North Korean official says Trump tweets are declaration of war

North Korea has ratcheted up the rhetoric to the brink of war.

The rogue nation’s foreign Minister said today that the U.S. has already declared war on North Korea, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ri Yong Ho said President Trump’s recent comments, apparently including Twitter messages, constitute a declaration of  war.

Ri told reporters North Korea would “shoot down U.S. strategic bombers, even if they are not yet inside air-space border of our country.”

U.S. bombers over the weekend flew near North Korea as part of exercises.

On Saturday Trump tweeted, “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

Ri said today if North Korea takes action against U.S. warplanes, “The question of who will be around much longer will be answered then.”

 

Advertisements

Could North Korea actually defeat the U.S.?

Kim Jong Un with a reported hydrogen bomb. (Reuters pix via WSJ)

Decades ago while I was writing about the threat of a nuclear attack on the nearby Strategic Command Air Force base, my managing editor informed me who would be the unlucky ones in that eventually: Those who would look up and ask: What was that?

The threat then was the Soviet Union. Now North Korea has openly stated the possibility of attacking the U.S. with a single nuclear weapon at high altitude that could destroy much of this country’s electronic infrastructure.

The Wall Street Journal reports that North Korea’s state news agency on Sunday morning, after detonating another nuclear weapon test, specifically stated that it has “a multifunctional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack.” EMP is an electromagnetic pulse that could cripple the power grid and destroy electronics that allow water to be pumped, food to be refrigerated, banking accounts to be accessed, fuel pumping, communications, electronics in many vehicles and so much more.

How big a threat is EMP? One report from a couple of years ago estimated as much as 90 percent of the population of the U.S. might die from starvation, disease and social tumult after such an attack.

In a 2015 newspaper column I wrote about what was being done to protect the country from such an attack. The answer: Virtually nothing. Because our “leaders” deemed global warming the biggest threat to mankind.

A year a ago I again wrote about the impact of an EMP attack.

In December I wrote about how Nevada could play a role in defense efforts. And there are a half dozen other blogs posted here about EMP.

The cost to harden the power grid against EMP has been placed at somewhere between a half a billion dollars and a couple of billion. Washington spends three times that in one minute.

This game of chicken is ‘bereft of reason’

Michael Ramirez cartoon

OK, here’s what we plan to do: On a day in the near future we are going to do target practice in the direction of your house, but we don’t plan to hit you or it, so you should not fire back. Got it?

That’s pretty much what that North Korea military officer said, according to The Associated Press account:

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers. If carried out, it would be the North’s most provocative missile launch to date.

The announcement Thursday warned that the North is finalizing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around the tiny island, which hosts 7,000 U.S. military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000.

Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan.

It said the plan, which involves the missiles hitting waters 19 to 25 miles from the island, could be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval within a week or so. It would be up to Kim whether the move is actually carried out.

We know North Korea has test fired a number of missiles, but we have no idea how accurate their aim has been. After all, so far they have able to hit an ocean.

The insane announcement came after Trump said of North Korea’s continued provocations: “it faces retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before.”

A North Korean general replied by saying: “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”

It would take 18 minutes for the missiles to reach Guam once fired from their mobile launchers. Not a lot of time to decide how to react.

Bereft of reason?

A news broadcast in Seoul shows the distance between North Korea and Guam. (Getty Images pix)

 

 

Contrasting behavior today with this day in history

Washington at the Battle of Trenton

On this day in 1776 in freezing weather the Continental Army overwhelmed Hessian forces — still groggy from their Christmas imbibing — and captured the town Of Trenton, New Jersey.

The This Day in History website recounts:

Although the victory was minor from a strategic perspective, it bore tremendous significance for the future of the Continental Army. Washington needed a success before his solders’ enlistments expired on December 31 — without a dramatic upswing in morale, he was likely to lose the soldiers under his command and be unable to recruit new men to replace them. The victories at Trenton and a few days later at Princeton proved to the American public that their army was indeed capable of victory and worthy of support.

The image of ragged farm-boy Patriots defeating drunken foreign mercenaries has become ingrained in the American imagination. Then as now, Washington’s crossing and the Battle of Trenton were emblematic of the American Patriots’ surprising ability to overcome the tremendous odds they faced in challenging the wealthy and powerful British empire.

Today we celebrate the bravery of Mesquite theater goers who faced down the threat of having their iPhones hacked by a North Korean dictator in order to view a slapstick, l0w-brow comic movie, while million-dollar jet fighters bomb 13th century lunatics from 30,000 feet in the Middle East and our economic sanctions drive up the cost of bread in Moscow and our president unilaterally normalizes relations with a totalitarian regime in the Caribbean.