The speed at which North Korea has ramped up its missile and nuclear defense programs within the last two years is reportedly due to purchases Kim Jong Un’s regime has made on a weapons black market linked to the Ukraine and Russia as the United States and the globe frets over a potential military conflict.
Ted Lieu is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing California’s 33rd congressional district since 2015. Rep. Lieu served in the JAG corps from 1995-1999 and as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 2000-2016. Lieu has been an outspoken critic of the war on Yemen, and more recently, of President Trump’s authority to unilaterally authorize a nuclear first strike.
As President Donald Trump escalates his war of words against North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un, a team of independent rocket experts has concluded that the two rockets the rogue regime launched in July and described as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are incapable of delivering a nuclear payload to the continental United States, and probably not even to Anchorage, Alaska.
China will remain neutral if North Korea fires missiles at United States territory first, but should the U.S. launch a preemptive strike, as it has suggested it might, North Korea’s chief ally would come to the North’s aide. While not direct government policy, that verdict of how the country should react amid the unfolding nuclear threats from the U.S. and North Korea…
President Donald Trump’s pledge to punish North Korea “with fire, fury and frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” triggered outrage from pundits and lawmakers across the political spectrum. The outrage over his apparent threat to annihilate North Korea, possibly with nuclear arms, prompted his advisors to insist that Trump’s comments were improvised.
President Trump’s pledge to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea has raised alarm across Asia, been condemned by Democrats as weak and clueless, forced White House aides to counter that he didn’t mean it, and even led a GOP consultant to compare Trump to movie villain Dr. Strangelove and urge U.S. generals to stop him.
A recent poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that 75 percent of Americans list North Korea as a “critical threat” facing the United States, up from 55 percent just two years ago. The same poll found that 40 percent of Americans support conducting preemptive air strikes on North Korean “nuclear facilities”—a move that would effectively start and all-out war on the peninsula.
The United States may be on the brink of frightening conflict in East Asia. Since The Washington Post reported earlier this week that a U.S. intelligence agency believes North Korea possesses miniaturized nuclear warheads that can fit inside its missiles, President Donald Trump and the North Korean government have traded threats.
Speaking on his flight home as he wrapped up a diplomatic tour through Southeast Asia, Tillerson said he was hopeful a fortified international front would put pressure on Pyongyang and force it to back down from its own belligerent stance.
The U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved a sanctions resolution that the United States said was the strictest imposed “on any country in a generation,” banning North Korea from exporting many of its most lucrative products, ranging from coal to iron ore to seafood and even some of its artwork.
In India, the question of press freedom and corporate-political control and nexus has again been thrown wide open. The first instance is the case of the summary departure of Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a well-known Indian journalist, clearly over his recent exposes on the Gautam Adani group, a corporate giant with avowedly close links to India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi.
Touching down in Washington D.C. Friday night after a peace delegation to South Korea, I saw the devastating news. No, it was not that Reince Priebus had been booted from the dysfunctional White House. It was that North Korea had conducted another intercontinental ballistic missile test, and that the United States and South Korea had responded by further ratcheting up this volatile conflict.
U.S. President Donald Trump struck a conciliatory tone with Chinese leader Xi Jinping Saturday despite criticizing China last week for not helping to crack down on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The Trump administration and China now intend to move forward with military and security cooperation between the two counties. But President Xi also stressed the importance of talks with North Korea—an idea not embraced by the Trump administration.
In the 1960s, when Chinese tyrant Mao Zedong was striving to build nuclear weapons, he inspired great anxiety in the United States. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson considered launching an attack to prevent it, before deciding not to. When China advanced to building ICBMs, Johnson deployed an anti-ballistic missile system to intercept them in flight. A few years later, however, it was dismantled.
The combination of Trump’s ignorance and belligerence has worried U.S. and international nuclear experts from the start of his presidency. Now North Korea’s response to Trump—fast improving ballistic technology and Kim Jong-un’s own brand of belligerence—has the world growing alarmed.
Moon, who won elections in South Korea in May, has tried to engage with North Korea by inviting them to co-host the Winter Olympics and trying to provide Pyongyang with life-saving Malaria medication, both of which were turned down. Moon asked Obama for advice on how to deal with his northern neighbor and discussed recent talks with U.S. President Donald Trump. Obama meanwhile “wished Moon success during his leadership,” according to a spokesperson from the Korean Presidential palace.
The exchange allowed Trump to present himself as again being tough on U.S. allies, particularly on trade deficits. But it remains to be seen if the public lecturing might complicate the relationship with Seoul’s leaders, whose help the United States needs to strengthen the alliance against North Korea and its nuclear threat.
On April 29, President Trump made a highly controversial phone call to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, an authoritarian strongman whose daily executions have become a hallmark of his brutal regime.
Echoing the official stance of his government, Choe asserted North Korea’s right to maintain and develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent to foreign invasion. Though he said he was unaware of a specific date for another nuclear weapons test, he stated that one would be conducted on leader Kim Jong Un’s terms regardless of U.S. pressure.
The post election survey conducted by Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS say Moon won with over 41 percent of the vote. The exit poll is also in line with opinion polls taken before the election that gave Moon a 20 percentage point lead over the field of 13 candidates.
They are, to coin a phrase, “bad hombres.” They are men who order the slaughter of peaceful demonstrators and the roundup of political rivals. They arrest pesky journalists, if they don’t murder them first. They rig elections, if they hold them at all. And they use their office to enrich themselves and their friends, while promising never to retire. They are, in short, the once and future friends of President Donald Trump.
Embracing Duterte is different. The invitation to the Filipino strongman suggests Trump is not bluffing when he talks about taking the law into his own hands. He wants to show Americans that he admires and welcomes leaders who act lawlessly, but “in the right way.” This makes emotional sense for Trump, and thus political sense.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he “would not be happy” if North Korea conducts another nuclear test, which would be its sixth. “I can tell you also, I don’t believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either,” Trump said of Chinese President Xi Jinping in an interview that aired Sunday on the CBS television network’s “Face the Nation” show.
In an interview with Reuters, Trump criticized the 2011 free trade deal made by his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and finalized by Trump’s opponent in last year’s presidential election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that allowed the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system to be established for free in South Korea.
The official, cited by CNN, said the aircraft sighted included Tu-95 nuclear-capable bombers. The planes did not violate U.S. airspace on any of the occasions, though during the most recent sighting late Thursday, U.S. and Canadian air force jets escorted the aircraft away, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.