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N. Korea Crisis - Updated as News come to hand

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posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 04:10 AM

South Korean intelligence chief says North Korea is highly likely to attack again - Yonhap via Reuters 10 minutes ago via

Ya think?

Of course North Korea is gonna do another provocation. I mean... it can't be more obvious than that... maybe the sun coming up in the morning might be more obvious, but i'm not sure.

I think this is the most important news of the day so far...
U.S. Navy seeks to move jet fuel in rare Japan-Korea route-trade

Thing is... Japan shipping oil to South Korea? Really? Japan have NO OIL... Usually it's South Korea shipping oil to Japan... Jet fuel is for war...

Now the article says that the US is looking for ways to move tens of thousands of tons of oil to South Korea... so maybe they are looking for a private contractor that would lend it's ships so the US can use Japan as a relay point to send oil to South Korea in case war breaks out...

Of course that private contractor will probably lose a few ships due to North Korean submarines... a tanker full of oil being blown up by a torpedo sure makes a big fireball.

So no oil shipped yet, as far as we know... but they are planning.
edit on 1-12-2010 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 04:12 AM
reply to post by Soshh

I would caution once again that the US Embassy Cable reporting that a South Korean government minister had told US Diplomats China was ready to drop North Korea was countered by another US Embassy Cable in which Singapore's Mentor Minister and former Prime Minister told US Diplomats the complete opposite, that China likes having North Korea as a buffer state.

From the impressions I get, it's possible China likes to keep North Korea and the US/South Koreans on their toes and ensure neither takes China for granted.

If North Korea knows they have China on their side, they may well take that for advantage, to hide behind China's petticoat.

If the US/South Korea knows they have China on their side, they may well take that for advantage too.

Keeping North Korea and South Korea/The US off-balance may be China trying to ensure it is not 'played' like a piano by either side.

Of course, whose side China is on depends on who you believe, a South Korean government minister in whose government's interest it's in is to tell the US that China is on South Korea's side, (And in whose ear China may be whispering sweet nothings knowing it will be passed on to the US) or the most powerful man in Singapore who has been on the political scene for the past 50 years or more in East Asia and knows the neighbourhood.

Of course, who prevails Old Guard-New Guard wise will ensure whose side China does take in reality.

China's actions at the UN may be a response to the wikileaks leaked cable suggesting they don't support North Korea, and also to possibly reassure North Korean nerves after the meetings yesterday.

North Korea: What's this I hear you no longer support us?!

China: Come now, you don't really believe that do you? That's just what they like to think. We'll show our love at the UN. Kissy, Kissy!

North Korea: Oh you're goooooooood.

China: Thousands of years of culture and history to our name, baby.


The US and South Korea: What's this we hear you no longer support us?!

China: Come now, you don't really believe that do you?

And back and forth it goes.
edit on 1-12-2010 by Regensturm because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 04:24 AM
Yeah China's decision on which side they go if war breaks out is the key here... I guess we'll only really know when war breaks out... and even then, a coup d'état could always happen.

Now it's Japan doing drills... they can't be serious... everyone is doing drills... way to go to calm tensions people!
Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will conduct large-scale joint military exercises with the U.S. between Dec. 3 and 10, sending numerous ships and aircrafts out into the waters and airspace surrounding Japan. According to the SDF, some 34,100 troops from Japan will participate in the drills, along with 10,400 from the U.S.

So in the last week or so...

South Korea, Japan, China, North Korea and the US did drills in the area... nice.

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 05:09 AM

Originally posted by Vitchilo
More news...

REUTERSFLASH: China says will handle #Koreas dispute as a "responsible great power", will not show favouritism. 17 minutes ago via TweetDeck

Ahahahaha. Yeah sure. You just did it a few hours ago at the UN! FAIL!

After the shelling of Yeonpyeongdo happened, most of the media blamed NK for the act. US and SK called it a "provocation" of NK. But very few asked about the pretext of NK's shelling, and who actually provoked whom in the first place.

US and SK were conducting Navy drills very close to the Northern Limit Line. Despite NK's repeated warnings, SK fired live artillery shells diretly into the disputed waters within sight of NK shore. NK responded with artillery fires toward Yeonpyeongdo. At first the shells landed in water near the island. When SK still ignored NK's warning, NK pounded the shoreline and the military installations.

