North Korea and Iran Threat Updates

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by Carol55, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    I think this topic warrants its own thread because of the many, many updates. Here is the latest as of 9/14/17:
    North Korea Launches Another Missile, Escalating Crisis

    HONG KONG — North Korea fired a missile off its east coast on Friday, the South Korean military said.

    It was the 15th such test this year and the first since North Korea detonated its most powerful nuclear bomb to date.

    In Japan, an alert was issued on television and via cellphones, warning people to take shelter inside a building or underground. The Japanese government said the missile flew over Japan and landed in the sea some 1,200 miles east of Hokkaido.

    South Korean officials had said recently that intelligence reports indicated that the North Koreans planned to test an intercontinental ballistic missile. The North’s scientists have for decades worked to build both a nuclear device small enough to fit on the tip of a long-range missile and such a missile — an ICBM able to pierce the atmosphere, return to Earth and reach a target thousands of miles away.

    The North’s missile program had been known more for failures than successes until it made a rush of advances this year. Analysts say a powerful new engine lies behind a string of successful tests, and as a result, the North has increased the frequency and potency of its experiments.

    North Korea has launched more than 80 missiles since Mr. Kim came to power in 2011. It last tested a missile on Aug. 28, when it fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan. That missile, which flew 1,700 miles before crashing into the sea, led the Japanese government to issue emergency warnings to the public.

    A Moody Young Man With a Nuclear Arsenal

    Once dismissed as a figurehead, Kim Jong-un has used purges and crafty moves to exert firm control over North Korea and its expanding nuclear arsenal.

    A month earlier, on July 28, the North tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that reached an altitude of 2,300 miles and that experts said had the potential to hit the West Coast of the United States.

    The recent missile tests have been made more troubling — and provocative — by the North’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. This month, the country detonated its largest nuclear bomb to date, a device four to 16 times larger than anything it had previously tested, according to experts.

    The nuclear and missile tests have strained the region’s nerves, led to an additional round of international sanctions and challenged the Trump administration to project a cohesive policy on the conflict.

    Last month, Mr. Trump threatened that North Korea “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if the country continued its provocations.

    Soon after, the North said “an enveloping fire” would surround Guam, an American territory in the western Pacific where the United States operates an Air Force base. Guam, like South Korea and Japan, is a likely target of the North’s aggression, should the conflict on the Korean Peninsula escalate.

    In August, the United Nations imposed punishing sanctions on North Korea. After this month’s nuclear test, President Trump threatened China and South Korea with restrictions on trade with the United States in the hope that they might pressure their neighbor to cease its tests.

    Motoko Rich contributed reporting from Tokyo, and Choe Sang-Hun from Seoul, South Korea.
  2. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria
    September 23, 2017
    Earthquake detected in North Korea, reports conflict on scale and nature
    Fox News

    South Korea’s weather agency said a magnitude 3.0 earthquake rocked North Korea on Saturday and that it appeared to be a natural occurrence. However, reports about the temblor contained conflicting information about its scale and nature.

    An official from Seoul's Korea Meteorological Administration said Saturday's quake was detected in an area around Kilju, in northeastern North Korea. She said the analysis of seismic waves and the lack of sound waves clearly showed that the quake wasn't caused by an artificial explosion. She spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.

    Meanwhile, a Chinese monitoring agency said the quake was actually a magnitude 3.4 and that it was like caused by an explosion, Japan’s Kyoto News reported.

    The nuclear proliferation watchdog CTBTO disputed the claim saying that initial analysis show that the tremor was "unlike man-made."

    The site of the quake is near where North Korea on Sept. 3 conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in what it said was the detonation of a thermonuclear weapon.

    Kyoto News said the temblor was detected at 4:29 p.m. local time at a depth of "0 kilometer," a strong indication of a manmade event, according to the China Earthquake Network Center.

    North Korea has been maintaining a torrid pace in nuclear and weapons tests as it accelerates its pursuit of nuclear weapons that could viably target the United States and its allies in Asia.

    North Korea said its recent nuclear test was a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon built for its developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles. In two July flight tests, those missiles showed potential capability to reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.

    Today's quake measures 3.4 significantly smaller than all of North Korea's six nuclear tests.

    -- October 2006: 4.3

    -- May 2009 : 4.7

    -- February 2013: 5.1

    -- January 2016: 5.1

    -- September 2016: 5.3

    -- Sept 2017: 6.3 (estimates vary)

    Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this story.
  3. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria
    September 23, 2017 / 1:40 PM / Updated 8 hours ago
    U.S. bombers fly off North Korea's coast in show of force

    Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday, in a show of force the Pentagon said demonstrated the range of military options available to President Donald Trump.

    The flight, which was disclosed shortly before North Korea’s foreign minister was due to address the United Nations, was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea that any U.S. fighter jet or bomber has flown in the 21st century, the Pentagon said.

    “This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, calling North Korea’s weapons program “a grave threat.”

