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Fatty Spoonbanger sabre rattling again - fires missile into Sea of Japan

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Re: Fatty Spoonbanger sabre rattling again - fires missile into Sea of Japan

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:21 am

China watches in frustration as North Korea crisis enters dangerous spiral.

The view from China could hardly be much worse: the leaders of North Korea and the United States threatening to rain down total destruction on each other, while U.S. bombers and fighters stage a show of military might close to China’s shores.

In public, China’s foreign ministry has calmly advocated restraint, and warned Pyongyang and Washington not add to fuel to the fire. But behind closed doors, experts said Sunday, it is as frustrated with North Korea, and with the situation, as it has ever been.

As North Korea’s dominant trading partner, China is widely seen as the key to solving the crisis, yet experts say its influence over Pyongyang has never been lower.

Unwilling to completely pull the plug, it has nevertheless agreed to a stiff package of sanctions at the United Nations, and implemented them with unprecedented determination, experts say.

So far, all that has achieved is to alienate its neighbor and erstwhile friend.

“The North Koreans have figured out that the Chinese are genuinely in a bind,” said Euan Graham, director of International Security Program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. “Having cried wolf for so long about having limited influence, the Chinese genuinely do have limited influence in North Korea right now. It’s not just weasel words.”

The key step that China hesitates to take is to cut off crude oil exports to North Korea. On Saturday, it announced that it would limit exports of refined petroleum products, and ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas, to comply with the latest U.N. sanctions. It will also ban imports of textiles from North Korea.

But it is not prepared to do anything that might bring down the regime, potentially bringing refugees streaming across its border and unifying the peninsula under an American-friendly government.

North Korea’s leaders, experts in brinkmanship, know that full well, and this knowledge has allowed them to call China’s bluff repeatedly.

But just in case, they are also thought to have stockpiled between six and nine months of oil supplies — enough to keep the military and key industries going for some considerable time, Graham said.

On Saturday, North Korea’s foreign minister warned that a strike against the U.S. mainland is “inevitable” because President Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the nickname “little rocket man.”

In response to Ri Yong Ho’s threats at the U.N., Trump tweeted: “If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

U.S. bombers, escorted by fighter jets, flew off the North Korean coast in a show of force on Saturday, while in Pyongyang, tens of thousands of people staged a mass rally to express support for “final victory” over the United States and call for the annihilation of the enemy, the state Korean Central News Agency reported.

“This is a disaster for all parties, and for China for sure,” said Lu Chao, a Korean Peninsula expert at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in Shenyang. “Although there is no imminent sign of an outbreak of war, partial conflicts, especially between the South and North Korea on the sea where boundaries are not set, are very likely to occur.”

Next month, China’s Communist Party leadership meets for a key congress where President Xi Jinping is due to be confirmed for another five-year term as Communist Party general secretary.

At home and abroad, there has been a big effort to project confidence and control, and to ensure calmness and stability, in the run-up to this meeting. That effort has been felt in every arm and at every level of government here. But Pyongyang simply isn’t listening.

Its sixth and most recent nuclear test was staged earlier this month at a time when Xi was hosting leaders from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations at a key summit — an insult the face-conscious Chinese would have felt deeply.

Xi has never met Kim, and the two men are believed to hold each other in contempt. China’s attempts to send an envoy to Pyongyang to calm the situation have been rebuffed.

Some experts say Beijing has only itself to blame, for helping North Korea in the past and allegedly enabling the regime to develop its missile program. Yet there is no doubt it is now paying a price.

China has watched in alarm and anger this year as South Korea installs an American missile defense system that it fears could be used to spy on Chinese territory. It will also not have welcomed U.S. warplanes flying close to its shores this weekend.
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South Korea’s presidential office said Seoul and Washington had coordinated closely over the deployment of the U.S. bombers, calling it one of the most effective countermeasures against the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, South Korean media reported.

While Seoul cooperates with Washington, Pyongyang is freezing out Beijing.

On Saturday, KCNA issued a list of diplomatic missions that had held celebrations earlier this month to mark the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Republic. The list included 17 nations — but pointedly not China.

