Escalating Korean Peninsula Brinksmanship

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Escalating Korean Peninsula Brinksmanship

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Reckless US threats against North Korea, along with military exercises simulating war on the country and ruling out diplomatic outreach, risk embroiling the region in conflict.

Longstanding US hostility toward Pyongyang bears full responsibility, letting an uneasy armistice persist for decades instead of responsibly concluding a peace treaty, betraying the DPRK in earlier talks, reneging on pledges made, the risk of war by accident or design heightened by Trump’s bellicose extremism.

The more threats he makes, the more determined Pyongyang becomes to further develop its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities, essential it believes to defend the nation against feared US aggression.

Counterproductive sanctions heighten tensions. Russia and China oppose them, yet go along with Washington – short of risking a collapse of North Korea’s economy.

The threat posed by Washington is ominously real, waging naked aggression in other theaters. It’s unclear what Trump intends next against Pyongyang.

Options include cyberattacks against its military facilities, attacking them, attempting to down missiles during tests, more sanctions, perhaps imposing a naval and airspace blockade, among others – likely everything considered except responsible diplomatic outreach.

Hawkish administration officials publicly believe a military option is viable, notably political prostitute Nikki Haley, a lunatic unfit for any public office.

On Saturday, China detected a 3.4 magnitude earthquake in North Korea of zero-km depth, possibly a nuclear detonation, described by China’s Global Times as follows:

“China’s seismic service CENC detected Saturday a zero-depth earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).”

“The epicenter is at 41.36 degrees north latitude, 129.06 degrees east latitude, according to the CENC.”

“The epicenter is roughly the same with a similar shallow earthquake on Sept. 3, which turned out to be caused by a nuclear test by the DPRK.”

Saturday’s earthquake was detected in North Hamgyong province, the location of Pyongyang’s Punggyeri nuclear test site, occurring about 20km southeast of the site.

All previous detonations registered above 4.3 on the Richter scale, the September 3 test at 6.3.

Saturday’s tremor followed days of increasingly hostile rhetoric exchanged between Trump and Kim Jong-un, heightening international concerns, the US president responsible because of his reckless bellicosity toward the DPRK, sounding like a madman.

South Korea’s meteorological agency believes Saturday’s tremor may have been natural. No sound waves connected to ones from a nuclear detonation were detected.

Beijing’s National Nuclear Safety Administration said Saturday’s quake differed from past ones in North Korea. It’s analyzing it further to determine if caused by a nuclear detonation.

In New York at the UN’s 72nd session, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho warned of a possible thermonuclear detonation in Pacific waters, risking a hostile US response if ordered.

Note: Hours after Saturday’s tremor, China and South Korea concluded it was natural seismic activity, not a nuclear test.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.