Interview: North Korea teaches that ‘a small, blocked country may resist’ US domination

Source

A Brazilian who has recently been in Pyongyang points out that the DPRK poses no threat to the world, only fighting for its sovereignty in the face of the American “urges for domination”

Eduardo Vasco, Pravda.Ru

In recent weeks tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a frightening level, where analysts and news reports havepredicted nuclear war at any moment.

Meanwhile, after the military parade on April 15, as part of the celebrations for the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the country, North Korea tested new intercontinental missiles, even under threat of a US attack. The test, instead of leading to American intervention, has prompted President Donald Trump to withdraw from his warmonger speech against Pyongyang.

North Koreans, however, remain on the alert in the same way they have been for more than 60 years, since the US has been keeping troops stationed in South Korea and Japan since the end of World War II.

Gabriel Gonçalves Martinez was on April 15 in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea. He was invited by the North Korean government, representing the Communist Reconstruction Union (URC) and the Center for Juche Idea Studies – Brazil.

What did you think of the commemorations of the 105th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth on April 15?

The celebrations were impressive. On the 15th we had the opportunity to watch the military parade held in Pyongyang. At the time, we were able to see with our own eyes the power of the Korean People’s Army. After the military parade, in the streets it was possible to see the people in a festive mood. In all corners of the city there were cultural and artistic groups performing presentations, young pioneers singing. In short, a situation totally different from what was being presented by the media in the West.

What is the mood between the authorities and the North Korean people in the midst of this renewed escalation of tension with the United States?

The North Koreans harbor no illusions about US imperialism. They know that much of Trump’s aggressive rhetoric is also linked to his attempt to gain some legitimacy among the sectors that really govern the United States, namely the industrial-military complex. Anyway, the official policy of the DPRK is to develop what they call “prosperous socialist power” and the possession of nuclear weapons is not something that is open for negotiation. The possession of nuclear weapons by the DPRK is already a fact, whether or not the United States likes it.

Do North Koreans hate the US and are they really aggressive and dangerous, as the media say?

North Koreans hate American imperialism. They had a traumatizing experience during the 50’s that was the Korean War. They suffered in their own skin the destruction promoted by the United States, so they have every reason in the world to be angry with the United States. Now, this does not mean that this hatred of US imperialism translates into an automatic hatred of the American people. The media in the capitalist countries demonize the DPRK, but it is clear that the country poses no threat to the world. They pose a threat to the imperialists and their longing for domination, for they teach that even a small, blocked country can resist.

From what you saw in the military parade, has the DPRK the ability to face the US should there be a war? It seems that Donald Trump has stepped back and toned down the threats …

Yes, they have full capacity to face the US. The United States needs to take into consideration that the DPRK is not Libya or Iraq. It is a country that has nuclear arsenal and a powerful army. A war with the DPRK would not be so simple.

What is the importance of Kim Il Sung, the 105th anniversary celebration, for North Korean history?

Kim Il Sung was the main figure in the Korean people’s liberation struggle against Japanese imperialism and the main organizer of the communist movement in Korea. As a young man he founded several important communist organizations, such as the Union to Defeat Imperialism, the Communist Youth Union, the Anti-Imperialist Youth Union; In the aftermath of the anti-Japanese war, he founded the Communist Party of North Korea, which later gave rise to the Korean Labor Party. He was also the main founder of the Korean People’s Army, which is the Army of the Labor Party. Kim Il Sung was at the forefront of the socialist construction process in the DPRK until the end of his life in 1994.

To finish. This was not the first time you were in the DPRK. What did you see in your visits to the country? Did you see differences from what is broadcast by the media? Has anything changed since your previous visit?

This was my fourth time in the DPRK.

The first was in 2011 to attend the celebrations of the 99th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung. The reality of the country is totally different from what is shown by the mainstream media. Contrary to what many may think, the DPRK is not a bankrupt country, miserable, about to collapse. Pyongyang, for example, can easily be considered one of the most beautiful cities in Asia, full of parks, museums, monuments, etc. Since when I first visited the country, one can see in Pyongyang a rapid economic development. In recent years the government is inaugurating various infrastructure works, new buildings with popular housing, avenues. Recently Mirae Avenue was built, which is a street with huge buildings, where the apartments are dedicated to the scientists who made outstanding contributions to the socialist construction process in Korea. In this residential avenue you can find several restaurants, shops, popular markets, cinema, bars, etc. A few days ago Ryomyong Avenue opened, also with gigantic buildings and modern apartments. Also on Ryomyong Avenue you can find all the infrastructure we see on Mirae Avenue, with the difference that this new avenue is even more modern. In Pyongyang, in all corners of the city, it is possible to see new works being built, buildings being renovated. This demonstrates a certain economic development.

