Advertisements

North Korea’s Closest Major US City, Seattle, Wants to Plan for Possible Nuclear Attack 

694940094001_5436327444001_5436299958001-vs

SEATTLE – Dan Springer’s latest test launch over the weekend has raised concerns among U.S. officials. The Pentagon says the ballistic missile flew 1,000 miles higher than NASA’s International Space Station. It was then able to re-enter earth’s atmosphere and splash down just 60 miles from Russia. One official told Fox News it was a “big step forward” in North Korea’s nuclear missile program.

Emergency planners in Hawaii, the closest state to North Korea, have taken notice and are evaluating existing nuclear attack response plans. Meanwhile, another possible target on the West Coast is barred from taking any steps to plan for a nuclear attack.

Washington State allows evacuation plans for every disaster scenario except a nuclear bomb. Former state Rep. Dick Nelson remembers the prevailing thinking in the legislature at the time concerning response plans in the event of nuclear war.

“You are really sending a message that you’re getting ready to do something maybe yourself,” Nelson said.

The law passed in 1984, seven years before the end of the Cold War. It was the opposite approach taken by President Ronald Reagan, whose peace through strength doctrine helped lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

A current Washington state senator says the current law is irresponsible and naïve.

“I think it’s ridiculous and silly,” says state Sen. Mark Miloscia, “And sort of the head-in-the-sand mentality. If it has a probability of happening, prepare for it.”

Seattle could be in the crosshairs if North Korea’s leader, Kim Jung Un, ever did the unthinkable. Naval Base Kitsap reportedly has roughly 1,300 nuclear warheads — almost one-quarter of the U.S. arsenal — making it the largest stockpile of nukes in the world. The Puget Sound is also home to Joint Base Lewis McChord, home to the important Stryker Brigade. With the headquarters of Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon, the region is a high-tech hub. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

[VIDEO] North Korea: Pyongyang’s Putdowns Target Obama, Clinton, Kerry 

In another life, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s propaganda chief could have had a heck of a career as an insult comic.

The latest screed from Pyongyang’s unnamed prince of prose (or princes — it’s unclear how many write these gems) was delivered Monday in response to Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., asserting Kim Jong Un was a “whack job.”

Like previous statements, it bucked all norms for engaging in international repartee:

“It is a serious provocation that Gardner, like a psychopath, dare to bear the evil that dares our highest dignity,” the statement said, according to a translation. “It is America’s misfortune that a man mixed in with human dirt like Gardner, who has lost basic judgment and body hair, could only spell misfortune for the United States.”

Kim Jong-un has conducted a series of purges of officials since coming to power

The real-world reference point behind some of the putdowns, most of which are disseminated by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, is unclear. Gardner, for instance, has a full head of hair.

But KCNA has been dealing out hits against U.S. and international politicians for years, perfecting a style that’s veered from jaw-dropping to shockingly racist.

Among the worst insults directed at former President Barack Obama, North Korea in 2014 branded him a “juvenile delinquent,” “clown” and a “dirty fellow.” Obama, the KCNA statement said, was somebody who “does not even have the basic appearances of a human being.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] HISTORY: Feb. 6, 1959: Titan Launches; Cold War Heats Up 

(1) Titan launch test from Cape Canaveral, only first stage engine tested, 2nd stage only a dummy, engine with 300,000 lbs thrust successful (2) News In Brief – Berlin mayor Willy Brandt arrives in U.S., speaks in English (3) “Virginia” – Fort Meyer VA funeral of 6 bodies returned by Russia, crew of plane shot done by Russia, no word of other 11 crew missing (partial newsreel).

1959: The United States successfully test-fires its first Titan I intercontinental ballistic missile. The threat of global nuclear holocaust moves from the plausible to the likely.

Tony Long The Titan I was not the first ICBM: Both the United States and Soviet Union had already deployed ICBMs earlier in the 1950s (the Atlas A by the Americans, the R-7 by the Russians). But the Titan represented a new generation, a liquid-fueled rocket with greater range and a more powerful payload that upped the ante in the Cold War.

The Titan that the U.S. Air Force successfully launched from Cape Canaveral featured a two-stage titan_1_icbmliquid rocket capable of delivering a 4-megaton warhead to targets 8,000 miles away. A 4-megaton detonation, puny by today’s standards, nevertheless dwarfed the destructive power of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan.

Read the full story here, at WIRED]

The Titan’s range meant that, firing from its home turf, the United States was now capable of hitting targets in Eastern Europe, the western Soviet Union and the Soviet Far East.

The first squadron of Titan I’s was declared operational in April 1962. By the mid-’60s, five squadrons were deployed in the western United States.

The missiles were stored in protective underground silos, but had to be brought to the surface for firing. The Titan II, which began appearing in large numbers during the mid-’60s and eventually supplanted the Titan I, would be the first ICBM that could be launched directly from its silo.

Today, ICBMs can be launched from silos, from mobile launchers and, most effectively, from submarines. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Dr. K: North Korea Would Be the First ‘Insane Regime’ with Long-Range Nukes

“If this occurs, if the North Koreans test an intercontinental ballistic missile, that means they could wipe out Los Angeles tomorrow, if they can mount a warhead on it. That would be the single most important and threatening action that one can imagine for 2017. When Trump says “It’s not going to happen,” I don’t know what he quite means. But if he means a preemptive attack by the United States or something of that sort, we are looking at a crisis of the ultimate proportions.”

KIM_NKorea

“…he’s aware of the fact that we are looking at what could be a strategic hinge point in history. That would be really serious. This is an insane regime with the ability to push a button and wipe out a U.S. city. That has never happened. We have had the Chinese, the Russians, but they are not insane. That’s quite different. I think he is recognizing we have an issue. I think he ought to be asked in the next press conference, ‘What exactly do you mean by ‘It ain’t gonna happen’?”

(read more)

Source: National Review


Japan and South Korean Governments Expand Unilateral Sanctions Against North Korea

kim-jong-un

The government decided Friday to strengthen unilateral sanctions against North Korea using measures such as expanding the range of entities and individuals subject to asset freezes.

The decision follows North Korea’s repeated nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

The new measures, which are in line with the unilateral sanctions introduced in February, include expanding a reentry ban to include people who have traveled to North Korea.

The government intends to urge Pyongyang to change its position by stringently blocking the departure and entry of people linked to North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments and flow of funds, according to sources.

japan-korma

“I intend to take further unilateral measures in cooperation with the United States and South Korea,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a meeting of Cabinet ministers concerned with the issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea, held at the Prime Minister’s Office the same day.

[Read the full text here, at The Japan News]

Under the new measures, the range of asset freezes will be expanded to 54 entities and 58 individuals, the sources said.

The list includes a trading company in Liaoning Province, China, that was sanctioned by the United States in September for its alleged involvement in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by North Korea. Read the rest of this entry »


North Korea Conducts Fifth Nuclear Test as Regime Celebrates National Holiday 

nork

The governments in both South Korea and Japan convened emergency meetings to discuss the test.

TOKYO — Anna Fifield reports: North Korea conducted its fifth atomic test Friday morning, South Korean officials said, as Kim Jong Un’s regime continues to defy international condemnation of its nuclear and missile programs and waves of sanctions.

The test, which analysts said appeared to be of a large nuclear device, came at exactly 9 a.m. local time on Friday, the 68th anniversary of the formation of the communist regime by Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather, and a national holiday.

Nork-Rally

“We believe this is a nuclear test,” South Korea’s defense ministry said Friday morning after the United States Geological Survey reported a 5.3-magnitude earthquake near Punggye-ri. “Possible explosion, located near the location where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past,” the USGS said on its website.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

Analysts said that the earthquake was artificial. “USGS is calling it an explosion because it has all the hallmarks: The waveform is sudden, unlike an earthquake, the depth is shallow, the location is the North Korean test site, and it happened on the half-hour,” said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia nonproliferation program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif.

“This is clearly a nuclear test,” Lewis said, estimating the size at between 10 and 20 kilotons — a size that, if confirmed, would make this the biggest of North Korea’s five tests.

The governments in both South Korea and Japan convened emergency meetings to discuss the test. Read the rest of this entry »


NORK Senior Intelligence Officer Defects

defect

More than 28,000 people have fled North Korea since the end of the Korean War, but high level defections are rare.

A senior North Korean military officer who oversaw spying operations has defected, say South Korean officials.

The officer has not been named, but the defence ministry in Seoul said he was a senior colonel in the Reconnaissance General Bureau and left last year.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted a source as saying the colonel was seen as elite by other defectors.

More than 28,000 people have fled North Korea since the end of the Korean War, but high level defections are rare.

North-Korea-exter

Last week, 13 North Koreans who had been working in one of the North’s restaurants abroad defected as a group.

Yonhap said a number of senior political figures had defected while working overseas recently.

It quoted government officials as saying this was a sign the leadership of Kim Jong-un was cracking.

‘Valuable information’

Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said the South could not release further information on the colonel.

One unnamed official told Yonhap the man was the highest-level military official ever to have defected.

“He is believed to have stated details about the bureau’s operations against South Korea to the authorities here,” said the official.

Featured Image -- 82148

The Reconnaissance General Bureau handles intelligence gathering and spying operations, as well as cyber warfare, said Yonhap.

The BBC’s Stephen Evans in Seoul said such a figure would likely have valuable information about the workings of Kim Jong-un’s government.

How do you leave North Korea?

For most North Koreans it is almost impossible. The borders are heavily guarded and few people have the resources to fund an escape. Many previous defectors have escaped across the Yalu River into China. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Japanese Professor Collects North Korean Everyday Objects

Professor Toshio Miyatsuka is one of Japan’s leading experts on North Korea. He has filled his office with mundane objects such as toys and packs of cigarettes, all from the Hermit Kingdom. Photo: Miho Inada/The Wall Street Journal

nork-collector

 


[VIDEO] North Korea’s Satellite-Launch Plan Condemned

The U.S., South Korea and Japan condemned North Korea’s plan to launch a long-range rocket that Pyongyang says is carrying an earth-observation satellite. Photo: Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North satellite imagery.


BLOSSOM FIGHT! ‘Cherry Blossom is Chinese, Not Japanese,’ Claim Growers in China

Artfully Awear Cherry Blossom 5

Old literary references prove flower synonymous with Japan originated on Chinese soil, argues association, after South Korea has also laid claim to the species

Alice Yan reports: A group in China has weighed into the debate about the non-stop-panic-pearlsorigins of a flower synonymous with Japan, the cherry blossom, saying it was first found on Chinese soil.

“We don’t want to start a war of words with Japan or Korea, but we would like to state the fact that many historical literary references prove that cherry blossom originated in China. As Chinese, we are obliged to let more people know about this part of history.”

He Zongru, executive chairman of the China Cherry Blossom Association, told a press conference that historical references proved that the flower originally came from China.

He’s comments came after media reports in South Korea earlier this month suggested that cherry blossom was first found in the country’s southern province of Jeju.

blossoms

”To put it simply, cherry blossoms originated in China and prospered in Japan. None of this is Korea’s business.”

“We don’t want to start a war of words with Japan or Korea, but we would like to state the fact that many historical literary references prove that cherry blossom originated in China. As Chinese, we are obliged to let more people know about this part of history.” he was quoted a saying by the Southern Metropolis News.

Tang Dynasty

He said the species spread to Japan from the Himalayan region during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Zhang Zuoshuang, an official at the Botanical Society of China, was quoted as saying that among the 150 types of wildly-grown cherry blossoms around the world, more than 50 could be found in China. Read the rest of this entry »


North Korea Encourages People to Vote: Elections Celebrated in Rhyme

North Korea's Central Television is encouraging people to vote

North Korea’s Central Television is encouraging people to vote

State media in North Korea is using poetry to encourage people to vote in forthcoming elections, it appears.

Note: Who wouldn’t want to see the proud loyalists at MSNBC, America’s Official State Media, celebrate election day with programming like this? Imagine Chris Matthews reading The Billows Of Emotion And Happiness”. Or Rachel Maddow rallying fellow Democrats with a rousing rendition of  “We Go To The Polling Station”. It makes me tingle just thinking about it…

Official news agency KCNA reports that poets of the Central Committee of the Writers Union of Korea have created election-themed poems in the run-up to polling day on 9 March. Titles include The Billows Of Emotion And Happiness, We Break Into Cheers From The Bottom Of Our Heart and We Go To The Polling Station.

[There’s actually a book available in the U.S. of Central Committee of the Writers Union of Korea material, Immortal History: The Year 1932available at Amazon, in paperback, for $59.52, though there’s not much information about it in the display page. At that price maybe it’s only for die-hard collectors of North Korean propaganda]

The poems are said to represent what the agency calls “the immutable will of all service personnel and people to remain loyal to the revolutionary leadership of Marshal Kim Jong-un“.

Korea-state-media

Deputies will be elected from 687 constituencies for the Supreme People’s Assembly, the rubber-stamp legislature that is dominated by the Korean Workers’ Party. Although other parties are represented in the election, all fall under the umbrella of the Fatherland Front, which is subservient to leader Kim Jong-un, who will be standing in the Paektusan constituency, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper says.

Read the rest of this entry »


North Korea Expels Hong Kong-Based Missionary After Extracting Confession: ‘I committed a Criminal Act, I’m Sorry’ (for Distributing the Bible)

johnshort

The state-run KCNA news agency released this photo of Short signing a written confession. Photo: KCNA / Reuters

Evangelist flown to Beijing after ‘voluntarily’ writing a ‘confession’ for the crime of spreading Bible pamphlets

Christy Choi  reports:  North Korea yesterday expelled to Beijing the Hong Kong-based missionary it had accused of distributing religious materials.

Australian John Short, 75, was released after he gave North Korean authorities a written confession apologising for spreading Bible tracts at a temple on February 16, the birthday of the late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il.

Karen Short, 57, said she would probably join her husband in Beijing.

Karen Short, 57, said she would probably join her husband in Beijing.

“I request the forgiveness of the DPRK for my actions. I am willing to bow down on my knees to request this tolerance of the DPRK and the Korean people,” he wrote, referring to the full name of the country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Short, who has lived in Hong Kong for 50 years but is not a permanent resident, was met by Australian consular officials on arrival in Beijing.

This picture taken by North Korea's official korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 1, 2014 and released on March 3 shows a written apology by Australian missionary John Short, who was detained after distribution of religious pamphlets in a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang, at undisclosed place in North Korea.   AFP PHOTO / KCNA via KNS    REPUBLIC OF KOREA

This picture taken by North Korea’s official korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 1, 2014 and released on March 3 shows a written apology by Australian missionary John Short, who was detained after distribution of religious pamphlets in a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang, at undisclosed place in North Korea. AFP PHOTO / KCNA via KNS REPUBLIC OF KOREA

A copy of Short’s written confession. Photo: AP It is unusual for North Korea to let a detainee go so soon after his arrest. US citizen Kenneth Bae, also a missionary, is serving a 15-year sentence for allegedly trying to overthrow the state.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] North Korea Execution: Uncle Jang Song Thaek does the Perp Walk

Expert: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s once-powerful uncle has been purged before, but has never done a perp walk.

 North Korea Ousts Uncle:  CNN – Jake Tapper


North Korea Replaces Hard-Line Military Chief

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korean state media has confirmed that the nation’s hard-line military chief was replaced only a few months after his appointment.

The personnel change was believed to have been made in August and came as North Korea was pushing to ease animosity and resume lucrative cooperation projects with South Korea after threatening nuclear war this past spring.

The name of new military chief, Ri Yong Gil, came in a Korean Central News Agency dispatch listing top officials who accompanied leader Kim Jong Un to a Pyongyang mausoleum on Thursday. Little is known about Ri.

Ri’s predecessor, Kim Kyok Sik, is the former commander of battalions believed responsible for attacks on South Korea in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans. State media dispatches first identified Kim as military chief in May.

TIME.com


Kim Jong Un Praises North Korean Smart Phone

By  Katherine Connell

 

North Korea claims to have domestically manufactured a smart phone, a device called the Arirang, which appears to use a version of Android as its operating system.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency released photos of Kim Jong Un touring a facility where the phones are supposedly made. (Notice that nothing resembling manufacturing is going on in the photos.)

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un praised the “high pixels” of the phone’s camera function and predicted that the “hand phone” would “instill national pride and self-respect” in the North Korean people. Though the manufacture of the phones began “a few days ago,” according to the report, Kim Jong Un believes they are in “high demand.”

Martyn Williams, the editor of a website on North Korean technology, says the phones were likely produced in China and shipped to the factory.

Cell phones were introduced into North Korea in 2008 thanks to a partnership with the Egyptian telecom firm Orascom, but subscribers are limited to making domestic calls. Presumably anyone purchasing an “Arirang” would be prohibited from using it to surf the worldwide web.

via National Review Online.


Kim Jong-un wants to build world class ski resort in North Korea

Kim Jong-un has ordered the North Korean military to construct a “world-class” ski resort that will rival the winter sports facilities being built in South Korea to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Kim Jong-un wants to build 'world class' ski resort in North Korea

KCNA quoted Kim as saying that once the resort is completed, ‘A skiing wave will seize the country’ Photo: Alamy
Kim recently visited the location of the Masik Pass Skiing Ground to give “on the spot field guidance” on the construction of the resort, which will have beginner, intermediate and advanced-level routes on more than 68 miles of mountainside.

The highest peak in the mountains around the site rises more than 4,400 feet above sea level.

No expense is being spared on the project and the resort will have a hotel, cable cars, equipment stores and a heliport, the KCNA state media reported.

“[Kim] mounted an observation deck to hear a detailed report on the construction of the skiing ground,” the report said.

“He was greatly satisfied to learn that soldier-builders have constructed a skiing area on mountain ranges covering hundreds of thousands of square metres.”

Kim also commented that it would be “more fantastic” to see the ground covered with snow and ordered the military to accelerate the pace of the construction so that the resort is operational from the coming winter.

The site also benefits from its proximity to the Pyongyang-Wonsan motorway, while a nearby military airfield might be turned into an airport to handle an anticipated surge in tourists.

KCNA quoted Kim as saying that once the resort is completed, “A skiing wave will seize the country.”

The North Korean leader also ordered the domestic production of skiing equipment and clothing as sanctions imposed on the regime by the United Nations in the wake of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes forbid imports of luxury goods.

Kim is a known fan of basketball but spent seven years at international schools near the Swiss city of Berne from 1993, where he may have picked up an interest in skiing…

More via  Telegraph