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North Korea could use “electromagnetic pulse” (EMP) attack o ‘plunge US into DARK APOCALYPSE’

North Korea’s nuclear EMP attack to ‘plunge US into DARK APOCALYPSE’ http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/596437/Kim-Jong-un-Donald-Trump-World-War-3-Nuclear-War-North-Korea-US-EMP-Pyongyang

KIM Jong-un could send the US back to the Stone Age by unleashing a devastating Cold War-style attack on its power grid, a former CIA boss has warned. By Jamie Micklethwaite / Published 14th March 2017 North Korea and the US have been at loggerheads recently, with the tubby tyrant threatening to launch a devastating nuclear assault on US heartland.

Donald Trump has responded by promising repercussions for the hermit state and deploying anti-missile systems on their border.

But a former head of the country’s intelligence agency has warned The Donald that Kim could detonate a nuclear missile into the atmosphere, unleashing a terrifying “electromagnetic pulse” attack.

This would knock out the US’ energy infrastructure, unleashing a doomsday apocalypse scenario.

Former CIA chief chief James Woolsey said: “I think this is the principal, the most important and dangerous, threat to the United States.

“If you look at the electric grid and what it’s susceptible to, we would be moving into a world with no food delivery, no water purification, no banking, no telecommunications, no medicine.

“All of these things depend on electricity in one way or another.”

EMPs can naturally occur – but can also be created with nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.

During the Cold War, the US experimented with this, exploding a nuclear weapon above the Pacific, that knocked out lights and telephone wires in Hawaii. Ex-CIA worker Peter Vincent Pry revealed even a small nuclear bomb could cause a devastating EMP attack.

He said: “One of the myths out there is that you need a high-yield weapon to do an EMP attack.

“Even a low-yield, primitive weapon like the bomb used in Hiroshima will produce a potentially catastrophic EMP field because it’s simply attacking things that are not hardened.”

Terror expert Scott Stewart added that the US grid was very vulnerable, and any EMP attack could trigger a nuclear war.

He said: “Nuclear weapons give (Kim) a deterrent.

“That you can draw a nuke on Seoul very easily is far more of a deterrent than an EMP strike against the United States. “Nothing would take his government down quicker than an actual war against the US.”

The North has launched five missiles this year in a chilling warning to the US.

US troops, including elite marines who killed Osama bin Laden and nuclear bombers are currently taking part in military exercises on the North Korean border with South Korea.

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/596437/Kim-Jong-un-Donald-Trump-World-War-3-Nuclear-War-North-Korea-US-EMP-Pyongyang

March 15, 2017 Posted by | South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Catholic Solidarity Against Nuclear joins civil society groups in a non-nuclear road map to Korea’s presidential candidates

Catholics plan for a future free from nuclear threats http://www.ucanews.com/news/catholics-plan-for-a-future-free-from-nuclear-threats/78620  Civil society groups have delivered a non-nuclear road map to Korea’s presidential candidates  March 13, 2017

Anti-nuclear groups in Korea will send their draft for a non-nuclear road map to all major presidential candidates ahead of upcoming elections following news of President Park Geun-hye’s ouster.

The Catholic Solidarity Against Nuclear Energy together with Energy Justice Action, a civic environment group, announced a plan for a “nuclear energy-free Korea.”

They proposed 10 short-term tasks to the next government, including the establishment of a National Energy Commission, no new nuclear power plants, suspension of aged nuclear reactors and reshuffling the power grid in favor of reusable energy.

They also picked five mid and long-term tasks including new management guidelines for nuclear waste, stopping the export of nuclear power and reaffirming principles against nuclear weapons.

The two groups will finalize a road map based on the draft after an activist and public survey, explanation sessions and meeting with experts.

