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North Korea to have “exponential increase” in its nuclear arsenal

Kim Jong-un has vowed to ramp up the production of nuclear warheads and
build a more powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), while
singling out South Korea as his country’s “undoubted enemy”, North
Korean state media reported on Sunday. In a sign of deepening animosity
towards the US, South Korea and Japan, Kim called for an “exponential
increase” in the regime’s nuclear arsenal during an address at a plenary
meeting of the ruling Workers’ party that ended on Saturday.

Guardian 1st Jan 2023

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/01/kim-jong-un-north-korea-exponentially-increase-nuclear-warhead-production

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January 3, 2023 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea says it will boost nuclear warhead production ‘exponentially’, as another missile fired

ABC News 1 Jan 2023, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to increase the production of nuclear warheads “exponentially” and build a more powerful intercontinental ballistic missile, state media reports, signalling deepening animosities with the United States, South Korea and others.

Key points:

  • Kim Jong Un said his country would be “doubling down” on building military power
  • He said this was in response to the “dangerous military moves” of the US and “other hostile forces”
  • His statement came hours after North Korea fired another ballistic missile on Sunday

Mr Kim’s statement at a key ruling party meeting was released hours after North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters, entering 2023 with another weapons test following a record number of missile firings last year…………………………………………………………….. more https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-01/north-korea-to-boost-nuclear-warhead-production-exponentially/101820160

January 1, 2023 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kim Jong Un wants North Korea to be a nuclear superpower – the real risk is a regional arms race

The Conversation, Alexander Gillespie, December 2, 2022

The recent claim by Kim Jong Un that North Korea plans to develop the world’s most powerful nuclear force may well have been more bravado than credible threat. But that doesn’t mean it can be ignored.

The best guess is that North Korea now has sufficient fissile material to build 45 to 55 nuclear weapons, three decades after beginning its program. The warheads would mostly have yields of around 10 to 20 kilotons, similar to the 15 kiloton bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

But North Korea has the capacity to make devices ten times bigger. Its missile delivery systems are also advancing in leaps and bounds. The technological advance is matched in rhetoric and increasingly reckless acts, including test-firing missiles over Japan in violation of all international norms, provoking terror and risking accidental war.

The question now is how best to bring the pariah nation into the orbit of arms control negotiations and international dialogue. However remote the chances of that, the alternative risks a regional nuclear arms race………………………………………….

Three decades of non-compliance with international obligations by North Korea have not engendered trust or a willingness by surrounding countries to submit to a nuclear neighbour. More likely is a regional nuclear arms race, as happened when India got the bomb and Pakistan had to keep up, or when Israel triggered Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

South KoreaJapan and possibly even Taiwan are likely to follow suit, either asking to host US ballistic missiles or pursuing independent nuclear strategies – especially if they feel the US won’t defend them after the next presidential election.

None of this makes the world safer.  https://theconversation.com/kim-jong-un-wants-north-korea-to-be-a-nuclear-superpower-the-real-risk-is-a-regional-arms-race-195726

December 2, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kim Jong Un Emphasizes Nuclear Development as North Korea’s ‘Ultimate Goal’

Kim continues to double down on the importance of the nuclear program for his country.

 The Diplomat, Mitch Shin, November 28, 2022, Following the successful test of its Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 18, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un praised the work of those who contributed to the development of the missile, Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), one of the North’s main state-controlled media, reported on Sunday.

During a photo session with the contributors, Kim reiterated the importance of developing nuclear weapons as a means to protect North Korea…………….

As the Korean War stalled with a truce in 1953, the two Koreas are technically still at war………………………….

Considering Kim’s latest order to his scientists and technicians and his speech in September, he seems to have concluded that nuclear development is the only way to survive. With nuclear development described by Kim as the “ultimate goal,” it indicates that he will never preemptively denuclearize his country………………. more https://thediplomat.com/2022/11/kim-jong-un-emphasizes-nuclear-development-as-north-koreas-ultimate-goal/

November 28, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

N Korea warns of ‘all-out’ nuclear response to US ‘aggression’

North Korea has promised to ‘resolutely react’ to US threat of nuclear weapons use with its own nuclear capabilities.