    “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.”

    The flight follows a week of heightened rhetoric from Washington and Pyongyang, with Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults. Trump called the North Korean leader a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

    Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile. The North has threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

    The Pentagon said the B-1B Lancer bombers came from Guam and the U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter escorts came from Okinawa, Japan. It said the operation showed the seriousness with which it took North Korea’s “reckless behavior.”

    Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by James Dalgleish
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  4. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria
    North Korea says strike on US is 'inevitable' as Pentagon flies bombers off coast
    Fox News September 23, 2017

    North Korea's foreign minister called U.S. President Donald Trump "a mentally deranged person full of megalomania" and promised a strike on the American mainland was "inevitable" in a blistering speech to the United Nations General Assembly Saturday.

    The address by Ri Yong Ho began as the Pentagon announced that it had flown bombers and fighter escorts to the farthest point north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone by any such American aircraft this century.

    "This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat," Defense Department spokesman Dana White said in a statement.

    "North Korea's weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community. We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies," White said.

    A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle takes off from the Kadena runway Sept. 23, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. (Senior Airman Quay Drawdy/U.S. Pacific Command)

    The Pentagon said B-1B bombers from Guam, along with F-15C Eagle fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday. Unlike on previous so-called "show of force" missions, the U.S. aircraft were not accompanied by South Korean or Japanese planes.

    "While conducted unilaterally, this mission was coordinated with regional allies - namely the Republic of Korea and Japan - and was a strong testament to our ironclad alliance," U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr. Dave Benham told Fox News, using the official name for South Korea.

    B-1 bombers are no longer part of the U.S. nuclear force, but they are capable of dropping large numbers of conventional bombs.

    U.S. Pacific Command would not be more specific about many years it had been since U.S. bombers and fighters had flown that far north of the DMZ, but Benham noted that this century "encompasses the period North Korea has been testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons."

    At the United Nations, Ri said that his country's nuclear force is "to all intents and purposes, a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the U.S. and for preventing its military invasion, and our ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the U.S."

    He also said that Trump's depiction of Kim as "Rocket Man" makes "our rocket's visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more."

    Trump on Friday had renewed his rhetorical offensive against Kim.

    "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!" the president tweeted.

    On Thursday, Trump announced more economic sanctions against the impoverished and isolated country, targeting foreign companies that deal with the North.

    "North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime," Trump said as he joined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a meeting in New York.

    Hours later, Kim responded by saying Trump was "deranged" and vowed the president would "pay dearly" for threatening to "totally destroy" North Korea if the U.S. was forced to defend itself or its allies against an attack.

    In a speech last week at the United Nations, Trump had issued the warning of potential obliteration and mocked the North's young autocrat as a "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission."

    Trump's executive order expanded the Treasury Department's ability to target anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea, and to ban them from interacting with the U.S. financial system.

    Trump also said China was imposing major banking sanctions, too, but there was no immediate confirmation from the North's most important trading partner.

    If enforced, the Chinese action Trump described could severely impede the isolated North's ability to raise money for its missile and nuclear development. China, responsible for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade, serves as the country's conduit to the international banking system.

    North Korea has said it intends to build a missile capable of striking all parts of the United States with a nuclear bomb. Trump has said he won't allow it, although the U.S. so far has not used military force to impede the North's progress.

    Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  5. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria
    Hawaii reportedly prepares for nuclear attack amid North Korea rhetoric
    Fox News September 23, 2017

    Hawaii officials have reportedly been urging residents to prepare for a nuclear attack, the stunning plea coming amid increasingly unnerving rhetoric -- and actions -- from North Korea.

    Aloha State authorities were working to educate and prepare residents for a possible atomic attack by telling them to consider preparing in the same way they'd prep for a tsunami, the Washington Post reported.

    "Now it's time to take it seriously," Hawaii state Rep. Gene Ward, a Republican, said, "not to be an alarmist, but to be informing people."

    North Korea's foreign minister has said the Communist nation may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean after dictator Kim Jong Un vowed he would take the "highest-level" action against the United States, South Korean media reported Thursday.

    Ri Yong Ho made the comments on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    "We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un," Yonhap quoted Ri as saying.

    Such a test would be considered a major provocation by the U.S., South Korea and Japan. Ri was scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday, a day later than previously scheduled.

    Ri's comments followed Kim's extraordinary statement lashing out at President Trump, calling the American leader "deranged" and vowing that Trump would "pay dearly" for his threat to destroy North Korea.

    Kim's first-person statement was published by North Korea's state propaganda arm in response to Trump's fiery speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. South Korean media called it the first such direct address to the world by Kim.

