I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him “Kim”, to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.A tweet from Dennis Rodman • Urging his self-professed “friend for life,” North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, to release American captive Kenneth Bae from the 15-year hard labor sentence he recently received, for alleged “hostile acts” against the state. Rodman has since announced that he intends to travel back to North Korea, where he befriended the dictator back in February (with a trio of Harlem Globetrotters and Vice Magazine in tow), and that he’ll use the opportunity to push for Bae’s release. One obvious question — as unlikely as it seems that this could work, what if it did? That would be a whole new rubicon to cross. source
There may be talks between us and the United States for the sake of arms reduction, but there will never be talks for denuclearization. Our position is clear. Never dream of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula before denuclearization of the world is realised.A statement from Pyongyang, North Korea • Appearing in North Korea’s state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, and not mincing words as to their attitude towards denuclearization — either nobody has them, or we have them. The North Korean nuclear program was first truly facilitated by Pakistani scientist AQ Khan, who outsourced his knowledge from extensive work producing an atomic bomb for Pakistan to spread nuclear weapons technology around, North Korea one of his chiefest clients. By 2006-2007, they’d claimed a successful nuclear test, and their status as a nuclear-armed nation. However insufficient their missile technologies, the North Korean power structure (headed up by Kim Jong-un) is clearly loathe to talk disarmament, lest they lose the main barrier to any interventionist military action against their state. source
We’re in deep doo-doo.Dick Cheney, in a closed-door meeting with congressional Republicans, on the situation in North Korea. Cheney may be right, but his credibility is undermined both by his own record of assessing foreign threats and, perhaps more significantly, the fact that he used the word “doo-doo” to describe the prospect of nuclear war. He gets points, however, for reportedly wearing a cowboy hat to the meeting. source
knivesandcoffee asks: But isn't that graphic useless without some context? I mean what is the size of North Korea's military compared to the South or to the US?
» SFB says: I think that’s a fair point (and it’s one a lot of people in the comments on that link have raised), but I think it also shows that the country has enough firepower that it could do something. As the article itself puts it: “While North Korean arms are mostly antiquated, much of it dating back half a century, what they lack in modernity they make up for in both volume and location.” Now, whether or not the graphic was particularly useful because it was designed to be never-ending is another question entirely (it could use some compare/contrast), but just because the size of the military may perhaps be smaller than the United States or South Korea, if they’re the first to launch an attack, does it really matter? — Ernie @ SFB
North Korea’s statement advising foreigners to make plans to evacuate Seoul is more unhelpful rhetoric that serves only to escalate tensions. This kind of rhetoric will only further isolate North Korea from the international community, and we continue to urge the North Korean leadership to heed President Obama’s call to choose the path of peace and to come into compliance with its international obligations.White House spokesman Jay Carney • Responding to North Korea’s rather surprising anti-tourism warning on Tuesday, mere hours after North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency warned foreigners in South Korea that the country’s military couldn’t be blamed if they were hurt should war break out on the Korean peninsula. The latest threats from North Korea come on the eve of previously announced ballistic missile testing which has already put a number of countries in the region on edge. source
Now that [North Korea] has demonstrated its technical and scientific achievements, we remind her of her duties to the countries which have been her great friends, and it would be unjust to forget that such a war would particularly affect more than 70% of the population of the planet. If a conflict of that nature should break out there, the government of Barack Obama in his second mandate would be buried in a deluge of images which would present him as the most sinister character in the history of the United States. The duty of avoiding war is also his and that of the people of the United States.Fidel Castro, writing in Cuban state media to advise its ally North Korea against starting a war. source