11.) Secret China war plan: trillions in U.S. debt
By Paul B. Farrell Market Watch
Yes, Americans love war. Yes, wars cost money. And pile on debt, new taxes. Still, we love war. Why else let the military budget burn 48% of your tax dollars? But why is it “off the table” when the GOP talks “deficit cuts”?
Why? We love war. We’d rather attack with a macho battle cry like “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” than listen to a warning from historian Kevin Phillips: “Most great nations, at the peak of their economic power, become arrogant, wage great world wars at great cost, wasting vast resources, taking on huge debt, ultimately burning themselves out.”
Which dominates our Congressional deficit hawks? Which is China’s military strategy?
Admit it, we love war. Marine Corps posters grabbed me as a kid. Trained me as an aviation weapons system tech. So I couldn’t resist Erik Sofge’s edgy thriller, “China’s Secret War Plan,” about a China-U.S. war. Like a fast-paced Tom Clancy thriller. In Popular Mechanics: One of my favorites as a kid working in a small-town magazine store.
Yes, war’s popular. Locked in our DNA long ago. Sofge’s thriller was based on war games played by Pentagon generals and Rand Corporation strategists.
Americans love war. Can’t resist videogames, war movies: “Hunt for Red October,” “Platoon,” “Dirty Dozen,” “Star Wars,” “Terminator.” War turns us on, a testosterone virus in our brains. Our love blinds us to costs, collateral damage, unintended consequences, new debt for our kids. Besides, they’ll grow up loving war. DNA is passed on. Can’t resist.
That hot button was pushed recently with “secret” photos of China’s new stealth bomber exposed during the state visit of China’s President.
China’s war for “Taiwan starts in the early morning. There are no naval bombardments or waves of bombers … 1,200 cruise and ballistic missiles rise from heavy vehicles on the Chinese mainland ... Taiwan’s modest missile defense network. a scattered deployment of I-Hawk and Patriot interceptors, slams into dozens of incoming warheads … a futile gesture. The mass raid overwhelms the defenses as hundreds of Chinese warheads blast the island’s military bases and airports.”
IN A DEMOCRACY THERE ARE NO CHOICES
The GOP wants to cut America’s massive debt. But “off-the-charts” military spending is “off the table.” Back in the ‘40s, WWII consumed 57% of our GDP. Today, war eats up about half America’s budget.
We’re sinking under Iraq war debt. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz estimates Iraq at $3 trillion, with $2 trillion for future costs, like VA medical. The Afghan war, maybe another $3 trillion. Plus endless terrorist threats. Future wars are “planned” years, even decades in advance, strategies based on Pentagon-Rand war games.
America talks peace. But deep inside our collective brain is a dark monster: We’re little kids who love playing war. Age 10 I had a collection of model fighter planes, played air wars. Age 15, owned three guns for hunting. Then the Corps. Like a moth to the flames, we cannot resist our destiny in war. Sofge brings alive the action in our brains:
“Taiwan’s air force is grounded … Taiwanese troops mobilize in downtown Taipei and take up positions on the beaches facing China, just 100 miles to the west. But they know what the world knows: This is no longer Taiwan’s fight. This is a battle between an old superpower and a new one.”
Games or reality, it’s all in our heads.
Or is this how WWIII starts? Between an aging America that loves war, won’t surrender without a fight, and the world’s rapidly emerging superpower, predicted to have a population one billion larger than America’s by 2050. Plus an economy 40% of the world’s GDP, dwarfing America’s GDP predicted to fall to just 14%. Yes, China’s the emerging new superpower, a crafty enemy laughing as we waste our economic resources.
Listen as Sofge quotes retired Rear Adm. Eric McVadon, former naval attaché in Beijing: “They are obsessed with Taiwan. On some given day, it’s entirely possible for people to be standing around a table in the Politburo in Beijing, and someone gets the ball rolling. And when it stops, we’re at war.”
Warning: That toxic thinking may well happen again when new neocons, a future Rumsfeld/Cheney team, gets the same paranoid itchings at the same time as China’s generals, all driven by inflated egos, irrational obsessions and a propensity to make the same kind of misjudgments that launched the Iraq War.
