Is Trump threatening an attack on North Korea? (Part 2)



Dispatch from Beijing
With Jeff J. Brown 

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US imperialist saber-rattling—once again— is pushing the Korean peninsula—and the world— to the brink of nuclear war. Here’s the latest relevant news, as seen by our Beijing correspondent, all presenting aspects of what our analysts hope is a delicate Kabuki designed to snatch peace from  the jaws of a US-instigated nuclear Armageddon. 

Some of the backdrop pieces and maneuvers are detailed below.

As of today, Baba Beijing is continuing to pressure the US to dismantle THAAD, a weapon which the South Korean population is likely to oppose, too, since it guarantees their involvement in a US-China-Russia conflagration:

(1) China urges US, ROK to stop THAAD deployment immediately

As well as sending an ominous message to both Kim and Trump:

FM Wang Yi (left) warns that whoever provokes an outbreak of hostilities on the Korean peninsula must take ‘historic responsibility’ for the action

And this:

(2) New Korean War may break out ‘at any moment’ – Chinese FM

New Korean War may break out ‘at any moment’ – Chinese FM
People watch a television news showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul on April 5, 2017. © JUNG YEON-JE / AFP

The extraordinary warning comes amid massive US military buildup near the Korean Peninsula, with the carrier strike group ‘USS Carl Vinson’ heading towards the region. While US President Donald Trump is threatening to “take care” of the North Korean “problem,” Pyongyang says it is ready to repel any military action.

Washington’s arrogant policies over decades have left North Korea no alternative between all-out war and surrender and vassalage, which Pyongyang is not going to accept.

‘We will go to war if they choose’: N. Korea warns ‘aggressive’ Trump not to provoke Pyongyang

“Lately, tensions have risen with the US and the ROK [South Korea] on one side, and the DPRK [North Korea] on the other,”Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on Friday, adding that “One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment.”

He cautioned both sides that “if a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner,”and that whichever side provoked a conflict “must assume the historic responsibility and pay the corresponding price.”

Earlier in the day, Wang said both Washington and Pyongyang must refrain from “provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage,” as cited by Reuters.

In an apparent attempt to cool down the US administration’s bellicose rhetoric, he added: “Force cannot solve the problem – dialogue can be the only channel to resolving the problem.”

China, North Korea’s close ally and main trading partner, does not welcome Pyongyang’s nuclear program, but advocates finding political solution to the crisis. For its part, Russia, which also shares a land border with the reclusive state, expressed deep concern over the mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The tension on the Korean Peninsula was one of the topics Wang Yi discussed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in a Friday phone call.

Moscow stands for “politico-diplomatic reconciliation” and urges all parties to show patience and refrain from “any actions which might mean making provocative steps,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

From 1950 to 1953, the US fought against North Korea’s troops in the Korean War. After the US-led coalition forces crossed the 38th parallel dividing the two Koreas, China deployed troops and entered the war, while the USSR rendered military and logistical support to their socialist allies. The conflict, which quickly became a war of attrition, claimed the lives of over 33,000 American and 400,000 North Korean soldiers.

According to some media reports, the ongoing US military buildup close to North Korean waters may go far beyond an ordinary show of force. On Thursday, American intelligence officials told NBC that the US has sent two destroyers capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region, with one just 300 miles (some 480 km) from the North Korean nuclear test site.

American long-range bombers have also been positioned in Guam to hit North Korean targets. In turn, North Korea warned on Tuesday it would retaliate to any sign of American aggression with all means available.

“If the US dares opt for a military action, crying out for ‘pre-emptive attack’, [Pyongyang] is ready to react. We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions,” North Korea’s deputy foreign minister said in an interview with AP.

“The US introduces into the Korean Peninsula, the world’s biggest hotspot, huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening peace and security of the peninsula and pushing the situation there to the brink of a war,” the North’s General Staff said in a statement carried by KCNA.

(3) While making a harmless symbolic protest to the North: North Korea’s airplanes will fly to and from Beijing fuller now.

(4) More stage set PR for Western consumption, on the part of Beijing:, since kilometres of (covered) rail cars move weekly between China, Russia and North Korea:

(5) DPRK is playing its Snidely Whiplash role to perfection: & Westerners love to tell me what a crazy crackpot Kim Jong-un is. Their gullibility proves the point: he is very smart, astute and knows exactly what he is doing. All great leaders are consummate actors and Kim loves cinema. Not to mention that he and his staff are in contact with Beijing 24/7.

(6) This is all timed for three of the North’s biggest holidays, happening in quick succession in April: Echoes of the Tet Offensive or the Yom Kippur War?

(7) Beijing comments on the US’s use of its near-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan, with rational conclusions. We reproduce the text in toto (bold ours):

Will ‘Mother of All Bombs’ scare NK?

Source: Global Times Published: 2017/4/14 

The US on Thursday dropped the “Mother of All Bombs” – the most powerful nonnuclear bomb used by the US so far – on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan. 

Trump said Thursday that the mission was “very successful” and that he does not know whether the bomb will send a message to North Korea.

In less than three months since Trump’s inauguration, the US military has launched at least two strikes that grabbed the world’s attention, the first being the airstrike on a Syrian airfield, and the second being the use of “Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan. Trump uses military force more aggressively than Barack Obama. He has demonstrated a certain level of obsession and pride toward US military prowess. 

Even for George W. Bush, who fought two wars during his presidency, every attack had to go through lengthy procedures, and starts of war had been widely expected. However, the two recent attacks came rather abruptly. With this frequency and speed in use of force, Trump may go down in history as the “war president.”

“Mother of All Bombs” is a vicious weapon that consumes a large amount of oxygen during explosion. Because of its devastative capability, the actual probability of hurting the civilians is very high. The US in the past has killed and injured civilians in its attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. The use of “Mother of All Bombs” showed Washington is turning a blind eye on civilian casualties. 

This bombing is clearly aimed at testing the weapon in real combat and provides a new gimmick in US military deterrence. North Korea must have felt the shock wave traveling all the way from Afghanistan. It would be nice if the bomb could frighten Pyongyang but its actual impact may just be the opposite. 

Pyongyang’s logic in the recent years has been that, without nuclear weapons, what happened to Saddam and Gaddafi would befall its own administration. The “Mother of All Bombs” may once again misguide Pyongyang, leading it to believe that it is crucial to upgrade its explosives. 

It’s been widely speculated that North Korea is preparing for its sixth nuclear test and its leader Kim Jong-un is weighing his options. The message sent by the US military is not conducive to helping Pyongyang make a reasonable decision.  

It has been reported that Russia owns a similar device called the “father of all bombs.” Imagine how the US and the West would react if Russia drops that bomb on the Islamic State during its Syrian airstrikes. 

The US seems to enjoy a privilege to do whatever it likes. To the world, this could bring more danger than security.

(8) This just in and surely timed for similar reasons:

(9) One of the possible secret Citrus Summit quid pro quos is now official:

US Treasury does not label China currency manipulator, keeps on monitor list


One interesting possibility is this could all be staged to allow Trump and Kim to meet, and it may be one of the Citrus Summit quid pro quos. Trump is a Washington outsider who could pull this off: The Bush-Clinton-Obama War Party would never consider it. Here’s an excerpt:

Former top US negotiator with DPKR Joel Wit told Xinhua that the main lesson from dealing with the DPRK in the past two decades is to realize that the DPRK is not irrational as the United States would think (and the whore US media would propagandize). At that first get-together, or maybe more than one meeting, “we shouldn’t have any preconditions,” Wit told Xinhua. (Read more, click on the bar below)

If a nuclear war is to be avoided, the US should not set any preconditions for direct talks with North Korea.

The United States should not insist on any preconditions for direct talks with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and China’s “suspension for suspension” proposal could serve as the basis for further negotiation, a US expert said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Joel Wit, senior fellow at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, said the recent increased tensions at the Korean Peninsula seemed puzzling. Tensions on the Korean peninsula are rising as the DPRK on Friday warned of “toughest counteraction” in response to what it called “reckless miliary provocation” after the United States sent USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to waters near the Korean Peninsula in what it called a “reaction to provocations” by the DPRK with recent missile tests. “I don’t see why tensions are going up,” said Wit. “There’s nothing that has happened in the past month that necessitated sending a carrier battle group there, or increasing tensions.”

