Tuesday, 7 November 2017

On the edge in the North Korean peninsula on the eve of Trump's visit

As always I would be far more worried about Trump might do and not what Kim might do (except in retaliation.

America and its imperial allies essentially have the DPRK surrounded and the talk from the Pentagon is a ground invasion.


What do they have in mind and how does that relate to very, very, dangerous events in the Middle East?

N.KOREA COULD LAUNCH BIGGEST EVER MISSILE TONIGHT”


AMTV News



For The First Time In 13 Years, U.S. Deploys 7 Aircraft Carriers Simultaneously


6 November, 2017


The US has simultaneously deployed 7 of the 11 U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers for the first time in over a decade according to the US Naval Institute. The three aircraft carriers with full air wings and strike groups positioned in the Western Pacific are the following: USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76); USS Nimitz (CVN-68); USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Another four are conducting “short training missions as part of training operations or workups ahead of deployment”.  Two out of four are operating in Eastern Pacific -  USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) - and the remaining two are operating in the Atlantic, the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).



Top: USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)
Center: USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
Bottom: USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), USS Nimitz (CVN-68), USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)


Back in 2016, six carriers were underway and that was considered a “milestone event” by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. The last time 7 carriers were deployed dates back to 2004, according to USNI. The report quotes an unidentified Navy official to sheds more light on the upcoming drills:







The Reagan, Nimitz and Roosevelt strike groups are all operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. Reagan is operating in the Sea of Japan near the Korean peninsula while Nimitz is returning to its homeport at Naval Station Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash. after a deployment to the Persian Gulf to conduct air strike against ISIS targets. Roosevelt deployed from San Diego, Calif. on Oct. 7 set to replace Nimitz as part of the continued U.S. operation against ISIS.


More basic details were provided by the report for the remaining aircraft carriers:

  • Vinson is conducting a planned sustainment exercise and flight tests with the F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, while Stennis left Kitsap-Bremerton last week for training after coming out of a repair period. A sailor on Vinson was injured Friday after being struck with a plane being towed on the flight deck.
  • Lincoln is undergoing a series of qualifications following the completion of a mid-life refueling and complex overhaul and return to the fleet in May.
  • Ford is continuing years of tests and training before the ship will be fully integrated into the U.S. fleet and leave on its first deployment sometime in the early 2020s.
Naval aviation is supporting the requirements of combatant commanders forward while building our capabilities for future deployments–and qualifying new pilots–with training near our shores,” Vice Adm. Michael Shoemaker, commander Naval Air Forces said in a Monday statement provided to USNI News.


“The addition of USS Gerald Ford is exciting, as we test the capabilities for the future. This optempo is not ordinary, but the demand for carriers remains as high as ever.”

Confirmed: @USNavy to stage exercise in western Pacific in coming days with 3 aircraft carrier strike groups.


Also on Monday, VoA's White House bureau chief Steve Herman, confirmed what had been speculated previously, namely that 3 of the carriers will participate in an extremely rare drill in "the estern Pacific", read off the Korean peninsula. As the report states, this would be the first time the “7th Fleet converged for the “first simultaneous three-strike group training operations in a decade”.


Last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford tried to diffuse the situation, saying that “these three carriers are not there specifically targeting North Korea. This is a routine demonstration of our commitment to the region.” The exercise is overlapping President Trump’s 12-day excursion across Asia amid high-tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.


Indicatively, as of last week, this was the latest positioning of US Carrier Strike Groups, courtesy of Stratfor.




The timing of the 3-carrier drill in the Western Pacific coincides with President Trump’s trip to South Korea. As Trump’s latest tweet indicates (4:28pm), he is “getting ready to leave for South Korea”.

Getting ready to leave for South Korea and meetings with President Moon, a fine gentleman. We will figure it all out!

With 7 carriers deployed today of which 3 about to launch drills in Western Pacific, we find it odd this is all occurring around President Trump’s trip to Asia.


On October 28, North Korea accused the US of making “criminal moves for igniting a war of aggression”, after Kim Jong-Un learned three US-Navy carriers will operate in Asian waters. According to Jim Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense, said “our goal is not war, but rather the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, something North Korea has previously said it will never agree to.


Finally, another drill that should be closely watched is Israel’s “largest-ever aerial military drill”, which started yesterday. Sometimes these drills "accidentally" go live. 

The British tabloid press is calling for war.

North Korea’s BIGGEST ever missile launch TODAY: Kim ready to send message to Trump
NORTH Korea is feared to be ready for missile test today in a final warning to Donald Trump as he arrives on Kim’s doorstep.


