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Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.


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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:18 am

Quote:
U.S. Pressure on North Korea's Global Ties Bears Fruit
The Wall Street Journal - Paul Sonne, Felicia Schwartz - 10/08/2017

WASHINGTON—Over 20 nations have curbed diplomatic or business operations of the North Korean government following a more-than-yearlong effort by the State Department, an indication of the kind of behind-the-scenes pressure the U.S. is using to tackle an emerging nuclear standoff.

U.S. officials have asked countries to shut down businesses owned by the North Korean government, remove North Korean vessels from ship registries, end flights by the country’s national air carrier and expel its ambassadors. At the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit earlier this year, U.S. diplomats made sure North Korea couldn’t secure any bilateral meetings.

Mexico, Peru, Spain and Kuwait all expelled their North Korean ambassadors after the U.S. warned that Pyongyang was using its embassies to ship contraband and possibly weapons components in diplomatic pouches and earn currency for the regime. Italy became the latest country to do so on Oct. 1.

Get a daily guide to the best stories in The Wall Street Journal from Editor in Chief Gerard Baker, delivered right to your inbox.

Kuwait and Qatar, among other countries, have agreed to reduce the presence of North Korean guest workers, according to U.S. officials and people familiar with the matter.

The campaign abroad is intensifying as the Trump administration adopts stricter sanctions at home, and the United Nations pursues enforcement of its tightest sanctions on Pyongyang yet. The talks are also a contrast to the heated exchanges between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Mr. Trump, who has issued a series of vague threats of possible military action, saying diplomacy has failed.

The latest threat came in a Twitter message Saturday from the president. “Sorry, but only one thing will work,” Mr. Trump wrote. On Thursday, he said a White House meeting with military leaders represented “the calm before the storm.” The White House refused to clarify either remark.

Asked on Sunday what the president meant in his Twitter message, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on NBC that what Mr. Trump “is clearly telegraphing—and this should not be news to anybody—is that military options are on the table with North Korea. They absolutely are.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), by contrast, said diplomacy was the only option for curtailing North Korea’s nuclear program. He said the U.S. should encourage China to step up pressure on Pyongyang.

“There is no viable military option. It’d be horrific,”’ Mr. Johnson, chairman of the Senate’s homeland security committee, said on CNN.

The previous weekend, Mr. Trump tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” by exploring the possibility of negotiations with North Korea. Mr. Tillerson days later held an unusual, unscheduled news conference to deny reports that he had considered resigning.

The U.S. diplomats, pursuing a quieter campaign alongside U.N. sanctions and talks with China, have been approaching nations as big as Germany and as small as Fiji with highly specific requests, sometimes based on U.S. intelligence, to shut down North Korea’s foreign links.

For example, a U.S. official said, the State Department flagged a North Korean hostel operating in the center of Berlin that they said was sending currency back to the Kim regime. In May, Germany announced it was closing the hostel.

U.S. diplomats asked Fiji to inform the U.N. that as many as 12 North Korean vessels were operating under the Fijian flag without permission, according to a State Department spokesman.

The idea, according to U.S. officials, is to show Mr. Kim that, so long as he seeks missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, he will find no refuge from Washington’s pursuit.

U.S. policy makers, led by Mr. Tillerson, have said they hope that Mr. Kim eventually will conclude his program comes at too high a cost to his regime and his nation and enter disarmament talks.

The likelihood of success has become a matter of debate. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that no amount of pressure would convince Mr. Kim to disarm because the North Korean leader sees the nuclear and missile program as his regime’s ticket to survival, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said at a recent hearing.

“Tillerson’s working against—I applaud what he’s done, but he’s working against the unified view of our intelligence agencies, which say there’s no amount of pressure that can be put on them to stop,” Mr. Corker said.

Susan Thornton, the State Department’s top diplomat overseeing the pressure campaign, said at the hearing that the department’s efforts were testing the intelligence community’s assessment and added China’s position was slowly shifting, viewing North Korea as more of a liability than an asset. “I think Secretary Tillerson has made a lot of progress on that front,” she said.

Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, has said that new pressure tactics need time to work, but that North Korea eventually will lack the resources to run its missile program.

Sen. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, shared Sen. Corker’s skepticism at the recent hearing. “You’re all, in your own way, doing that which is strategically necessary in your own lane; and yet we have an objective that may not be achievable at all.”
Many U.S. officials believe Washington must pursue a pressure campaign, even if it ultimately fails, because it represents the best chance of a peaceful solution. The White House has said it backs State Department efforts to squeeze Pyongyang, while opposing negotiations.

The pressure campaign has become a cornerstone of Mr. Tillerson’s policy on North Korea. He often requests that his staff provide him with “specific asks” he can make on North Korea when meeting with counterparts from around the world, according to U.S. officials. Mr. Tillerson has made those requests in nearly all bilateral meetings in recent months and has received weekly updates on the results.