March 15, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, South Korea | Leave a comment

US moves Thaad missile defence system into South Korea : Trump says it’s a”new phase”

Donald Trump says nuclear threat from North Korea has entered ‘new phase’
US president told Japanese PM he is ‘100%’ with Tokyo as US moves Thaad missile defence system into South Korea following Pyongyang missile launches,  Guardian,  
   The threat posed by North Korea to the US and its allies has entered a “new phase”, Donald Trump said on Tuesday, a day after the regime test-launched four ballistic missiles towards Japan.

In phone talks on Tuesday, Trump told Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, that the US stood “100%” with Tokyo after three of the intermediate-range missiles landed in the sea off Japan’s north-west coast.

“President Trump told me that the United States was with Japan 100%, and that he wanted his comments to be communicated to the Japanese people,” Abe told reporters at his residence. “He said he wanted us to trust him as well as the United States 100%.

“Japan and the United States confirmed that the latest missile firing by North Korea … is a clear challenge to the region and the international community, and that its threat has entered a new phase.”

The comments came as the US said the “first elements” of its controversial missile defence system had arrived in South Korea on Tuesday. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) anti-missile system is meant to intercept and destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles during the last part of their flights, the US Pacific Command said in a statement.

 

“Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday’s launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy Thaad to South Korea,” US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris said.

China has denounced Thaad’s deployment, saying its powerful radar would compromise its security.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing military sources, said the system could be operational as early as April, well ahead of schedule.

Trump and Abe spoke as the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, declared the launches a success and warned that they were part of a training exercise for an attack on US military bases in Japan, home to almost 50,000 American troops.

“The four ballistic rockets launched simultaneously are so accurate that they look like acrobatic flying corps in formation,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying. The regime also released images of the missile launches, with a smiling Kim in attendance.

The launches were seen as a protest against the start of joint military exercises involving South Korea and the US that Pyongyang regards as a rehearsal for an invasion of North Korea.

A day after operation Foal Eagle began last Wednesday, North Korea’s army, deploying the same vitriolic language it reserves for the annual drills, warned that it was ready to “immediately launch its merciless military counteractions” if South Korean or US forces fired “even a single shell” into waters near the divided Korean peninsula…….

Trump has yet to state how he intends to address the growing North Korean threat from ballistic missiles, amid evidence that the regime is edging closer to acquiring the ability to marry a miniaturised nuclear warhead with a long-range missile capable of striking the US mainland.

The UN has imposed six rounds of sanctions since the North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, but they have failed to dent the regime’s quest to build what it claims is a “defensive” nuclear arsenal.

Trump has not publicly commented on Monday’s missile launch, but his ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Twitter that the world “won’t allow” North Korea to continue on its “destructive path”.

Choi Kang, an analyst at the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies, said the launch was a warning to Tokyo. “North Korea is demonstrating that its target is not just limited to the Korean peninsula any more but can extend to Japan at any time and even the US,” he said. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/07/donald-trump-threat-north-korea-new-phase

March 8, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea is trying to develop nuclear reprocessing technology other countries have failed at

US expert: uranium price falling, why is S. Korea seeking expensive spent fuel processing facilities? The Hankyoreh, 7 Mar 17

Frank von Hippel says South Korea is trying to develop two kinds of technology other countries have failed at

“The price of uranium is gradually falling, and it costs twice as much to acquire spent fuel processing facilities for running a fast reactor. I don’t understand why [South Korea] is trying to acquire such expensive facilities,” said Frank von Hippel, 80, a professor at Princeton University, during a lecture at a seminar called “Truth and Lies about Pyroprocessing” that was held at the Daejeon Youth We Can Center on Feb. 28. Von Hippel is the American nuclear expert who first proposed the term “proliferation resistance.”

“The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute is trying to develop the two technologies that all other advanced countries have failed to develop, which is to say reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and liquid sodium-cooled fast reactors. While they claim to be pursuing nuclear fuel reprocessing as a way to manage nuclear waste, this doesn’t improve the problem but only makes it worse while incurring tremendous costs,” von Hippel warned.

“I don’t think the Trump administration and the Republicans are going to change the Obama administration’s nuclear policy [of non-proliferation],” he said. …..

