It Sure Sounds Like the US Is Actually Going to Bomb North Korea

(ANTIMEDIA)  During his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, Donald Trump pledged the United States would continue its campaign of maximum pressure” against North Korea. Meanwhile, the Washington Post ran an opinion piece written by the man who was, until recently, set to become the U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

Victor Cha, a professor at Georgetown University and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, had reportedly passed all U.S. security checks, and South Korea had signed off on him.

It was expected — and for the government in Seoul, hoped — that Trump would soon formally nominate Cha for Senate approval. But over the weekend, it was reported that the White house informed Cha he was no longer being considered for the post.

Sources say the move was motivated by Cha’s disagreement with the Trump administration’s policy on North Korea. In particular, these sources say, the would-be ambassador took issue with the White House considering a preemptive strike against the Hermit Kingdom.

Writing for the Washington Post on Tuesday, Cha stated that the answer to the North Korean question “is not, as some Trump administration officials have suggested, a preventive military strike.”

Rather, Cha wrote, there are options available to address the threat “without escalating into a war that would likely kill tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans.”

Cha, who previously served in the administration of George W. Bush, wrote that he expressed his concerns over North Korea policy while he was being considered for the Seoul ambassadorship.

The Georgetown professor went on to question the logic of the “bloody nose” strategy, meant to shock leader Kim Jong-un and make him think twice about his nuclear ambitions:

“If we believe that Kim is undeterrable without such a strike, how can we also believe that a strike will deter him from responding in kind? And if Kim is unpredictable, impulsive and bordering on irrational, how can we control the escalation ladder, which is premised on an adversary’s rational understanding of signals and deterrence?”

Cha noted that on any given day, there are around 230,000 Americans in South Korea and another 90,000 in neighboring Japan. He pointed out that if North Korea were to retaliate against a preemptive strike, those citizens “would most likely have to hunker down until the war was over.”

He also noted that unlike Japan, South Korea lacks sufficient missile defense systems to counter a barrage of artillery from the North, meaning Americans there, as well as millions of South Koreans, would be vulnerable:

“To be clear: The president would be putting at risk an American population the size of a medium-size U.S. city — Pittsburgh, say, or Cincinnati — on the assumption that a crazy and undeterrable dictator will be rationally cowed by a demonstration of U.S. kinetic power.”

Regardless of such warnings, Trump remained adamant that the Kim regime poses a substantial threat to the U.S. while speaking before Congress on Tuesday. After claiming his administration has been tough on authoritarian nations, Trump zeroed in on North Korea in his State of the Union Address:

“But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening.”

Continuing, the president suggested the U.S. “need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies.”

This aspect of the president’s State of the Union Address — Trump’s focus on the character of North Korea as opposed to the country’s nuclear weapons program — already has some speculating that the White House may be preparing for actual war.

Writing for The Atlantic, Peter Beinart noted that Trump’s telling of the story of Otto Warmbier, the American arrested in North Korea who died shortly after his return to the U.S., as well as that of North Korean defector Ji Seong Ho, may have been an attempt to “rouse moral indignation” ahead of the outbreak of war.

Writing for The Intercept on Wednesday, Jon Schwarz made a different connection. He pointed out that in Trump’s speech, many of his stated justifications for war with North Korea were “frighteningly familiar” to those given by President George W. Bush during the lead-up to war with Iraq in 2003.

Further, a source speaking to Anti-Media on the condition of anonymity with knowledge of U.S. Naval activities told us preparations have begun for military conflict in East Asia over the coming months.

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  • 1timeUse

    If the DPRK launches a preemtive strike with an EMP we have no defense. (And they have 2 satellites orbiting overhead called the KMS-1 and KMS-2, which you can look up for yourself easily, that probably have EMP generators on them; so they probably don’t even need their missiles to strike us.) All electronics – including your precious computer and cellphone and car and microwave will stop working. About 80% of the US will be affected. No more groceries at the store. No more medicine. No more electricity to run your A/C or heat. Everything will just stop working and there will be no TV to find out why. Your life will stop. It is unlikely you will ever see anyone you know from outside your immediate area ever again and probably never find out what happened to them. For most of you this thought is so horrific you cannot help but put it out of your feeble minds, but it is the truth. So if your appeasement strategy fails that’s it. Game over. Your life is over. Our society is done. Millions dead of rioting, violence, looting, then disease, then starvation. No gasoline. No FEMA trucks. No police or military or martial law. Your opinions will be heard by no one, your wishes and needs will concern no one, you will be worth nothing but what others can take from you. Perhaps that is what you deserve? Maybe you even believe deep down that is a desirable outcome – weed out the lazy, the weak, the apathetic among us?

    This is a situation in which the only sane thing to do is to take out the enemy forces first in order to avoid hundreds of millions of dead in the US and bring the entire World economy to a halt. If the US goes down, so does Japan, so does South Korea, but not vice-versa, so how many lives are lost if we strike first vs. if they strike first? LESS lives will be lost if we strike first. A numerical fact. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for any of you to grasp that concept or to face a truth you simply refuse to believe (even though the evidence is right in front of your face).

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  • Facebook Profile photo
    Godfree Roberts

    Even though the administration has indicated that military option is among the options under review, there are at least five reasons why the US cannot attack North Korea

    1. The Korean Peninsula is technically in a state of war. Fighting halted on July 27, 1953 under an armistice signed between Washington and Beijing. If the US initiated an attack, it would break the treaty endorsed by the United Nations.

    2. North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities have matured in recent years. Pyongyang has conducted five nuclear tests and claims it has successfully “miniaturised” nuclear warheads – though such claims have never been independently verified.

    3. China is North Korea’s ally. In 1961, the two countries signed the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, in which both parties are obliged to offer immediate military and other assistance to the other in the case of an outside attack. This treaty has been prolonged twice, and is valid until 2021. Within 1,000 miles of her borders, China is more than a match for the US, as she proved in the last confrontation on the peninsula.

    4. China is concerned that its border provinces would be inundated with North Korean refugees if the Kim regime collapsed.

    5. Both South Korea and Japan prefer non-military option. The South Korean capital, Seoul, is only about 40km from the border and is particularly vulnerable to North Korean attack. The US cannot protect Seoul, at least for the first 24 hours of a war, and maybe for the first 48–and maybe never. Bill Clinton debated bombing the Yongbyon reactor in 1994 but defense officials said the intensity of combat with North Korea “would be greater than any the world has witnessed since the last Korean War”.

  • lindsay s

    Trump knows he needs a war ‘somewhere’ to save his ass. He doesn’t care what happens to America….as long as he’s still the boss.
    America is failing fast.

  • James Park