North Korea Threatens War

On Tuesday, North Korea vowed it would cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War. Soon-to-be-imposed sanctions by the United Nations regarding the nation’s recent nuclear test and U.S.-South Korean joint military drills were cited as the reasons for the threat. Without going into details, the Korean People’s Army Supreme Command warned of “surgical strikes” aimed at unifying the Korean Peninsula and that they possessed a “precision nuclear striking tool.”

An agreement on the latest sanctions was reached between the United States and China late Monday. It represents a shift by China, which has grown frustrated by North Korea’s increasingly provocative behavior. The U.N. Security Council followed up with an announcement that it would hold private consultations on the matter Tuesday. It was expected that the session would produce a draft resolution extending sanctions against any entities involved in both the nation’s nuclear and missile programs. It is speculated those sanctions could include a further tightening of financial restrictions, more cargo inspections, and an increase in blacklisted companies and individuals. Currently, 17 North Korean entities, including banks and trading companies, as well as nine individuals–all linked to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs–are being blacklisted by the U.N.

A separate announcement by the U.N. press office revealed that Russia, which occupies the presidency of the 15-nation Security Council for the month of March, was scheduled to hold private consultations about North Korea yesterday morning as well. U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity expressed the hope that the council will hold a vote on a resolution by the end of the week.

The latest action follows the unanimous approval of a February 12 press release, only hours after the atomic blast occurred, by the 15 members of the council. They condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test, and pledged they would take additional action. “In line with this commitment and the gravity of this violation, the members of the Security Council will begin work immediately on appropriate measures in a Security Council resolution,” it read. If the council follows through as expected, the sanctions would be the fourth round of restrictions imposed on the rogue nation.

Inflammatory rhetoric is nothing new for North Korea, especially when the U.S. and South Korea conduct war games on the Korean Peninsula. But the latest statement contains far more specific threats. Pyongyang has warned that it will block a communications line between North Korea and the U.S. at the border village separating North and South Korea and that the 60-year-old armistice agreement will be abrogated on March 11, due to ongoing U.S.-South Korean war games that began March 1. Those war games were characterized as a “dangerous nuclear war targeted at us” in the statement released by Pyongyang yesterday. “We aim to launch surgical strikes at any time and any target without being bounded by the armistice accord and advance our long-cherished wish for national unification,” it added.

North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, in 2006, 2009 and 2013. Each of them occurred after the United Nations condemned them for rocket launches. Sanctions were imposed by the Security Council after the first two tests, and after a rocket launch in December that was thought to be part of Pyongyang’s covert effort to develop long-range nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States.

North Korea counters that its nuclear development program reflects a response to U.S. hostility dating back to the three-year Korean War that took place from 1950 to 1953. Furthermore, they contend that since an armistice and not a peace treaty was signed following the conflict, the Korean Peninsula remains in a state of war.

In Congress, both the House and Senate foreign panels convened to deal with North Korea as well. The Republican-led House panel is focusing on North Korea’s criminal activity, thought to earn the nation hundreds of millions of dollars annually. These activities include counterfeiting cigarettes and American currency, drug running, insurance scams, as well as conventional weapon and missile sales outlawed by the U.N. Until now, targeted financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. have been successful, but have upset China, North Korea’s primary trading and financial partner.  The breadth of the financial sanctions included in this latest resolution remains to be seen.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce characterized America’s ongoing efforts to get Pyongyang to do the right thing, going as far back as the Clinton administration, as a “bipartisan failure.” He promised yesterday’s hearing “will identify the best strategy for cutting off North Korea’s access to hard currency in order to see real change.”

David Asher, one of the U.S. government’s foremost experts in countering money laundering, terrorism financing, and sanctions evasion schemes, recommended that the Obama administration resurrect the North Korean Activities Group at the National Security Council (NSC) to coordinate a comprehensive campaign aimed at Pyongyang’s criminal activities. “The administration should revive the NSC North Korean Activities Group, appoint a high level North Korea pressure czar at the Department of State, and commence an inter-agency and international effort to actively pursue North Korean illicit activities, weapons trafficking and regime finances using all instruments of national power,” Asher told members of the House Committee.

Asher contends the program would prevent North Korea from earning the hard currency it needs to fund its nuclear and missile programs, as well its ruling elite. He was adamant about why. “North Korea is close to attaining a position it has long sought: acceptance as a de-facto global nuclear power with the ability to threaten and coerce the United States and our allies directly,” he warned. “I believe that in the next 24 months the North Korean global and regional threat could go from bad to worse.”

Asher further noted that North Korea is maintaining a relationship with Iran, just as it did with Syria in the early 2000s. “Who has both the money and the need for weapons grade uranium, weapons technology and the means to deliver such weapons? The answer is Iran,” he warned, adding that this development needs to be closely tracked.

Lee Sung-yoon, a professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, echoed Asher’s concerns, further noting that “the Treasury Department should declare the entire North Korean government to be a primary money laundering concern.” He also emphasized that Pyongyang remains vulnerable to financial sanctions due to its “overdependence on its shadowy palace economy.”

Both men consider China to be the critical player in this latest development, with Asher contending that several areas of the Pyongyang-Beijing relationship should be assessed by U.S. intelligence agencies, and that sanctions against China should be imposed if it turns out that it is facilitating, rather than hindering, North Korea’s illegal and dangerous activities.

Senior U.S. government official Joseph DeTrani, who believes North Korea will continue testing nukes and launching missiles, contends that China should step up with regard to enforcing sanctions, and resuming talks with Pyongyang. “My personal view is that China should do what they did in April 2003 when they convened an emergency meeting of the U.S., North Korea and China to discuss the tension in the region and arrange for the six-party process to be established,” he said.

