Posts Tagged ‘Photo from Kim Jong Un’s war room’

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What should the world do about North Korea? Share your thoughts on CNN iReport.

(CNN) — North Korea’s threatening rhetoric has reached a fevered pitch, but the Pentagon and the South Korean government have said it’s nothing new.

“We have no indications at this point that it’s anything more than warmongering rhetoric,” a senior Washington defense official said late Saturday.

The official was not authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be named.

The National Security Council, which advises the U.S. president on matters of war, struck a similar cord. Washington finds North Korea’s statements “unconstructive,” and it does take the threats seriously.

“But, we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats and today’s announcement follows that familiar pattern,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for NSC.

The United States will continue to update its capabilities against any military threat from the north, which includes plans to deploy missile defense systems.

North Korea’s rhetoric

North Korea declared it had entered a “state of war” with neighboring South Korea, according to a report Saturday from the state-run Korean Central News Agency. It included a threat to “dissolve” the U.S. mainland.

“The condition, which was neither war nor peace, has ended, North Korea’s government said in a special statement carried by KCNA.”

North Korea and South Korea technically remain at war since their conflict between 1950 and 1953 ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty. On March 11, the North Korean army declared the armistice agreement invalid.

Saturday’s report included a direct threat to the United States, while also asserting any conflict “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”

The statement made the prospect of war contingent upon “a military provocation … against the DPRK” in sensitive areas on the border between North and South.

The South: It’s not new

In a statement later Saturday, South Korea did not treat their neighbor’s latest threat as imminent danger.

Seoul noted scores of its personnel had entered the Kaesong Industrial complex — a joint economic cooperation zone between the two Koreas situated on the North’s side of the border — on Saturday morning with hundreds more set to join them later in the day, seemingly suggesting they were going about business as usual.

“The announcement made by North Korea is not a new threat, but part of follow-up measures after North Korea’s supreme command’s statement that it will enter the highest military alert” on Tuesday, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement.

Map appears to show U.S. targets

A day earlier, the same official North Korean news agency reported its leader Kim Jong Un had approved a plan to prepare standby rockets to hit U.S. targets.

In a meeting with military leaders early Friday, Kim “said he has judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation,” KCNA reported.

The rockets are aimed at U.S. targets, including military bases in the Pacific and in South Korea, it said.

“If they make a reckless provocation with huge strategic forces, (we) should mercilessly strike the U.S. mainland, their stronghold, their military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea,” the report said.

Behind North Korea’s heated words about missile strikes, one analyst said, there might not be much mettle.

“Unless there has been a miraculous turnaround among North Korea’s strategic forces, there is little to no chance that it could successfully land a missile on Guam, Hawaii or anywhere else outside the Korean Peninsula that U.S. forces may be stationed,” James Hardy, Asia-Pacific editor of IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly,wrote in an opinion column published Thursday on CNN.com.

Analysis: Just what is Kim Jong Un up to?

U.S. official: We’re ‘committed … to peace

U.S. defense officials said Friday that the North’s bantering is destructive.

“This is troubling rhetoric that disrupts the prospects for peace on the Peninsula,” the senior official said.

Some observers have suggested that Washington is adding to tensions in the region by drawing attention to its displays of military strength on North Korea’s doorstep, such as the flights by the B-2 stealth bombers.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel argued against that assertion Thursday.

Threats of annihilation normal for South Koreans

“We, the United States and South Korea, have not been involved in provocating anything,” he said. “We, over the years, have been engaged with South Korea on joint exercises. The B-2 flight was part of that.”

Washington and its allies “are committed to a pathway to peace,” Hagel said. “And the North Koreans seem to be headed in a different direction here.”

Opinion: Why North Korea regime is scary

Amid the uneasy situation, China, a key North Korean ally that expressed frustration about Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, also called for calm.

“We hope relevant parties can work together to turn around the tense situation in the region,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said Friday, describing peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula as “a joint responsibility.”

North Korea’s threat: Five things to know

Tensions have been rising for months

Tensions escalated on the Korean Peninsula after the North carried out a long-range rocket launch in December and an underground nuclear test last month, prompting the U.N. Security Council to step up sanctions on the secretive government.

U.S. officials concerned about North Korea’s ‘ratcheting up of rhetoric’

Pyongyang has expressed fury about the sanctions and the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises, due to continue until the end of April.

The deteriorating relations have killed hopes of reviving multilateral talks over North Korea’s nuclear program for the foreseeable future. Indeed, Pyongyang has declared that the subject is no longer up for discussion.

Korean nightmare: Experts ponder potential conflict

North Korea plan to attack US mainland revealed in photographs

North Korea has revealed its plans to strike targets in Hawaii and the continental United States in photos taken in Kim Jong-un’s military command centre.

North Korea has revealed its plans to strike targets in Hawaii and the continental United States in photos taken in Kim Jong-un's military command centre.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (sitting) convening an urgent operation meeting at 0:30 am on 29 March 2013 at an undisclosed location Photo: EPA

By Julian Ryall, Tokyo

12:08PM GMT 29 Mar 2013

The photos appeared in the state-run Rodong newspaper and were apparently taken at an “emergency meeting” early on Friday morning. They show Kim signing the order for North Korea’s strategic rocket forces to be on standby to fire at US targets, the paper said, with large-scale maps and diagrams in the background.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered strategic rocket forces to be on standby to strike US and South Korean targets at any time (EPA)

The images show a chart marked “US mainland strike plan” and missile trajectories that the NK News web site estimates terminate in Hawaii, Washington DC, Los Angeles and what they claim is Austin, Texas.

The text on the map, which shows the west coast of North America, says “Plan to hit the U.S. mainland”

The meeting of Pyongyang’s senior military leaders was called after two US B2 bombers, flying out of bases in Missouri, carried out simulated bombing raids on North Korean targets on an island off the coast of South Korea.

“He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets, ordering them to be on standby to fire so that they may strike any time the US mainland, its military bases in the operational theatres in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea,” the state-run KCNA news agency reported.

A U.S. airforce B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, South Korea

It added that the B2 test flights demonstrated Washington’s “hostile intent” and said the “reckless” act had gone “beyond the phase of threat and blackmail.”

The North’s military was placed on its highest alert level earlier this week and a hotline link with the South Korean military was severed.

North Korea has also cut the mobile Internet link for foreign visitors, only weeks after the 3G service was introduced.

North Koreans have held a rally at Kim Il-sung Square in central Pyongyang in support of military action

Despite the increasingly belligerent rhetoric and new images emerging from the North Korean regime, analysts believe its missiles are not capable of striking targets as far away as the US mainland and are not, as yet, capable of delivering a nuclear payload.

The images of Kim surrounded by his officers and diagrams of targets in the US are designed for a domestic consumption and to demonstrate the young leader’s mastery of military affairs, experts believe.

Kim Jong Un’s war room

Kim Jong Un’s war room

 

North Korea’s state media agencies have been releasing a slew of photos showing the country’s actual military build-up, which we are meant to understand is a prelude to war.They are probably bluffing, but you have to admire their attention to detail.

Early on Friday, the Korean Central News Agency released the above photo. Reuters, using the KCNA information, passed on the photo with a caption that began, “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presides over an urgent operation meeting on the Korean People’s Army Strategic Rocket Force’s performance of duty for firepower strike at the Supreme Command in Pyongyang.” According to Reuters, the large chart on the left bears the title, “Strategic force’s plan to hit the mainland of the U.S.”

James Pearson of NK News also looked at the photo, writing in a post that “plans for a strike on the U.S. mainland are clearly – and therefore probably deliberately – visible.” Pearson says that the photo has been published in the North Korean newspaper Rodong, which is widely distributed and often displayed in public.

The chart also appears to show a series of lines shooting out of North Korea and landing on major U.S. cities on the East and West coasts, as well as Hawaii.

Let’s be clear about two things before we go any further. First, as Pearson notes, this is almost certainly for domestic propaganda purposes, which is why it’s displayed so clearly. Second, North Korea does not even have the military capability to strike any American cities, particularly not on the East coast. “Red Dawn” was a work of fiction.

Now to the photos. NK News has kindly granted me permission to repost Pearson’s annotations of the images, which appear to show the plan’s “targets.” (He did ask me to point readers toward the NK News daily e-mail service, which I can recommend without reservation.) Here’s the first, with the chart labeled “U.S. Mainland Strike Plan”

Google map of the United States

Google map of the United States

 

Google map of the United States

Google map of the United States

Pearson then superimposed a Google map of the United States and the Pacific over the chart, which shows pretty clearly that the “targets” line up with major U.S. cities on the West and East coasts.But what else is in that office? Pearson combined the above image with another KCNA photo of the same room (it’s a composite, which is why Kim shows up twice), to give us a better sense of the space.What do you know, Kim Jong Un’s secret war room contains an iMac, designed with care in California by the same evil American imperialists he is purportedly preparing to destroy. That irony, one imagines, did not make it into the domestic propaganda coverage.

Source : http://www.washingtonpost.com