Tag Archives: north korea

Big John: North Korea-US Summit, what happened while you were sleeping.

Big John provides a recap on what happened during the North Korea-US summit; from Economic Council Larry Kudlow and his heart attack before the summit, the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un, to the media conference after. Here is what you missed while you were sleeping.

Ramblin’ Ray was out today from back issues.

Mark Levin: Voting for National Radio Hall of Fame

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined by ‘The Great One’, Mark Levin, to get his comments on North Korea and information on his nomination to be in the Radio Hall of Fame.

Listen to The Mark Levin Show weekdays from 7 pm to 12 am on WLS-AM.

You can help him be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame by texting ‘500’ to 96000, or online at radiovote.com. Don’t wait, voting ends June 18th!

Learn more at nationalradiohalloffame.com

North Korea holds large-scale artillery drill, US moves anti-missile system to South Korea

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CNN’s Will Ripley reports from Pyongyang on the growing tension between the US and North Korea.



Parts of controversial US anti-missile system moved to South Korean site
By Euan McKirdy and Paula Hancock,CNN

Parts of a US-built anti-missile system designed to mitigate the threat of North Korean missiles have been moved to the planned deployment site in South Korea as tensions with the nuclear-armed country escalate.

Trucks hauling components of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system rolled into the site in North Gyeongsang province, according to a statement from the South Korean Defense Ministry on Wednesday.

“Both South Korea and the United States have been working to secure the operational capacity of the THAAD system in preparation for North Korea’s advanced nuclear-missile threat,” the statement said.

“Therefore, this measure was to secure operational capacity by placing some parts of the available THAAD system at the deployment site.”

The missile system has angered North Korea and also drawn sharp opposition from China, which sees it as a threat to its own security.

“We have expressed serious concern to the US and South Korean sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday.

“The US-South Korean deployment of THAAD in South Korea will harm strategic balance in the region and further stimulate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“China strongly urges the US and South Korea to stop actions that would raise regional tensions as well as harm China’s strategic and security interests by canceling the THAAD deployment and withdrawing relevant equipment.”

He added that China will “firmly take necessary measures to safeguard its own interests.”

In Seongju county, at the location of the THAAD site, around 4,000 police were present to ensure the equipment’s delivery.

Around 400 protesters were present at a demonstration near the site, and police in riot gear held back protesters as the equipment rolled past on military trucks.

Hwang Soo-young, an activist with the government watchdog group, the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), was at the site of the protest Wednesday morning. She claimed that the protests turned violent as “police were pushing residents away.”

She claimed six people were injured during the encounter, although CNN has not been able to independently verify the claim.

She said that vehicles with equipment “including radar, launchers and generators” started passing the village of Soseongri at around 4.45 a.m. (3.45 p.m. Tuesday ET).

Local complaints center around the lack of consultation over the decision to deploy the missile system near their homes. The voices of local people were “never heard, they never asked these people,” she said.

The goal is to have the complete system fully operational by the end of this year but the US and South Korea have publicly stressed the need to speed up the deployment of the technology as tensions have mounted with Pyongyang.

On Tuesday, North Korea staged a pounding display of artillery guns, while the US began joint naval drills in the region with South Korea and Japan and the USS Michigan, one of the most powerful submarines in the American arsenal, docked in South Korea.

And later on Wednesday, the White House will hold an unusual briefing on North Korea, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and other officials outlining the threat for the entire Senate.

Anti-missile system

THAAD is designed to shoot down incoming short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles that threaten civilian populations, just the type of weapons North Korea claims it has.

Each THAAD system is composed of five major components: interceptors, launchers, a radar, a fire control unit and support equipment, according to Lockheed Martin, the security and aerospace company that serves as the prime contractor for the equipment.

“Deploying THAAD is a critical measure to defend the ROK (Republic of Korea) people and Alliance forces against North Korean missile threats, as highlighted by the recent ballistic missile launches by North Korea,” a statement from the office of the US Secretary of Defense said Tuesday.

“North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs represent a clear, grave threat to US national security in the United States, the ROK and Japan.”

Opposition at home
The announcement to deploy THAAD has also faced opposition from many residents of Seongju county, near the deployment site, and criticism of the decision to deploy it — against the backdrop of the increased militarization of the Korean Peninsula — was a key part of protests that helped bring down former President Park Geun-hye.

“The decision made by the government to deploy THAAD was not democratic at all,” said Baek Ga-yoon, coordinator for the Center for Peace and Disarmament, which advocates for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

She accused acting-President Hwang Kyo-ahn of taking advantage of the political instability around Park’s impeachment to press ahead with THAAD’s deployment “without any agreement from the National Assembly and the villagers of Seongju.”

Koreans go to the polls on May 9 to choose Park’s replacement.

The upcoming election is expected to result in a swing to the left, likely in favor of the Democratic United Party’s Moon Jae-in, who narrowly lost to Park in 2012 and has led opinion polls since her ouster.

Moon’s party has been critical of the THAAD agreement and suggested it should be renegotiated, saying Park should have sought the approval of the National Assembly before deployment began.

“Presidential candidate Moon Jae-in has consistently stated that the deployment of THAAD should be decided by the next government through taking into account sufficient public consultation, consensus and consideration of our national interests and the ROK-US alliance,” a statement released by Moon’s spokesman, Park Kwang-on, read.

“It is better to discontinue the deployment of the equipments and pass the final decision to the next government after going through public and national consensus and consultation between ROK-US.”

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

North Korea claims to have nuclear warheads that can fit on missiles

By Steve Almasy and Euan McKirdy, CNN

(PYONGYANG) North Korea claims to have miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit on ballistic missiles, state-run Korea Central News Agency reported.

The report comes after the country reported a successful test of what it said was a hydrogen bomb in February and as tensions on the peninsula remain high as joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises take place.

State media reported Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with nuclear scientists and technicians who briefed him on “research conducted to tip various type tactical and strategic ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.”

The agency also published photographs that appeared to show Kim visiting a facility where the warheads have been made to fit on ballistic missiles — the first time state media has released images showing its miniaturized weapons technology. CNN cannot independently confirm the photos veracity or the claims of KCNA.

David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security told CNN’s Brian Todd on Monday that his group thinks the North Koreans had probably already miniaturized a warhead.

A South Korean Defense White Paper from 2014 also noted that its neighbor’s ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons seemed, at the time, “to have reached a considerable level.”

While there are concerns about the progress being made, analysts say that the reclusive nation does not yet have the ability to launch a strike on U.S. soil.

“They don’t have a proven ICBM capability and a warhead that could survive re-entry as I understand it,” Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNN by phone from Tokyo.

“So there are probably some technical difficulties there for hitting the United States.

“The point here is that with every test, the North Koreans are going to learn something and they’re going to make progress. And we probably should not underestimate their capability … if not today, then tomorrow.”

Escalation on the peninsula
The news comes as tensions are once again heightened on the Korean Peninsula, with the United States and South Korea conducting what has been described by a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman as the “largest ever” joint military exercises, in which around 17,000 U.S. military personnel are participating alongside some 300,000 South Korean troops, according to U.S. Forces Korea.

North Korea on Sunday warned it would make a “pre-emptive and offensive nuclear strike” in response to the joint exercises.
The military spokesman said that the two allies were “closely monitoring” signs of North Korean provocation.

“As of now, there are no direct sign of provocation, but we are planning to continuously strengthen surveillance,” South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said.
South Korea said it is keeping an eye on the situation with the help of U.S. intelligence authorities.

“South Korean Defense Ministry assesses North Korea, at this point, has not secured the capability of miniaturizing a nuclear warhead nor does it have actual combat capability of KN-08,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry said.

Analysts are questioning the wisdom of expansion of the annual exercises at a time when Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions look as advanced as ever seen.

“I didn’t see the logic of expanding the exercises,” Stephan Haggard, professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego, and one of the authors of the North Korea: Witness to Transformation blog told CNN.

“I personally think that upping the sizes of the (joint U.S.-South Korea military) exercises didn’t serve any material function. It’s not clear that the size will bring North Korea back to the diplomatic table, so there’s no real purpose to do that.

“All you’ve done is stir the viper’s next. And the North Korean military and the leadership I’m sure is extremely nervous. Because it’s coming in the context of the sanctions, and the Chinese are clearly displeased.”
The North Korean warning also follows last week’s sanctions announced by the 15-member U.N. Security Council, which Pyongyang has denounced as “unprecedented and gangster-like.”

Bomb test
Discussions about new sanctions started after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in January, its fourth nuclear test.

Then, in February, Pyongyang said it had successfully launched an Earth satellite into orbit via the long-range Kwangmyongsong carrier rocket.
The Security Council called those moves “violations and flagrant disregard” of previous resolutions.

On Friday, KCNA reported that Kim said his country’s “nuclear warheads need to be ready for use at any time.”

“Under the extreme situation that the U.S. imperialist is misusing its military influence and is pressuring other countries and people to start war and catastrophe, the only way for our people to protect sovereignty and rights to live is to strengthen the quality and quantity of nuclear power and realize the balance of power,” Kim said, according to KCNA.

This rhetoric came out a day after the news agency reported tests of a new multiple-launch rocket system. This may or may not be referring to a launch of “short-range projectiles” chronicled one day earlier by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Pyongyang has long boasted about its nuclear ambitions, about as long as South Korea and the United States have sought to derail them. The issue has only furthered the isolation of North Korea, a communist, closed-off state led for decades by the authoritarian Kim, his late father and his grandfather.

A chief concern is not only that Pyongyang will develop effective nuclear warheads, but that they’ll pair them with missiles that can strike targets around East Asia and perhaps beyond.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.