web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

What if They Mean What They Say?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

The U.S. generally makes allowance for verbal excesses from foreign governments, but if expressions of hatred and incitement to violence are actually harbingers of behavior, destruction and murderousness cannot be far behind.

At the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations [sic], Turkey’s Prime Minister equated Zionism with crimes against humanity. The American response was swift; speaking for himself and the administration, Kerry called the remark “objectionable.” But after expressing dismay, he called for nicer play.

“That said,” he commented, “Turkey and Israel are both vital allies. We want to see them work together to go beyond rhetoric and take concrete steps to change their relationship.” A State Department official concurred, saying the comment was “particularly offensive” and “complicates our ability to do all the things we want to do together.”

But what if Ergodan doesn’t want what the U.S. wants him to want — that is to say, he doesn’t want a changed relationship with Israel? What if harsh rhetoric and open political and financial support for Hamas — a U.S. designated terrorist organization — are part of Turkey’s regional Sunni Islamic ambition, which does not include Israel? What if Turkey’s prior cooperation was a phase to allow it to acquire political and military benefits?

In a similar vein, a few weeks ago, a North Korean diplomat told the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, “As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction.” He added, “If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward North Korea to the last, rendering the situation complicated, [we] will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession.” A North Korean general warned of the “miserable destruction” of the United States.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Conference on Disarmament called the comments “profoundly disturbing,” and the Spanish ambassador said he was “stupefied.” Why?

Beginning with President Carter, American administrations have treated North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear capability as defensive: designed to keep South Korea and the U.S. from overthrowing the cultish regime of the North. The U.S. tells itself that since it harbors no plans for any such invasion, it can reassure North Korea on that point and thus lessen its determination to have nuclear capability – hence the U.S. offers food, fuel and a light water reactor, thinking those “gifts” will reassure North Korea of America’s benign intentions.

But what if North Korea is not defensive, but rather Kim Jong Un, like his predecessors, believes that the unification of the peninsula should happen under governance of the North? How then should we understand the diplomat and the general? And how should we understand North Korea’s latest nuclear test?

The British ambassador said of the North Korean diplomat’s remarks, “It cannot be allowed that we have expressions which refer to the possible destruction of U.N. member states.” That is, of course, patently untrue. The U.N. tolerates and sometimes applauds Iranian representatives who have called not for the “possible” destruction of a U.N. member state, Israel, but for its outright annihilation.

“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. “The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land… In the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists… Cancer must be eliminated from a body (the region).” For Qods Day last year Ahmadinejad told the Iranians, “Any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world.”

The P5+1, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany who are negotiating with Iran, still seem to presume that Iran is pursuing nuclear capability for some reason other than to use it, and that it can, therefore, be dissuaded from developing it. But what if “annihilation of the Zionist regime” really is topmost in the minds of the Mullahs? What if they believe Israel has to disappear and they can make it happen? What will happen, then, when they get nuclear weapons, if they still really believe that?

Expert: Iran and North Korea Deal to Work Together Includes Nukes

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Two of the world’s most brutal regimes, Iran and North Korea, each hell-bent on intimidating any country which dares to challenge it, signed an agreement in September to cooperate on science technology and education. In other words, North Korea is officially helping Iran move forward on its path to nuclear weaponization.

The deal was signed by the two countries when a North Korean delegation traveled to Tehran for the Non-Aligned Movement Summit which took place on August 31 and September 1, 2012.

That agreement was described by North Korea’s state-run news agency in non-threatening terms, simply as one involving “cooperation in science, technology and education,” but former State Department official David Asher, who testified at a congressional hearing on North Korea before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week, described it as very much like the agreement entered into by North Korea and Syria in 2002.  Asher warned that the 2002 agreement was the “keystone for the commencement of covert nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria, which ultimately resulted in the construction of a nuclear reactor complex.”

During Asher’s tenure at the state department he was the coordinator of the North Korea Working Group designed to curtail the nuclear threat.

The Syrian project was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in 2007, shortly before its completion.  Experts agree that the Syrian-North Korean project had no purpose other than to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.

The late summer NAM Summit was described by Iran as the “most important” political event in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 33 year history.  In attendance were not only many traditional allies of Iran, but also countries the U.S. consider to be allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  That those countries visited when the U.S. is pushing hard to make Iran feel isolated within the diplomatic world, was a blow to U.S. prestige.

United Nations president Ban ki-Moon also attended the late summer NAM Summit, but Ban repeatedly criticized the Iranian government’s human rights record as well as its deplorable responses to the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its nuclear program.

