Activists Blockade Nuclear Base, Plead To De-escalate Crisis With North Korea

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By Leonard Eiger for Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. Washington State – Activists blockaded the West Coast nuclear submarine base that would likely carry out a nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) should President Donald Trump give the order. Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, is home to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US. More than 1,300 nuclear warheads are deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on the eight ballistic missile submarines based at Bangor or stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) at the Bangor base. Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Bangor base on August 14…

China Tells US, North Korea To ‘Hit The Brakes’ On Threats

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By Christopher Bodeen for AP News – BEIJING (AP) — China is telling the U.S. and North Korea to “hit the brakes” on threatening words and actions and work toward a peaceful resolution of their dispute, in a sign of growing concern over the standoff on the part of Pyongyang’s only major ally. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that the two countries should work together to contain tensions and permit no one to “stir up an incident on their doorstep,” according to a statement posted on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website. “The most important task at hand is for the U.S. and North Korea to ‘hit the brakes’ on their mutual needling of each other with words and actions, to lower the temperature of the tense situation and prevent the emergence of an ‘August crisis,’” Wang was quoted as saying in the Tuesday conversation. The ministry quoted Lavrov as saying tensions could rise again with the U.S. and South Korea set to launch large-scale military exercises on Aug. 21. “A resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue by military force is completely unacceptable and the peninsula’s nuclear issue must be peacefully resolved by political and diplomatic methods,” Lavrov was quoted as saying.

Actions: No Nuclear War On North Korea

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United National Antiwar Coalition. Today, the US maintains a force of tens of thousands of troops in South Korea; it has installed Thaad missiles and conducts joint nuclear-armed military exercises in the region twice a year. The DPRK justly sees these as practice for a U.S. invasion. As in Vietnam, where the ten-year U.S. war cost the lives of four million Vietnamese, the U.S. is today threatening yet another genocidal war, this time against North Korea, a nation that has never invaded another country. The United National Antiwar Coalition stands opposed to all U.S. wars and threats of war. We call upon all peace and social justice groups to organize emergency actions against the U.S. war drive. Please see a list of actions being organized and add your own action by going here: http://nepajac.org/koreaevents.htm.

North Korea: Fire, Fury And Fear

U.S. President Donald Trump said he'd be 'honoured' to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (Reuters)

By Pepe Escobar for Counter Punch – Beware the dogs of war. The same intel “folks” who brought to you babies pulled from incubators by “evil” Iraqis as well as non-existent WMDs are now peddling the notion that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead able to fit its recently tested ICBM. That’s the core of an analysis completed in July by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Additionally, US intel believes that Pyongyang now has access to up to 60 nuclear weapons. On the ground US intel on North Korea is virtually non-existent – so these assessments amount to guesswork at best. But when we couple the guesswork with an annual 500-page white paper released earlier this week by the Japanese Defense Ministry, alarm bells do start ringing. The white paper stresses Pyongyang’s “significant headway” in the nuclear race and its “possible” (italics mine) ability to develop miniaturized nuclear warheads able to fit on the tips of its missiles. This “possible” ability is drowned in outright speculation. As the report states, “It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear bombs into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads.”

Nuclear War Protest At White House

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By Global Zero. Washington, DC – On Wednesday night groups including Global Zero, MoveOn.org, Win Without War, Ultraviolet, and CODEPINK: Women For Peace protested in front of the White House to stand against nuclear war. Over the last 24 hours the situation with North Korea has erupted into a full-blown crisis. In response to reports about Kim Jong-un’s new nuclear capabilities, Trump promised to meet another threat with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Right now two inexperienced egomaniacs are facing off with nuclear weapons. Experts are calling this the Cuban Missile Crisis of our time.

Urge Senators: End Sanctions, Negotiate Peace With North Korea

JARED FELDSCHREIBER. Protesters unite in opposition to U.S. presence in Korean Peninsula. The rally on June 30 at Lafayette Park coincided with the South Korean President’s Washington visit.

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. On July 12, 2017, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced legislation, called the BRINK Act, to increase sanctions against North Korea (DPRK). This time they are targeting banks and companies that do business with North Korea, including businesses in China. The sanctions are in response to unproven allegations that North Korea has the capability of reaching the United States with a missile. In fact, Russia sent information to the United Nations after North Korea tested a missile on July 4, 2017, showing that it was a mid-range, and not an inter-continental, missile. Sanctions will escalate tension with North Korea, as well as China and China’s close ally, Russia. Rather than punishment and threats, which have created insecurity that has predictably led to North Korea building weapons to protect itself, US policy should be seeking de-escalation, reduction of tensions and stability in the region.

North And South Korea Want A Peace Treaty: The US Must Join Them

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By Christine Ahn for Truthout – Two years ago, I crossed the world’s most fortified border from North to South Korea with 30 women peacemakers from 15 countries, calling for a peace treaty to end the six-decade Korean War. On July 13, I was denied entry into South Korea from the United States as retribution for my peace activism, including the 2015 women’s peace march. As I checked in for my Asiana Airlines flight to Shanghai at San Francisco International Airport, the ticket agent at the counter informed me that I would not be boarding the plane headed first to Seoul Incheon International. The supervisor handed me back my passport and informed me that she had just gotten off the phone with a South Korean government official who had told her I was “denied entry” into the country. “This must be a mistake,” I said. “Is South Korea really going to ban me because I organized a women’s peace walk across the demilitarized zone?” I asked, appealing to her conscience. If there was indeed a travel ban, I thought, it must have been put in place by the disgraced President Park. But she wouldn’t make eye contact with me. She walked away and said there was nothing to be done. I would need to apply for a visa and book a new flight to Shanghai.

Missile Defense Will Protect You From North Korea, Say USA Today’s Missile Defense-Funded Sources

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By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – “US Missile Defense Plans to Zap North Korean Threats” was the headline of a USA Today story (7/17/17)—or “US Racing to Quash N. Korean Nuke Threat,” in the print edition. Strikingly, the piece contains no sources at all substantiating the “N. Korean nuke threat”: “North Korea’s rapid march to develop a nuclear-armed ballistic missile capable of striking the United States” is simply asserted in the lead, and later on the claim that “North Korea may be only a year or so away” from having missiles that “can hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead” is backed up only by “according to US estimates.” On the “US missile defense plans,” USA Today does have sources—mostly sources with a direct financial connection to the US missile defense program. There’s Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Security and International Studies (CSIS), who tells USA Today‘s Oren Dorell that “Missile defense buys you time and opens windows.” There’s also “retired Lt. Gen. Henry ‘Trey’ Obering III, a former head of the Missile Defense Agency who is now executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton”; later it’s clarified that Obering “heads the directed energy team at Booz Allen Hamilton”—in other words, his business is to sell to the Pentagon the kind of “smaller, more powerful and lighter” laser-based weapons that he tells USA Today are necessary to protect the United States from the North Korean threat.

South Korea’s New Gov Proposes Rare Military Talks With North Korea To Ease Tensions

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, says he will never negotiate his weapons programmes unless the United States abandons its hostile policy toward his country AP/Wong Maye-E

By Samuel Osborne for Independent – South Korea has offered to have military talks with North Korea in order to ease tension across their border and resume the reunion of families separated by their war in the 1950s. It is the first formal overture to Pyongyang by the government of President Moon Jae-in, which said the two sides should discuss ways to avoid hostile acts near the heavily militarised border. It is unclear if the North would agree to the proposed talks, as it remains suspicious of the South Korean President’s actions, seeing the new leader’s more liberal policy as still resorting to the United States to force North Korea to disarm. The offer comes after the North claimed to have conducted the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) earlier this month, and said it had mastered the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on the missile. South Korea and the United States dispute the claim. It also comes amid a surge in petrol and diesel prices in the hermit state, weeks after a Chinese state oil company suspended fuel sales amid international pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programmes. China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a state-controlled company, halted diesel and petrol sales to the reclusive state “over the last month or two”, according to Reuters.

Rivers of Blood Action: We All Must Come Together to Stop War

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By Joy First for National Center for Nonviolent Resistance. The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) keeps its focus on the US wars of aggression. NCNR has been acting in resistance to the crimes of our government with its illegal wars since 2003. We are at war in seven different countries today and members of NCNR think it is critical to make the connection between war and all the other problems affecting our world today. With that in mind NCNR planned the Rivers of Blood action – noting that Rivers of Blood flow through the US Capitol as our Congress continues to vote for funding for war. We did a Rivers of Blood action 10 years ago in the crypt of the Capitol and decided to do this second Rivers of Blood action outside on the steps of the Capitol where we hoped we would be seen by more people. Members of our group spoke so eloquently about why we were there. Alice began by saying, “Senator Schumer as our Senate leader must take a stand to stop the escalating horrific warfare that the current administration is waging on some of the poorest, most vulnerable people on the planet. We are devastating entire nations, causing cholera and starvation in Yemen, slaughter of the people of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, threatening war with North Korea. The Congress must not sit by. Senator Schumer has stood up to this administration on other important issues, but we need him to raise his voice to stop these wars, these bombings these drone attacks.”

