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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

Exclusive Interview: Hillary Clinton On Israel, Iraq And Terror [archive]

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Originally Published:  Wednesday, October 25, 2006 [Restored from Archive]

On the eve of her expected reelection victory, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the editorial board of The Jewish Press.

The former first lady (and current front-runner in opinion polls for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination) spoke at length about Israel, the ongoing war in Iraq, and the war on terror. Following are highlights of the discussion:

The Jewish Press: Israel recently concluded its war against Hizbullah in what many consider to be a stalemated position. How do you see things right now?

Sen. Clinton: First, I don’t think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake. If we were going to push for an election, we should have made sure we did something to determine who was going to win instead of signing off on an electoral system that advantaged Hamas.

That, to me, was a first step that led Hizbullah to take the actions that it took [killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and firing missiles into Israeli population centers]. What has concerned me is that I don’t think our or Israel’s intelligence was very good at uncovering what Hizbullah had developed in the last six years.

Frankly, the American intelligence didn’t know how dug in Hizbullah was, how many rockets they had, where they were going to be launched from and what the range was.

I think, based on what I know, that a lot of damage was inflicted on Hizbullah’s capacity. But that capacity is not destroyed and has not disappeared. Thus, Hizbullah, the Syrians and the Iranians have been emboldened.

This was a problem of situational awareness and about what we were up against. This is a longer-term issue for us and for Israel as we try to figure out how we’re going to get a better grasp of what we’re up against.

Do you think the peacekeeping forces on the Israeli-Lebanese border will be effective?

I don’t have a lot of confidence in what the peacekeeping forces will do, because nobody’s willing to say that they’re willing to disarm Hizbullah. That’s the problem. UN Resolution 1701 [which ended the war] originally said that you had to go in and disarm Hizbullah — but there was no effort to do this at the time, and now we’re trying to play catch-up. They initially said the Lebanese army’s going to do it, but that’s not going to happen.

Is it worth talking to Syria, from the perspectives of the U.S. and Israel?

You know what? I’m pretty much of the mind that I don’t think it hurts to talk to people as long as you’re not stupid in giving things away. I would argue that we don’t know what’s going on inside Iran and Syria. I just want us to get better info. We don’t have good info. I asked the Israelis if [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is really in charge. They said they weren’t sure. So I suggested that we get something going to see who is pulling the levers of power in order to try and figure out how we can influence them.

Please explain your strong criticism of President Bush’s Iraq war strategy after you voted to give him authorization to topple Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

I guess I hae been more willing to criticize the administration’s conduct of the war than some [of my Democratic colleagues]. I don’t know why they wouldn’t put in more troops.

Why wouldn’t they follow the military plans that had been drawn up previously by Gen. [Anthony] Zinni and others? Why did they create this awkward entity known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was a disaster, diplomatically and strategically?

But I voted to give the president authority and I’ve said many times that I regret the way he used the authority. I haven’t said I made a mistake or I wouldn’t have given it to him again. I made the best decision I could at the time, based on my assessment.

I think my position differs with the administration largely with respect to the execution and implementation of the policy, which I think has been a terrible series of blunders.

There are many people in the Democratic Party who are pushing for the U.S. to leave Iraq. What about those folks who say “cut and run”?

Well, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that if we don’t change what we’re doing, our chances for success are pretty limited. This undermines our capacity to take action that is in our interest and in the interest of Israel and our other allies.

I’ve joined onto a very reasonable proposition put forward by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI), which says we’ve got to do three things: You’ve got to have an internal political process in Iraq. We haven’t told the Iraqi government, “You’ve got to deal with the unfinished business, and we’re going to push you to do it and we’re going to help you do it, but we’re not going to stand by and have you ignore doing it.”

Second, why haven’t we done more to put Iraq’s neighbors on the spot? This international process would say, “You have a big stake in the survival and stability of this regime — you, Saudi Arabia; you, Jordan; you, Kuwait.”

And third, we have to send a message to the Iraqis that they’ve got to do a better job of securing themselves, which is where this concept of phased redeployment comes.

But this proposal says nothing about cutting and running. It says to the Iraqi government, “You’ve got to disarm your militias. You’ve got to rein in your Interior Department, which has been a haven for death squads. You’ve got to get the Islamic clerics, both Sunni and Shi’ites, to issue fatwas (Islamic decrees) against this sectarian violence.”

There’s a lot we could be doing. And you know what? I don’t see it.

How do you view the war on terror?

In this new type of war, we have several big tasks ahead of us. First, we must do everything possible to prevent any of them — Iran, Al Qaeda and the like — from getting nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction. That’s the ballgame.

