Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

North Korea threatens world with nuclear war

By
June 14, 2009

North Korea’s communist regime has warned of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula while vowing to step up its atomic bomb-making program in defiance of new U.N. sanctions.

The North’s defiance presents a growing diplomatic headache for President Barack Obama as he prepares for talks Tuesday with his South Korean counterpart on the North’s missile and nuclear programs.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told security-related ministers during an unscheduled meeting Sunday to "resolutely and squarely" cope with the North’s latest threat, his office said. Lee is to leave for the U.S. on Monday morning.

A commentary Sunday in the North’s main state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, claimed the U.S. has 1,000 nuclear weapons in South Korea. Another commentary published Saturday in the state-run Tongil Sinbo weekly claimed the U.S. has been deploying a vast amount of nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan.

North Korea "is completely within the range of U.S. nuclear attack and the Korean peninsula is becoming an area where the chances of a nuclear war are the highest in the world," the Tongil Sinbo commentary said.

Kim Yong-kyu, a spokesman at the U.S. military command in Seoul, called the latest accusation "baseless," saying Washington has no nuclear bombs in South Korea. U.S. tactical nuclear weapons were removed from South Korea in 1991 as part of arms reductions following the Cold War.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry issued a statement Sunday demanding the North stop stoking tension, abandon its nuclear weapons and return to dialogue with the South.

On Saturday, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry threatened war on any country that dared to stop its ships on the high seas under the new sanctions approved by the U.N. Security Council on Friday as punishment for the North’s latest nuclear test.

It is not clear if the statements are simply rhetorical. Still, they are a huge setback for international attempts to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions following its second nuclear test on May 25. It first tested a nuclear device in 2006.

In Saturday’s statement, North Korea said it has been enriching uranium to provide fuel for its light-water reactor. It was the first public acknowledgment the North is running a uranium enrichment program in addition to its known plutonium-based program. The two radioactive materials are key ingredients in making atomic bombs.

On Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported South Korea and the U.S. have mobilized spy satellites, reconnaissance aircraft and human intelligence networks to obtain evidence that the North has been running a uranium enrichment program.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it could not confirm the report. The National Intelligence Service — South Korea’s main spy agency — was not available for comment.

North Korea said more than one-third of 8,000 spent fuel rods in its possession has been reprocessed and all the plutonium extracted would be used to make atomic bombs. The country could harvest 13-18 pounds (6-8 kilograms) of plutonium — enough to make at least one nuclear bomb — if all the rods are reprocessed.

In addition, North Korea is believed to have enough plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs.

North Korea says its nuclear program is a deterrent against the U.S., which it routinely accuses of plotting to topple its regime. Washington, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, has repeatedly said it has no such intention.

The new U.N. sanctions are aimed at depriving the North of the financing used to build its rogue nuclear program. The resolution also authorized searches of North Korean ships suspected of transporting illicit ballistic missile and nuclear materials.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the new U.N. penalties provide the necessary tools to help check North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The sanctions show that "North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver those weapons through missiles is not going to be accepted by the neighbors as well as the greater international community," Clinton said Saturday at a news conference in Canada.

12 Responses to North Korea threatens world with nuclear war

  1. keith

    June 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    If George W. Bush hadn’t been so busy committing our military to “holy wars” of occupation in places like Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, we would now have enough troops to mount a serious defense against these North Korean nut cases.

    Clearly, as a DIRECT result of his far right wing evangelical nonsense, our military is now stretched so thin around the world as to be all but impotent to counter these other, very real nuclear threats.

    Unfortunately, this is yet ANOTHER mess our arrogant (not to mention horrifically ignorant) “spoiled little frat boy” who masqueraded as our President for eight years has now left for the rest of the world to clean up.

  2. CheckerboardStrangler

    June 14, 2009 at 11:23 am

    In a case where a nuclear weapon is used, it’s no longer a situation where an army is required.
    It comes down to whether or not there is a nuclear response, and I am quite certain that there would be not just one, but very many.

    There is no such scenario as a conventional army invasion or war when a nation delivers a nuclear weapon in a first strike scenario. There is only wholesale nuclear destruction as a response. Reagan was wrong, you cannot fight a “limited nuclear war”.

    You sure as hell cannot respond with a conventional army in response to a nuclear missile launch.

  3. CheckerboardStrangler

    June 14, 2009 at 11:27 am

    In the end it may come to a point where the world has to decide if it can afford to maintain a mental hospital with 23 million mentally ill patients or if it is incumbent upon the world to cut their losses now before the will of those 23 million is imposed upon six billion.

    And it may become incumbent upon us to unleash all one thousand of those nuclear weapons on the North Korean regime.

    But I hope that both sides give some serious thought to it first. It remains to be seen whether or not the Swiss educated
    and English speaking Kim Jong Un, now revered as “Brilliant Comrade”, is really brilliant enough to understand the consequences of his father’s actions.

    One has to wonder what Jong Un’s education consisted of and what his life was like growing up as a schoolboy in a free country like Switzerland, and whether or not he grasped that there is indeed a world outside his father’s sprawling estate.

    That world will have to decide if it is willing to take a series of wounds from a not so brilliant comrade or if it is willing to allow its stronger partners to bring Il’s sick fantasy to a conclusion.

    A lot of choices, and none of them good.
    One choice rests with a young man who has seen the free world, or at least a tiny part of it.

    Except those 1000 nuclear weapons aren’t there.
    What we have is a mass hallucination, and a sense of regret on the part of Washington that it agreed to remove those tactical nukes after all.

    Most likely someone is pondering getting a few of them back over there right about now.

  4. almandine

    June 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    It would seem that you underestimate their capability:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/KF12Dg01.html

  5. bryan mcclellan

    June 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Man has no capability to stop war, as it is in his nature. Just as Ronnie Raygun never intended a weapon system to work.
    It was one of those catchy and revealing acronyms your English teacher warned you of.

    We all watched as it died and became the somewhat unreliable Patriot missile system. Or V.A.

  6. adamrussell

    June 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    In this case the first one to attack will lose. If N. korea throws the first nuke they will give us the right to end them completely. OTOH if we start it with a nuke or invasion it will give them excuse to retaliate with all they have. Either way, they do lose. But if it is us that attacks first we also lose because it will cost us far more than we will gain from it. We also may find ourselves in a fight with China.

  7. pinklaptop02

    June 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    This is clearly a mess and honestly how does anyone expect our new President to have the all the answers. Surely he came into office with no experience but tell me which former President if having to deal with all the economic and world issues that this Pres is currently dealing with would know what to do. Pray for our President that he can bear up under all of these problems. GM Parts Online

  8. CheckerboardStrangler

    June 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I’m not advocating an all out nuclear exchange with NK, I am saying that I am fearful that NK is determined to start one, or certain unelected elements in our elite circles who are connected to the MIC are determined to hasten the process along.
    Either way, anything that NK lobs in our direction is sure to get an answer, and it probably won’t be troops.
    There is no way even a million US troops and a million more combined allied troops could ever expect to make progress against a nation this entrenched.
    You could pour ten million troops into this nation and it would still be a hole that never gets filled.
    Therefore the only practical response possible would be near total annihilation of NK.

    And then the other side of my brain reacted with a visual showing Cheney counting the profits from a protracted conventional war in the region, and I realized that
    practical responses are out of the question.

    The only responses that will be considered are the profitable ones.

  9. John1172002

    June 14, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Quote from above post:

    “I’m not advocating an all out nuclear exchange with NK, I am saying that I am fearful that NK is determined to start one,”

    I agree, Checkerboard. My personal feelings are that, since NK has rockets that will reach our West Coast, should they fire one our way, we should make South Korea an island, not part of a peninsula. I would hate to see it come to that, but Kim Jon Un insists on it, MIRV them until there is nothing left of NK.

    Just save enough to reply to the inevitable Red China and Russian try to pile on to us.

    John1172002

  10. gazelle1929

    June 14, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    1. NK has atomic explosive devices. The likelihood that they are part of a weapons system (read bombs here) is extremely remote, in my opinion. Hell, they didn’t get much more than a big pop out of their first one a couple of years ago. My bet is that the devices are somewhere around the size of a small house, totally incapable of being delivered anywhere except on a ship.

    2. I seriously question the statement that the North Koreans have a missile capable of reaching the US west coast.

    The threat though is that they have the desire to build a deliverable bomb. They can also deliver fissionable materiel and bomb-making instructions to people we don’t want to even think about having such stuff.

    As to our military forces being stretched thin, I submit to you that the US Air Force is currently way under-used in our current combat operations. And they have lots of bunker-busting conventional bombs and they have really good targeting systems for delivery of same.

  11. RichardKanePA

    June 15, 2009 at 5:09 am

    Perhaps the US or UN could get an agreement with China to quickly seize the government, if Northern Korea goes off the deep end and set off nukes, instead of the US doing it. Maybe the southern half of Korea might agree.

    If they nuke Seoul and the wind is going north, the government will be nuking itself.

    RichardKanePA

  12. keith

    June 15, 2009 at 8:23 am

    In a case where a nuclear weapon is used, it’s no longer a situation where an army is required.

    Agreed. At that point, it’s WAY too late.

    Rather, the issue here is DETERRENCEā€¦.or rather, the lack of it.

    Right now, we have allowed ourselves to be spread SO thin militarily as to appear impotent to those who would do us in.

    Clearly, this stupid clown in North Korea wouldn’t be pulling any of this crap if he knew the USA could quickly amass hundreds of thousands of troops (armed with both strategic and tactical nukes) to sit on his doorstep.

    Right now, we simply can’t do that because George W. Bush and his ilk have indefinitely tied us down and pissed away most of those scarce resources in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.