Mr. Tillerson has elevated the campaign, which began in early 2016 after the Obama administration saw Mr. Kim make a significant advance in his drive for an intercontinental nuclear weapon, according to current and former U.S. officials.

State Department officials then drew up a detailed spreadsheet that listed all of North Korea’s known political, economic and military interests around the world—diplomatic missions, cargo ships, guest worker contingents, military relationships and more, a former U.S. official said. The document functioned as a “to do” list of entities to target for closure.

The U.S. diplomats began coordinating on roughly a weekly basis with South Korea and on a monthly basis with Japan, mapping out a strategy and comparing notes, according to the former official.

Initially, the U.S. diplomats faced resistance. Some countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, expressed skepticism about the American requests and saw little need to curtail their links with Pyongyang, current and former U.S. officials said.

But as North Korea exhibited increasingly flagrant behavior this year—assassinating Mr. Kim’s half-brother in the Kuala Lumpur airport, firing its first intercontinental ballistic missiles and testing what many U.S. officials suspect was its first hydrogen bomb—countries that had previously resisted became more cooperative, the officials said.

Myanmar, which U.S. diplomats have been pushing to cut military-to-military ties with North Korea and stop weapons deals with Pyongyang, has resisted the U.S. entreaty.
Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary for Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the country had ordinary ties with North Korea and no special military ties. Myanmar has responded to the U.S. entreaties by asking Washington for evidence of any military dealings, the permanent secretary said.

Similarly, Chile said it has declined to reclassify its wine as a luxury export or to cut diplomatic relations with North Korea, despite personal requests made by Vice President Mike Pence on a recent trip to the country.

Write to Paul Sonne at paul.sonne@wsj.com and Felicia Schwartz at Felicia.Schwartz@wsj.com



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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:33 pm

Quote:
Mattis tells Army to "be ready" on North Korea
CBS News - Emily Tillett -10/10/2017

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. Army "must stand ready" in the face of continued provocations by the North Korean regime.

While delivering the keynote address at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting on Monday, Mattis outlined the current strategy in North Korea for the U.S. military, saying "it is right now diplomatically led, economic sanctioned, buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off its path."

He conceded, however, that "neither you nor I can say" what the future holds for the regime.

"There's one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed," said Mattis.

Mattis embraced the current diplomatic approach to the crisis, including the UN-led sanctions on the regime supported by the international community.

Watch: Defense Secretary Mattis says N. Korea threat would bring "massive" military response

He added, "But that means the U.S. Army must stand ready, and so, if you're ready, that's your duty at this point in time. And I know the Army will always do its duty."

Mattis' comments come after Mr. Trump met with a group of military leaders at the White House on Friday, where he ominously warned the meeting was perhaps "the calm before the storm." It was unclear if Mr. Trump was referring to the current crisis in region. Mr. Trump has also tweeted that "only one thing will work" in dealing with North Korea.

Donald J. Trump
✔ @realDonaldTrump

Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid......

12:40 PM - Oct 7, 2017
•9,958 9,958 Replies
•17,660 17,660 Retweets
•70,312 70,312 likes

Donald J. Trump
✔ @realDonaldTrump

...hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!

12:45 PM - Oct 7, 2017
•33,947 33,947 Replies
•17,553 17,553 Retweets
•73,232 73,232 likes

Mattis also called on Congress to consider military readiness, particularly as it relates to continued global threats, in its budget discussions.

"I am among majority in this country that believes our nation can afford survival and I want Congress to act in the driver's seat of budget decision, not in the spectator seat of automatic cuts," urged Mattis.

He said that he had "great confidence in the U.S. congress" but had "no confidence in automatic mathematical budget cuts."

The secretary said the Department of Defense was now reworking its business practices to "gain the full benefit from every dollar spent on defense."

"We're taking aggressive action to reform the way we do business and to gain and to hold the trust of the congress and the American people that we are responsible stewards of the money allocated to us and that it translates directly every dollar into the defense of our country and what we stand for."

Mattis said what is probably most important for the Department right now is laying out the problems the military faces to Congress "in compelling and persuasive terms"
"There are times when those of us who wear the uniform can be rightly condemned for being overly conservative, wanting more insurance and more boats and planes and guns and tanks and I understand that," he said.

He added, "But I think the more we can explain we have the time right now to prepare for war is the best way to prevent war, should conflict break out, to get money later, will not be good enough because we won't have the time at this point."

Mattis also said that the military must lay out it's necessary requirements, like proper funds for training and equipment, in such a way that it "leaves no doubt about the need for what we're asking for in order to ensure that America's army is at the top of its game."


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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:08 pm

Sanctions and a 20 nation collation that includes expelling N.Korea's Ambassadors I don't think will curve the direction the leader is following.

