“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Reports of North Korean Nuclear Test

‘Artificial earthquake’ strikes North Korea near known nuclear test site

‘Artificial earthquake’ strikes North Korea near known nuclear test site
An earthquake measuring 6.3 magnitude has struck North Korea near a known nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, suggesting that Pyongyang may have conducted its sixth nuclear test, Yonhap reports.

An allegedly artificial quake was detected at 12:36pm in North Hamgyeong Province, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), Yonhap reports.

"Today, at around 12:36pm, we detected an artificial earthquake measuring 5.6 magnitude... we are analyzing whether a nuclear test was conducted," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, according to Yonhap.

The USGS reported the tremor as a 6.3 magnitude, while China's earthquake administration also said it detected a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in northeastern North Korea, calling it a "suspected explosion," Reuters reported.

The Pentagon and the JCS have urgently called for a crisis countermeasure, assuming that North Korea is most likely to have conducted a sixth nuclear test, the report added. Seoul has placed its military on highest alert and is closely cooperating with the US.

Seoul's presidential office has already accused its neighbor of conducting a nuclear test while president Moon Jae-in has convened a National Security Council meeting.

Earlier in the day, North Korea's official news agency (KCNA) reported that the Nuclear Weapons Institute has created a “more developed nuke,” that can be fitted on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The new alleged hydrogen bomb, the report said, not only features “enormous destructive power” but can also be used to detonate a “super powerful”electromagnetic pulse.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service warned Monday that its neighbor might be preparing its sixth nuclear weapon test from a nuclear test site in Punggye-ri. North Korea has already conducted five nuclear tests – in 2006, 2009, 2013 and in January and September 2016. During the last test, the North claimed it had successfully detonated a small nuclear warhead.


A shallow, 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook North Korea on Sunday, suggesting it had detonated a sixth nuclear device, hours after it said it had developed an advanced hydrogen bomb that possesses “great destructive power”.

The earthquake struck 75 km (45 miles) north northwest of Kimchaek. Previous recent tremors in the region have been caused by nuclear tests, which if the case this time round, is bound to increase the tension hours after U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked by phone about the “escalating” nuclear crisis.

The quake was only 10 km deep, the U.S. Geological Survey said, again suggesting a nuclear device.

Witnesses in the Chinese city of Yanji, on the border with North Korea, said they felt a tremor that lasted roughly 10 seconds, followed by an aftershock.

The hydrogen bomb report by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency comes amid heightened regional tension following Pyongyang’s two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in July that potentially could fly about 10,000 km (6,200 miles), putting many parts of the mainland United States within range.

Under third-generation leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been pursuing a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on a long-range ballistic missile, without affecting its range and making it capable of surviving re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions, “recently succeeded” in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb that will be loaded on to an ICBM, KCNA said.

“The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds kiloton, is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals,” KCNA said.

“All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes ... were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

Juche is North Korea’s homegrown ideology of self-reliance that is a mix of Marxism and extreme nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather. It says its weapons programmes are needed to counter U.S. aggression.

North Korea offered no evidence for its latest claim, and Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, was sceptical.

“Referring to tens to hundreds of kilotons, it doesn’t appear to be talking about a fully fledged H-bomb. It’s more likely a boosted nuclear device,” Kim said, referring to an atomic bomb which uses some hydrogen isotopes to boost explosive yield.

A hydrogen bomb can achieve thousands of kilotons of explosive yield - massively more powerful than some 10 to 15 kilotons that North Korea’s last nuclear test in September was estimated to have produced, similar to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

Hourglass-shaped device

Kim Jong Un, who visited the country’s nuclear weapons institute, “watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM” and “set forth tasks to be fulfilled in the research into nukes,” KCNA said.

Pictures released by the agency showed Kim inspecting a silver-coloured, hourglass-shaped warhead in the visit accompanied by nuclear scientists, with a concept diagram of its Hwasong-14 long-range ballistic missile seen hanging on the wall.