The deterioration in relations between Beijing and Pyongyang erupted much more forcefully into the open on Friday when KCNA angrily rebuked its Chinese state media counterparts for threatening, insulting and undermining their country. In a piece entitled “Rude Deed of Shameless Media,” it took aim at the Chinese Communist Party newspaper, the People’s Daily, for arguing in favor of sanctions.

“The party organ of the socialist country bragging long history denounced socialist Korea so maliciously in collusion with the imperialists,” KCNA wrote.

In China, experts said North Korea has resolved to continue development of its nuclear and missile program — at least until it can put a nuclear warhead on a missile capable of reaching the United States — despite whatever external pressure is applied.

“Sanctions, in my view, will not reverse North Korea’s resolute determination,” said Shen Dingli, deputy dean of Fudan University’s Institute of International Studies in Shanghai.

But Lu at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences insisted sanctions would work — at least by encouraging North Korea to one day return to talks.

“The sanctions that have been imposed will have a significant impact on North Korea’s economy, making them reconsider benefits and losses, and choose between being an enemy of the international community or sitting back at the negotiating table,” he said.

“I believe that one day North Korea will be at the table. "
http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/china-watches-in-frustration-as-north-korea-crisis-enters-dangerous-spiral/ar-AAspsLD
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Re: Fatty Spoonbanger sabre rattling again - fires missile into Sea of Japan

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:47 am

Russia throws North Korea lifeline to stymie regime change.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is quietly boosting economic support for North Korea to try to stymie any U.S.-led push to oust Kim Jong Un as Moscow fears his fall would sap its regional clout and allow U.S. troops to deploy on Russia's eastern border.

Though Moscow wants to try to improve battered U.S.-Russia relations in the increasingly slim hope of relief from Western sanctions over Ukraine, it remains strongly opposed to what it sees as Washington's meddling in other countries' affairs, according to Russian diplomats and analysts familiar with the Kremlin's thinking.

Russia is already angry about a build-up of U.S.-led NATO forces on its western borders in Europe and does not want any replication on its Asian flank, the sources added.

Yet while Russia has an interest in protecting North Korea, which started life as a Soviet satellite state, it is not giving Pyongyang a free pass: it backed tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear tests last month.

At the same time Moscow is playing a fraught double game, by quietly offering North Korea a slender lifeline to help insulate it from U.S.-led efforts to isolate it economically.

A Russian company began routing North Korean internet traffic this month, giving Pyongyang a second connection with the outside world besides China.

Bilateral trade more than doubled to $31.4 million in the first quarter of 2017, due mainly to what Moscow said was higher oil product exports, according to Russia's ministry for the development of the Far East.

At least eight North Korean ships that left Russia with fuel cargoes this year have returned home despite officially declaring other destinations, a ploy U.S. officials say is often used to undermine sanctions against Pyongyang.

And Russia, which shares a short land border with North Korea, has also resisted U.S.-led efforts to repatriate tens of thousands of North Korean workers whose remittances help keep the country's hard line leadership afloat.

"The Kremlin really believes the North Korean leadership should get additional assurances and confidence that the United States is not in the regime change business," Andrey Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a think-tank close to the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Reuters.

"The prospect of regime change is a serious concern. The Kremlin understands that (U.S. President Donald) Trump is unpredictable. They felt more secure with Barack Obama that he would not take any action that would explode the situation, but with Trump they don't know."

Trump, who mocks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a "rocket man" on a suicide mission, told the United Nations General Assembly last month he would "totally destroy" the country if necessary.

He has also said Kim Jong Un and his foreign minister "won't be around much longer" if they made good on a threat to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States.

STRATEGIC BORDER

To be sure, Beijing's economic ties to Pyongyang still dwarf Moscow's and China remains a more powerful player in the unfolding nuclear crisis. But while Beijing is cutting back trade as it toughens its line on its neighbour's ballistic missile and nuclear programme, Russia is increasing its support.

People familiar with elements of Kremlin thinking say that is because Russia flatly opposes regime change in North Korea.

