Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 03, 2017

The Peanut - North Korea Tests A New Nuke - Continues To Press For Negotiations

Earlier today North Korea published pictures of its leader Kim Jong Un admiring a thermonuclear device or H-bomb. Hours later it tested such a bomb in an underground explosion. The North Korean news agency announced:

Pyongyang, September 3 (KCNA) -- Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un guided the work for nuclear weaponization on the spot.

He was greeted by senior officials of the Department of Munitions Industry of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and scientists of the Nuclear Weapons Institute before being briefed on the details of nuclear weaponization.
He watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM.

Saying that he felt the pride of indomitably bolstering up the nuclear forces at a great price while seeing the Juche-oriented thermonuclear weapon with super explosive power made by our own efforts and technology, he expressed great satisfaction over the fact that our scientists do anything without fail if the party is determined to do.
The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds kiloton, is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack according to strategic goals.

The Peanut - bigger

The Walter Cronkite of North Korean TV, Ri Chun Hee, showed more pictures from the visit (vid) the visit and later announced the nuclear test.

Some analyst nicknamed the new device the Peanut. The bomb type obviously differs from the implosion type Disco Ball of March 2016. The "Junche orientation" component, which presumably guarantees the ideological conformity of the device, seems to be the round white box on the left :-/.

(More seriously: Juche refers to self-sufficiency - i.e. North Korea made the components and built the device by itself.)

A graphic in one of the pictures shows the peanut within the warhead bay of a Hawsong-14 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile.

An hour after the above release, earth-quake detection monitors in south Asia went off. A seismic event of 6.1 to 6.3 magnitude on the logarithmic momentum magnitude scale was detected in the area of Punggye-ri. Like earlier North Korean nuclear weapon tests in the same area, the event happened exactly on the half hour mark (at 12:00am local time). The magnitude points to a large device with an explosive power between 100 kilotons and 1 megaton TNT equivalent. (All previous North Korean nuclear tests were in the low kiloton range.) Some detection stations found another seismic event of 4.6 magnitude shortly thereafter. If confirmed it was likely caused by a "cave-in" of the sub-terrain test chamber. It will take some time to assess the data and to come to more precise estimates, but the qualitative different size of this test compared to previous ones is undeniable.

Added: A later statement by the North Korean news agency confirmed a successful test of a two-stage thermonuclear device. It claimed that no radiation was released to the atmosphere.

One must now assess that North Korea has the capability to make, launch and deliver staged thermonuclear weapons up to megaton size at ICBM ranges. Most of China, Japan and at least the U.S. west coast are in reach of such a weapon. With this warhead size the somewhat dubious accuracy of North Korean missiles has much less relevance.

Before the U.S. and South Korea started this years invasion maneuver Ulchi on August 22, North Korea had warned that it would test-launch four Hawsong-12 mid range ballistic missiles towards the large U.S. base on Guam if, and only if, the U.S. would continue to use "strategic equipment" around its borders. This referred to B-1B nuclear bombers and aircraft carriers.

The U.S. understood and scaled back the planned maneuver. No "strategic equipment" was used.

On August 28, when the maneuver had ended, North Korea launched a test of a single Hawsong-12 medium range missile into the Pacific. The missile crossed over Japan at a height of 550 kilometer. (It thereby did NOT violate Japanese air-space.) Earlier tests had been flown in unrealistic steep trajectories to avoid such an overflight. This test was likely designed to prove to the U.S. the capability to reach Guam.

On August 31 the U.S. flew another "show of force" with B-1B bombers and F-35 stealth fighter planes over South Korea. The planes trained precision bombing with live bombs at a South Korean training area. These plane types are "strategic equipment" and the training makes only sense in a "preemptive strike on North Korea" scenario.

One can understand today's nuclear test as a response to these continuing U.S. provocations. The U.S. will of course claim that only North Korea is "provoking" here and it itself is only "responding". But such a hen-egg discussion and juvenile tit-for-tat is not only useless but dangerous. History tells us that the U.S. completely devastated North Korea and killed some 20% of its population, not vice versa. So far only North Korea had to fear nuclear destruction. That has now changed into a more balanced situation. A preventive or preemptive war on North Korea is no longer an option.

Today's event should convince even the dumbest of the doubters that North Korea's claimed capabilities are real. It should also demonstrate to the White House that verbal "fire and furry" insults, tit-for-tat shows of force and further economic sanctioning of North Korea and/or China are, as predicted, only worsening the situation.

Phillipe notes in the comments that today is the opening of a BRICS summit in Xiamen in China. Xi Jinping is giving a big speech. He will not like this disruption. China strongly condemned the test but there is little else it could reasonably do.

North Korea has offered several times to negotiate with the U.S. towards a peace agreement. (As the Korea War only ended in a ceasefire the nations are still at war.) It offered to stop all its nuclear and missile testing if the U.S. stops the large scale maneuvers in South Korea. Russia, China and South Korea have long urged the U.S. to pick up on that offer. The U.S. could have done so every day since the offer was first made years ago. Not doing so has only created the current situation and today's events.

One September 9 North Korea will celebrate its Independence Day. Such occasions are often used to demonstrate new capabilities. Today's first KCNA statement included the lines:

[Kim Jong Un] watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM
[which] can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack

A strong nuclear explosion at great height can cause an Electro-Magnetic-Pulse which does not directly kill people on the ground but creates some damage to unprotected electric and electronic equipment. The EMP threat is largely exaggerated but a hobby horse of many fear- and war-mongers in Congress. North Korea surely knows this and the statement thereby touches a sensible point. I find it unlikely that North Korea would go with such an unproven concept. This is mere trolling. But a September 9 ICBM missile test, on a realistic trajectory and with a simulated nuclear load, is definitely a possible next step to up the pressure towards new negotiations.

I for one feel no urge to witness a full Hawsong-14 ICBM test with even a dud megaton nuclear device on board. If the White House feels the same it must NOW stop further provocations and immediately agree to open-ended talks with North Korea.

Posted by b on September 3, 2017 at 7:11 UTC | Permalink

next page »

You could describe the US style of diplomacy as a series of pitiful lies, then some spiteful backstabbing, followed by retreat and failure of initial objectives.

