Babylon the Great Threatens Kim (Daniel 8)

US ready to use ‘nuclear capabilities,’ White House warns North Korea

By AFP
September 4, 2017, 6:11 am

WASHINGTON — The United States stands ready to use its nuclear capabilities in the event North Korea continues to threaten it or its allies, the White House warned Sunday.

After North Korea’s latest provocative test, US President Donald Trump spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss North Korea’s claimed hydrogen bomb test on September 3, a White House statement said.

“President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal,” the statement read.

The two leaders condemned “North Korea’s continued destabilizing and provocative actions,” reaffirmed their “ironclad” mutual defense commitments, and pledged to cooperate closely, the White House statement said.

The comments are the first time Trump has explicitly threatened to use nuclear weapons, though president and others have issued forceful statements hinting at military action over the past several weeks.

Earlier Sunday, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned his army could launch a “massive military response” to threats from North Korea following Pyongyang’s provocative detonation of what it claimed was a miniaturized hydrogen bomb.

“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming,” Mattis told reporters. “We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. But as I said, we have many options to do so.”

Trump on Sunday called an emergency meeting of his national security advisers to discuss what was an unexpectedly powerful nuclear test said to exceed in magnitude the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

Trump had earlier denounced the test, tweeting that the time for “appeasement” was over and threatening drastic economic sanctions, including “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”

US monitors measured a powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake near the North’s main testing site, felt as far as parts of China, with an aftershock possibly caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the site.

Earthquake and Volcano of the Korea Monitoring Division Director Ryoo Yong-gyu speaks to the media about North Korea’s artificial earthquake with a map of the Korean peninsular in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The North hailed its test of what it described as a hydrogen bomb designed for a long-range missile as “a perfect success.”

Pyongyang residents celebrated as a jubilant television newsreader hailed the “unprecedentedly large” blast; she said it had moved the country closer to “the final goal of completing the state nuclear force.”

Neighboring South Korea reacted by conducting a live-fire exercise simulating an attack on the North’s nuclear site, state news agency Yonhap reported, hitting “designated targets in the East Sea” with missiles and F-15K fighter jets.

The South’s military said the range to the simulated targets were equivalent to the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site in its northeastern province.

The exercise came after South Korean President Moon Jae-In, once an advocate of dialogue with the North, called for the “strongest punishment,” joining a chorus of international condemnation of Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test including from China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the test “torpedoes the global non-proliferation regime, violates UN Security Council resolutions” and threatens regional peace, while adding, in a phone call to Abe, that the crisis “should be resolved only by political and diplomatic means.”

At the BRICS summit in China, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the North Korean threat and resolved to increase military cooperation.

And UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the test as “profoundly destabilizing,” while the Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday.

Hours before the test, the North released images of Kim at his country’s Nuclear Weapons Institute, inspecting the device it called a “thermonuclear weapon with super explosive power” entirely made “by our own efforts and technology,” according to the Korean Central News Agency.

In this undated image distributed on Sunday, September 3, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location. North Korea’s state media on Sunday, Sept 3, 2017, said Kim inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

A series of US and United Nations-backed sanctions seem to have had little effect on Pyongyang.

But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday his department was preparing potent new measures that would “cut off North Korea economically.”

“I’m going to draft a sanctions package and send it to the president for his strong consideration that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them will be prevented from doing trade or business with us,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

While the United States has virtually no trade with the North, the burden of sanctions such as Mnuchin described would fall heavily on China, which buys about 90 percent of North Korean exports.

In Seoul, President Moon Jae-In called for new United Nations sanctions to “completely isolate North Korea.” He said the South would discuss deploying “the strongest strategic assets of the US military” — a possible reference to tactical nuclear weapons, which the US withdrew from South Korea in 1991.

While US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by phone with his Asian counterparts, US and South Korean military chiefs also conferred.

Seoul’s defense ministry said the respective chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff — General Jeong Kyeong-Doo and General Joseph Dunford — had “agreed to prepare a South Korea-US military counteraction and to put it into action at the earliest date.”

South Korean experts said the tremor near the North’s main test site was five to six times stronger than that from a 10-kiloton test a year ago.

Pyongyang raised tensions in July with two successful tests of an ICBM which apparently brought much of the US mainland within range.

Last week, it fired a missile over Japan.

Jeffrey Lewis of website armscontrolwonk said Sunday’s blast clearly was “a staged thermonuclear weapon,” representing a significant advance.

Trump has warned Pyongyang that it faces “fire and fury” and that Washington’s weapons are “locked and loaded.”

But even some Trump advisers say US military options are limited when Pyongyang has the capacity to quickly wipe out much of the South Korean capital Seoul.

Analysts believe Pyongyang’s weapons program is aimed both at self-defense and strengthening its hand in any negotiations with the United States.

“North Korea will continue with their nuclear weapons program unless the US proposes talks,” Koo Kab-Woo of Seoul’s University of North Korean Studies told AFP.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Why New York City Will Be Shut Down At The Sixth Seal

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Indian Point tritium leak 80% worse than originally reported

New measurements at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in upstate New York show levels of radioactive tritium 80 percent higher than reported last week. Plant operator insists the spill is not dangerous, as state officials call for a safety probe.

Entergy, which operates the facility 25 miles (40 km) north of New York City, says the increased levels of tritium represent “fluctuations that can be expected as the material migrates.”

“Even with the new readings, there is no impact to public health or safety, and although these values remain less than one-tenth of one percent of federal reporting guidelines,” Entergy said in a statement.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo raised an alarm last Saturday over the reports of groundwater contamination at Indian Point, noting that the company reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells, with “radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent” at one of them.

The groundwater wells have no contact with any drinking water supplies, and the spill will dissipate before it reaches the Hudson River, a senior Entergy executive argued Tuesday, suggesting the increased state scrutiny was driven by the company’s decision to shut down another nuclear power plant.

“There are a number of stakeholders, including the governor, who do not like the fact that we are having to close Fitzpatrick,” Michael Twomey, Entergy’s vice president of external affairs, said during an appearance on ‘The Capitol Pressroom,’ a show on WCNY public radio.

The James A. Fitzpatrick plant is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, near Oswego, New York. Entergy said it intended to close the plant once it runs out of fuel sometime this year, citing its continued operations as unprofitable.

“We’re not satisfied with this event. This was not up to our expectations,” Twomey said, adding that the Indian Point spill should be seen in context.

Though it has never reported a reactor problem, the Indian Point facility has been plagued by issues with transformers, cooling systems, and other electrical components over the years. It currently operates two reactors, both brought on-line in the 1970s.

In December, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowed Entergy to continue operating the reactors, pending license renewal. The facility’s initial 40-year license was set to expire on December 12, but the regulators are reportedly leaning towards recommending a 20-year extension.

By contrast, Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine was only three years old when it exploded in April 1986. To this day, an area of 1000 square miles around the power plant remains the “exclusion zone,” where human habitation is prohibited.

The tritium leak at Indian Point most likely took place in January, during the preparations to shut down Reactor 2 for refueling, according to Entergy. Water containing high levels of the hydrogen isotope reportedly overfilled the drains and spilled into the ground.

According to Entergy, tritium is a “low hazard radionuclide” because it emits low-energy beta particles, which do not penetrate the skin. “People could be harmed by tritium only through internal exposure caused by drinking water with high levels of tritium over many years,” an Entergy fact sheet says.

Environmentalist critics are not convinced, however.

“This plant isn’t safe anymore,” Paul Gallay, president of environmental watchdog group Riverkeeper, told the New York Daily News. “Everybody knows it and only Entergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission refuse to admit it.”

Empty Words from the White House

Kim Jong Un seen here in this undated photo released Sunday by North Korean state media inspecting what is claimed to be a nuclear weapon.

Mattis warns of ‘massive military response’ to NK nuclear threat

(CNN)U

S Defense Secretary James Mattis warned of “a massive military response” to any threat from North Korea against the United States or its allies in a statement outside the White House after a meeting with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and top national security advisers Sunday.

Mattis said Trump wanted to be briefed on each of the “many military options” for dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat.
“Our commitment among the allies are ironclad,” Mattis said. “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.”
Mattis called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to “take heed” of the UN Security Council’s unanimous position against North Korea’s nuclear program and again stressed the US military’s position.
“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so,” Mattis said.
After speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the second time in two days, Trump reaffirmed the US commitment to defending the US and allies “using the full range of diplomatic, conventional and nuclear capabilities at our disposal,” according to a White House readout of the call.
The statements come after North Korea claimed it tested a hydrogen bomb on Sunday in what is its most powerful nuclear test to date.
Trump warned earlier Sunday that the United States was considering stopping trade with any nation doing business with North Korea as a way of dealing with the nuclear threat from Pyongyang.
If carried out, that option could mean a halt to US trade with China, which has supported economic sanctions on North Korea but remains the key economic partner for the rogue nation.
Total trade between the US and China topped nearly $650 billion last year, including exports of about $170 billion and imports of about $480 billion, the vast majority in goods, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. That makes China the United States’ largest trading partner in goods.
Sunday morning, Trump condemned North Korea’s claimed nuclear test in a series of tweets, calling Pyongyang’s words and actions “hostile and dangerous” and saying “talk of appeasement will not work.”
“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States,” Trump wrote, adding that Pyongyang “has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”
“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” the President wrote.
Later Sunday morning, Trump again teased the possibility that the US would attack North Korea.
As he left church, Trump was asked, “Will you attack North Korea?”
Trump answered, “We’ll see.”
Hours before Mattis’ statement outside the White House, Trump tweeted that he would meet with administration officials to discuss North Korea. He said the meeting would include the defense secretary, White House chief of staff John Kelly and other military leaders.
A National Security Council official told CNN that national security adviser H.R. McMaster also would attend the meeting, and Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was seen entering the White
House.State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert tweeted Sunday morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was also scheduled to attend the White House’s North Korea meeting, was making calls to his counterparts, including South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley joined her counterparts from Japan, France, the United Kingdom and South Korea in requesting an emergency UN Security Council meeting on North Korea Monday at 10 a.m. ET.
At the meeting, the US and its allies are looking to push through a new sanctions package, senior administration officials said.
The US is pressing for passage of a resolution to curtail shipments of oil to North Korea on the rationale that it would put severe pressure on Pyongyang, which gets most of its oil from China, the officials said.
If the Chinese were to halt the shipments, it would hamper North Korea’s operations, including farming, they said.

Iran, Korea, and the Hydrogen Bomb (Daniel 8:4)

Hasan Rouhani, Kim Yong Nam

Iran | North Korea | Nuclear Weapons

Adam Kredo

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani shakes hands with a top North Korean leader, Kim Yong Nam, at the start of a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 / AP

January 7, 2016 2:46 pm

One day after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, lawmakers and regional experts are warning that Pyongyang and Tehran are continuing an illicit clandestine partnership enabling the rogue nations to master nuclear technology.

Loopholes in the nuclear pact recently reached between Iran and the international community have allowed the Islamic Republic and North Korea to boost their nuclear cooperation, which includes the exchange of information and technology, according to material provided to Congress over the past year.

Iran is believed to be housing some of its key nuclear weapons-related technology in North Korea in order to avoid detection by international inspectors. Iranian dissidents once tied to the regime have disclosed that both countries have consulted on a nuclear warhead.

Following the test, however, the White House publicly denied that Iran and North Korea are working together, according to multiple statements issued by the administration on Wednesday.

Still, the Iranian-North Korean nuclear axis is coming under renewed scrutiny by lawmakers in light of Pyongyang’s most recent detonation, which is the fourth of its kind in recent years.

Congressional critics now warn that the Obama administration cannot be trusted to clamp down on North Korea given its recent efforts to appease Iran by dropping a new set of sanctions that were meant to target its illicit ballistic weapons program.

Iran, on the other hand, thinks that the bomb test will give it “media breathing space” by drawing attention away from its own nuclear pursuits, according to Persian-language reports carried by state-controlled media outlets closely aligned with the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

“The entire world may well consider North Korea a failed state, but from the view point of the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps], North Korea is a success story and a role model: A state which remains true to its revolutionary beliefs and defies the Global Arrogance,” said Ali Alfoneh, an expert on the inner workings of the Iranian regime.

Prominent members of Congress are now warning that North Korea’s latest nuclear test is a sign of what could come from Iran, which they claim is closely following the North Korean nuclear playbook.

Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R, Fla.), chair of House’s foreign relations subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, described North Korea’s latest test as “a precursor to what we can expect from Iran in a few years.”

Iran, Ros-Lehtinen told the Washington Free Beacon, “is following the North Korea playbook” and “stands to be the main beneficiary of Pyongyang’s continued nuclear progress.”

“Iran and North Korea have a history of collaboration on military programs and have long been suspected of collaborating on nuclear related programs,” she said, noting that the Iran deal provides the Islamic Republic with the cash necessary to purchase advanced nuclear technology.

“Iran won’t even need to make any progress on its domestic nuclear program—once it perfects its ballistic missiles it could purchase a weapon from North Korea and all of the conditions and monitoring in the [nuclear deal] would be ineffective in detecting or stopping that,” she said.

“Let’s not forget, Iranians have reportedly been present at each of North Korea’s previous nuclear tests,” Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. “We cannot turn a blind eye to ongoing ties between North Korea and Iran. President Obama must act now to stop these rogue nations from supporting each other’s nuclear weapons efforts aimed at harming America and our allies.”

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) expressed concern that Iran is following in North Korea’s footsteps, and that the nuclear deal will collapse just as  Bill Clinton’s agreement with North Korea did in the mid-1990s.

“This test is just the latest sign that North Korea is a regime hell-bent on building and developing a sophisticated nuclear program,” Meehan said. “The passage of the 1995 nuclear deal with [North Korea] came with it promises from the Clinton administration of accountability and transparency for Kim’s regime.”

“Those same sort of assurances are echoed today by the Obama White House as it seeks to assure us that its own deal with Iran will be more successful,” Meehan said. “The Iran deal and the North Korean deal were sold with the same promises, the same assurances, to the American people, sometimes even word-for-word.”

“When you put the rhetoric of the 90’s and the North next to the rhetoric of today and Iran, it’s hard to tell the difference,” he added.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), a chief advocate for increased economic sanctions on Iran, highlighted what he called North Korea’s “alarming record” of “cooperating on missile development with Iran.”

With Iran set to receive billions of dollars in sanctions relief later this month, regional experts have informed Congress that the nuclear deal “creates conditions and incentives that are highly likely to result in the expansion” of Iran and North Korea’s illicit nuclear exchange, according to testimony submitted last year by Claudia Rossett, an expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The deal fails to “cut off the pathways between Iran and nuclear-proliferating North Korea” and even has made “it safer for Iran to cheat,” according to Rossett’s testimony.

Additionally, sanctions relief gives Iran a chance to “go shopping in North Korea,” she said.

The Obama administration denied the ties between Iran and North Korea, telling reporters on Wednesday that “they’re entirely two different issues altogether.”

“We consider the Iran deal as a completely separate issue handled in a completely different manner than were the—than was the Agreed Framework with North Korea,” said John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, echoing similar remarks issued by the White House.

The administration’s hesitance to link the two nuclear issues has angered some critics of the Iran deal.

“This is exactly the kind of dishonest incoherence that the Iran nuclear deal forces its advocates to defend,” said Omri Ceren, the managing director of press and strategy at The Israel Project, a D.C.-based organization that works with journalists on Middle East issues.

“The Obama administration can’t admit that the [deal] provided the Iranians with hundreds of billions of dollars, some of which they’re going to invest in nuclear research beyond their borders, allowing them to get sanctions relief while advancing their program anyway,” Ceren said. “So instead they have to deny that there are links between Iran and North Korea’s nuclear program, even though that’s laughable.”