 


North Korean missiles rattled Japan and South Korea

Trump First 100 Days: Takeaways on Foreign Policy

Trump First 100 Days: Takeaways on Foreign Policy

ANDREI AKULOV | 24.04.2017 | WORLD

Trump First 100 Days: Takeaways on Foreign Policy

The president Trump’s flip flops and zig zags on foreign policy issues make believe the US has no coherent strategy. There is each and every reason to say so. Many world leaders and experts seem to be perplexed at least. But a deeper look into the events shows quite a different picture. It’s important to review the administration’s activities to get a clue to its foreign policy.

The president has proposed to cut US expenditure on the UN, he has talked disparagingly about NATO and never given due to the role international institutions play in the contemporary world – something ex-President Obama set great store by. Instead, Donald Trump relies on interstate relations to protect the interests of «America first». He needs allies and partners.  The priority is given to personal contacts with key foreign leaders. The list includes:  the UK, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Israel, Germany, Egypt, China and Italy. So, according to the adopted gradation, allies come first, partners (Egypt) second with others to follow.

There is method to his madness here. He is not rushing to meet everyone to increase US clout everywhere, but sticks to a well thought out pattern. He does have a strategy with traditional allies topping the priorities’ list.

There is another trend worth mentioning. Vice President Mike Pence is clearly playing an important role in the implementation of the allies-based foreign policy.

The Vice President has just wrapped up his first Asia Pacific tour having visited key Asia Pacific states: Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia. The visit took place at the time the US was balancing on the brink of conflict with North Korea. The mission of utmost importance was entrusted to nobody else but Vice President Mike Pence. In South Korea, it did strike an eye that he wore a green military jacket normally put on during visits to defense installations. The brown bomber jacket-clad vice president spoke tough, saying   the «strategic patience» was over. He sent a clear message.

Unlike Donald Trump, Mike Pence has significant foreign policy experience. He was a long serving member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (2007-2013).  Mr. Pence welcomed the operation in Iraq and the establishment of no-fly zone in Libya. During the election campaign he supported the idea of improving the relationship with Russia while confronting common enemy – the radical movements in the Middle East. He appears to change the stance since then.  Actually, it’s hard to make conclusions about his views and their evolution as he has shied away from making statements against the background of Trump’s turnarounds.

He does not have to. It’s not statements but the level of trust between him and the president that matters.

Today, Trump has a strong foreign policy team, including State Secretary Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Herbert McMaster, the national security adviser. The vice president is to join and find his niche. He has no independent role but his influence on foreign policy may grow as the president has to willy-nilly concentrate more on domestic issues.

His predecessors – Richard Cheney and Joe Biden, had great influence on foreign policy. The Obama’s famous barb is still vivid in memory. He called Dick Cheney «the worst president of my lifetime». Joe Biden could have won the Democratic nomination in 2016 if he wanted too.

The current vice president’s growing clout became clearly visible this February during his European debut visit to meet key NATO allies. He was chosen to soothe Europeans after President Trump called NATO «obsolete», giving priority to isolationist «America First» policy. According to Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Mike Pence told Baltic States’ leaders, «if you don’t want to call the president, you can always call me» – a very important detail to demonstrate his standing within the administration.

He says many things with a catch. In Europe, he praised NATO but did not forget to emphasize that other countries in the alliance were expected to abide by their defense spending commitments. Talking about Ukraine, he said Russia was to be held accountable but he also believed it was a potential partner and the search for common ground was to be continued. His visit was well prepared to go smoothly, without a hitch.

According to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the Global Opinions section of The Washington Post, the role and influence of the vice president, not enshrined in any law, is determined in any administration by three things: his direct relationship with the president, his building of a personal portfolio of issues, and the effectiveness of his team. When it comes to foreign policy, Vice President Mike Pence is quietly succeeding on all three fronts.