Posted by: Pespi | Sep 3 2017 7:31 utc | 1

IF the test is proven to be thermonuclear (such a small device could only pack that amount of power if it was), then N. Korea will have demonstrated the ability to wound others as much as others could wound it. Coming at the end of the recent US-S.Korean military exercises, it serves as a as a full stop/exclamation mark invalidating what was designed for use against it. While disturbing to that US coalition, this cannot leave either Russia or China feeling very secure - however, given recent US searches of Russian diplomatic properties, there will be little cooperation just when Trump really needs it.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 3 2017 7:51 utc | 2

one thing that should be particularly worrying to people is the compact size of this device. seems to me that something that size could be put inside a lead lined box and sent just about anywhere without using ICBMs or stealth bombers.

this could very well be a game changer, if that seismic shockwave can definitely be attributed to a thermonuclear device and not just several tons of fertilizer then the only question remaining is if the model shown is the actual device or something for the US to ponder (I would assume a first time test H-bomb would be much larger)

by the way, fire and fury is what Trump promised, furry (pelzig) will probably turn out to be more accurate

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 3 2017 8:01 utc | 3

Gentlemen, deterrence is established.

The US will be forced back to the negotiations table one way or another. Also, NK just raised the middle finger to the self appointed UNSC veto members who recently imposed another round of sanctions. These self appointed "world powers" have pushed NK to a point where they see nukes as their only means of survivival - and rightly so.

Trouble is, all this could've been avoided had the US government negotiated in good faith and kept their side of the bargain. Instead, they manufactured pretexts after pretexts to sabotage the earlier deal they had with NK. They're doing same with the latest jcpoa with Iran - with the Trump admin trying hard to manufature another pretext to nullify the deal. If pushed too far, Iran might just detonate their own nuke device, too.

Strictly speaking, the US government, by virtue of its nukes, doesn't believe the laws of gravity(or any law for that matter) apply to them. This delutional thinking will soon change as more and more countries will conclude only a credible nuclear deterrent will put the Yankees at bay.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 3 2017 8:14 utc | 4

Sad part of this latest development is that, the citizens of South Korea and Japan are now hostage to mad US government policies.

Posted by: Zico | Sep 3 2017 8:17 utc | 5

This is a truly frieghtening moment; and I don't mean from North Korea.
My concern is the wackos in the U.S., and what their response will be...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 8:41 utc | 6


Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 8:42 utc | 7

um... the japanese and koreans have been hostage to mad US gov policies for nigh on 70 years.

Posted by: insanity | Sep 3 2017 8:45 utc | 8

Maybe James can give us Pluto's news?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 3 2017 8:51 utc | 9

Maybe it is just me who notice that and of things, but anyway – today is the opening of the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China. Xi JinpIng is giving his big speech. That is the second time KJU does that kind of things, previous time it was at the opening of the BRI summit (Belts and Roads summit).

A bit of speculation: on Sept 7 prime minister Abe Shinzo is scheduled to meet with President Putin in Vladivostok. Would he stop in Pyongyang on the way back (no it is not as crazy as it sounds)?

Posted by: Philippe | Sep 3 2017 8:57 utc | 10

Certainly becomes a game changer. Will he, or won't he? The ugly part, betting the ranch - other peoples - drives the fear factor in all of this. Where has the $Billion U.S.Intelligence bureaus been throughout all this? Saving face, as the saying goes, putting the human race on the line, oh well, perhaps none of us here will be around long enough to care?

Posted by: Eugene | Sep 3 2017 9:25 utc | 11

In the past, the problem might have involved some stupidity from the president, although I'll largely excuse Clinton from that because he did at least try to negotiate with North Korea, but the greater centre of stupidity was the morons in Congress who failed to ratify the one agreement that might have worked. Now, unless they're prepared to see millions of Americans die (which they probably are BTW), Trump should now be able place a blank sheet in front of them, say "sign" and if they have any "little grey cells" left between them (which I somehow doubt), they will sign.
BTW, I can see the United States allowing Japan to go nuclear, but they really shouldn't given Japan's recent history as it has no need and a number of countries very much against it happening.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 3 2017 9:53 utc | 12

North Korea has zero incentive to agree to engage in any "agreement" with U.S., or any other "involved parties".
They (NK) have seen the complete duplicity of the U.S. and have lost all trust in anything the U.S. says, IMO.
For critical thinking-able humans sovereignty is the bottom line; NK insist's on its sovereignty.
It's important to note; at least 28 countries (and counting?) have given up their sovereignty to the U.S. in the guise of NATO membership. Numerous other countries have, if not literally, then effectively, given up their sovereignty to the U.S. outright.
Demand sovereignty, and one automatically becomes an enemy; bend the knee or die.
That is the world as it is today; expect increasing numbers to refuse; the worm turns...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 10:21 utc | 13

I’m so old I remember when de Gaulle was branded a pariah and a danger to humanity for developing the A bomb.

Goes to show you, there’s nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: el sid | Sep 3 2017 10:23 utc | 14

Right now there are people in the Pentagon and other US power centers deciding whether it is best to risk losing half a million or more lives right now in Korea against tens of millions later in the USA and other places. Scary times.

Posted by: qualtrough | Sep 3 2017 11:04 utc | 15

qualtrough | Sep 3, 2017 7:04:16 AM | 15
Scary times indeed; but not because of NK.
Your hyperbole is disturbing and unnecessary; NK is not the threat; the U.S. is; don't you get it?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 11:20 utc | 16

The follow quote from b is the on the money:

"It should also demonstrate to the White House that verbal "fire and furry" insults, tit-for-tat shows of force and further economic sanctioning of North Korea and/or China are, as predicted, only worsening the situation. "

Its amazing how STUPID US and its STUPID lackeys in the EU are! They were all wrong as always. Their knowledge on these events are so low its frightening, but still they are backed up by the same STUPID western journalists that give space for their STUPID propaganda and STUPID analysis!

US already talk about "diplomacy", that really showed once and for all that NK was right all along and have atleast for the time dodged a US war on their soil. Having said that, I dont think NK have the capabilities for nuclear weaponry, they are still in the experiment stage IMO.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 3 2017 11:22 utc | 17

^ By the way, your "assessment" is as wrong as two left shoes...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 11:24 utc | 18

V. Arnold | Sep 3, 2017 7:24:09 AM | 18
Was at;
qualtrough | Sep 3, 2017 7:04:16 AM | 15

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 11:36 utc | 19

The North Koreans know they are at the centre of History .
If the United States attacks , millions may die but all the world - in a flash - will be disabused of any illussions they may hold concerning the U S . This could lead to world policies and cooperation to restrain the U S .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Sep 3 2017 11:36 utc | 20

Now all we are left to ponder is whether that small device was the same type detonated. If it is, then there is no way USA will dare attack North Korea, as the backlash from own American population for bringing nuclear death back to their own doorstep would be to great for any US regime to survive.

Posted by: Alexander Grimsmo | Sep 3 2017 11:51 utc | 21

V. Arnold | Sep 3, 2017 7:20:11 AM | 16

You are the one who 'didn't get it'. How did you read what I wrote and get the idea that I was implying the US was not the threat?

