TRUMP'S OPTIONS ON NORTH KOREA GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE:

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TRUMP'S OPTIONS ON NORTH KOREA GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:42 pm

09.05.2017:

Dear JFK Murder Solved Forum Members and Readers:

TRUMP'S OPTIONS ON NORTH KOREA ARE CLEARLY GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE.

ECONOMICS vs. MORALITY ?

CAUTIONARY PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE vs. WAIT AND SEE ?

POSSIBLE PEACE THROUGH NEGOTIATION vs. WAR FARE ?

ALL EYES AND OPINIONS OF THE WORLD vs. CONCERNS, EYES, PEACE OF MIND, and SAFETY AND SECURITY OF AMERICAN'S ?

DEATH OF "THEIR" CIVILIANS vs. DEATH OF U.S. CIVILIANS ?

THIS IS DEVELOPING LIKE THE 13 DAYS OF JFK ON STEROIDS. (09.05.2017, BB).


Trump's options on North Korea going from bad to worse
Associated Press JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press 3 hours ago


WASHINGTON (AP) — Sanctions on North Korea have been tried, and failed. Serious negotiations seem like a pipe dream. And any military strike would almost surely bring mass devastation and horrific civilian casualties.

The Trump administration's options are going from bad to worse as Kim Jong Un's military marches ever closer to being able to strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear weapons. Just as President Donald Trump seeks to show global resolve after the North's most powerful nuclear test, his leverage is limited even further by new tensions he's stoked with South Korea, plus continued opposition from China and Russia.

With South Korea, the country most directly threatened, Trump has taken the unusual step of highlighting disagreements between the U.S. and its treaty ally, including by floating the possibility he could pull out of a trade deal with South Korea to protest trade imbalances. He also suggested on Twitter the two countries lacked unanimity on North Korea, faulting new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has been more conciliatory to the North, for his government's "talk of appeasement."

It's an inopportune time for grievances to be aired, and on Monday the two leaders sought to show they were confronting North Korea together — and with might. The White House said that in a phone call with Moon, Trump gave approval "in principle" to lifting restrictions on South Korean missile payloads and to approving "many billions" in weapons sales to South Korea. Though no details were released, the idea was to show the countries were collaborating to bolster defenses against Kim's government.

"He is begging for war," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said of the North Korean leader Monday at the U.N. Security Council, where diplomats were called into emergency session despite the Labor Day holiday in the U.S.

Haley called for exhausting "all diplomatic means to end this crisis." But to those who tried and failed over a decade-plus to resolve it, there appear to be few such means that haven't already been tried — and tried again.

What has changed is the sense of urgency, and the growing view among national security analysts that it may be time to abandon "denuclearization" and accept North Korea into the nuclear club. The North claimed Sunday's test, its sixth since 2006, was a hydrogen bomb designed to be mounted on its new intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Short of allowing Pyongyang's weapons programs to advance, Trump's options all appear to variations on what's been considered before:

THE MILITARY OPTION:

The U.S. military for years has had a full range of contingency plans prepared for potential strikes on the North to try to disrupt its nuclear program or dissuade it from developing further. On Sunday, Trump dispatched Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to warn of a "massive military response" if the North keeps threatening the U.S., while Trump hinted in a call with Japan's leader that the U.S. could even deploy its own nuclear arsenal.

But over the years, the military options have consistently been viewed as unworkable, owing to the sheer horror that would ensue if North Korea retaliated — as would be expected — by striking South Korea. The North Koreans have massive military assets stockpiled on what is the world's most heavily fortified border.

The U.S. has roughly 28,000 troops in South Korea, and there are hundreds of thousands more American citizens just in Seoul, the capital, with a metro area population of 25 million. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said if war broke out, there would be heavy civilian casualties in the first few days before the U.S. could mitigate the North's ability to strike Seoul.

TRADE SHUTDOWN:

Trump on Saturday declared on Twitter that the U.S. was considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea." That would be a dramatic escalation of the longstanding U.S. strategy: increasing economic pressure on North Korea by restricting its access to funds needed for its weapons programs.

But many countries do business with North Korea — especially China, a top U.S. trading partner and economic behemoth. Cutting off trade with China, not to mention the others, would devastate the U.S. economy and be incredibly difficult to enforce. Countless American businesses would be shuttered or hard hit, eliminating jobs along with them.

SANCTIONS AND ISOLATION:

A total trade shutdown aside, the U.S. has worked for years to squeeze Pyongyang financially and encouraged others to do the same — especially China. In a diplomatic victory for the Trump administration, the U.N. last month approved sweeping new sanctions targeting roughly one-third of the North's economy, with China's support.

But the latest nuclear test and recent missile tests suggest Kim is undeterred by those sanctions. And there's strong reluctance from countries including China and Russia, both permanent Security Council members, to do more sanctioning.