Warning, just nine years from 2000 to 2009: The Iraq-Afghan Wars were supposed to make America stronger. Wrong. Those nine years are a perfect example of how war distorted America’s collective brain. Our neocon mindset about the Iraq war resulted in what’s now the “biggest foreign policy blunder” in history. Sofge captures this insanity:
”Ever since 1949, when Nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan following the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, Beijing has regarded the island as a renegade province of the People’s Republic. Now, in 2017, only the United States can offer Taiwan protection.” But “the nearest aircraft carrier is the U.S.S. Nimitz, which had just left the Japanese port of Yokosuka on Tokyo Bay … at least two days for the carrier to reach the strait … The closest other carrier group, near Pearl Harbor, is six days out.”
Yes, too late: The war’s over in less than 24 hours. Ironically, the Iraq/Afghan wars have not only weakened our economy and weakened our ability to fight future wars, they weakened America’s superpower status by indirectly handing the war-game victory to China. Worse, our irrational, neocon war brain is now demanding Americans “double down,” insisting defense cuts are “off the table.” Yes folks, America loves war; in that mindset, we will take on trillions new debt, even go down in flames.
Want more? Read Sofge’s “China’s Secret War Plan” thriller in the December 2010 Popular Mechanics. See how America could lose WWIII to China … in less than a day.
China vs. USA, WWIII. Too costly? That never stops nations. Especially when leaders on both sides have macho egos, love war, act irrational. Add up China’s new stealth bomber, the deterioration of America ego losing those Pentagon war games and a resurgence of neocon war-loving politicians and you have to conclude that taxpayers will keep spending trillions preparing for the next global war, years in advance.
As the Bush Pentagon put it: “By 2020, warfare will define human life.”
So to be ever-vigilant, we’ll spend trillions, prepare for anything, anyone, anytime. Why? We love war!
By Christopher R Rice
I have found a plot by 10 countries to attack the U.S. like Pearl Harbor, accept this attack would hit the mainland with nuclear weapons. FYI: I have nothing to sell, no ads and I am not trying to convince anyone, I am simply sharing what I have found, you should come to your own conclusions and make up your own mind based on facts and evidence. Part I: Apocalypse Now
9.) Saber rattling: China and US at a dangerous military tipping point
By Clay Dillow, special to CNBC.com
China is lashing out at South Korea and Washington for the deployment of a powerful missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, deposited at the Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening.
The deployment of THAAD follows several ballistic missile tests by North Korea in recent months, including the launch of four missiles, three of which landed in the sea off the coast of Japan. Though THAAD would help South Korea protect itself from a North Korean missile attack, China is vocally protesting the deployment of the system, claiming it upsets the "strategic equilibrium" in the region because its radar will allow the United States to detect and track missiles launched from China.
North Korean provocations aside, THAAD's arrival on the Korean Peninsula comes amid heightened tensions between the new U.S. administration and China, as well as uncertainty surrounding the U.S. military's commitment to its security relationships in the region and around the world. Within that context, THAAD's deployment packs a significant amount of symbolic firepower alongside its battery of interceptor missiles.
Already there has been a blacklash. Liu Yuan, a retired Chinese general who is generally outspoken on Chinese security matters, wrote for China's state-run Global Times that the Chinese military could conduct a "surgical hard-kill operation that would destroy the target, paralyzing it and making it unable to hit back."
Though such military actions are unlikely, China has already forced the closing of 23 stores owned by Lotte, one of South Korea's huge family-run conglomerates (Lotte agreed to turn over a parcel of land in South Korea on which the THAAD system would be placed). State media has also encouraged Chinese citizens to boycott South Korean products, a move that, if effective, could rob major South Korean companies, like Samsung and Hyundai, of a massive consumer market.
South Korea is reportedly considering filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization over China's economic retaliation. The commercial ramifications of THAAD could still escalate further.
THAAD is a relatively new addition to the U.S. military's missile defense arsenal. Produced by Lockheed Martin (and priced at more than $1 billion per system), THAAD consists of a battery of truck-launched interceptor missiles and a powerful X-band radar that can detect, track and target inbound missile threats.
In other words, THAAD can see enemy ballistic missiles coming and can knock them out of the sky as they plunge toward their targets. Unlike some missile interceptors that navigate into the proximity of a missile and then explode to destroy or deflect the incoming threat, THAAD's missiles simply slam into their targets head-on, destroying them purely through kinetic force.