Indeed, the vice president deftly navigates within the president’s agenda while working in a coherent, efficient manner with White House aides, who also aspire to have the president’s ear on foreign policy issues. He has his own team to rely on, for instance his national security adviser Andrea Thompson, who boasts vast intelligence and foreign policy experience.  Some time ago the vice president played an important role in bringing on board Director of National Intelligence-designate Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley – the people President Trump knew little about.

The Trump’s foreign policy is far from being a helter-skelter implementation of «U-turn» strategy. It’s a well thought over diplomacy aimed at engaging and using the US influence in key parts of the world consistently over time. There is strong foreign policy team formed where the vice president’s clout is evidently growing. Mike Pence is respected on both sides of the aisle in Congress and has good chances to become president one day. These are the things Russia and other countries have to take into account while dealing with the current US administration.

US-North Korea Tensions: North Threatens to Sink US Aircraft Carrier

 24-04-2017 | 09:25

Local Editor

After two Japanese navy ships joined a US carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific, North Korea said it is ready to sink a US aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might.

 

US-North Korea Tensions: North Threatens to Sink US Aircraft Carrier


US President Donald Trump ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to rising tension over the North’s nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.

The United States has not specified where the carrier strike group is as it approaches the area. US vice president Mike Pence said on Saturday it would arrive “within days” but gave no other details.

North Korea, however, remained defiant. “Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a US nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike,” the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, said in a commentary.

The paper likened the aircraft carrier to a “gross animal” and said a strike on it would be “an actual example to show our military’s force”.

Relatively, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a visit to Greece that there were already enough shows of force and confrontation at present and appealed for calm.

“We need to issue peaceful and rational sounds,” Wang said, according to a statement issued by China’s Foreign Ministry.

Adding to the tensions, North Korea detained a Korean-American man in his fifties, bringing the total number of US citizens held by Pyongyang to three.

Tensions have been heightened between the US and the isolationist state ahead of North Korea’s 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People’s Army, which it will celebrate on Tuesday. It has in the past marked important anniversaries with tests of its weapons.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, two of them last year, and is working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States.

It has also carried out a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

Trump – From Coward to Hero – MOAB, Syria, North Korea and Yemen are the Answer

April 23, 2017

by Peter Koenig

Trump, within a span of a week, has made a U-turn; from a coward to hero. So the MSM; his aggressive violence, his murderous killing spree in Syria, Yemen and threatening North Korea with a nuclear ‘take-out’ – turns Trump from a pussie to a macho. Overnight, so to speak, Trump has become the darling of the presstitute Zionist-MSM. That tells you who is controlling the ‘brainstream’ of the masses. Just look at the 24 April 2017 edition of the US Inquirer – “Trump Declaring War on Dictators”, depicting photographs of Presidents Putin, Assad, and Kim Jong Un, with the caption “Dead Men Walking”. What this paper says – if the term ‘paper’ even applies to this piece of junk – is the opinion of a large segment of the US population – and the west in general, led by the puppets of Europe.

After attacking Syria for a false flag Sarin gas attack on mainly women and children, instigated by CIA and carried out by Erdogan’s forces, helped by the Saudis; pretending sending the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the shores of North Korea – and taking over from the Saudis, the most vicious war against helpless Yemen, killing thousands of civilians, women and children, soon exceeding Obama’s murders – and plunging this poverty struck country into further misery and famine – Trump has finally ascended to the level corporate Zion-America and their corrupt media requires a US president to command the world. Bravo!

Actually, with all the hoopla of the new warrior Trump, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding his turn-around politics in Syria, and especially with the aircraft flotilla sailing towards North Korea. According to the NYT, the Navy released photographs of the Carl Vinson off the coast of Indonesia to take part in a joint Navy exercise with Australia, thousands of miles away from the Korean peninsula. Trump then corrected himself saying the vessel would arrive in North Korea by this weekend, whereas the Pentagon speculated it would reach its destination more likely towards the end of April. And a few days ago, the White House reported sending two more carriers and flotillas to North Korean waters? – What is actually going on in the waters off the Korean peninsula?

Not least as Trump’s heroic bravura, he inaugurated the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) – the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Blast Bomb, by dropping it – an 11,000-ton bomb equivalent of TNT – on Afghanistan’s villages – killing dozens of innocent people. Even within his first 100 days in office, Trump has joined the club of murderers, assassins and war criminals of his predecessors. Just to see whether MOAB behaves as expected, busting bunkers and other underground structures, causing earthquake like explosions up to 200 m below the surface, capable of destroying bunkers and nuclear reactors. Its reported to be the most devastating bomb, other than a nuclear bomb. The most vicious and devastating test since the nuclear Hiroshima blast.

The MOAB is mainly thought for nuclear reactors. Afghanistan, already a wasteland, complements of the horrid west, was not chosen by accident for the test. Afghanistan, in addition to the transit still planned of the infamous and highly disputed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline, also possesses uncountable riches of rare earths and minerals – worth billions and especially needed for the ever-growing war industrial complex – which already today uses up more than half of the extractive industry’s output, worldwide.

Imagine – first devastation of mother earth by plundering her unrenewable resources; then doubling up with destruction and merciless killing and maiming of countries, cities, cultures and entire populations. All for dominance, power and – greed. And Trump goes along with all of that – at least for now, as he needs the support of Zion-Neocons to survive.

Yes, Trump, after just 100 days in office has proven that he is up to the task that his masters have carved out for him. He had a choice of sticking to his campaign promises of seeking peace not war, of not interfering in other countries’ businesses – and risking being impeached or even killed – there are precedents of neutralizing inconvenient politicians, including in the history of the United States, as we know – by the deep establishment. Well, The Donald chose to live and bask in the sun of his success. Who wants to blame him?  But turning from an eccentric billionaire macho bully to an outright mass murderer, makes him a first-degree mass murderer. If there was an independent Nuremberg style court on this globe, their fate would be sealed.

Justice in our western world is nothing but a pipedream. And unless, We, the People, stop believing in the fakeness of the UN System, of international institutions, including the International Court of Justice – once designed as balancing organisms, as peace and justice seeking institutions – we are actually contributing to the fraud played out in front of our eyes.

Now let’s face it. Would Washington and its masters be stupid enough to risk a nuclear war over North Korea, or Syria for that matter? – I doubt it. Not even Trump would be stupid enough to risk destroying the world as we know it, with no known outcomes, other than probable and likely total or close to total destruction. That’s not good business. That’s not good for profits. On the other hand, keeping wars and conflicts as vicious and chaotic as possible and as long as possible, that’s good business, bringing high profits for the war industry and its sub-contractor, the extractive industry.

Mr. Trump, you are businessman. Your sable-rattling scares people. Scared people do not invest. But you know such things. Do you? – So, you can’t really believe that you will scare Presidents Putin and Jinping onto their knees? – They are much stronger than you, intellectually, spiritually and your war-mongering armada displayed around the globe. And you and your masters know it. But hope more deception-propaganda may help postpone your faltering empire’s demise.

Talking to Americans of all walks, talks and believes – the Inquirer, mentioned above, may at least partially reflect the opinion of a large a segment of people. Though, one thing is crystal clear and unites pretty much all US citizens I talked to – whether they voted for The Donald or not – none of them wants war. They are all scared of another war; they want peace, work and a livelihood that allows them to feed their families.

President Trump take note. They elected you. Most of them are sick and tired seeing their tax dollars being spent on wars and endless conflicts around the globe – while at home they are suffering unemployment at rates way above the official labor statistics – around 22% – a rate similar to those of Spain and Greece. They all may like the MSM hammered and brainwashed slogan of “America First” and “Making America Great Again” – but they do not see the connection to wars. None of those that I talked to think that the Inquirer’s ‘dictators’ – Messrs. Assad, Kim Jong Un and Putin are a threat to US national security.

President Trump wake up! Your co-citizens are waking up. They want an America of Peace, not of bombs and blood. They want the America your promised them – of friendly relations with other nations, including Russia, of non-interference in foreign lands, of a reduction of the more than 1,000 US military bases around the globe – and they want you to bring back outsourced jobs to their Homeland. The want a strong America, as in a solid economy, not one based on wars and destruction.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Why Washington is Terrified of Russia, China

By Pepe Escobar

April 22, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  “Sputnik” – The Russia-China strategic partnership, uniting the Pentagon’s avowed top two “existential” threats to America, does not come with a formal treaty signed with pomp, circumstance – and a military parade.

Enveloped in layers of subtle sophistication, there’s no way to know the deeper terms Beijing and Moscow have agreed upon behind those innumerable Putin-Xi Jinping high-level meetings.

Diplomats, off the record, occasionally let it slip there may have been a coded message delivered to NATO to the effect that if one of the strategic members is seriously harassed — be it in Ukraine or in the South China Sea – NATO will have to deal with both.

