N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

I'm sure that sly Kim has prepared another testing facility in a secret place - more spacious, with deeper and longer tunnels, better equipped and clean from contamination. (...)
The scale of construction means that it would be very difficult to hide. The North Koreans likely have a spot in mind where one could go, but not anything prepared yet.

Most likely Kim doesn't need new tests in the near future. Everything has been tested. (...)
As noted in previous posts, India and Pakistan were satisfied with half a dozen tests. North Korea has now conducted that many, and has a reasonably good idea of how reliable their bombs are. They don't need more tests at this time.

As for 'denuclearization' then it will not happen anytime soon.
There has as yet no agreement on what 'denuclearization' and what it encompasses. The North Koreans have previously said that it must cover the entire Korean Peninsula, which likely means the US would not be allowed to bring nuclear weapons into South Korea, including on American ships in Korean waters or ports under any circumstances.

The whole process may fall down after the meeting between Trump and Kim if the US insists on very narrowly focused negotiations limited to the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear and missile program, followed by the US thinking about possibly removing sanctions on North Korea, if the US happens to feel like it.

I believe that genuine success will require broad ranging negotiations led by the two Koreas with the US, China, and Russia agreeing to go along with what those two decide. Japan's agreement would be convenient, but I don't believe is strictly necessary.

According to Moon's comments as noted in a previous post, genuine success is something that would take many years of sustained effort.
 
I strongly doubt that the meeting between Trump and Kim will happen anytime soon.
Still much needed meeting with Putin is not on the schedule while both presidents have a lot of issues to discuss.
Btw, Russian Vladivistok would be an ideal choice (for both meetings).
From a geographic perspective Vladivostok would be ideal. However, that location would be politically untenable for Trump at this time due to domestic politics.
 
From a geographic perspective Vladivostok would be ideal. However, that location would be politically untenable for Trump at this time due to domestic politics.
It is abnormal situation when important issues of international politics depend on under carpet political games inside the USA. In this sense Washington is a factor of instability on the World stage.
 
It is abnormal situation when important issues of international politics depend on under carpet political games inside the USA.
They were talking about Switzerland initially after the ‘peace village’ was discounted. That’s felt to be too far for Tubby III and his planes, so they went with a nearer location which is politically neutral (or as much as can be), in the Region.
In this sense Washington is a factor of instability on the World stage.
Pots and kettles spring to mind.
 
The scale of construction means that it would be very difficult to hide. The North Koreans likely have a spot in mind where one could go, but not anything prepared yet.


As noted in previous posts, India and Pakistan were satisfied with half a dozen tests. North Korea has now conducted that many, and has a reasonably good idea of how reliable their bombs are. They don't need more tests at this time.


There has as yet no agreement on what 'denuclearization' and what it encompasses. The North Koreans have previously said that it must cover the entire Korean Peninsula, which likely means the US would not be allowed to bring nuclear weapons into South Korea, including on American ships in Korean waters or ports under any circumstances.

The whole process may fall down after the meeting between Trump and Kim if the US insists on very narrowly focused negotiations limited to the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear and missile program, followed by the US thinking about possibly removing sanctions on North Korea, if the US happens to feel like it.

I believe that genuine success will require broad ranging negotiations led by the two Koreas with the US, China, and Russia agreeing to go along with what those two decide. Japan's agreement would be convenient, but I don't believe is strictly necessary.

According to Moon's comments as noted in a previous post, genuine success is something that would take many years of sustained effort.
Digging of tunnels is a 'hobby' of N.Korean rulers. So construction works have been completed (I fancy) long ago.
It is sufficient to install testing equipment if it would be needed.
As for the agreement then it would cost less than a half penny. Washington could withdraw its signature at any moment.
We have to wait for profound changes in US politics, wait for a new generation of responsible American politicians.
 
Peace talks ignite land buying frenzy along South Korea's fortified...
The ‘promises’ made by Tubby III appear to have had an impact on property near the DMZ. South Koreans are buying land, even though they’ve only seen it in satellite images or on Google Earth:
Demand for property in small towns and sparsely populated rural areas around the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is surging on expectations of an influx of people and investment.

Kang Sung-wook, a 37-year old dentist in the South Korean border city of Paju, has bought eight separate lots of land in and around the DMZ since mid-March.

Five were purchased without ever setting foot on them, using only Google Earth satellite photos and maps, as areas inside the DMZ cannot not be accessed by the public.
$2.8M for 49 acres of land. Much seems to have already been sold. Dentists seem to be paid a lot in RoK:
“I was out looking since North Korea-U.S. summit news was announced in March, and it looked like all the good ones were gone already,” said Kang. “I realized then that the market was on fire.”