Here it is again:

Right now there are people in the Pentagon and other US power centers deciding whether it is best to risk losing half a million or more lives right now in Korea against tens of millions later in the USA and other places. Scary times.

Posted by: qualtrough | Sep 3 2017 11:56 utc | 22

Look, get this straight; NK isn't threatening to attack anyone; they just want to be left alone; and sovereign.
For critical thinking-able humans sovereignty is the bottom line; NK insist's on its sovereignty.
It's important to note; at least 28 countries (and counting?) have given up their sovereignty to the U.S. in the guise of NATO membership. Numerous other countries have, if not literally, then effectively, given up their sovereignty to the U.S. outright.
Demand sovereignty, and one automatically becomes an enemy; bend the knee or die.
That is the world as it is today; expect increasing numbers to refuse; the worm tu

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 12:00 utc | 23

qualtrough | Sep 3, 2017 7:56:25 AM | 22

Oops! My bad. Kudos to your point. Sorry...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3 2017 12:04 utc | 24

This shows why we must attack IRAN ! ! !

Has anyone else noticed how Iran gets dragged into the N. Korean news coverage, especially on FOX? Here's a nauseating article in NR where the deranged author promotes the axis of evil but swaps in Syria for Iraq since we destroyed Iraq and we all know that an axis has to have three countries ...

If anything, this should indicate how Iran's ballistic missile program is tactical and not meant for nuclear weapons. All of their testing has been on improving the accuracy of short / medium range missiles and not their range. Even Netanyahu intoned a few years ago, 'Iran can already reach Israel w/missiles, are you going to wait for them develop ICBM's?' Ballistic missiles meant for nuclear warheads only need an accuracy within a few km's.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 3 2017 12:42 utc | 25

Isn't our negating policy first to specify preconditions that are unreasonable to a regime that fears the Gaddafi treatment; such as stopping all work on nuclear weapons?

This is a policy that has not worked in the past, yet we keep our arrogant posture. Yes, the State Department will say that previous carrots offered are soon sabotaged. But that is our side of the story. What they want is a peace treaty.

By the way, I wonder if Americans and other nationals are escaping South Korea; business people, missionaries, etc.

Posted by: Bart in VA | Sep 3 2017 12:45 utc | 26

If Putin and Trump plays well the North Korea conflict, we may see a flip in the Congress finally realizing that the North Korea isuue cannot be solved without Russia and China's cooperation. Until now Russia and China have been playing cool, waiting to see pressure growing on the USA. Tillerson is well aware of that and has kept wooing Russia despite the humiliating actions the Congress has imposed on Russia.
China and Russia will not do anything without imposing conditions on the USA. With the threat of war looming , let see if the Congress will budge or if Trump will threat to resign!

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 3 2017 13:06 utc | 27

Kim is telling the U.S. to bend the knee or die. Whether acting alone or as a tool of both Russia or China, he puts our entire 70-year project of World Empire at risk. Everyone who thinks that the U.S. will not respond with a massive preemptive attack under these circumstances needs to wake up. Kim has crossed all the red lines that were issued to him only three weeks ago. He has humiliated the entire military and diplomatic corps of the United States with his provocative and forbidden actions. There is no walking this back now. If we stand down, the Empire will be deemed a facade subject to endless extortion. It is a fate worse than death. That's why we must respond once and for all to this existential threat.

Posted by: RenoDino | Sep 3 2017 13:13 utc | 28

look at the bright side. Escalating tensions with NK make it much harder for US to launch war against Iran.

Posted by: Ace Hanlon | Sep 3 2017 13:20 utc | 29

Sensible article...yes from the Guardian.....key word "talk"....

Posted by: notlurking | Sep 3 2017 13:46 utc | 30

The current central doctrine of the American establishment is self-contradictory which prevents any lasting success. In my opinion, it could develop in that way because Empire lost its purpose. In self-sustainable phase, an empire is a mechanism to loot other countries to enrich both the elite and the lower classes, while in the same time giving some benefits to the subjects of that looting (like preventing petty local wars, disseminating technologies and other knowledge etc., allowing the import of goods that are either essential or prestigious). In decadent phase, the empire provides prestige to the elite but the net expenditure to "project the presence far and wide" are a net loss for the non-elite, so doing it a bit better or a bit worse does not have measurable detrimental impact. Best minds drift away from the pointless strategizing.

Back to the doctrine on the abstract level. Imperial mission requires adversaries. If the latter do not threaten the "central country", they can threaten "precious allies", so such allies are needed to. Lastly and somewhat unfortunately, it requires activity. One type of activity is "support", subsidies, garrisons, sales of weapons (lucrative when they can pay, not lucrative when they cannot or do not have to). Another is more troublesome, namely "isolating" the adversaries. The trouble is if collectively the adversaries control a huge area with a lot of resources. If the empire cares even a little about "isolate and force concession" goals it should attempt some divide and conquer.

Alas, divide and conquer would temporarily remove some foreign entities from the list of adversaries, creating confusion among the inhabitants of the center (now, Americans, but also some precious allies). To isolate North Korea well, cooperation of China and Russia is required, but anything more than purely verbal cooperation requires some concessions. But concession to Russia are elevated to high treason, and concession to China are against sensible promises of Trump to create some protectionism for American industry (whatever is left of it). In the meantime, North Korea specializes in making the empire "loose face", and that "face" more or less constitutes the entire value of empire. Needless to say, all the major countries on the adversary lists have potential gains from the exhibit of USA being erratic and impotent. With enough such exhibits the "precious allies" may develop ideas of independence.

But this is a long game, so I do not expect any quick changes in the thinking of the elite of American empire (that entails the elites of the precious allies). But NK is only one field of conflict, so the empire ideologues are quite morose.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 3 2017 14:05 utc | 31

Well, all I can say is if N Korea decides it's willing to enter into negotiations for a treaty with the US, they better make sure they get it in writing, and I mean something iron clad and respected world wide--something as unassailable as the 1961 Vienna Convention. Then they'll be safe without their nukes.

Good thing I'm not a real pessimist, or after looking at the way the US has used the threat of Russia to control and then decimate its dear friends and allies of the EU--because it had become a serious economic rival--the people of Japan and S. Korea might get a little worried that the US would actually welcome a little nuclear exchange to put those pesky Asians back in their place. Just think of the money to be made from rebuilding Korea and Japan...again.

Posted by: J Swift | Sep 3 2017 14:17 utc | 32

NK has done well for its size and income developing missiles and nukes. Not many failures.
This little country, isolated from much of the world by the US, I suspect has had a little help to grab uncle sam by the balls. NK tucked between Ru and Cn has managed to develop nukes and the means to deliver them when other countries targeted by the US have not.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2017 14:23 utc | 33

@ Christian Chuba | Sep 3, 2017 8:42:40 AM | 25
Agreed, an axis traditionally must have three.

