North Korean Threats

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thermo-nuke

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

Editor’s Note: Back in February of 2014 we published an interview and report from well known preparedness strategist and strategic relocation expert Joel Skousen in which he explained his assessment of how World War III would “go down.” At the time, North Korea was considered by most to be nothing more than a small pest that posed no real threat to the United States. President Barrack Obama, like his predecessors, had maintained America’s policy of “strategic patience” with the rogue state, while its leader, as he does today, often made threats about attacking the United States, Japan and South Korea. What’s different today is that North Korea has proven their capabilities with not only inter-continental ballistic missiles, but nuclear weapons as well. Moreover, they have threatened to launch nuclear attacks against specific U.S. targets and many in the intelligence community have argued that the North may already have the weapons systems in place to strike key population centers that include Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

Unlike 2014, today we have a different kind of President – one who believes strategic patience is a failed policy. Donald Trump has made it clear that North Korea will not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons and has backed his words with the might of Naval carrier strike groups off the Korean Peninsula and strategic bombers stationed in Guam. Trump and his national security team have essentially given Kim Jong Un two options. Either dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program, or war will be declared.

On that note, we encourage you to consider the following assessment from Joel Skousen. If war is coming, this may well be how it’s triggered. And when it goes down, it’s going to be thermo-nuclear.

Originally published February 10, 2014:

It’s no secret that the world is on the brink of a significant paradigm shift. With the economy in shambles and the United States, Europe, China and Russia vying for hegemony over global affairs, it is only a matter of time before the powder keg goes critical.

As was the case with World Wars I and II, the chess pieces are being positioned well in advance. It’s happening on all levels – monetary, financial, economic, geo-political. Lines are being drawn. Alliances are being cemented.

We know that a widespread depression is sweeping across just about every nation on earth. The complete collapse of the world we have come to know as it relates to commerce and consumption is a foregone conclusion. We may not know exactly when or how the final nail is driven into the coffin, but we know it’s happening right before our eyes.

Throughout history, when countries have fallen into destitution and despair, their leaders have often resolved their domestic plights by finding foreign scapegoats. This time will be no different – for all parties involved.

In the following interview with Infowars’ Alex Jones, Joel Skousen of World Affairs Brief  leaves nothing to the imagination and outlines what we can expect as East and West face off in coming years.

The trigger is clear. What will follow is nothing short of thermo-nuclear warfare on a massive scale.

The trigger event has to be North Korea… North Korea is the most rogue element in the world and yet it’s been given a pass by the U.S… We don’t do anything to stop its nuclear progress, unlike Iran.

Russia and China… it’s too early… they’re not ready to go to a third world war over Iran…

When you see a North Korean launch against the South… and they do some minor military attack every year, so you’ve got to be careful not to confuse those with a major artillery barrage on Seoul. If this ever starts you know you’re days away from nuclear war. People ought to get out of major cities that are major nuclear targets.

There has to be a reason why North Korea has been preserved… It can only be because the globalists know that they are the puppets of China and that they will be the trigger.

Here’s how I think it’s going down. I think there will be an attack against South Korea. The North Koreans have over two million troops… 20,000 artillery… they can level Seoul in a matter of three or four days. The only way the U.S. can stop that attack is using tactical nuclear weapons.

And that would give China the excuse to nuke the United States. U.S. is guilty of first-use, the U.S. is the bully of the world, Russia and Chinese unite to launch against U.S. military targets. Not civilian targets per say. There will be about 12 or 15 cities that are inextricably connected with the military that are going to get hit that I mentioned in Strategic Relocation… you don’t want to be in those cities.

You may have two days notice when that attack in Korea starts, before China launches on the United States.

And if you ever see everything blackout, because both Russia and China will use a preemptive nuclear EMP strike to take down the grid… before the nukes actually fall… anytime you see all electricity out, no news, nothing at all… that’s the time you need to be getting out of cities before the panic hits.

In his Strategic Relocation documentary, Skousen notes that the reason Russia and China have yet to take action is because they are not ready. But as current events suggest, they are making haste. Iran has apparently deployed warships near US borders and China has continually balked at internationally established air zones, encroaching on U.S. interests. North Korea continues to do whatever it wants, even after sanctions issued again their nuclear development plans by the United Nations. And, given President Obama’s refusal to attend the Olympic games with other world leaders that include Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, it should be obvious that the relationship between the world’s super powers are strained.

No one is willing to back down. And as we saw in the 20th century, that kind of diplomacy ends with the deaths of millions of people.