For now, let’s concentrate on two instances of how the partnership works in practice, and why Washington is clueless on how to deal with it.

Exhibit A is the imminent visit to Moscow by the Director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Li Zhanshu, invited by the head of the Presidential Administration in the Kremlin, Anton Vaino. Beijing stressed the talks will revolve around – what else — the Russia-China strategic partnership, “as previously agreed on by the countries’ leaders.”

This happens just after China’s First Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of the top seven in the Politburo and one of the drivers of China’s economic policies, was received in Moscow by President Putin. They discussed Chinese investments in Russia and the key energy angle of the partnership.

But most of all they prepared Putin’s next visit to Beijing, which will be particularly momentous, in the cadre of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) summit on May 14-15, steered by Xi Jinping.

The General Office of the CCP – directly subordinated to Xi — only holds this kind of ultra-high-level annual consultations with Moscow, and no other player. Needless to add, Li Zhanshu reports directly to Xi as much as Vaino reports directly to Putin. That is as highly strategic as it gets.

That also happens to tie directly to one of the latest episodes featuring The Hollow (Trump) Men, in this case Trump’s bumbling/bombastic National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. HR McMaster.

In a nutshell, McMaster’s spin, jolly regurgitated by US corporate media, is that Trump has developed such a “special chemistry” with Xi after their Tomahawks-with-chocolate cake summit in Mar-a-Lago that Trump has managed to split the Russia-China entente on Syria and isolate Russia in the UN Security Council.

It would have taken only a few minutes for McMaster to read the BRICS joint communiqué on Syria for him to learn that the BRICS are behind Russia.

No wonder a vastly experienced Indian geopolitical observer felt compelled to note that, “Trump and McMaster look somewhat like two country bumpkins who lost their way in the metropolis.”

Follow the money

Exhibit B centers on Russia and China quietly advancing their agreement to progressively replace the US dollar’s reserve status with a gold-backed system.

That also involves the key participation of Kazakhstan – very much interested in using gold as currency along OBOR. Kazakhstan could not be more strategically positioned; a key hub of OBOR; a key member of the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU); member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); and not by accident the smelter of most of Russia’s gold.

In parallel, Russia and China are advancing their own payment systems. With the yuan now enjoying the status of a global currency, China has been swiftly promoting their payment system, CIPS, careful not to frontally antagonize the internationally accepted SWIFT, controlled by the US.

Russia, on the other hand, has stressed the creation of “an alternative,” in the words of Russian Central Bank’s Elvira Nabiullina, in the form of the Mir payment system — a Russian version of Visa/ MasterCard. What’s implied is that were Washington feel inclined to somehow exclude Russia from SWIFT, even temporarily, at least 90 percent of ATMs in Russia would be able to operate on Mir.

China’s UnionPay cards are already an established fixture all across Asia – enthusiastically adopted by HSBC, among others. Combine “alternative” payment systems with a developing gold-backed system – and “toxic” does not even begin to spell out the reaction of the US Federal Reserve.

And it’s not just about Russia and China; it’s about the BRICS.

What First Deputy Governor of Russia’s Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov has outlined is just the beginning: “BRICS countries are large economies with large reserves of gold and an impressive volume of production and consumption of this precious metal. In China, the gold trade is conducted in Shanghai, in Russia it is in Moscow. Our idea is to create a link between the two cities in order to increase trade between the two markets.”

Russia and China already have established systems to do global trade bypassing the US dollar. What Washington did to Iran — cutting their banks off SWIFT – is now unthinkable against Russia and China.

So we’re already on our way, slowly but surely, towards a BRICS “gold marketplace.” A “new financial architecture” is being built. That will imply the eventual inability of the US Fed to export inflation to other nations – especially those included in BRICS, EEU and SCO.

The Hollow Men

Trump’s Generals, led by “Mad Dog” Mattis, may spin all they want about their need to dominate the planet with their sophisticated AirSeaLandSpaceCyber commands. Yet that may be not enough to counter the myriad ways the Russia-China strategic partnership is developing.

So more on than off, we will have Hollow Men like Vice-President Mike Pence, with empurpled solemnity, threatening North Korea; “The shield stands guard and the sword stands ready.” Forget this does not even qualify as a lousy line in a cheap remake of a Hollywood B-movie; what we have here is Aspiring Commander-in-Chief Pence warning Russia and China there may be some nuclear nitty-gritty very close to their borders between the US and North Korea.

