Tuesday, 19 September 2017

US: N Korea to be 'destroyed' if behaviour continues

ATTENTION!

The real killer in this itvw is totally buried - and that's why it won't raise any eyebrows, as it should.

Here's the former Japanese Defense Minister:

"Asked whether he was predicting war, Mr Morimoto said: "I think Washington has not decided ... The final decision-maker is [US Defence Secretary] Mr Mattis ... Not the president."

That TOTALLY confirms the prevailing independent analysis all across Eurasia; Washington is now run by a military junta - with Kelly, Mad Dog and McMaster just the tip of the spear. Trump is a figurehead. The incredibly shrinking T. Rex is not even a footnote. The Hillbilly From Hell is a mere - useful - neocon puppet. 

Brace for impact not only as far as the DPRK is concerned, but Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine. Bumpy does not even begin to describe the ride ahead.

---Pepe Escobar

Japanese defence figures: US prepared to use military action against North Korea
The United States of America has "a strong determination" to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis using military action if necessary, one of Japan's most senior defence figures has said.



SMH,
8 September, 2017


In saying so, former defence minister Satoshi Morimoto has brushed aside widespread expert views that the rogue regime will drift into becoming a full nuclear power because there is no plausible way to stop them. The remarks also reflect a powerful strain of thought in Japan that the situation cannot be allowed to limp along until Kim Jong-un gets what he wants.


The former defence minister told Fairfax Media the next few weeks will be a crucial period of high tension and brinkmanship on the peninsula.

"North Korea strongly insists the US has to accept the North as a nuclear power. The US cannot do anything like that. So Washington has no intention, absolutely no intention, to open the dialogue with North Korea this time," said Mr Morimoto, who now serves as a special adviser to current Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera and is influential and well-connected within the government of Shinzo Abe.

He believed the US had a "very strong determination ... to destroy the Kim [regime]" – though he later clarified this by saying the US had a "strong determination to find out the solution to the present [crisis]".

"They have no intention to extend the final decision into the future," he said. "Something may happen. We have very high tension for the next one-and-a-half months."

Mr Morimoto, who is also president of Takushoku University, predicted North Korea needed less than a year to have functional intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads that could be fitted on them.


His views reflect deep concern in Japan about the profound ramifications of a fully nuclear-armed North Korea, reflected in a series of high-level briefings provided to Fairfax Media in Japan this week. The latest crisis has exacerbated debate about Japan's strengthening its defence posture, including even going nuclear, and intensified concerns – already present across Asia since Donald Trump's election – about US commitment to the region.

Mr Morimoto said the Kim regime would "never ... abandon their nuclear and missile programs" and therefore "America has two options: possible military action and very strong pressure through the United Nations Security Council to stop all money flow."

But he added that most policy-makers in Japan were "very negative and very pessimistic" that China would agree to cut off energy supplies to North Korea – seen as a final ace the Security Council could pull if it wants to truly strangle North Korea.

"Members of the Chinese Communist Party are very reluctant to accept America's requirement for stopping that crude oil supply."

Asked whether he was predicting war, Mr Morimoto said: "I think Washington has not decided ... The final decision-maker is [US Defence Secretary] Mr Mattis ... Not the president."

He said with North Korea showing no inclination to stop its provocations – and with the region on high alert this weekend for another possible missile launch – the regime was "joining some kind of chicken game with the United States and the United States has no intention to open dialogue".

"What is the result of the collision course?" he asked.

Mr Trump has been in close contact with Mr Abe in the recent period of crisis. He spoke to Mr Abe twice around the time of the latest tests and well before even South Korea's leader Moon Jae-in.

A senior Japanese defence official told Fairfax Media that Kim Jong-un's objective was precisely to "break the ties between the United States and Japan and South Korea".

"If the US recognises North Korea as a nuclear power, then Japan and South Korea can no longer rely on the US for a nuclear deterrent. These two countries need to face the nuclear threat by the North Koreans on their own," the official said, stressing he was giving a personal opinion but one that was widely shared by other people.

Ken Jimbo, a respected defence scholar with Keio University, said that if North Korea could develop a stockpile of long-range missiles, the US would face the "classic question" of whether it was prepared to sacrifice Tokyo or Seoul for Los Angeles or San Francisco – a debate that would play out in US media and Congress.


"Even now we have logical doubts about how much the United States will commit to our defence," Professor Jimbo said. "With North Korea having ICBMs, these kinds of [alliance] decoupling concerns may inevitably arise in Tokyo and Seoul. And that will actually trigger the debate whether we should actually obtain our own nuclear capability ... or at least stronger defence capability and conventional strike."



UN Ambassador Haley warns Pyongyang 'a whole lot of military options' are being considered to defend US and allies.

18 September, 2017

The US ambassador to the UN warned North Korea would be destroyed if it continues its "reckless behaviour" and forces the United States and its allies to defend themselves against any attack.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said on Sunday the UN Security Council has run out of options on containing North Korea's nuclear programme - and the US may now turn to the Pentagon.

"We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we can do at the Security Council at this point," Haley told CNN's State of the Union.

Haley added she was perfectly happy to hand the matter to Defence Secretary James Mattis.

"We're trying every other possibility that we have, but there's a whole lot of military options on the table," she said.

US National Security Adviser HR McMaster said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "going to have to give up his nuclear weapons because the president has said he's not going to tolerate this regime threatening the United States and our citizens with a nuclear weapon".

Asked if that meant Trump would launch a military attack against North Korea, McMaster said, "he's been very clear about that, that all options are on the table".

Kim has threatened Guam, a US territory in the Pacific, and has fired two missiles over Japan, a US ally in Asia, including one missile launched on Friday. North Korea also recently tested its most powerful nuclear bomb yet.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was waiting for the North to express interest in "constructive, productive talks".

"All they need to do to let us know they're ready to talk is to just stop these tests, stop these provocative actions, and let's lower the threat level and the rhetoric," he said.


Mattis said earlier this month, after Kim tested a hydrogen bomb, the US will answer any threat from the North with a "massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming".

Trump has threatened to rain "fire and fury" on North Korea. Haley said that wasn't an empty threat from the president but, when asked, she declined to describe the president's intentions.

"If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behaviour, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed, and we all know that, and none of us want that," Haley said.

"None of us want war. But we also have to look at the fact that you are dealing with someone who is being reckless, irresponsible, and is continuing to give threats not only to the United States but to all their allies, so something is going to have to be done."


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