Zimbabwe in ‘arms for uranium’ pact with North Korea Nehanda Radio 19 Sept 13, President Robert Mugabe’s military henchmen have reportedly signed an arms trade agreement worth millions of dollars with North Korea, in return for allowing Pyongyang access to Zimbabwe’s controversial Kanyemba district, which has sparked a uranium mining race pitting Iran and other powers, Nehanda Radio has been told.
Kanyemba district is about 160 miles north of the capital, and is believed to be holding significant uranium reserves, first discovered in the 1970s by German prospectors, but never exploited due to low world prices at the time.
Several other countries have sought the rights to mine Zimbabwe’s untapped uranium deposits, and these include Russia, China and a failed bid by neighbouring South Africa and Namibia, as they scramble for the Yellow cake which is a key ingredient needed for the production of nuclear bombs. Read more »
Russia warns over North Korea work at ‘nightmarish’ nuclear reactor Russia has warned that North Korea is apparently conducting work on a nuclear reactor, saying the ageing facility is in such a “nightmarish state” it could cause a disaster. ABC News 13 Oct 13
The Interfax news agency has quoted a diplomatic source as saying Russia does not have definite information the work has restarted, but warning of dire consequences should that happen.
“It is obvious that some works are being conducted, and for a long time at that. According to some signs, steps were indeed being taken to relaunch it,” the source said. ”Our main concern is linked to a very likely man-made disaster as a consequence. The reactor is in a nightmarish state. It is a design dating back to the 1950s.
“For the Korean peninsula this could entail terrible consequences, if not a man-made catastrophe.”
The US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says a satellite image from August 31 shows white steam rising from a building near the hall that houses the plutonium production reactor’s steam turbines and electric generators.
“The white coloration and volume are consistent with steam being vented because the electrical generating system is about to come online, indicating that the reactor is in or nearing operation,” the Washington-based institute said. It says the reactor can produce six kilograms of plutonium a year.
The Russian source has cautioned the steam could “simply be testing of the generator”……. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-12/russia-warns-n-korea-over-work-at-nuclear-reactor/4954698
U.S. Policy Toward a Nuclear North Korea Should Reflect Reality US News, By MICHAEL SHANK, RACHEL KENT July 15, 2013 ”……..what politicos have forgotten, or conveniently overlooked, is that in the past few weeks, North Korea has twice made offers to talk with the United States about its nuclear program. Clearly, something happened – possibly China condoning sanctions or Dennis Rodman saying he was going to visit North Korea again – that made the reclusive country want to begin discussing its nuclear program. This is a good trend and something we should support.
.. the United States has been neutral, even chilly, in its response to North Korea’s recent overtures. Read more »
Koreas meet in border village after tensions marked by nuclear threats Sam Kim,CTV News The Associated Press , June 9, 2013 SEOUL, South Korea — Government delegates from North and South Korea began preparatory talks Sunday at a “truce village” on their heavily armed border aimed at setting ground rules for a higher-level discussion on easing animosity and restoring stalled rapprochement projects.
The meeting at Panmunjom, where the truce ending the 1950-53 Korean War was signed, is the first of its kind on the Korean Peninsula in more than two years. Success will be judged on whether the delegates can pave the way for a summit between the ministers of each country’s department for cross-border affairs, which South Korea has proposed for Wednesday in Seoul. Such ministerial talks haven’t happened since 2007.
The intense media interest in what’s essentially a meeting of bureaucrats to iron out technical details is an indication of how bad ties between the Koreas have been……. If the Koreas can arrive at an agreement for ministerial talks, that meeting will likely focus on reopening the factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong that was the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean co-operation, and on other scrapped rapprochement projects and reunions of families separated by the Korean War…..
The talks between the Koreas on Sunday could represent a change in North Korea’s approach, analysts said, or could simply be an effort to ease international demands that it end its development of nuclear weapons, a topic crucial to Washington but initially not a part of the envisioned inter-Korean meetings.
Pyongyang, which is estimated to have a handful of crude nuclear devices, has committed a drumbeat of acts that Washington, Seoul and others deem provocative since Kim Jong Un took over in December 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/koreas-meet-in-border-village-after-tensions-marked-by-nuclear-threats-1.1316934#ixzz2Vqp2UIeV
Radiation detected in Japan may be from North Korea nuclear test news.com.au April 24, 2013 POSSIBLE radioactive traces from a North Korean nuclear test in February have been detected for the first time, 1000km away in Japan.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said it had detected isotopes “consistent with a nuclear fission event”, The Japan Times reports. ”The ratio of the detected xenon isotopes (xenon-131m and xenon-133) is consistent with a nuclear fission event occurring more than 50 days before the detection,” the CTBTO said.