I don’t think our strategy is working. Six years ago, North Korea and Iran were not as close as they are today to having nuclear weapons. Let’s ask ourselves, “What do we need to do differently to be more effective?” Let’s get the best people we can to deal with this problem. And let’s have a robust discussion and not shut people’s ideas down because they don’t agree with yours.

That’s one of my criticisms of the administration, which has the attitude that it’s their way or no way. I’m not sure any of us have the way. That’s why we need, in a democracy, a vigorous debate. There are a lot of people who may have some good ideas that have basically been ignored up until now.

 

Eli Chomsky

Report: S. Korean Military May Lease Israeli Reconnaissance Satellite

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

South Korea may lease a reconnaissance satellite from Israel to obtain information on North Korea’s military activities, military officials told the Yonhap news agency Tuesday. Currently, South Korea relies on US reconnaissance satellites for military information on the North’s nuclear and missile-related maneuvers.

“The military is expected to have its own surveillance satellites as early as 2023 that will allow Seoul to closely monitor military activities in North Korea,” a ministry official said, adding that this “is years behind the defense ministry’s original schedule to deploy five surveillance satellites between 2021 and 2022 as part of the country’s ‘kill chain’ strike system to deal with missile threats from the North.”

Faced with increasing nuclear and missile threats by the North, the government is looking to lease a reconnaissance satellite from Israel or other foreign countries, the official said.

Last September Israel launched the Ofek 11 satellite, with better spying capabilities than its predecessors, such as following targets with a higher efficiency and accuracy than previous spy satellites.

Pyongyang has conducted five nuclear tests in the past decade and launched a series of missiles, including an intermediate-range ballistic missile which is believed to be capable of reaching US territories in the Pacific like Guam.

JNi.Media

North Korea Tested Nuclear Warhead on Ballistic Missile, Is Iran Next?

Friday, September 9th, 2016

North Korean TV confirmed that the seismic event recorded Friday morning had been a nuclear test. The Yonhap news agency cited a Pyongyang government announcement that the test proved it is capable of mounting standardized nuclear warheads on strategic ballistic missiles.

Back in 1994, after North Korea had announced its intent to withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States under President Bill Clinton and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, under which Pyongyang committed to freezing its illicit plutonium weapons program in exchange for aid. In 2002, North Korea reneged on the agreement.

In August of 2003, the US under President GW Bush entered the six-party talk with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and North Korea, and in 2005 North Korea pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” and return to the NPT.

In 2009, though, under President Barack Obama, North Korea launched a ballistic missile and has since refused to abide by any of the agreements.

That was the US track record on negotiating treaties with a rogue nuclear state when President Obama embarked on his nuclear negotiations with Iran. So far, Iran has already launched its ballistic missile, and it appears that secret clauses in its nuclear deal will make it particularly easy to renew plutonium enrichment in 5 to 9 years, depending on who interprets the agreement.

David Israel

North Korea Launches 3 Mid-Range Ballistic Missiles at Sea of Japan

Monday, September 5th, 2016

North Korea launched three ballistic missiles Monday morning in its latest banned series of military weapons testing, according to South Korea. The moves comes just barely two weeks after North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) from a submarine.

North Korean equipment was discovered at the site of a nuclear plant under development in Syria that was destroyed in an air strike nearly a decade ago, allegedly by the Israeli Air Force. Israel never formally acknowledged its role in the attack, in accordance with state policy that prohibits comment on such attacks.

The southeastern Asian nation has been actively engaged in sharing nuclear technology with Iran, which has declared its intention to annihilate Israel.

The North Korean IBM launched two weeks ago penetrated Japanese air defense space, as did Monday’s missiles, which entered the defense zone in the Sea of Japan without warning.

The missiles were fired from the country’s Hwangju province on the western coast, towards the east and landed in the sea.

It is believed they were mid-range Rodong missiles and reached approximately 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told CNN it appears North Korea is quickly mastering the learning curve.

“Looking at the fact that the three missiles have landed on almost the same spot at almost the same time, I think their missile technology has substantially improved,” she said.

North Korea’s sole ally, China, is currently hosting the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where the issue was raised immediately and where China attempted to pour oil on troubled waters.

“The situation on the [Korean] peninsula is quite complex and sensitive,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. “We hope all relevant parties can avoid taking actions that may escalate tensions and can make joint efforts to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula.”

The United States “strongly condemned” the multiple launches, calling the move “reckless” and noting the threat to civil aviation and maritime commerce in the region. U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the summit.