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 05:45 AM
reply to post by Vitchilo's looking likely Japan are going to go nuclear if a leaked US Embassy Cable is to be believed.

Some more leaked US Embassy Cables, this one deals with a Mongolian briefing of US diplomats on an North Korean-Mongolian meeting in the wake of Bill Clinton's visit to North Korea:

US embassy cables: Bill Clinton visit boosts US-North Korea relations

From the Link:

4. (S)VFM Kim said the DPRK is spending too much on weapons rather than on its children, but that the current reality dictates that they cannot get away from weapons for now. Kim said the DPRK is not a threat and was only interested in self-protection. The Mongolian side expressed concern that a nuclear DPRK could lead to a nuclear ROK, Japan, Syria, and Iran, and urged that the Mongolian nuclear-free model could serve as an example. Kim stated the United States would not allow Japan or the ROK to go nuclear and that the DPRK is committed to peace and denuclearization.

VFM Kim = North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim.

I personally think the US could allow South Korea or Japan to go nuclear. Does anyone remember that story about South Korea's nuclear programme?

6. (S) The DPRK side said what is most important is for the United States and the DPRK to come up with a "common language," a "non-aggression agreement," and establishment of diplomatic relations. Kim stated if the sides can take such measures, then denuclearization will be possible and easy, and that relations with Japan and the ROK will normalize thereafter.

So North Korea wants relations with the US if they get a "non-aggression agreement"

8. (S) Regarding former President Clinton's recent travel to the DPRK to secure of the release of the two journalists, Kim said this action had been prepared for a long time, meaning the groundwork for such a visit was already in place because of the progress the United States and the DPRK made during the Clinton presidency. Kim said forward motion stopped during the Bush Administration but was now able to proceed because of President Clinton's recent involvement in a personal capacity, because President Obama is of the same party, and because former First Lady Clinton is now the Secretary of State. The North Koreans were expecting a dialogue with the United States to start soon as an extension of President Clinton's visit.

Again, North Korea seems keen on dialogue with the US. This is in 2009.

9. (S) Kim asked the Mongolians to support a U.S.-DPRK dialogue (Sukhee described Kim as "enthusiastic" at this point), and he stated "there are no eternal enemies in this world."

Very interesting indeed.

Sukhee = Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Deputy Director for Asian Affairs J. Sukhee.

10. (S) Kim took a "very hard line" on the Six Party Talks according to Sukhee, stating that the DPRK will never return to the talks, that the talks were dead, but that the door has not closed on an opportunity for negotiations. During discussion of the Six Party Talks, Kim criticized Russia and China for their support of recent UN resolutions aimed at the DPRK. Kim said Japan and the ROK were natural allies of the United States during the talks, and that Russia and China ended up supporting the other three, so that the DPRK felt it was five against one. Kim stated the real intention of the Six Party Talks was to destroy the DPRK regime, and that at present the DPRK wants to talk only to the United States.


According to North Korea's Foreign Minister, if the Mongolians are to be believed, North Korea wants bilateral talks with the US, but not six-party talks, and wants a non-aggression agreement, and relations with the US.

The following leaked US embassy cable deals with a briefing by Colonel Lee Sang-chul, Ministry of National Defense North Korea Policy Division Director and lead ROKG representative to Colonel-level military-to-military talks in October 2008.

US embassy cables: Reading the runes on North Korea

From the Link:

2. (C) In an April 23 meeting, Lee told Poloff that the Korean People's Army's (KPA) spate of high-level announcements over the past several months (such as the March 8 KPA Supreme Command report, the first in 15 years, and the four KPA General Staff statements since January, not seen since 1999) should not be misinterpreted as the DPRK military asserting control over the country, because the military could act only in concert with the Worker's Party and the Cabinet. Instead the "generals appearing on TV" was a phenomenon directed at DPRK citizens with two goals: to show that the DPRK's hostile external situation meant citizens had to pull together, and as a "power display" to send a law-and-order message to counter the increasing economic disorder resulting from decades of economic "depression."

In other words, to counter possible North Korean instability, North Korea is trying to show how it's hostile external situation demanded citizens rally around the flag.