They never stopped his father and with Iran's help, itself five days away from creating hot fuel, weapon grade suggests they already have done so, especially sins Iran won't allow expectations of their military complex.

In addition Iran has in as much told the world they'll back out of the nuclear deal with the U.S. if our CIC chooses a different direction.

Iran has already violated the deal on several occasions as reported on this thread.

Red China told the world they wouldn't back N.Korea if they attack first.

I believe the only possible means to curve Koreas nuclear ambitions is to help them exploit their huge minerals deposits.

Yet their announcements that they may test a nuclear type bomb in the Pacific Ocean and that their working on a missile that can reach the west coast is not good news.

As we already now, they presently have 1400 ICBM'S, many that will reach 2,000 miles.

They also have some nukes.

It's all about the judgment of our CIC at this point.

Without direct action from Red China and Russia as SOT has mentioned, the U. S. would have to go it alone, with direct, some might say delayed by many decades, military confrontation between both South and North Korea as a result of diplomatic reasoning by President Truman.

I'm worried a dirty bomb could be delivered to the North or South Poles. Maybe even Hawaii or Indonesia's volcanoes.

All it would take is a Iranian submarine, or fishing boat during the summer.

That's my take.
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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:21 pm

Quote:
Special Report: In Kim Jong Un's summer retreat, fun meets guns
Reuters - By Ju-min Park and James Pearson – 10/10/2017

In the seaside city of Wonsan, North Korean families cook up barbecues on the beach, go fishing, and eat royal jelly flavor ice cream in the summer breeze. For their leader, Kim Jong Un, the resort is a summer retreat, a future temple to tourism, and a good place to test missiles.

He is rebuilding the city of 360,000 people and wants to turn it into a billion-dollar tourist hotspot. At the same time, he has launched nearly 40 missiles from the area, as part of his accelerated tests of North Korea's nuclear deterrent.

"It may sound crazy to outsiders to fire missiles from a place he wants to develop economically, but that's how Kim Jong Un runs his country," said Lim Eul-chul, an expert on the North Korean economy at Kyungnam University in South Korea.
This combination of tourism and nuclear weapons is emblematic of Kim Jong Un's strategy for survival, say researchers and people familiar with the project.

North Korea's development plans for Wonsan have mushroomed since they were first announced in 2014. Examined here in detail for the first time, they run across 160 pages in nearly 30 brochures produced by the Wonsan Zone Development Corporation in Korean, Chinese, Russian and English in 2015 and 2016.

Tourism is one of a shrinking range of North Korean cash sources not targeted by United Nations sanctions, and the brochures advertise to foreign investors some $1.5 billion worth of potential ventures in the Wonsan Special Tourist Zone, an area covering more than 400 square km (150 square miles). Kim has already constructed a ski resort and a new airport there.

According to one brochure, the Zone includes approximately 140 historical relics, 10 sand beaches, 680 tourist attractions, four mineral springs, several bathing resorts and natural lakes and "more than 3.3 million tons of mud with therapeutic properties for neuralgia and colitis."

The projects that Kim is inviting investors to help build include a $7.3 million department store, a $197 million city center development, and a $123 million golf course (including a $62.5 million fee to lease the land).

Earlier this year Kim sent 16 of his officials to Spain to get ideas for Wonsan. They visited Marina d'Or, one of the Mediterranean country's biggest holiday complexes, and the Terra Mitica (Mythical Land) theme park in Benidorm. Terra Mitica caters to fans "of extreme sensations," according to its website.

"They saw such places with their own eyes and filmed some of them," said a spokesman at the North Korean embassy in Madrid. Both parks confirmed the visits; a spokeswoman for Terra Mitica said the North Koreans were impressed by its themes including the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome.

No major foreign partner has said they will back Kim's Wonsan projects. The new airport, completed in 2015, has yet to open to international flights. America recently banned its citizens from visiting North Korea. International sanctions now ban all joint ventures with the state.

Even so, the plan is strategically vital for Kim, say former North Korean diplomats. When he came to power in 2011, he inherited a society officially run by the military but whose people survived largely on black market dealings. On paper, North Korea is a state-run economy; but in fact, seven in 10 North Koreans depend on private trade to live, according to Thae Yong Ho, North Korea's former deputy ambassador in London, who staged a high-profile defection with his family in 2016.

Kim is perceived by outsiders as all powerful, but North Korea's free marketeers make him more vulnerable than he seems, Thae told Reuters. The leader is looking for a way to harness both military and market forces to survive.

Nuclear weapons are one part of his answer – because Kim hopes they will cost less to maintain than North Korea's conventional heavy weapons. Projects like Wonsan are the other part. He wants to cut the share of funding he gives to the military and allocate more money to the civilian economy.

"Kim Jong Un knows that he can only control society and guarantee his long leadership if his role and influence in the economy is increased," said Thae.

'FRIENDLY'

North Korea wants to attract more than 1 million tourists every year in the near term and around 5 million to 10 million tourists "in the foreseeable future," the Wonsan brochures say. The Wonsan Zone Development Corporation, the North Korean state body that oversees the project, did not respond to requests for comment.

There are no up-to-date statistics on current visitors to North Korea. China said more than 237,000 Chinese visited in 2012 but it stopped publishing the statistics in 2013. For comparison, 8 million Chinese visited South Korea in 2016.

The Korea Maritime Institute, a think-tank in the South, estimates that tourism generates about $44 million in annual revenue for North Korea — about 0.8 percent of the country's GDP. About 80 percent of all North Korea's foreign tourists are Chinese, it says. Westerners and Russians make up the rest.

The Wonsan brochures are welcoming. "Officials and residents of this zone have a good understanding of tourism and are friendly toward tourists," one says.
The brochures also disclose some unusual details about vacation habits in the totalitarian state.

Not far from the proposed $123 million golf course, the plans show an existing compound. It is labeled in the brochure as the summer retreat of the State Security Department or "Bowibu" — the entity that runs North Korea's six prison camps and conducts nationwide surveillance of ordinary citizens.

Just next door to that beachfront property, the Daesong General Bureau — the body also known as "Office 39" that procures luxury goods for the Kim family — has its retreat.

A third compound is reserved for the Korean National Insurance Corporation, a state insurance company that the European Union says is involved in insurance fraud.
All three entities are subject to international sanctions because of their role in funneling cash into Kim's nuclear and missile programs.

For Kim's security forces, though, Wonsan is about more than fun in the sun.

Kim brought his top military brass to Wonsan in 2014. On the white sandy beach of his palace compound, he ordered his highest admirals to strip into bathing costumes and, as a test of their ability, swim 10 kilometers around the bay, state TV showed. It filmed him at a desk on the sand, shaded by a white parasol.

In April this year, Kim used the beach near Wonsan's new airport to unleash an artillery drill described by state media as the country's largest ever. In it, "300 large-caliber self-propelled guns" opened fire at a white target painted on a small island 3 kilometers away.

The bombardment, broadcast on state TV, turned that island into a dusty moonscape.

PLASTIC FLOWERS

Wonsan holds symbolic power for the Kim dynasty: It was there that Kim Jong Un's grandfather Kim Il Sung, who helped found North Korea at the end of Japanese colonial rule in 1945, first landed with Soviet troops to take over the country.

Statues of North Korea's two former leaders stand on the quayside, where tourists are expected to bow and buy plastic flowers to offer them. Next door to the Kim family palace, the Songdowon Children's Camp has welcomed "Young Pioneers" from Soviet-backed countries for decades, according to state media.

When the young Kim was picked as heir to Kim Jong Il in 2009, he had few achievements to his name, noted Kim Young-Hui, who heads a team of North Korea researchers at Korea Development Bank in Seoul. If he can develop Wonsan, the place where his grandfather helped bring North Korea into existence, it will seal his image as a master builder.

"He has strong political reasons to develop Wonsan," she said. She is a native of the city and defected to South Korea in 2002.

People from Wonsan, even those who have defected, say they have largely happy memories of the place. Wonsan's karaoke bars and billiard clubs have a more reliable supply of electricity than much of North Korea, they say. They recall young couples roller skating in a big square near the Wonsan waterfront.

The city has a special place in Kim's heart, says Michael Spavor, a Canadian consultant who shared Long Island Iced Teas with Kim on board one of his private boats in 2013, after they had been jet-skiing in the bay.

"He told me about ... redeveloping and improving the whole city for the people and ... attracting international tourists and businessmen to the area," said Spavor, who runs the Paektu Cultural Exchange, which conducts economic research in North Korea.
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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:26 pm

Quote:
"NO BELT-TIGHTENING"

Official history has not disclosed Kim's birthplace, but many people from Wonsan believe he was born there, partly because he spent his early years at the palace.
An anecdote from that time gives a flavor of life inside the Kim family residence. One day, the Japanese family chef, Kenji Fujimoto, recounted in his memoirs, the future leader made an unusual remark.

"Hey, Fujimoto!" a young Kim said to the chef. "We ride horses every day, go rollerblading, play basketball, and in the summer we jet ski or play in the pool. But how do ordinary people live?"

Fujimoto, who published the book in 2010, now runs a sushi restaurant in Pyongyang and could not be reached.

For years under Kim Jong Il, North Korea, backed by the Soviet Union and China, had officially provided everything for its people.

