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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Breakthrough for North Korea’s missile test – re-entry to Earth’s atmsophere

North Korea missile passes re-entry test in breakthrough for nuclear programme, Telegraph,  in Tokyo 20 MAY 2017
The ballistic missile launched by North Korea on May 14 successfully re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, according to analysts, a significant breakthrough for Pyongyang’s missile programme.

Defence officials in South Korea and the US have confirmed that the launch of the liquid- fuel Hwasong-12 was a success.

North Korea claimed that the weapon reached an altitude of 2,111.5 km (1,312 miles) and travelled a distance of 489 miles before breaching Japan’s Air Defence Identification Zone and splashing down in the Sea of Japan……..

After numerous test launches, North Korean scientists have already mastered long-range guidance and control capabilities, while a series of underground tests have demonstrated that the regime of Kim Jong-un has acquired nuclear weapons.

 As a result of the latest North Korean test, US authorities have decided to extend the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson and its strike group in the Sea of Japan. The fleet – described as an “armada” by President Donald Trump – was due to depart from the region after the USS Ronald Reagan, another aircraft carrier, completed a refit at the US naval base at Yokosuka, Japan.

The USS Ronald Reagan put to sea on May 16 and the two strike groups are now scheduled to carry out manoeuvres with South Korean warships in the coming weeks…http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/20/northkorea-missile-passes-re-entry-test-breakthrough-nuclear/

May 22, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea’s vast military capabilities, even without nuclear weapons

How much damage could North Korea unleash even without nuclear weapons?, ABC News By Michael Collett, 21 May 17, There’s been a lot of focus on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, and specifically, its hopes of developing a missile that could deliver a nuclear strike on the United States.

But what can be lost in the discussion of the country’s recent missile tests is the vast military capabilities the country already has.

This morning, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said any military solution to the North Korea crisis would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale”.

This is why a diplomatic solution is widely seen as the only solution.

What do we know about North Korea’s military?

Nick Bisley, executive director of La Trobe Asia and editor-in-chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, says the military is the second most important institution in North Korea behind the Kim dynasty.

“The whole economy and the purpose of the state is organised around ensuring that the military has vast capacity,” he said.

So despite North Korea having an estimated population of about 25 million — not much more than Australia — it has the second biggest military in Asia behind China……..

North Korea has vast artillery capabilities that are targeted on Seoul, which has a population of 10 million and is less than an hour’s drive from the DMZ……..

Ultimately, it’s all about regime security.

“Yes, there’s a paranoid streak in North Korean thinking, but it’s not unfounded. There is someone who’s out to get them,” Professor Bisley said…… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-20/what-can-north-korea-already-do-without-nuclear-weapons/8543532

May 22, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea defiant on nuclear missile testing

North Korea links nuclear advances to ‘hostile’ U.S. policy, Globe and Mail, EDITH M. LEDERER AND MATTHEW PENNINGTON, The Associated Press, May 19, 2017 The U.S. defence chief warned Friday that a military solution to the standoff with North Korea would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale,” while the North vowed to rapidly strengthen its nuclear-strike capability as long as it faces a “hostile” U.S. policy.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea is a nuclear state. We have to live with that

Stephen Rademaker: North Korea is a nuclear state. We have to live with that, and here’s how Stephen Rademaker, Washington Post | May 19, 2017 Last Sunday, North Korea successfully demonstrated for the first time that it could strike U.S. territory in the Pacific. After more than 25 years of wrestling with the North Korean nuclear threat, it’s time to recognize that North Korea is not merely seeking to gain bargaining leverage against us. Rather, it is determined to possess nuclear weapons, and we need to develop a realistic strategy for containing, defending against and deterring what will be a persistent and growing nuclear threat.

There’s every reason to continue pursuing sanctions and diplomacy, but we should not premise our policy on the expectation that such efforts are going to succeed in persuading North Korea to change course. We must also recognize that there is no acceptable military solution to the problem.

Even before the North produced its first nuclear weapon, the United States calculated that the potential cost for any military strike was too great for America and South Korea. Now that North Korea has nuclear weapons, as well as missiles that can reach Guam and beyond, this logic is even more compelling.