    Kim Dong-yub, a former South Korean military official who is now an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies, said Kim's statement indicated that North Korea would respond to Trump with its most aggressive missile test yet. That might include firing a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile over Japan to a range of around 4,349 miles, to display a capability to reach Hawaii or Alaska.
  6. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria
    Trump says Iran 'working with North Korea' after ballistic missile test
    Fox News September 24, 2017
    Iran tests ballistic missile in defiance of US warnings
    Rebeccah Heinrichs of the Hudson Institute weighs in on 'America's News HQ'

    President Trump accused Iran of collaborating with North Korea to strengthen their missile technology Saturday evening in a Twitter post criticizing the 2015 nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and five other nations.

    "Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel," Trump wrote. "They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!"

    Nonproliferation experts have long suspected North Korea and Iran are sharing know-how when it comes to their rogue missile programs. Earlier this month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier" that Iran would "certainly be someone who would be willing to pay" for that expertise.

    "The North Koreans have a long history of being proliferators and sharing their knowledge, their technology, their capacities around the world," Pompeo said. "As North Korea continues to improve its ability to do longer-range missiles and to put nuclear weapons on those missiles, it is very unlikely if they get that capability that they wouldn't share it with lots of folks."

    Trump posted the tweet hours after Iran claimed to have successfully tested a new ballistic missile capable of reaching parts of the Middle East, including Israel.

    The missile, known as the Khoramshahr, has a range of 1,250 miles and is based on a North Korean design. A similar missile was tested in late January and blew up 600 miles after launch.

    The Iranian test-launch constituted a direct challenge to Trump, who last month signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

    Trump has vowed repeatedly to take a tougher line toward Iran than his predecessor, threatening at various times to renegotiate or even dismantle the nuclear deal, and shoot Iranian boats out of the water if they provoke U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf.

    On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that he had made a decision about whether or not to pull out of the nuclear deal, but declined to say what it was.

    Earlier this week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed Iran would strengthen its missile capabilities without asking for any country’s permission, just days after Trump accused Iran in an address to the United Nations General Assembly of exporting violence to Yemen, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East.

    In that speech, Trump criticized the nuclear deal as "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."

    "Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States," the president proclaimed, "and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me."

    The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not strictly prohibit Iran from developing missiles but after the deal came into effect last year, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling on Iran not to take any actions related to ballistic missiles "designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons" for eight years.

    Iranian officials have argued that the measure only applies to missiles specifically designed to carry nuclear warheads.

    Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
  7. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Trump and North Korea war of words escalates
    24 September 2017

    North Koreans rally against "dotard psycho Trump"
    US President Donald Trump has made new threats against North Korea in response to the country's foreign minister's fiery speech at the UN on Saturday.

    Ri Yong-ho described Mr Trump as a "mentally deranged person full of megalomania" on a "suicide mission".

    The US president responded by saying Mr Ri and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "won't be around much longer" if they continue their rhetoric.

    The fresh insults came as US bombers flew close to North Korea's east coast.

    The Pentagon said the aim was to demonstrate the military options available to the US to defeat any threat.

    It said the flight was the farthest north of the demilitarised zone between the Koreas that any US fighter jet or bomber had flown in the 21st Century.

    Tensions have risen recently over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

    Despite weeks of angry words, experts have played down the risk of direct conflict between the two. However, there are concerns that the escalating rhetoric could lead to one side misinterpreting the other, with dangerous consequences.
    Ri Yong-ho's comments to the General Assembly on Saturday mimicked Mr Trump's remarks at the UN on Tuesday, when he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a "rocket man on a suicide mission".

    Mr Ri said that "insults" by Mr Trump were an "irreversible mistake making it inevitable" that North Korean rockets would hit the US mainland.

    The US president, the foreign minister said, would "pay dearly" for his speech, in which he also said he would "totally destroy" North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies.
    Image copyright US Pacific Command The bombers staged a show of force close to North Korea's east coast
    Shortly before his address, the Pentagon announced that the show of force underscored "the seriousness" with which the US took North Korea's "reckless" behaviour, calling the country's weapons programme a "grave threat".

    "This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat," it said in a statement.

    "We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies."

    US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam, escorted by Air Force F-15C Eagle fighters from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace, the Pentagon added.

    The flight follows a week of heated rhetoric between the leaders of both countries - after Mr Trump's comments, Mr Kim called him "mentally deranged" and "a dotard".


    Trump is making the US an 'inevitable target'
    Mr Ri did not comment on the Pentagon's announcement.

    North Korea has refused to stop its missile and nuclear tests, despite successive rounds of UN sanctions. Its leaders say nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it.

    After the North's latest and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on the country.

    But speaking at the UN, Mr Ri repeated that the restrictions would not make the country stop its nuclear development.


    How would war with North Korea unfold?
  8. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    The rocket man comment was priceless. Reminds me of the little mario stuff during the election. Funny how fragile the egos of these men are.
    Carol55, AED and Mary's child like this.
  9. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    North Korea Says It Has the Right to Shoot Down U.S. Warplanes
    The New York Times September 25, 2017
    © Richard Drew/Associated Press Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho of North Korea outside the United Nations in New York on Monday.