19 Nov 2022

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has promised to use nuclear weapons to counter threats from the United States hours after test-firing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICMB), the latest escalation as the UN Security Council prepares to convene an emergency session on Pyongyang’s actions.

The United Nations Security Council, at the behest of Japan, South Korea and the US will gather on Monday to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launch…………………………………….. more https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/19/north-korea-warns-of-all-out-nuclear-response-to-us-provocation

November 20, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea fired intercontinental ballistic missile – Seoul

 https://www.rt.com/news/565844-north-korea-icbm-launch/ 4 Nov 22, The launch failed during the second-stage separation, a South Korean military official told Yonhap

North Korea has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as part of a large-scale show of force against the ongoing war games between the US and South Korea, according to Seoul’s armed forces.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military detected “what is presumed to be a long-range ballistic missile launch from the Sunan area in Pyongyang” early on Thursday morning, noting that two additional short-range missiles followed about one hour later. 

After analyzing details of the launch, the military added that the weapon traveled a distance of around 760km (472 miles) and reached a top speed of Mach 15. However, a defense source later told Yonhap that “the missile seems to have failed in normal flight” after its second-stage separation.

In a statement later on Thursday, the Joint Chiefs said “Our military has beefed up surveillance and vigilance” and would maintain a “readiness posture in close cooperation with the US.”

Thursday’s launch marks the first time Pyongyang has fired an ICBM since May, though it comes amid a record number of missile tests overall this year. The DPRK has also unleashed hundreds of rockets, missiles, and artillery shells into the sea in recent days as a demonstration to Washington and Seoul, which are in the middle of some of their largest air drills ever

With tensions soaring on the peninsula, the North has repeatedly condemned the exercises as a rehearsal for a full-scale invasion, even suggesting earlier this week that Washington could be preparing a nuclear attack. The US and South Korea, meanwhile, have denounced each missile launch by Pyongyang as a dangerous provocation and have vowed to continue strengthening military ties.

November 3, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US, Japan, S Korea vow response if N Korea tests nuclear bomb

US says full military capabilities will be used, including nuclear, to protect its allies South Korea and Japan.

 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/26/us-japan-s-korea-vow-response-if-n-korea-tests-nuclear-bomb 26 Oct 22,

An “unparalleled” scale of response would be warranted if North Korea conducts a seventh test of a nuclear weapon, the United States, Japan and South Korea have warned.

The warning was issued on Wednesday amid concerns by the US and its regional allies that North Korea could be poised to resume nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017.

“We agreed that an unparalleled scale of response would be necessary if North Korea pushes ahead with a seventh nuclear test,” South Korean first vice foreign minister Cho Hyun-dong told a news conference in Tokyo.

Cho made his comments alongside Japan’s vice foreign minister Takeo Mori and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

North Korea has been carrying out weapons tests at an unprecedented pace this year, firing more than two dozen short and medium-range ballistic missiles in recent weeks, including a missile that over-flew Japan.

We urge (North Korea) to refrain from further provocations,” Sherman said, calling the North’s actions “reckless” and deeply destabilising for the region.

Sherman also said that the US will use its full military capabilities, “including nuclear, conventional and missile defence”, to protect its allies Japan and South Korea.

North Korea needs to understand that the US commitment to the security of South Korea and Japan is “iron clad”, she said.

“And we will use the full range of US defence capabilities to defend our allies, including nuclear, conventional and missile defence capabilities,” she said.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that Sherman also reiterated that the US was continuing to “seek serious and sustained dialogue with the DPRK” (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) – the official name for North Korea.

Cho, during his talks with Sherman, raised concern that a new North Korean nuclear weapons policy adopted in September increases the possibility of its arbitrary use of nuclear weapons.

“This is creating serious tension on the Korean peninsula,” Cho said.

In September, the USS Ronald Reagan and accompanying ships conducted joint military exercises with South Korean forces in response to a North Korean ballistic missile test in what was their first joint military training involving a US aircraft carrier since 2017.

Angered by South Korea’s military activities, Pyongyang last week fired hundreds of artillery shells off its coasts in what it called a grave warning to its neighbour to the south.