The political model then was known as "songun" — military first, which held that the Korean People's Army was the first in line for resources and the infallible provider to fix the country's economic problems. The "million-man army" would swap Kalashnikovs for shovels and set to work building roads, dams and housing.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, the entire nation, then 21 million people, suffered a famine that Kim Jong Il was eventually to call the "Arduous March." The state was no longer able to provide food, or work. Between 200,000 and three million people died.

To survive, ordinary people were forced to look beyond the marshaled ranks on display at parades, and hustle for scraps on private markets, bribing officials to turn a blind eye to any illegality. For most people — including the military — it was hunger or trade.
When Kim the younger came to power, he said the time had come to "enable our people ... to live without tightening their belts any longer."

In 2013, he shifted the political rhetoric. His policy line, called "byungjin" or parallel development, harked back to his grandfather's era. It also signaled the side-by-side advance of North Korea's nuclear deterrent and a strong economy.

MAKE MONEY IN WONSAN

The latest available figures say North Korea spends a bigger share of its GDP on the military than any country in the world, an average of 23 percent between 2004 and 2014, according to the U.S. State Department.

The Wonsan brochures promise healthy profits, including internal rates of return of between 14 percent and 43 percent. The $7.3 million Wonsan Department Store, for example, allows for foreign investors to hold a stake of up to 61.3 percent. In return, it says, investors can expect to make $1.3 million net annual profit.

The brochures offer preferential conditions for foreign investors, saying their rights are protected by the state and they can remit funds abroad without any limitations. Land is available to them to lease, not to own, for 50 years, but investors can trade the leases.

Some of the projects are less generous. One offers the opportunity to cash in on the popularity of North Korean beer with an initial $2.4 million investment in a new Wonsan Brewery. The proposal says foreign investors will be subject to a 15 percent transaction tax, a city management tax, an auto tax, plus other deductions. Then there is an income tax at 14 percent. These deductions will nearly halve the projected annual profit, to $154,711.

For domestic investors North Korea officially has no tax, but experts say the state raises funds by collecting about 70 percent of the profits of state enterprises.

A few of the proposals stretch the idea of tourism. They include an Offshore Farm to produce seafoods "of great economic value on an industrial basis, so as to satisfy the demands of tourists and export the products to the foreign market," a lighting factory, a furniture factory, and a renovated Wonsan Fishing Tackle factory. Its output will include 10,000 deep sea floats, 750 tonnes of ropes and 2,500 "lifesaving jackets for swimming."

Since the plans were drawn up, the United Nations has tightened sanctions on North Korea to include a ban on seafood exports and curbs on joint ventures.

According to a brochure from 2015, foreign investor interest in the Wonsan project was "growing day by day."

But a Westerner who attended an investment conference in Wonsan in 2015 said North Korean officials showed little understanding of investors' needs. About 200 people, Chinese and Westerners, heard about investment prospects in the zone and were taken on a tour of the area.

"I thought I might be a witness to some actual pragmatism," said Simon Cockerell of Beijing-based Koryo Tours. "But they simply went on about how amazing the opportunities were and couldn't admit any weaknesses or that there may be any issues at all with the area or any of their plans."

Han Jin-myung, a North Korean diplomat who was stationed in Vietnam until 2015 before defecting to South Korea, said he had been tasked with promoting the Wonsan scheme abroad and had little success: "We just ended up selling North Korean herbs and medicines instead."

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and James Pearson in Seoul; Additional reporting by Seung-Woo Yeom in Seoul and Sonya Dowsett in Madrid; Edited by Sara Ledwith)



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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:10 pm

Quote:
U.S. flies bombers over Korean peninsula with South Korean, Japanese fighter jets

Reuters - By Christine Kim – 10/10/2017

The U.S. military flew two Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday amid high tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, South Korea's military said.

The two B-1B bombers were accompanied by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a news release on Wednesday.

The U.S. military said in a separate statement Japanese fighters had also joined the drill, making it the first night-time combined exercise for the U.S. bombers with fighters from Japan and South Korea.

After entering South Korean airspace, the two bombers carried out air-to-ground missile drills in waters off the east coast of South Korea, then flew over the South to waters between it and China to repeat the drill, the South's release said.

The South Korean military said this was part of a regular exercise to bolster military defenses and also to display the alliance between the United States and South Korea.
U.S. Air Force Major Patrick Applegate said: "Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the U.S., Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations' aviators."
"This is a clear demonstration of our ability to conduct seamless operations with all of our allies anytime, anywhere," the U.S. release quoted him as saying.

The U.S. bombers had taken off from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. In August, Pyongyang threatened to shoot intermediate range missiles toward the vicinity of Guam, a target frequently subjected to sabre-rattling from the North.

South Korean and U.S. government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations with the approach of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea's ruling party, which fell on Tuesday.

North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth and biggest nuclear test in recent weeks in defiance of U.N. sanctions as it races toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.