    North Korea threatened on Monday to shoot down American warplanes even if they were not in the country’s airspace and declared that President Trump’s menacing comments suggesting he would eradicate North Korea and its leaders were “a declaration of war.”

    The warning, made by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho of North Korea in New York after a week of United Nations General Assembly meetings, escalated the invective-laced exchanges with Mr. Trump and appeared to further preclude the possibility of a diplomatic exit from the biggest foreign crisis the administration has faced.

    Administration officials denied that the United States had declared war on the isolated, nuclear-armed country of 25 million people and did not immediately comment on the threat to shoot down American planes.

    But Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, said he saw no prospect of talks with North Korea that would allow its “de facto nuclear capability.” North Korea’s top leader, Kim Jong-un, has already ruled out giving up nuclear weapons.

    “The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” Mr. Ri told reporters at a news conference outside his hotel as he was about to return home.

    “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country,” he said.

    North Korea last shot down an American warplane in 1969, during the Nixon administration, killing all 31 crew members of a spy plane that was flying off its coast.

    Today, North Korea’s ability to make good on its threat is limited. Its air force is outdated, undertrained and frequently short of fuel. But the threat reinforced a fear that Pyongyang and Washington are hurtling toward a possible armed conflict, even an unintended one.

    Mr. Ri’s reference to the declaration of war appeared to refer to Mr. Trump’s assertion in a Twitter message over the weekend that the North Korean leadership may not “be around much longer” if it continues its threats.

    Mr. Ri said that the question of “who would be around much longer will be answered” by North Korea.

    It is possible that North Korea’s foreign minister wanted to make clear that it, too, could threaten pre-emptive military action, just as the United States has repeatedly suggested in recent months.

    But Mr. Trump’s tweet over the weekend appeared to go further, suggesting that mere threats, rather than a military attack, could drive him to wipe out the country. Whether that was one of his characteristic outbursts or a strategic effort to intimidate North Korea was not clear — even to some of his advisers.

    “If the goal is to intimidate the North Koreans, it needs to be understood that they are really hard to intimidate,” said Evans J. R. Revere, a Korea expert who is a former deputy assistant secretary of state.

    “They’re not used to an American president saying these things,” Mr. Revere said. “They’re also masters at responding when their leader is attacked.”

    The escalation of threats came two days after American warplanes flew close to the North’s coast, going farther north of the Demilitarized Zone — the dividing line between North and South — than any other American air mission since the turn of the century. The Air Force advertised the exercise, which involved only American aircraft, as a direct response to North Korea’s accelerated missile launches and a nuclear test two weeks ago.

    Mr. Ri, who is well connected to the country’s top leadership, also said last week that the North was considering conducting an atmospheric nuclear test in response to Mr. Trump’s threats, which would be the first by any nation in 37 years.

    It is unclear whether the North is capable of such a test, which is far more complicated and dangerous than the underground testing it has done six times in the past 11 years. But a senior Trump administration official said over the weekend that the Pentagon and intelligence agencies were taking the threat seriously and devising possible responses — including pre-emptive military strikes — for the White House.

    And Col. Robert Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Monday that if North Korea did not stop its provocative actions, “we will make sure that we provide options to the president to deal with North Korea.”

    The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, so hostilities have merely been in abeyance. Since then the North has often said that the United States was bringing the two countries “to the brink of war.”

    But Mr. Ri’s remark about downing American aircraft was new, and raised the possibility of a clash, even if a North Korean attack failed. He also said that “all options will be on the operations table of the supreme leadership” of North Korea.

    Political analysts said the Trump administration should consider Mr. Ri’s comments more than just verbal volleys.

    “I think they’re dangerously close to some kind of a conflict with North Korea,” said Jae H. Ku, the director of the U.S. Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

    “This is something I feared,” he said. “When we go down this road, our escalation could lead to accidental shootouts, and it may not be so accidental.”

    The increasing acrimony also alarmed China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, which strongly opposes the North’s missile and nuclear tests but has repeatedly urged de-escalation. “We want things to calm down,” China’s United Nations ambassador, Liu Jieyi, was quoted by Reuters as saying on Monday.

    North Korea had already deemed Mr. Trump’s threat at the United Nations — to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States were forced to defend itself or its allies — a declaration of war.

    Mr. Kim, in an unusual direct response, said last week that Mr. Trump’s insults to him and his country in his United Nations General Assembly speech amounted to the “most ferocious declaration of a war in history,” which warranted “the highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

    If North Korea were to shoot down a United States military aircraft, it would not be the first time since the 1950-53 Korean War. In April 1969, the North shot down an unarmed United States Lockheed EC-121 spy plane on a North Korean intelligence-gathering mission over the Sea of Japan. The 31 resulting deaths amounted to one of the biggest single losses of American military lives during the Cold War.

    North Korean state radio said at the time that the aircraft had penetrated “deep into the airspace” of the country. The Defense Department said the plane was 50 nautical miles off the North Korean coast.