Sherman met earlier on Tuesday with Japan’s Mori and reaffirmed the further strengthening of the Japan-US alliance and other shared goals, including the complete denuclearisation of North Korea and their joint response to China’s increasingly assertive actions in the region.

Japanese defence minister Yasukazu Hamada recently said that North Korea is believed to have achieved a miniaturisation of nuclear warheads while significantly advancing its missile capabilities by diversifying its launch technologies, making interceptions more difficult.

Japan has joined South Korea in also warning of a possible nuclear test by North Korea in the near future.

October 26, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The West Has Failed: North Korea Is a Nuclear State

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-west-has-failed-north-korea-is-a-nuclear-state/2022/10/23/e1511926-531e-11ed-ac8b-08bbfab1c5a5_story.html Analysis by Gearoid Reidy | Bloomberg, October 24, 2022,

The world might not want to hear it, but Kim Jong Un might be right. 

“There will never be such a thing as our abandonment of the nuclear weapons or denuclearization,” Kim declared last month. “The position of our state as a nuclear nation has become irreversible.” 

Decades of pursuing the “denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula has failed. After North Korea last month declared itself a nuclear weapons state, it’s time for the US and its allies to accept this reality — and learn to live with it. That’s the first step to reducing the risk of accidental confrontation that could lead to all-out nuclear war.  

The idea is reaching the mainstream. Jeffrey Lewis, a leading nuclear weapons expert, has called on Washington to “contemplate the unthinkable” and accept North Korea’s nuclear statehood, citing the increasing risks of a flashpoint as South Korea and Japan talk up first-strike capability.

Washington should think “about the return we’re seeing on our stubborn continued insistence on denuclearization as the desired near-term end-state,” agrees Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “We have a far more acute interest on the Korean peninsula, which is averting the use of nuclear weapons by North Korea.” 

A rethink is needed. For one thing, the US administration has already shown an admirable willingness to abandon the failed policies of previous administrations. From ending the war in Afghanistan, casting off decades of naive Democratic party China policy or de-escalating the War on Drugs with a reform of cannabis policy, President Joe Biden has discarded ideas he previously promoted. 

And to describe the goal of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as a bust would be generous. Beyond condemning millions to poverty after 30 years, the US has little to show for its punishing economic sanctions. Pyongyang has built itself a formidable arsenal: enough fissile material for dozens of nuclear bombs, and a demonstrated capacity for its missiles to hit US bases in Guam or the American mainland itself. More nuclear tests are feared soon, which would be the first in five years. Kim said last month he won’t budge even after 100 years of sanctions.

Absent a very dangerous policy of regime change, Kim is going to remain in charge, and in any event doesn’t have a way to climb down from nuclear weapons. The window for military action against North Korea closed during the Clinton administration, when the US considered a preemptive strike. It chose negotiation instead, which Pyongyang used as cover to  speed development of its nuclear and missile programs. 

North Korea’s new nuclear doctrine, unveiled in September, has further upped the ante, pledging automatic nuclear strikes on its enemies if its command-and-control leadership is threatened. Such a doctrine is a “logical reaction” to South Korea talking up its ability to deal a fatal blow to the North’s leadership, Panda says. 

Indeed, far from the stereotype of the crazy North Korean leader, Kim is being perfectly logical in seeking to keep his regime in one piece. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put that in stark relief. Ukraine famously agreed to give up the nuclear weapons on its territory (though they were not under its control) after the fall of the Soviet Union, in exchange for security guarantees from the US, UK and Russia. Time has shown how valuable those assurances were. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Al Qaddafi are other examples of leaders who abandoned their nuclear pursuits, only to meet gruesome ends.

Kim could not be sure of any guarantee that Washington might give in return for denuclearization — especially when it’s US policy that has been most inconsistent. Flipping between dovish Democratic and hawkish Republican positions on Pyongyang (or in the case of Donald Trump’s administration, between “fire and fury” and love letters in the space of a few years) has resulted in head-snappingly inconsistent carrot-and-stick approaches. 

Meanwhile, through a cycle of bait-and-switch negotiations and threats, Kim has managed to keep the US and South Korea distracted enough to complete his nuclear state. He’s on his fourth South Korean leader and third American president. He’s less than half Biden’s age; time is on his side, assuming he can avoid the heart problems that felled his father and grandfather. 