Advocates for more sanctions say there's still room to up the pressure. Anthony Ruggiero, a sanctions expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the next logical step is for the U.S. to impose "secondary sanctions" targeting banks or businesses in China that do business with North Korea, a tactic the U.S. used effectively to push Iran to the table over its nuclear program several years ago.

"The chance for sanctions to work is that playbook," Ruggiero said.

DIPLOMATIC TALKS:

China, backed by Russia, has been urging an immediate return to talks, predicated on the U.S. halting joint military exercises with South Korea and the North suspending its weapons development. But few in the U.S. government have advocated direct talks with the North Koreans until their behavior significantly changes. In the past, talks with the North have failed to prevent it from advancing its weapons program for long, and the U.S. has accused Pyongyang of cheating on an earlier agreement.

The Trump administration has left the door open to talks with the North, and has tried to coax Kim into abstaining from provocative tests long enough to justify a U.S. return to the table. So far, that coaxing hasn't worked.
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Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP
Trump, South Korean president talk North Korea:

Associated Press Associated Press 11 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart spoke on the phone Monday morning for the first time since North Korea boasted of another nuclear test.

Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to remove the limit on the payload of South Korean missiles as part of the countries' response to the North's move on Sunday, South Korea's presidential office said in a statement. The North claimed it had detonated a hydrogen bomb underground.

Both leaders also agreed that the latest test was a grave provocation that was "unprecedented."

The phone call came as the U.N. Security Council was holding its second emergency meeting in a week on the subject. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday said the U.S. will answer any threat from the North with a "massive military response."

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with the response of other countries to North Korean provocations. Over the weekend, he threatened to halt all trade with countries doing business with the North, a veiled warning to China, and faulted South Korea for its "talk of appeasement."

Trump is also considering triggering a withdrawal from a free trade agreement with South Korea, a business lobbying group said Saturday, raising concerns about a move that could cause a fresh economic rift between allies at a moment of heightened tensions with a common foe.

China says Trump's trade threat over N. Korea 'unacceptable'
Associated Press Associated Press 18 hours ago

BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday criticized President Donald Trump's threat to cut off U.S. trade with countries that deal with North Korea and rejected pressure to do more to halt the North's nuclear development.

Trump issued the threat after North Korea on Sunday exploded a thermonuclear device in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. The threat was seen as a warning to China, North Korea's main trading partner and only major ally.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, criticized Trump's stance as unfair to Beijing.

"What is definitely unacceptable to us is that on the one hand we work so hard to peacefully resolve this issue and on the other hand our interests are subject to sanctions and jeopardized," Geng said at a regular news briefing. "This is unfair."

Such an approach would be drastic if applied to China, from which the United States imports goods worth about $40 billion a month.

Trump said it was under consideration "in addition to other options."

Asked whether Beijing would support tougher U.N. sanctions such as cutting off oil supplies to North Korea, Geng didn't mention oil but said whatever happened would depend on discussions among council members. Geng said China, one of five permanent Security Council members with power to veto U.N. actions, would take part in a "responsible and constructive way."

Geng expressed frustration at Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's comment that Beijing had a responsibility to influence North Korea due to its status as the North's main trading partner.

"We keep stressing that we cannot solely rely on China to resolve this issue," said Geng. "We need all parties to work in the same direction."

South Korea simulates attack on North's nuke site after test
Associated Press FOSTER KLUG and YOUKYUNG LEE,Associated Press 12 hours ago

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Following U.S. warnings to North Korea of a "massive military response," South Korea fired missiles into the sea to simulate an attack on the North's main nuclear test site on Monday, a day after North Korea detonated its largest-ever nuclear test explosion.

South Korea's Defense Ministry also said Monday that North Korea appeared to be planning a future missile launch, possibly of an ICBM, to show off its claimed ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons, though it was unclear when this might happen.

The heated words from the United States and the military maneuvers in South Korea are becoming familiar responses to North Korea's rapid, as-yet unchecked pursuit of a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that can strike the United States. The most recent, and perhaps most dramatic, advance came Sunday in an underground test of what leader Kim Jong Un's government claimed was a hydrogen bomb, the North's sixth nuclear test since 2006.

The United Nations Security Council held its second emergency meeting about North Korea in a week on Monday, with U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman calling the test a "dangerous provocation" that was profoundly destabilizing for the region and the international community.

In Seoul, Chang Kyung-soo, an official with South Korea's Defense Ministry, told lawmakers on Monday that it was seeing preparations in the North for an ICBM test but didn't provide details about how officials had reached that assessment. Chang also said the yield from the latest nuclear detonation appeared to be about 50 kilotons, which would mark a "significant increase" from North Korea's past nuclear tests.

In a series of tweets, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to halt all trade with countries doing business with North Korea, a warning to China, and faulted South Korea for what he called "talk of appeasement."

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, told reporters in Beijing on Monday that China regarded as "unacceptable a situation in which on the one hand we work to resolve this issue peacefully but on the other hand our own interests are subject to sanctions and jeopardized. This is neither objective nor fair."

South Korea's military said its live-fire exercise was meant to "strongly warn" North Korea. The drill involved F-15 fighter jets and the country's land-based "Hyunmoo" ballistic missiles firing into the Sea of Japan.

The target was set considering the distance to North Korea's test site and the exercise was aimed at practicing precision strikes and cutting off reinforcements, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Each new North Korean missile and nuclear test gives the country's scientists invaluable information that allows big jumps in capability. North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range missile to eventually carry smaller versions of those bombs.

Both diplomacy and severe sanctions have failed to check the North's decades-long march to nuclear mastery.

In Washington, Trump, asked by a reporter if he would attack North Korea, said, "We'll see." No U.S. military action appeared imminent, and the immediate focus appeared to be on ratcheting up economic penalties, which have had little effect thus far.

In brief remarks after a White House meeting with Trump and other national security officials, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that America does not seek the "total annihilation" of North Korea, but then added somberly, "We have many options to do so."

Mattis said the U.S. will answer any threat from the North with a "massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming."

For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available on iOS and Android.

Mattis also said the international community is unified in demanding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that Kim should know Washington's commitment to Japan and South Korea is unshakeable.

The precise strength of North Korea's underground nuclear explosion has yet to be determined. South Korea's weather agency said the artificial earthquake caused by the explosion was five times to six times stronger than tremors generated by the North's previous five tests.

Sunday's detonation builds on recent North Korean advances that include test launches in July of two ICBMs. The North says its missile development is part of a defensive effort to build a viable nuclear deterrent that can target U.S. cities.

North Korea has made a stunning jump in progress in its nuclear and missile programs since Kim rose to power following his father's death in late 2011. The North followed its two tests of Hwasong-14 ICBMs, which, when perfected, could target large parts of the United States, by threatening to launch a salvo of Hwasong-12 intermediate range missiles toward the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in August.

It flew a Hwasong-12 over northern Japan last week, the first such overflight by a missile potentially capable of carrying nuclear weapons, in a launch Kim described as a "meaningful prelude" to containing Guam, the home of major U.S. military facilities, and vowed to launch more ballistic missile tests targeting the Pacific.

Ahead of the North's test, photos released by the North Korean government showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that was purportedly a thermonuclear weapon destined for an ICBM. The images were taken without outside journalists present and could not be independently verified. What appeared to be the nose cone of a missile could also be seen in one photo, and another showed a diagram on the wall behind Kim of a bomb mounted inside a cone.

The Arms Control Association in the United States said the explosion appeared to produce a yield in excess of 100 kilotons of TNT equivalent, which it said strongly suggests North Korea tested a high-yield but compact nuclear weapon that could be launched on a missile of intermediate or intercontinental range.

Beyond the science of the blast, North Korea's accelerating push to field a nuclear weapon that can target all of the United States is creating political complications for the U.S. as it seeks to balance resolve with reassurance to allies that Washington will uphold its decades-long commitment to deter nuclear attack on South Korea and Japan.

That is why some questioned Trump's jab at South Korea. He tweeted that Seoul is finding that its "talk of appeasement" will not work. The North Koreans, he added, "only understand one thing," implying military force might be required. The U.S. has about 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea and is obliged by treaty to defend it in the event of war.

Trump also suggested putting more pressure on China, North Korea's patron for many decades and a vital U.S. trading partner, in hopes of persuading Beijing to exert more effective leverage on its neighbor. Trump tweeted that the U.S. is considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea." Such a halt would be radical. The U.S. imports about $40 billion in goods a month from China, North Korea's main commercial partner.

Experts have questioned whether North Korea has gone too far down the nuclear road to continue pushing for a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, an Obama administration policy goal still embraced by Trump's White House.

"Denuclearization is not a viable U.S. policy goal," said Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security, but neither should the U.S. accept North Korea as a nuclear power, he said. "We should keep denuclearization as a long-term aspiration, but recognize privately that it's unachievable anytime soon."
_
As always, I strongly recommend that you first read, research, and study material completely
yourself about a Subject Matter, and then formulate your own Opinions and Theories.

Any additional analyses, interviews, investigations, readings, research, studies, thoughts,
or writings on any aspect of this Subject Matter ?

Bear in mind that we are trying to attract and educate a Whole New Generation of JFK
Researchers who may not be as well versed as you.

Comments ?

Respectfully,
BB.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
 
Posts: 1895
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 9:09 am

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