The shape shows a marked difference from pictures of the ball-shaped device North Korea released in March last year, and appears to indicate the appearance of a two-stage thermonuclear weapon, or a hydrogen bomb, said Lee Choon-geun, senior research fellow at state-run Science and Technology Policy Institute.

“The pictures show a more complete form of a possible hydrogen bomb, with a primary fission bomb and a secondary fusion stage connected together in an hourglass shape,” Lee said.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high since last month when North Korea threatened to launch missiles into the sea near the strategically located U.S. Pacific territory of Guam after Trump said Pyongyang would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the United States.

North Korea further raised regional tensions on Tuesday by launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, drawing international condemnation.

Trump and Abe spoke by phone and said that in face of an “escalating” situation with North Korea that close cooperation between their countries and with South Korea was needed, Abe told reporters.

Trump told Abe that the United States, as an ally, was 100 percent with Japan, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters.

“The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of close cooperation between the United States, Japan and South Korea in the face of the growing threat from North Korea,” the White House said in a statement. “President Trump noted that he looks forward to continued trilateral coordination on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.”

The United States has repeatedly urged China, the North’s sole major ally, to do more to rein in its neighbour.

North Korea last year conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests, saying the fourth in January 2016 was a successful hydrogen bomb test, although outside experts say the claim has not been proved.

Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.


Date created : 2017-09-03


  1. Anybody got any good ideas as to what we should actually do ?

    All I can come up with is to hire Slant Eyed Qadvertising, LLC, working our of Detroit, Michigan, to come up with a fast ad campaign to convince the Chinamen to put an end to all this insanity via regime change in Pyongyang.

    1. That is the safest route.

      Everything else looks like a roll of the dice, to me.

      Try to collapse China via a trade war, perhaps, until they get rid of Kim.

      Roll the dice on a first strike, maybe.

      Leave it up to The Lord ?

    2. Give nukes and missile defenses to Japan and S. Korea ?

      And get the hell out of the area ?

      That was mentioned by The Donald during the campaign.

    3. It brings to my mind a statement by a young woman in high school when the subject was Dante's Divine Comedy.

      The teacher was talking about the Purgatorio.

      She was striving to convince us that purgatory may be where we are living now, and that it is up to us to get out.

      This young woman, perhaps ahead of the times, didn't buy the sale's pitch, and said:

      "I think we are living in hell now."

      This has always stuck with me.

    4. Turn to the world of sports, and think about other things ?

  2. Charlie Hustle ain't never getting in the Hall of Fame now.

    Pete Rose fired by Fox Sports over underage-sex allegations, report says

    1. Pete Rose is a dick, and doesn't deserve the Hall of Fame.

      The Hall of Infamy, yes.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Also, he used to scratch his crotch way too often on the field.

      He was disgusting.

  3. I put up a video of John Bolton from a couple of weeks ago. He speculates the Norks will first go to extortion. Why not? That has worked since Bill Clinton "solved the problem".

    The most sane and effective response is make it brutally expensive for them.

    China is North Korea's bank. They could not function without China. I would make it more expensive for China.

    There is nothing the US should do militarily if Japan does nothing. Japan has no choice but to build an offensive and defensive nuclear capability. South Korea needs to do the same.

    The US needs to stop this nonsense with Russia.

    1. Those all sound like good ideas to me, and China might respond positively.

      All those ideas actually go to changing the situation toward the sane.

      I've speculated Japan may have the parts for nukes on its shelves already.

    2. "toward the sane" is a nebulous expression meaning basically getting the monkey off our backs, or somethin' like that.

      All those ideas actually go to changing the situation toward getting getting the monkey off our backs.