Of course, there are significant risks. Pyongyang has proven not to be a trustworthy negotiating partner. Being seen to reward its obstinacy might embolden rogue regimes elsewhere. Even a tacit acceptance of North Korea’s position could also lead to another bout of proliferation. The South Korean public is already roundly in favor of also possessing nuclear weapons. Japan is understandably far more opposed but how might it react surrounded by four nuclear-armed states?

But doggedly pursuing a failed policy that has only become more unrealistic over the years isn’t getting the US and its allies anywhere — and the risk of accidental confrontation is only running higher

October 23, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

How nuclear testing leaves lasting environmental scars

 https://www.dw.com/en/nuclear-testing-north-korea-environment-biodiversity/a-6341. Edited by: Tamsin Walker 13 Oct 22,

With analysts predicting further nuclear tests in North Korea, the planet stands to lose. The ongoing environmental effects of nuclear testing are felt worldwide and for millions of years.

Since late September, North Korea has launched a flurry of ballistic missile tests as part of what experts believe is a program to develop so-called tactical nuclear weapons. If the reclusive state were to move beyond testing missiles to testing actual nuclear warheads, as some analysts are predicting, it would not only ramp up political tensions, but also pose a significant environmental threat. 

In the past, countries such as the United States, the former Soviet Union and the United Kingdom tested their nuclear weapons in the open atmosphere and in the sea — and around Pacific Islands, the Australian desert, mainland US, remote parts of the USSR and other places. These tests left contaminated landscapes and spread their radioactive clouds far afield. 

Thanks to global treaties, nuclear tests were largely moved underground after 1963, a slightly preferable scenario environmentally speaking. And since a 1996 test ban, only India, Pakistan and North Korea have tested weapons at all. 

North Korea is the only country known to have conducted tests in the 21st century. 

The impact of nuclear testing on mammals

“The legacy of nuclear weapons testing has been absolutely catastrophic for humans and for the environment,” said Alicia Sanders, the policy research coordinator at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. 

One of the unique consequences for the environment, she added, “is that it lasts essentially forever.”

Putting aside the development required to set up test sites, the first major effects are felt in the microseconds after the explosion. 

A 2015 paper on the environmental impact of military actions found that nuclear blasts represent an extreme threat to local biodiversity. 

The massive energy released in the thermal emission from the blast — comprising light and heat — kills any organisms unfortunate enough to be near the epicenter. Depending on the yield of the bomb, even organisms several kilometers away face lethal temperatures. What remains is a charred mess.  

The effect from the thermal shock on animals is not well researched, but humans face serious, life-threatening burns even several kilometers away, depending on the power of the bomb. A similar effect is assumed for other mammals. They also suffer from the pressure of the blast, which causes lung damage and hemorrhaging.

And animals that aren’t killed immediately are more likely to die from infections in the days and weeks following the explosion, leading to a localized die-off event, the 2015 review found.

The impact on plants, birds and marine life

Plants are also not spared the effects of a nuclear blast. The sheer force strips trees of their foliage, tears down branches and uproots vegetation.  

For fish, meanwhile, the impact is similar to that of a non-nuclear explosion, but on a much larger scale. The US tests in Alaska, and those of France in French Polynesia in the late 1960s and early 70s were associated with large-scale die-offs of fish, as their gas-filled swim bladders ruptured.

Marine mammals and diving birds suffered similarly, post-mortem analysis showed. However, marine non-vertebrates appeared to be more resistant to pressure waves as they do not have gas-containing organs, according to defense studies at the time. 

Long-term environmental impacts

During the Cold War, the United States detonated scores of nuclear weapons in atmospheric tests in the Pacific. Entire islands were incinerated and many are still uninhabitable. Local residents were forced to leave. A 2019 study found that some of the affected areas had radiation levels 1,000-times that of those found in Chernobyl and Fukushima. 

Significant long-term environmental consequences of nuclear testing are the contamination of surface soil and groundwater, land disturbances in the form of craters or partially collapsed mountains — as in the case of the North Korean testing site — and the addition of radionuclides to sediments in seabeds.