Lee = Colonel Lee Sang-chul, Ministry of National Defense North Korea Policy Division Director and lead ROKG (Republic of Korea Government) representative

6. (C) The DPRK's determination to maintain internal order meant that it could go so far as to engage in "limited armed conflict" with the ROK. At the same time, the DPRK was well aware that ROK forces were ready for any provocation and would respond with superior force. In addition, the DPRK knew that combined ROK-U.S. surveillance capabilities would prevent it from achieving surprise, so Lee was reassured that no direct military provocation was imminent.

Until those South Korean shells landed in what North Korea sees as their territorial waters.

I did not see that South Korean "superior force" response last Tuesday.

9. (C) Lee cautioned that China would seek to prevent U.S.-DPRK relations from improving too much, adding with a smile that had it not been for its attitude toward the U.S., China would have moved to prevent the October 2006 DPRK nuclear weapon test.


Interesting, although I thought China was rather annoyed with the North Korean nuclear test?

This next leaked US Embassy Cable concerns a meeting between 'A group of five ROK opinion leaders and experts on North Korea issues' and US Diplomats:

US embassy cables: North Korean succession violence possible

From the Link:

1. (C) A group of five ROK opinion leaders and experts on North Korea issues told A/S Kurt Campbell on February 3 it was difficult to predict whether Kim Jong-il's youngest son Kim Jong-un would be able to succeed his father without sparking instability in the North. Of the five experts, one thought the younger Kim might succeed and one argued his lack of leadership experience made it unlikely he would win the support of the ruling elites. They agreed that Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law Jang Song-taek would prove a strong rival for the younger Kim and would probably be tempted to challenge him. Kim Jong-il had used draconian controls and international aid to discourage coups after having foiled three such attempts in the late 90s. China's strategic interests were fundamentally at odds with U.S.-ROK interests in North Korea. End Summary. Succession in Progress but Success in Doubt

If these five opinion leaders and experts are to be believed, Kim Jong-un, the son of Kim Jong-il, has a challenger to the throne in the name of Jang Song-taek, Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law. This has been hinted at in the media.

Note too, the mention that China's strategic interests were "fundamentally" at odds with US-ROK interests in North Korea. More on that later.

2. (C) Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell met on February 3 with Korean opinion leaders with a keen interest in DPRK issues to hear their views on the future of North Korea. The experts agreed that regime succession was fully underway and that the North Korean people had accepted the process. XXXXXXXXXXX said a North Korean diplomat based in Beijing had told him over the phone that morning that the DPRK Foreign Ministry had instructed all of its overseas missions to "lay the foundation for leadership change in Pyongyang." Most of the experts believed the challenge for Kim Jong-il's youngest son and designated heir, Kim Jong-un, would most likely come after his father died. XXXXXXXXXXX recalled the Chosun Dynasty's 500 year history in which political intrigue and tension might simmer for years, but tended to erupt only after the king died. 3. (C) The group agreed that Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law and right-hand man Jang Song-taek was spearheading the succession drive and would be a rival for power once Kim Jong-un's father died, but the group was split on the younger Kim's prospects for holding onto power. XXXXXXXXXXX believed it would be difficult for Jang to wrest power from the younger Kim once the succession process was complete. XXXXXXXXXXX suggested it was unclear whether Jang would be content to control the younger Kim from behind the curtain, or would challenge him directly for outright control. XXXXXXXXXXX

Warnings of intrigue and tension erupting after the king (Kim Jong-il) has died.

6. (C) The experts agreed that China's obsession with DPRK stability at all costs, was clearly and fundamentally at odds with U.S. and ROK interests. Given a choice between reaching out to Seoul or Beijing, [name removed] believed that Pyongyang elites would reflexively look to China for support if they believed they needed help in maintaining stability. The Seoul option would be unacceptable because of the U.S.-ROK alliance and concerns over becoming subservient to Seoul. China, on the other hand, would gladly provide support with few or no strings attached, just to maintain the DPRK as an independent entity, XXXXXXXXXXX maintained.


According to the experts China has an "obsession" with DPRK stability "at all costs", and China would "gladly provide support" to the DPRK "with few or no strings attached" to maintain the DPRK "as an independent entity" (not absorbed by South Korea, we can presume.)

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 06:30 AM

According to North Korea's Foreign Minister, if the Mongolians are to be believed, North Korea wants bilateral talks with the US, but not six-party talks, and wants a non-aggression agreement, and relations with the US.

Well I remember that in early 2010, North Korea made a peace treaty offer to the US...

