Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, May 28, 2009

North Korea Test May Trigger WAR

By Viola Gienger

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said North Korea’s nuclear test may present an opening for China to back a tougher response from the international community.

“Just based on what the Chinese government has said publicly, they’re clearly pretty unhappy,” Gates told reporters traveling with him today to Singapore for an annual Asian security conference known as the Shangri-La Dialogue. “It is important for the Chinese to be part of any effort to try and deal with these issues.”

China’s foreign ministry has said the country “resolutely opposes” North Korea’s nuclear test. On May 25 China agreed with the U.S., Japan and Russia to work toward a United Nations resolution censuring North Korea. Any diplomatic response and economic sanctions should be coordinated among partner countries, Gates said, adding that he doesn’t foresee military action “unless they do something that requires it.”

Potential sanctions should be aimed at the regime without causing harm to the North Korean people, Gates said. North Korea’s actions don’t require any reinforcement of the U.S. military presence in South Korea, he said. There are 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the country.

Gates is traveling to Singapore and then to the Philippines to reinforce President Barack Obama’s message that the new administration won’t waver in the long-held U.S. commitment to Asian security. The defense assurances take on added urgency since North Korea conducted the nuclear test, its second in three years, and also launched five short-range missiles.

North Korea Missile Launch

Seizing Weapons

South Korea reacted to the provocation by joining a U.S.- led program to seize illegally transferred weapons of mass destruction. That prompted another round of threats, with the North Koreans saying they would retaliate militarily to any such move and no longer felt bound by the 1953 armistice that ended the war between the two nations. Gates indicated he didn’t see an imminent threat.

“I don’t believe that anybody in the administration thinks that there is a crisis,” Gates said.

The events of the past week mark an escalation of tensions since last year, when North Korea refused to abide by what the U.S. said were verbal pledges to allow sufficient inspections to verify the extent of its nuclear activities. The breakdown in six-nation talks to end the atomic program followed reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had suffered a stroke.

International Condemnation

The actions have drawn international condemnation and the prospect of increased UN sanctions against the communist nation. The UN and the six-nation talks that also involve Japan, Russia, China and South Korea are still the best forum for resolving the issues, Gates said.

“I don’t want to put the burden entirely on China,” Gates said. “The reality is that while China has more influence probably than anybody else on North Korea, I believe that that influence has its limits.”

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry on Thursday said that the Obama administration has to consider possible military action against Pyongyang if other coercive measures couldn't frustrate its nuclear ambition.

"I'm not recommending military action. But somewhere along in this series of coercive actions, one can imagine an escalation, and if the ones that are less do not succeed, we have to be willing to consider the other ones," Perry told a forum of the Council on Foreign Relations.

According to Perry, who had faced a similar confrontation with Pyongyang when he was Bill Clinton's defense secretary from 1994 to 1996, the Obama administration should also consider preemptive strikes to stop the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to conduct a test of a missile loaded with nuclear weapon.

"I do believe that diplomacy still has a chance of success, but only if it is robust and only if its robustness includes some meaningful coercion on opponents," he said, adding that the administrations' approach policy toward Pyongyang in the framework of the six-party talks had failed.

The diplomacy has "a much steeper hill to climb now than it did in 2003 because they now have a bomb," said Perry, adding "that option has now disappeared."

Perry's comment on the DPRK nuclear crisis echoed a previous claim made by Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who hints the U.S. military has determination and capacity to deal with any threat by the DPRK.

"The issue of a third war would be a huge challenge. We have got reserve capacity in our military, a very strong Navy, a very strong Air Force. So I would not want anybody to think that we don't have the capacity to respond," said Mullen, responding to the DPRK's announcement of nuclear test on Monday.

The North Korea nuclear crisis deepened today after the regime reportedly restarted its main nuclear reactor and threatened to attack South Korea if it joined US-led inspections of vessels suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

In its most belligerent broadside yet in the standoff, North Korea warned that it would view as a declaration of war any participation by Seoul in the naval exercise, known as the Proliferation Security Initiative.

The state-controlled Korean Central News Agency quoted a North Korean army spokesman as saying: "Any hostile act against our peaceful vessels including search and seizure will be considered an unpardonable infringement on our sovereignty and we will immediately respond with a powerful military strike."

The statement added that the regime no longer considered itself bound by the armistice that ended the Korean war in 1953. The demarcation line separating north from south is among the most heavily fortified borders in the world.

The latest round of provocation comes amid reports that the north test-fired two more short-range missiles yesterday, bringing to five the number of rockets it has launched this week. A South Korean defence official said the north had fired two missiles on Monday, not three as reported in the media.

On Monday, North Korea enraged the US and irritated its allies China and Russia after conducting a nuclear weapons test, its second in three years.

The UN security council condemned the test and is reportedly considering adding to the sanctions agreed after Pyongyang detonated its first nuclear weapon in October 2006.

North-south tensions have been mounting since yesterday, when South Korea said it would assist the US in intercepting ships suspected of carrying missiles.

The north accused the US, a signatory of the armistice, of "dragging" the south into the naval inspections programme as part of its "hostile policy" against Pyongyang, adding that it could not guarantee the safety of South Korean and US naval vessels sailing near the disputed western Korean sea border.

The north appeared to have made good on a threat to restart its main nuclear reactor, which it had started to dismantle two years ago as part of a now ruined aid-for-disarmament deal reached at six-party talks in Beijing.

The regime walked away from the talks and threatened to resume plutonium production last month after the UN security council condemned its test-launch of a long-range ballistic missile on 5 April.

Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, carried unconfirmed reports that US spy satellites had spotted steam rising from the north's main Yongbyon plant. The facility is capable of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods used in the production of weapons-grade plutonium.

There were no signs that it had actually started extracting a new batch of plutonium, a process experts said could take up to a year.

Fears that the north's dormant nuclear weapons programme has been restarted were heightened by reports of sporadic activity at the Soviet-era plant in recent weeks, including sightings of vehicles carrying chemicals through its front gates.

North Korea is thought to possess between five and seven nuclear weapons and enough fuel rods to produce another bomb by the end of the year.

In Seoul, a military spokesman said the north had test-fired another three short-range missiles yesterday from a base near the east coast city of Hamhung into the Sea of Japan.

The most recent launches have been interpreted as a warning to the US not to attempt to collect radiation data from its coastline after the Pentagon sent a surveillance aircraft close to North Korean airspace on Monday.

Although the regime is believed to be some way off perfecting the technology to attach nuclear devices to its missiles, the flurry of military activity this week has increased the pressure on the UN to act quickly.

The 15-member security council condemned the test after emergency talks on Monday and is expected to meet again soon to discuss a new resolution that could include fresh sanctions.

While the world considered its response, North Korean military officials celebrated Monday's test at a sports stadium in Pyongyang. The KNCA quoted Choe Thae-bok, a high ranking party official, as saying that the test was intended to protect the country against "the US imperialists' unabated threat to mount a pre-emptive nuclear attack and [place] sanctions and pressure on it".

There was more rhetoric from the North Korean party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, which said the country was "fully ready for battle" against the US and accused Barack Obama of "following in the footsteps of the previous Bush administration's reckless policy of militarily stifling North Korea".

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