Atmospheric nuclear tests spread radionuclides — unstable particles that releases radiation as they break down — far and wide, contaminating topsoil.

But even in underground testing, high pressure conditions can propel radionuclides into the atmosphere — a phenomenom known as venting — where they can be carried by winds and deposited far away from the test sites and enter food-chains.

Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s nuclear policy program, says Pyongyang has thus far avoided the pitfall of venting.

“The North Koreans have actually, with their last five nuclear tests at least, been very effective at preventing the venting of radionuclides,” he said. “Because some of these radionuclides can even offer hints about the specific materials that are being used in the nuclear device.”

At the very least, underground tests deposit huge quantities of radioactive material which will remain there for millions of years. The long-term ecological damage from such contamination is unknown.  

The impact on drinking water

Underground testing also poses a threat of radionuclides leeching into drinking water.

Studies at the US nuclear testing site near Las Vegas, found that some contaminants released by underground nuclear tests can get into the surrounding water. Plants and animals are particularly liable to pick up radioactive strontium and caesium, which are easily spread in water.

With a half-life of 30 years, these two radionuclides can cause health issues in the food chain for decades. A common shrub in New Mexico, chamisa, has roots that extend deep into the ground, bringing strontium back up to the surface near the Los Alamos testing site in New Mexico, from where it can be widely distributed as the leaves fall, decay, and contaminate the soil understory.

“Animals will eat from contaminated land and that becomes very dangerous. These can be key sources of food for people,” ICAN’s Sanders said.

Organizations such as ICAN continue to push for complete denuclearization. 

Until that happens, one factor that might help clean up the legacy of nuclear testing is a provision in the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which requires signatories to provide assistance to victims of nuclear weapons and begin to remediate contaminated environments. States should next year begin initial assessments of environmental damage and use that as a basis for future remediation efforts. 

October 12, 2022 Posted by | environment, North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Even a small nuclear test by North Korea would be a big US worry

Mint, 13 Oct 22,

s North Korea moves closer to its first nuclear test in five years, one of the biggest worries for the US and its allies might be a relatively small blast.

Kim Jong Un has made clear he wants to build an arsenal of “tactical” nuclear weapons, meaning lower-yield bombs that could be used on the battlefield rather than on whole cities. First it must produce miniaturized warheads to fit on the expanding array of short-ranged ballistic missiles it has designed to threaten US troops and their allies in Asia. 

This week, Kim said a barrage of missiles launched in recent days were intended for tactical nuclear strikes, while warning Washington that any attempted attack could be met by strikes at American forces in South Korea and Japan. The comments were a fresh sign that North Korea could be preparing for its first nuclear test since September 2017, something the US has been ringing alarm bells about for months………..

While there were more than 2,000 tests of nuclear devices in the decades after the US bombed Japan in 1945, North Korea remains the only country that has conducted physical detonations of atomic bombs this century, according to data from the Arms Control Association. Nuclear powers such as the US now rely on supercomputers to simulate tests of their weapons to predict performance and reliability. …..

Kim has embarked on a two-pronged nuclear strategy of developing tactical weapons for the Asian region and far more powerful thermonuclear devices for longer-range missiles that can hit the US mainland. The US, Japan and South Korea have all said North Korea is ready to conduct a test at its mountainous Punggye-ri test site, where it has held all of its previous six tests……………

“Tactical” is an inexact term for a nuclear weapon that could be used within a theater of war, which to North Korea probably includes South Korea, Japan and US assets in places such as Guam. A tactical weapon has a less powerful warhead and is delivered at a shorter range. The explosive yields can be of less than 1 kiloton, but many are in the tens of kilotons……..

Tactical nuclear weapons can still cause massive destruction and non-proliferation advocates argue their use could quickly spin out of control. Such concerns were evident in US President Joe Biden’s warning last week that any use of such weapons by President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine could lead to “Armageddon.”………………

Kim laid out a nuclear weapons plan just before Biden’s inauguration in January 2021 that called for smaller and lighter weapons. He also urged the development of a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile that would be quick to deploy and strike strategic targets within 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) — a thinly veiled reference to the US.