No one believed it could happen in the early 1910’s and again in the late 1930’s.

And with a Nobel Peace Prize winner at the helm of the freest nation on earth, not many Americans think it can happen in today’s modern and interconnected world.

But what if history rhymes once again?

Are we really to dismiss the warnings of Joel Skousen simply because it is such an outlier that it is impossible to imagine for most? Or do we look at history, see how such situations have unfolded over the last 5,000 years, and conclude that it is, in fact, possible that it happens again?

The lives of hundreds of millions of people are in the balance. That’s a sobering thought for average people, but mere chess pieces to the elite who sit behind the curtains with their fingers on the buttons.

As before, when the circumstances suit them and the time is right, they will invariably push those red buttons as their predecessors did before them.

Those in target cities in the U.S., Russia, China and Europe will become nothing more than statistics for the history books.

But if you know the warning signs, then perhaps at the very least, you stand a chance.

If you ever wake up one morning and your TV doesn’t work, the internet is down, and your cell phone is off, then you need to assume that your city or region was hit by a super EMP weapon, such as those being developed and tested in North Korea, Russia and China.

As Skousen warns, in such a scenario you’ll have about two days to get out of major cities to a safe location outside of the blast radius. We recommend a number of resources, including Skousen’s Strategic Relocation and Holly Deyo’s Prudent Places, both of which outline safe areas in the United States based on various factors like population density, location of thoroughfares and resource availability.

When it starts all avenues for obtaining critical supplies will be unavailable.Therefore, wherever you are, prepare for the worst by stockpiling reserve food, water, and nuclear preparedness supplies. Given the scenario outlined by Skousen, nations may well engage in conventional warfare after the nukes drop, meaning that you’ll need to be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and know, at the very least, basic military strategies and tactics to evade, defend and attack.

It’s an outlier to be sure. But it’s one that has been experienced by every second or third generation on this planet since the dawn of human civilization.

It may well be our turn very soon.

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com: The Trigger: If This Ever Happens You Know You’re Days Away From Nuclear War

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Image: Americans are suddenly preparing like crazy for World War III and nuclear fallout

By   – Natural News

(Natural News) With the United States and North Korea inching toward war, millions of Americans are inundating prepper supply stores with orders even to the point where several of them are having difficulty keeping up with demand. And frankly, for those who are just now getting into prepper mode, it’s possible you’re too late.

As reported by CBS Detroit, a local shop manager, Ben Orr of Army Supply, said he’s been selling a ton of “prepper items” over the past week.

“We’ve been very busy. Unusually busy, I’d say,” Orr told the local affiliate WWJ. “It’s definitely an increase, just in selling all the normal prepper stuff, end of the world stuff. A lot of water prep stuff, food, MREs — the military meals.” (Related: Click here for The Health Ranger’s science-based preparedness guide for surviving nuclear fallout.)

In addition, because much of what is causing the friction between Pyongyang and Washington has to do with the former’s nuclear weapons program, Orr said sales of radiation antidote potassium iodide products have been especially heavy.

“It actually stops your thyroid from absorbing any radiation. So, it fills your thyroid with iodine, which it normally does anyways,” said Orr. “Your body can’t tell the difference between bad, radioactive iodine and acceptable iodine, so it actually will stop you from getting thyroid cancer.”

He added: “It’s supposed to work. It’s FDA approved. But they also recommend you don’t take it unless the government says to take it. Unless people are scared of something, we don’t really ever sell it.” [Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, and inventor of Cesium Eliminator says iodine does not block radioactive cesium — check out the website here.]

Continue reading at NaturalNews: Americans are suddenly preparing like crazy for World War III and nuclear fallout

By Joshua Krause – Ready Nutrition

Right now all eyes on North Korea, which is totally understandable. The rhetoric being exchanged between our government and theirs has never been so heated, and at this point it wouldn’t be a surprise if war broke out. However, while the media has been parading an endless stream of worrisome stories on this subject, they’ve neglected to keep tabs on another brewing conflict between China and India.

For weeks the two countries have been hashing out a war of words over a border dispute in Bhutan. The Chinese tried to build a road in disputed territory, and the Indian army was deployed to block them. Since then the Chinese have been threatening to annihilate the Indian soldiers if they aren’t removed.

Over the past month, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been on the move. We believe that the PLA has made sufficient preparation for military confrontation.

It is a war with an obvious result. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be aware of the PLA’s overwhelming firepower and logistics. Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region.

And that isn’t just bluster. China and India have gone to war over border disputes as recently as the 1960s. The only difference now, is that these nations both have nuclear weapons.

While many Americans are now deeply concerned about the possibility of their country being embroiled in another world war, most haven’t considered the possibility that there could be a nuclear exchange that has nothing to do with us, in countries that are far away from us. Which has to make you wonder, should we be concerned? Would a war like this have a major effect on life in America?

The answer is yes. It absolutely would. It certainly wouldn’t be an apocalyptic event for us if America decided to stay out of the fray, but we’d have reason to be concerned. That’s because any nuclear weapons detonated in East Asia could produce a cloud of fallout that would reach us. It wouldn’t be cataclysmic, but it would be dangerous.

We know this because when China tested a nuke back in 1967, it produced fallout cloud that enveloped almost all of the United States. According to a book called Nuclear War Survival Skills (which is still a very relevant book that you should check out):

Trans-Pacific war fallout, carried to an America at peace by the prevailing west-to-east winds that blow around the world, could be several hundred times more dangerous to Americans than fallout from the worst possible overseas nuclear power reactor accident, and many times more dangerous than fallout from a very improbable U.S. nuclear power reactor accident as lethal as the disastrous Chernobyl accident was to Russians…

…Fallout from the approximately 300 kiloton Chinese test explosion shown in Fig. 1 caused milk from cows that fed on pastures near Oak Ridge, Tennessee and elsewhere to be contaminated with radioiodine, although not with enough to be hazardous to health. However, this milk contamination (up to 900 picocuries of radioactive iodine per liter) and the measured dose rates from the gamma rays emitted from fallout particles deposited in different parts of the United States indicate that trans-Pacific fallout from even an overseas nuclear war in which “only” two or three hundred megatons would be exploded could result in tens of thousands of unprepared Americans suffering thyroid injury.

It would take several days for the fallout to reach us, at which point most of the radiation would have decayed. But there would still be enough radioactive material in our food supply to cause thyroid damage to thousands of people.

The best thing you can do to prepare for a nuclear exchange in Asia, is have a supply of potassium iodide on hand, and to stock up on supplies that could remove radioactive materials from your body and the environment. It would also be wise to prepare yourself for a global financial crash that would inevitably follow the destruction of two countries with massive economies.

It’s unfortunate, but the bottom line is that nuclear weapons have a global effect, in one form or another. Even if you live far away from where these bombs land, they can still ruin your health.

This information has been made available by Ready NutritionCould A Nuclear War In Asia Effect You? Absolutely

About the author:

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

 

Kim Il-sung s PosterAs North Koreans celebrated the birthday on Monday of their country’s late founder, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the regime in Pyongyang to ditch its nuclear program and put a lid on its fiery threats if it wants to hold talks.

“The United States has made clear many times what the conditions are for our entering talks and they haven’t changed,” Kerry said during an interview with CNN’s Jill Dougherty in Tokyo.

“The conditions have to be met where the North has to move towards denuclearization, indicate a seriousness in doing so by reducing these threats, stop the testing, and indicate it’s actually prepared to negotiate,” he said.

Kerry was speaking at the end of a three-day trip that focused on securing fresh commitments from South Korea, China and Japan to try to persuade Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table and renounce nuclear weapons.

His visit followed weeks of dramatic threats by Kim Jong Un’s regime, including that of a nuclear strike on the United States and South Korea.

There is uncertainty about how advanced the North’s nuclear weapons program is, but Kerry on Monday reiterated the U.S. government view that Pyongyang doesn’t yet have the capacity to carry out a nuclear attack.

Last month, North Korea scrapped the 1953 truce that effectively ended the Korean War and said it was nullifying the joint declaration on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

It also recently pledged to restart a reactor at its main nuclear complex that had been shut down under an agreement reached in October 2007 during talks with the United States, South Korea and four other countries.

Kerry said Monday that the United States is concerned that North Korea’s dogged pursuit of its nuclear weapons program could have consequences elsewhere in the world.

“It is the belief of President Obama, myself and the administration that what happens here also has an impact on perceptions in places like Iran, the Middle East, and elsewhere where we’re engaged in nonproliferation efforts,” he said.

Pyongyang insists that its nuclear weapons are a necessary deterrent because of the threat posed to it by the United States and its allies.

Multilateral talks on North Korea’s nuclear program have ended in failure in the past, and Kerry said the United States isn’t interested in going over old ground.

“We’re not going to go through another cycle of artificial negotiations that are geared to simply attract some kind of aid or lull in events while they continue to pursue their devices’ designs,” he said.

A U.S. State Department official said Monday there are no plans to move toward direct talks, “because North Korea has shown no willingness to move in a positive direction.”

Pyongyang on Sunday rejected a different proposal for dialogue, one by South Korea last week regarding the North’s suspension of activity at the manufacturing zone that the two countries jointly operate.

A statement via KCNA, the state-run news agency, called the South’s offer a “crafty trick” and “empty words without any content.”

And a KCNA commentary Monday was titled, “U.S. is to blame for escalating tension on Korean Peninsula.”

Kerry’s trip finishes on one of the biggest dates on the North Korean calendar: “The Day of the Sun,” when citizens celebrate the birthday of the country’s founder and “eternal president,” Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994. Monday is the 101st anniversary of his birth.

Current leader Kim Jong Un paid tribute Monday to Kim Il Sung, his grandfather, as well as his late father, Kim Jong Il, by visiting the halls where both men lie in state. It was believed to be the young leader’s first public appearance in two weeks.

Suspicions remain that the North could carry out a test of a mobile ballistic missile in the coming days.

Kerry said in Beijing at the weekend that the United States and China are calling on North Korea to refrain from any provocative steps — including any missile launches.

Pyongyang made good on its promise to launch a long-range rocket around the time of Kim Il Sung’s birthday last year; the rocket broke apart after launch and fell into the sea. – Read more… CNN

 

 

 

English: Air Combat Command Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force will begin grounding combat air squadrons Tuesday in response to forced spending cuts that have eliminated more than 44,000 flying hours through September, according to internal documents obtained by Defense News.

The Air Force’s budget for flying hours was reduced by $591 million for the remainder of fiscal 2013, making it impossible to keep all squadrons ready for combat, according to an April 5 memo signed by Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, director of operations for Air Combat Command. The across-the board spending cuts, called sequestration, took effect March 1 when Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.

Seventeen combat-coded squadrons will stand down effective Tuesday or upon their return from deployments, according to the documents. The Air Force will distribute 241,496 flying hours that are funded to squadrons that will be kept combat ready or at a reduced readiness level called “basic mission capable” for part or all of the remaining months in fiscal 2013, the documents said.

“Units will stand down on a rotating basis so our limited resources can be focused on fulfilling critical missions,” ACC Commander Gen. Mike Hostage said in a statement.

The grounding includes F-22s from the 1st Fighter Wing’s 94th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The squadron is returning from a deployment to the Pacific where airmen participated in a high-profile exercise in South Korea. Other squadrons to stand down when they return to the U.S. include F-16s from the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, which is returning from a deployment in the Pacific; B-1B Lancers from the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; and A-10s from the 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

The other grounded units include B-52s from the 2nd and 5th Bomb Wings, F-15Es from the 336th, 492nd, 494th and 391s Fighter Squadrons; F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron, 555th Fighter Squadron, 18th Aggressor Squadron and the Thunderbirds; and A-10s from the 81st Fighter Squadron, which will close as a result of the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

Grounded associate units — active units sharing aircraft with Air National Guard and Reserve units — include the 158th, 169th, 187th, 442nd and 917th squadrons. Only active-duty pilots in those units are affected by the standdown.

Any flying hours not used by the grounded squadrons will be reallocated to meet Air Combat Command requirements. Additionally, all combat aircraft will stand down the last seven operation and maintenance days in September, the memo said.

“Historically, the Air Force has not operated under a tiered readiness construct because of the need to respond to any crisis within a matter of hours or days,” Hostage said in the statement. “The current situation means we’re accepting the risk that combat airpower may not be ready to respond immediately to new contingencies as they occur.”

Air Force officials had warned that mandatory budget cuts would lead to a reduction of flying hours by 18 percent, with readiness dropping to “sub-optimal levels,” according to information provided to Congress. The drop in flying hours would mean that it could take up to six months to repair the damage to readiness, the Air Force warned lawmakers in a February presentation.

Average aircrews lose currency to fly combat missions within 90 to 120 days of being grounded, and it takes from 60 to 90 days to conduct training to return aircrews o mission-ready status, according to Air Combat Command.

“We’re entering uncharted territory in terms of how we’ve had to take this year’s cuts and make adjustments to mitigate the most serious impacts,” Hostage said. “Remaining as mission-ready as possible for combatant commanders is our priority, and we’re prioritizing spending to ensure this imperative is met.”