It is indeed true, as the Trump administration has concluded, that China has the wherewithal to compel North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. But China is a great power that has had plenty of time to think through its policy. It is concerned, but clearly not panicked. More important, it perceives plenty of downsides to overreacting, including the potential collapse and absorption of its ally, North Korea, into America’s ally, South Korea.

So great is our dependence on China that, like hostages held by a kidnapper, all previous administrations developed a sort of Stockholm syndrome, coming to believe that China was doing everything it could to help solve the problem, when it manifestly could do more. After 25 years, we should not assume that more hectoring, promises or threats will persuade China to act in ways it believes contrary to its interests…….http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/stephen-rademaker-north-korea-is-a-nuclear-state-we-have-to-live-with-that-and-heres-how

May 20, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cyber war a more likely threat than nuclear war? North Korea has expertise in this

With the attention of the United States and its allies at present focused on North Korea’s nuclear activity, North Korea potentially has greater latitude to act aggressively in the cyber realm, especially against the private sector. 

North Korea, Iran, and the Challenges of Dealing With Cyber-Capable Nuclear States https://www.lawfareblog.com/north-korea-iran-and-challenges-dealing-cyber-capable-nuclear-statesBy Luke McNamara, May 18, 2017 North Korea’s successful missile launch last Sunday has further sharpened the world’s focus on the country’s growing nuclear capabilities. But in remarks last month, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly commented that North Korea poses a more likely cyber threat than it does a nuclear concern.

While years of sanctions have isolated the Hermit Kingdom from much of the global financial system, North Korea may be seeking to fund the state’s coffers through a widespread cyber-crime campaign. It appears that its ability to do so may be enhanced, rather than hampered, by the increased attention that is paid to its accelerating nuclear program.

In early 2016, multiple South Korean security vendors who provide services to the country’s financial sector were targeted with malware in a campaign that also affected aerospace and defense. More notably last year, an intrusion at an Asian bank eventually revealed a manipulation of international systems and a loss of over $81 million dollars. Several months after that, similar activity was uncovered targeting the Financial Supervision Authority of Poland, where North Korea has an embassy that likely could have supplied cyber threat operators with Polish-language operational support. We now strongly suspect that this activity is linked to North Korean state-sponsored cyber espionage actors.

For close observers of North Korea’s capabilities, state-sponsored espionage actors carrying out financial theft should not come wholly as a surprise. To augment the little trade it is able to carry out under sanctions, North Korea has relied upon a government department, Office 39, to generate hard currency through everything from counterfeiting to weapons sales and other illicit activity, all for the financial benefit of the state and Kim regime. Given Office 39’s mission and North Korea’s need to fund (among other things) its nuclear weapons program, it is quite likely that this activity is as much for financial gain as it is for the destabilizing affect it has on the global financial system North Korea is mostly isolated from.

Even if these cyber-enabled thefts were opportunistic in the past, there may be reason to believe that more coordinated and intentional campaigns could surface in the near future. If the US successfully convinces China to apply pressure to North Korea—especially by reducing its economic relationship and following suit with India, which recently suspended most of their trade relationships—Pyongyang would be left with few options to compensate for lost income that it could ramp up as quickly as cybercrime.

Though large-scale heists might be North Korea’s preference, they could also leverage the increasingly professionalized and growing ransomware space to accomplish the same ends. Researchers have already noted potential North Korean ties to the recent WannaCry ransomware campaign that has affected hospitals and other organizations across Europe. While the financial gain netted from this activity—to date—seems to be minimal in relation to the affect it has been able to unleash, regardless of the responsible actors, it has likely served as an important proof of concept for future operations. A potentially riskier tactic they could employ from the cyber crime playbook would be the theft and public sale of data from international organizations, similar to the Shadow Brokers’ sale of reported NSA tools and Cuba’s traditional use of state-backed spies to sell purloined intelligence. While the motivations of the Shadow Brokers may be less aligned with financial gain, North Korea would be just as interested in this as the political impact of doxing a rival’s intrusion tools.

