6 Months Ago: Solving North Korea with tough-talking escalation. Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Apr 21, 12:00 AM
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AUTHOR.

(Photo:"Marines of the 1st Marine Division pay their respects to fallen buddies during memorial services at the division's cemetery at Hamhung, Korea, following the break-out from Chosin Reservoir."

From the Photograph Collection (COLL/3948), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

OFFICIAL USMC PHOTO

Date 

Source 1st Marine Division Cemetery, Hamhung, Korea, 13 December 1950

Author USMC Archives from Quantico, USA )

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6 Months Ago: Solving North Korea with tough-talking escalation. Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

President Trump on Tuesday sternly warned North Korea against making threats to the U.S., responding to reports that Pyongyang has expanded its nuclear capabilities. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club. “He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” His provocative comments came after The Washington Post, citing a U.S. intelligence assessment, reported that North Korea crossed a major threshold in its quest to become a nuclear power by successfully producing a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit onto a missile. If true, the development would cross the Trump administration’s red line on North Korea’s nuclear program. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/345777-trump-warns-north-korea-it-will-be-met-with-fire-and-fury-if-it

The Korean Peninsula “Crisis” Inches Toward the End Game Analysis. By GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Staff. The People’s Republic of China, the DPRK (North Korea), and the United States each progressed their strategic negotiating positions to resolve “the North Korea crisis” with events over the weekend of August 5-6, 2017. Each state — along with Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK: South Korea), and the Republic of China (ROC: Taiwan) — has a vital interest in how the “crisis” resolves itself.

It could reach a pivotal point — either with a return to meaningful Six Party Talks1 or through bilateral (US-DPRK) talks — before the end of 2017, with a view to “normalizing” relations soon thereafter between the DPRK and the bulk of the international community. But there remained, as of early August 2017, the reality that the DPRK needed to complete one critical step in its negotiating platform.

It needed international (specifically US) public recognition of the viability of its nuclear weapons capabilities, including the delivery mechanisms (particularly IRBM, MRBM, and ICBM formats) so that its deterrent forces would become an accepted part of the equation going forward.

Until now, the US-led posture has been to: • (a) Deny the DPRK the ability to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and • (b) Deny the DPRK the ability to deliver such weapons.

At this point, the DPRK has been able to demonstrate unambiguously that it has developed credible nuclear weapons, as opposed to merely demonstrating the ability to achieve a nuclear explosion. However, the US (as the key target for this message) has only obliquely recognized this capability. The DPRK has also been able to demonstrate its ability to field a range of ballistic delivery vehicles, up to inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability, but the US has — in its open declarations — rejected the idea that this might be viable.

Hence, the demonstrations by the DPRK of two unarmed prototypes of its Hwasong-14 ICBM on July 4, 2017 (single-stage), and July 28, 2017 (two-stage), seem likely to be followed by more such demonstrations until the Western media (as a critical determinant in the equation) accepts the DPRK’s capability as fact. The Hwasong-14 capability provides a very simple, single-warhead system, but it is a nuclear-capable ICBM.

But the US has yet to accept that the DPRK has a fie...