“The Idaho National Laboratory promised to process 25 tons of spent nuclear fuel using pyroprocessing in five years, but they only processed five tons in 16 years, which cost a huge amount of money,” he went on to say.

The plan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and to build fast reactors derives from false predictions about the future, von Hippel explains. In the 1950s, Americans expected that energy demand would double every decade, but the current energy demand is only twice what it was in the 1960s. The American nuclear energy establishment projected in the 1960s that nuclear energy would cover 100% of future energy demand, but at present nuclear power only provides 20% of energy in the US and just 10% of energy worldwide.

The plan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel for use also derived from concerns about the depletion of uranium reserves and rising prices. But the dreaded rise in prices never materialized because predictions about the rate of increase of nuclear plants were way off and because the output of uranium mines has not decreased. “Currently, the cost of uranium only accounts for 1% of the cost that goes into producing electricity at nuclear plants. Even if spent nuclear fuel is reprocessed and used at fast reactors, it will only be about 2%. Not only is this a small percentage of the total cost, but it will only make the cost of generation more expensive. I don‘t know if it’s necessary to acquire high-cost facilities,” van Hippel said.

Along with the high cost, there are high risks, which means that hardly any countries are interested in building fast reactors, von Hippel contends. France’s fast reactor Superphenix cost 100 trillion won to develop but only operated at 8% before being decommissioned, and Japan’s Monju nuclear plant operated at just 1% for 20 years before it was decided last year to shut it down. The UK is also planning to end operations in 2018. China operated a pilot fast reactor in 2011, but after producing 20kg of plutonium, a small amount, it concluded that the benefits were marginal and suspended the program. Russia continues to operate these reactors, but there have reportedly been 15 fires at sodium fast reactors……

In von Hippel’s view, the most affordable policy for managing spent nuclear fuel is first storing nuclear waste in dry casks and then burying those casks deep underground in disposal sites that have been prudently designed with engineered barriers.http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/785468.html

March 8, 2017 Posted by | reprocessing, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea’s Kepco might take the risk of buying Toshiba’s troubled nuclear business

toshiba-and-nukeKepco seen as potential buyer for Toshiba’s ailing nuclear unit, Ft.com 5 Mar 17  South Korean group, in contrast to rivals, is willing to look at Westinghouse deal, by: Kana Inagaki in Tokyo, Song Jung-a in Seoul When Toshiba won a fierce battle in 2006 for control of Westinghouse, a US designer of nuclear power plants, it was a victory against its local rival Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The two Japanese companies engaged in a bidding war that inflated the acquisition price of Westinghouse from $2bn to $5.4bn — a process that left other would-be buyers of the US company in shock, including South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries. A little more than a decade later, another Korean company — state-controlled Korea Electric Power Corporation — has emerged as a possible buyer for Westinghouse, which is reeling from large cost overruns on two US nuclear power plants. Moreover, Kepco may well be the only potential acquirer of Westinghouse that is acceptable to western countries, above all the US.
Toshiba is suffering the worst financial crisis in its history because of Westinghouse’s troubles, and last month said it was willing to sell its controlling shareholding in the US company, as well as reduce its 60 per cent stake in a consortium called NuGen, which is planning to build a new nuclear plant in the UK. South Korea has ambitions to become a leading player in the global nuclear industry, and officials at the country’s energy ministry, and Kepco, are keen to secure work on new power plants following a drought in overseas deals since the company landed a breakthrough $20bn export deal in 2009 to supply the United Arab Emirates with four reactors. Kepco has been in negotiations for months about investing in NuGen, according to people involved in the process, although the scale of the Korean company’s participation has not been finalised. The attraction of the UK, however, is clear: Britain has become an important market for the nuclear industry given that other countries, such as Germany, are phasing out reactors……..
Another Korean government official says there could be an industrial logic to Kepco buying Westinghouse, or establishing some kind of partnership with the US company, because this would provide a means to accelerate the country’s expansion in the global nuclear market. Kepco’s participation in both Westinghouse and NuGen could be essential, say several nuclear experts, because other potential bids from China and Russia risk being blocked by the US and the UK over national security concerns. There are few other obvious bidders for Westinghouse……….
A deal between Kepco and Westinghouse could help propel South Korea towards its goal of becoming an important player in the global nuclear industry. Both companies are on an export drive. On top of the UAE deal, Kepco is aiming to sell six more reactors by 2020. Meanwhile, Westinghouse is trying to drum up sales of the AP1000, its latest reactor design, which is currently only being installed in new power plants in the US and China……..
But bankers say Toshiba may find it hard to sell Westinghouse now — having tried several times already. The four reactors being built in the US using Westinghouse’s AP1000 design are already more than three years behind schedule and, on a combined basis, more than $10bn over their original budgets. These problems were the main factors behind Toshiba’s announcement last month of a $6.3bn writedown on its US nuclear business. Some experts say that, with reduced demand for nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, it is questionable whether Kepco would gain anything from buying Westinghouse. “Why should [Kepco] take such big financial risks by taking over a troubled business amid the gloomy industry outlook?” asks Suh Kyun-ryul, professor of atomic engineering at Seoul National University…….https://www.ft.com/content/32f14d76-f8e6-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65

