Former General Says North Korea Needs Several Years
It will take North Korea four to five years to be capable of striking cities on the US mainland and less than three years to reach nuclear bases in the Asia-Pacific, a former Russian General said on Tuesday.
The General, Colonel General Viktor Yesin, who made these comments was speaking in Paris at the 10th Anniversary Conference of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe.
At times media reports have portrayed North Korea as being likely to strike the U.S. in the near future. However, various analysts have said that, at best, North Korea has intermediate-range missiles.
During the past few years North Korea has launched a number of tests, which involved non-nuclear armed missiles.
The general noted that North Korea will have all types of rockets that range “from short-range to intercontinental missiles” in the near future.
North Korea may currently have from 20 to 30 nuclear bombs of implosive type, according to Yesin. He added that the country can produce up to seven nuclear weapons a year, but the production opportunities “may increase up to 10.”
He maintained that North has increased its missile and nuclear program, as the US and South Korea are “in their turn aggravating the situation in line with a regime change scenario in the north of the Korean peninsula.”
Russia and China have called for all sides to resume talks, in order to ease tensions in the region.
The general referred to Russia's proposal that would involve a mutually agreed upon cessation of military exercises by South Korea and the U.S. as well as those by North Korea.
For its part, the United States has insisted on its right to conduct joint military exericses.
The general suggested that North Korea may halt its missile and nuclear activities for 10 years in exchange for the promise of the non-use of force. But to make this happen, the United States “must give up the idea of withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement.”
He suggested that North Korea is concerned about non-nuclear attack and that by threatening to use nuclear armed missiles it might well ward off attack by the U.S.
While Moscow and Beijing repeatedly insisted on their position that the crisis on the Peninsula can be solved solely by means of dialogue, the U.S. maintained that it is now prepared to talk to North Korea only on the condition that detained Americans are released.
Various News Sources
North Korea Accuses US of Imposing an 'Economic Blockade'
By Edith M. Lederer
North Korea's U.N. ambassador accused the United States on Tuesday of imposing ``an economic blockade'' on his country and deploying nuclear assets on the Korean peninsula aimed at toppling leader Kim Jong Un.
Ja Song Nam said the U.S. push for countries to implement what he called ``illegal and unjustifiable'' U.N. sanctions on North Korea is part of America's ``frantic attempt to completely block our peaceful economy for people's everyday lives and humanitarian co-operation.''
``The U.S. is clinging to unprecedented nuclear threats and blackmail, economic sanctions and blockade to deny our rights to existence and development, but they only result in our sharper vigilance and greater courage,'' he told the General Assembly committee that deals with economic and financial issues.
The U.N. Security Council has imposed its toughest sanctions ever on North Korea in response to its continuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests, with the aim of pressuring Kim's government into returning to negotiations on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
The measures include a ban on countries importing North Korean coal, iron ore and textiles and new limits on its crucial oil and petroleum product imports. But the economic pressure has had no visible impact on Kim's government, which appears to be accelerating toward what it says is its goal _ putting the entire United States within range of its nuclear weapons.
A week ago, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters that U.S. President Donald Trump had ``declared the war on our country'' by tweeting that North Korea's leadership ``won't be around much longer.'' Hours later, the White House pushed back, saying: ``We have not declared war on North Korea.''
The Trump administration, referring to the tweet, stressed that the U.S. is not seeking to overthrow North Korea's government. U.S. Cabinet officials, particularly Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have insisted that the U.S.-led campaign of diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea is focused on eliminating its nuclear weapons program, not its totalitarian government.
North Korea's ambassador told the assembly committee that ``our people will continue to uphold the line of simultaneous development of the state nuclear force and the economy.''
Ja said the country is committed to implementing U.N. goals to end poverty and preserve the environment by 2030 and said Trump's announced intention to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement ``illustrates the negative stand of the U.S. towards the sustainable development goals.''
To achieve these goals, Ja said, ``we should immediately obliterate the high-handed measures of the U.S., including the sanctions imposed on the developing countries.''
And clearly aiming at the United States and other economic powers, he said the ``monopolistic position'' of countries that control the monetary and trade system should be destroyed at the same time.
The Canadian Press. All rights are reserved.
North Korea Threatens Trump
The Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC) has described US president Donald Trump as an “old psychopath of America,” warning in a statement that Trump’s “reckless behavior” towards North Korea will only precipitate the “doomsday of the US.”
The state-owned KCNA news agency cited the committee's statement that read in part, “We once again warn the old psychopath of America against his hysteria. His brandishing of the ‘sanctions’ club and muscle-flexing with tiger-moth-like bombers before the fire-ready revolutionary forces of the DPRK (North Korea) is just a suicidal act of inviting a nuclear disaster that will reduce America into a sea of flames"
The statement, which was released on Sunday, also read,“The more reckless behavior of Trump ignorant of himself and the rival will only harden the retaliatory will of the army and people of the DPRK (North Korea) against the US. It will precipitate the doomsday of the US. Trump should bear this in mind.”
President Trump earlier had said that the United States was prepared to strike North Korea if necessary with “devastating” consequences for the country.
In Washington during a joint news conference with Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, he said, “We are totally prepared for the second option, not a preferred option. But if we take that option, it will be devastating for North Korea. That is called the military option. If we have to take it, we will.”
On Thursday KCNA news agency reported that up to five million young people have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the North Korean military to fight U.S. forces.
It said the volunteers want to send “millions” of nuclear bombs to wipe out the US. Earlier, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to “tame” US President Donald Trump “with fire.”