Both North Korea and Iran are the subject of numerous sanctions by the United Nations, under strong U.S. pressure.  In a meeting with North Korea’s president of the North’s Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Yong-nam, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatolah Ali Khamenei stated clearly that the two countries share “common enemies.”  In this case they were referring to the U.S., but Iran and Syria are at the forefront of Israel’s many enemies.

North Korea is rich in raw uranium and other natural resources necessary for building nuclear weapons.  It also has the scientific know-how and centrifuge technology to share with its partner Iran.

On February 12, North Korea conducted its third and most successful nuclear test thus far.   It later declared it had made progress in securing a functioning atomic arsenal.  In response, the U.N. unanimously expanded sanctions on North Korea.

North Korea repeatedly claims that the United States is using military drills in South Korea in advance of launching a nuclear war against North Korea. Just last week, North Korea threatened to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States.

“Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to preemptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest,” the North’s foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

North Korea’s repeated willingness to ignore the demands of the international community to desist from testing nuclear weapons testing can only send the worst signals to Iran, which is that the U.N. will have meetings and denounce actions, but will not prevent further tests.

The Iran-North Korea Connection

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Before the North Koreans successfully launched a (non-functioning) satellite into orbit on December 12, 2012 there were reports, notably by space expert and NBC News consultant, James Oberg, that Iranian missile experts had been spotted in North Korea. If true, this would be perfectly consistent with the longstanding and close relationship that North Korea has had with the Islamic Republic of Iran. On February 11, the Pyongyang government exploded what it describes as a ‘miniaturized’ nuclear weapon. This test has dramatically raised tension levels in Northeast Asia. This underground test also raises difficult questions about Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The nuclear explosion seems to have been more powerful than the previous two, the first of which in 2006 looked like a “fizzle.” No matter what the US intelligence community eventually determines about the exact nature of the February 11th explosion, it is obvious that the North Koreans are getting better at building these weapons. What should also be obvious is that the the information and expertise that the North Koreans are gaining is, in all probability, going to be shared with the Mullah’s regime in Iran.

In 1999 it was evident that Iran and North Korea were cooperating on both long range missiles and nuclear weapons. Back then, Bill Gertz, writing in the Washington Times, reported that “Iranian officials recently traveled to North Korea to discuss missile cooperation.”

Before that, in 1998, “The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States” chaired by Donald Rumsfeld with members such as Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey and Richard Garwin, described how, “we traced the development histories of the related programs of North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan and the relationships among them.”

Since 1998, intelligence assessments of these types of programs, especially after the mistakes made in Iraq, have become even more politicized than they were in 1998. Any ambiguities in the information are seized on by intelligence analysts to downplay any danger that these rogue states may “break out” in unexpected ways. The highly controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of Iran’s nuclear program is an example of this problem: the claim that Iran had given up its nuclear weapons program was derided as an apparent effort by the intelligence community to prevent the Bush administration from taking active measures against Iran.

However, the detailed language of the NIE indicates that the intelligence community was hedging its bets. They wrote, “We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.” We certainly do know that in February 2013, Iran’s drive to build up a stockpile of highly enriched uranium, which can be fashioned into a bomb, has accelerated.

In this context, the 2007 NIE makes a point that is all too relevant today:

We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame. (The INR [Intelligence and Research : The State Department's in-house intelligence agency] judges Iran is unlikely to achieve this capability before 2013 because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems.) All agencies recognize that this capability may not be achieved until after 2015.

Thus, according to the NEI, we are today right in the middle of the time period that the careful and reputedly dovish analysts of the U.S. intelligence community identified as the moment when Iran would have enough material for a nuclear bomb.

We have been told that there is no evidence that Iran is working on a bomb design, but if the Mullahs can simply buy a usable  and tested bomb design from North Korea, they could transform their status into a nuclear weapons state overnight.

The North Korean government is even more impoverished now than it was in 1999. It is likely that its bomb designs will be for sale at bargain prices. Thanks to the availability of a cheap and tested design, nuclear weapons programs could begin to emerge in previously non-nuclear nations. For example, Arab states that are losing confidence in America’s will to defend them against Tehran, could buy the North Korean warhead plans as easily as their Iranian adversaries.

Who’s Being ‘Provocative’?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Israel is now “provocative” in a ratching up from State:-

In unusually rare and blunt criticism* of its top Mideast ally, the Obama administration on Tuesday slammed Israel for continuing to announce new settlement construction on land claimed by the Palestinians.