In Qatar on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the hope that North Korea would change course. “Rather than threaten to abrogate, the world would be better served if they would engage in legitimate dialogue,” Kerry said. “Our preference is not to brandish threats, but for peaceful negotiations.”

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • AdinaK

    Whether or not the maniacs in Korea will do this or that, the fact of the matter is that they are demonstrating their total contempt for "The One". Not only that, but they are busy assisting Iran's Hitlerite regime, all the while Washington does nothing!

    It is this projection of NEGATIVE power which fuels whatever shakes out, and this is what happens when a Pyromaniac-in-Chief is busy destroying America as a super power. Cause and effect –

    So, Barak & gang are aiming for total control over America's citizens, at the same time the US becomes irrelevant on the world stage. Hmm.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

    • Mary Sue

      it looks like Daddy's Little Villain grew up with an extra dose of Crazy. (They didn't call his daddy dearest "Kim Jong Mentally Ill" for nothing)

      • Jihad

        Kill the Turkish brigade, they are trying to join in the tour like the first Korea War. Prevent the spread of Islam. Keep tight on Turkish brigade suspects turned bin Laden. You saw Teheranno and this is the chance to stomp the Islamic sphere of influence for good.

  • Mary Sue

    On tuesday they cancelled the ceasefire.

    What day did Dennis Rodman visit him, again?

  • kafir4life

    The increase in rhetoric came pretty quick after Rodman's visit. Rodman confirmed to little Un that our President Stinky (bo) is a complete coward, and would only lead from his behind.

    • steve bryant

      What Rodman's visit "confirmed" is the power of preening ignoramuses in US society.

  • steve bryant

    It occurred to me that North Korea’s desire to “unite” the peninsula is similar to some Mexican’s claim on the US Southwest…They think it’s the land that will make them prosperous when it’s actually the culture. Both parties could achieve that prosperity right where they are…..pitiful

  • Asher

    Rodman's Best Bud, Kim the 2nd, may be a chip off the ole Block, his father. North Korea rattling sabers, just like Morsie and the Muslim Brotherhood!

    • Mary Sue

      Kim Jong Un is the world's most brainwashed red-diaper baby.

      • Ander Coop

        That's a nice quote. Do you think he does drugs?

        If so we could add "doper"

        • Mary Sue

          I'm pretty sure daddy dearest employed the same Senor Happy-Juice that eventually pacified Elian Gonzales when he got back to Cuba.

  • rangerrebew

    I think the only thing for Obama to do to avoid a war is apologize, gut the military even more, and give nukes to N. Korea.

  • Retcon

    Tired of this. Why does it continue?

    Because Foggy Bottom types (Diplomats) are cowards or mis-educated?

    Many people who study military science & are professional soldiers believe that you have to pay the butchers bill up front. If you 1/2 @$$ it and try to avoid casualties you actually end up with more casualties. This is regarded true for battles. What about wars? We attacked Saddam Hussein in 2003. We got Gaddaffi for free. He gave up his WMD programs.

    We attacked Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2001. The ETA in Spain called a 1 year ceasefire. They were afraid that they were on the list to get destroyed. We should have actively gone after them. But they only bedevil Spain you say? These terrorists groups often assist one another. The Japanese Red Army faction assisted the PLO.

    If we handed China a fait accompli they would back off. Hand them a world without North Korea. A world where the gulags are open for world inspection. Hand them an unified Korean Peninsula. One that does not threaten them but one that won;t get pushed around.

    Besides China not being in our faces neither would Iran.

  • BLJ

    1) North Korea is a puppet of Red China.
    2) The U.S. has some payback overdue for the USS Pueblo.
    3) Obama sends a clown like Rodman to negotiate.
    4) The Korean War has never officially ended.

  • Tracy Scanlon

    Well Obama had better consult his Bible real soon (if he has one) because the global community is going to hell in a hand basket.None of this is going to end until JESUS comes back.TRY as we may we can't fix this cultural,religious,political mess looming over the world today.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    How long before Obama turns America into North Korea?…….The North Korean people will never
    know freedom and liberty until thier masters are removed permanently. Amazing how Communism
    with totalitarian manifestations is so ruinous to the lives of millions and here where we have
    freedom our citizens go for a Communist street worker to lead them down the red road of misery.

  • Eugene William Howe

    They shold tell that fat little f==ker that one shell landing in SK and we will turn NK into a glowing dust pile and mean it. He is a waste of good oxygen for breathing….

    • Mary Sue

      yeah, you'll notice he doesn't look like he's missed too many meals, while his people are starving.

  • mark

    i went to college with a dozen south koreans,they spent thanksgiving and chistmas with me,i worked for wiu and had to stay.even back then they expressed there concerns that our grandfathers faught and died together yet america seemed to have no regaurd for there saftey or friendships.honor seemed to be the one thing they believed we lost and were afraid we would let them down when push came to shove.i hope they were wrong.sumean i wish your family a long and peaceful life.god bless

  • Ghostwriter

    Another day,another nutzoid statement from North Korea. Why aren't we surprised at this?

  • Mary Sue

    BTW, Kim Jong Un has the face of a Bond Villain, for realz.

  • BS77

    Make Dennis Rodman Sec. of State and send a ship load of pizzas and ice cream to North Korea. Problem solved. The happy little dictator will forget his temper tantrum and there will be peace in the valley.

  • mike

    Lolz that reminded me of southpark:-)

    • Questions

      You're right. That little fat guy is a spittin' image. Of course, he was groomed for the job from day one. In a macabre way, I kind of feel sorry for him.