary in September.
The rocket would be outfitted with re-entry capability — a feat the Hermit Kingdom’s last intercontinental ballistic missile wasn’t able to achieve — according to a defector who talked to a Japanese paper.
The defector, who was not identified but was said to be knowledgeable in the Hermit Kingdom’s missile program, told Japanese publication Asahi Shimbun earlier this week Kim laid out his plans during a meeting in Pyongyang on Dec. 11 and 12.
The rocket, called the “Unha-4,” will be an upgraded version of the long-range ballistic missile Unha-3, which was launched in 2012 and 2016 and put North Korea’s first satellite into orbit.
Mac Slavo – January 2, 2018
Chinese tanks, soldiers, and military trucks have been gathering on the border in preparation for a war. The Chinese military was quickly rushed to the border they share with North Korea after being told to get “ready for war.”
According to the Daily Star, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces have been building up military assets in the cover of the night around the Tumen River in Yanji city, Jilin province, which borders North Korea. Chinese commanders are reported to have recently conducted the so-called “war ceremony” – urging their troops to be ready to fight as columns of PLA trucks have been pictured on the move near Yanji City which is close to the triple border between China, Russia, and North Korea.
China is North Korea’s only traditional ally and has been coming under pressure to tackle Kim Jong-un from the US. Sources cited in Chinese media have claimed that the PLA is “preparing for war on the Korean Peninsula.” China would be expected to use its military forces to help quell a flood of refugees should the United States initiate an attack North Korea and chubby dictator, Kim Jong-Un. Beijing is also expected to quickly move into the rogue state to seize assets, and potentially have China join the war on the side of North Korea once the US begins a so-far theoretical attack.
RT – January 1, 2017
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has declared his county a nuclear power in possession of technology capable of striking the US mainland should there be a need.
“The US mainland is in our nuclear strike zone,” Kim said in his New Year’s message which was broadcast on Chosun Central TV. “The United States will never start a war with me and our country,” and Pyongyang has “completed the creation of North Korea’s nuclear forces,” he added.
Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang reached unprecedented levels last year, as the North continued to pursue its missile and nuclear programs. Washington said all options, including a military solution, are on the table to tame North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. While the US is still on course to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis, Pyongyang has so far refused to negotiate its nuclear status.
In 2018, Kim promised to focus his country’s efforts on the “operational deployment” of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.
Patrick Knox – December 26, 2017
A NORTH Korean soldiers who defected this year may have been vaccinated against Anthrax – sparking fears Kim Jong-un’s henchmen have weaponized the killer disease.
South Korean authorities have revealed he was found to have antibodies in his bloodstreams which may suggest he has developed an immunity.
The soldier’s identity has not been revealed but it is believed he was either exposed to anthrax or directly vaccinated against it, reports UPI.
South Korean news network Channel A reported a South Korean intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He said: “Anthrax antibodies have been found in the North Korean soldier who defected this year.”
EDITH M. LEDERER – December 22, 2017
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions on North Korea Friday in response to the latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland.
The new sanctions approved in the council resolution include sharply cutting limits on North Korea’s imports of refined oil, forcing all North Koreans working overseas to return home within 24 months, and cracking down on shipping to and from the country.
But the resolution doesn’t include even harsher sanctions sought by the Trump administration, such as prohibiting all oil imports and freezing the international assets of North Korea’s government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
Yaron Steinbuch – December 21, 2017
The US is preparing plans to deliver a “bloody nose” attack against North Korea to knock out its nuclear weapons program.
The White House has “dramatically” ramped up its military plans amid fears that diplomacy won’t thwart North Korean despot Kim Jong Un from making good on his threats, sources told the UK’s Telegraph.
One option is destroying a launch site before the rogue regime uses it for a new missile test, while another is targeting weapons stockpiles, according to the news outlet.
The Trump administration hopes that pre-emptive action would show the trigger-happy dictator that the United States is serious about stopping his bellicose pursuits and persuading him to negotiate.
The Telegraph cited three anonymous sources, one inside the administration and two former officials familiar with the White House thinking.
Mac Slavo – December 13, 2017
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser warned that now is the time to avoid a war with North Korea. H.R. McMaster, speaking at an event for the British think tank Policy Exchange, said “time is running out” to prevent a nuclear war.
According to Newsweek, McMaster was previewing the new National Security Strategy, a document put out by each administration that shapes how it approaches foreign policy and national security issues during its tenure. Trump will unveil the full document on Monday.
McMaster’s remarks come just after North Korea demonstrated a missile last month that, experts say, puts the continental United States in range. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un have also traded verbal barbs, with Trump calling Kim “Rocket Man” and Korean government outlets referring to Trump as a “dotard.” Those threats and the advances in North Korea’s nuclear program have heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula and pushed the two sides toward what experts say would be a horrific nuclear war.