Category Archives: Koreas

China, Russia reportedly agree “countermeasures” over U.S. missile defense plan in South Korea (THAAD) – CBS News

Both Russia and China, North Korea’s now largely estranged ally, see the deployment as exceeding what is necessary to defend against any North Korean threat, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it would “directly affect strategic security of Russia and China.”

That could “add fuel to the fire of an already tense situation and even possibly wreck the regional strategic balance,” Wang said in April.

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Their remarks came days after President Obama told CBS News’ Charlie Rose that the U.S. was working fast to position missile defenses in the region.

China, Russia reportedly agree “countermeasures” over U.S. missile defense plan in South Korea (THAAD) – CBS News

Trump Has Four Main Options for Stopping North Korean Missiles

Here are four options that Trump may consider to make good on his statement.

Military Strike

In 1994, the U.S. deployed an aircraft carrier for a potential strike on North Korea’s nuclear compound, according to a memoir published in 2000 by former South Korean President Kim Young-sam. The crisis ended after talks between ex-President Jimmy Carter and North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.

The costs of a strike would be higher now. North Korea’s arsenal has grown with five nuclear tests since 2006. A surgical attack risks provoking a full-fledged war that could kill millions of people on the peninsula — including in South Korea, a key American ally.

Trump Has Four Main Options for Stopping North Korean Missiles

US Intel Images Suggest Another N. Korean Missile Launch Site

The silo, an underground chamber used for storing and firing missiles, seems analogous to the one at a missile base in Tabriz, Iran, with the same 7.4-meter-wide sliding cover and the same type of exhaust vents, the intelligence consultancy told VOA on Tuesday.

That U.S.-based group added that this rectangular-shaped structure appears large enough to house current North Korean missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads that can strike neighboring countries, such as South Korea and Japan.

“If this Iranian site is housing missiles and the North Korean site that we have uncovered is the exact same dimension, then it’s quite possible that the site that we have uncovered is housing missiles as well,” said Ryan Barenklau, founder of Strategic Sentinel.

He also suggested a possible nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

US Intel Images Suggest Another N. Korean Missile Launch Site

North Korea ‘racing ahead’ on nuclear plan, defector says – CNNPolitics.com

Political uncertainty in the United States and in South Korea could give North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “an apt time” to develop nuclear weapons “at all costs by the end of 2017,” a high-profile North Korean diplomat who recently defected to South Korea said Tuesday.

“Due to domestic political procedures, North Korea calculates that South Korea and the US will not be able to take physical or military actions to deter North Korea’s nuclear development,” Thae Yong-ho, formerly No. 2 at the North Korean Embassy in London, said in a news briefing, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

North Korea ‘racing ahead’ on nuclear plan, defector says – CNNPolitics.com

Washington’s Dangerous Drums of War on North Korea – Defense One

The drums of war are starting to beat in Washington over North Korea. On Dec. 1, retired Gen. Walter Sharp, former commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration must be ready to launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korean missile sites the next time Pyongyang is preparing to conduct a test of a long-range rocket capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. A Council on Foreign Relations task force report, issued in mid-September, warned that the United States might have to consider military actions against North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities. And now the Pentagon is revising its contingency plans for military strikes on these missile sites.

Washington’s Dangerous Drums of War on North Korea – Defense One

North Korea still struggling with nuclear missile re-entry: U.S. official | Reuters

North Korea appears able to mount a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a missile but is still struggling with missile re-entry technology necessary for longer range strikes, a senior U.S. military official said on Thursday.

“I think they could mate a warhead with a delivery device. They’re just not sure (about) re-entry,” said the official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity.

“They’re endeavoring to overcome that.”

North Korea still struggling with nuclear missile re-entry: U.S. official | Reuters

North Korea: Breaking geopolitical deadlock

Current international policy vectors toward North Korea have largely failed to curtail North Korea’s WMD programs and change its policies.  As Pyongyang prepares for a possible sixth nuclear test, it’s clear a new approach is called for.

This year North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and multiple missiles tests, and staged a rare Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) congress signalling the ‘official start to Kim Jong-un’s era’, with no changes in its political course. Pyongyang has withstood the latest round of international sanctions, a spate of defections by North Korean elites, and deepening international diplomatic isolation.

Beyond ‘Strategic Patience’

According to the Independent Task Force on North Korea organised by the Council on Foreign Relations, ‘it is not enough to maintain the status quo on the peninsula or wait for circumstances to evolve in a favorable way’. Its main recommendation is to ‘elevate the [North Korean] issue to the top of the US-China bilateral relationship’. This sounds inviting but it would be costly. Indeed, much to Washington’s displeasure, this policy would likely reflect Chinese terms, with the US forced to return to the negotiating table with North Korea.

North Korea: Breaking geopolitical deadlock

Preparations needed to prevent Chinese intervention in North Korea – UPI.com

South Korea should be prepared for a multinational intervention in the event of “sudden changes” on the Korean peninsula, and be ready to prevent Chinese military deployment, an analyst said on Tuesday.

Hong Hyun-ik, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute, a South Korean think tank, said it would be an “urgent” priority for Seoul to block Chinese interference in the case of a political crisis in North Korea, Yonhap reported.

South Korea must make sure North Korea’s territory falls under Seoul’s jurisdiction before another power makes the claim, Hong said.

Preparations needed to prevent Chinese intervention in North Korea – UPI.com

The coming clash with China over North Korea – The Washington Post

Chinese officials at the conference warned that the proposed Clinton policy carries a risk of sparking a war on the Korean peninsula, and they expressed the suspicion that the unstated U.S. motivation was to spur regime change in Pyongyang.

The Clinton team has a plan to allay Chinese fears about regime change. Her advisers intend to push for a new dialogue with Beijing to discuss what would happen if the sanctions inadvertently cause the regime to collapse or if the regime implodes on its own due to mounting internal tensions.

The coming clash with China over North Korea – The Washington Post