Donald Trump Kim Jong Un missile test Juche Bird launch
R
7 November, 2017


Trump will bet jetting into South Korea today on his tour of Asia - set for a one-on-one chat with President Moon Jae-in.
The US President will be in Seoul, which is just 35 miles from the border with North Korea and just 120 miles from the capital Pyongyang.
Spooks now fear the rogue state will be planning a massive missile launch to send a message to Trump as he gets the closest he has ever been to Kim.
Missile movements have been detected across North Korea, while US and South Korean spy planes have been working overtime as they try to sniff out what Kim is up to.
War fears have reached an all-time high this year as the two powers square-up to each other promising nuclear annihilation.
North Korea next step will be to launch a nuclear-capable missile out into the heart of the Pacific, experts believe.
Kim’s rogue state has been talking up the possibility of the dreaded Juche Bird, a live nuclear explosion over the ocean - the first of it’s kind for 30 years.
An unannounced test of this kind would be the ultimate provocation and is likely to spark World War 3.
Launching an unarmed ICBM out into the Pacific is believed to be the rogue state’s next step - a proof-of-concept for the Juche Bird.
This would North Korea’s largest scale missile test to date and a unprecedented show of force to the US.
Previously experts told Daily Star Online that a “battle-ready” launch will be the next step for North Korea.
Harry Kazianis, director of defence studies at the Centre for the National Interest in the US, said: “they are going to go over Japan and drop it into the mid-Pacific.
They need to test those missiles in battlefield conditions.” “They need to do that, because shooting missiles up in the air isn’t how you would do it in a war.”
Eerie silence has fallen over the Korean Peninsula as Kim has not launched a missile since September 15.
Reports also emerged of a massive collapse at his nuclear test-site Punggye-ri killing 200 workers.
The disaster occurred just days after North Korea detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb ever on September 3 - five times more powerful than the weapon dropped on Hiroshima.
Fears loom the incident could force Kim’s hand into more overground testing as the mountain test-range is said to be on its last legs risking total collapse.
Nuclear war fears have reached new heights this year North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear programme despite pressure from the UN. Kim believes obtaining nuclear weapons will secure his rule in Pyongyang and allow him to blackmail his neighbours and the US.
Trump has spent the last few days in Japan and will today arrive in South Korea for a meeting with President Moon and meetings with the US Army.
Reports also emerged of a massive collapse at his nuclear test-site Punggye-ri killing 200 workers.
The disaster occurred just days after North Korea detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb ever on September 3 - five times more powerful than the weapon dropped on Hiroshima.
Fears loom the incident could force Kim’s hand into more overground testing as the mountain test-range is said to be on its last legs risking total collapse.
Nuclear war fears have reached new heights this year North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear programme despite pressure from the UN. Kim believes obtaining nuclear weapons will secure his rule in Pyongyang and allow him to blackmail his neighbours and the US.
Trump has spent the last few days in Japan and will today arrive in South Korea for a meeting with President Moon and meetings with the US Army.
Pentagon: Ground invasion would be required to destroy North Korea nuclear weapons


5 November, 2017


WASHINGTON – The only way to locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is through a ground invasion. That blunt assessment from the Pentagon is in response to a letter from two Democratic congressmen asking about casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea.

Rear Adm. Michael J. Dumont of the Joint Staff offered the assessment in response to a letter from Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Ruben Gallego of Arizona.

Dumont noted that the U.S. is evaluating North Korea’s ability to target heavily populated areas of South Korea with long-range artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles. He also pointed out that Seoul, the South’s capital with a population of 25 million, is just 35 miles from the demilitarized zone. The amount of casualties would differ depending on the advance warning and the ability of U.S. and South Korea forces to counter these attacks, he said.

Trump arrives in Japan for start of Asia tour, says he'll likely meet with Putin
A classified briefing would be the best place to discuss in detail the capability of the U.S. and its allies to discuss capabilities to counter North Korea’s ability to respond with a nuclear weapon and eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons located in deeply buried, underground facilities,” he said. He also mentioned the possibility that chemical and biological weapons might be used by the North in case of a conflict.

Military officials would be happy to join “the intelligence community to address these issues in a classified briefing,” he said.

In a joint statement issued Saturday, 15 Democratic lawmakers and one Republican— all military veterans — called the assessment that a ground invasion would be required to destroy the North’s nuclear arsenal “deeply disturbing” and that such an action “could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting.”

It is our intent to have a full public accounting of the potential cost of war, so the American people understand the commitment we would be making as a nation if we were to pursue military action,” the lawmakers said.

They also said the Trump administration “has failed to articulate any plans to prevent the military conflict from expanding beyond the Korean Peninsula and to manage what happens after the conflict is over.”

With that in mind, the thought of sending troops into harm’s way and expending resources on another potentially unwinnable war is chilling. The President needs to stop making provocative statements that hinder diplomatic options and put American troops further at risk,” they said.



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