The State Department accused Israel of engaging in a “pattern of provocative action” that calls into question statements from Israeli leaders that they are committed to peace.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said settlement activity only puts the goal of peace “further at risk” and urged both Israel and the Palestinians to halt all provocations and take steps to revive long-stalled peace talks.

“We are deeply disappointed that Israel insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action,” Nuland told reporters. “These repeated announcements and plans of new construction run counter to the cause of peace. Israel’s leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution, yet these actions only put that goal further at risk.”

I guess that since Arabs never build “settlements”, they aren’t ‘provocative’?

Note, on the Turkey blockade run, she avoids the term ‘provocation’:-

QUESTION: Okay. Well, one of the things that the Secretary said yesterday in – when – in her comments to this was that attempts to go into Israeli waters were provocative and irresponsible. And it’s my understanding that the flotilla organizers do not intend to go into Israeli waters but in – they will stay in international waters. Is that your understanding or is that not your understanding per what the Secretary said yesterday?
MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to the intentions of those involved in the flotilla. I think the Secretary was clear it was in response to a question yesterday –
QUESTION: Correct.
MS. NULAND: – as you remember, so that also speaks to the fact that publicly this issue is out there, that we do not want to see the bad situation of last year repeated. We do believe that channels exist for providing humanitarian aid to Gaza in a safe and secure way and that that situation is improving. And we urge all NGOs who want to participate in that to use those channels.
QUESTION: But does a flotilla sitting in international waters off the Gaza – off the coast of Gaza, is that a problem for the U.S.?
MS. NULAND: Again, I don’t want to get into the Law of the Sea issues here. I simply want to say that we don’t want to see a conflict at sea, on land. We want to see appropriate legitimate channels used for the –
QUESTION: I understand, but in the briefing that just preceded this –
MS. NULAND: Yes.
QUESTION: – you talked about wanting to – in another instance, in the South China Sea, the U.S. has been very concerned about the freedom of navigation.

But later used it:

MS. NULAND: Well, thank you for that, Arshad. We are quite concerned, as I said yesterday. We are talking to both the Israelis and the Turks. We are urging both sides to refrain from rhetoric or actions that could be provocative, that could contribute to tensions.

Hillary Clinton used it in connection  with North Korea:

We all agree that North Korea’s provocative and belligerent behavior jeopardizes peace and stability in Asia. We are deeply concerned by its unprovoked attack on the island of Yeonpyeong, resulting in the loss of South Korean lives.  On behalf of the American people, I would like to convey our sympathies to the victims and their families.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.  We want the people of South Korea to know that we are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you, and we are deeply committed to your defense.The minister and I share the view that the attack by the North Koreans violates the Armistice Agreement of 1953; that North Korea’s provocative and belligerent behavior threatens us all, and that it will be met with solidarity from all three countries.

Visit My Right Word.

Missiles, Missiles Everywhere

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Back in 2007, when Vladimir Putin promised to rebuild Russia’s military and resume its activities on the world stage, Westerners were complacent.  Russia was an economic basket case, after all.  It would take years for modernization programs to kick in.  And even when they did, they would bring Russian capabilities to no more than what America already has.  Right?

That may be the case for some conventional forces.  But when it comes to “strategic” missiles – missiles used for the purpose of strategic intimidation – it’s 2012 now, and Russia is unquestionably ahead of the United States.  Not in terms of numbers, but in terms of missile capabilities.  The Russians have already fielded ICBMs that are better than anything we have.  These missiles present a much tougher target for our national ballistic-missile defense network than anything has before.  If they are launched against us – and certainly if they’re launched against anyone else – a lot of them are going to get through.

The missile tests popping up all over Asia should be seen in this light.  Everyone’s arming up, starting with Russia.  As we speak, Moscow is rearming missile units with Russia’s most advanced ICBM, the Yars missile, which was first tested in 2007.  The Topol-M missile, tested in 2004, is already deployed.

The US, by contrast, has not developed or tested a new long-range missile system since the Reagan administration.  The US Air Force conducted test launches of the Minuteman III ICBM in February and early March 2012 (the last test launch, in 2011, resulted in the missile being destroyed by the controllers in flight, due to a malfunction, rather than being allowed to proceed to splash-down).  The Minuteman III entered service in 1970.  The MX Peacekeeper ICBM was decommissioned in 2005.  The Navy’s Trident II D-5 ballistic missile, which entered service in 1990, was tested in March 2012.

The Russians plan to complete the modernization of five strategic rocket force units by the end of 2013.  Shortly before the US election, Russia held a big strategic exercise in which long-range missiles were launched from sea and shore.  Russia isn’t resting on her ICBM laurels either; besides putting the new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) into service, she is developing a new ICBM with a huge, Cold War-style nuclear-payload capacity on a much improved missile body.

But in a very missile-choked continent, Russia is just the biggest kid on the block.  China has her own robust ICBM programs.  On 24 July, 2012, China conducted the first test of her newest ICBM, the DF-41, which can hit all of the United States.  The Chinese have also tested the DF-31A ICBM throughout 2012.  The DF-31A can hit much of (not all of) the United States.  The most recent test was on 30 November, which also happened to be the last day of a joint US-Chinese disaster-relief exercise in Chengdu.

India, with China and Pakistan to worry about, continues her own ballistic missile testing.  In April 2012, India tested the Agni-V, her most advanced ballistic missile, which, with a 3100 (statue) mile range, can reach most of China and all of Pakistan.

India also tested an interceptor missile in November 2012, claiming a successful intercept, although the type of target missile was not reported.

On 28 November, five days after India’s interceptor test and two days before China’s DF-31 test, Pakistan test-launched a Hatf-V medium-range ballistic missile, the newest in Islamabad’s family of nuclear-capable MRBMs.

And, of course, Iran is working hard on improving her MRBM inventory (and testing it to create alarm in the region).

So when you see that North Korea is preparing to launch a ballistic missile, keep in mind the character of the neighborhood.  Because of the danger presented by North Korea, the US and South Korea agreed in early October 2012 that Seoul would double the range of South Korea’s own ballistic missiles from the Hyunmoo series.  This is the kind of thing that would have gotten a lot more coverage if there were a different president in the Oval Office.

Japan is also concerned, of course.  Tokyo is deploying Patriot missile batteries and putting the armed forces on alert in preparation for Pyongyang’s launch.  It may not be long before Japan decides she wants her own ballistic missiles.  Having been capable of putting satellites in orbit for 40 years, the Japanese could develop and deploy ballistic missiles on a very short timeline.

Report: Iran Conducted A-Bomb Test With North Korean Assistance

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

JERUSALEM – As senior members of the International Atomic Energy Commission acknowledged that Iran’s nuclear program has a military component, the German newspaper Welt Am Sonntag (World on Sunday) revealed that Western intelligence agencies believe the Iranian regime authorized North Korea to conduct a secret test of a nuclear weapon some time during 2010.

Hans Ruhle, a former German Defense Ministry official, told the newspaper that intelligence experts pored over information supplied by a Swedish nuclear physicist who had monitored North Korea’s nuclear tests.

If the reports are accurate, North Korea, which also supplied Iran with the technology to build the Shihab intercontinental ballistic missile, is playing a direct role in helping Tehran create the infrastructure to assemble nuclear warheads that can be mounted on missiles aimed at Israel, American military bases in the Persian Gulf and pro-Western oil sheikhdoms in the Middle East.

Ruhle maintained that for the moment Iran still lacks an independent capability to build its own nuclear weapon.

Last month, in an article he wrote for Welt Am Sonntag, Ruhle disputed the notion that the Israeli Air Force was incapable of knocking out Iranian nuclear facilities, claiming Israel could “easily” destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, Israel’s secret submarine program is proceeding at an accelerated pace at the Thyssen Shipyards in Emden and Kiel, Germany.

Two Super Dolphin submarines, reportedly equipped with highly long-range silent propulsion and cruise missile technologies, are being protected by dozens of German naval guards and are nearly ready for deployment to the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Israel’s growing submarine fleet is being positioned for second-strike capabilities should Iranian mount a ballistic attack on Israel.

Former US Ambassador to UN Calls for Military Strike on Iran

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Writing in USA TODAY Tuesday, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton derided President Obama for being “naively fixed on diplomacy with Iran,” and reiterated that military – not economic – measures are the answer.

Bolton mocked recent Obama administration claims about slowing Tehran down as being “little more than re-election propaganda.”

Addressing the issue of sanctions, Bolton noted that North Korea, “the world’s most heavily sanctioned country, with a population perennially near starvation, has exploded two nuclear devices.”

He also dismissed the covert war of assassinations, sabotage, and computer viruses as “diversions masquerading as solutions.”

“The most likely outcome is stark,” he concludes. “The world’s central banker of terrorism will very soon become a nuclear weapons state. The only other option is to take pre-emptive military action to break Iran’s program.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-us-ambassador-to-un-calls-for-military-strike-on-iran/2012/01/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: