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#14838792
He's a de-facto dictator at best and it's not so much conscious as it is principal.

Dont forget America bombed North Korea back to the stone age, they bomed every inch of North Korea until there were no bombs left even when it served no tactical purpose, they bombed North Korea until there was nothing left to bomb but rockes and craters and then dropped a couple more bombs for good measure.

The Koreans are lucky the agent orange wasnt around at the time or they would have got plenty of that too.
#14838805
There is going to be a war, it's only a matter of time. The US is now trying to get China and Russia to target DPRK's petroleum supply which would almost certainly force the North Koreans to launch a first strike before they lose the capacity to defend themselves.

This is if the US/Japan don't simply invade DPRK when they finish their warplanning phase.

I've said this before, but I'm pretty certain we're like six months to a year away at the absolute most from full blown nuclear war on the Korean peninsula.

https://in.reuters.com/article/northkor ... NKCN1BA23P

Japan pushes U.S. to propose new U.N. sanctions on North Korea
Japan's U.N. Ambassador Koro Bessho stands following a meeting by the United Nations Security Council on North Korea at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, U.S., August 29, 2017.
Andrew Kelly
Michelle Nichols
4 MIN READ
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Japan pushed the United States on Wednesday to propose new United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea, which diplomats said could target the country’s laborers working abroad, oil supply and textile exports.

The United States traditionally drafts resolutions to impose sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. It first negotiates with Pyongyang ally China before involving the remaining 13 council members.

The Security Council condemned North Korea’s “outrageous” firing of a medium-range ballistic missile over northern Japan on Tuesday, but did not threaten new sanctions. Pyongyang said the launch was to counter U.S. and South Korean military drills.

Japan’s U.N. Ambassador Koro Bessho said Tokyo would now like a “strong resolution” on North Korea.

“We will certainly discuss it with the United States,” Bessho told reporters on Wednesday.

The United States mission to the United Nations was not immediately available to comment.

A push for new sanctions is likely to counter resistance from veto-wielding powers China and Russia, diplomats said, particularly given new measures were only recently imposed after Pyongyang staged two long-range missile launches in July.

On Aug. 5 the council unanimously adopted sanctions that could slash by a third the Asian state’s $3 billion annual export revenue by banning exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood and prohibiting countries from sending any more North Korean laborers to work abroad.

A missile is launched during a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 30, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS
‘TIME IS RIGHT’

Typically China and Russia only view a test of a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon as a trigger for further possible U.N. sanctions. North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

However, some council diplomats argue that new measures are needed because this was the first time North Korea had fired a weapons missile over Japan, differing from a 2009 launch over Japan that Pyongyang had forewarned about and said was a rocket carrying a communications satellite into orbit.

“The time is right to consider further constraints on the DPRK regime, given that the constraints that we have put in place so far have clearly not yet got them to change course.” British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said on Wednesday, using the acronym for North Korea’s formal name of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“One other thing we could look at is building on the cap on foreign laborers in (the Aug. 5) resolution ... to see whether we could do more to prevent the flow of money coming into DPRK from North Korean nationals who are working abroad,” he said.

Some diplomats estimate that between 60,000 and 100,000 North Koreans work abroad. A U.N. human rights investigator said in 2015 that North Korea had forced more than 50,000 people to work abroad, mainly in Russia and China, earning between $1.2 billion and $2.3 billion a year.

Diplomats have said Pyongyang’s textile exports, supplies of oil to the government and military and the country’s national airline could also be targeted by any new U.N. sanctions.

Textiles were North Korea’s second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totaling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Nearly 80 percent of the textile exports went to China, according to Chinese customs data.

Any new sanctions would build on eight resolutions ratcheting up action against Pyongyang over five nuclear tests, four long-range ballistic missile tests and dozens of medium-range rocket launches. The past three substantial resolutions have taken between one and three months to negotiate.


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news ... -qq90vdnxg

May refuses to rule out cyberattack against Kim
Francis Elliott, Political Editor | Richard Lloyd Parry, Tokyo
August 30 2017, 9:00am,
The Times
An image released by North Korea’s news agency showing a jubilant Kim Jong-un watching the launch of a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile yesterday
An image released by North Korea’s news agency showing a jubilant Kim Jong-un watching the launch of a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile yesterday
GETTY IMAGES
Theresa May said that China offered the best hope of pulling North Korea back from the brink of a nuclear confrontation but refused to rule out using Britain’s cyberoffensive capabilities against the regime.

Mrs May said that the UK and other countries would “redouble” efforts to pressure Pyongyang in the wake of its launch of a missile over northern Japan.

Yesterday’s test was the first to be directed over Japanese airspace, crossing the island of Hokkaido before crashing into the Pacific. The UN security council condemned it as an “outrageous” threat in a statement signed by China and Russia, allies of the regime.

Speaking to reporters on the plane to Kyoto for the start of a three-day trip to Japan, Mrs May indicated that North…


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/29/worl ... le-us.html

U.N. Condemns North Korea’s Latest Missile Tests, but Takes No Action
查看简体中文版 查看繁體中文版
By CHOE SANG-HUNAUG. 29, 2017

People in Tokyo watched news coverage of North Korea’s missile launch on Tuesday. The missile flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Credit Toshifumi Kitamura/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
SEOUL, South Korea — The United Nations Security Council condemned on Tuesday North Korea’s recent missile tests, including one that sent a ballistic missile soaring over Japan, as “outrageous actions.” But it gave no indication that it was prepared to take tougher measures against Pyongyang, which called the latest launch a “curtain-raiser.”

The 15 members of the Security Council met for nearly four hours in an emergency session to discuss a response to the North’s latest test, which sent an intermediate-range ballistic missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido. They unanimously adopted a statement condemning that launch and three others on Saturday, calling them “not just a threat to the region but all U.N. member states.”

But nothing in the statement suggested the council was ready to further toughen the eight sets of sanctions it has imposed on the North, and it was unclear what additional action, if any, might be taken.

Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, said the statement showed that “the world is united against North Korea.” She hinted at a possible American response, saying that “the United States will not allow this lawlessness to continue.”

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists
By JEREMY WHITE
President Trump said in a statement earlier Tuesday, “All options are on the table.”

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has authorized more than 80 missile tests since taking power almost six years ago. But all those missiles landed in nearby waters because they were of limited range or fired at a sharp angle, high into space, so they would splash down without going too far.


North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan AUG. 28, 2017

Continue reading the main story

On Tuesday, the North abandoned that restraint, lobbing an intermediate-range ballistic missile at a normal angle and sending it over Hokkaido, into a spot in the Western Pacific almost 1,700 miles away. In doing so, Mr. Kim may have been trying to show that he can hit a faraway target, for the first time conducting a more realistic test of the type of missile he had threatened to use to strike near the American territory of Guam.

Indeed, Mr. Kim warned that his government could conduct more missile tests in the Pacific, North Korea’s state-run news media reported on Wednesday.

While attending the launching of the missile, a Hwasong-12, on Tuesday, Mr. Kim said North Korea needed to conduct “more ballistic rocket launching drills with the Pacific as a target in the future,” according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. Mr. Kim called the test on Tuesday “a meaningful prelude to containing Guam” and “a curtain-raiser” of the North’s “resolute countermeasures against” the joint military exercises that the United States and South Korea began last week.

Mr. Kim added that North Korea would continue to “watch the U.S. demeanors as already declared and decide its future action according to them.” The 11-day military drills by Washington and Seoul, which North Korea has vehemently condemned as a rehearsal for war, are scheduled to end on Thursday, a potential excuse for North Korea to de-escalate.

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Can North Korea Actually Hit the United States With a Nuclear Weapon?
Six systems that North Korea needs to master to achieve a long-sought goal: being able to reliably hit the United States.


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Because of North Korea’s location — squeezed between China and South Korea, with Japan to the east and southeast and Russia to the northeast — there is essentially no way that the North can test missiles on normal trajectories, as it did Tuesday, without sending them over another nation.