Beyond North Korea, this could also demonstrate a greater principle in how nuclear-armed and cyber-equipped states employ the latter capability in less-than-war situations, as Iran is currently doing. In late 2016 through early 2017, suspected Iranian wiper malware Shamoon returned in a campaign against Saudi Arabia, while a similar tool named Shapeshift (or StoneDrill) was discovered also targeting the petrochemical sector in the same country. By targeting a key US ally through show-of-force campaigns, Iran has signaled a willingness to employ destructive capabilities outside periods of heightened conflict. Without doubt, this will influence to some extent future negotiations over its weapons program. An Iran pursuing a nuclear weapon—while possessing destructive cyber capabilities—presents two security challenges to deal with and increases the country’s bargaining position in future negotiations. The upcoming elections in Iran this week may further serve as an inflection point that will better illuminate how these issues evolve.

In a domain of still-emerging norms, where responsible actors are seeking the most appropriate and proportional means of response, actors willing to employ cyber in novel and aggressive ways will likely continue to create space from which to negotiate and maneuver. A North Korea capable of delivering nuclear-armed ICBMs is certainly a nightmare scenario, but we should not lose sight of how Pyongyang may exploit those fears to its advantage in cyberspace. With the attention of the United States and its allies at present focused on North Korea’s nuclear activity, North Korea potentially has greater latitude to act aggressively in the cyber realm, especially against the private sector.

May 19, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea could conduct nuclear test in May – Chinese expert

Chinese expert says North Korea could conduct nuclear test in May, Tass, May 10, 2017 In April, North Korea carried out several missile tests the latest of which took place on April 28, only a few hours after the UN SC held a meeting to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula. SHANGHAI, May 10. /TASS/. There is a strong possibility that North Korea will conduct a new nuclear test in May, Executive Director of the Institute of International Relations at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Liu Ming said in an interview with TASS.

“In April, North Korea launched several missiles but they all failed,” he said. “There was no nuclear test in April but it does not mean that North Korea will not conduct one in May. I believe there is a strong possibility that the country will hold the next nuclear test this month,” the Chinese expert noted saying that these plans were the main reason for the current tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“According to my estimates, tensions on the Korean Peninsula will remain in May and June for Pyongyang is highly likely to conduct another nuclear test during this period,” Professor Liu Ming pointed out. He added that “North Korea is playing for time choosing the right moment, because all the preparations for the sixth nuclear test have been completed.”

The Chinese expert also expressed his opinion on the possible consequences of a new nuclear test. “I think, after the sixth nuclear test, the window of possibilities to solve the North Korea issue will almost completely close. Only a few chances will remain to solve the issue using diplomatic methods,” Professor Liu Ming said. He noted that “if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear test, then China will have to reduce its economic aid to North Korea.”

…….“The US and South Korea are not ready to discuss arms controls within the framework of six-nation negotiations, unless their aim is to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. And this is the barrier that now impedes the revival of the talks,” the expert stated.

He said one of the main obstacles was because of the US and the DPRK. “Pyongyang is firmly committed to continuing its military nuclear program. The US comes out against it and intends to take concrete measures. The Trump administration is in a serious mood for concrete action. That is why the main contradictions at the moment are those between the US and the DPRK,” Liu Ming said.

“Everything now is revolving around the nuclear issue and the contradictions existing between the US and the DPRK. Restarting the six-party negotiations makes no particular sense under the current conditions,” he resumed. “First of all, direct negotiations are needed between the US and the DPRK,” the Chinese expert noted, adding that only progress at such talks could make the restoration of the six-nation format talks worthwhile. http://tass.com/world/945236

 

May 12, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea ‘Not Afraid’ to Continue Nuclear Tests

North Korean Diplomat: Pyongyang ‘Not Afraid’ to Continue Nuclear Tests, Sputnik News,  11.05.2017 North Korea’s ambassador to the UK has said his country is “not afraid” to continue its missile and nuclear weapons activity, and that Pyongyang intends to conduct its sixth nuclear test as soon as the leadership deems it necessary.