Posted by: lurker | Sep 3 2017 14:26 utc | 34

Stop worrying.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" (Danish: Kejserens nye Klæder) is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they don't see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as "unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent". Finally, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Sep 3 2017 14:27 utc | 35

@9 mina.. you want the astro update? lol...

Posted by: james | Sep 3 2017 14:54 utc | 36

@28, let me quess: You aren't Korean. You've never been to Korea. You don't speak Korean. You don't know any Koreans. Everything you know about Korea you read off the back of a cereal box. How'm I doin?

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 3 2017 15:15 utc | 37

- The video in which North Korea annouces the H-bomb explosion.

- Can anyone translate the north korean into e.g. english ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 3 2017 15:39 utc | 38

- And where did North Korea get the technology for that H-bomb ? From Ukraine ? From Russia ? From china ? From ................

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 3 2017 15:40 utc | 39

I am appalled by reaction of Rusia and China if they really condemned this nuke test. It seems that the truth Is hard to find since ALL sides seem to see their own interests in exaggerating the event as well as insinuating a increased threat of NK which is a lie.

Boy Un is trying to bring a balance of forces which has been proven many time greatly improves chances of peace on the region and finally end WWII via appropriate reparations and peace treaty with Japan following by reunification of Korea.

Russia statement is puzzling especially facing open US agression violating Russia sovereignty by invading Russian consulate in SF, COMMITING US CRIMINAL OFFENCE of burglary and theft since Vienna convention is a treaty, i.e. a law of the US land.

Today NK committed no act of aggression whatsoever, but in a balance and responsible way enhanced their national security and self defense capability, an unalienable right of any sovereign country at war facing corse and present danger of vastly superior enemy at its border.

Tell me it ain't so. Quo Vadis, Vlad?

Posted by: Kalen | Sep 3 2017 15:50 utc | 40

@37 ruralito.. i think you got the part about the back of the cereal box wrong.. nowadays it is off the front pages of the nyt, wapo, or wsj - they replaced the words on the back of the cereal box some ways back..

Posted by: james | Sep 3 2017 15:51 utc | 41

Posted by: Kalen | Sep 3, 2017 11:50:02 AM | 40

Tell me it ain't so. Quo Vadis, Vlad?

Well wherever he is heading to, he is not going alone. His good pal Xi is with him.
A lone traveler he is not for sure.

Posted by: hopehely | Sep 3 2017 16:00 utc | 42

I couldn't agree more B. I really hope the wise leaders of the west will come to their senses and stop this dangerous nonsense. They could - only they could. It is high time for the populations guided by the wise leaders of the west to state their will not to be nuked in the streets.

Posted by: Pnyx | Sep 3 2017 16:03 utc | 43

@ Willy2 | 39

How about themselves? Its very old tech after all, most of the knowledgebase is freely available. In comparison, it was harder to make advanced fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor, but after the West refused to supply fuel plates, Iran said it will make them themselves. All the experts laughed at them, saying its very advanced tech and way beyond Iran's capabilities. Iran did it, in less than a year. Then what to speak of 70 years old nukes tech, even if we talk about 2nd gen H-bomb.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 3 2017 16:09 utc | 44

Willy2 @ 39

From...the USA?

Posted by: Quentin | Sep 3 2017 16:16 utc | 45

Political leadership in the US is animated by its crude 'indispensable and exceptional' supremacist lunacy. I hope we can just turn the corner to survive this without disaster for millions.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Sep 3 2017 16:16 utc | 46

@ Kalen | 40

My assumption, is that Russia/China just giving lip service in condemnation of NK. Even UNSC new approved sanctions might have been just a front, with trade going under the table as always.

They are happy to see US bitchslapped by NK, as well as missiles tests (like recent one over Japan) showed US touted ABM tech is useless even against rudimentary NK ballistic missiles, then what to speak of advanced Russian/China missiles. When Russia blasted NK over it publicly, I can safely assume they had champagne bottles popping in Kremlin :)

Posted by: Harry | Sep 3 2017 16:21 utc | 47

This is serious global chess with NK playing its part to poke at the dying empire as a proxy of the China/Russia axis


Empire cannot strike at China/Russia/Syria/Iran/Venezuela/etc while NK is poking them in the arse and yet their options are limited to extinction or CHANGE. What will they do?

Whatever happens, I am sure that the sentiments that Trump shared at his recent Texas revisit: "Have a good time." will be spread to the rest of us as this situation goes critical

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 3 2017 16:33 utc | 48

The Pentagon was just hacked in 2012 and 2013 of all personnel and defense contractor data. This is reported and confirmed. The Pentagon suddenly went $54B over-budget in 2017. Congress threw them a $54B bone with a reconcilation audit or stoploss report! This violated standard government procedure. Pentagon was hacked! Congress just added $50B a year to Pentagon's budget, with no explanation, no Congressional hearings. Pentagon was hacked. DPRK is just moar Yellow Cake.

Posted by: Chibnik | Sep 3 2017 16:45 utc | 49

The consistent message from the DPRK is basically "We fear US intervention. Leave us alone". I judge it a reasonable fear in light of the USA governments 180 years of aggression and intervention against states it wanted something from beginning with Indigenous Americans [100s of treaties, all breached] Mexico [a manufactured war for territory], continuing through Japan [Perry's menacing to obtain trade] the Hawaiian Kingdom [war, invasion and regime change and for territory to dominate the Pacific], Spain [robbery], China [Boxer debt collection] Germany [eliminate rival], Haiti [debt collection, most states in Central and South America [get trade, debt collection], China again, Vietnam, the recent ones all should recall without the need of my listing. Israel has the bomb, not NK has the bomb. Which government kills more non-nationals? Israel is the last to murder Americans [Remember the Liberty] and its piracy in killing innocent [or even if not innocent] unarmed civilians of the Mavi Marmara. Kim Jong-un is less dangerous than every US president since Kennedy except Carter who was the last non-war criminal US President.

Posted by: StephenLaudig | Sep 3 2017 17:18 utc | 50

@ psychohistorian | Sep 3, 2017 12:33:17 PM | 48

NK’s deterrence is now established. If only Saddam and Ghadaffi had.

Russia, China and NK are the distractions. Behind the noise is the demise of the USD.

Xi and Putin are in discussion. Putin & Xi agree to ‘appropriately deal’ with N. Korea nuclear test – Xinhua

Trump’s response:
Trump: N. Korea hostile and dangerous to US, talk of appeasement won’t work”
RT: breaking news headline ‘US considering stopping all trade with any country doing business with NK’-Trump

Trump also broached the possibility of attacking North Korea. The president responded, "We'll see", to a question shouted by a pool reporter about potential plans to strike the secretive state as he was leaving Sunday service at St John’s Episcopal Church in Washington.[.]

Amid the rising tension, Russia and China have been calling on both sides to tone down the hostility and offer concessions in order to pave the way for negotiating a solution. So far, neither Washington nor Pyongyang have agreed to do so. The US rejected the idea to suspend joint military drills with South Korea, which are perceived as a threat in the North, while Pyongyang said it will not suspend its nuclear and rocket development.

It’s all about the demise of the USD. What does the US export that is not available from others?
In light of this article, (the systems were years in the making after the US used SWIFT to exclude Iran from use of USD) the US is truly in a royal F&*K:

USD reserve currency’s funeral has been announced.

Nikkei Asian Review

September 1, 2017 8:56 pm JST
China sees new world order with oil benchmark backed by gold.
Yuan-denominated contract will let exporters circumvent US dollar

DENPASAR, Indonesia -- China is expected shortly to launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold in what analysts say could be a game-changer for the industry.

The contract could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world's biggest oil importer. Crude oil is usually priced in relation to Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures, both denominated in U.S. dollars.[.]

Few will grasp the future. USD has been backed by oil per the 1973 Kissinger arranged agreement with KSA.

It will not be just oil, other commodities on tap. Yuan hubs are in place. Frankfurt, London, Vancouver, Doha Qatar, SF and Singapore, as others hustle.

Russia-China alt-payment systems are now tested.

Posted by: likklemore | Sep 3 2017 17:29 utc | 51

I just wonder if any good sense or common reason is left among people all over the world.

How a nation coming out from over forty years of foreign occupation, only in last century alone, surrounded completely by top three world nuclear superpowers with massive military presence on its borders with no peace treaty and state of war with most powerful one and its allies, can be accused of being agressive or provocative trying to defend their sovereignty and political independence and wanting to be accepted by international community of nations as a political and economic partner.

The reason has been replaced by goal seeking newspeak, sadly also in Beijing and Moscow.

Posted by: Kalen | Sep 3 2017 17:53 utc | 52

@1 pespi

It's so good it bears repeating: "You could describe the US style of diplomacy as a series of pitiful lies, then some spiteful backstabbing, followed by retreat and failure of initial objectives."

I never saw it described better. I think one could apply the same formula to all activities undertaken now by US executive entities, covert or overt, domestic or foreign, from military even to the vaunted financial.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 3 2017 18:17 utc | 53

There is a great irony created by the DPRK thermonuclear weapon.

For decades the cry of the military-industrial establishment has been:


Nuclear weapons became "our deterrent" (as only our enemies possess nuclear weapons, of course). Conventional wisdom tells us that our wonderful nuclear deterrent has for decades been the only thing that has prevented World War 3, i.e. nuclear war. Peace is maintained by our nuclear deterrent, peace is our business (very big business, many trillions spent on nuclear weapons, oops, I mean deterrent).

Now that the DPRK has developed their own bona fide deterrent, one might think that this would reinforce deterrence? But low and behold, there is a gnashing of teeth and wailing among the US champions of deterrence! Apparently their definition of deterrence is slightly more one-sided than was taught to us deplorables in our much vaunted public education system?

It turns out that a nuclear deterrent is supposed to deter others, not US!

So maybe World War 3 is no longer to be deterred by the deterrent?

Posted by: Perimetr | Sep 3 2017 18:20 utc | 54

@ Perimetr | 54

So maybe World War 3 is no longer to be deterred by the deterrent?

Its just face saving empty bravado. US doesnt dare to attack conventionally armed strong Iran, and we are to believe they'll attack nuclear armed strong NK? Common. USA may do many stupid things, but they are not THAT stupid or suicidal. Their prefered targets are weak countries who cant defend themselves.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 3 2017 18:29 utc | 55

likklemore @ 51

Simple numbers to show real possibilities:
6 Yuan = 1 USDollar
1 ounce Gold = 1200 USD
1 ounce Gold = 6000 Yuan

China can announce it will revalue Yuan/Gold at 12000 Yuan = 1 ounce and will also accept Gold to settle commodity trades denominated in Yuan.

All China export trade will accept payment either in Gold or Yuan. Thus buyers of Chinese goods can pay in Gold or Yuan, but Gold will be accepted at the equivalence of 12,000 Yuan per ounce.

Consider, if you will, that any foreign importer can use USD to buy Gold at 1200 USD per ounce and then settle the China exporter's invoice using Gold's Yuan value as 12,000 Yuan per ounce.

Business is just business, anywhere in the world.

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 3 2017 18:38 utc | 56

likklemore @ 53
ERROR in my #56 post: Use rough numbers of1 oz. Gold = 1000 USD [not 1200 USD]. So...

Simple numbers to show real possibilities:
Assume these current rough values...
6 Yuan = 1 USDollar
1 ounce Gold = 1000 USD
1 ounce Gold = 6000 Yuan

China can announce it will revalue Yuan/Gold at 12,000 Yuan = 1 ounce and will also accept Gold to settle commodity trades denominated in Yuan.

All China export trade will accept payment either in Gold or Yuan. Thus buyers of Chinese goods can pay in Gold or Yuan, but Gold will be accepted at the equivalence of 12,000 Yuan per ounce.

Consider, if you will, that any foreign importer can use USD to buy Gold at 1000 USD per ounce and then settle the China exporter's invoice using Gold's Yuan value as 12,000 Yuan per ounce.
HNow insert the actual current values and the results are equivalent.

Business is just business, anywhere in the world.

Posted by: chu teh | Sep 3 2017 18:49 utc | 57

US stops selling weapons to all countries that trade with North Korea.
Peace will come!

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 3 2017 19:10 utc | 58

@ From The Hague | 58

US stops selling weapons to all countries that trade with North Korea.

So no more weapons to Saudis, Turkey, etc? Awesome news! :P

Posted by: Harry | Sep 3 2017 19:18 utc | 59

StephenLaudig @ 50

Here is one of many articles detailing Carter's war crimes. There are no political heroes or even heroes at all.

Posted by: Krollchem | Sep 3 2017 19:18 utc | 60

I think North Korea has just put the US back in its box. Leaders like Saddam and Gadaffi had the guts to retaliate but they didn't have the means, while Kim Jong-Un has both.

Now the US has to put up or shut up; and its approach to China and Russia to "rein Kim in" is in fact a hope either country will get it out of this mess without losing face, but even more so, without going to war against someone who can and will fight back.

Posted by: Michael McNulty | Sep 3 2017 19:39 utc | 61

StephenLaudig @ 50
Kennedy - Bay of Pigs and Vietnam

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 3 2017 19:40 utc | 62 reports: "09/03: The Syrian Arab Army broke the siege of Deir ez-Zor and reached 137th Mechanized Brigade-Army Base"

Can anyone confirm?

This is wonderful news!

(Sorry to be OT)

Posted by: E | Sep 3 2017 20:06 utc | 63


Yes, its amazing news, and its either true or will be within a day or two. Tigers were reported to be within 15km of DZ earlier today.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 3 2017 20:21 utc | 64

The STUPID lackeys in the EU cant stop their idiotic policies:

EU Ready to Increase Sanctions Against North Korea Over H-Bomb Test

Posted by: Anon | Sep 3 2017 20:39 utc | 65

Could some one clarify what it is North Korea want?!

Have they laid out what their concerns/demands are?

How does their conduct help in the achievement of these goals ?

In my view what is missing is the human face the present their case - a minister to actually communicate and talk to the media about North Korea and its issues. Kim is a very poor politician

They are also alienating China and Russia as they are taking things too far

The development of the bomb just invites an aggressive response back - listen to the EU as well as Trump, and Japan

How are North Korea going to climb down from thei position they have put themselves in.

The UN will meet tomorrow and on the table will be more sanctions - not talk; therefore the strategy is not working

Posted by: James lake | Sep 3 2017 21:04 utc | 66

@ James lake | 66

NK always made it clear what they want, and its outlined in this very thread. Why dont they communicate better? Because its pointless. The West isnt willing to listen. The ONLY way to get them there - by credible deterrence, with escalation if needed. No words or diplomacy will change anything in this regard, many countries tried in the past, not one succeeded.

The development of the bomb just invites an aggressive response back

Of course, aggressors respond aggressively when their aggression doesnt put the victim on its knees.

The only way out - escalate till the West (and primarily US) will have no choice but accept NK as sovereign nuclear country. There is no alternative, unless of course some Western psychos decide to start WW3.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 3 2017 21:26 utc | 67

you know many someones in the US military are considering this annihilation possibility when head of US foreign policy I mean military policy Mattis mentions I mean threatens it. I can't recall the US ever threatening another nascent nuclear power in such a way...

even talking about annihilating north korea is dangerous business as the Koreans have a very good memory of the first time that the US annihilated their country in 1950-1953

Wanshigton (AFP) - ...."Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming," Mattis said.

....."We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 3 2017 22:20 utc | 68

"When the blind leads the way, woe to those who follow." - Honduras proverb

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 3 2017 22:31 utc | 69

Everything you (RenoDino @28) know about Korea you read off the back of a cereal box. How'm I doin?

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 3, 2017 11:15:33 AM | 37

A strange argument, given that I am not aware of cereal boxes with any historical or geographic info whatsoever. Besides, RenoDino was making some contemporary interpretations that say very little about any of Koreas and quite a bit about US. In particular, he made some references to "red lines".

One salient question is: what is the meaning of the phrase "red line" in contemporary American English (a country without lads, chaps or blokes, but with many guys of both sexes). My modest experience suggests lines made of some fabric hanging from movable metal posts that guide check-in lines at American airports. When you face such a line you have to choose: walk around it (always a safe choice) or nimbly lift one of them and go under (that may save you some time). Another experience is with "college ruled paper" where you have a vertical red line, on one side you write lengthier remarks, and on the other, short ones. But if you are particularly long winded, your writing may cross the red line. The summary is
that "red line" is something that you should not cross unless it is really, really convenient.

That raises a puzzle why American presidents declare "red lines". Presumably, they either foresee, or try to cause inconviences for some people who would cross them, but perhaps those lines are used merely to organize their thinking (an attempt that can be futile).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 3 2017 22:38 utc | 70

I guess the primary thing North Korea wants is peace. Most amerikans don't realise that their government, most likely in a continuing fit of imperial pique is still at war with North Korea because all attempts to broker a peace treaty have been rejected by Washington. The fact that amerika would be up for billions maybe trillions in todays money, for reparations for the destruction of lives and property - about 20% of the Nth Korean population and every building or structure was destroyed when amerika got really angry at the 'little country that could'.
Remember even the warmongers like Douglas MacArthur ended up sickened and appalled at the damage wreaked upon North Korea, who after decades of Japanese imperialism flatly refused to allow a replacement to take over.
Maybe the people of the DRPK are a little bit crazy because of the shit they have been put through but it is worth noting that they have never been aggressive towards any other sovereign nation they have only responded to others' aggression. The Korean War started when amerika broke a written agreement which required a national plebiscite on whether South Korea should rejoin. amerikan intelligence estimated that their side would lose the popular vote so they did their bully boy thing and prevented the referendum. That kicked off a war one amerika lost and like a typical schoolyard bully, refused to countenance it's defeat claiming "They cheated boo whah - my dad's a policeman he'll get you". Since then amerika has done everything it can to try and taunt Pyonyang into punching it first, but the DRPK has played it smart by quietly building up its deterrence till it got to the point it was ready to show amerika exactly what it would cost to cross that border.
Everyone in the west fails to understand why DRPK is 'so sensitive' but the current state of declared war means that amerika could decide during one of its war 'games' that today they won't turn back at the border and charge on into North Korea without warning, without any legislative referral at all.
If you lived under that threat and had already experienced exactly how evil and depraved amerikan military 'actions' are, wouldn't you decide that preventing a repeat of that would be your number one priority?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 3 2017 22:50 utc | 71

Which government kills more non-nationals? Israel ....

Posted by: StephenLaudig | Sep 3, 2017 1:18:14 PM | 50

I guess that Stephen tries to put countries on the scale "not so bad, pretty bad, almost harmless etc." which gives some metric of moral or ethical probity. But is it a good metric? In the past I read quite a bit about Israeli-Palestinian conflict (with cameo roles for Hezbollah) and Israel was indeed killing more people in the situations I read about. However, I also read that comparing such numbers is simplistic and misleading. A better number is a ratio

shit that was done
shit that could be done

Needless to say, this measure has some limitations, and it totally breaks down when the side that we do not like has nuclear weapons. Nukes are Weapons of Massive Moral Superiority, and in wrong hands they are a disaster.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 3 2017 22:57 utc | 72

What does N.Korea want. let me give a brief summary. (previous threads detail a history of agreements)

In the past there have been several deals. N.Korea gave up missile and nuclear research in exchange for lifting the food and medicine blockade, getting fuel oil for energy. They also wanted to negotiate a lasting peace.

Repeatedly the US was first to back out on those deals.