“If the previous launchings were for testing technologies, this one was a realistic demonstration of an intermediate-range ballistic missile capability,” said Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at Korea Aerospace University near Seoul. “In this test, the North’s missile actually flew at a realistic angle and trajectory.”

North Korea rattled the Trump administration last month by launching two intercontinental ballistic missiles, the second of which demonstrated the potential to reach the contiguous United States. But officials and analysts doubted that the country had mastered the technology needed to protect a nuclear warhead from intense heat and friction as it re-entered the atmosphere from space.

Tuesday’s test might have been most important for the development of more dependable intermediate-range missiles. But experts say it could also provide information for the crucial re-entry technology needed for a warhead on an intermediate-range missile to survive the fiery plunge back into the atmosphere.

It is less clear whether that information could help the North pursue the especially difficult goal of developing the re-entry technology needed to build a nuclear-tipped longer-range missile that could hit the mainland United States. Those warheads would re-enter more quickly, producing much higher heats.



South Korean fighter jets dropped bombs on a practice range later Tuesday, rehearsing what the air force called its capacity to “destroy the enemy leadership.” Credit Getty Images AsiaPac, via South Korean Defense Ministry Vi
The Hwasong-12 is an intermediate-range ballistic missile that the North says is designed to carry a large nuclear warhead. After the launch on Tuesday, the Japanese government sent a text alert to its people, advising them to take protective cover in case the test went wrong.

Japan said it did not try to shoot the missile down because it did not detect a threat to its territory. But analysts said the test nevertheless underlined some uncomfortable questions about the possibility of defending against such missiles.

The allies could do little more than track the missile Tuesday as it arched over Hokkaido and splashed into the northern Pacific. Analysts said Japan could have tried to shoot it down if its Aegis destroyers, which are armed with SM3 Block I interceptor missiles, happened to be in waters between North Korea and Japan. But because the SM3 is slower than the Hwasong-12, they would have had to make the attempt before the missile passed over the ships.

And one analyst noted that Japan could have been caught off guard entirely had the destroyers been elsewhere — for example, if Japan had ordered them south in response to North Korea’s threat to fire missiles into the waters around Guam.

“After distracting attention toward Guam, North Korea fired the missile over Japan,” said Shin Jong-woo, a defense analyst at Korea Defense Forum, a Seoul-based network of military experts. “By doing so, it reduced the chance of its missile being shot down, and at the same time demonstrated its ability to hit a target as far away as Guam without actually launching the missile in its direction.”


U.S. & POLITICS By ROBIN STEIN and DREW JORDAN 3:58
Is the U.S. Ready for a Nuclear Attack?
Video
Is the U.S. Ready for a Nuclear Attack?
The United States uses two different categories of missile defense to counter North Korea. Here’s how they work and — sometimes — how they don’t. By ROBIN STEIN and DREW JORDAN on Publish Date August 27, 2017. . Watch in Times Video »


The United States and Japan were wrapping up a two-week joint military exercise around Hokkaido, which culminated in the demonstration of the PAC-3 missile-defense system on Tuesday. Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst at Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, noted that the missile flew too high for the PAC-3 to reach.

“I don’t think it was an empty threat when North Korea warned it would fire the Hwasong-12 around Guam,” Mr. Kim said. “The test today was the North Korean way of saying that it would go ahead with it and would be able to do it if the United States kept dragging its feet in coming to the negotiating table under the North Korean terms.”

Paul Burton, a Singapore-based director for Jane’s by IHS Markit, a defense analysis firm, noted that the North launched its missile Tuesday as the Trump administration was dealing with a calamitous storm in Houston. “The timing of the test shows that the North Korean regime has an acute sense of how to cause maximum impact with its accelerated missile testing program,” Mr. Burton said.


South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, responded to the launch by ordering his military to “demonstrate a strong retaliatory capability against North Korea.” Four F-15K fighter jets soon dropped two bombs each at a domestic bombing range.

Even as North Korea continues to test missiles, South Korean intelligence officials told lawmakers in Seoul this week that the North was technically prepared to conduct its sixth underground nuclear test. Officials have speculated that the North might do so on Sept. 9, a North Korean holiday called the Day of the Foundation of the Republic, or that it might launch another missile on that date. The North conducted its last nuclear test on Sept. 9.


http://thebulletin.org/japan%E2%80%99s- ... korea11036

Japan’s response to North Korea
John Nilsson-Wright
JOHN NILSSON-WRIGHT
John Nilsson-Wright is a senior lecturer in Japanese Politics and International Relations in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge,...

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Kim Jong-un’s unbridled military aspirations, and Pyongyang’s desires to become a recognized nuclear power, risk provoking a spiraling arms race in Northeast Asia. Together, they represent potentially the biggest strategic and diplomatic challenge to the new and largely untested Trump administration, forcing US policy makers to reassess—albeit with mixed results—how they handle Asia’s rogue regime.

But while the pressures are intense for the United States, they are arguably even worse for Japan. The North’s unexpectedly rapid progress in its nuclear ambitions in the last year is raising fundamental questions about the durability of some of Japan’s distinctive, established political and strategic norms of behavior.

Some worry that these repercussions may mean that North Korea’s actions could ultimately threaten the stability of the US-Japan alliance—a system in place since the early 1950s—as Japanese policy makers begin to question the reliability of a US president who seems dangerously capricious, self-interested, unpredictable, and entirely too sympathetic to military solutions at the expense of the interests and security of its regional partners.

With these factors in mind, how might Japan respond to North Korea’s missile tests and other provocations? Will the North Korean threat transform Japan’s long postwar defense policy, removing some of the constraints and norms that have limited Japan‘s use of military force that are enshrined in the Japanese Constitution’s Article 9—popularly known as the "peace clause?" Will the looming threat of an unprovoked North Korean nuclear attack force Japan to break with years of post-war anti-nuclear sentiment and develop its own nuclear weapons capabilities in an effort to acquire its own independent nuclear deterrent? (To Japan’s neighbors, the latter possibility is especially worrisome, given the very large stockpile of plutonium that Japan has accumulated from its decades-long, civilian breeder reactor reprocessing program. As of 2014, Japan had about 640 kilograms of unused plutonium on hand, or enough to make about 80 nuclear bombs.)

Conversely, what are the chances of bilateral direct talks between Japan and North Korea and a renewed push by Japan‘s leaders to explore options for full-fledged normalization of ties between the two countries? Could, and should, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe take the considerable diplomatic and political risk of talking to his North Korean counterpart?

To answer these questions and determine Japan’s likely courses of action, we first must look at the record.

Japan-North Korea: an abnormal relationship. Japan and the two Koreas have a long and bitter history together, complicated by the Japanese Empire’s occupation and colonization of the Korean Peninsula in the first half of the 20th century. Going further back, some of the reasons for the long-standing tensions between these countries are rooted in history and geography; historically, Japanese strategic analysts have long seen the Korean Peninsula as a “dagger pointed at the heart of Japan.” From the abortive 13th-century Mongol invasions of Japan to Kim Il-sung’s blitzkrieg assault on South Korea in 1950, Japan has long viewed Korea as a source of danger and unpredictability. North Korea’s recent spate of aggressive missile tests—no fewer than 12 in 2017, a number of which have landed in waters perilously close to Japan—has reaffirmed the existential challenge faced by the Japanese people and the Liberal Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

To appreciate the scale of the challenge facing Japan’s leaders today, it’s important to keep in mind the novelty of the current North Korean problem for Japan’s diplomats and politicians. Japan’s relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have been largely trapped in the deep-freeze of Cold War rivalry. Unlike Japan’s relations with South Korea, which were normalized in 1965, the Tokyo-Pyongyang relationship has been shaped by persistent mutual suspicion and resentment. Tokyo and Seoul saw the benefits of mutual, increased trade and investment—and the two countries were also given an additional push toward political convergence and ultimately reconciliation by the strategic interests of a United States that sought harmony between its two key Asian allies. In contrast, Tokyo and Pyongyang have long confronted the yawning political gulf that separates a liberal, democratic Japan from an authoritarian and repressive North Korea.

This gulf persisted, notwithstanding the tendency of Japan‘s leaders to separate politics from economics (a mindset known as seikei bunri) when dealing with rival or hostile states for much of the post-1945 period. Whether developing pragmatic business ties with Communist China during the 1950s and 1960s, or managing to keep diplomatic connections with both Israel and the Arab states in the 1970s after the 1973 oil embargo, Japanese leaders have instinctively understood the benefits of pragmatism in foreign affairs. But in the case of North Korea, politics and economics have been irresistibly intertwined, and emotional and historical issues have often blocked any possibility of diplomatic rapprochement. For Pyongyang, Japan has been an easy and viscerally appealing target for the DPRK’s propaganda campaigns, given the deep resentment that Koreans (both in the North and South) feel towards Japan for its brutal colonial domination of Korea from 1910 to 1945. For Tokyo, anti-communist suspicions, fear of Pyongyang-led subversion activities in Japan, Japanese notions of cultural superiority, and a residue of racial discrimination towards Koreans that still prevails in parts of contemporary Japan have all stood in the way of improved relations.

In 2002 and 2004, under then-Prime Minister Jun’ichiro Koizumi, the Liberal Democratic Party government sought to break out of this diplomatic deep-freeze by exploring options for normalization. Koizumi took the bold step of being the first post-war Japanese premier to visit Pyongyang for direct talks with Kim Jong-il, then-leader of the country and father of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s current leader. One of the talks’ main sticking points was the problem of about a dozen or so (potentially as many as 80) Japanese citizens, who had been kidnapped from Japan by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s. The whereabouts and fate of these Japanese abductees (an issue referred to in Japanese as rachi mondai) still remain unresolved, despite a willingness by the North to admit its role in some, but not all, of these abductions. For contemporary Japanese politicians— including Prime Minister Abe, who has been the most vocal supporter of the relatives of the missing abductees dating back to his time as a senior party official under Koizumi—this humanitarian issue is both personally significant and a core element of Japan’s policy towards North Korea.

These factors mean that Japan’s North Korea problem is diverse and complex. While the strategic threat from the North in the form of Pyongyang’s past five nuclear tests and its improved missile capabilities poses an immediate danger, it is reinforced by a wider set of longer-term historical, cultural, political, and humanitarian tensions that complicate Tokyo’s choices. These are challenges in their own right, but they also potentially offer unusual opportunities for Japanese policy makers to help resolve the current crisis in ways that are not open to other actors, whether in Washington, Seoul, or European capitals.

Japan’s response. Prime Minister Abe’s response to the North Korean threat has been focused and energetic. In cooperation with the Trump administration and the UN Security Council, the Japanese government has been at the forefront of efforts to push for tougher economic sanctions against the DPRK. Abe has also tightened Japan’s own bilateral sanctions against Pyongyang and lobbied other governments—most notably China—to exert more pressure on Kim Jong-un to halt its missile-testing program.

North Korea’s most recent long-range missile tests, on July 4 and July 28, have been widely seen as a game-changer, signaling a breakthrough in the DPRK’s technological prowess and allowing it to threaten not only its immediate neighbors but also potentially target the continental United States—although some observers say that the ability of North Korea’s Hwasong-14 missiles to deliver a nuclear payload to the lower 48 states of the United States is exaggerated, and may not even be able to deliver a North Korean atomic bomb to Anchorage, Alaska. And while expert opinion remains similarly divided on whether the North has acquired the full miniaturization and targeting capabilities to deliver a nuclear warhead successfully against a US city, there is a consensus that the pace of North Korean progress has accelerated.

Consequently, it is no surprise that Abe has been vocal in warning opinion-makers both at home and abroad of the importance of devising an appropriate response to this increased threat. In recent weeks, the prime minister has warned the Japanese public that the North is capable of firing missiles armed with chemical weapons against Japan. Meanwhile, Japanese bureaucrats have taken the unusual step of issuing guidelines to local and prefectural officials, as well as to journalists, on appropriate civil defense measures and how best to guard against the possibility of an attack from the North. In addition, foreign visitors to Japan—including academics, diplomats, and visiting senior politicians—are routinely briefed on the nature of the North Korean challenge, and the prime minister and his cabinet staff have been assiduously soliciting the support (in both word and deed) of foreign governments in combatting the threat from Pyongyang.

While these public statements are a significant sign of Tokyo’s concern, there are limits to how much added security they can provide Japan. The biggest, immediate worry for Japanese security planners is time. Missiles launched from North Korea could reach Japanese territory within as little as 10 minutes—placing major Japanese cities and heavily populated urban areas at risk from a surprise attack from the North. Japan, thanks to missile defense capabilities developed in partnership with the United States, has a dual-layer system based on Patriot land-based PAC-3 anti-missile batteries and four Aegis-destroyer equipped with the SM-3 anti-missile system. While the Patriot batteries are designed to destroy missiles during the terminal stage of their attack on land-based Japanese targets, the Aegis system is intended to shoot down missiles flying over Japan.

Greater defense flexibility. Important as these systems are, their reliability is uncertain. And the growing threat from the North has encouraged Japanese defense planners to begin exploring options for developing new, more sophisticated, and flexible counter measures. Such measures include the acquisition of cruise missiles and advanced satellite guidance technology that would allow Japan to intercept North Korean missiles either on the point of launch or potentially pre-emptively. While there has been considerable debate (going back many years to the 1950s) over the constitutional legitimacy of such measures—with some critics arguing that pre-emption violates the norms of Article 9—it is striking that recently appointed Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera has been a vocal supporter of this new approach. Recent opinion polls appear to back him up, suggesting that as many as 31 percent of the Japanese public support a policy of pre-emption, according to the September-October issue of Foreign Affairs. But moving towards such an approach would be politically controversial at home, as well as expensive and time-consuming. Ultimately, it would take considerable resources (at a time when the government is struggling to shrink the country’s huge national debt) and several years before the country would have the capability to protect itself independently.

Given these constraints, Japan is required to double down on its traditional security partnership with the United States. Notwithstanding significant concerns in Tokyo about the unpredictability of Donald Trump, senior-level dialogue and cooperation between the foreign and defense representatives of the United States and Japan remain very strong. Tellingly, this was reflected in the most recent, August 17 round of the “two plus two” talks between US Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis and Minister Onodera and the new Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, in Washington, D.C. In addition, important legal and doctrinal developments dating from September 2015 have allowed Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to engage in collective defense activities. These have substantially expanded the scope of Japan’s potential cooperation with other countries—including the United States—in countering the threat from the North.

Pyongyang’s recent threat to fire four missiles into the waters just off the US territory of Guam has raised questions about the ability of Tokyo to use its Aegis-based missile defenses to intercept North Korean missiles fired over Japan. Leaving to one side the important question of the risks of undermining allied deterrence capability by trying (and potentially failing) to intercept North Korean intermediate range missiles, the current debate over a potential role for Japan to protect US military facilities on Guam reflects a much more permissive and flexible attitude on the part of the Abe government towards Japan’s security options.

This type of greater defense pragmatism in combatting the North Korean security threat is a sensible and calibrated response. It fits well within the existing US-Japan alliance framework and also avoids some of the political pitfalls associated with more radical proposals. For many years, commentators have worried that the emergence of a nuclear North Korea would ultimately force Japan to reconsider its long-standing opposition to nuclear weapons, particularly where there were doubts about the reliability of US extended nuclear deterrence or in the face of pressures elsewhere in the region—for example in Seoul—to acquire nuclear weapons.

The legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is still strong within Japan, and it seems highly improbable that public opinion would tolerate any weakening of Japan’s 50-year-old “three non-nuclear principles” under which the country commits to not manufacturing, possessing, or allowing the transit of nuclear weapons through Japanese territory. Moreover, in the wake of the catastrophic 3/11 combined earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor disasters (at Fukushima), Japanese public opinion remains vigorously opposed to the expansion of Japan’s nuclear capabilities, whether they be for civilian or military purposes. Indeed, Foreign Minister Taro Kono is a strong opponent of nuclear power, and it seems highly unlikely that any leading Japanese politician would make the case for a serious rethink of the country’s non-nuclear policy.

This doesn’t rule out the possibility that some members of Japan’s policy-making circles will be tempted to flirt indirectly with the possibility of nuclearization; merely hinting at the possibility of a re-assessment of this policy might have some indirect, diplomatic benefit. For example, a re-nuclearized Japan would alarm China and might encourage it to put renewed pressure on North Korea—but it seems far-fetched to imagine a situation where the nuclear card could be played by Japan in a manner that would convince Beijing to take action against Pyongyang.

Keeping the door open to dialogue. Japan’s options for dealing with North Korea also include direct talks with the DPRK. Abe’s North Korea policy has long been defined as a combination of “pressure and dialogue” (atsuryoku to taiwa) and the prospect of renewed bilateral talks should not be ruled out, however unlikely they might appear in the short term. In recent weeks, a series of domestic political scandals, along with the party’s dismal performance in the Tokyo metropolitan government elections in June, has seriously dented Abe’s personal popularity, raising doubts about his ability to remain as prime minister beyond September 2018. Not coincidentally, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho appeared to hint to his Japanese counterpart at the possibility of renewed bilateral talks, during a recent meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila in August.

But it’s difficult to discern the motives behind the North Korean pitch. Ri’s gambit may have been aimed at opening up a new channel with the Trump Administration indirectly, via Japan. Equally, it may have reflected a more substantive desire to talk to Tokyo, capitalizing on Abe’s political weakness at home. Journalists visiting Pyongyang in April this year were invited to an unusual press conference in which elderly ethnic Korean women who had returned from Japan to North Korea in the 1950s (as part of an effort to reverse Japan’s colonial-era forced migration policy) spoke movingly about their desire for reconciliation with Japan. The conference was anything but a spontaneous expression of the women’s wishes, and Pyongyang’s willingness to organize such a meeting suggests that the North may be keen to open the door to improved relations with Japan.

Full-blown normalization between Japan and North Korea would ultimately involve some form of financial settlement to offset the experience of the colonial period, comparable to that reached between Seoul and Tokyo in 1965. By some projections this could deliver a compensation package to the North of anywhere between $5 billion and $10 billion—a sizeable amount for the relatively weak North Korean economy. However far-fetched and risky this might seem, a politically vulnerable Prime Minister Abe might be tempted to capitalize on Japan’s multifaceted relationship with the North to reduce Japan’s defense vulnerabilities and limit its dependency on the United States, while seizing an unexpected diplomatic prize that would dramatically boost his political standing at home. It would be a monumental shift, not quite a Richard Nixon going to China moment, but certainly a bold and radical diplomatic about-face for Japan‘s conservative prime minister.

It would not be the first time that a leader turns to foreign affairs as a distraction in the face of declining domestic support, and it could prove a tempting option for Abe. Given growing fears that the rhetorical war of words between Trump and Kim may be heightening the risk of conflict in Korea (albeit more through miscalculation than design), keeping the door open to dialogue seems a sensible option. In Seoul, President Moon Jae-in is also keen to find an opportunity to talk to the North, and Abe should be exploring opportunities for coordination with his South Korean counterpart to encourage such an approach. None of this should minimize the importance of maintaining strong military deterrence capabilities and tighter economic sanctions. But the stakes in the region—not least the thousands or even of millions of lives that would be lost if war were to break out—are too high not to explore this opportunity seriously.
#14838833
North Korea will have a solid self-defensive nuclear arsenal which the world is going to get used to, then negotiations will occur to settle the issue of the Korean peninsula in general. I mean the DPRK will have to get integrated into the global system somehow sooner or later anyways, it cannot remain as it is forever.
#14838908
Potemkin wrote:Actually, the Allies did start WW2. Hitler invaded Poland on some bullshit pretext or other, and a few days later Britain and France jointly declared war against Nazi Germany. That was the official start of WW2, and it was done by the Allies. After all, all Hitler wanted was peace - a little piece of Poland, a little piece of Czechoslovakia, a little piece of Russia.... :excited:


In technical reality it was the Japanese who, by declaration of war with the Kuomintang, started both WW2 and the pacific theatre with the invasion of Manchuria and war with that Chinese government.... A war declaration that was standing when WW2 heated up in Europe and the Japanese simply snowballed that fight into the Pacific Theatre. But ok ill accept that was the "Asian Prologue". Still it was the first declaration of war in relation to WW2.

July 7, 1937... The date the Pacific Theatre and WW2 itself really began, in China.
#14839235
https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36917291/no ... gainst-us/

North Korea is expecting the Korean War will restart soon, they are apparently making their soldiers specifically prepare for it.

What is the food situation over there? They're making their soldiers eat corn, which probably means supplies are short right?
#14839715
One Degree wrote:There are people in this world who are not reasonable and wishful thinking will not change it. It is a serious mistake to think everyone will be reasonable given the choice. Some people simply don't want to be reasonable and must be killed before they start killing. I don't know enough to say this is true of North Korea, but politicians must consider it.


The relationship between Seoul and Pyongyang was better when President Roh was still in government. It deteriorated after Lee Myung Bak was elected. And I do not recall seeing North Korea having launched a missile into the ocean every three weeks which seems to be a regular event now days. The regime have shown that they can survive under any conditions. If they could survive the last 20 years, including the period of the immediate post-Soviet collapse, they can survive well into the future. Pressuring them doesn't work and invasion will result in every major city in the region being destroyed. It could even escalate into a world war. You are an American nationalist, aren't you? Why would you want to be conscripted to go and fight a war in a far away country that you have nothing to do with and do not know? Until it either reforms or collapses it is better to keep North Korea calm. If you keep annoying them they will just become more aggressive.

Finfinder wrote:So you are ok with N Korea having nukes and positive they won't ever use them ?


They already have them and they will use them in the event of war. With its conventional and nuclear capabilities North Korea is capable of destroying South Korea and Japan.

How can you force them to give up their nuclear weapons? Either you convince them through diplomacy, which is unlikely to work or you coerce them with economic and military measures. The latter choice is going to result in a very bloody war which will destroy the region.

Therefore it is impossible to stop them acquiring nuclear weapons.

Thompson_NCL wrote:North Korea have not acted "reasonable" for decades. When the West eased off on them, they took the opportunity to develop nuclear weapons. The North Korean regime cannot act reasonably because its survival depends upon antagonising its neighbours and the US.


There were fewer of these provocations before 2008.

What solution do you propose?
#14839718
colliric wrote:https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36917291/north-korea-tells-soldiers-total-war-is-imminent-against-us/

North Korea is expecting the Korean War will restart soon, they are apparently making their soldiers specifically prepare for it.

What is the food situation over there? They're making their soldiers eat corn, which probably means supplies are short right?


Isn't this a quality of the regime all the time. Keep up a state of imminent threat from the outside? Aren't they already for the war to restart?
#14839724
@Political Interest
I don't believe North Korea has the military ability to do anything other than inflict limited damage in South Korea.
No war with North Korea would include large scale US troops. If we decided it had to be done, then I would expect it to be nuclear and over in minutes. Anything else would be foolish. Of course that is based upon my limited understanding and our military leaders may know of non nuclear effective means.
I am not a nationalist, but I sometimes assume that persona to make arguments.
#14840700
It's worth noting that Japan, USA and S Korea were rehearsing an invasion of N Korea days before it fired a warning shot across the bow. Of course US media is so insular and self absorbed it interprets a country's attempt to defend itself as provocative.

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