His investment along the border now totals 3 billion won ($2.8 million) for 49 acres (20 hectares) of land.
Public access is restricted, but land can be purchased and registered within the 2km strip on the RoK side. Land in Paju (approach to the ‘Peace Village’) has more than doubled in price:
But while public access is restricted, land within the 2km (1.2 mile) wide South Korean side of the DMZ and other border areas can still be purchased and registered.

Land transactions in Paju, gateway to the United Nations truce village of Panmunjom, more than doubled in March to 4,628 from February, government data shows. That far outstripped better known markets such as trendy Gangnam, where volumes were up just 9 percent.
Gazzumping seems to be rife:
Kim Yoon-sik, a realtor with 25 years experience in Paju, says owners of the land in the DMZ include those who inherited farmland from ancestors in pre-Korean war days and some long term investors.

“With bids outnumbering offers, I often see sellers cancelling on preliminary contracts, it’s that hot,” Kim said.
Land on the Chinese border is also being bought especially after the pledge to reconnect roads and rail links:
The surge of activity along the border is not limited to South Korea or just real estate.

In the northeastern Chinese border city of Dandong, property investors are pushing up prices and even spurring buying interest inside North Korea.

At last month’s historic inter-Korean summit at Panmunjom, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pledged to reconnect railways and roads along the border, and transform the DMZ into a “peace zone”.
With ‘complete denuclearisation’ economic aid has been promised from both PRC and RoK. This means investment in infrastructure which then means the shares construction companies rise:
China and South Korea have also agreed that if North Korea undertakes complete denuclearisation, it should be guaranteed economic aid. That could start with railway projects connecting China and South Korea through North Korea.

Shares of South Korea’s construction and railway firms such as Hyundai Rotem and Seoam Machinery Industry Co have soared on hopes of such projects.
Similar rises in property occurred in 2007, during Tubby II’s tenure and deregulation of the land will take time:
Border property prices spiked when former President Roh Moo-hyun met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Il in 2007. Prices then plummeted as ties deteriorated when the right-wing government of Lee Myung-bak took power a year later.

“For the past seven decades, the two Koreas have taken radically different paths,” said Jhe Seong-ho, a law school professor at Seoul’s Chung Ang University. “Deregulating of the border zones won’t be a quick and smooth process even if there is an economic opening up of North Korea.”

Much of the land within the DMZ is likely to remain restricted from any development for conservation purposes, a huge risk for investors, he added.
Hopes are high in RoK though, according to the dentist above “Kim Jong Un wouldn’t go everywhere and visit China twice if he was bluffing.”
Hopes are high, however, with Kim set to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore next month after his recent summit with Moon and two trips to China to meet President Xi Jinping.

“I have a firm belief that this time North Korea would pursue an open economy like Vietnam,” Kang said. “Kim Jong Un wouldn’t go everywhere and visit China twice if he was bluffing.”
Two of the six points from unanimous UNSC Resolution are currently being complied with. There’s a way to go yet: https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/unscres_14102006.pdf
 
South Korea says that North Korea is making preparations to close their nuclear test site. South Korea military says North Korea making preparations to close nuclear site | CBC News
North Korea is moving ahead with plans to close its nuclear test site next week, South Korea's military said Tuesday, an assessment backed by U.S. researchers who say satellite images show the North has begun dismantling facilities at the site.
Apparently several buildings have been razed, and rails for mining equipment have been removed.
But an analysis by 38 North, a North Korea-focused U.S. website, said commercial imagery taken last week shows that several operational support buildings have been razed and rails for mining carts have apparently been removed. The site has been used for each of North Korea's six underground nuclear test explosions.

"Commercial satellite imagery from May 7 provided the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway," the website wrote.
The site will be dismantled between the 23rd and 25th of May. Journalists from South Korea, the US, China, Russia, and the UK will be invited to observe the destruction of tunnels and observation facilities.
North Korea's Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that it will dismantle the test site between May 23 and 25. To provide transparency, the ministry said journalists from South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Britain will be invited to observe the destruction of tunnels and the removal of observation and research facilities at the site.
South Korea has received notification that eight South Korean journalists will be invited.
Seoul's Unification Ministry said it was informed by the North on Tuesday that eight South Korean journalists will be invited. The North did not reveal the number of spots it will give to non-Korean journalists, according to the ministry.