Not gonna happen. So here’s to the great T. S. Eliot, who saw it all decades in advance: “We are the hollow men / We are the stuffed men/ Leaning together
 / Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! / Our dried voices, when
 / We whisper together 
/ Are quiet and meaningless
 / As wind in dry grass / 
Or rats’ feet over broken glass / 
In our dry cellar.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

N.Korea threatens to ‘reduce US to ashes’

(Agencies) – North Korean state media has warned Washington of a “super-mighty pre-emptive strike” which would “reduce the US to ashes.”
It comes after US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said that Washington is looking to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

The Rodong Sinmun, Official newspaper for North Korea’s ruling Worker’s Party, wrote, “In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes,” according to Reuters. The rogue nation also claimed the U.S. and its allies “should not mess with us.”

It comes just one day after Tillerson, as part of President Donald Trump’s hard line stance against North Korea, said that US is exploring ways to put pressure on Pyongyang.

“We’re reviewing all the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as the other ways in which we can bring pressure on the regime in Pyongyang to re-engage with us, but re-engage with us on a different footing than past talks have been held,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Tillerson wasn’t the only Trump-appointed US official making remarks about North Korea on Wednesday.

Speaking from the ‘USS Ronald Reagan’ in Japan, Vice President Mike Pence vowed an “overwhelming and effective” response to any potential attacks from Pyongyang, stressing that the “sword stands ready.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis simultaneously denounced Pyongyang’s latest missile launch attempt during his Middle East tour, telling reporters in Saudi Arabia that “the leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile.”

Meanwhile, South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, called for his country’s military and security ministries to remain vigilant on Thursday.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry also confirmed on Thursday that the US and South Korean Air Forces are conducting an annual training exercise – code named Max Thunder – until April 28.

“We are conducting a practical and more intensive exercise than ever,” South Korean pilot Colonel Lee Bum-chul told reporters. “Through this exercise, I am sure we can deter war and remove our enemy’s intention to provoke us.”

The Thursday threat by North Korean state media came after Pyongyang performed a music show to mark the birth of former leader Kim Il-sung, which included a video that appeared to show North Korea striking the US with a devastating missile launch.

Vice President Mike Pence touched down in South Korea on Sunday for his 10-day tour of Asia, where he said  “the era of strategic patience” with North Korea was over.

President Trump’s Disappearance

The World Worries That Washington Has Nuclear Weapons.

By Paul Craig Roberts

April 20, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  In my long experience in Washington, vice presidents did not make major foreign policy announcements or threaten other countries with war. Not even Dick Cheney stole this role from the weak president George W. Bush.

But yesterday the world witnessed VP Pence threaten North Korea with war. “The sword stands ready,” said Pence as if he is the commander in chief.

Perhaps he is.

Where is Trump? As far as I can tell from the numerous emails I receive from him, he is at work marketing his presidency. Once Trump won the election, I began receiving endless offers to purchase Trump baseball caps, T-shirts, cuff-links, coffee mugs, and to donate $3 to be entered into a raffle to win some memorabilia. latest offer is a chance to win one of “personally signed five incredible photographs of our historic and massive inauguration.”

For Trump, the presidency is a fund-raising device. If his VP, National Security Advisor, Secretary of Defense, UN Ambassador, CIA Director, whoever, want to start wars wherever, that’s just more memorabilia to raffle off for a $3 donation.

As a result of Trump’s failure to govern his own government, we have VP Pence telling Russia and China that there could be a nuclear exchange on their borders between the US and North Korea. Although Pence is not smart enough to know, this is not something Russia and China will accept.

Washington worries about North Korea having nuclear weapons, but the entire world worries that Washington has nuclear weapons. And so many of them. World polls have shown that the majority of the world’s population are far more concerned about the threat to peace posed by Washington and Israel than by Iran, North Korea, Russia and China.

Pence prefaced his “the sword stands ready” remark with “the United States of America will always seek peace,” which after Serbia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria is as false a statement as it is possible to make. From Washington’s perspective it is always Washington’s victims that are “reckless and provocative,” never Washington.

The US stands for war. If the world is driven to Armegeddon, it will be Washington, not North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China, that brings life on earth to an end.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

%d bloggers like this: