The American Mainstream Media would like to paint President Trump in a negative light when it comes to dealing with North Korea, however the President is faced with a lingering and festering problem that has been ignored and allowed to metastasize for decades. One would be surprised to learn that many Southeast Asian countries have also had enough of North Korea’s provocations.
The Korea Times:
“Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific countries are “arm-in-arm” in pressing North Korea harder, as seen from the statement released at the end of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), analysts said Wednesday.
The experts speculated the ASEAN nations especially played a role in pushing internationally isolated Pyongyang to observe U.N. resolutions in the ARF Chairman’s Statement.
It summarizes the highlights of the annual security forum held in Manila, the Philippines, where foreign ministers from 10 ASEAN member nations and 17 Asia-Pacific countries gathered from Sunday to Tuesday.
The ministers “expressed their grave concern” over North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests on July 4 and 28, as well as its two nuclear tests in 2016 and shorter-range ballistic missile launches,” according to the statement.
It read that the ministers urged North Korea to “immediately comply fully with its obligations” under the relevant U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. They include Resolution 2371 approved on Aug. 5 to punish Pyongyang’s ICBM tests in July.”
North Korea has stepped up its saber-rattling, claiming it will have plans drawn up to launch a warning shot at U.S. Forces in Guam.
The Korea Times:
“In a tit-for-tat of bellicose rhetoric, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said its strategic force is “seriously examining” the plan for an “enveloping strike” at Guam with four Hwasong-12 missiles “in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the U.S.”
It said in an English statement that the missiles will cross the sky above the Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan and fly 3,356.7 kilometers and land 30 to 40 km away from Guam.
The North’s military will finalize the plan by mid-August and report it to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and await his order, the report said.”
I must admit to my dismay, that my own personal technical assessments of North Korea’s ability to miniaturize its Nuclear Warheads may have been wrong. A report from the Defense Intelligence Agency state that North Korea can now make nukes small enough to fit on its Hwasong weapon platform, however I still maintain that they have not yet demonstrated the technical capabilities to produce a reliable atmospheric reentry vehicle for its warheads.
In my opinion, a more immediate concern should be the current threat posed by North Korea’s chemical weapons arsenal. It is estimated that North Korea currently has a stockpile of around 2,500 to 5,000 tons of different weaponized chemical agents, which can be delivered via aircraft, artillery shells, and ballistic missiles.
“Chemical agents currently reported to be in the KPA inventory include, but are not necessarily limited to: adamsite (DM), chloroacetophenone (CN), chlorobenzyliidene malononitrile (CS), chlorine (CL), cyanogen chloride (CK), hydrogen cyanide (AC), mustard-family (H, HD or HL), phosgene (CG and CX), sarin (GB), soman (GD), tabun (GA) and V-agents (VM and VX). It is important to note that, according to KPA defectors, the DPRK produces a total of 20 different chemical agents for use in weapons. It is believed that the KPA has concentrated upon sulfur mustard, chlorine, phosgene, sarin and the V-agents.”
I would not doubt that such weapons would be used by the North on populated centers inside South Korea and Japan and U.S. military installations in the region.
South Korea has been stepping up its rhetoric also, warning North Korea that any strike against South Korea or U.S. Forces would have dire consequences.
The Korea Herald:
“South Korea’s military warned Thursday that North Korea will pay a harsh price for an attack on the South or its ally the United States.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff issued the strongly worded message in response to the North’s continued war rhetoric, including a threat to fire ballistic missiles toward Guam.
Should the North ignore the warning and provoke, it will face “the allies’ strong and resolute retaliation,” Army Col. Roh Jae-cheon, the JCS spokesman, said in a statement.”
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