The eight South Korean journalists — four each from a wire agency and a broadcaster that have yet to be determined — will take a chartered flight from Beijing to the North Korean coastal town of Wonsan on May 22, the ministry said. The reporters will then be transported by a chartered train to the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri.
The two Koreas will hold talks on Wednesday to discuss reducing border tensions and holding family re-unifications. Also on the list for discussion are things such as discussing plans to field joint teams at the Asian Games in August.
The two Koreas will hold a high-level meeting Wednesday at a border truce village to discuss setting up military and Red Cross talks aimed at reducing border tensions and restarting reunions between families separated by the Korean War.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said Tuesday that the meeting will discuss ways to carry out peace commitments made during the inter-Korean summit. The discussions may also include setting up working-level talks between the countries' sports officials over plans to field combined teams in some sports at the Asian Games in August.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
The idea that demolishing the test site is some sort of 'Peace' gesture is completely bogus. My reading of the media is that the site has collapsed internally and is beyond further ruse anyway. Recovering all re-usable gear, and then blocking the entrances, is merely logical. Only the usual bien-pensant snowflakes and nitwits would believe this has any political meaning.
 
The following is a very interesting web cast of a presentation at the Royal Canadian Military Institute on China and North Korea. It is about an hour and a half long, so allow sufficient time for it.

While North Korea is discussed at length, a great deal of discussion also focuses on China in ways that are not directly related to North Korea, so it is probably of interest from that perspective as well.

 
The North Korea situation is expected to be a major topic of discussion at the upcoming G7 meeting early next month.
Between Trump, Iran and North Korea, Canada's G7 has a high potential for chaos | CBC News

Nobody knows what Trump plans to say at the G7 summit about the Trump-Kim meeting which (assuming it is isn't cancelled) will follow several days later. It is difficult to see how the G7 leaders could come to a consensus on the issue at this stage.
No one knows, of course, what Trump plans to say about North Korea in Charlevoix. But Trump's penchant for making decisions on the fly, and for overruling members of his own administration, has nerves on edge.

"It's hard to see how the G7 leaders could coalesce around a statement on North Korea now," said former Canadian diplomat James Trottier, who led a number of diplomatic delegations to North Korea while posted to the embassy in Seoul from 2013 to 2016.

"The Korean meeting has taken on undue importance for Trump, with Republicans in the U.S. playing up a possible Nobel peace prize."
There are concerns that his decision to withdraw from the Iran agreement presages an intention to dictate to the other G7 countries with respect to North Korea.
But it's Trump's decision earlier this month to withdraw from the Iran agreement — despite heavy lobbying from his allies to stay in — that stokes concerns about what the president thinks he can get from a meeting with Kim, and what he might expect from his G7 partners heading in.
The two issues are linked, and the European allies are not happy about the direction things are taking.
"There are linkages here," said former diplomat Colin Robertson, now vice-president of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

"The Europeans are not happy with the U.S. decision on Iran and this will play out with North Korea. There's a whole busload of issues around security and North Korea is just one of those in which there's a divergence of views."
Since nobody seems to know what Trump wants (including many of his own staff), it will be impossible to reach any sort of consensus ahead of the meeting.
Cirincione said that makes it nearly impossible for the G7 to anticipate what Trump will want, let alone reach any sort of consensus.

Will he demand G7 members signal their support for lifting economic sanctions if the meeting with Kim produces a result that he alone thinks is workable? Will he signal his intention to withdraw the nearly 23,000 U.S. troops now based on the Korean peninsula as part of a deal with Kim — a proposal that surely would alarm next-door neighbour Japan?
 
Trump has now said the meeting between himself and Kim originally scheduled for the 12th of May could be delayed.
Trump sees 'substantial chance' North Korea summit will be delayed | CBC News
U.S. President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that a planned historic meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un could be delayed.

Speaking in Washington alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump said, "There's a very substantial chance that it won't work out" for June 12.
Trump said that there were certain preconditions the US wanted before they would agree to the meeting. No information was provided on what those preconditions may be.
"There are certain conditions that we want," Trump said Tuesday. He added if they aren't met, "we won't have the meeting." He declined to elaborate on those conditions.
He did leave open the possibility that the meeting will take place later.
Trump said "there's a very substantial chance" that the meeting won't take place on June 12. "That doesn't mean it won't work out over a period of time," he said. "But it may not work out for June 12. But there is a
good chance that we'll have the meeting."
I suspect that both sides are engaging in a bit of posturing by implying that they don't "need" the talks as much as the other side.
 
Kim will have been pressured by China into at least appearing to make concessions to the US.

This was to reduce world tensions, which it has; and to ease US pressure on China to do something about their 'junk yard dog’, which it also has.

His making nice, at least initialy, to South Korea is always useful, if it in any way can separate the South from the USA.

He has no intentions of giving up the weapons he has now built and tested, and now knows that at the very least they go ‘bang!!!’