This last time N.Korea appears to offer a halt to their research in exchange for the axis of Japan-US-S.Korea stopping the military exercises that rehearse the invasion and bombing of N. Korea.

seems like a pretty small ask

Posted by: les7 | Sep 3 2017 23:06 utc | 73

Trump won't dare do anything against NK as he has been warned off by China not to fire the first shot. So a pretext will be required, however the Brits have just warned that Seoul will be vaporised if any war starts so it's playground rants and then the talks will begin. Pathetic really.

Posted by: Bill | Sep 3 2017 23:13 utc | 74

Hi B,

Trump likely to propose abolition of veto power in Security Council and the raising of India, Indonesia, Brazil, Germany, Japan to Security Council seats in attempt to spilt the BRICS in his meeting on the 18th September. On 19th he will make same proposal to General Assembly. The UN to be paralysed. He taketh peace from the earth.

Posted by: Amanita Amanita | Sep 3 2017 23:19 utc | 75

E & Harry @63&64--

Canthama at SyrPers has confirmed the link-up and initial breaking of Deir Ez-zor Siege. Daesh will counterattack during the night, so we must await daybreak for news of results. By the accounts given by Canthama at SyrPers, the battle to link-up was the most intense of the war to-date with massive CAS by Russia. My guess is that all the Geneva Convention violations by the Outlaw US Empire aimed at Russia is in some way vengeance for Russia's destruction of the Syrian Regime Change project, but is Trump really issuing those orders or ? Given his campaign rhetoric, he ought to be applauding the extermination of Daesh.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2017 23:23 utc | 76

The final question; do the neo-cons and know-nothings who rule Washington DC recognize that they have been checkmated or not? We will now wait to see if there is a preemptive strike ordered to take out North Korea’s nuclear capability and regime.

If restarted, the new Korean War and will kill millions of Asians and Americans despite Senator Lindsey Graham’s belief that “If thousands die, they're going to die over there. They're not going to die here.” The use of nuclear weapons will escalate the war into a World Apocalypse.

If blocked, the Empire’s decline will continue and more 7th Fleet sailors will die in the bunks. Ultimately if there is no world war and government is not returned to the people, North America will collapse into No Man’s Lands of expanding deserts and flood plains surrounding besieged cities of walled in elite.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 3 2017 23:31 utc | 77

Debsisdead | Sep 3, 2017 6:50:03 PM | 71


Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 4 2017 0:41 utc | 78

'To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war' ~ attributed to Winston .

Posted by: la | Sep 4 2017 0:45 utc | 79

A 1mt gadget, even if delivered by trebuchet to the suburbs of Seoul
is a big stick.

Posted by: Duck1 | Sep 4 2017 0:47 utc | 80

Good comments all. Whatever transpires from this clusterfuck, rests completely on the shoulders of this moronic, avarice ridden empire, and their uninterested minions, the American public.

Posted by: ben | Sep 4 2017 1:26 utc | 81

@79 right ...jaw-jaw...

It was Winston who hatched the plan in 44, while the battle in Eastern Europe still raged, to save as much of the Wehrmacht as possible so the RAF, US forces, and others could join it in an attack on Russia. Failing that he and the esteemed Roosevelt conspired to starve the 6 million German troops they held in prisons to ensure that Germany never rose again. 1 million died that first winter. My father was part of the transport corp that 'fed' them sub-starvation rations. Arriving home he threw his uniform in the trash and almost never spoke of the travesty he witnessed.

Posted by: les7 | Sep 4 2017 1:34 utc | 82

The Yuan oil contract backed by gold is indeed a game-changer - slated to start in 2018 I believe.

Buy gold now - it can only go up when this launches. UP UP UP.

As for the DPRK and the Korean Peninsula - the solution is blindingly obvious - but it is really up to ROK/ South Korea to call for it.

ROK must invite Chinese troops in and gradually kick the US troops out.

Then China/ South Korea can properly negotiate with the DPRK about resolving and ending the conflict and reunifying the Peninsula through stages.

The US can relocate all their forces to Japan.

They must leave South Korea though.

If Trump is being deliberately belligerent - ie by threatening to tear up trade agreements with South Korea right when this is happening! Then maybe he is angling and forcing South Korea into China's hands even while his actions belie that outcome.

If so brilliant.

Can someone else explain why Trump would be so openly and blatantly belligerent towards South Korea in the face of the current tension on the Korean Peninsula? It makes no sense unless he is actually trying to push them to kick the US troops out of South Korea.

Why the belligerence from Trump towards the ROK?

Posted by: Julian | Sep 4 2017 2:17 utc | 83

Trump says, America comes fir$t.

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Sep 4 2017 2:23 utc | 84

Julian | Sep 3, 2017 10:17:13 PM | 83

You give the jackass in chief way too much credit; he's an ignorant sod.
The U.S. is losing it and has entered panic mode.
I think the criminal searching of the San Fransico Russian consulate is just one of many desperate actions...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 4 2017 2:25 utc | 85


DPRK has escalation dominance over USA.
There is no military solution.

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Sep 4 2017 2:36 utc | 86

Re: Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 3, 2017 10:25:55 PM | 85

You are probably right. But resolving those situation really depends on SK stepping up to the plate. Unfortunately it seems they are doubling down on already failed policies.

Posted by: Julian | Sep 4 2017 3:09 utc | 87

@71 debsisdead... thanks for saying what every person on the planet needs to hear..

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2017 3:36 utc | 88

craig murrays view from the uk.. he says much the same as debsisdead..

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2017 3:48 utc | 89

Julian | Sep 3, 2017 11:09:17 PM | 87

As Steve Bannon so well said; there is no military option for the U.S., unless, they're willing to have Seoul obliterated with vast hundreds of thousands dead.
The president of SK, Moon Jae-in, has told the U.S., it is only up to SK if NK is to be attacked.
So far NK hasn't attacked anybody; and their threats are simply hyperbolic responses to the hubristic U.S. and its constant threats and intimidation.
The only reasonable policy, IMO, is the acceptance of NK as a nuclear power; and proceed from there.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 4 2017 4:28 utc | 90

China's president Xi gave a speech today (9/3/2017) to a business group as part of the BRICS gathering. I have read the text and am providing two relevant quotes, IMO.....the future is not evenly distributed.
We are in a great era of development, transformation and adjustment. Although conflict and poverty are yet to be eliminated globally, the trend toward peace and development has grown ever stronger. Our world today is becoming increasingly multipolar; the economy has become globalized; there is growing cultural diversity; and the society has become digitized. The law of the jungle where the strong prey on the weak and the zero-sum game are rejected, and peace, development and win-win cooperation have become the shared aspiration of all peoples.
The development of emerging market and developing countries is not intended to move the cheese of anyone but to make the pie of the global economy bigger. We should join hands to steer the course of economic globalization, offer more vision and public goods, make the governance model and rules more balanced and inclusive, and improve and reshape international division of labor and global value chains. We should work to reform the global economic governance system to make it commensurate with the reality of the global economic architecture. We should also improve governance rules for the new domains of deep sea, polar regions, outer space and cyberspace, so as to ensure that all countries share both rights and responsibilities.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 4 2017 4:48 utc | 91