Russian politicians have repeatedly accused the United States of plotting so-called colour revolutions across the former Soviet Union and any U.S. talk of unseating any leader for whatever reason is politically toxic in Moscow.

Russia's joint military exercises with neighbouring Belarus last month gamed a scenario where Russian forces put down a Western-backed attempt for part of Belarus to break away.

With Russia due to hold a presidential election in March, politicians are again starting to fret about Western meddling.

In 2011, President Vladimir Putin accused then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of trying to stir up unrest in Russia and he has made clear that he wants the United States to leave Kim Jong Un alone.

While condemning Pyongyang for what he called provocative nuclear tests, Putin told a forum last month in the eastern Russian port of Vladivostok that he understood North Korea's security concerns about the United States and South Korea.

Vladivostok, a strategic port city of 600,000 people and headquarters to Russia's Pacific Fleet, is only about 100 km (60 miles) from Russia's border with North Korea.

Russia would be fiercely opposed to any U.S. forces deploying nearby in a reunited Korea.

"(The North Koreans) know exactly how the situation developed in Iraq," Putin told the economic forum, saying Washington had used the false pretext that Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction to destroy the country and its leadership.

"They know all that and see the possession of nuclear weapons and missile technology as their only form of self-defence. Do you think they're going to give that up?"

Analysts say Russia's view is that North Korea's transformation into a nuclear state, though incomplete, is permanent and irreversible and the best the West can hope for is for Pyongyang to freeze elements of its programme.

NOTHING PERSONAL

Kortunov, the think-tank chief close to the Russian Foreign Ministry, said he did not think the Kremlin's defence of Kim Jong Un was based on any personal affection or support for North Korea's leadership, likening Moscow's pragmatic backing to that it has given Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow's position was motivated by a belief the status quo made Russia a powerful geopolitical player in the crisis because of its close ties to Pyongyang, Kortunov said, just as Russia's support for Assad has gifted it greater Middle East clout.

He said Moscow knew it would lose regional leverage if Kim Jong Un fell, much as its Middle East influence was threatened when Islamist militants looked like they might overthrow Assad in 2015.

"It's a very delicate balancing act," said Kortunov.

"On the one hand, Russia doesn't want to deviate from the line of its partners and mostly from China's position on North Korea which is getting tougher. But on the other hand, politicians in Moscow understand that the current situation and level of interaction between Moscow and Pyongyang puts Russia in a league of its own compared to China."

If the United States were to remove Kim Jong Un by force, he said Russia could face a refugee and humanitarian crisis on its border, while the weapons and technology Pyongyang is developing could fall into even more dangerous non-state hands.

So despite Russia giving lukewarm backing to tighter sanctions on Pyongyang, Putin wants to help its economy grow and is advocating bringing it into joint projects with other countries in the region.

"We need to gradually integrate North Korea into regional cooperation," Putin told the Vladivostok summit last month.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/russia-throws-north-korea-lifeline-stymie-regime-change-133736908.html
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Re: Fatty Spoonbanger sabre rattling again - fires missile into Sea of Japan

Post  Lamplighter Today at 1:48 pm

North Korea says ‘nuclear war may break out any moment’.

UNITED NATIONS — North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador warned Monday that the situation on the Korean peninsula “has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment.”

Kim In Ryong told the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee that North Korea is the only country in the world that has been subjected to “such an extreme and direct nuclear threat” from the United States since the 1970s — and said the country has the right to possess nuclear weapons in self-defense.

He pointed to large-scale military exercises every year using “nuclear assets” and said what is more dangerous is what he called a U.S. plan to stage a “secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership.”

This year, Kim said, North Korea completed its “state nuclear force and thus became the full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges, including the atomic bomb, H-bomb and intercontinental ballistic rockets.”

“The entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range and if the U.S. dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe,” he warned. More at link.
http://nypost.com/2017/10/16/north-korea-says-nuclear-war-may-break-out-any-moment/
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Re: Fatty Spoonbanger sabre rattling again - fires missile into Sea of Japan

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