“This coincides very well” with the North Korea’s announced nuclear test on February 12.The detection at a monitoring station in Japan came 55 days after the explosion, The Japan Times reports.
The group said, however, that the discovery couldn’t help it answer the key question of whether Pyongyang used plutonium or uranium in the blast.
North Korea used plutonium in its 2006 and 2009 tests and any discovery that it used highly enriched uranium for its third test would mark a significant technological step for the impoverished and unpredictable regime…..
It is also possible that the so-called radionuclides were from a nuclear reactor or other atomic activity, and the CTBTO said it is currently examining the traces to see whether this is the case.
It ruled out however that the source was the crippled Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant.
The detection was made in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, 1000 km from the North Korean test site. Lower levels were also picked up at Ussuriysk, Russia, one of several hundred sites worldwide reporting to the CTBTO. http://www.news.com.au/world-news/radiation-detected-in-japan-may-be-from-north-korea-nuclear-test/story-fndir2ev-1226628391900
Allies dismiss North Korea’s nuclear war threats Radio Australia, 10 April 2013, By Brendan Trembath, The White House and the European Union dismiss North Korea’s claim war is imminent and call on the rogue state to act sensibly.Both the White House and the European Union have described North Korea’s warnings of “thermo-nuclear war” on the Korean peninsula as “unhelpful rhetoric”.
North Korea has told foreign companies, organisations and tourists in South Korea to consider leaving for their own safety.
Warning that events were “inching closer to thermo-nuclear war”, the North’s official news agency said it did not want foreigners to come to harm if war breaks out.
White House spokesman Jay Carney labelled that statement unhelpful, and said it would only serve to “further isolate North Korea”.
European Union delegates meeting in Brussels have drawn up a response to the North Korean warnings, saying it is wrong to proclaim that war is imminent and Pyongyang should heed international demands regarding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The EU’s note, agreed by the bloc’s 27 member governments on Tuesday, is a response to a warning by North Korea last week that it could not guarantee the safety of diplomats in the country after April 10. An EU diplomat said the note underlined the need for North Korea to act sensibly and rejected “its analysis that full-scale war is imminent”. ….
Japan readies missiles Meanwhile, Japan says it has deployed missile interceptors to the centre of Tokyo and will use them to shoot down any missile heading towards its airspace…..http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2013-04-10/allies-dismiss-north-koreas-nuclear-war-threats/1113858
North Korea lacks means for nuclear strike on US, experts say WASHINGTON (Reuters) 8 Apr 13—North Korea’s explicit threats to strike the United States with nuclear weapons are rhetorical bluster, as the isolated nation does not yet have the means to make good on them, Western officials and security experts say.
Pyongyang has slowly and steadily improved its missile capabilities in recent years and U.S. officials say its missiles may be capable of hitting outlying U.S. territories and states, including Guam, Alaska and Hawaii. Some private experts say even this view is alarmist. There is no evidence, the officials say, that North Korea has tested the complex art of miniaturizing a nuclear weapon to be placed on a long-range missile, a capability the United States, Russia, China and others achieved decades ago.
In other words, North Korea might be able to hit some part of the United States, but not the mainland and not with a nuclear weapon. Read more »
as more nations like North Korea obtain nuclear weapons, and as the US struggles to keep a credible nuclear umbrella over its allies from Asia to Europe to the Middle East, the world needs to find a replacement for the current system of maintaining stability based on the mutual fear of nuclear war.
North Korea’s threats show just how urgent that need is.
North Korea Has Feared An American Nuclear Attack For Decades http://au.businessinsider.com/north-korea-has-feared-an-american-nuclear-attack-for-decades-2013-4 THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITORTODAY THOSE AMERICANS WHO MAY BE FEARFUL OF NORTH KOREA‘S VERBAL THREATS AND ITS MISSILE-LAUNCH PREPARATIONS SHOULD TAKE NOTE: ITS LEADERS HAVE LONG EXPRESSED A FEAR OF AN AMERICAN NUCLEAR ATTACK.
As historian Ward Wilson points out in a new book, “Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons,” atomic bombs “were born out of fear, nurtured in and sustained by fear.” Their power to devastate requires a mutual fear to avoid their use.
The current escalation of threats between the US and North Korea illustrates how this reliance on fear can falter. Nations that rely on maximizing fear as a primary tool for defence will find the emotion very difficult to manage in all cases.
The North’s threats, for example, have now led South Korea to consider ending its ban on developing its own nuclear weapons. It is asking for US support to start a nuclear program.
Many in Seoul, South Korea, see the American people as too weary for war and the Obama administration as too eager to reduce the US nuclear arsenal unilaterally. They fear that the American “nuclear umbrella,” which has protected South Korea for 60 years, may no longer be credible enough to deter North Korea from either launching nuclear weapons or using them as blackmail.
MONITOR’S VIEW: Cyberattack on South Korea needs constructive responseFor two decades, the US has tried to talk down North Korea from possessing nuclear weapons by offering hope in place of fear. It tried to convince Pyongyang that the US was not a threat while offering its food aid and oil supplies in return for nuclear disarmament. It hasn’t worked, despite some limited help from China.
Similar persuasion is now being tried on Iran: Give up your nuclear ambitions and instead become a regional power through the strength of your economy, ideas, and culture. In other words, replace the fear that looks to nuclear power for comfort and instead build up your nation’s “soft power.”
President Obama, who came into office with the goal of eliminating the world’s nuclear weapons, has had a difficult time making his case. Instead, he has to now send B-2 bombers near North Korea to assure South Korea of the US nuclear umbrella and as a threat to North Korea. The tit-for-tat of fear only keeps rising.
MONITOR’S VIEW: In Obama trip to Israel, signs of US redirectionHis recent trip to Israel was designed in part to persuade Iran to cease its uranium enrichment. His visit was an attempt to reinforce faith in the US nuclear umbrella for the region, especially Israel. But as with North Korea, the logic of deterrence assumes that the leaders in Iran will be both fearful and rational.
In the past few decades, a dozen countries have given up their nuclear programs or handed over nuclear weapons on their soil. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, for example,Kazakhstan cooperated with Russia and the US to hand over the weapons in its possession. Most of those nations chose to seek safety in being a nation of peace, goodwill, and prosperity while also relying on an international system that depends to a large degree on the US maintaining it.
And most nations abide by international agreements banning the use of chemical and biological weapons. Fear of those weapons has been largely contained.
Yet as more nations like North Korea obtain nuclear weapons, and as the US struggles to keep a credible nuclear umbrella over its allies from Asia to Europe to the Middle East, the world needs to find a replacement for the current system of maintaining stability based on the mutual fear of nuclear war.
North Korea’s threats show just how urgent that need is.
Kim is simply too new and untested for us to know if he has the self-awareness to avoid inadvertently killing himself. But squeezing him into submission without the costs and casualties of a war will require China’s help
From China’s perspective, even if Kim is losing control of the situation, he has not lost it yet, and so China considers anything short of that to be alarmist. As long as North Korea is not threatening Beijing, this is a prisoners’ dilemma we will be facing on our own
NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR GAME THEORY, New Yorker BY EVAN OSNO, 5 April 13, Foreign diplomats in Pyongyang are facing an absurd choice: Kim Jong-un’s government issued a formal diplomatic warning today that it would be “unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organizations in the country in the event of conflict from April 10.”
A few questions come to mind, including but not limited to: Any plans for April 11th that we might want to jot down? And: Is this warning an actual expression of concern, or a way of letting foreign embassies take on the role of ramping up Kim’s threats now that his own propaganda machine is getting diminishing returns? And lastly, and most fundamentally: How realistic is it to imagine a cascade of blunders that lead to a nuclear strike? Read more »
Without specifying the type of missile, Kim said it is believed to be able to reach a “considerable distance,” though it is not able to strike the U.S. mainland.
“The missile does not seem to be aimed at the U.S. mainland,” Kim told lawmakers. “It could be aimed at test firing or military drills.” Although there is slim chance that Pyongyang’s harsh rhetoric could lead to a full-scale war, Kim said the North could launch other forms of provocations, including border clashes and cyber attacks.
”Our military has upgraded several systems and carried out drills under upgraded military readiness status,” Kim said.