Hana Levi Julian

Head of Mid-East Think Tank Suing Obama over Aid to Nuclear Israel

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP), has filed a lawsuit against the entire US government, including President Obama, Secretary Kerry, CIA Director Brennan and Defense Secretary Carter, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the $234 billion the US has given Israel in military foreign aid since 1976 — in violation of US law that prohibits aiding countries with nuclear capability who are non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Smith insists that his lawsuit is not about foreign policy (which the court would have dismissed outright), but “about the rule of law, presidential power, the structural limits of the US Constitution, and the right of the public to understand the functions of government and informed petition of the government for redress.”

In an article Smith published in Sept. 2014, when the current lawsuit was initially launched (Lawsuit Challenges U.S. “Ambiguity” Toward Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal), he explains his real reasons why Israel must not be allowed to have a nuclear arsenal:

“In a crisis or time of increased tension, Israel can threaten to use its arsenal as a lever to coerce the transfer of US military supplies and other support rather than pursue peaceful alternatives,” Smith argues, adding that “the international community views the US as hypocritical when it cites the NPT in reference to Iran or North Korea.”

Actually, we’ve seen up close how the international community views this “hypocrisy” just a year ago. As soon as it became clear in the summer of 2015 that Iran was going to be allowed to develop its nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf states went on a mad dash to acquire their own nukes. Why hadn’t they done the same in all the decades since Israel had allegedly first acquired its own nuclear device? Because they couldn’t imagine a situation whereby Israel would use it against them.

The lawsuit cites the fact that the White House and Israeli government are currently negotiating a new ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to serve as the basis for a FY2019-2028 foreign aid package of 4 to 5 billion dollars annually (actually, that’s the Israeli request, so far the most the White House has mentioned is $3.5 billion). In addition, the suit claims, “Congress will soon pass and the President will sign into law the final installment of the current FY2009-2018 foreign aid package. The US Treasury will provide an interest-bearing cash advance in October 2017 that Israel can use to fund its own military-industrial programs and purchase US arms.” That, too is more what Israel has been hoping for and less what the Administration is willing to give. At the moment, the US wants the entire military aid package to be used in American factories.

Smith claims the US aid deal with Israel is in violation of the Symington and Glenn amendments to the Foreign Aid Act of 1961.

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was modified by the Symington Amendment (Section 669 of the FAA) in 1976, which banned US economic and military assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive, acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not comply with IAEA regulations and inspections.

The Glenn Amendment was later adopted in 1977, and provided the same sanctions against countries that acquire or transfer nuclear reprocessing technology or explode or transfer a nuclear device.

Noam Chomsky, a vociferous anti-Israel critic, has blamed successive US presidents of violating the law by granting an exception for Israel. The fact is that US presidents have granted similar benefits to India and Pakistan as well.

Smith’s suit says “Defendants have collectively engaged in a violation of administrative procedure … while prohibiting the release of official government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program, particularly ongoing illicit transfers of nuclear weapons material and technology from the US to Israel.”

The suit claims that “these violations manifest in gagging and prosecuting federal officials and contractors who publicly acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons program, imposing punitive economic costs on public interest researchers who attempt to educate the public about the functions of government, refusing to make bona fide responses to journalists and consistently failing to act on credible information available in the government and public domain. These acts serve a policy that has many names all referring to the same subterfuge, ‘nuclear opacity,’ ‘nuclear ambiguity,’ and ‘strategic ambiguity.’”

The Institute for Research: Middle East Policy is an enormous archive of newspaper articles, books, audio, video, lawsuits, and surveys, dedicated to Israel, or, rather, the vilification of the Jewish State. Despite the institute’s name’s reference to being about Middle East policy, it’s all Israel, mostly about the secrets and clandestine policies of Israel. But it’s doubtful the current lawsuit, almost two years in the system by now, will go anywhere in federal court. In the end, the president is permitted to do whatever he or she wants in foreign policy, using good advice and their own intellectual faculties.

Let’s all vote for a president who is endowed with both.

David Israel

North Korea Blows Up Capitol Hill in New Video [video]

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Pyongyang is again obsessed with blowing up the American capital in a cloud of nuclear haze, on the video screen.

North Korea released its latest propaganda mini-film over the weekend, showing an ‘exciting’ nuclear attack on Washington DC.

Entitled “Last Chance,” the four-minute video released Saturday shows a submarine-launched nuclear missile that lays waste to Washington. The footage shoots through the history of U.S.-Korean relations, including images from the Korean War, the capture of U.S. surveillance ship Pueblo in 1968, and the first international nuclear crisis with Korea in the early 1990s.