THADD's military value is spelled out in its name. It intercepts ballistic missiles during their "terminal" phase — that is, when they have passed their apogee and begun falling toward their targets. They can intercept these missiles at very high altitudes, up to roughly 90 miles above Earth's surface. Unlike other missile defense systems, like the Patriot PAC-3 that are designed mainly to defend a particular patch of ground, THAAD's powerful AN/TPY-2 radar can both monitor and defend large areas from short- and medium-range missiles.
There are a number of things THAAD cannot do, however. Given that its missiles do not contain a warhead, its batteries are fairly useless as an offensive weapon, a characteristic that some consider a feature from a political standpoint. In a statement announcing THAAD's deployment to South Korea, U.S Pacific Command was careful to note that "the THAAD system is a strictly defensive capability and it poses no threat to other countries in the region."
Moreover, THAAD is not designed to destroy missiles while they are boosting skyward, nor can it shoot down something like an intercontinental-range ballistic missile, or ICBM. (Intermediate and intercontinental range missiles travel far too fast for systems like THAAD to target and intercept.) In a scenario in which North Korea or China were to launch missiles bound for targets in the United States, THAAD batteries in South Korea and Japan would not be able to target those weapons.
China has long vowed retaliation if the United States should deploy THAAD to South Korea, citing security concerns that center more on the radar than the interceptor missiles. THAAD's radar is powerful enough to peer into Chinese airspace, military officials there argue, allowing the United States to monitor Chinese missile tests and provide early warning of any Chinese missile launch, upsetting the strategic balance of power.
Following the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency in November, one Chinese official called the potential deployment of THAAD a "political weather vane" for the new U.S. administration and its relationship with China.
But as Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterrey in California, points out, China's objection to THAAD rings somewhat hollow. Radar installations in Taiwan, Japan and even Qatar already have the capacity to peer into Chinese airspace, to say nothing of the many space-based satellites that provide missile tracking and early warning capabilities to the United States. "It's not that [China's objections] are irrational, but it's more about what the deployment symbolizes than the radar's actual capability," Lewis says.
In other words, beyond its technical capability THAAD's deployment symbolizes further solidification of the military ties between the United States and South Korea, ties Beijing has sought to loosen for decades.
"I think the photo op really helped seal the deal for some of the political and assurance significance," Tom Karako, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says of the video released showing the first pieces of the THAAD system rolling off the C-17 at Osan on Monday evening. "This marks a real act of courage on the part of the South Korean government, working with its American allies, to do what these two countries together feel is a necessary and appropriate action in the face of Chinese bullying."
If THAAD is a political weather vane, Beijing now knows which way the wind is blowing. Why is this happening now?
The United States and South Korea declared their intention to deploy THAAD to South Korea last year (and have discussed the possibility going back as far as 2013), but China's staunch opposition to the deployment and other geopolitical considerations kept the United States from doing so.
One reason the United States and South Korea are moving to deploy THAAD now, Lewis says, is likely due to the fact that at least one of the major political stumbling blocks has been removed. South Korean president Park Geun-hye is currently embroiled in political scandal and facing impeachment, creating a unique political opportunity for the South Korean government.
"It's very controversial, the THAAD system," Lewis says. "And whoever comes after Park will have the system in place without the responsibility of having agreed to it."
Consequences — intended and not — from the deployment of THAAD will continue to manifest themselves over the coming weeks and months. In terms of positive fallout, U.S.-based makers of missile defense systems like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are positioned to benefit from growing ballistic missile threats across Asia, the Middle East and Europe — threats underscored by THAAD's deployment to South Korea.
A recent note to investors by Cowen and Co. defense analyst Roman Schweizer cites both Lockheed Martin (maker of THAAD) and Raytheon (maker of various interceptor missiles, as well as components of THAAD's radar and tracking systems) as likely beneficiaries of an ongoing uptick in global defense expenditures, in large part due to their missile defense technology.
However, one potential negative consequence of THAAD's deployment stems from the sense of complacency that such systems can foster. THAAD can soften the effect of a missile salvo, but it's not a silver bullet for either North Korean or Chinese ballistic missile arsenals that are both growing in size and sophistication.
"They're missiles, and this is missile defense, and for a lot of people that checks all the boxes," Lewis says. "The unintended consequence I can see is that you don't want the South Korean people to think this solves the North Korean missile problem, because it doesn't."
— By Clay Dillow, special to CNBC.com
12.) Is North Korea The Excuse China Needs To Launch Monetary Armageddon?
Currently the Korean peninsula is in play much the same way Cuba was during the Kennedy administration known as “The Cuban Missile Crisis.” The overall situation and its possible consequences for missteps are eerily similar.
Missiles have been moved onto the peninsula in what can only be described as “outrage” via not only N. Korea, but also China. Whether or not one agrees with the move (along with the stationing of war ships off the Korean coast) as to send a message to Pyongyang to cease all provocation via its nuclear ambitions is irrelevant.
The real player (and the one to pay attention too) in this standoff is China. And how they go about resolving this issue at its doorstep. Both internally, as well as externally.
Make no mistake: China is not just juggling one possible conflict, it is also currently fighting another within its own borders. For China is simultaneously on the precipice of an another possible disaster. i.e., An outright monetary disaster of its own making which needs to be resolved with the same immediacy as this external one.
I’m of the opinion this kerfuffle with N. Korea may be the catalyst which drives China to either embark on an outright kinetic posture against the West to resolve. (e.g., If no one backs down or worse) Or – will be the inflection point as to allow the monetary fallout within its financial markets to begin in earnest. Crippling the entire global economy in ways not fully understood (or envisioned) by many, especially “The West”, in what may be akin to a “First Strike” monetary (rather than kinetic) action.
13.) N. Korea leader urges more missile launches
By Foster Klug, Associated Press
North Korea fires missile over Japan in aggressive test
By Associated Press
North Korea claims successful H-bomb test
By CBS News
EXCLUSIVE: North Korea Openly Threatens Electromagnetic Pulse Attack for First Time
By Breitbart News
North Korea's nuke tests are of seismic proportions
By Jason Kopp
As North Korea continues to develop its nuclear program, ramping up tension around the globe, a group of scientists is trying to determine the actual size and scope of the tests going on inside the hermit kingdom.
According to the Seismological Society of America, most of what the world knows about the country’s past nuclear tests comes directly from work by seismologists -- scientists who study earthquakes and energy waves moving through the ground -- who are using a variety of tools to try and pinpoint the location, depth and size of these nuclear explosions.
“There’s this building of knowledge that helps you understand the capabilities of a country like North Korea,” Delaine Reiter, a geophysicist with Weston Geophysical Corp. in Lexington, Mass told ScienceNews. “They’re not shy about broadcasting their testing, but they claim things Western scientists aren’t sure about. Was it as big as they claimed? We’re really interested in understanding that.”
“In the most basic terms, seismologists analyze the seismic waves recorded at various seismic stations, to identify the precise time that seismic energy arrives at each station, and how much energy is represented by the waves.” Richard Stead, a seismologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory told Fox News in an e-mail.
“To determine the size of a nuclear test, seismologists use techniques that are basically the same as they use to determine the size of any seismic event, including earthquakes,” he added. “In the most basic sense, we start by determining the magnitude.”
North Korea is the only country to perform nuclear tests this millennium, and all have taken place underground. Stead says that means seismologists are “indeed essential” in confirming nuclear tests.
“There is a possibility that North Korea is likely to test its nuclear warhead and missile capabilities through a nuclear test with more explosive power,” South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said in a report to the National Assembly Monday, according to Yonhap News.
Forensic seismologists’ work can determine whether activity was natural or man-made, such as a nuclear test. One way to make that determination is the depth of the activity. Anything deeper than about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) is almost certain to be natural.
In 2006, three years after the regime withdrew from the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, North Korea announced it had conducted an underground nuclear test in the northeastern part of the country.
Seismologists were able to confirm that claim by concluding the blast had come from shallow depths, no more than a few miles down, by analyzing scientific data gathered by monitoring stations in the area. They were also able to narrow the location of the test and determine the explosion to be a small one, reportedly about one-fifteenth the size of the bomb the United Stated dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.
In 2009, 2013 and twice in 2016, Pyongyang set off more underground nuclear explosions, and seismologists concluded that the blasts were getting progressively larger.