Air Combat Command officials announced a stand down and reallocation of flying hours for the rest of the fiscal year due to mandatory budget cuts. The limitation of flying hours means squadrons will stand down or maintain readiness at the reduced “basic mission capable” level, while others will remain at full “combat mission ready.”

The affected aircraft and units, by airframe:

Continue Reading….

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Contributed by Brian Everstein and Marcus Weisgerber of DefenseNews.

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North Korea warned Japan on Friday that Tokyo would be its first target in case of a war in the Korean peninsula if the Japanese government maintains its hostile stance on the North Korean regime.

Through a review posted on the official KCNA news agency, and reproduced by news agency Yonhap, Pyongyang has lashed out at Tokyo’s orders to destroy any missile that is directed towards Japan, threatening that such actions would result a nuclear attack on this country.

Japan has deployed its Patriot missile defense system and sent Aegis destroyers with SM-3 missiles to the Eastern Sea to address a possible threat from North Korea.

According to KCNA, Japan, following is following anti-North Korean policies dictated by the United States, and has been strengthening its military capacity to lay the groundwork for a new invasion of the Korean Peninsula and to position themselves to take advantage of future conflict.

According to the official Korean agency, Japan, which colonized the peninsula for 36 years in the first half of the twentieth century, took advantage of acting as a logistical base for the United States during the Korean War (1950-53).

So, the North Korean regime has accused Tokyo of preparing for another war and warned that the country should stop it, especially if it does so in the belief that it is protected by the United States.

“Pyongyang has never forgotten the past actions of Japan and those hoping to take advantage of another war should be prepared for an intense nuclear war” said the national spokesman for the North Korean regime.

In recent weeks, the government of Kim Jong Un declared a “state of war” on the Korean peninsula and has threatened to attack military bases that the U.S. has in the Hawaiian Islands, Guam and Japan.

In this sense, it has already “formally” notified its enemies that it will launch an attack “without mercy” against U.S. targets, including a “diversified nuclear attack.”

The communist regime has claimed all these measures to the threats made by South Korea and the United States. The two allies have been preparing for war by carrying out military exercises near North Korea. Meanwhile, a new report from the United States government has concluded that North Korea may indeed have nuclear missiles; something that had been discounted by the Americans and its allies in Asia.

A report from the Pentagon says that North Korea may indeed be able to put together a nuclear ballistic missile. “DIA has determined that there is a moderate chance that North Korea now has nuclear weapons capable of being launched with a ballistic missile. However, the reliability of the weapon may be low,” said Congressman Lamborn reading the report.

But the report does not make any reference about whether or not North Korea has the ability to launch long range missiles that can hit the United States. Perhaps the only answer to this questions is the fact that the U.S. announced last month that it would reinforce his long-range missile defenses in Alaska and California, which are designed to protect the West Coast, and a new missile defense system deployed in the territory of Guam in the Pacific that should not have been installed until 2015.

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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.

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Over the weekend, US officials continued to threaten North Korea with war, demanding that China cut off its support to the regime in Pyongyang.

This comes after weeks of US threats aimed at Pyongyang’s nuclear program, during which Washington flew nuclear-capable bombers to Korea to demonstrate its capacity to wage nuclear war against the North. Last week, US officials revealed that these moves were part of a laid-out “playbook” of US escalations—aimed to terrorize North Korea’s government and population.

General Walter Sharp, the former US military commander in South Korea, told America’s National Public Radio (NPR): “there’s been a lot of effort over the past two and a half years now to build this counter-provocation plan. Because that’s a hard balance of a strong response: don’t escalate, but be prepared to go to war.”

Sharp said that US and South Korean forces would rapidly respond to any firing along the border by the North Korean and prepare for an overwhelming response. He explained, “There are options that people have worked and thought through that could very quickly be brought to President Park [Geun-hye of South Korea] and President Obama.”

NPR commented, “That’s the escalation scenario, and it leads to all-out war.”

Yesterday, amid intelligence reports that North Korea may be preparing a test missile launch for April 10, South Korea dispatched Aegis guided-missile warships to waters on both sides of the Korean peninsula.

Japan indicated that it was also considering deploying its own warships to the area. Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo is preparing for a “worst-case” scenario and demanded that China and Russia play “significant roles” to resolve the stand-off.

There are unconfirmed reports that Washington has begun deploying groups of B-1 heavy bombers from the United States to the Western Pacific.

US officials speaking Sunday demanded that China force the North Korean regime to give in to US demands. Pyongyang relies on China for critical food and fuel supplies.

On CBS, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said, “China can cut off their [i.e., North Korea’s] economy if they want to. Chinese behavior has been very disappointing, whether it be on cyber security, whether it be on confrontation in the South China Sea, or whether it be their failure to rein in what could be a catastrophic situation.”

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York added, “The Chinese hold a lot of cards here. They’re by nature cautious, but they’re carrying it to an extreme. It’s about time they stepped up to the plate and put a little pressure on the North Korean regime.”

The Chinese regime in Beijing, which is in the midst of a leadership transition in both the state and the Chinese Communist Party, is divided on how to respond to the Korean crisis.

At Sunday’s regional business summit in Boao, China, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain.” This carefully worded remark voices the alarm in Beijing over the possible outbreak of military conflict, without directly indicting either North Korea or the United States as the party responsible.

On the one hand, Beijing has given several indications of increasing hostility to Pyongyang. It has already voted for UN sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear program earlier this year.

At the Boao summit, Xi also agreed to an extensive series of military exercises and exchanges with Australia’s armed forces. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government is closely aligned on US imperialist interests in the region, having agreed to install a US base in Australia as part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” aiming to contain China.

Sections of the Chinese army and bureaucracy have openly questioned Beijing’s attempts to accommodate US policy, however.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Colonel Dai Xu of the People’s Liberation Army’s National Defense University protested moves to develop closer ties to Australia: “Australia is one of the links in America’s encirclement of China. The first step of [America’s] strategic eastward move was to send troops to Australia. The Sino-Australian relationship has been good always, very good—[Gillard] can of course say that, but in China we say, ‘Listen to what they say, watch what they do.’ The US is taking Australia as a base, and who is that aimed against?”

The Western press is speculating that Zhou Yongkang, a member of Beijing’s powerful Politburo Standing Committee, is an influential supporter of the North Korean regime. A CCP official who has had responsibility for oil and security policy, he reportedly backed the coming to power of Kim Jong Un in North Korea in 2011.

Washington is placing enormous pressure on Beijing. Sections of the US press and foreign policy establishment are now mooting the possibility that Washington will go to war and kill the North Korean leadership—as it murdered Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi when it took over their countries. This was the theme of a recent Foreign Affairs article by academics Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, titled “The Next Korean War.”

If war started, they write, given Pyongyang’s military weakness, “North Korea’s inner circle would face a grave decision: how to avoid the terrible fates of such defeated leaders as Saddam Hussein and Muammar al-Gaddafi.” Lieber and Press see two possibilities for Pyongyang’s leaders to avoid murder at the hands of US and South Korean forces: a deal for them to flee to Beijing, or an attempt to deter US military action by using North Korea’s nuclear bombs.

On this basis, they argue for a policy of pressuring Beijing to help Washington organize the demise of the Pyongyang regime and the flight of its leaders to China: “American and South Korean leaders should urge China to develop ‘golden parachute’ plans for the North Korean leadership and their families… In the past, China has been understandably reluctant to hold official talks with the United States about facilitating the demise of an ally. But the prospect of nuclear war next door could induce Beijing to take more direct steps.”

These lines bluntly spell out the nuclear blackmail with which Washington is threatening Beijing: China can either face nuclear war, or acquiesce to regime change in Pyongyang and a shift of Chinese foreign policy more favorable to US imperialism. In seeking to intimidate Beijing, US imperialism is playing for the highest stakes—not only geo-strategic dominance in East Asia, but in the Middle East and the entire world economy.

As it moves against Pyongyang, Washington is also threatening Iran with war if it does not abandon its own nuclear program. It aims to prevent Pyongyang from keeping its nuclear weapons and thus serving as a model for Iran’s nuclear program, and from blocking China from protecting Iran against US war threats. This would give Washington greater leverage to continue fighting wars in the Middle East.

Washington is also trying to deter any economic pressure from China. According to US Treasury statistics, China held $1.6 trillion in US public debt in September 2012. Any significant upward spike in interest rates or decision by East Asian countries to stop lending to the US government would have potentially catastrophic economic consequences.

Writing in Foreign Affairs on US trade and budget deficits during Obama’s first term, economist Fred Bergsten noted that “foreign investors might at some point refuse to finance these deficits on terms compatible with US prosperity. Any sudden stop in lending to the United States would drive the dollar down, push inflation and interest rates up, and perhaps bring on a hard landing for the United States—and the world economy at large.”

In response to these Washington is ruthlessly plunging ahead, aiming to push through its policies and avoid economic collapse through war threats and nuclear intimidation.

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Contributed by Alex Lantier of wsws.org.