@ Debsisdead - # 71

That sums it up very succinctly Debs. I have been trying (without success I might add) to get my wife to grasp / acknowledge the big picture & historical context that has brought us to the current situation. All I get back is "He's a nut job - you don't fire missiles over other countries"

Your point about the war never being over is a very important one to the Korean view of things. Probably 99% of the Wests population have no knowledge of this & a large % of them wouldn't give a shit either. One has to hold the entire Main Steam Media in awe at the complete dumbing down, especially of the murcan population, so that most can't even work out that what happened in Iraq, Libya & nearly Syria happened because they had no deterent (I say "Steam" instead of "Stream" because they are a stinking pile of collective shit !!) And NK ain't gunna let that happen to them.

I wonder what the average punter in the streets of SK are thinking . . . obviously nothing, judging by the (lack of) coverage.

Posted by: KiwiCris | Sep 4 2017 5:13 utc | 92

counterpunch has had many good articles over the years about north Korea and the US, etc. With a good bit if history that I never knew about. too. A small part of one by Whitney in April 2017:

The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea by Mike Whitney

.....There’s no country in the world that needs nuclear weapons more than North Korea. Brainwashed Americans, who get their news from FOX or CNN, may differ on this point, but if a hostile nation deployed carrier strike-groups off the coast of California while conducting massive war games on the Mexican border (with the express intention of scaring the shit of people) then they might see things differently. They might see the value of having a few nuclear weapons to deter that hostile nation from doing something really stupid.

.....The United States killed over 2 million people in a country that posed no threat to US national security. Like Vietnam, the Korean War was just another muscle-flexing exercise the US periodically engages in whenever it gets bored or needs some far-flung location to try out its new weapons systems. The US had nothing to gain in its aggression on the Korean peninsula, it was mix of imperial overreach and pure unalloyed viciousness the likes of which we’ve seen many times in the past. According to the Asia-Pacific Journal:

“By the fall of 1952, there were no effective targets left for US planes to hit. Every significant town, city and industrial area in North Korea had already been bombed. In the spring of 1953, the Air Force targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River, both to destroy the North Korean rice crop and to pressure the Chinese, who would have to supply more food aid to the North....... "

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 4 2017 5:30 utc | 93


They want protection from attacks from the US, it's pretty simple,
I dont see how NK are the ones having to "climb down", climb down from what? If anyone, its US that have to climb down from their war threats.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 4 2017 5:47 utc | 94

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 3, 2017 6:50:03 PM | 71

The Korean War started when amerika broke a written agreement which required a national plebiscite on whether South Korea should rejoin. amerikan intelligence estimated that their side would lose the popular vote so they did their bully boy thing and prevented the referendum.

Source please

Posted by: From The Hague | Sep 4 2017 6:27 utc | 95

Anon @94
Your points are well made

However my point is that the policy pursued by North Korea - could not be better for the Americans!!!

1. Sanctions on China and Russia
2. The placing of weapons in SK and Japan which threaten china and Russia
3. Japan and the US are discussing Japan coming under the nuclear umbrella
4. Japan discussing developing their own weapon

How can any of this be a good policy for NK or it's neighbours China and Russia?

It's almost as if Kim is working for the Americans as the results help American weapons proliferation

Posted by: James lake | Sep 4 2017 6:41 utc | 96

Just to add to my comment

Kim waited until the BRICS event to open in China to do this - the date was chosen to offend China and embarrass Xi.
The NK. are behaving like an American agent

just my thoughts - look at the results of his conduct - results are the key thing to look at.

Posted by: James lake | Sep 4 2017 6:46 utc | 97

Re:Posted by: James lake | Sep 4, 2017 2:41:44 AM | 96

How can any of this be a good policy for NK or it's neighbours China and Russia?

It's almost as if Kim is working for the Americans as the results help American weapons proliferation

Yep, I have thought the same thing - but where did Kim go to school though?

Scarce information on Kim Jong-un's early life comes from North Korean defectors and people who have claimed to witness him abroad, such as during his school attendance in Switzerland. Some of the information has been conflicting and contradictory, perhaps confusing him with his brother, Kim Jong-chul, who also attended school in Switzerland around the same time. Nevertheless, there has been some consensus on information about his early life. North Korean authorities have stated that his birthdate is 8 January 1982, but South Korean intelligence officials believe the actual date is a year later. Former basketball star Dennis Rodman said that the birthdate is 8 January 1983 after meeting Kim in September 2013 in North Korea.[2] Kim Jong-Un was the second of three children Ko Yong-hui bore to Kim Jong-il; his elder brother Kim Jong-chul was born in 1981, while his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, is believed to have been born in 1987.[19][20]

Oh - he went to school in Switzerland. Well clearly he'd have nothing to do with any banking cabal being a pupil in Bern then.

That's a long way from New York afterall.

Although, to be fair, Bern is not that far from Basel.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international financial institution[2] owned by central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks".[3] The BIS carries out its work through its meetings, programmes and through the Basel Process – hosting international groups pursuing global financial stability and facilitating their interaction. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

Bern to Basel - 100km from Post Office to Post Office. Probably not that long on one of those efficient Swiss trains.

I wonder if Kim ever met any bankers while he was in Switzerland? Perhaps bankers that promised his father true independence from China/Russia if the Kims played ball?

Nah, impossible, it could never happen. They're Crazy Commies afterall!

Posted by: Julian | Sep 4 2017 7:19 utc | 98

Re: Posted by: Julian | Sep 4, 2017 3:19:11 AM | 98

Oh, and I should add, lest you think me a fool for even thinking such a thing.

If these even was plausible, does Kim know he's being played? Is he smart enough to work that out?

If he did think he had some sort of deal like this to act crazy and secure his personal future and safety, he's got to realise he's setting himself up to be double-crossed. Inevitably double-crossed.

They all are.

Posted by: Julian | Sep 4 2017 7:20 utc | 99

James lake | Sep 4, 2017 2:46:28 AM | 97

Conclusions based on faulty logic are irrelevant.
Even a cursory knowledge of Korean history would render your reasoning faulty.
Kim Jong-Un is no pawn of the U.S., either by intent or accident.
Trump and the U.S.s' hubris, are driving SK away, not towards the U.S., IMO.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 4 2017 7:34 utc | 100

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