This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Upping The Ante : Escalation and Response

"[Newly-imposed UN sanctions represent] a violent infringement of its [North Korea's] sovereignty [designed and caused through a] heinous U.S. plot to isolate and stifle [the country]."
"We will make the U.S. pay by a thousand-fold for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country."
North Korean Government/Korean Central News Agency

"We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on [the] negotiating table. Neither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves, unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S. against the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] are fundamentally eliminated."
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho

"The best signal that North Korea could give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches."
"This is not a 'Give me 30 days and we are ready to talk'. It's not quite that simple."
"...It is all about how we see their attitude toward approaching a dialogue with us."
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

"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."
"[North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] has been very threatening beyond a normal statement and, as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and, frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before."
U.S. President Donald Trump
Kim Jong-un looks through binoculars while surrounded by North Korean officials
Photo: Kim Jong-un will soon receive plans from the army for a strike on Guam. (Reuters: KCNA)

An infuriated North Korean Leader Kim, speaking to the U.S.-drafted resolution unanimously approved as tough new sanctions by the UN Security Council will cost North Korea dearly; close to one-third of its yearly income. It was characterized as the most serious economic blow yet struck against the regime. Countries using North Korean labourers, a source of income for the regime, banned. New joint ventures, banned. New foreign investment, banned. North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products, banned. North Korean officials, blacklisted.

Importation of dual-use items of commercial application capable of use in conventional, biological, chemical or nuclear weaponry, banned. This, the sixth round of sanctions to be imposed as punishment on North Korea in response to its drive to improve ballistic missile and nuclear weapons capabilities, expresses dismay at its "massive diversion of its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programs", at the expense of over half its population suffering a lack of food and medical care.

In response, North Korea's foreign minister has reiterated the North's threat that the entire U.S. mainland is within its firing range. That Pyongyang would not hesitate to make use of nuclear weapons, not only against the United States, but inclusive of any other country thinking of joining it in military action against blameless and vulnerable North Korea. A North Korea that has no intention of suffering the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. North Korea's entirely self-defensive nuclear program could also be turned to offensive purposes.

Despite the accusations, counter-accusations, threats and rhetoric, the fear-mongering of North Korea alarming South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and other neighbours, along with its threats to the North American coast encompassing Canada as well as the United States, the North is determined to continue carrying out its missile tests, and won't hesitate to launch its sixth atomic bomb test at a time and a place that suits its less-than-inscrutable timetable.

It is indisputable that the two advanced practice-launched ICBMs tested last month are now capable of striking the mainland United States. The threats keep coming fast and furious. How to respond, to ensure that there is accountability for roiling the world in fearful anticipation of the eruption of a potential nuclear conflict, other than to respond in kind, with promises that whatever North Korea starts, the United States purposes to finish.

The allegations that North Korea's threshold to become a full-fledged nuclear power has succeeded and that it is now in possession of a capacity to fit a miniaturized nuclear warhead with a long-range missile may be as yet an overstatement of achievement, yet the world has witnessed time and again the North's capacity to surprise with its steady advances in overcoming the technological impediments to success.

Ratcheting up the tension, North Korean General Kim Rak Gyom warns that in response to President Trump's "fire and fury" warning, North Korea is now "seriously examining a plan" for a missile strike to target Guam. State-run media KCNA warns that the North Korean Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army is "seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the U.S." 
South Korean soldier walks past TV showing a graphic of the distance between North Korea and Guam at a railway station in Seoul on 9 August 2017
The threats by North Korea have caused alarm in the region, especially in South Korea
Seoul journalist Joo Sung-ha, familiar with North Korea for having lived there, claims the regime is close to achieving nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, but that they are to be used as bargaining devices: "It [North Korea] will seek to negotiate directly with the U.S. The goal of the regime is to receive a guarantee from the U.S. of full security of the regime's own survival, a peace treaty and a large economic support package." North Korea envisions tens of billions in economic aid to convince it to put a halt to its threats.

American intelligence is convinced that Pyongyang has a small arsenal of nuclear weapons, an estimated 60 in its weapons cache, over double of the assessment by independent experts. According to The Washington Post, a confidential analysis completed last month by the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency states that it is believed that Pyongyang has succeeded in producing nuclear weapons meant for delivery by ballistic missiles, including ICBMs.

Kim's regime is happily playing with fire, but it is a fire that could be turned against the North, to consume it unhappily.

Map showing Guam

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet