Friday, 12 April 2013

Kerry warns Kim Jong-Un about missile test

Kerry warns Kim Jong-Un about missile test, Telling North Korea it would be a “huge mistake” to launch a new missile to commemorate founder Kim Il-Sung’s 101 birthday, 69-year-old Secretary to State John Kerry tried the carrot-and-stick approach to defuse high tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Since the U.S. and South Korea began yearly military drills Feb. 25, North Korea’s 30-year-old leader Kim Jong-Un has cancelled the 60-year-old armistice and threatened the U.S. with nuclear war.

Shuttling to South Korea, China and Japan over the weekend, Kerry hoped to defuse tensions. Some North Korean experts say the prospects of war have never been greater, while others see Kim as bluffing his way to a totalitarian state.

When the Pentagon Defense Intelligence Agency told the Senate Armed Services Committee April 11 that Kim possessed nuclear missile capability, President Barack Obama dispatched Kerry to Asia.

Kerry hoped to “put some teeth” into U.S. efforts to defuse a potential crisis. Hoping to get China to put down the hammer on its ally, Kerry admonished Kim Jong-Un for hi belligerent rhetoric.

When a classified DIA report suggested that North Korea already had nuclear missiles capable of hitting U.S. bases in Guam or Japan, the White House took notice.

“I want to be clear that North Korea has not demonstrated the capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney, hoping to calm down the press.

It wasn’t that long ago that the DIA estimated that Saddam Hussein had biological and nuclear capability before the Iraq War disproved the myth.

But whether or not North Korean has the missile capability, they can’t continue threatening the U.S. Kerry hopes his visit to the region reassures allies that the U.S. is ready for any contingency.

Kerry received some qualified assurances form 62-year-old Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who backed the U.S. position on North Korea, while telling the White House to restrain from incendiary rhetoric.

Kerry said Kim “needs to understand, as I think he probably does, what the outcome of a conflict would be,” warning the 30-year-old not to push the U.S. too far. While no one—especially South Korea—wants to see another war, they also won’t stand for any more provocative actions.

Unlike the past, South Korea has vowed to take harsh steps should North Korea continue its aggression. South Korea didn’t retaliate for the 2010 sinking of a patrol boat killing 46 South Koreans sailors nor did they take actions to avenge the deaths of four civilians on a local island.

If North Korean launches a new missile Sat., April 15, there’s little or nothing the U.S. could do.

Like Iran, North Korean has pursued A-bombs for decades, having successfully detonated several plutonium-based devices over U.N. objections. Defying the U.N. ban, Kim exploded his last nuclear weapons Feb. 12, prompting the Security Council—including China—to ratchet up tough new economic and political sanctions.

North Korea sees A-bombs as the best form of blackmail against the U.S. and South Korea. With all the prosperity south of the 38th parallel, South Korea fears excruciating economic losses from missile attacks or a new war.

“We are all united in the fact that North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power,” said Kerry, not admitting whether or not it’s already a nuclear power. Kim doesn’t care about Kerry’s demands to de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula. He’s only wants more A-bombs to stop the U.S. and South Korea from threatening his power.

Kerry would not confirm a DIA report that said the North Korea already had the nuclear missile capability of hitting Guan or Tokyo. Its Musadan missile is capable of traveling 3,500 km or 2,100 miles, far enough to hit Guam or Japan. Calling the DIA report “inaccurate to suggest that the DPRK has fully tested, developed capabilities,” regarding speculative elements inside the report.

South Korea’s first woman President Park Geun-Hye offered North Korea the olive branch of more talks, despite saying recently that any further North Korean aggressions would not be tolerated without a forceful response. “We have a lot of issues, including the Kaesong industrial zone,” said Park. “So should we not meet with them and ask: ‘Just what are you trying to do?” knowing full well that Kim’s latest threats have accomplished its objectives to rattling the U.S. and South Korea.

Expecting the Chinese to deliver a “tough” message to North Korea looks unrealistic, when you consider Kim listens to no one. “We really want them to . . . carry some tough messages to Pyongyang,” on nuclear disarmament said an unnamed U.S. official traveling with Kerry’s entourage.

While Sino-American relations have improved from the days when a EP3 Aires II spy plane went down on Hainan Island in the South China Sea April 1, 2001. China held the 24-member U.S. crew hostage for 10 days before releasing them April 11, 2001.

Chinese officials refused to release the spy plane, dissembling every part and finally return the pieces a year later. Why Kerry thinks China would do the U.S. or U.N. bidding is anyone’s guess. “We would wan them to use so of their leverage because otherwise, it is very destabilizing and, in the end, it threatens the whole region,” said the U.S. official.

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