The North Korean leader oversaw the launch of two long-range cruise missiles that flew in figure-8 loops over the country for a total of about 2,000 kms, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday. Cruise missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads, are designed to fly below radar and there are no United Nations resolutions barring Pyongyang from tests……….

Kim has shown that he has mastered tactical delivery systems by testing almost 70 short-range missiles since 2019. These are quick to deploy, designed to evade US-operated interceptors in the region and capable to hitting American military bases in South Korea in less than five minutes after launch………….https://www.livemint.com/news/world/even-a-small-nuclear-test-by-north-korea-would-be-a-big-us-worry-11665618154062.html

October 12, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kim Jong Un says North Korea’s new law allowing pre-emptive nuclear strikes is ‘irreversible’

North Korea has officially enshrined the right to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes to protect itself in a new law.

Key points:

  • The new law makes North Korea’s nuclear status “irreversible”, and bars denuclearisation talks
  • It also allows for pre-emptive nuclear strikes if, among other things, there is an imminent attack against its leadership
  • Analysts say the goal is to win international acceptance of the country’s status as a “responsible nuclear state”

The country’s leader Kim Jong Un said the legislation also made its nuclear status “irreversible” and bars denuclearisation talks, state media reported on Friday.

The move comes as observers say North Korea appears to be preparing to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017, after historic summits with former US president Donald Trump and other world leaders in 2018 failed to persuade Kim to end weapons development.

The North’s parliament — the Supreme People’s Assembly — passed the legislation on Thursday, according to state news agency KCNA.

The new legislation is a replacement to a 2013 law which first outlined the country’s nuclear status…………………………

Pre-emptive strikes

The original 2013 law stipulated that North Korea could use nuclear weapons to repel invasion or attack by a hostile nuclear state, and make retaliatory strikes.

The new law goes beyond that to allow for pre-emptive nuclear strikes if an imminent attack by weapons of mass destruction or against the country’s “strategic targets”, including its leadership, is detected.

“In a nutshell, there are some really vague and ambiguous circumstances in which North Korea is now saying it might use its nuclear weapons,” Chad O’Carroll, founder of the North Korea-tracking website NK News, said on Twitter.

Like the earlier law, the new version vows not to threaten non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons unless they join with a nuclear-armed country to attack the North.

The new law adds, however, that it can launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it detects an imminent attack of any kind aimed at North Korea’s leadership and the command organisation of its nuclear forces.

That is an apparent reference to South Korea’s “Kill Chain” strategy, which calls for pre-emptive strikes on North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure and command system if an imminent attack is suspected…………….

Under the law, Mr Kim has “all decisive powers” over nuclear weapons, but if the command and control system is threatened, then nuclear weapons may be launched “automatically”.

If Mr Kim delegates launch authority to lower commanders during a crisis, that could increase the chances of a catastrophic miscalculation, analysts said.

‘Responsible nuclear state’

The law bans any sharing of nuclear arms or technology with other countries, and is aimed at reducing the danger of a nuclear war by preventing miscalculations among nuclear weapons states and misuse of nuclear weapons, KCNA reported.

Analysts say Mr Kim’s goal is to win international acceptance of North Korea’s status as a “responsible nuclear state.”…………………….. more https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-09/new-north-korea-law-outlines-nuclear-weapons-use-including-preem/101425072

September 20, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea warns of nuclear war risk as Japan, US and South Korea increase military ties

The Nation 3 Jul 22, Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been heightened by a series of North Korean missile tests.  North Korea condemned US, Japanese and South Korean military co-operation on Sunday, claiming that Washington was increasing the risk of nuclear war in East Asia.

The three countries are discussing joint military exercises in the region after North Korean ballistic missile tests, several of which were test-fired towards Japan.

On March 24, North Korea said it had fired a long range intercontinental ballistic missile towards an ocean target more than 1,000 kilometres away, a test that Japanese authorities said landed within the country’s territorial waters, north of the Hokkaido……………..

“The prevailing situation more urgently calls for building up the country’s defence to actively cope with the rapid aggravation of the security environment of the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry said.

The statement took issue with a trilateral meeting by US, South Korean and Japanese leaders at a Nato summit last week, during which they underscored the need to strengthen their co-operation to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat.

