North Korea Will Be Destroyed

Picture of North Korea Will Be Destroyed

SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States warned North Korea’s leadership it would be “utterly destroyed” if war were to break out after Pyongyang test fired its most advanced missile, putting the U.S. mainland within range, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The Trump administration has repeatedly said all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear weapons programmes, including military ones, but that it still prefers a diplomatic option.

Speaking at an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting, U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States had never sought war with North Korea. “If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday,” she said. “...and if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” Haley said the United States has asked China to cut off oil supply to North Korea, a drastic step that Beijing - the North’s neighbour and sole major trading partner - has so far refrained from doing.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping talked on the phone earlier on Wednesday. “Just spoke to President Xi Jinping of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Previous U.S. administrations have failed to stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and a sophisticated missile programme.

Trump, who has previously said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary to protect itself and its allies from the nuclear threat, has also struggled to contain Pyongyang since he came to office in January. Urging China to use its leverage and promising more sanctions against North Korea are two strategies that have borne little fruit so far. In a speech in Missouri about taxes, Trump, who has traded insults with the North in the past, referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a derisive nickname.

“Little Rocket Man. He is a sick puppy,” Trump said. For a graphic on North Korea's missile program, click “CLOCK TICKING” North Korea, which conducted its sixth and largest nuclear bomb test in September, has tested dozens of ballistic missiles under Kim’s leadership. Pyongyang has said its weapons programmes are a necessary defence against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, denies any such intention.

North Korean state media said on Wednesday the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched from a newly developed vehicle in a “breakthrough” and that the warhead could withstand the pressure of re-entering the atmosphere. Kim personally guided the missile test and said the new launcher was ”impeccable“. Pyongyang claimed it had “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called on North Korea to stop its weapons tests and for the United States and South Korea not to hold military drills in December as it would “inflame an already explosive situation”. United States ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley speaks during a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss a North Korean missile launch at UN headquarters in New York, U.

S., November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonThe official China Daily newspaper said in an editorial that the latest launch may have been prompted by the Trump administration’s decision to label North Korea a sponsor of state terrorism. Beijing wants the two “belligerents” to calm down and is vexed that a golden opportunity to encourage Pyongyang into talks was “casually wasted” by the Trump administration, the paper said.

“The clock is ticking down to one of two choices: learning to live with the DPRK having nuclear weapons or triggering a tripwire to the worst-case scenario,” it added. North Korea said the new missile soared to an altitude of about 4,475 km (2,780 miles) - more than 10 times the height of the International Space Station - and flew 950 km (590 miles) during its 53-minute flight. It flew higher and longer than any North Korean missile before, landing in the sea near Japan.

Slideshow (11 Images)Photos released by North Korean state media appeared to show a missile being positioned on the launch site by a mobile vehicle, designed to allow the missile to be fired from a wider number of areas to prevent it being intercepted before launch. Kim is shown laughing and smiling with officials both next to the missile as it is readied, and in a control booth. The launch itself shows the missile lifting off amid smoke and fire, with Kim watching from a field in the distance.

U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded from satellite and other data that the test missile was fired from a fixed position, not a mobile launcher, three U.S. officials said. One official said the test appears to demonstrate a more powerful North Korean solid-fuel propulsion system, especially in its second stage rocket. The photos also revealed a larger diameter missile, which could allow it to carry a larger warhead and use a more powerful engine, said David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a U.

S.-based nonprofit science advocacy group. Three U.S. intelligence analysts said they were trying to assess whether North Korea’s comments meant Kim might now be open to a longer halt in testing in order to reopen negotiations that might help prevent, or at least defer, the imposition of additional sanctions. The officials also noted, however, that North Korea has not proved it has an accurate guidance system for an ICBM or a re-entry vehicle capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and surviving a return from space through Earth’s atmosphere, meaning further tests would be needed.

An international meeting in Canada in January is designed to produce “better ideas” to ease tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests, Canadian officials said on Wednesday, although North Korea itself will not be invited. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday the United States has “a long list of additional potential sanctions, some of which involve potential financial institutions, and the Treasury Department will be announcing those when they’re ready to roll those out”.

In just three months, South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics at a resort just 80 km (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border with North Korea. (For a graphic on North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, click ) (Interactive graphic: Nuclear North Korea, click ) Reporting by Christine Kim and Soyoung Kim in Seoul, Linda Sieg, William Mallard, Timothy Kelly in Tokyo, Mark Hosenball, John Walcott, Steve Holland, Susan Heavey and Tim Ahmann, Makini Brice in Washington, Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Michael Martina and Christian Shepherd in Beijing; Writing by Yara Bayoumy, Lincoln Feast and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Alistair Bell, Michael Perry and Nick MacfieOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Foreign tourists in North Korea are invariably steered to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang, which documents the isolated nation’s crucible years: the 1950-53 war that split the Korean Peninsula in two. Rural schoolchildren dressed in military uniform and wearing the bright red neckties of the Youth Revolutionary League listen wide-eyed as guides explain atrocities by the “US aggressors” committed during the war.

Many of these atrocities refer to what Blaine Harden, author and former Washington Post reporter, recently called a “long, leisurely and merciless” US bombing campaign: well over half a million tons of bombs dropped, napalm and chemical weapons deployed, cities levelled. A napalm bomb lands on a North Korean factory on May 18th, 1951. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images “Although the ferocity of the bombing was recognised as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world,” says Harden, for many Americans it was just another conflict in a distant and poorly understood country, he concludes.

Not for nothing is it called the forgotten war. The result was perhaps three million dead and, the museum recalls, the first US armistice in history signed without a victory. In three years of fighting a single major city changed hands: Kaesong, which is now the last vestige of a once hopeful détente with the South. Air Force general Curtis LeMay, head of the strategic air command during the Korean War, estimated that the American campaign killed 20 per cent of the population.

“We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea,” he said. ‘Radioactive cobalt’ General Douglas MacArthur’s plan to win was a list of targets sent to the Pentagon, requesting 34 atomic bombs to create “a belt of radioactive cobalt across the neck of Manchuria so that there could be no land invasion of Korea from the north for at least 60 years”.

Air Force general Curtis LeMay, head of the strategic air command during the Korean War, estimated that the American campaign killed 20 per cent of the population  Out of the wreckage of that conflict – unresolved to this day – founder Kim Il-sung built his isolated state, squeezed to the north by an old enemy, China, and a new one, the American-backed South. Instead of nursery rhymes, schoolchildren were taught songs about the “American imperialist bastards” and their “lackeys” in Seoul and Tokyo.

Incursions by American spy ships and planes, and huge annual drills by the Americans and South Koreans that still practise invading the North and decapitating its leadership, have worsened the deep official paranoia. An oil refinery in North Korea after being destroyed by B-29 bombers. Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images This is the country that US president Donald Trump threatened to wreck in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” Not known for his deep reading of history, Trump may be unaware that the United States has in fact destroyed North Korea before. And with “next to no concern for civilian casualties, says Bruce Cumings in his book The Korean War: A History.

Amnesia This amnesia is surely helping to fuel the current build up of tensions. A Gallup poll last week found that 58 per cent of Americans would support military action against North Korea if peaceful and diplomatic means fail. Where the Americans have forgotten, however, the North Koreans are trained to remember. North Korean high schools must set aside two rooms for the study of the lives of Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il: The Benevolent Sun and the Dear Leader – revered grandfather and father of current leader Kim Jong-un - who defeated the “imperialists”.

Schoolchildren spend a sixth of their day in these rooms, surrounded by portraits and episodes from the struggle against the Americans and Japanese. Anecdotes from Kim Jong-il’s life recall the biblical tales of Jesus Christ as he walked among the people. All this rarely gets a hearing in America. As Cumings recently noted: “All of our media appear to live in an eternal present, with each new crisis treated as sui generis.

” But, he warns, “we forget at our peril” that bellicose threats against the North did not start this week.

Wilma Lawrence

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