Choe Il said that United Nations sanctions, international calls for denuclearization and the US’ aggressive posturing won’t deter the North from persisting with its nuclear and ballistic missile program, telling Sky News, “In regards to the sixth nuclear test, I do not know the scheduled time for it, as I am here in the UK, not in my home country … However, I can say that the nuclear test will be conducted at the place and time as decided by our supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.”

In his first televised interview as ambassador, Choe said that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was unmoved by US President Trump’s threats of military action, stating that, “If we were afraid of it, we probably would not have started conducting nuclear tests or launching ballistic missiles.”

“We are developing our nuclear strength to respond to that kind of attack by the US. If the US attacks us, our military and people are fully ready to respond to any kind of attack.” …….https://sputniknews.com/asia/201705101053479209-dprk-not-afraid-continue-tests/

May 12, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sixth nuclear test planned by North Korea

North Korea plans sixth nuclear test, Sky News,  10 May 2017– North Korea’s ambassador to the UK has told Sky News his country will go ahead with its sixth nuclear test at the time and place of its leader’s choosing.

In his first interview in the role, ambassador Choe Il said his country would continue its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes in spite of intentional warnings against them, and dismissed UN sanctions as having no legal grounds, and no effect.

‘In regards to the sixth nuclear test, I do not know the scheduled time for it, as I am here in the UK, not in my home country,’ Mr Choe said.

‘However, I can say that the nuclear test will be conducted at the place and time as decided by our supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un.’……..

He said a pre-emptive strike on his country would not be possible because they would turn US assets in the region ‘to ashes’ at the first sign of movement towards an attack.

‘The US cannot attack us first,’ the ambassador said, adding: ‘If the US moves an inch, then we are ready to turn to ashes any available strategic assets of the US……….

Sky News asked the ambassador whether his country would be prepared to stop anywhere short of a deliverable nuclear warhead – whether a formal peace treaty or the protection of China’s nuclear deterrent would convince them to suspend their programme and return to negotiations.

‘The only way to protect our country is that we strengthen our power enough to suppress any enemy countries,’ Mr Choe said. ‘This is the only way to protect our peace and security. This is a lesson we felt in our bones.’

He said his country had learned the lesson of US military interventions elsewhere. ‘As you have read on newspapers, the US has been attacking only the weak countries, including Afghanistan and Libya,’ he said.

‘They cannot actually attack the strong countries, although they talk about it. ‘We have to have nuclear power. We have shown our strong military power and nuclear power this April. Because of our strong military power, the US could not attack us first.’

This was a rare and frank interview, and the bottom line is clear – North Korea intends to continue pursuing nuclear weapons – regardless of the consequences.: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/05/10/north-korea-plans-sixth-nuclear-test.html#sthash.CTdEwYE1.dpuf

May 10, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Claim that North Korea’s man-made islands are being primed for nuclear attacks

North Korea’s man-made islands being primed for nuclear attacks, expert warns, NORTH KOREA could be preparing for “evil deeds” on mysterious man-made islands. Express, By JOEY MILLAR, May 9, 2017 North Korea experts are concerned the new lands, which were recently revealed by satellite imagery near the Sohae Satellite Launching Station missile testing site, could be used to launch devastating nuclear attacks.

Gordon Chang, an author of several books on Kim Jong-un’s hermit state, said the islands had set alarm bells ringing in Seoul, Washington and Tokyo. …….

Other North Korea experts, however, urged calm and said the islands could be used for non-violent means – possibly even agriculture.

Dr Bruce Bechtol said: “As far as the islands being something that could present a real imminent threat to the US or South Korea, I’m just not seeing it

“The land mass of those islands is too small to move around missiles.” He said farms, not the “raining fire” promised by Kim earlier this year, is the more likely end result.