“The chief executives of the US, Japan and South Korea put their heads together for confrontation with [North Korea] and discussed the dangerous joint military countermeasures against it including the launch of tripartite joint military exercises,” the North said.

North Korea views US-led military exercises in the region, particularly ones with rival South Korea, as an invasion rehearsal, though Washington and Seoul have repeatedly said they have no intentions of attacking the North…………….

Earlier last month, the defence chiefs of the US, South Korea and Japan agreed to resume their combined missile warning and tracking exercises as part of their efforts to deal with North Korea’s escalating weapons tests.

North Korean accused the US of exaggerating rumours about North Korean threats “to provide an excuse for attaining military supremacy over the Asia-Pacific region including the Korean Peninsula”…………..

North Korea claimed the recent Nato summit proves an alleged US plan to contain Russia and China by achieving the “militarisation of Europe” and forming a Nato-like alliance in Asia. It said “the reckless military moves of the US and its vassal forces” could lead to dangerous consequences like a nuclear war simultaneously taking place in both Europe and Asia-Pacific……….. https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/2022/07/03/north-korea-warns-of-nuclear-war-risk-as-japan-us-and-south-korea-increase-military-ties/

July 4, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

North Korea fires ballistic missile amid growing nuclear threat

By Thomas Maresca,  May 4 (UPI) — North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the sea off of its east coast Wednesday, the militaries of South Korea and Japan said, as concerns rise that a nuclear provocation is on the way.

The South Korean military said it detected the launch of a ballistic missile from the area of Pyongyang’s international airport on Wednesday at around noon. The missile traveled a distance of 292 miles and reached an altitude of 485 miles before splashing down in the sea between Korea and Japan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a text message sent to reporters………………..  https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2022/05/04/ballistic-missile-launch-nuclear-threat-South-Korea-Japan/1831651646781

May 5, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea tests new weapon bolstering nuclear capability

North Korea says it has successfully test-launched a newly developed tactical guided weapon

  • By HYUNG-JIN KIM – Associated Press
  • Apr 17, 2022   

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon designed to boost its nuclear fighting capability, state media reported Sunday, a day before its chief rivals the United States and South Korea begin annual drills that the North views as an invasion rehearsal.

The 13th weapons test this year came amid concerns that North Korea may soon conduct an even larger provocation. That may include a nuclear test in an effort to expand the country’s arsenal and increase pressure on Washington and Seoul while denuclearization talks remain stalled…………………………..   https://www.news-gazette.com/coronavirus/north-korea-tests-new-weapon-bolstering-nuclear-capability/article_0413e1d9-3fb7-5c42-a63c-e1ea66b3e084.htm

April 18, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The forgotten nuclear threat of North Korea


As the West remains focused on the war in Ukraine, Kim Jong Un has begun testing his most powerful missile to date. New Statesman,  By Katie Stallard , 6 Apr 22
, Even by the bombastic standards of North Korean propaganda, the video that accompanied Pyongyang’s missile launch on 24 March was extraordinary. The opening sequence showed Kim Jong Un, apparently channelling the late 1980s and Tom Cruise in Top Gun, striding out of a hangar in slow motion, wearing a black leather bomber jacket and dark sunglasses. Kim checked his watch……..

While the action movie-style montage was somewhat dated, the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test that followed demonstrated significant, and seriously concerning, new capabilities. The missile, which South Korea claimed was an updated version of a previous model rather than the weapon shown in the video, reached a height of more than 6,000 kilometres, 15 times higher than the International Space Station, putting the entire US mainland within range………………………

North Korea has steadily increased the pace and scale of its missile tests in recent months, launching newly developed weapons from submarines and trains, and test-firing what the regime said was its first hypersonic missile. …………………………….

“Kim has told us what he wants,” said Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the nuclear policy programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Kim Jong Un and the Bomb. “He wants better missiles, more precise missiles, and larger missiles capable of carrying multiple warheads.” Kim has also called for the development of tactical nuclear weapons, Panda told me, and the regime is likely to carry out new nuclear tests as it experiments with smaller warheads and more compact designs.  https://www.newstatesman.com/international-politics/geopolitics/2022/04/the-forgotten-nuclear-threat-of-north-korea

April 7, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment