UN approves North Korean sanctions as USA prepares for a ‘defensive war’

USS Gerald R. Ford


The United Nations has approved more sanctions against North Korea:

August 5, 2017

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to pass a resolution being pushed by the United States that will deprive North Korea of $1 billion a year in revenue that helps fuel its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile program.

The move for additional sanctions came in response to Pyongyang’s intercontinental ballistic missile launches July 3 and 28, which showed that the rogue nation might now have the capacity to bring the U.S. mainland and much of Europe into its cross hairs.

The provisions effectively deny Pyongyang of one-third of its annual $3 billion in exports revenue. Four export sectors are targeted in the resolution — coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, and seafood.

The United States’ U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, said the U.S. is “taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies” from the threat posed by North Korea, which she said was “rapidly growing more dangerous.”

In two council resolutions adopted in March and November of last year, the council imposed export caps on coal, which is North Korea’s single largest export.

“In this resolution, there is no cap, there is no allowable coal. All coal exports will stop, will be banned from export from North Korea,” a council diplomat told VOA prior to the vote.

By removing that cap, the diplomat said there would immediately be a decrease of $400 million a year in North Korea’s export revenue.

The iron and iron ore ban will deprive North Korea of an estimated $251 million this year. Lead and lead ore exports were expected to generate $113 million in revenue this year, and seafood was expected to bring in nearly $300 million.

The resolution also prohibits countries from accepting additional guest workers from North Korea. Pyongyang is notorious for sending its citizens to other countries to work and then confiscating much or all of their salaries, effectively making them slave labor. https://www.voanews.com/a/us-security-council-north-korea-sanctions/3973718.html

The USA and UK seem to be taking steps to prepare for possible war with North Korea:

August 5, 2017

The United States is preparing for all options to counter the growing threat from North Korea, including launching a “preventive war,” national security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview that aired Saturday on MSNBC. The comments come after North Korea carried out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the past month and after the president said he has been clear he will not tolerate North Korea’s threats to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons.

The key excerpts (full transcript):

H.H.: Let me switch if I can to North Korea, which is really pressing. And– and remind our audience, at the Aspen Institute ten days ago, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Joe Dunford, said, “There’s always a military– option. It would be horrific.” Lindsey Graham on Today Show earlier this week said– “We need to destroy the regime and their deterrent.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday, I believe, to North Korea, “You are leaving us no choice but to protect ourselves.” And then the Chairman of the Chief of Staff of the Army said, “Just because every choice is a bad choice doesn’t mean you don’t have to choose.” Are we looking at a preemptive strike? Are you trying to prepare us, you being collectively, the administration and people like Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton for a first strike North Korea?

H.R.M. Well, we really, what you’re asking is– is are we preparing plans for a preventive war, right? A war that would prevent North Korea from threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon. And the president’s been very clear about it. He said, “He’s not gonna tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States” if they have nuclear weapons that can threaten the United States; It’s intolerable from the president’s perspective. So of course, we have to provide all options to do that. And that includes a military option.

Now, would we like to resolve it short of what would be a very costly war, in terms of– in terms of the suffering of mainly the South Korean people? The– the ability of– of that North– North Korean regime to hold the South hostage to conventional fire’s capabilities, artillery and so forth, Seoul being so close. We’re cognizant of all of that. And so what we have to do is– is everything we can to– to pressure this regime, to pressure Kim Jong-un and those around him such that they conclude, it is in their interest to denuclearize. And there are really I think three critical things, came out of the president’s very successful summit with– President Xi of China that were different– that were different from past efforts to work with China, which has always been, you know, the– the desire, right, to work with China– on the– on the North Korean problem.

How many casualties will there be:

HH: In 1994, when the first North Korean deal with signed, the people who executed it, Gallucci, Dan Poneman, Joe Wit wrote a book. And they quoted a general saying, “If there is a conflict,” called Going Critical, “there will be a million casualties.” A million casualties. Is that still a good estimate of what happens if– preemptive strike unfolds in North Korea, General?

HRM: You know, one thing about war. It’s impossible oftentimes to predict. It’s always impossible to predict the future course of events. Because war is a continuous interaction of opposites, a continuous interaction between your forces and those of the enemy. It involves not just the capability to use force, but also intentions and things that are just unknowable at the outset. And so I think it’s important to– to look at– range of estimates of what could happen, because it’s clear that at war, it’s unpredictable. And so you always have to ask the question, “What happens next? What are the risks? How do you mitigate those risks?” And– and obviously, you know, war is– is– is the most serious decision any leader has to make. And so what can we do to make sure we exhaust our possibilities and exhaust our other opportunities to accomplish this very clear objective of denuclearization of the peninsula short of war?

Should Americans be concerned:

HH: How concerned should the American people be that we are actually on the brink of a war with North Korea?

HRM: Well, I think it’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with this. Right, the, so I think it’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with a rogue, brutal regime, I mean, who murdered his own brother with nerve agent in an airport. “I mean, think about what he’s done in terms of his own brutal repression of not only members of his regime but his own family,” McMaster added. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-05/mcmaster-us-preparing-preventive-war-north-korea

This ‘defensive war’ seems like a one with a preemptive strike. Like in a real war.

As regular readers should be aware, I have warned for years that there could be military confrontation between the USA and North Korea. The British publication The Economist ran the following “what if” scenario should the USA and North Korea fight:

5 August 2017

IT WAS March 2019. …

Mr Kim had boasted since the start of the year that he would soon provide final proof that would convince the world to respect North Korea’s nuclear capability. If the North really carried out such a test, the electromagnetic pulse it would cause could take out satellites and damage power stations on the ground.

For Donald Trump, that would cross a red line. …

The president had thus far heeded the warnings of his defence secretary, Jim Mattis, and his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. The risks of taking military action were too great, they had argued. But Mr Trump was no longer willing to listen. Mr Mattis was said to be on the brink of resignation, partly because he did not believe that Mr Kim was about to carry out an atmospheric test. Mr McMaster had been fired and replaced by John Bolton, a hawkish former ambassador to the UN who had been a prime mover for action to overthrow Saddam Hussein because of his supposed arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Mr Bolton had told the president that a high-altitude test was imminent. He had long argued for doing whatever it would take to bring about regime change in North Korea.

Mr Trump did not necessarily want to go that far. China’s leader, Xi Jinping, had warned him that there would be “serious consequences” if such a step was being considered. It was not clear whether China would step in to help North Korea as it had in the past (the view in Washington was that it would not). What was not in doubt was its hostility to anything that might bring American forces north of the 38th parallel and close to China’s border.

South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, had at first been strongly against any pre-emptive strike, as his country would bear the brunt of any subsequent miscalculation by either side. But after bullying from Washington, he had reluctantly withdrawn his opposition. Mr Trump felt very strongly that he needed to show his supporters at home that he could still make tough decisions.

To that end, he had asked his military advisers to come up with a plan that would show he meant business; powerful enough to make Mr Kim think twice before hitting back, but not so drastic as to trigger war. After all, Mr Kim would surely realise that to do so would risk entering a cycle of escalation that would lead inexorably to his defeat and the obliteration of his dynasty—the very thing his nuclear programme had been designed to prevent. …

Mr Trump was warned, however, that although Mr Kim was thought to be rational, he faced political problems of his own and would have to react in some way. According to the most optimistic scenario, Mr Kim might feel that he could get away with a gesture, such as firing missiles at the outer islands, in an operation similar to the shelling of Yeonpyeong in 2010. He might also conclude that he could anyway stop testing for now, as he had credibly acquired the means to hit the continental United States.

The operation appeared at first to succeed. There was little unintended damage and not much indication whether the missile had been armed (nuclear weapons are designed to resist accidental explosion—the warhead is encased in a sturdy re-entry vehicle and detonation sequences have to be minutely timed). Despite the usual threats from Mr Kim to “wipe America off the face of the Earth” and to turn Seoul into a “sea of fire”, nothing appeared to happen. Mr Trump’s poll ratings spiked and he tweeted: “Fat Kim just got what he’s been asking for. SAD!” Triumphantly, he berated “my generals” for their caution which had stopped him from doing something similar sooner.

But even as Mr Trump was bragging about the success of the strike, Mr Kim was ordering elite units from his 180,000-strong special operations force to carry out a series of hit-and-run attacks on targets in the South. Some would infiltrate by using a network of tunnels running beneath the demilitarised zone (DMZ); others would be inserted from the sea by mini-submarines or flown in by ancient hedge-hopping An-2 biplanes that were hard for modern radars to spot. Meanwhile, North Korea’s navy had also begun laying mines in both the West and East seas in an effort to disrupt trade. A series of cyber-attacks on South Korea’s critical infrastructure also appeared to be under way. …

The allies could not be sure what Mr Kim planned next, so they had to prepare for the possibility that sabotage attacks were a prelude to a major offensive. With that in mind, the evacuation of foreign nationals, mainly from Seoul, had begun. These included some 150,000 American civilians, over 40,000 Japanese and up to 1m Chinese citizens. The evacuation was intended to send a strong message to the North that events were developing a momentum of their own.

American and South Korean commanders had recommended to their governments that they should prepare for the worst. …

American commanders decided that they should bring at least another 500 tactical aircraft into the theatre, both from carriers and from bases in America. They would be needed to maintain the sortie rate required to destroy North Korea’s air defences and then hit all the other targets, including both the ones that were already identified and also others that would emerge. Although it might take a few weeks, it would signal to North Korea the seriousness of their intent and might persuade Mr Kim not to press ahead with a wider attack.

Mr Kim was aware that time was against him. At this stage, he too hoped to avoid an all-out war, which beneath his usual bombast he knew he might lose. But the build-up of forces in the South, especially the rapidly increasing airpower that would soon allow his adversary to launch a pre-emptive attack against his most important weapons, convinced him that he had to fire a powerful warning shot of his own.

With over 14,000 artillery pieces, about 1,000 of them positioned in caves and bunkers within range of Seoul, he could do a lot of damage quickly. But unleashing the kind of barrage that his regime had threatened in the past would take him rapidly past the point of no return. He also had to decide how much of his long-range artillery force of 170mm guns and both 240mm and 300mm multiple-rocket launchers he was prepared to expose at this stage to counter-battery fire from the South. He therefore opted for a limited salvo that would last under an hour before pulling back his artillery to positions where it would be less vulnerable.

His message to Mr Trump was that this was just a taste of what South Korea and its allies could expect if he continued with his aggressive war plans. It failed to have the effect that Mr Kim was hoping for. Despite hints that he might stop there, with several thousand civilian and military casualties already sustained, American and South Korean commanders had to take action in case this was just the prelude to an all-out artillery barrage. …

The ferocity of the initial assault stunned Mr Kim. …

Faced with the imminent destruction of his regime, Mr Kim decided to go down fighting. …

The initial death toll was put at 300,000, but the effects of radiation would mean that many more would die in the months ahead, including large numbers of American civilians and service personnel. Mr Trump was advised that he had no option other than to retaliate with a nuclear strike on the North. The decision was taken to use America’s latest nuclear bomb, the guided B61-12, dropped by a B2 stealth bomber. …

China found itself facing a humanitarian catastrophe on its border. It claimed that lethal radioactive material was being blown into Chinese cities by disrupted weather.

Nobody knew how an appalled President Xi would respond. The shock sent stockmarkets across the world reeling, foreshadowing a global recession to come. Mr Trump, however, was undaunted. He tweeted: “Nuke attack on Seoul by evil Kim was BAD! Had no choice but to nuke him back. But thanks to my actions, America is safe again!” https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21725763-everyone-would-lose-how-nuclear-war-korea-could-start-and-how-it-might-end

While not all of that would likely happen, the fact is that North Korea is capable of militarily causing deaths in South Korea, striking out at the USA via terrorism, and even attempting some type of EMP (electromagnetic pulse) disaster for the USA.

The USA recentlysent out a new aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford. It has been in the works for some time, but now may have involvement with North Korea. The US has also been testing its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system (see US claims a successful THAAD test: A message to North Korea?). The US wants more THAAD systems in South Korea in the event of conflict with North Korea. The hope is that THAAD could knock out missiles from North Korea so that less would die in South Korea. How well that will work is anyone’s guess, but most feel that it will not be 100% successful and that people in Seoul, South Korea will die in the event of a missile assault from North Korea.

North Korea will NOT continue as it has been.

It has severe economic problems and leadership issues. Its people have been suffering for decades and are in my prayers.

With new sanctions, North Korea’s leadership may get more desperate.

While the USA can defeat North Korea militarily, understand that North Korea could try to set off a nuclear device (either through a launch or through some other means, including covert terroristic ones) or take other military actions that could hurt South Korea or the USA. As reported here before, some believe it may attempt to hurt the USA through electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons (see North Korea poses electromagnetic-pulse threat to USA).

We seem to be entering a troubling time (cf. Mark 13:8; Revelation 6:3-4). The time of the second horseman, perhaps as early as next month.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Syria, North Korea, and Prophecy On April 7, 2017, 59 US Tomahawk missiles hit a military installation in Syria. While praised by NATO nations, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, this was denounced by Syria, Russia, and North Korea. Is this the start of World War III? Will the Bashar al-Assad regime remain as it is? What about North Korea? What does the Bible show will happen? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more. This is a video.
Korea in Prophecy, Any Witness? Where did the Korean people come from? Does God have a plan for the Koreans? Is Korea mentioned in any prophecies? Will Koreans be among the first in the Kingdom of God? Here is a machine-translated link to that article in Korean: 한국의 언어로 : 한국 예언, 모든 증인에?. Here is a link to a magazine with that article in Mandarin Chinese: 在预言中的韩国:有任何证人吗?. A prophetic video is also available: Syria, North Korea, and Prophecy.
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Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic?
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.

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