Dr Bechtol said: “It’s interesting that they’re developing these islands, but they’re probably mostly for civilian use……http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/802139/north-korea-islands-war-nuclear-usa-kim-jong-un

May 10, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea’s reasons for persisting in testing nuclear weapons

Why North Korea is testing nuclear weapons Pyongyang accuses Washington of plotting a ‘decapitation strike’, and sees in nuclear weapons a powerful deterrent, Aljazeera, 5 May 17 

………….Why is North Korea testing nuclear weapons?Analysis of North Korea’s government statements suggests that the leadership in Pyongyang sees in nuclear weapons the following benefits:

1. Guaranteeing security of the state

2. Economic development and prosperity

3. Gaining respect and prestige in the international arena

On April 14, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister said: “We’ve got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a US pre-emptive strike.”

North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Choe Myong-nam, referred to the annual joint drills between the US and South Korea to justify his country’s nuclear pursuits: “It is because of these hostile activities on the part of the United States and South Korea that we strengthen our national defence capability, as well as pre-emptive strike capabilities with nuclear forces as a centrepiece.”

North Korea is publicly stating that it is going ahead with its nuclear weapons programme, while the International Atomic Energy Agency on May 4 said it has “concrete information” that this is indeed the case, and points out that security risks would apply beyond the region.

New  satellite images of the Punggye-ri site in North Korea have shown workers pumping out water at a tunnel believed to have been prepared for a forthcoming nuclear test, US monitors said.

Has North Korea declared war in 2017?

North Korea has not officially declared war on any country since 1950, but has threatened to launch a “great war of justice for national reunification” and to strike the US mainland in “full-out war… under the situation where the US hurts the DPRK by force of arms,” using the alternative name for North Korea.

In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting the three-year Korean War which ended in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty. This mean that North Korea is still technically at war with South Korea.

The US has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, while the Korean Peninsula has been divided by a 4km-wide demilitarised zone stretching 250km along the border.

The US has been performing the annual Foal Eagle military drills with South Korea, imposed sanctions on North Korea and has deployed  the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence system, designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles fired at South Korea.

From its side, North Korea has defiantly carried out missile test launches despite regional and US condemnation, and continues to develop its nuclear weapons capability.

How did North Korea get nuclear weapons?…….

How many nuclear weapons does North Korea have?

It was  estimated  that North Korea may have produced up to 20 nuclear bombs by the end of 2016, although the true nuclear capability of the isolated and secretive North Korean state could not be verified.

Meanwhile, North Korea asserts it will keep building up its nuclear arsenal in “quality and quantity”.

In September 2016, Siegfried Hecker from Johns Hopkins University in Washington toured North Korea’s main Yongbyon nuclear facility in 2010 and estimated that North Korea produced enough highly enriched uranium to make additional six nuclear bombs a year.

Experts and governments estimate plutonium production levels from tell-tale signs of reactor operation in satellite imagery. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/north-korea-testing-nuclear-weapons-170504072226461.html

May 6, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea readying for another nuclear weapons test: China is worried.

Meanwhile satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea’s nuclear test site, US-based analysts said Tuesday, as tensions remain high over fears of an sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.

Monitor group 38 North warns North Korea is ready to conduct another nuclear weapons test, news.com.au 4 May 17  Beijing regularly calls for parties to avoid raising tensions — remarks that can apply to both Washington and Pyongyang — and in February it announced the suspension of coal imports from the North for the rest of the year, a crucial foreign currency earner for the authorities.

Chinese state-run media have called for harsher sanctions against the North in the event of a fresh atomic test, urged Pyongyang to “avoid making mistakes”, and spoken of the need for it to abandon its nuclear programmes.

The KCNA commentary denounced the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, and the Global Times, which sometimes reflects the thinking of the leadership, as having “raised lame excuses for the base acts of dancing to the tune of the US”.

Chinese suggestions that the North give up its weapons crossed a “red line” and were “ego-driven theory based on big-power chauvinism” said the article, bylined “Kim Chol” — believed to be a pseudonym.