March 6, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, South Korea | 2 Comments

Seoul Administrative Court finds in favour of local residents, orders closure of nuclear facility

legal actionflag-S-KoreaSeoul Court Orders Gov’t to Close Nuclear Reactor Amid Safety Concerns, Sputnik News, 7 Feb 17 The Seoul Administrative Court ordered the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) to cancel its resolution to extend the operation of a nuclear reactor located about 400 kilometers (250 miles) southeast of Seoul due to the commission’s failure to follow legal regulations.

MOSCOW  — The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by a group of local residents to annul the NSSC’s approval of a 10-year extension of the operation of the Wolseong-1 reactor in Gyeongju, which was supposed to be shut down in 2012, the Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday.

The reactor was shut down in 2012 after reaching the end of its 30-year commercial operation period. However, the commission issued a new operation license for another 10 years and restarted the reactor in June 2015 after a total of 946 days offline. In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the commission’s decision raised safety concerns and resulted in a collective suit filed by 2,167 nearby residents. However, the court recognized only the claims of those living within an 80-kilometer radius of the reactor. The court’s verdict was based on the NSSC’s failure to follow the legal procedures……..https://sputniknews.com/asia/201702071050421931-south-korea-nuclear-reactor/

February 8, 2017 Posted by | Legal, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Koreans alarmed about nuclear weapons – uncertainty about Donald Trump

Trump Uncertainty Fuels South Korea Nuclear Talk, VOA, January 25, 2017 Brian Padden, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — 
Some South Korean conservatives are citing President Donald Trump’s past statements on reducing U.S. security commitments in Asia to argue that their nation must now prepare its own nuclear option to defend against the growing North Korean nuclear threat.

“I’m not saying we should develop nuclear weapons overnight. I’m saying that if there are the right conditions, then we should go nuclear,” said Lee Choon-kun, a researcher with the Korea Institute for Maritime Strategy, at an event sponsored by the East Asia Foundation in Seoul Tuesday…….
South Korea’s nuclear advocates expect contentious times ahead. They take seriously Trump’s criticism, made during the campaign, that South Korea does not pay its fair share for hosting the 28,500 American personnel and military bases in Korea. And they take Trump at his word that, if better compensation terms are not reached, he would consider withdrawing American troops, allowing allies to acquire their own nuclear weapons, and ending the nuclear umbrella mutual defense pacts that require the U.S. military to come to the aid of its allies.

THAAD litmus testSouth Korean officials are reportedly planning to object to any proposed increase in defense reimbursement costs with the United States. Seoul currently reimburses Washington about $866 million annually, that is more than 50 percent of the cost for stationing troops in country. South Korea also spends 2.4 percent of its gross national product (GDP) on national security, compared with 1 percent for Japan and 1.16 percent for Germany, according to the defense ministry in Seoul.Nuclear proponents say that growing resistance in South Korea to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense shield could also create a rift in the U.S. alliance.

The THAAD system, which uses interceptor missiles to target high altitude incoming ballistic missiles, is considered a conventional deterrent to North Korea’s increasing ballistic missile capability. Supporters claim it will help defend South Korea from a nuclear missile attack.Opponents say its capability is limited and vulnerable to low altitude missile strikes that could target population centers like Seoul that are close to the inter-Korean border. Some South Korean critics also say THAAD is being deployed to protect U.S. military installations in Korea, and China complains that its powerful radar system could be used to monitor other countries in the region.Beijing’s strong objections to THAAD and reports of related Chinese economic retaliation against South Korea have also contributed to the declining support in South Korea. In December, public opposition to THAAD increased to 51 percent according to a poll conducted by Realmeter.THAAD opponents say it is a continuation of confrontational policies that have not worked to slow North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs.

“The policy that we have implemented has been failing. We have to see the nuclear issue from a different perspective,” said Cheong Wook-sik, the director of the Peace Network in Seoul……..

Nuclear optionProponents say South Korea could quickly develop nuclear weapons using existing nuclear power plant facilities and fuel, and with the military’s advanced conventional weapons production capability.However, South Korea would likely face severe consequences for violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) that could include diplomatic isolation and international sanctions similar to what North Korea is facing.And it could also lead to Japan and other countries developing their own nuclear deterrent. http://www.voanews.com/a/trump-uncertainty-south-korea-nuclear/3691290.html

 

 

 

 

January 27, 2017 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea to market nuclear fuel to United Arab Emirates

Buy-S-Korea-nukesUAE gets licence to transport, store nuclear fuel, Gulf News 22 Jan 17
Nuclear fuel to be shipped from South Korea to the UAE before being transported to the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant “….t
he Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) announced on Sunday that it approved the licensing for transporting and storing nuclear fuel at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.

The two licences have been granted to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Nawah Energy Company respectively, with the former getting the licence to transport the nuclear fuel, and the latter getting the licence to store the nuclear fuel at the Barakah site…..

Ian Grant, Deputy Director General for Operations at FANR, explained that the nuclear fuel would be shipped in transport casks from South Korea to the UAE, and then loaded onto trucks to transport the fuel to the nuclear reactor site.

“The fuel assemblies are loaded into transport casks and shipped from the Republic of Korea, [afterwards they are] trucked by road from the UAE port to the Barakah site. The transport casks are unloaded, checked and opened. [The] fuel assemblies are inspected individually and moved to the storage locations.”……http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/environment/uae-gets-licence-to-transport-store-nuclear-fuel-1.1966008

January 23, 2017 Posted by | marketing, South Korea, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

South Korea might join the throng marketing their costly nuclear reactors to Britain

fighters-marketing-1
South Korea says minister, British counterpart discussed nuclear power cooperation http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-nuclear-uk-idUSKBN14508N 15 Dec 16 South Korea’s energy minister Joo Buy-S-Korea-nukesHyung-hwan discussed cooperation on British nuclear energy projects in a meeting in London on Thursday with Britain’s business minister Greg Clark, South Korea’s energy ministry said in a statement.

The statement from Seoul didn’t disclose details of discussions on nuclear energy, but said the two countries will hold a follow-up meeting in the first half of next year.

A British government statement issued said the two countries underlined a commitment at the meeting to keep working together on science, innovation and technology, without mentioning nuclear power.

Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy and the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, is keen to export its nuclear reactor technology, developed through state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO).

Earlier this year, Britain gave the green light to the $24 billion Hinkley Point C project, its first new nuclear power plant in decades.

Along with that project, NuGen, a joint venture between Toshiba and French utility company Engie, plans to build three reactors at the Moorside site on the coast of Cumbria, in northwest England.

According to Seoul’s statement on Friday, Korea’s energy minister also had a meeting with NuGen chief Tom Samson during his British visit. The minister said Korean participation in Nugen projects would contribute to their success.

Earlier this year a person familiar with the situation told Reuters KEPCO had engaged in talks with Toshiba and Engie about buying a stake NuGen. A NuGen spokesman declined to comment on whether talks were taking place with KEPCO, which also declined to comment.

(Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

December 17, 2016 Posted by | marketing, South Korea, UK | 1 Comment

Top secret operation into North Korea to destroy Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons stash

exclamation-SmSpecial forces sneak into North Korea to DESTROY Kim’s nukes http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/557903/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-kim-jong-un-missiles-south-korea-special-ops-unites-states  By Rachel O’Donoghue  30th October 2016 A TOP secret operation has been completed that saw agents sneak into the secretive state of North Korea to destroy Kim Jong-un’s weapons stash.  United States and South Korean forces apparently staged the operation – dubbed Teak Knife – recently.

On Thursday (October 27) a US military spokesperson confirmed the exercise had been carried out in a rare public announcement.

They said: “Troops of South Korean Air Force’s combat control team, an infiltration commando unit, and the US Air Force’s 353rd Special Operations Group staged a joint exercise at Gunsan Air Base recently.”

Part of the operation saw military transport aircraft practising flying low – something that has been done since the 1990s to test infiltrating North Korea.

These aircraft are apparently used to transport special forces who are on a mission to destroy Kim Jong-un’s missiles and nuclear weapons.

According to a South Korean news network, the 353rd Special Operations Group, which is based at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, completes missions to send commandos into the closed country.

The military spokesperson added: “The latest Teak Knife exercise focused on infiltrating an inland area in the North to destroy key facilities.

“It’s different from a decapitation strike operation targeting the North Korean leadership.”

There have been calls in the US to launch pre-emptive strikes in North Korea following numerous incidents of despot leader Kim Jong-un testing his countries nuclear power.

Just this week officials confirmed he tested nuclear-capable missile which has the potential to reach the US military base in Guam.

October 31, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Korea, USA | Leave a comment

South Korea’s anxiety: talk of pre-emptive strikes on North Korean missile and nuclear facilities

South Korea’s March Toward a Strike-First Nuclear Policy An increasingly provocative North Korea and wavering U.S. support leave Seoul scrambling for more forceful defense options. WSJ  By DONALD KIRKOct. 25, 2016 Seoul

After years of hesitation, South Korean defense officials and members of President Park Geun-hye’s ruling Saenuri Party are openly discussing the possibility of pre-emptive strikes on North Korean missile and nuclear facilities. Increasingly, political figures are urging both their own government and the U.S. to go beyond the level of study promised by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and enshrine the right to respond to North Korean threats at least with the heaviest conventional weapons in their arsenal as a formal tenet of U.S. and Korean policy.

Nor is “strike first” the only demand gaining common currency among conservative Koreans. While North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, orders missile and nuclear tests, voices are rising within the Saenuri for South Korea to develop its own nuclear deterrent. The U.S. has opposed proliferation ever since physicists at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute were discovered looking into it during the presidency of Ms. Park’s father, Park Chung-hee………

Calls for a South Korean nuclear submarine are rising in tandem with North Korean missile testing. The North has a large submarine fleet—and has spread alarm by testing a ballistic missile fired from one of its subs.

One South Korean assembly member, Won Yoo-chul, derided longtime U.S. guarantees of a “nuclear umbrella” since the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from the South 25 years ago. “We cannot borrow an umbrella from a neighbor every time it rains,” he warned. “We need to have a raincoat and wear it ourselves.”

 The North Koreans for their part vow to strike first—against a nuclear-armed U.S. “We will not step back,” said Lee Yong Pil, an official at the North Korean Foreign Ministry, as long as the U.S. “has nuclear weapons off our coast, targeting our country, our capital and our Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un.”

U.S. and South Korean officials are talking openly about “decapitation” of the North Korean leadership in a quick strike at Pyongyang. If the word seems hyperbolic to Americans, North and South Koreans alike take it seriously. North Korea has said the term clearly shows why the North has to have a nuclear program “for self-defense” while many South Korean officials see “decapitation” as the ultimate solution—with or without nuclear weapons.

“Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation” was the name the Koreans gave a massive exercise this month in the Yellow Sea in which the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan led a joint U.S.-South Korean strike force. Their mission was more sharply defined than in previous war games. This time, said a Korean defense official, ships and planes focused specifically on imaginary North Korean nuclear and missile facilities, command headquarters—and Kim Jong Un…..http://www.wsj.com/articles/south-koreas-march-toward-a-strike-first-nuclear-policy-1477414963

October 27, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea’s State nuclear company expects to win $billions from marketing nuclear operations to United Arab Emirates

Buy-S-Korea-nukesS.Korea signs on to venture to operate UAE’s 1st nuclear power plant http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3N1C32ZG

SEOUL Oct 20 (Reuters) – State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) agreed to invest $900 million in a company operating the first nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, South Korea’s energy ministry said on Thursday.

KEPCO expects the deal to boost its revenue by nearly $50 billion over the next 60 years, according to a statement from the ministry.

KEPCO and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) signed the deal to co-invest in the company managing and operating the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant for the next six decades, the ministry statement said.

In 2009, a KEPCO-led consortium won a contract to build the four 1,400 megawatt nuclear reactors that are being constructed at the Barakah plant to meet the UAE’s surging demand for electricity.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, constructs and operates its reactors through KEPCO. (Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Tom Hogue)

 

October 22, 2016 Posted by | marketing, South Korea, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Debate in South Korea over defense strategy

flag-S-KoreaSeoul Questions Own Defense Strategy as North Korea Nuclear Threat Grows  South Korean defense spending is up and a debate is growing over the nuclear option. WSJ,  By ALASTAIR GALE Oct. 13, 2016 SEOULNorth Korea’s nuclear push is triggering a military buildup here and adding fuel to a hot debate over South Korea’s defense strategy—including whether the country should have its own nuclear option.

A few conservative politicians and a small majority in opinion polls have for years supported South Korea getting access to nuclear weapons. Lately, some prominent new voices have joined them, including Kim Jin-pyo, a four-term lawmaker from the main, left-of-center opposition party, who said Seoul needed a “balance of terror” to match North Korea’s threat.

Mr. Kim said nuclear weapons in South Korea would also pressure China and Russia to deal with North Korea more seriously……..

The government, however, strongly resists a nuclear option, citing the U.S. umbrella and the negative diplomatic and economic repercussions of opting out of the international nonproliferation regimen. Asked about the experts’ report, the president’s spokesman said: “Our government’s position remains unchanged and we are committed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

Under a separate bilateral treaty renewed last year, South Korea is barred from creating nuclear material for weapons in return for U.S. fuel for its atomic-power reactors.

American officials say there has been no discussion about redeploying nuclear weapons here. One senior South Korean government official said privately that calls for Seoul to deploy them were “bullshit.”

But as North Korea advances toward a more-threatening arsenal, including nuclear-tipped missiles that could be fired from submarines, discussion in the South over how to respond has intensified. Talk from military officials of pre-emptive strikes if a nuclear attack appears imminent has become frequent.

Uncertainty over Pyongyang’s progress has amplified fears. “The South Koreans are so nervous because they don’t know what they’re looking at,” said Robert Kelly, a professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea………

Against the rising hawkish voices, some South Korean politicians question the effectiveness of nuclear weapons or shows of force in deterring Mr. Kim.

Joo Seung-young, a member of a minor opposition party, said this month that U.S. bomber flights “might just heighten nuclear tension” on the Korean Peninsula……. —Min Sun Lee contributed to this article.

Write to Alastair Gale at alastair.gale@wsj.com       http://www.wsj.com/articles/seoul-questions-own-defense-strategy-as-north-korea-nuclear-threat-grows-1476350823

October 15, 2016 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear-powwered USS Ronald Reagan to join U.S.-South Korean joint naval drills

U.S.-South Korean joint naval drills kick off; nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan set to take part, Japan Times, BY , STAFF WRITER OCT 10, 2016

The large-scale naval drills, known as Invincible Spirit, kicked off Monday and are due to run for six days, the South’s navy said in a statement.

On Monday, the allies carried out exercises involving ship-to-ground and submarine-to-ground cruise missiles with average flight ranges of up to 1,000 km, the South Korean Defense Ministry said.

The exercises come just days after reports that the North may be making preparations for a sixth nuclear test or a long-range rocket launch…….

The reclusive nation [North Korea] also stoked concern in August when it claimed to have successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called that test “the greatest success” after the missile landed in Japan’s air defense identification zone, flying about 500 km — its longest test-flight by a weapon of that type.

The SLBM test has left the United States, South Korea and Japan worried that further developmental successes could give the North a difficult-to-detect weapon that would pose a serious security threat to all of them.

The U.S. and its Asian allies have responded to the North’s tests by showing off their own military muscle.

Late last month, the U.S. and South Korea conducted joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan after Washington earlier in the month flew two supersonic bombers over the South — with one landing on the Korean Peninsula for the first time in 20 years.

One of the bombers also flew the closest a B-1B strategic bomber had ever flown to the border between the North and South. It was the second time in less than a month that the U.S., which has about 28,500 troops in South Korea, had flown bombers over the country. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/10/asia-pacific/u-s-south-korean-joint-naval-drills-kick-off-nuclear-powered-uss-ronald-reagan-set-take-part/#.V__uQeV97Gg

October 14, 2016 Posted by | South Korea, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Pope encourages revival of negotiations over contentious nuclear situation on Koren Peninsula

diplomacy-not-bombsPope concerned over North Korea’s nuclear testing, Crux, Inés San Martín

September 27, 2016 VATICAN CORRESPONDENT   The United States has flown nuclear-capable supersonic bombers over ally South Korea in a show of force meant to cow North Korea after its fifth nuclear test and also to settle rattled nerves in the South.

 “The Holy See supports continued efforts by the international community to revive negotiations over denuclearization and to enable the IAEA to resume its critical role in nuclear verification there,” says Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Vatican Undersecretary for Relations with States. ROME-Watching the continuing tension on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea carrying out nuclear tests, a Vatican’s representative has expressed Pope Francis’s concerns to Vienna’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said on Tuesday that he could confirm that, considering the “delicate situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the Vatican’s Undersecretary for Relations with States, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, had reiterated in Vienna “the concern of the Holy Father and the Holy See about the continuing tensions in the area on account of the nuclear tests carried out by North Korea.”

Last Tuesday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) had reported that North Korea had successfully conducted a ground test of a new type of high-powered rocket engine.

Camillieri was speaking as the Vatican representative in the 60th General Assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEG), taking place in Vienna Sept. 26-30.

“We view the situation in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] with grave concern,” Camillieri said in his remarks. “The Holy See supports continued efforts by the international community to revive negotiations over denuclearization and to enable the IAEA to resume its critical role in nuclear verification there.”

The Vatican representative also said the Church welcomes the IAEA’s participation in the “verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” adding that the Holy See sees this agreement positively…….. Talking about disarmament, he again quoted Francis, but this time from the pontiff’s message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2014, when the Argentine pope said that spending on these weapons squanders a country’s wealth.

“To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty. When these resources are squandered, the poor and the weak living on the margins of society pay the price,” the pope had said in the message Camillieri quoted on Tuesday. https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2016/09/27/pope-concerned-north-koreas-nuclear-testing/

September 28, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, Religion and ethics, South Korea | Leave a comment