According to intelligence analysis by South Korean and U.S. forces, it is believed to be a Musudan missile, which is estimated to have a range of 3,000-4,000 km, putting the U.S. base in Guam within striking….. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2013/04/04/96/0301000000AEN20130404009251315F.HTML
The situation is ripe for miscalculation. The new South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, whose mother was killed by a North Korean agent, has made it clear she will not roll over like other South Korean leaders. Moreover, there is a new U.S.-South Korean agreement that could result in the United States more forcefully backing the South militarily short of all-out war. Another North Korean attack could result in the U.S. forces joining South Korea in some form of military retaliation.
Either way, we should not think this is a case of parties on the peninsula crying wolf. North Korea has shown time and time again it will strike with violence. It may well be on the verge of doing so again.
HOLMES: Decoding North Korea’s nuclear rhetoric Pyongyang’s saber-rattling often precedes attack By Kim R. Holmes The Washington Times. April 3, 2013 North Koreans are famous for belligerent rhetoric. Most recently, they’ve threatened to turn Seoul into a “sea of fire.” The North’s new leader, Kim Jong-un, comes across as a madman strutting around in a 1950s cartoon. Such flamboyance can tempt people to dismiss the North Koreans as either a joke or too crazy to be taken seriously. This is a mistake. They are not crazy, but wily operators who know how to play brinkmanship to their advantage. Read more »
- From: News Limited Network http://www.news.com.au/world-news/north-korea-gives-final-approval-for-nuclear-attack-on-united-states/story-fndir2ev-1226612136732
- April 04, 2013
- North Korean army says it has ‘final approval’ for nuclear attack
- United States to move anti-missile system to Guam
- Two advanced missile destroyers moved closer to North Korea
NORTH Korea says it has approved a nuclear attack on the United States in its latest threat as US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Pyongyang to back down. Read more »
N Korea stages mass rally, vows to hit US http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-29/n-korea-stages-mass-rally2c-vows-to-hit-us/4601790 includes videos Tens of thousands of North Korean soldiers and civilians have held a huge rally and march in Pyongyang, as the hermit nation ratchets up talk of striking the United States.
The rally on Friday in the capital’s giant Kim Il-Sung square was attended by soldiers, veterans, workers and students, all wearing military uniforms.
The North’s young leader, Kim Jong-Un, was not present.
State television said the rally took place to support a decision issued by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) supreme command on Tuesday – and ratified by Kim Jong-Un on Friday – to order missile units to prepare to strike the US mainland and military bases.
The North has no proven ability to strike the US mainland, but Kim Jong-Un has vowed to “settle accounts” after nuclear-capable US stealth B-2 bombers flew over South Korea for a drill on Thursday.
In the event of any “reckless” US provocation, North Korean forces should “mercilessly strike the US mainland … military bases in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea”, Kim Jong-Un was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Read more »
North Korea now immune from attack BY:GREG SHERIDAN, FOREIGN EDITOR The Australian February 16, 2013 ”……..The truth is, Western intelligence knows very little about what goes on inside North Korea, especially inside the head of Pyongyang’s bombastic young dictator, Kim Jong-un.
No one watches North Korea more closely than Seoul. But in the 1980s and 90s Seoul was famous for producing faulty intelligence on the North.
I have interviewed the past four South Korean presidents. The only one I found convincing on North Korea was Lee Myung-bak, who leaves office on February 25. He said that on critical North Korea issues: “We don’t have accurate information.”……..
The North Koreans claim their new nuclear device is miniaturised, which implies they could put it on their missiles. This is probably untrue. US intelligence believes Pyongyang is still a few years away from this, but Washington is aware of the limitations of its intelligence….. A decade ago I broke a story about the Pentagon’s contingency plans to strike North Korea militarily to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons. The arguments against such a strike were always very strong and prudence governed Washington’s decision not to act.
That may have been the right decision. But now North Korea possesses at least several nuclear devices and is immune from attack. …. Kim is capricious, self-indulgent and probably suffers a serious personality disorder, but so far he is making three vastly more powerful nations dance to his tune. In a strategy paradoxically born of weakness, it is the power of the bomb, ruthlessly applied.
North Korea tells China of preparations for fresh nuclear test – source By Benjamin Kang Lim BEIJING Feb 15, (Reuters) - North Korea has told its key ally, China, that it is prepared to stage one or even two more nuclear tests this year in an effort to force the United States into diplomatic talks, said a source with direct knowledge of the message.
Further tests could also be accompanied this year by another rocket launch, said the source, who has direct access to the top levels of government in both Beijing and Pyongyang. Read more »
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