US leaders have put on their best stern-father faces toward North Korea and China. On his trip to the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, Vice President Mike Pence headed outside, against warnings, to stare into the North. “It was important that they […] see our resolve in my face,” he told the US press.
At the White House Easter Egg Roll, President Donald Trump declared North Korea has “got to behave.” He has also tweeted warnings: “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!” “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!” “I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will!” Read More
The US isn’t hacking North Korea’s missile launches. Rocket science is hard.
Take a 3D tour of North Korea’s nuclear test tunnels. Top photo is a screen grab from the tour.
Twitter thread by Ilan Goldenberg on how things might have gotten messed up with the carrier group.
Conflicting reports on whether a US carrier group steaming toward North Korea plans to intervene militarily if North Korea tests a nuclear weapon or a missile this weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. Seems like a bad idea. More about North Korea’s strategy. China is calling for restraint. Read More
A couple of weeks ago, the United Nations sponsored a discussion of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. It’s a discussion that has been brewing for some time. Read More
Transcript of Trump’s statement and video. I found Trump’s invocation of God, the word used three times in the speech, strange. He also asked us to pray for the souls of the dead and for God to bless the whole world. I’ve never been comfortable with presidents invoking God’s blessing on the United States, and this is more presumptuous, both to whatever God Trump believes in and to the beliefs of the rest of the world. Praying for the dead is a mostly Catholic practice, even narrower than asking for God’s blessing.
This is an oldie-but-goodie article on the idea that macho posturing in the international arena confers “credibility”, which serves to deter bad actors. It doesn’t.
Will add more articles below the jump as they appear. Read More
If Assad has been hiding chemical weapons, we need to know. By the chief inspector for the 2014 removal of chemical weapons from Syria. Unfortunately, Russia is protecting Assad and is unlikely to agree. And yes, it’s likely Assad has been hiding nerve agents. Photo from that link. What can forensics tell us about the attacks? Read More
How would North Korea develop its nuclear arsenal? The fact that they continue nuclear testing suggests that they started from a relatively primitive design that they are trying to improve. Read More