According to ScienceNews, the second 2016 blast was “deeply buried and hence probably at least as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb for it to register as a magnitude 5.2 earthquake.”
Stead said pinpointing the exact size and location of a nuke test is difficult to quantify. He added, “What is more important is whether the seismic results are sufficient for policy makers and decision makers in our nation's capital to act upon. That is not a scientific determination.
“This information is used in many offices in the U.S. government. It obviously would have implication for national defense, diplomatic relations and decision-making up to and including the president. Any government elected or appointed official, or civil servant whose duties have anything to do with nuclear tests and the implications foreign nuclear tests may have for national security, defense, international relations and other topics will likely be interested in the results of seismic analysis of the events.”
On September 10, 1996, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which “bans nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere on the Earth's surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. The Treaty has a unique and comprehensive verification regime to make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected,” according to The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
Part of that verification system is their International Monitoring System (IMS) which has over 300 monitoring facilities around the world, 170 of which are seismic stations similar to those that measure earthquakes.
The last declared North Korean nuclear test was detected at over 100 of the IMS seismic stations. It was reported that with current knowledge, the location of a nuclear test can be determined with very high confidence to within a few miles.
CTBTO said the 183 states that are signatories to the CTBT -- including the USA -- receive both the raw data from the IMS and the results of the analysis conducted by a small international staff of experts. Some states augment this data and analysis with their own national sources and analysis by their own experts.
This data and analysis can form a common basis for nations to use in political debate and multilateral decision making regarding possible violation of the treaty.
According to the CTBTO, when North Korea tested in 2006, 2009 and 2013, the data was processed and distributed to their member states who “received information about the location, magnitude, time and depth of the tests within two hours – and before the actual test had been announced by North Korea.”
10.) China military official: War with US under Donald Trump 'becoming practical reality'
By Will Woley
War with the US under Donald Trump is “not just a slogan” and becoming a “practical reality”, a senior Chinese military official has said.
The remarks were published on the People’s Liberation Army website, apparently in response to the aggressive rhetoric towards China from America's new administration.
They communicated a view from inside the Central Military Commission, which has overall authority of China’s armed forces.
Quoted in the South China Morning Post, the official from the Commission’s Defence Mobilisation Department wrote: “A war ‘within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality.”
The official also called for military deployments in the tense South and East China Seas and for a missile defense system to guard the Korean peninsula, another regional hotspot, the Post reported.
The US should also reconsider its strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, the official wrote.
Mr Trump and members of his administration have consistently voiced a hard line against China. Mr Trump has branded the country a “currency manipulator” and accusing the country of underhand trading and economic tactics.
But more significantly in security terms, Mr Trump has also ignored the US’s longstanding ‘One China’ policy, publicly engaging with the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, in a move that was hugely antagonising for Beijing.
China strongly regards Taiwan as part of its territory and the US has tacitly respected this for decades, but Mr Trump signalled a departure from this policy.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also advocated a US naval blockade of artificial Chinese islands in the South China Sea – which Beijing could interpret as an act of war.
Further suggestions China is preparing for conflict emerged this week, with unconfirmed reports the military has moved long range missiles closer to the north east border in Heilongjiang province -- within firing range of the US.
Chinese social media has carried pictures claiming to show the Dongfeng-41 advanced intercontinental ballistic missile system near the Russian border.
Provocative state-run tabloid The Global Times suggested the People’s Liberation Army could have leaked the photos on social media as a warning to Mr Trump.
15.) North Korea vows ‘thousands-fold’ revenge on U.S. for tougher U.N. sanctions
By Market Watch
North Korea said Monday it will launch “thousands-fold” revenge against the United States, after the United Nations imposed new economic sanctions — its toughest yet—on Pyongyang over the weekend.
The statement came after the U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved U.S.-drafted sanctions, including a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion, for continued tests of what could be nuclear-capable missiles. North Korea claimed the latest tests proved its missiles had the range to reach much of the U.S.
"We are ready to retaliate with far bigger actions to make the U.S. pay a price for its crime against our country and people,” North Korea claimed, according to a statement posted by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. The nation would take a “stern action of justice,” it said.
China and Russia, two permanent security council members who had previously resisted fresh sanctions against Pyongyang, said the rogue nation’s recent provocations were unacceptable.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday at the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Manila that North Korea could show it’s ready for dialogue by stopping the missile tests, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Tillerson and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho both attended the ASEAN summit on Sunday, but avoided any direct contact, according to several news reports.
Continue reading here: THE END
14. ) Japan issues booklet to prepare citizens for nuclear war with North Korea
By Tom O’Connor Newsweek
Japan is bracing itself for nuclear attack with chilling advise on what to do if Kim Jong-un presses the red button.
For the first time since North Korea began a series of nuke tests, the Japanese people are being issued with terrifying instructions on how to deal with nuclear war.
A downloadable pamphlet is now available on the island nation's civil defense website.
Called "Protecting Ourselves against Armed Attacks and Terrorism," it outlines emergency measures in the event North Korean missiles approach the country.
It bears similarities to the creepy Protect and Survive documents issued in Britain and Northern Ireland during the early 1980s following the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.
Like the UK's booklet it gives top-tips on how to avoid being fried and radiated.
North Korea's ambassador to the U.K. said Wednesday that Pyongyang was willing to pursue a sixth nuclear weapons test at an undisclosed time in spite of military threats from the U.S.
North Korean envoy Choe Il revealed Pyongyang's ambitions to conduct another nuclear test during his first interview since being appointed to the position in November, soon after his predecessor defected. 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.
"I can say that the nuclear test will be conducted at the place and time as decided by our supreme leader, Kim Jong Un," Choe told U.K.-based media agency Sky News.
Ryoo Yong-gyu, Earthquake and Volcano Monitoring Division Director, points at where seismic waves were observed in South Korea believed to be caused by North Korea's fifth and most recent nuclear weapons test, September 9, 2016. North Korea has since vowed to pursue a sixth nuclear weapons test despite international sanctions and the threat of U.S. military intervention. Kim Hong-ji/Reuters
Reports emerged last month claiming the reclusive, militarized state was planning a nuclear test on North Korea's "Day of the Sun," which commemorates the birthday of North Korea's founder and Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim Jong Il. President Donald Trump responded by sending a naval strike group to the region alongside vows to prevent Pyongyang from going through with such a test. The nuclear weapons test never occurred, but North Korea has publicly disavowed any foreign opposition to its nuclear program, even from its traditional ally, China, which also has criticized North Korea's possession of weapons of mass destruction.
As the U.S. continues to pressure China to bring its neighbor to the negotiating table, Choe said that North Korea was unphased by Trump's threats. He cited Pyongyang's decision to conduct two ballistic missile launches as evidence of the nation's resolve. The two tests ultimately failed, but were condemned by the U.N. Security Council, which passed a U.S.-drafted statement threatening further action if Pyongyang did not end its nuclear program. Choe dismissed the U.S.'s rhetoric as empty because of North Korea's nuclear arsenal, which he said would prevent the U.S. from intervening as it did "in weak countries, including Afghanistan and Libya.
"If the U.S. moves an inch, then we are ready to turn to ashes any available strategic assets of the U.S.," Choe said.
"They cannot actually attack the strong countries, although they talk about it," he later added. "We have to have nuclear power. We have shown our strong military power and nuclear power this April. Because of our strong military power, the U.S. could not attack us first."
Recent satellite imagery has indicated new activity at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, a development that U.N. International Atomic Energy chief Yukiya Amano said Thursday gave the agency "concrete information that the nuclear program is going ahead." A report on the site provided by analysts Joseph Bermudez and Jack Liu to North Korea monitoring group 38 North determined that "it is unclear if this activity indicates that a nuclear test has been canceled, the facility is in stand-by mode or that a test is imminent."
North Korea is believed to possess 10 to 20 nuclear weapons and an arsenal of around 1000 ballistic missiles. Kim announced earlier this year that the country was in the final phases of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S., however, analysts have raised doubts as to how close North Korea is to producing such a projectile and to developing the technology required to fit a nuclear warhead onto it. The nation's current military capabilities, however, put nearby U.S. allies such as South Korea and Japan, both of which host U.S. military installations, at risk of attack.
Hawaii Is Preparing a Plan in Case of an Attack
Guam releases guidance to prepare residents for North Korean nuclear strike
By The Washington Post