Newsletter: Power Dynamics Changing In World Order

Solidarity without Borders G-20 Hamburg by Reuters

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The G-20 summit highlighted a transition in geopolitical power that has been developing for years. The process has escalated in recent months since President Trump took office, but its roots go much deeper than Trump. The United States is losing power, a multi-polar world is taking shape and people power is on the rise. The G-20 bordered on being a G-19, with the US a loner on key issues of climate change, trade and migration. These are some of the biggest issues on the planet. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been saying lately “We as Europeans have to take our fate into our own hands.” This is an indication they no longer see the US as the leader or even a reliable partner on some issues. In a summation of the G-20, Politico writes: “Hamburg will also go down as a further mile marker in Europe’s slow emancipation from the U.S.”

North Korea Tested Mid-Range Missile, Not ICBM

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By Russia Today. The evidence, compiled by the Russian Defense Ministry, was sent to the UN after a fierce Security Council debate over North Korea’s missile launch earlier this week, in which the UN’s assistant secretary-general backed the US assessment that the Hwasong-14 missile does, indeed, possess the technical characteristics to be called an ICBM. “According to these parameters, the missile would have a range of roughly 6,700 kilometers [4,163 miles] if launched on a more typical trajectory, making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) according to a widely used definition,” the UN official said on Wednesday. Based on North Korea’s claim and the Pentagon’s assessment that the rocket poses a new level of threat to the US and the region, the US ambassador to the UN dedicated the entire UNSC meeting to scrambling together a new set of sanctions to impose on Pyongyang. The Pentagon failed to share its own tracking data, however.

North Korea Does Not Threaten World Peace, The US Does

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By William Boardman for Reader Supported News. President Donald Trump is 71 and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is 27, but if they ever met, would there be a grown-up in the room? One of them knows full well that North Korea is not a threat to world peace and is not even a serious threat to South Korea. The one who knows that is not Donald Trump. Or if he does know it, he’s choosing to inflate the North Korean “threat” even more than some of his predecessors. But wait, didn’t North Korea just fire a missile in the general direction of the United States? Yes indeed, and like every other North Korean missile (except the ones that blew up on launch), it hit smack dab in the Sea of Japan, unpleasantly for aquatic life but a danger to no one else. This is, after all, exactly what the US does periodically to the Pacific Ocean from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, generally causing yawns around the world.

The Real Reason Washington Is Worried About North Korea’s ICBM Test

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By Stephen Gowans for What’s Left – A number of countries have recently tested ballistic or cruise missiles and a handful, not least Russia and China, possess nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of striking the United States. And yet the missiles and nuclear weapons program of only one of these countries, North Korea, arouses consternation in Washington. What makes tiny North Korea, within its miniscule defense budget, and rudimentary nuclear arsenal and missile capability, a threat so menacing that “worry has spread in Washington and the United Nations”? [1] “The truth,” it has been said, “is often buried on the front page of The New York Times.” [2] This is no less true of the real reason Washington frets about North Korea’s missile tests. In a July 4, 2017 article titled “What can Trump do about North Korea? His options are few and risky,” reporter David E. Sanger, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the unofficial think-tank of the US State Department, reveals why Washington is alarmed by North Korea’s recent test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. “The fear,” writes Sanger, “is not that [North Korean leader] Mr. Kim would launch a pre-emptive attack on the West Coast; that would be suicidal, and if the North’s 33-year-old leader has demonstrated anything in his five years in office, he is all about survival.”

U.S. To Deploy 3rd Carrier Group To Deter North Korea

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By Kenji Minemura for The Asahi Shimbun – WASHINGTON–The U.S. Navy has decided to deploy the USS Nimitz as a third carrier-led strike force to the western Pacific to increase pressure on North Korea to rein in its arms programs. Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships, will join the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan there, sources close to the U.S. military said May 26. It is rare for the U.S. Navy to deploy three aircraft carriers to the same region at the same time. This latest decision means that three of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers will be deployed in the western Pacific. The Trump administration deployed the strike force to put pressure on Pyongyang to refrain from more nuclear and missile tests amid mounting concern that it will soon acquire the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, has said that Pyongyang will ultimately succeed in acquiring the technology to equip its ICBMs with nuclear warheads and threaten the U.S. mainland. According to the sources, the Nimitz strike group, which is part of the U.S. Third Fleet, was originally scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East region.