  4. I would fire Mueller as a national security risk.

  5. Seoul, South Korea (CNN)[Breaking news update, posted at 1:55 a.m. ET]

    North Korea will make a "major announcement" at 3:00 p.m. Pyongyang time (2:30 a.m. ET), state-run television station said, without elaborating.
    [Previous story, posted at 1:38 a.m. ET]

    North Korea has conducted a sixth nuclear test, the Japanese government said, a move the United States and its allies in the region are likely to view as a major provocation.

    Seismological data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) showed that an explosion caused a 6.3-magnitude tremor in the country's northeast, not far from the country's Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

    "After analyzing data provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the Japanese government concluded that North Korea has conducted a nuclear test," Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in a live television broadcast.

    South Korea and Japan are gathering and analyzing data to confirm details of the test, which Japanese Minister Shinzo Abe said could not be tolerated.

    "If North Korea did indeed conduct a nuclear test, we absolutely cannot tolerate and must protest firmly. We will convene a National Security council meeting to gather and analyze the information," Abe said in a live television broadcast prior to Kono's announcement.
    South Korea is currently holding a National Security Council meeting to discuss the incident, presided by President Moon Jae-in, according to South Korea's Presidential office.

  6. First I hear N. Korea has 15-20 nuclear weapons, now I hear 60.

    1. All out roaming about the N. Korean country side.

    2. "Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades and nuclear weapons"

    3. Better yet -

      "Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades and hydrogen bombs"

  7. John McCain claims Rand Paul is ‘Working For Vladimir Putin’

    ...Paul walks out.

    1. Soon he will be unable to make any such claims.

    2. So he must make them while he has the time.

  8. S. Korea has made a statement which can be read as saying they want US nukes in S. Korea and more missile defenses there as well.

    1. We had nukes at Camp Colbern when I was there.

    2. Sergeant Missile had a range of 75 miles, so I woulda heard the booms.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Old news, pre-H-bomb test, the debate in Japan will now be more focused -

      Sep 1, 11:30 PM EDT

      AP Photo
      AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

      TOKYO (AP) -- Japan is debating whether to develop a limited pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles - ideas that were anathema in the pacifist country before the North Korea missile threat.

      With revisions to Japan's defense plans underway, ruling party hawks are accelerating the moves, and some defense experts say Japan should at least consider them.

      Japan has a two-step missile defense system, including interceptors on destroyers in the Sea of Japan that would shoot down projectiles mid-flight and if that fails, surface-to-air PAC-3s on land.

      In a pre-emptive strike, by Japanese definition, cruise missiles, such as Tomahawk, fired from destroyers or fighter jets would get the enemy missile clearly waiting to be fired, or just after blastoff from a North Korean launch site, before it approaches Japan.

    3. North Korea Appears To Have Tested A Hydrogen Bomb

      ...Still, it was unclear whether the North had in fact detonated such a weapon, a far more powerful type of nuclear device than the atomic bombs it has tested in the past. And analysts were skeptical that Pyongyang had really developed the capability to mount one on an ICBM.

      The United States Geological Survey estimated that the tremor set off by the blast, detected at 12:36 p.m. at the Punggye-ri underground test site in northwestern North Korea, had a magnitude of 6.3.

      The South Korean Defense Ministry’s estimate was much lower, at 5.7, but even that would mean a blast “five to six times” as powerful as the North’s last nuclear test, a year ago, said Lee Mi-sun, a senior analyst at the South Korean Meteorological Administration....

  10. Replies

    1. It would not stop the investigation of Mr Trump's malfeasance.

      That you are getting ever more agitated about Mr Mueller is an indication that you must think there is a fire in all that smoke

  11. The Donald ought to knock off his early morning tweeting.

    1. I draw more comfort from all the commentators on cable TV, everyone of whom are old pros on all things Korean Peninsula.

      With them to inform me I don't need the opinions of the President or any of the Generals !!

  12. Here is all we know for sure.

    North Korea has met the four conditions to being a credible nuclear power:

    * Possession of nuclear warheads

    * Demonstration of delivery capability

    * Nuclear testing, and miniaturization of nuclear warheads to mount on missiles

    Assuming or hoping for anything less is reckless and naive.

    We need or can command international action. The six relent powers are N. Korea, S.Korea, The US, China, Japan and Russia.

    The asinine political malfeasance of US foreign policy towards Russia, the Democrats and Neocons, US corrupt media and Washington establishment has caused a 3 - 3 split on the six powers. That needs to stop immediately. Trump foolishly lost that round but it can be fixed. All we need to do with white Christian Russia is to roll out the map of Russia showing population centers and political borders. China can take Russia's East by evolution.

    China has been hosing us since Nixon. We owe China so much money, we have debtors leverage in spades. We can cram them down big time. That should be done on the QT. That would change the six split powers to 5-1 and the rest is easy.

    1. The Donald knows something about debtor's leverage.

      He once told the bankers "You need me more than I need you."

      The Donald once said "The bankers ? They're killers."

      I myself heard him say it, right here on cable TV.

      We not only owe China a bunch, but they need our trade. They need to sell to us.

      Time for The Donald to show the stuff he's always been strutting.

      Go Donald !

    2. It would be interesting to value the US technology, military and civil, stolen by the Chinese over the pat 30 years.

      Net that from the debt and send them a check.

    3. North Korea Says It Successfully Tested a Hydrogen Bomb—Is It Time to Nuke Kim's Economy?
      09.03.17 6:11 AM ET

      ....The U.S., despite what most analysts believe, has the leverage to peacefully disarm Kim. Washington can, for instance, use its overwhelming leverage over China so that China uses its overwhelming leverage over North Korea.

      What the administration should do is demand that Beijing and Moscow accept a complete embargo on North Korea. If they do not comply, the administration should threaten to impose severe costs on them. For instance, Trump could hand down what are essentially death sentences on the largest Chinese banks, like Bank of China, for laundering money for the Kim regime. The president can do that by designating them “primary money laundering concerns” under Section 311 of the Patriot Act. Such designations would deny these institutions the ability to transact in dollars.

      Sanctioning the largest Chinese banks in such a manner could throw the Chinese financial and political systems into turmoil, and Beijing knows it. Therefore, the White House has the means to persuade China’s leaders to disarm the Kim regime.

      Fortunately, Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, is particularly vulnerable at this moment. The 19th Communist Party Congress, which begins on October 18, is when Xi must consolidate his power if he is to continue strongman rule. He will be blamed by his many adversaries if relations with the U.S. are disrupted before the meeting.
      Going after Chinese banks would mirror what the U.S. did to bring Iran to the bargaining table during the Obama administration, which levied stiff fines on banks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, in her weekly podcast, talked about employing the Iran model to get the North Koreans to agree to denuclearization.

      That’s what Trump should do. As important, there is something Trump should not do. The president in comments on Saturday hinted he will this coming week give Seoul notice of termination of the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement. Withdrawal was never a good idea for strategic reasons, and next week would be absolutely the worst time to do so. The U.S. needs all its friends and allies on board as it confronts North Korea and its backers.
      In the meantime, Kim is stocking up on oil, presumably in anticipation of sanctions. So now is a particularly good time to pre-emptively hit him before he can fill up his storage tanks.

      There is a window for Trump to act, and it could close soon.

    4. I've read GORDON G. CHANG before and he seems knowledgeable.

    5. Along the same line -

      North Korea: Doesn’t Kim Jong Un understand ‘suicidal’?

      Grant NewshamBy GRANT NEWSHAM SEPTEMBER 2, 2017 12:33 PM (UTC+8)

      ....China has a choice now, rein in North Korea or face a complete severing of US economic and financial ties once the shooting starts. (Suspending the Bank of China from the global US dollar system for six months will give a nice sense of things.)

      And the Chinese Communist Party elite’s properties and bank accounts in the US will be frozen, and family members’ green cards revoked.

      The communist party’s main claim to rule over 1.3 billion Chinese is the economic progress made once it stopped brutalizing its citizens. Interrupt the economy and the party is in trouble.

      Continuing to protect the Kim regime may not be suicidal for China’s ruling class, but the Americans can make it the equivalent of jumping off a six-story building – without cushions in the parking lot.

      Then, China might finally get serious about North Korea.

      How about before the shooting starts ?

    6. Bob Fri Jun 02, 07:03:00 AM EDT

      And Trump's a fool if he thinks the Chinese are going to solve the problem of North Korea for him.

  13. Regardless of what any prognosticators here may have said -

    ISIS Is on Its Heels, but Fighting to the Death

    By HELENE COOPER SEPT. 2, 2017

    They are not, as another Labor Day comes and goes, 'wiped out' yet, not even in Iraq.


    1. The ISIS ideology cannot be 'wiped out' militarily, "Dumb Ass", but they can be defeated, in place.

      They are being defeated, by local troops, not US boots on the ground.
      The Obama strategy, followed through on by the Trump Administration is defeating ISIS, on city at a time.

      Much more effectively that was done by the Bush Administration.

    2. Why did you use the term 'wiped out' then, psycho ass ?

      Don't answer, just go away again.


    3. Quote me, "Draft Dodger", go find that phrase, used by me.

      You cannot do it, not today, not tomorrow.
      Your memory is flawed.
      Your integrity, nonexistent.
      You are a liar and a thief.

      That's a fact.


  14. Steve Bannon said ... that there is “no military solution” to North Korea.

    “Forget it,” he told American Prospect magazine in an August 16 interview. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

    Bannon is correct. Seoul is likely to be North Korea’s first target should war break out with the US, and because Kim Jong Un has around 21,500 pieces of artillery

    ... according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trump told him that if any conflict between the US and North Korea were to break out over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, the president would ensure it happened on the Korean Peninsula. “If there’s going to be a war to stop him, it will be over there,” Graham said. “If thousands die, they’re going to die over there.”

    That sentiment will not endear the US to its allies, not in Asia, not anywhere in the world.


    1. One must wonder how Mr Trump will ensure, guarantee as it were, that NorK missiles will not hit a major city in Japan.


  15. President Donald Trump on Sunday called North Korea a "great threat" and said the United States is looking at halting trade with any country doing business with the repressive regime, a threat that is almost impossible to back up given American dependence on Chinese imports.

    What happens to the Walmart shopper when Mr Trump shuts off Chinese imports to the US ?
    Or is Mr Trump tweeting an "empty threat", yet again ?

  16. Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account

    The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.
    9:14 AM - 3 Sep 2017

    1. I got the idea from Deuce and Bob at the EB.

      P.S. - Who is this psycho ass fellow ? I'd put him in jail.


    2. Bob Fri Jun 02, 07:03:00 AM EDT

      And Trump's a fool if he thinks the Chinese are going to solve the problem of North Korea for him.

      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson is the psycho ass fellow
      I agree that he should be in jail, he has admitted to "theft by Fraud".
      Want to see that admission o guilt by Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, Donald?


    3. I won't wait for an answer ...

      Bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

      But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback.

      Identity theft and fraudulent use of another person's credit card ...
      That is Theft by Fraud, Donald.

  17. North Korea wants US troops out of South Korea. Deuce wants troops out of South Korea but slavishly mimics his man Trump and calls for a trade war with China. Brilliant!

    1. We'd do better trading with India anyway.

      And your own solution to these weighty problems, Ash, is exactly what ?

      Leave our allies in the lurch ?

    2. Perhaps we should no longer provide for the defense of Canada, then.

      Because you cannot defend yourselves.

    3. In a word, Bob, I would suggest "negotiate".


  18. The question remains:

    Why would lil Kim want to give up the good life he lives for a few minutes of glory and excitment.

    (Standard answer: He's Nutz)

    Unless and until he goes Trans, I disagree.