North Korea calls Trump's warning a 'load of nonsense'

North Korea calls Trump's warning a 'load of nonsense'

3 ความคิดเห็น

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is working on plans for a missile strike near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, calling President Donald Trump's warning of "fire and fury" a "load of nonsense" and that only "absolute force can work on him."


Pyongyang's state-run KCNA news agency issued an update on its strike plans after Trump's incendiary comments on Tuesday that threats to the United States from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury."


Trump's unexpected remarks prompted North Korea to say it was considering plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles to land 30-40 kilometers (18-25 miles) from Guam, home to about 163,000 people and a U.S. military base that includes a submarine squadron, an air base and a Coast Guard group.


The army will complete its plans in mid-August, ready for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's order, KCNA said on Wednesday, citing General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army.


The news agency said Trump "let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury'," adding "sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him."


On global markets, the strong rhetoric and sharp increase in tensions drove investors out of stocks and other risky assets on Wednesday and into textbook safe havens like gold and Treasuries.


U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a stark warning earlier on Wednesday, telling Pyongyang the United States and its allies would win any arms race or conflict.

"The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people," Mattis said in a statement, using the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.


The United States and South Korea remain technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States.




Tension in the region has risen since North Korea carried out two nuclear bomb tests last year and two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July. Trump has said he will not allow Pyongyang to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

On Wednesday, Trump followed up his "fire and fury" warning with a boast about U.S. nuclear capabilities.


"My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before," Trump tweeted. "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"


Trump's "fire and fury" remarks prompted warnings from U.S. officials and analysts not to engage in rhetorical games with Pyongyang.


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in Guam on a previously scheduled visit, played down the rhetoric, saying he did not believe there was an imminent threat from North Korea and "Americans should sleep well at night."


Trump's "fire and fury" warning was meant to send a "strong message to North Korea in language that (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language," Tillerson said.




Earlier on Wednesday, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo dismissed the threat and said the island was prepared for "any eventuality" with strategically placed defenses. He said he had been in touch with the White House and there was no change in the threat level.


North Korea, pursuing missile and nuclear weapons programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, accuses the Washington of devising a "preventive war" and has said any plans to execute this would be met with an "all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the U.S. mainland."


Washington has warned it is ready to use force if needed to stop North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs but that it prefers global diplomatic action, including sanctions. The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday.


U.S military officials played down the potential for military conflict. Three U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States had not moved additional assets into the region after North Korea's threats against Guam.


    "Just because the rhetoric goes up, doesn't mean our posture changes," one official said. "The only time our posture goes up is based on facts, not because of what Kim and Trump say to each other," the official added.


While Trump said the nuclear arsenal was more powerful than ever before, U.S. officials say it takes decades to actually modernize nuclear weapons. Trump signed an executive order in January to initiate a review of the country's nuclear policy.




A senior administration official who deals with the Korea issue said the "fire and fury" comment, which was Trump's strongest warning yet for North Korea, was "unplanned and spontaneous.”


"There had not been any discussions about escalating the rhetoric in response to Kim’s statements or about the possible effects of doing that," the official said.


But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters national security officials had been aware of the tone of Trump's message before he gave it.


"The words were his own. The tone and strength of the message were discussed beforehand," Sanders said.


Critics included fellow Republican John McCain, head of the Armed Forces Committee in the U.S. Senate, who said Trump should tread cautiously. "You've got to be sure you can do what you say you’re going to do," McCain said in a radio interview.


Democratic Senator Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the committee, said Trump's words were counterproductive. "Defusing the North Korea threat will take smart, steady leadership and stronger diplomatic ties with our key allies," Reed said.


Republican Senator Cory Gardner said the administration needed to lean on China, North Korea's closest ally, using sanctions. "It’s time to hold China accountable for their refusal to shut off trade with North Korea," Gardner said.


China, despite its anger at Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs, described the situation as "complex and sensitive," and urged calm and a return to talks.


"China calls on all sides to uphold the main direction of a political resolution to the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, and avoid any words or actions that may intensify the problem and escalate the situation," the government said in a statement sent to Reuters, repeating its customary stance.


(Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Susan Heavey and John Walcott in Washington, 


Soyoung Kim in Seoul, Amy Miyazaki, Linda Sieg and Tim Kelly in Tokyo, Philip Wen in Dandong and Martin Petty in Manila; Writing by Lincoln Feast, Doina Chiacu, Frances Kerry and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Alistair Bell and James Dalgleish)

3 ความคิดเห็น
10 ส.ค. 2017 - 12:45

How North Korea wars with itself


As North Korea’s capability for nuclear war has grown, so too has its war of words with the United States. The rhetorical warfare peaked this week with President Trump promising “fire and fury” if North Korea makes more threats. The North then said it was weighing a strike on Guam, a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean.


Amid the nuclear brinkmanship and the tit-for-tat diktats, it is important to remember where North Korea is at its weakest and most vulnerable. Its missiles may be traveling farther and its estimated 60 atomic bombs may be missile-ready, as US intelligence claims. Yet its military strength cannot cover up the fact that the regime of Kim Jong-un is living a lie, one that it will not admit and that could be its undoing.


For nearly seven decades, North Korea has claimed to its people that it is self-sufficient in its economy and self-reliant in defense. This ideology of “juche” was false from the start. When Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader and the nation’s founder, wanted to invade South Korea in 1950, he hardly did it on his own. He asked permission from the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin. And then he relied on military assistance from China’s Mao Zedong.


The point was made again in the mid-1990s when a great famine struck North Korea – a result of its false notion of self-sufficiency in agriculture. It was forced to accept emergency food aid.


The reliance on others continues to this day. Some 60,000 to 80,000 North Koreans have been sent abroad to earn hard currency. And despite the latest economic sanctions ordered Aug. 5 by the United Nations Security Council, the country still relies on China for oil and as an export market for North Korea's fishing fleet. The new sanctions will only cut its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.


A government can survive for only so long in a contradiction between its ideals and its actions. And the truth about North Korea is that it has long needed trade, aid, and technology from other countries. Just as individuals who self-isolate come to realize their bond with humanity, North Korea must eventually admit the truth of its reliance on the international community – and along with it, the norms of peace and the necessity of constraints on nuclear weapons.


The Soviet Union came out of its myth of closed markets in 1985 under Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness). It then joined the global economic system (which led to the Soviet Union’s collapse). In 1986, Vietnam’s Communist Party followed Moscow with its doi moi (rejuvenation) and embrace of markets (and later, good relations with the US).


The biggest lesson for North Korea, however, may lie in its closest ally, China.


Like the Kim family, Mao believed in self-sufficiency for China from 1950 until his death in 1976. His successor, Deng Xiaoping, realized how Mao’s ideology had left China behind other countries and was the cause of mass starvation. In addition, tens of thousands of Chinese were fleeing to Hong Kong.


Deng’s trip to France in 1975 transformed his thinking. “The more we see, the more we realize how backward we are,” he said. By 1979, China’s Communist Party opened itself to reform and cooperating with other countries – although not enough to jeopardize the party’s power. By 1992, China even opened relations with South Korea for the sake of business.


Mao’s promise of self-sufficiency is now largely broken. And despite recent threats to its neighbors’ territories, China mostly operates within international norms. This transition, as well as China’s continuing aid to North Korea, is why Beijing is the focus of the US and others in tightening sanctions on North Korea.


The ultimate goal is to awaken the Kim regime to the same realization of many other countries: that a country cannot live a lie. North Korea must admit it is no island. It already relies on others and can rely even more on them if it only contains or eliminates its nuclear weapons.


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10 ส.ค. 2017 - 17:19

ทำไมเกาหลีเหนือถึงขู่ถล่มเกาะกวม แก้วตาดวงใจของสหรัฐ




จากกรณีการเผชิญหน้าด้วยวาทะดุเดือดระหว่างเกาหลีเหนือกับสหรัฐอเมริกา เมื่อฝ่ายแรกขู่โจมตีเกาะกวม ดินแดนในอาณัติของสหรัฐอเมริกา ที่อยู่ห่างจากคาบสมุทรเกาหลีราว 6,500 กิโลเมตร

จึงน่าสนใจว่า ทำไมเกาะเล็กๆ ที่มีประชากร 163,000 คนในมหาสมุทรแปซิฟิกถึงมีความสำคัญขนาดที่รัฐบาลของนายคิม จองอึน หมายมั่นจำลองแผนสั่งโจมตี


เกาะกวมเป็นเกาะเล็กขนาด 541 ตารางกิโลเมตร ตั้งระหว่างฟิลิปปินส์และฮาวายในมหาสมุทรแปซิฟิก แต่เดิมสเปนอ้างกรรมสิทธิ์ครั้งแรกในปีค.ศ.1565 หรือพ.ศ. 2108 และตกมาอยู่ภายใต้การปกครองของสหรัฐ หลังสเปนพ่ายสงครามจนต้องยกดินแดนบางส่วนของให้สหรัฐในปีพ.ศ. 2441 นอกจากกวมแล้วยังมีคิวบา เปอร์โตริโก หมู่เกาะฟิลิปปินส์ และเกาะอื่นๆ

การซ้อมรบของทหารญี่ปุ่นที่เกาะกวมเมื่อ พ.ค.2560. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)

เกาะกวมเปลี่ยนมือผู้ปกครองอีกครั้งในช่วงสงครามโลกครั้งที่ 2 เมื่อญี่ปุ่นยกพลขึ้นบกและยึดดินแดน กระทั่งสงครามสิ้นสุดลง กวมกลับมาเป็นของสหรัฐอีกครั้งในปี 2493

เว็บไซต์ดอยเชอเวลเลอระบุว่า เกาะแห่งนี้มีลักษณะปกครองตนเอง มีการร่างกฎหมายใช้เอง และเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของสหรัฐ ชาวกวมจะได้รับสัญชาติอเมริกันโดยกำเนิด แต่ไม่มีสิทธิในการเลือกตั้งประธานาธิบดีสหรัฐและไม่ต้องจ่ายภาษีให้สหรัฐ

การทดสอบขีปนาวุธของเกาหลีเหนือที่ไม่หยุดหย่อน (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

ด้วยความเป็นจุดยุทธศาสตร์ของสหรัฐที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เอเชียมากที่สุด สหรัฐจึงเข้ามาตั้งฐานทัพเรือและฐานทัพอากาศบนเกาะกวม สมรภูมิแรกๆ ที่สหรัฐใช้กวมเป็นฐานสำคัญคือ สงครามเวียดนาม ต่อด้วยสงครามเย็น และเป็นจุดจอดเครื่องบินทิ้งระเบิดระหว่างสงครามเกาหลี


ปัจจุบันเกาะแห่งนี้มีกำลังพลอยู่ราว 6,000 นาย ฐานทัพอากาศแอนเดอร์เซนที่ตั้งอยู่บนเกาะกวมยังเป็นโรงจอดเครื่องบินทิ้งระเบิดหลายลำของสหรัฐ รวมไปถึงเป็นอู่เรือดำน้ำบรรทุกหัวรบนิวเคลียร์ให้กับสหรัฐ และท่าเรือสำหรับกองเรือรบสหรัฐ

ที่สำคัญ เว็บไซต์ซีเอ็นบีซีนิวส์ยังระบุว่าทางสหรัฐติดตั้งระบบป้องกันขีปนาวุธ หรือธาดไว้ที่เกาะแห่งนี้อีกด้วย

ชาวบ้านเดินเล่นตามปกติบนเกาะกวม (AP Photo/Grace Garces Bordallo)

กวมยังถือว่าเป็นหนึ่งในโครงข่ายของกองทัพสหรัฐที่รอบล้อมจีน นอกเหนือจากฐานทัพที่มีอยู่ในชาติพันธมิตรอย่างเกาหลีใต้ และญี่ปุ่น ส่วนสภาพทั่วไปของเกาะกวมนั้นเป็นดินแดนที่ขับเคลื่อนด้วยเงินจากการท่องเที่ยว นักท่องเที่ยวส่วนใหญ่มักจะมาจากเกาหลีใต้และญี่ปุ่น

เกาะกวมจึงถือได้ว่าเป็นจุดยุทธศาสตร์ที่สหรัฐแบกคลังแสงมาวางไว้ใกล้กับเอเชียมากที่สุด ดังนั้นการขู่โจมตีเกาะกวมอาจมีลักษณะคล้ายกับแนวคิดของญี่ปุ่นที่พุ่งถล่มอ่าวเพิร์ล ที่ฮาวายของสหรัฐในสมัยสงครามโลกครั้งที่ 2