    Hours after Mr. Ri spoke on Monday, General McMaster told a conference organized by the Institute for the Study of War in Washington that the administration had no set preconditions for talks with North Korea. But he said any new negotiations must be held “under conditions that are different from previous talks,” which he said were drawn out and yielded little progress.

    General McMaster said the administration does not want to negotiate in a way that “locks in the status quo as the new normal.”

    Asked about a maritime blockade as a military option, General McMaster said it would likely provoke retaliation by North Korea. He also said many people seem to think — incorrectly — that there is an easy military option.

    “What we’re not assuming is that anything we do will go without some kind of response to the situation,” he said.

    General McMaster would not comment on the North Korean threat to shoot down American warplanes.
  10. Dean

    Dean Archangels

    Right to shoot down planes? Sure you do, let me know how that ends for you.
    Tanker and Carol55 like this.
  11. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    I think that I should have called this thread the North Korea and Iran Threat...

    Many of you are probably aware that it is now thought that the recent Iranian missile test was "faked", that it was footage from the January test which failed.
    Iran's supposed missile launch was fake, US officials say
    By Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News September 25, 2017

    US officials say video of Iran missile launch is fake
    Iranian state television claimed footage showed the launch of a new type of medium-range ballistic missile; U.S. officials say footage is from failed launch in late January

    EXCLUSIVE: Iranian state television released video footage Friday claiming to show the launch of a new type of medium-range ballistic missile, a few hours after it was displayed during a military parade in Tehran.

    But it turns out Iran never fired a ballistic missile, sources say.

    The video released by the Iranians was more than seven months old – dating back to a failed launch in late January, which resulted in the missile exploding shortly after liftoff, according to two U.S. officials.

    President Trump had originally responded to the reported launch in a late-Saturday tweet, saying, “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!”

    This was after Trump, speaking before world leaders at the United Nations, called the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment” to the United States.

    “We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” he said.

    Trump later told reporters he had made up his mind about the deal, but wouldn't say whether he would pull the United States out of the nuclear accord with Iran.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking at the U.N. one day after Trump, maintained his country’s missile program was “solely defensive” in nature.

    “We never threaten anyone, but we do not tolerate threats from anyone,” he said. Rouhani returned to Tehran two days later to preside over the missile parade featuring the new medium-range design and said his country would build as many missiles as necessary to defend itself.

    Afterward, the footage was aired, with Iranian media claiming a successful test launch – though it apparently showed the failed January launch.

    At the time, Iran was attempting to launch its new Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile for the first time. It flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said at the time.

    The failed late January launch was first reported by Fox News and prompted the White House to put Iran “on notice” days later.

    Iran’s new medium-range missile is based on a North Korean design—Pyongyang’s BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel within reach if its problems are fixed.

    “The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Over the years, we've seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other's countries, and we've seen all kinds of common hardware.”

    Last weekend, a senior Iranian general said the missile had a range of less than 2,000 miles.

    "The Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers [1,250 miles] and can carry multiple warheads," Iran’s official IRNA news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards aerospace chief General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying.

    “I am not sure why the Iranians are lying about the range,” one U.S. official said. “I think they don’t want to piss the Europeans off.”

    The official and others declined to be identified because they were not authorized to disclose sensitive information to the press.

    Experts say Iran possesses the largest arsenal of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, with more than 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Tehran has conducted over 20 missile tests since 2015.

    According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Iran is “supplying proxies such as Hezbollah and Syria’s al-Assad regime with a steady supply of missiles and rockets” and “likely supplying Houthi rebel groups with short-range missiles in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.”

    U.N. resolution 2231 -- put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed -- calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct ballistic missile tests, but does not forbid them from doing so, after Russia and China insisted on the watered-down language in order to pass the resolution.

    Iran is "called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology," according to the text of the resolution.

    Iran claims the tests are legitimate because they are defensive in nature.
  12. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    I checked the footage that was released this past weekend and I don't think that they match. I really don't know, I think the news may some times use footage that isn't actual footage, that's the only thing that makes sense.

    Compared to footage in the following article...

    In any case, it is the dates that are coming up in regards to the Iran nuclear deal that really caught my attention coinciding with the 100th Anniversary of Fatima.

    Iran tests missile despite Trump pressure
    23 September 2017
    State TV broadcast footage of the missile test at an undisclosed location
    Iran says it has successfully tested a new-medium range missile, in defiance of US President Donald Trump.

    The launch of the Khoramshahr missile, which has a range of 2,000 km (1,242 miles), was shown on state TV. It is unclear when the test took place.

    On Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would increase its military power "as a deterrent".

    US President Donald Trump criticised the launch, saying the missile was capable of hitting its ally Israel.

    The Khoramshahr missile was first displayed at a military parade on Friday in Tehran. It is capable of carrying multiple warheads, Iranian media report.
    Iran's Defence Minister, Gen Amir Hatami, outlined the missile's "unique specifications".

    "The ability to evade the enemy's air defence line and to be guided from the moment of launch until the target is hit turns Khoramshahr into a tactical missile," he said.

    Iran would "not seek permission from any country for producing various kinds of missile", he added.

    A message to Trump
    By Kasra Naji, Special Correspondent, BBC Persian

    By test-firing a new missile, Iran is sending another signal of defiance taken straight from the North Korean textbook.

    The missile test is arguably a borderline case as far as the UN Security Council is concerned. A resolution calls on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

    The test comes ahead of two significant dates in the US:
    • The Trump administration is due to announce the details of its strategy vis-à-vis Iran around the end of September
    • On 15 October, Mr Trump will have to certify to Congress that Iran is compliant with the nuclear deal it reached with world powers in 2015. If Mr Trump refuses to certify compliance, Congress will have 60 days to re-impose sanctions on Iran
    Iran's test is a message to the US that it is determined to defend itself in any way it sees fit but it could also ultimately work against Iran as world public opinion will compare it to North Korea.

    Missile tests in Iran are said to require the approval of Mr Rouhani, and now it seems he has been pushed into a corner with the hardliners in Iran who see the North Korean path as the best response to Mr Trump's rhetoric and his disdain for the nuclear deal.
    The US announced fresh sanctions on Iran in July over its ballistic missile programme and what it said was Iran's support for terror organisations.

    It also imposed sanctions on Iran after a ballistic missile test in January. It says such launches violate the spirit of the 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

    In a tweet on Saturday, Mr Trump criticised Iran and accused it, without elaborating, of co-operating with the North Korean regime.

    Tehran insists its missile programme does not contravene the agreement. It says the missiles are not meant to carry nuclear warheads.

    At the UN General Assembly this week, the US and Iranian leaders traded barbs.

    Trump and Rouhani trade insults in UN podium duel
    Mr Trump included Iran among a "small group of rogue regimes", said its government was bent on "death and destruction" and said the nuclear agreement was an "embarrassment" to the US.

    Mr Rouhani responded by referring to a "rogue newcomer to international politics" and deplored the US leader's "ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric".

    He said his country would "not be the first" to violate the deal, which Mr Trump has threatened to pull out of despite other signatories and international monitors saying Iran has stuck by its terms.

    On Wednesday, Mr Trump said he had already made up his mind but would not yet reveal his decision.
  13. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

    Check the thread title ;-)
    Praetorian and Carol55 like this.
  14. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Brian, Thank you! You are a sweetie!!!
    gracia, Praetorian and BrianK like this.
  15. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria
    As North Korea threatens electromagnetic pulse attack, questions over lapses in US grid security rise
    By Hollie McKay, Fox News September 25, 2017

    For more than 15 years, security and intelligence officials — including former CIA Director James Woolsey — have been raising the alarm bells about the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. Only now as tensions with North Korea quickly escalate — with the rogue nation refusing to back down from its nuclear testing and threats of such an onslaught — is the matter really generating attention.

    But according to U.S. defense and security officials, while there are players purporting to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure given millions of American lives on the line, the reality is that no one really knows what will happen and what can be done.

    “We recognize that an EMP event would have extremely dire consequences for the entire country, but where the challenge comes is in attempting to quantify those impacts,” one high-ranking Department of Homeland Security official, who requested anonymity, told Fox News. “This is not something we have had a lot of real world experience with.”

    Kim Jong Un provides guidance with Ri Hong Sop (3rd L) and Hong Sung Mu (L) on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, September 3, 2017. (REUTERS/KCNA)

    Earlier this month, state news agencies in the Kim Jong Un-dictated country explicitly cautioned that it could hit the U.S. with an EMP offensive. A hydrogen bomb detonated at a high altitude would create an EMP that potentially could abolish prominent parts of the electrical grid. The higher the bomb’s detonation, the wider the scope of destruction. And given that high-altitude nuclear tests were prohibited as per a 1963 treaty, from the U.S. side, there is little scientific data to understand the devastation of a detonation on modern infrastructure.

    But the potential fallout from such an event is monstrous. In 2001, Congress enacted the since-disbanded Commission to Assess the Threat to the U.S. with regards to an EMP event, with commissioners testifying that up to 90 percent of Americans could die within a year of such an attack. All the functions communities rely upon — hospitals, water, waste, transport, telecommunications, air control, medical care — could potentially be decimated for not days or weeks, but months or years.

    “Our ability to know what would happen in the aftermath is highly uncertain. That being said, we are doing several things to deepen our understanding. There is a lot of information sharing,” noted the official. “We are looking at mitigation strategies and developing planning tools. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is involved too as there have been exercises and workshops related to catastrophic planning and EMP events. But DHS does not have authority to compel power operators to do anything, we do not have regulatory authority over grid operators.”

    The U.S. electrical grid, which is deemed one of the most vital pieces of infrastructure in the country and serves more than 300 million, does not have one singular oversight body responsible for its safeguarding — hence authorities have cautioned that the magnitude of threat has fallen between the cracks.

    “The military doesn’t think it is their job to make the grid resilient, even though 99 percent of their missions in continental United States rely on the civilian grid. The utilities don’t think it is their job because it is a national security problem. Besides, they don’t want to come up with the money, face more regulatory burdens or fool with making over parts of the grid with uncertain technical consequences,” lamented Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy President and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy under President Reagan, who has long warned of EMP’s efficiency to bring down America. “And because of the sweetheart regulatory arrangement they have at the federal level, they have been able to avoid it.”

    Rather, individual utilities are ultimately responsible for grid security but there is no standard mandate in place. The private nonprofit North American Energy Reliability Company (NERC) makes voluntary “best practices” recommendations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Energy (DOE) counterpart on security and preparedness efforts.

    According to the DHS, financing grid security — given that it doesn’t fall under the responsibility of one particular office — could have been done through slight rate increases, but efforts are typically bound by red tape.

    “If utilities want to increase their customer rates by one cent a kilowatt hour to help invest in a new effort for counter-terrorism or EMP they have to go to a public utility commission and convince them that these rate increases are beneficial and meet certain cost/benefit conditions,” said the official. “Frankly, public utility commissions are there to protect consumers and they tend to be skeptical and tend to really push utilities to think very hard about the times they come in and push for rate increases to help support these kinds of efforts. Unlike some other industries where they can immediately pass off costs to consumers, this is not the case with power companies. They are slower to move due to the regulatory environment they have to deal with.”



    Risk analyst and policy expert Dennis Santiago observed that any effort to harden the U.S. power grid — including the oldest and most interconnected portions of it in the eastern United States, which are especially exposed to disruption due to their age and design — have fallen short at the public utilities level because of “more pressing threats like physical attack security and cybersecurity.”

    “In the end, this process has left the U.S. with antiquated and vulnerable infrastructure,” he said. “There is no unified or specified commander charged with specifically marshalling America’s resources from the government and private sector into an active defense of the power grid. There are civil services and regulatory bodies mostly focused on energy as utilities but nothing looks like an energy version of a military defense command.”

    However, DHS authorities, in conjunction with the Department of Energy, claim that even before North Korea’s provocations they started ramping up efforts — around a year ago — to make grid vulnerability higher on the priority list. The issue was always secondary to threats considered to be more acute by the intelligence community such as counter-terrorism post 9/11 and later cybersecurity and “more destructive type natural hazards.”

    “If something happens in two weeks, we wouldn’t be able to close all the gaps of vulnerability,” pointed out the official. “But having looked at this issue for a number of years, we are taking appropriate action given our set of responsibilities and authorities.”

    A spokesperson for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) additionally told Fox News that they are “constantly working with federal partners to identify threats and vulnerabilities that could impact the power grid” and, in coordination with the federal partners, are working to “mitigate threats and where appropriate work with the private sector.”

    But beyond the North Korea threat, experts also bemoan that Iran, Russia and China too have assimilated EMP attack into their military creeds, posing a significant peril to the United States.

    “The very existence of the nation is at stake,” Gaffney added. “We are facing explicit threats to use EMP against us from the North Koreans — and there is a lot of capability to execute such an attack in the hands of other enemies.”
  16. BrianK

    BrianK Proud2bRC Staff Member

  17. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Brian, That is a great post! You may want to post it on the "Signs" thread also or on it's own thread so many members on MOG will see it.

    I was in 7th grade when the Vietnam War ended. I remember my parish church taking in two South Vietnamese families. They each had daughters my age and both girls entered my class. I also remember becoming good friends with one of them, her name has Calé. I even went to the rectory after school to meet her family and "hang out" with her a few times. She showed me the pile of money that was no longer useable that her family brought with them to the USA, she gave me a few "bills" and I am certain that I have them somewhere in my home. In any case, it left a huge impression on me at the time. Hearing about the war secondhand was one thing, meeting a family who survived it all was a whole other experience IMHO. They had their lives but I quickly realized how much they had lost.

    There are some similarities between what is occurring with the Church and the USA. We all must remember, united we stand divided we fall. I pray that both my nation and my church will become united again, truly united.

    Another day, another related story...

    September 27, 2017 / 10:19 PM / Updated 3 hours ago
    South Korea expects more provocative acts by North Korea in mid-October
    Christine Kim
    A South Korean soldier stands guard at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea, September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

    SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea expects more provocative acts by North Korea next month, to coincide with the anniversary of the founding of the North Korean communist party and China’s all-important Communist Party Congress.

    During a meeting with President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18, but gave no details.

    The South Korean security adviser’s report also pointed to the risk that a military conflict could by sparked by “accidental incidents,” said Park Wan-ju, a lawmaker and head spokesman of the ruling Democratic Party.

    “The president said the United States speaks of military and diplomatic options, but South Korea can’t go through war again,” said Park.

    Tension on the Korean peninsula has risen in recent weeks as North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged war-like threats and insults over the North’s nuclear and missile development program.

    The North has accused Trump of declaring war after he warned Kim’s regime would not last if he persisted in threatening the United States and its allies, having earlier warned North Korea would be totally destroyed in such an event.

    Asked if China had a plan to respond to an emergency in North Korea, such as securing nuclear and missile sites, Chinese defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian said, “Military means cannot become an option,” and urged talks to resolve the issue. “The Chinese military will make all necessary preparations to protect the country’s sovereignty and security and regional peace and stability,” he added, without elaborating.

    Related Coverage
    China has vowed to uphold U.N. sanctions against North Korea, besides seeking to get stalled talks restarted with Pyongyang.

    On Thursday, China’s commerce ministry said North Korean firms or joint ventures in China would be shut within 120 days of the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions passed on Sept. 12.

    Overseas Chinese joint ventures with North Korean entities or individuals will also be closed, the ministry said in a statement on its website, without providing a timeframe.

    The ministry had issued similar rules after a previous set of U.N. sanctions in August.


    South Korean soldiers stand guard inside a conference room in the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission Conference Building at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea, September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

    Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a program aimed at eventually targeting the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

    The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

    China, the North’s main ally, would probably be extremely unhappy if Pyongyang tested a missile or carried out some other act during its Communist Party Congress, held every five years.

    Park said President Moon told the meeting that Washington and Seoul agreed that pressure needed to be applied to North Korea, with the door to talks still open.

    Slideshow (5 Images)

    In a separate speech on Thursday, Moon said cooperation with the international community to curb the North’s nuclear ambitions was at its highest ever and called for the strengthening of South Korea-U.S. defenses to rein in the North.

    Expulsion of North Korean diplomats has been among the measures countries have taken against the reclusive state since its latest nuclear test.

    Malaysia banned citizens from traveling to North Korea, citing the escalating tension on the Korean peninsula.


    South Korean lawmakers said Chung had told them the United States and South Korea had agreed on the rotational deployment of U.S. strategic assets to South Korea, possibly as soon as year-end. The nature of the assets was not specified.

    President Moon added it was inappropriate to discuss the deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea, the lawmakers said.

    Moon said he had opposed the deployment of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in South Korea, but rapid improvement in North Korea’s missile capabilities prompted the decision.

    China opposes the deployment of THAAD because it believes its powerful radar could be used to look inside its territory. South Korea and the United States have said it is only to curb North Korea’s missile threats.

    Additional reporting by Christian Shepherd and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Clarence Fernandez
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  18. MMM

    MMM Archangels

    I really don't think NK or Iran are any major threat at all. No country is going to start something that would initiate it's certain annihilation. If any country has learned anything these late 17 years its that if you don't show a face of strength you will be invaded and crushed by the USA or it's allies. Ask Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Syria.

    Countries test missiles all the time but somehow the US thinks it gets to decide who is allowed and who isn't. It's about power and control. Countries do a have right to defend themselves.

    Having nuclear weapons might be the only way one doesn't get attacked by the US sadly.

    The greatest threat to peace is US imperialism. Save for NK it was all planned years ago in this rare honest response from General Wesley Clark....
  19. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Thank you for your post.

    I can't agree with many of the statements because I honestly do not know all the specifics of what has happened in the past, I don't believe that anyone really does.

    I pray that you are correct that "No country is going to start something the would initiate it's certain annihilation."

    I am also not certain about all of the particulars related to other countries testing missiles but I wonder if they have been as haphazard with their tests as the DPRK has been lately. From what I have read they could have easily hit a jet flying in or out of Japan.

    The following statement from one of the above articles is very concerning,
    "North Korea threatened on Monday to shoot down American warplanes even if they were not in the country’s airspace and declared that President Trump’s menacing comments suggesting he would eradicate North Korea and its leaders were “a declaration of war.” "

    In addition the following in relation to Iran is concerning even if they did "fake" the new launch especially since they are waiting on President Trump's decision in relation to the Iran nuclear deal,
    "By test-firing a new missile, Iran is sending another signal of defiance taken straight from the North Korean textbook.

    The missile test is arguably a borderline case as far as the UN Security Council is concerned. A resolution calls on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons."

    I created this thread as opposed to posting these articles on the "Signs" thread because some people are interested in this news and others may not be. I will continue to post the latest articles on the subject and I will continue to pray that things do not continue to escalate.

    May God bless you.
  20. Luan Ribeiro

    Luan Ribeiro Archangels

    North Korea seen moving missiles from development center: South Korean broadcaster
    • Several North Korean missiles were recently spotted moved from a rocket facility in the capital Pyongyang, South Korea's Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) reported
    • The report cited an unnamed intelligence source saying South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials detected missiles being transported away from North Korea's Missile Research and Development Facility

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