The video reaches a sequence that shows a missile flying through the clouds, then swerving back to Earth and piercing the ground in front of the Lincoln Memorial in the American capital.

In the ensuing explosion, the U.S. Capitol building is dramatically destroyed, with a message then flashing on the screen in Korean: “If U.S. imperialists budge an inch toward us, we will immediately strike them with nukes.”

The video, posted to the DPRK Today website, concludes with the American flag in flames.

This is not the first such video released by North Korea, a nation apparently unable to resolve its issues other than with digital violence, arms sales to terrorists and video threats to world powers.

Pyongyang has been working hard to develop intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) capability, particularly a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that can carry a nuclear warhead.

A similar video was uploaded to the Internet in 2013, with the White House targeted in the crosshairs and once again, the U.S. Capitol going up in the flames of an explosion.

The country then threatened South Korea with a “merciless military strike.”

For weeks, leader Kim Jong-un’s military leaders have been escalating the belligerent public rhetoric following the annual joint military drills by South Korea and the United States.

This year’s war games were even bigger, in response to North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket in February, and its nuclear test at the start of the year.

In particular, this year’s games included special drills that honed the skills needed for an operation to neutralize North Korea’s top leadership if need be.

Kim Jong-un has taken those drills personally. Last Thursday he presided over a long-range artillery drill simulating an attack on the Seoul office and residence of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

On Saturday the KCNA published a statement by the “Reconciliation Council” calling the South Korean president “dog like,” a “dirty old woman” and “chicken-like” among other epithets that are not printable on this website.

The North Korean leader demanded hours later she apologize via the artillery section of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), and “punish” those who formulated the new operation simulation. Pyongyang is unhappy with the international sanctions imposed on North Korea that followed its rocket and nuclear tests earlier in the year, though it was warned they would come in response.

Hana Levi Julian

North Korea Announces Successful Hydrogen Bomb Test

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

North Korea announced Wednesday it has successfully tested a minaturized hydrogen bomb.

“The republic’s first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016,” a news anchor announced on North Korean state television.

So far there has been no independent confirmation of the news; but if confirmed, this will be North Korea’s fourth nuclear test since 2006. The country apparently also tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile late last month, South Korean officials told the BBC. This test was also a followup to a similar test performed in May 2015.

Prior to the test, North Korean media broadcast a statement contending Pyongyang “deserved to hold nuclear weapons … to counter nuclear threats by the United States.”

A new threat to the United States and others The ability to launch a missile from a submarine radically changes the warning time of an attack for residents of the U.S. West Coast, among others.

It also changes the calculation of military response – not only for the United States, but for all Western nations considered “enemies” of North Korea.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the epicenter of a quake was detected at 10:00 Pyongyang time (01:30 GMT) in the northeast of the country.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already called it a “serious threat to the safety of his nation” and said flatly that it could not be tolerated.

South Korea warned it is a “serious challenge to global peace,” adding that it also a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Wednesday’s test was expected to prompt worldwide condemnation and possibly economic and political sanctions, which followed the nuclear test in 2013.

More powerful than an atomic bomb A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than the standard atomic bomb, such as that which was used by the United States at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The weapon was first developed by the U.S. in 1952, and packs more explosive power for far less weight. Powered by nuclear fission, such a bomb involves fusion of lighter elements – hydrogen isotopes — into heavier elements that form a chain reaction.

Also known as a thermo-nuclear bomb, an H-bomb has less radioactive fallout. Another advantage of the H-bomb is that it is much smaller than an atomic bomb – it can be as small as a few feet in length.

North Korea shares with Iran Hydrogen bombs can be fit into warheads on ballistic missiles.

This is precisely the problem with North Korea, which has been testing its latest ballistic missile.

An additional problem is North Korea’s willingness to share its nuclear technology with Iran.

In the past, North Korea has also shared its weaponry with Syria. Some of those weapons have found their way to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

New danger to the Middle East A new danger now exists, resulting from the capture by Da’esh (ISIS) of territory from Hezbollah and other fighters supporting the Syrian regime.

In this manner, Da’esh has already begun to build its air force with the equipment of other nations, including Iraq, Syria, Russia and the U.S.

North Korea has in the past shared its nuclear technology, and some of its nuclear hardware, with Syria. It is unclear what – if anything – is still left from that era in the region; but whatever is there will be collected by Da’esh.

Whatever North Korea chooses to share with Iran and its proxy terror groups going forward may also eventually find its way to Da’esh as well.

Did the H-bomb pass the test? It is not clear whether North Korea’s test was successful or not this time around, regardless of what its government announced.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/north-korea-announces-successful-hydrogen-bomb-test/2016/01/06/

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