 

May 5, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | 1 Comment

China tells its citizens – Get out of North Korea

GET OUT: North Korea ‘ready’ for new nuclear test, Northern Star, 4th May 2017 CHINA has called for all of its citizens to return from North Korea immediately as a US citizen is detained for allegedly trying to overthrow the country’s regime……https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/get-out-north-korea-ready-new-nuclear-test/3173765/

May 5, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia: “It is evident that Pyongyang will not abandon its nuclear weapons as long as it sees itself directly threatene

Moscow doubts North Korea will ditch nuclear weapons as long as ‘threat looms’ http://tass.com/politics/944297 May 03 17, The Russian diplomat stressed the necessity of consolidated diplomatic efforts to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula. MOSCOW . North Korea will never abandon the idea of having nuclear weapons as long as it feels threat to its security, a Russian foreign ministry official said on Tuesday.

“It is evident that Pyongyang will not abandon its nuclear weapons as long as it sees itself directly threatened,” Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the ministry’s non-proliferation and weapons control department, said at the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

“We are nonetheless convinced that existing tensions on the Korean Peninsula are caused not only by Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes, but also by an increased military activity in the North-East Asia of some regional and especially non-regional States,” he said.

The Russian diplomat stressed the necessity of consolidated diplomatic efforts to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula. “No minute should be lost. Otherwise the confrontation logic may become overwhelmingly dominant,” he said. “Russia rejects the nuclear status of the DPRK. We do not accept nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang and its defiance of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chinese diplomat warns that talk between USA and North Korea is essential – tipping point is near

Talk or risk reaching nuclear tipping point, Chinese diplomat warns US and North Korea
Kim Jong-un has stabilised his regime and it is unrealistic to expect it to collapse under the weight of sanctions, former deputy foreign minister says,
03 May, 2017, South China Morning Post, Laura Zhou, North Korea’s missile and nuclear technology might reach a tipping point if Washington and Pyongyang refuse to negotiate, a senior Chinese diplomat has warned.

In an analysis piece published on Sunday by US think tank the Brookings Institution, Fu Ying, chairwoman of the National People’s Congress’ Foreign Affairs Committee, said it was unrealistic to expect the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to succumb to pressure of sanctions or collapse.

“Sanctions may exert huge pressure, but the country can hold up and will not give up nuclear development because of them,” wrote Fu, who is also a former deputy foreign minister.

“It is not hard to see that this situation could make the issue drag on into a spiral of intensified sanctions and continued nuclear testing until [North] Korean nuclear and missile technologies reach a tipping point.”

She said that once that point was reached, the countries opposing Pyongyang’s possession of nuclear weapons would be “faced with the hard choice of taking extreme action with unknown consequences, or tolerating it”……..

She also repeated Beijing’s call for a “double suspension” – that Pyongyang suspend its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a halt of large scale US-South Korean military exercises.

Fu said China did not have leverage over North Korea because Pyongyang’s security concerns in the face of US military threats had not been addressed.

Trump said on Monday that he would consider meeting Kim “under the right circumstances”.

Lu Chao, from the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, said Trump’s offer could be “positive” to the Korean crisis.

“As Fu Ying said, the key has never been owned by China,” Lu said. “The problem can only be solved by the two sides [the US and North Korea].

“I don’t think Kim would really want to wage a war with the US.” http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2092432/talk-or-risk-reaching-nuclear-tipping-point-chinese

May 3, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea accuses USA of planning a pre-emptive nuclear strike, with its bomber flights

North Korea says US bomber flights signal pre-emptive nuclear strike, ABC News 3 May 17 North Korea is accusing the United States of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic US bombers flew over the area in a training drill with the South Korean air force.

Key points:

  • Supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers flew over Korean peninsula
  • North Korea says US is practising a nuclear strike
  • Mr Trump has said he would consider meeting Kim Jong-un but also warned of a “major, major conflict”

The two supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers were deployed amid rising tensions over North Korea’s dogged pursuit of its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of United Nations sanctions and pressure from the United States.

The flight of the two bombers on Monday came as US President Donald Trump said he was open to meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the appropriate circumstances, even though Pyongyang suggested it would continue with its nuclear tests……..

The North is technically still at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, and regularly threatens to destroy the United States, Japan and South Korea.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-02/us-bomber-flights-push-peninsular-to-the-brink-of-war/8489952

May 3, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment