Category Archives: Koreas

U.S. think tank: N. Korea operating lithium-6 plant for hydrogen bombs

North Korea is believed to have built and is operating a plant to produce lithium 6, a key ingredient for hydrogen bombs that are much more powerful than conventional nuclear weapons, a U.S. think tank claimed Friday.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said the plant appears be located at the Hungnam Chemical Complex near Hamhung on the North’s east coast. It cited a 2012 order the North placed in China to purchase large quantities of mercury and lithium hydroxide, key materials to produce lithium 6.

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“Lithium 6 is a critical raw material needed for the production of single-stage thermonuclear and boosted fission weapons. These findings add credibility to North Korea’s claims that it has been developing thermonuclear or boosted fission weapons, regardless of the actual status of those efforts,” ISIS said in a report.

U.S. think tank: N. Korea operating lithium-6 plant for hydrogen bombs

Rex Tillerson Rejects Talks With North Korea on Nuclear Program – The New York Times

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson ruled out on Friday opening any negotiation with North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programs and said for the first time that the Trump administration might be forced to take pre-emptive action “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program” to an unacceptable level.

Mr. Tillerson’s comments in Seoul, a day before he travels to Beijing to meet Chinese leaders, explicitly rejected any return to the bargaining table in an effort to buy time by halting North Korea’s accelerating testing program, which the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, said on New Year’s Day was in the “final stage” of preparation for the first launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States.

Rex Tillerson Rejects Talks With North Korea on Nuclear Program – The New York Times

Tillerson says diplomacy with North Korea has ‘failed’; Pyongyang warns of war – The Washington Post

The Trump administration made a clear break Thursday with diplomatic efforts to talk North Korea out of a nuclear confrontation, bringing the United States and its Asian allies closer to a military response than at any point in more than a decade.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that 20 years of trying to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program had failed and that he was visiting Asia “to exchange views on a new approach.”

Tillerson says diplomacy with North Korea has ‘failed’; Pyongyang warns of war – The Washington Post

Asia military balance China Koreas Japan US – CNN.com

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson begins a series of meetings in Asia this week with the region in a military turmoil.

North Korean missiles streaking toward Japan.

US anti-missile batteries arriving in South Korea.

China’s foreign minister fearing a massive military confrontation is about to happen.

China’s state news agency openly speculating Asia is on the verge of a nuclear arms race, the likes of which has not been seen since the Cold War.

Each one of these things alone would be enough to destabilize the status quo.

Taken together, they have placed tensions in North Asia on a knife’s edge.

Asia military balance China Koreas Japan US – CNN.com

U.S. May Soon Increase Pressure on China to Constrain North Korea – The New York Times

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will warn China’s leaders that the United States is prepared to step up missile defenses and pressure on Chinese financial institutions if they fail to use their influence to restrain North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, according to several officials involved in planning his first mission to Asia.

China has complained vociferously about the Trump administration’s recent decision to speed up the deployment of the Thaad antimissile system in South Korea, charging that it will undermine regional stability.

But the Trump administration’s message is that the United States has run out of time to respond to North Korea’s military advances, and that the party the Chinese needs to complain to is in Pyongyang.

U.S. May Soon Increase Pressure on China to Constrain North Korea – The New York Times

Trump May Not Be Able To Stop N. Korea From Getting ICBMs | The Daily Caller

“It is difficult to calculate or predict when North Korea might achieve that capability, a reliable nuclear-armed ICBM, but certainly with the pace of testing they’ve been carrying out something in the next five to 10 years seems like a reasonable guess,” Gary Samore, the former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, told the Senate Committee on Arms Services Wednesday.

Trump May Not Be Able To Stop N. Korea From Getting ICBMs | The Daily Caller

5 Triggers for a New Korean War | The National Interest Blog

Question: Which scenario is most likely to trigger a new Korean War?

1) Internal collapse of the North Korean regime

2) (Yet) another North Korean provocation such as renewed artillery shelling of South Korea

3) A U.S. preemptive strike on North Korea’s nuclear weapons facilities

4) A North Korean nuclear missile strike

5) Invasion of South Korea

5 Triggers for a New Korean War | The National Interest Blog

War? Explosive tensions are mounting on the Korean peninsula – World Tribune

Suddenly the outlook for keeping the peace on the Korean peninsula has taken an alarming turn for the worse. We’ve long been accustomed to the threat of Korean War II, but now it’s looking like more than a scary mirage.

China is up in arms over the arrival of the first elements of the dreaded THAAD counter-missile system in South Korea. North Korean missile test-shots are getting more sophisticated while Pyongyang plays tough and mean with a minor Southeast Asian country with which it had had shockingly good relations.

War? Explosive tensions are mounting on the Korean peninsula – World Tribune

North Korea Is Practicing for Nuclear War | Foreign Policy

While none of the launches were the long-awaited test of an intercontinental-range ballistic missile — the sort of weapon that could reach the United States — the salvo was a big deal in its own way. Pyongyang very vividly demonstrated the warnings from Thae Yong-ho, a high-ranking North Korean diplomat who defected last year and described how the country was taking the final steps to arm its missile units with nuclear weapons. North Korea is developing an offensive doctrine for the large-scale use of nuclear weapons in the early stages of a conflict. When combined with what we know about U.S. and South Korean war plans, this fact raises troubling questions about whether a crisis on the Korean peninsula might erupt into nuclear war before President Donald Trump has time to tweet about it.

In recent years, however, North Korea has started launching Scuds and No-dongs from different locations all over the damn country. These aren’t missile tests, they are military exercises. North Korea knows the missiles work. What the military units are doing now is practicing — practicing for a nuclear war.

North Korea Is Practicing for Nuclear War | Foreign Policy

China Warns of Arms Race After U.S. Deploys Missile Defense in South Korea – The New York Times

Under its deal with Washington, South Korea is providing the land for the missile system and will build the base, but the United States will pay for the system, to be built by Lockheed Martin, as well as its operational costs.

A C-17 cargo plane landed at the United States military’s Osan Air Base, about 40 miles south of Seoul, on Monday evening, carrying two trucks, each mounted with a Thaad launchpad. More equipment and personnel will start arriving in the coming weeks, South Korean military officials said.

The South Korean Defense Ministry declined to specify when the system would be operational. But the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the deployment was likely to be completed in one or two months, with the system ready for use by April.

China Warns of Arms Race After U.S. Deploys Missile Defense in South Korea – The New York Times