The North Korean party anniversary passed without any missile launches or nuclear tests, but officials are wary the North could engage in more provocations at any time, especially with China to begin its all-important Communist Party Congress on Oct. 18.
(Reporting by Christine Kim and Soyoung Kim, Additional reporting by Eric Beech in WASHINGTON; Editing by Paul Tait)



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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:14 pm

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Experts: North Korea Targeted U.S. Electric Power Companies
NBC News - Andrea Mitchell and Ken Dilanian – 10/10/2017

WASHINGTON — The cybersecurity company FireEye says in a new report to private clients, obtained exclusively by NBC News, that hackers linked to North Korea recently targeted U.S. electric power companies with spearphishing emails.

The emails used fake invitations to a fundraiser to target victims, FireEye said. A victim who downloaded the invitation attached to the email would also be downloading malware into his or her computer network, according to the FireEye report. The company did not dispute NBC's characterization of the report, but declined to comment.
There is no evidence that the hacking attempts were successful, but FireEye assessed that the targeting of electric utilities could be related to increasing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, potentially foreshadowing a disruptive cyberattack.

"This is a signal that North Korea is a player in the cyber intrusion field and it is growing in its ability to hurt us," said Frank Figliuzzi, the former chief of counterintelligence at the FBI.

The FireEye report comes on the heels of an NBCNews.com report in August that U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly worried that North Korea will lash out on the face of enhanced U.S. pressure by using its fearsome cyber capabilities to attack U.S. infrastructure.

Click Here to Read the Original Report
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/u-s-worried-north-korea-will-unleash-cy berattacks-n790831

"We've been worried for some time that one of the ways that North Korea can retaliate against further escalation of tensions is via cyber, and particularly attacks against our financial sector," Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm, told NBC News in August. "This is something they have really perfected as an art against South Korea."

Scott Aaronson, a top security official at the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group, told NBC News in a statement: "Phishing attacks are something that electric companies prepare for and deal with on a regular basis, often in coordination with security experts and industry stakeholders. In this case, the delivery of safe and reliable energy has not been affected, and there has been no operational impact to facilities or to the systems controlling the North American energy grid."

EEI also referred questions to Robert Lee, a cybersecurity expert who consults with the industry,

Lee told NBC News that "any targeting of infrastructure by a foreign power is a concerning thing," but that North Korea and other adversaries "are far from being able to disrupt the electric grid. This activity represents initial targeting and if disruptions are even possible they would be very minor."

Related: Has It Ever Been This Bad With North Korea? Yes, Actually
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/has-it-ever-been-bad-north-korea-ye s-actually-n790661

Lee added that "the North American power grid is considerably better off than people give it credit for. Our threats are growing, and this activity comes at a concerning geopolitically tense time but if the North Koreans tried to disrupt the electric grid they would be disappointed with what they were able to achieve."

But not every part of the electric grid is equally well-defended. Some under-funded public utilities rely on antiquated equipment and outdated cyber security strategies, experts have long said, and Figliuzzi said there's also great disparity among private utility companies.

September 29, 2017 photo released by North Kor... Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a Farm No. 1116 of KPA Unit 810

"North Korea and any other hacking state will start looking for the weakest link, where's the weakest part of that defense," he said. "And when they find it, they'll exploit it. So there's a need to step up security in that regard."

American intelligence officials rank North Korea behind Russia, China and Iran among U.S. adversaries in ability to inflict damage via cyberattacks.

Related: U.S. Spy Agencies Agree North Korea Can Fit Nuke on Missile
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/cia-other-spy-agencies-agree-north-kore a-can-fit-nuclear-n791486

In 2014, U.S. intelligence officials say, North Korean hackers attacked Sony Pictures, destroying corporate computers and disclosing sensitive company data. The U.S. accused North Korea of carrying it out in response to a film lampooning North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Experts worry that North Korea could deploy the same techniques to inflict harm not just on one company, but on the American economy.



http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/experts-north-korea-targeted-us-electric-pow er-companies/ar-AAth80O?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:18 pm

[quote]North Korean hackers allegedly steal US-S. Korea war plans
CNN - By Zachary Cohen, CNN – 10/10/2017

North Korean hackers allegedly stole classified military documents from a South Korean Defense Ministry database in September 2016, according to Rhee Cheol-hee, a member of South Korea's National Assembly.

Rhee, who belongs to the ruling Democratic Party and sits on the Defense Committee, told CNN on Tuesday that he received information about the alleged hacking from the Defense Ministry.

He said the documents stolen included the South Korea-US wartime operational plan and a document that includes procedures to "decapitate" the North Korean leadership.
About 235 gigabytes worth of military data was stolen by the hackers, Rhee said.
When asked about Rhee's comments by reporters at a daily press briefing on Tuesday, a spokesman from South Korea's Defense Ministry declined to comment, saying the information is classified.

The Pentagon also declined to comment specifically on reports of the potential breach, but spokesman Col. Robert Manning said on Tuesday that the US is "confident in the security of our operations plans and our ability to deal with any threat from North Korea."

"The operations plan that they are referring to is a bilateral plan, so the Republic of Korea-US alliance remains steadfast in their commitment to make sure they safeguard that information and ensure readiness on the Korean peninsula to counter any North Korean threats," Manning said.

"I'm not going to address the specifics of that discussion but what I will tell you is that it is a ROK-US alliance commitment to make sure that they safeguard operations and plans," he added.

Trump's cryptic comments

Details of the alleged 2016 hack emerged as President Donald Trump continues to imply that diplomatic efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs through negotiations have proven to be ineffective.

"Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn't work," Trump tweeted on Monday.
In a pair of tweets sent Saturday afternoon, Trump said past agreements with North Korea have all been violated.

"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid ... hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators," Trump wrote. "Sorry, but only one thing will work!"

Asked by reporters later Saturday about the tweet, Trump would only say: "You'll figure that out pretty soon."

But on Monday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis reiterated that diplomacy along with international economic sanctions against Pyongyang would remain the leading element of US strategy towards North Korea.

"It is right now a diplomatically led economic sanction buttressed effort to try and turn North Korea off this path," Mattis said Monday during his opening remarks at the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in Washington.

But Mattis added that the military would continue to prepare options should diplomacy fail.

"We've got to be ready to ensure that there are military options that our President can employ if needed," he said.

"Now what does the future hold? Neither you nor I could say," Mattis said.

US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made clear Monday what a bind the US is in when it comes to solving the challenge of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, stating there are "no risk-free options" but said there is also not an "indefinite amount of time" to solve the crisis.

"A full-blown war on the Korean Peninsula will be horrific by any stretch of the imagination. No one has any doubts about that," Milley told reporters.

North Korean-linked hackers

The US and South Korea have been aware of North Korea's bold hacking operations for several years, linking Pyongyang to a series of sophisticated cyberattacks.

In 2013, when South Korea's banks and broadcasters were attacked, that government blamed its neighbor to the north. In 2014, the US government blamed North Korea for the the hack on Sony Pictures.

And in April, North Korea was linked to attacks on banks in 18 countries after researchers connected hackers to an operation known as "Lazarus," according to a report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

The stolen money was likely used to help advance North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow for Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told CNN at the time.

To hide their location, hackers typically launch cyberattacks from computer servers far from home. According to Kaspersky, the Lazarus hackers carefully routed their signal through France, South Korea and Taiwan to set up that attack server. But there was apparently one mistake spotted by Kaspersky: A connection that briefly came from North Korea.

Kaspersky is one of the world's top cybersecurity firms, providing popular anti-malware protection to computers at homes and companies worldwide. Its researchers are known for exposing some of the most complex global hacking operations. US law enforcement remains suspicious of the firm's ties to the Russian government, but Kaspersky strongly denies Kremlin influence on the company's business.
CNN's Taehoon Lee, Ryan Browne and Lauren Suk contributed to this report.
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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:32 pm

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North Korea revives Guam threat ahead of US-South Korea drills
CNN - By Will Ripley, CNN – 10/13/2017

North Korean state media on Friday renewed a threat to launch missiles towards the US territory of Guam, warning that "reckless moves" by the US would compel Pyongyang to take action.

North Korea first said it was examining a plan to target the Pacific island in August after US President Donald Trump warned the isolated regime would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen" following a US intelligence assessment that North Korea had produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead.

"We have already warned several times that we will take counteractions for self-defense, including a salvo of missiles into waters near the US territory of Guam," the KCNA report quoted Kim Kwang Hak, a researcher at the Institute for American Studies of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, as saying.

"The US military action hardens our determination that the US should be tamed with fire and lets us take our hand closer to the "trigger" for taking the toughest countermeasure," Kim added.

The latest warnings from Pyongyang follow weeks of rising tensions, which promise to escalate further when the US and South Korea joint naval exercises begin Monday.
Joint military exercises are particularly infuriating to Pyongyang. The North Korean government views them as a dress rehearsal for an invasion -- even as the US insists they are purely defensive in nature.

The KCNA report listed a string of perceived US provocations -- including a litany of bombastic threats from President Trump, recent deployments of a US nuclear submarine and aircraft carrier to the region, and a new round of "high intensity" US and South Korea joint naval drills.

The article ended with a familiar warning: that the US would be solely responsible for "pushing the situation on the peninsula to the point of explosion."
Bluster?

It would be easy to dismiss this as more bluster from Pyongyang. But North Korea's latest messaging indicates the regime may be ready to carry out what would be its most provocative missile test to date -- firing four missiles over Japan and landing around 30 to 40 kilometers (18 to 25 miles) off the coast of the tiny island.

North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has never ruled out the plan to fire missiles into the waters off Guam. During an August 14 inspection of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, Kim said he would watch for continued 'reckless' behavior by the US before making a decision.

Tensions have only escalated since.

During his remarks at the UN last month, Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea and adopted a demeaning nickname for the North Korean leader -- referring to him as "Rocket Man" and subsequently "Little Rocket Man."

Nothing enrages Pyongyang more than perceived affronts to their "Supreme Dignity" -- a reference to leader Kim Jong Un -- who is revered above all else in the authoritarian nation. North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho responded by calling Trump "President Evil" and "mentally deranged."

Ri told Russian state news agency TASS this week Trump has "lit the wick of war" against North Korea. He also ruled out the possibility of diplomacy between the US and North Korea.

"The current situation -- when the US resorts to maximum pressure and sanctions, to outrageous military threats against the DPRK -- is not at all an atmosphere to negotiate," Ri said, according to TASS.

Ri's words should be taken seriously. He was recently promoted to a full voting member of North Korea's politburo; its highest-level decision-making body. His words are coming directly from the top echelons of North Korean leadership.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly warned Thursday that Americans should worry about North Korea having the ability to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile.

He told reporters that if the threat grows "beyond where it is today, well, let's hope that diplomacy works" -- just the latest in a series of cryptic messages from the Trump administration.

Last week, Trump described a meeting of top military leaders as "the calm before the storm" -- later acknowledging the comment was a reference to North Korea.
Russian lawmaker: New test?

On a recent visit to Pyongyang, Russian lawmaker Anton Morozov told RIA news agency that Pyongyang is preparing to test a new long-range missile.

"They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the west coast of the United States," Morozov said, according to RIA.
"As far as we understand, they intend to launch one more long-range missile in the near future. And in general, their mood is rather belligerent," he said.

Over the last two years, North Korea has conducted nuclear tests and launched missiles in response to joint drills, which have led to unprecedented UN Security Council Sanctions, including a new round adopted unanimously last month.

The sanctions have not seemed to deter Pyongyang. In the last three months, North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test ever and launched two missiles over northern Japan.

By all indications, another North Korean provocation is inevitable -- perhaps imminent.



http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/north-korea-revives-guam-threat-ahead-of-us- south-korea-drills/ar-AAtnyfX?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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Re: Trump Warns N.Korea Will Be Met With "fire And Fury" If Threatens U.S.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:21 pm

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North Korea says 'a nuclear war may break out any moment'
Associated Press - By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press - 10/16/2017

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.

Kim's speech follows escalating threats between North Korea and the United States, and increasingly tough U.N. sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that his country is curtailing economic, scientific and other ties with North Korea in line with U.N. sanctions, and the European Union announced new sanctions on Pyongyang for developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the North Korean crisis "will continue until the first bomb drops." His commitment to diplomacy came despite President Donald Trump's tweets several weeks ago that his chief envoy was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom he derisively referred to as "Little Rocket Man."

North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador called his country's nuclear and missile arsenal "a precious strategic asset that cannot be reversed or bartered for anything."
"Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the U.S. is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table under any circumstances," Kim said.

He told the disarmament committee that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea — North Korea's official name — had hoped for a nuclear-free world.

Instead, Kim said, all nuclear states are accelerating the modernization of their weapons and "reviving a nuclear arms race reminiscent of (the) Cold War era." He noted that the nuclear weapon states, including the United States, boycotted negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was approved in July by 122 countries at the United Nations.

"The DPRK consistently supports the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the efforts for denuclearization of the entire world," he said. But as long as the United States rejects the treaty and "constantly threatens and blackmails the DPRK with nuclear weapons ... the DPRK is not in position to accede to the treaty."


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/north-korea-says-a-nuclear-war-may-break-out -any-moment/ar-AAtBlcX?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp

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North Korea warns states: Don't join any U.S. action and you're safe
Reuters – 10/16/2017

North Korea warned countries at the United Nations on Monday in a statement: don't join the United States in military action against the Asian state and you will be safe from retaliation.

The caution was contained in a copy of North Korean Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong's prepared remarks for a discussion on nuclear weapons by a U.N. General Assembly committee. However, Kim did not read that section out loud.

"As long as one does not take part in the U.S. military actions against the DPRK (North Korea), we have no intention to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any other country," according to Kim's prepared remarks.

"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," the statement read.

Tensions have soared between the United States and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006.

North Korean Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim did tell the U.N. General Assembly committee on Monday: "Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the U.S. is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiation table under any circumstance."

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish)



http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/north-korea-warns-states-dont-join-any-us-ac tion-and-youre-safe/ar-AAtAV1u?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=iehp
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