His missiles work...sort of, and have been launched from submarines. The three together mean that he has a massive lethal force that has the potential of causing millions of deaths in the US.

His hold upon his own military was looking increasingly wobbly as the US made it clear that could and possibly would go pre-emptive. This has, for now, been averted, his grip on his own country for the time being re-asserted.

He will now reassess his worldwide illegal money making schemes and see how many have escaped closure. His country is on the bones of its arse, but then it has been for years, he and his top level power base still do OK, and if a few more million peasants die, that’s life and less mouths to feed.

Why now should he talk, when he know the demands will be about him giving up his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, all of which as much as they ensures protection against other countries, also ensure his hold on power in his own country, over whom he has life or death power with these under his control.

Trump realises that, knows that the talks are pretty much doomed to failure, which will humiliate him and put paid to any chances of a Nobel Peace prize.

Chances are they will quitely be shelved/downgraded/be attended to by minions, and be as conclusive as the peace talks which have now been going for some years.
 
US foreign minister Pompeo said that the US may walk away from talks with North Korea if they don't like the direction they are going in.
U.S. hopeful North Korea summit will take place but prepared to walk away: Pompeo | CBC News
"A bad deal is not an option," Pompeo said in his written opening statement for the House's foreign affairs committee hearing. "The American people are counting on us to get this right. If the right deal is not on the table, we will respectfully walk away."
Pompeo said he was hopeful the Trump-Kim meeting will still take place on the 12th of June in Singapore.
Pompeo said he was "very hopeful" the summit will take place on June 12 in Singapore, but said "that decision will ultimately be up to Chairman Kim." Trump said on Tuesday there was a "substantial chance" it will be called off amid concerns Pyongyang is not prepared to give up its nuclear arsenal.
Meanwhile, foreign journalists traveled to North Korea's nuclear test site to witness the site's dismantling.
... international journalists left Wednesday on a marathon journey to a North Korea nuclear test site, after Pyongyang belatedly cleared a number of South Korean media to witness what it says will be the dismantling of its only nuclear test facility.

The trek will involve an 11-hour train ride, a four-hour bus journey and then a hike of another hour, a reporter with Russia's RT said on Twitter.


South Korea is attempting to mediate between the US and North Korea. President Moon traveled to Washington on Tuesday to urge Trump to go through with meeting Kim.
Seoul is seeking to mediate between the United States and North Korea, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in visiting Washington on Tuesday to urge Trump to seize the rare opportunity to meet Kim.
Talks between the two Koreas will resume on Friday.
Talks between the Koreas will likely resume after Friday, once Max Thunder finishes, said Moon's media secretary, Yoon Young-chan.
China stated that they hope the US and North Korea will meet each other halfway and resolve each other's concerns.
"We really hope that all sides, especially the United States and North Korea, can seize the opportunity, meet each other halfway, and resolve in a balanced way each other's concerns," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a regular news briefing. "We still look forward to the meeting between the U.S. and North Korean leaders proceeding smoothly and achieving positive results."
Russia announced that Sergei Lavrov will travel to North Korea on the 31st of May for discussions there.
Russia announced Wednesday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to North Korea for a visit on May 31.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
The Beeb totally taken in by Kim blowing up the tunnels and treating it as a 'peace gesture' rather than an embarrassing necessity.

Also, what goes up must come down, in the shape of all the rock and dust seen in pics rushing skyward and surely all this stuff may be radioactive. I hope Trump/SK/Japan have some sort of covert monitoring in place to tell us about this asap.

Moon has bene had for a mug.
 
North Korea have said they are still willing to meet with the US despite the US having announced they will not go to the planned meeting.
North Korea says it's willing to talk after Trump cancels summit | CBC News
Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea's foreign minister, said in a statement published by state-run media that the U.S. decision was not in line with the "world's desire."

"We tell the United States once more that we are open to resolving problems at any time in any way," he said.
Trump said he was refusing to meet with Kim because he didn't like the tone of recent North Korean public statements.
"Sadly based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," said Trump.
The US pull out came despite North Korea having demolished their nuclear testing site on Thursday.
The response from the Americans comes as North Korea claimed on Thursday to have demolished its sole nuclear test site before a gathering of select foreign journalists, though not international inspectors.
North Korea had called US vice president Pence a "political dummy" after US national security adviser John Bolton had compared North Korea to Libya where Gadhafi was forceably deposed after giving up his nuclear weapons program.
The North Korean government referred to Pence as a "political dummy" and said it was just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table. Bolton's comments were poorly received as he compared North Korea to Libya, where dictator Moammar Gadhafi was ultimately deposed and killed sometime after halting his pursuit of nuclear weapons.
However, South Korean president Moon does not appear to have given up on negotiations.
Speaking at an emergency meeting of his top security officials, the South Korean president said "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace are historic tasks that can neither be abandoned nor delayed."
 
Trump-Kim summit was 'bound to collapse,' experts say | CBC News

North Korea have said they are still willing to meet with the US at any time.
North Korea responded to Trump's cancellation of the summit by saying it was still "willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format."

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump's withdrawal "unexpected" and "very regrettable," but said the cancellation of the talks showed "how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-U.S. relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties."
On Friday Trump welcomed the North Korean response, and said the US is talking to North Korea about rescheduling the meeting. He further added that "Everybody plays games".
On Friday, Trump welcomed North Korea's response, saying, "we're talking to them now" about putting it back on track.

"Everybody plays games," said Trump. The president, commenting as he left the White House for a commencement speech, said it was even possible the summit could take place on the originally planned June 12 date.

"They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it," he said.
A former director-general of Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency said that he doesn't think the door is closed to negotiations.
Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director-general at the UN's nuclear agency, also said he doesn't think the door is closed.
He said that Trump is just testing how willing Kim is.
"Trump is testing how willing Kim is," he told The Associated Press. "We have to remember why Kim comes to the meeting: the sanctions are biting. They have economic trouble there. I don't think this is the end of the road."
My opinion is that Heinonen has probably hit the nail on the head. As Trump said, "everybody plays games" and both sides are probing the other's intentions. Given this, it would probably be premature to jump to any conclusions as to whether the game is on or off based on the latest headlines.
 
In South Korea, the public is following the news about North Korea closely.
Trump's withdrawal from North Korea summit weakens optimism in South | CBC News

After the meeting between Moon and Kim last month, a South Korean poll found that 78% of South Koreans said that Kim is "trustworthy".
After the summit between him and South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month, a poll by the Korean Research Center found 78 per cent of South Koreans said Kim is "trustworthy," a big change in attitudes given his previous infamy here.
I will caution against putting too much interpretation into that number, as translation artifacts and cultural norms do not always come through in translation. The original Korean word may not mean exactly the same thing to South Koreans as the translated version does to someone in an English speaking western country.

However, one sign of change in South Korea has been that sales of land inside the demilitarized zone have increased greatly as investors try to cash in on an asset whose value may rise greatly if genuine peace becomes a reality.
Indeed, the idea of peace on a peninsula still technically at war has started to feel so real that there's a boom in property sales inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ). That's the barbed-wire border that separates North from South, including a no-man's land that real estate buyers can't even enter. People are purchasing land sight unseen.
Some South Koreans feel that their trust in Trump was misplaced, and that the US doesn't understand either Korea. They don't like the idea of the fate of their country being dependent on the whims of the US.
Other South Koreans say it's not their optimism that's misplaced, but their trust in Trump.

"I do feel a little uncomfortable as a South Korean citizen that the fate of our destiny seems to be decided on the whims of the strong nations, like America," said Shin Hun-woo, who also came to Odusan to look across the border.

Many believe the U.S. had failed to understand either of the Koreas.

A former defector from North Korea now living in South Korea said that Washington's attitude is "too condescending and coercive".
Kim Byeong-uk fled the North 16 years ago and now runs the North Korea Development Institute, an economic think tank in Seoul. He said Washington's perspective of the North makes it very hard to reach a negotiated settlement.

The U.S. attitude is "too condescending and coercive," Kim said.
The US is treating the nuclear talks with North Korea as a surrender by North Korea, and are behaving as "victors demanding the spoils of war". The US are ignoring significant gestures by North Korea such as the demolition of the nuclear test site the release of three US prisoners.
He said the U.S. is approaching North Korean denuclearization as "a surrender, that [Pyongyang] is bowing to the sanctions levied against them."

"It's as if the Americans are the victors demanding the spoils of war," Kim said. They're ignoring significant gestures by Pyongyang, such as its apparent destruction of a major nuclear test site this week, or the release of three U.S. detainees earlier this month.

Of course opinion in South Korea is not uniform, as another North Korean defector and anti-North Korean activist said that nothing has really changed.
Others here just can't bring themselves to ignore the North's human-rights violations, or the fact that Kim is a dictator who "cannot be trusted," according to Lee Ae-ran, another defector from the North and outspoken activist against Kim.

"Nothing has changed," Lee said. "Kim Jong-un wants to use his nuclear weapons to extort money from the outside world" like his father and his grandfather did in previous rounds of negotiations. "People are being fooled by this false promise of peace."
 

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