Tensions could heat up if the DPRK conducts a new nuclear test, but right now nothing had happened that could really change the situation dramatically, he added. Long before joining the Johns Hopkins University, Wit served as senior advisor from 1993 to 1995 to Robert Galluci, then chief US negotiator with the DPRK during the Korean Peninsula nuclear crisis of 1994. Later, Wit became the US official in charge of implementing the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework from 1995 to 1999. He told Xinhua that the main lesson from dealing with the DPRK in the past two decades is to realize that the DPRK is not irrational as the United States would think.

“They keenly understand their own national interests, and act on those interests. Right now their main national interest is to build nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. That’s very clear to them,” said Wit. The main reason for the DPRK to move forward with its nuclear weapons program is “to defend itself against what it feels is a threat from the United States and US allies in the region, South Korea and Japan,” said Wit.

“In the past, there have been times when they thought their national interests required better relations with the United States, and as a result of that, they were willing to limit their nuclear weapons program, or even get rid of it,” said Wit. “We need to keep that in mind as we try to find a way out of this problem.” In his first trip to Asia in March, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said there would be no negotiation until the DPRK agreed to dismantle its nuclear programs. However, Wit said that there should not be any preconditions for establishing an “informal get-together” between the United States and the DPRK to explore whether formal talks are possible. “At that first get-together, or maybe more than one meeting, we shouldn’t have any preconditions,” Wit told Xinhua. “It should just be a discussion about issues each side is concerned about.”

Is all this surreal Kabuki theatre, carefully planned out by Xi, Trump and Kim? Is a pending fake “Syrian airport bombing” false flag in the works, above the 38th parallel? Is this all to bring tensions to a fever pitch for a miraculous, cliffhanging, white knuckled US-Korean détente?

We must remember FDR’s refrain that everything happens at this level of (geo-) politics, at a particular time, for a reason, meaning prior knowledge and planning. Or, as John R. Hall detailed recently, we should adopt Hunter S. Thompson’s “180 Degree Theory”: everything (in politics) is exactly the opposite of what it appears to be

Fasten your seatbelts, boys and girls. Oh, joy!

Jeff in China


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jeffBusyatDesktopJeff J. Brown—TGP’s Beijing correspondent— is the author of 44 Days  (2013), Reflections in Sinoland – Musings and Anecdotes from the Belly of the New Century Beast (summer 2015), and Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). He is currently writing an historical fiction, Red Letters – The Diaries of Xi Jinping, due out in 2016. In addition, a new anthology on China, China Rising, Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations, is also scheduled for publication this summer. Jeff is commissioned to write monthly articles for The Saker  and The Greanville Post, touching on all things China, and the international political & cultural scene

In China, he has been a speaker at TEDx, the Bookworm Literary Festival, the Capital M Literary Festival, the Hutong, as well as being featured in an 18-part series of interviews on Radio Beijing AM774, with former BBC journalist, Bruce Connolly. He has guest lectured at international schools in Beijing and Tianjin.

Jeff grew up in the heartland of the United States, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University. He went to Brazil while in graduate school at Purdue University, to seek his fortune, which whet his appetite for traveling the globe. This helped inspire him to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia in 1980 and he lived and worked in Africa, the Middle East, China and Europe for the next 21 years. All the while, he mastered Portuguese, Arabic, French and Mandarin, while traveling to over 85 countries. He then returned to America for nine years, whereupon he moved back to China in 2010. He currently lives in Beijing with his wife, where he writes, while being a school teacher in an international school. Jeff is a dual national French-American.  

“China Rising, Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations” by Jeff J. Brown on Ganxy

China Rising Radio Sinoland Outlets

And Jeff J Brown’s social media outlets


Sinaweibo (for Jeff’s ongoing photos and comments on daily life in China, in both English and Chinese):
Wechat group: search the phone number +8618618144837, friend request and ask Jeff to join the China Rising Radio Sinoland Wechat group. He will add you as a member, so you can join in the ongoing discussion.

“44 Days Backpacking in China- The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass” by Jeff J. Brown @ on Ganxy


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