Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

North Korea to launch ICBM Saturday, South Korea prime minister says

North Korea to launch ICBM Saturday, South Korea prime minister says

The tectonic plates around the Korean Peninsula are shifting, largely because of North Korea's reckless provocations and the growing threat of its nuclear weapons and missiles.

South Korean President Moon Jae In stressed that diplomacy, not war, was the way to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat, even as the South yesterday completed the deployment of a missile shield.

Nevertheless, as the isolated state and its adversaries tread ever closer to a military denouement, there is now a reality - whether it is recognized officially or not - that North Korea has attained nuclear status and whatever deterrence the US, South Korea and the rest of the global community might concoct to prevent those weapons from finding flight, the message to nuclear aspirants is clear.

Protesters shout slogans during a rally against the deployment of an advanced US missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, near the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.

More than 30 people were hurt when about 8,000 police broke up a blockade near the site by about 300 villagers and members of civic groups opposed to the THAAD deployment, fire officials said.

Although North Korean hackers' new emphasis on finances do mark a shift from their previous patterns of cyberespionage for traditional nation state activities, FireEye says this new activity is "not all that surprising" given North Korea's position as a "pariah nation cut off from much of the global economy" and a country that "employs a government bureau to conduct illicit economic activity".

Putin has also cautioned against taking military action, warning it won't end well. Wang Huning, Director of the Central Policy Research Office in the Chinese Communist Party, is President Xi Jinping's foreign policy advisor and is referred to as "China's Kissinger".

TRUMP: We're going to see what it is. Since Trump's political crisis in the US is forcing him to consolidate his supporters on the far right, he is threatening to withdraw from the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. "Because we firmly support our respected supreme leader comrade Kim Jong Un, our country will become stronger as a self-reliant, nuclear power, and we will have a great future", said Pak Kum Hyang, a Pyongyang citizen who came up the city's Mansu Hill to visit the bronze statues of the late leaders.

North Korea is suspected of intensifying cyber-attacks to steal virtual currency in order to obtain funds and avert tightening sanctions, according to security experts.

So I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it's something certainly that could happen.

"We believe that sanctions as pressure are only half of the key to resolving the nuclear issue".

The United States had set aside for now consideration of terminating a USA trade agreement with South Korea, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

But at the same time, China worries that imposing a blockade on oil to North Korea could put the country in danger of collapse.

VLADIVOSTOK:Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his South Korean counterpart on Thursday struggled to grind down Russian resistance to new sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear test as Vladimir Putin appeared to give little ground. "The North Koreans have also proliferated just about every capability they've ever produced, including chemical weapons and a nuclear reactor", McMaster said in a recent interview with the New Yorker.

North Korean hackers have previously targeted South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, stealing bitcoin worth $88,000 (at the time) between 2013 and 2015, according to Yonhap News, which cited South Korean cybersecurity firm Hauri. "If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea", Trump said.

NATO has joined world powers' diplomatic efforts to stop North Korea's missile programme but it can not yet rely on its USA -built shield to defend Europe, experts and diplomats said.

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