The United States of America is now officially telling fellow members of the United Nations the end has arrived with North Korea. The US is bluntly saying "Cut-off Oil and Fuel supplies to North Korea OR IT'S WAR."
This is the most stark, brutally blunt language ever used by the United States government and is the first time it has ever directly threatened "war."
This is a very-fast-developing news story, check back often for updates.
The Trump administration is pressing China and other members of the United Nations Security Council to cut all oil and other fuels to the country.The effort, which senior administration officials described as a last best chance to resolve the standoff with the North using sanctions rather than military means.
The US will put this before the UN on Monday as part of the sanctions resolution they are now drafting.
If China is serious about solving this diplomatically, then they must go along with a fuel embargo. It is the last bargaining chip that the world has against NK. Otherwise, the White House is right - the only other option is war at this point.
It is also very possible that a fuel embargo will prompt NK to attack, but it is also a possibility that they will negotiate (rather unlikely in my opinion) to get fuel pumping back into their country.
Now I am wondering how large of a strategic fuel/oil supply that the NK has... they have been prepping for 50yrs, so surely they have a reserve supply.
A radiation leak at the site of North Korea’s massive bomb test is “inevitable”, a Chinese nuclear weapons expert warned, after authorities in China reported that the mountain where the Hydrogen Bomb test-detonation took place, had collapsed.
China’s Earthquake Network Center said a second 4.6 magnitude ‘earthquake tremor’ happened eight minutes after Sunday’s initial explosion, which measured 6.3 magnitude. IT was that second, smaller earthquake which was the collapse of the mountain.
North Korea has taken an ICBM out of its missile factory and is moving it west by night, South Korean daily reports
The Trump admin's options are going from bad to worse as Kim Jong Un's military marches ever closer to being able to strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear weapons
Sanctions on North Korea have been tried, and failed. Serious negotiations seem like a pipedream. And any military strike would almost surely bring mass devastation and horrific civilian casualties.
The Trump administration's options are going from bad to worse as Kim Jong Un's military marches ever closer to being able to strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear weapons. Just as President Donald Trump seeks to show global resolve after the North's most powerful nuclear test, his leverage is limited even further by new tensions he's stoked with South Korea, plus continued opposition from China and Russia.
With South Korea, the country most directly threatened, Trump has taken the unusual step of highlighting disagreements between the U.S. and its treaty ally, including by floating the possibility he could pull out of a trade deal with South Korea to protest trade imbalances. He also suggested on Twitter the two countries lacked unanimity on North Korea, faulting new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has been more conciliatory to the North, for his government's "talk of appeasement."
It's an inopportune time for grievances to be aired, and on Monday the two leaders sought to show they were confronting North Korea together - and with might. The White House said that in a phone call with Moon, Trump gave approval "in principle" to lifting restrictions on South Korean missile payloads and to approving "many billions" in weapons sales to South Korea.
Though no details were released, the idea was to show the countries were collaborating to bolster defenses against Kim's government.
"He is begging for war," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said of the North Korean leader Monday at the U.N. Security Council, where diplomats were called into emergency session despite the Labor Day holiday in the U.S.
Haley called for exhausting "all diplomatic means to end this crisis." But to those who tried and failed over a decade-plus to resolve it, there appear to be few such means that haven't already been tried - and tried again.
What has changed is the sense of urgency, and the growing view among national security analysts that it may be time to abandon "denuclearization" and accept North Korea into the nuclear club. The North claimed Sunday's test, its sixth since 2006, was a hydrogen bomb designed to be mounted on its new intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Short of allowing Pyongyang's weapons programs to advance, Trump's options all appear to be variations on what's been considered before:
The military option
The U.S. military for years has had a full range of contingency plans prepared for potential strikes on the North to try to disrupt its nuclear program or dissuade it from developing further.
On Sunday, Trump dispatched Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to warn of a "massive military response" if the North keeps threatening the U.S., while Trump hinted in a call with Japan's leader that the U.S. could even deploy its own nuclear arsenal.
But over the years, the military options have consistently been viewed as unworkable, owing to the sheer horror that would ensue if North Korea retaliated - as would be expected - by striking South Korea. The North Koreans have massive military assets stockpiled on what is the world's most heavily fortified border.
The U.S. has roughly 28,000 troops in South Korea, and there are hundreds of thousands more American citizens just in Seoul, the capital, with a metro area population of 25 million.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said if war broke out, there would be heavy civilian casualties in the first few days before the U.S. could mitigate the North's ability to strike Seoul.
Our country's most valuable scientists and analysts, our military leaders, our policymakers, are all quite familiar with the EMP and its terminal threat.
Trump on Saturday declared on Twitter that the U.S. was considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea." That would be a dramatic escalation of the longstanding U.S. strategy: increasing economic pressure on North Korea by restricting its access to funds needed for its weapons programs.
But many countries do business with North Korea - especially China, a top U.S. trading partner and economic behemoth.
Cutting off trade with China, not to mention the others, would devastate the U.S. economy and be incredibly difficult to enforce. Countless American businesses would be shuttered or hard hit, eliminating jobs along with them.
Sanctions and isolation
A total trade shutdown aside, the U.S. has worked for years to squeeze Pyongyang financially and encouraged others to do the same - especially China.
In a diplomatic victory for the Trump administration, the U.N. last month approved sweeping new sanctions targeting roughly one-third of the North's economy, with China's support.
But the latest nuclear test and recent missile tests suggest Kim is undeterred by those sanctions. And there's strong reluctance from countries including China and Russia, both permanent Security Council members, to do more sanctioning.
Advocates for more sanctions say there's still room to up the pressure. Anthony Ruggiero, a sanctions expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the next logical step is for the U.S. to impose "secondary sanctions" targeting banks or businesses in China that do business with North Korea, a tactic the U.S. used effectively to push Iran to the table over its nuclear program several years ago.
"The chance for sanctions to work is that playbook," Ruggiero said.
China, backed by Russia, has been urging an immediate return to talks, predicated on the U.S. halting joint military exercises with South Korea and the North suspending its weapons development.
But few in the U.S. government have advocated direct talks with the North Koreans until their behavior significantly changes.
In the past, talks with the North have failed to prevent it from advancing its weapons program for long, and the U.S. has accused Pyongyang of cheating on an earlier agreement.
The Trump administration has left the door open to talks with the North, and has tried to coax Kim into abstaining from provocative tests long enough to justify a U.S. return to the table. So far, that coaxing hasn't worked.
HAL TURNER ANALYSIS
US needs to tread extremely carefully.
It should be obvious to all but the most stupid, that North Korea is a Chinese/Russian proxy. Their nuclear program didn't get to the point it arrived at, without assistance from one, or quite possibly both of these countries.
The rhetoric they are using never deviates away calling for a diplomatic settlement to the North Korea issue. Why is this ? It is obvious when you think about it logically. The Russians and Chinese are using North Korea as a bargaining chip to try and get US Troops/Missiles out of South Korea/Asia/South China Sea. They want to reverse US hegemonic influence in the region.
Both Russia and/China were very vocal about US AEGIS/THAAD deployment in South Korea, it compromises their Nuke first-strike capabilities. AEGIS puts all Russia Far East Missiles Bases on US radar.
The US would be crazy to negotiate any deal with North Korea which sees US having to remove anything from the Korean Peninsula. In fact US should actually be moving Nukes and military assets in to the region, in preparation to confront the main protagonists, little Kim is nothing more than a Puppet on a string.
Right now there are many geo-political issues running asymmetrical with North Korea problem. We have Ukraine/Syria/Myanmar/Iran/South China Sea, a tug of war between US Western interests and Russian/Chinese interests. We have relations deteriorating almost daily between US/Russia/China. Unprecedented events like the closing/searching of Russian diplomatic properties. Threats of trade war with China.
Both Russia, and China are too weak to ever act unilaterally militarily against the US. What better way to defeat US than to bog the US down in an un-winnable conflict in South Korea?
Provoke US in to a war that US can never win. Sure US can drop hundreds of Cruise Missiles/MOABs in a surgical first strike and hope to decapitate North Korea command and control structure. Remember though, the North Koreans have been building deep tunnels for 60-70 years in preparation for this very day, some suspect some of these tunnels actually go under South Korea. Once US has used this Ace Card it can no longer control events. Sure US could also use Theater based tactical Nukes if it wanted to, highly unlikely though, given using them would likely cause a whole new serious problem that would likely enrage Russia/China.
Most likely the North Koreans - or what is left of them - will emerge from their deep Tunnels within minutes of the last US salvo of Cruise Missiles/MOABs and march on South Korea. US would lose air superiority in an instant. The Korean War would become an urbanised war between a brainwashed radicalized North Korean army totaling at least 1,000 000 v 70,000 US troops 100,000 South Koreans.
The US could even be defeated; the stakes are high.
Right now US is showing restraint/reluctance to go to war against North Korea because it knows any war will leave hundreds of thousands of dead on both sides. It would quite possibly bankrupt the US as it hemorrhages Dollars/young lives trying to win the conflict.””
In my opinion Russia + China are trying to draw US in to an elaborate trap to destroy US Military/Economically. You don’t need to be Einstein to see this.
The moment the US and it's allies are bogged down in a new Korean war, China will be free to move on Taiwan, and Russia to take the rest of the Ukraine and move on the Baltic states (and possibly Finland and Poland).
Meanwhile, the US would have to withdraw resources from the Middle East, leaving the Russians/Syrians/Iranians able to move into Iraq, dominate the region, and severely hurt oil supplies to the west.
An alliance with China and Russia at the centre, and Iran, Syria, Pakistan and North Korea around the edges for support, would have all the resources it needs, without vulnerable trans-oceanic supply lines. They could also soak up a tremendous amount of damage, even nuclear, and still function, and have populations suited to conscription. The opposite is true in the west on all counts.
This is an elaborate, huge game of chess.