U.S., South Korea Reject North's Peace Treaty Demand

The North Korean government proposed yesterday that "immediate" negotiations with Washington begin on a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War. Pyongyang's statement notably excluded Seoul from the peace talks. The two Koreas are also still technically at war.

"We can discuss a peace treaty only after the six-party talks are reopened and there is progress in the denuclearization of North Korea," South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said to news media today. "North Korea has a history of offering peace gestures with one hand while committing provocations with the other."

But they've said that about every year.

Pyeongyang Reportedly Spreading Propaganda that Kim Jong-un Orchestrated Attack
edit on 1-12-2010 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 07:19 AM
China will never abandon NK because they use NK to keep the allies/USA out of the yellow sea.

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 08:01 AM
Now the South Korean president is again acting against his people... how long before SKorean generals think about a coup?

Lee seeks to calm public anger at China after N. Korean attack

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak tried Wednesday to contain the growing public anger here over China's reaction to North Korea's recent deadly artillery attack, disapproving of views that Seoul and Washington are in conflict with Beijing in dealing with the unruly communist neighbor.

China's state medias DEFENDED North Korea's attack on the island. They said ``it showed the North's toughness``... yet South Korean should love China? Really?

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 08:27 AM
Just now from BBC

South Korea's intelligence chief is reported to have said that North Korea is very likely to attack again, a week after an artillery strike on a South Korean island. The revelation came hours after officials said Seoul was planning more military exercises with the US


posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 11:40 AM
Slightly off-topic, for which I apologise, but I just thought I would go back to what Tifozi brought up and to which myself and Vitchilo concur, that Wikileaks may be leaking leaks that set an agenda, or is being used, when we see leaks that are hyped by the MSM such as the ones about Iran and North Korea.

Putin seems to agree:

Wikileaks row: Putin labels US embassy cables 'slanderous'

From the Link:

In the pre-recorded interview with King – to be shown on CNN this evening - Putin echoed the dominant perception in Russia that the embassy cables were deliberately leaked by a faction in the US government or military.

"Some experts believe that somebody is deceiving WikiLeaks, that its reputation is being undermined in order for it to be used for political purposes," said Putin, apparently speaking from an office in Moscow. "Such an opinion is being expressed here."

Putin may have a point. I'm not talking about Wikileaks being dodgy, (although it's possible of course) but possibly Wikileaks' leaks are being controlled, and ones that suit an agenda being hyped and publicised over others.

For example, much publicity about how Arab countries want the US to bomb Israel......whose interests do that suit?

For example, much publicity about how allegedly China no longer backs North Korea, whose interests do that suit?

For example, much publicity about how Russia's President Medvedev is hesitant, whose interests do that suit?

It suits those who wish to wage campaigns against Iran and North Korea, and those who wish to convince others that pushing Russia around (NATO encirclement, Missile 'shields') is still feasible post-Yeltsin.
edit on 1-12-2010 by Regensturm because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 01:37 PM
Here is the recent article about the crisis in Korea by Dmitry Orlov, the author of the book Reinventing Collapse.

Dmitry's blog: ClubOrlov

The article: Korea: The Fate of a Cold War Vestige

Here is the exerpt from the article:

From what I have been able to piece together based on what I've been able to observe, Koreans are quite patriotic, very resourceful, detest foreign meddling in their affairs, and are exactly like everyone else in wanting a peaceful and prosperous existence for themselves. It may very well be that Korea's 21st century will make up for the horrors of the 20th, while most of the former USA devolves into a collection of lawless, ungovernable, sparsely populated territories that, gradually or abruptly, fade from the world scene. But such a positive result for Korea is by no means automatic. Fierce beasts are at their most dangerous right after they have been fatally wounded, and it is hard to predict what sort of damage a fatally wounded America might cause in its agony. Korea will have to reinvent America's collapse to its own advantage. Being a foreigner, and not wishing to meddle in Korean affairs, all I can say is, think ahead, plan ahead, and may you have the best luck possible!

edit on 1-12-2010 by killallbullies because: wording adjustment

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 03:13 PM
I am really glad to see that war has not broken out at this time in the Korean Peninsula. Although, it does really sound plausible that SK will retaliate with the US given all the build-up however, I do remain hopeful that peace will prevail.

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 03:21 PM
This is probably the best thread on ATS at the minute.

Literally just learning so much about the situation from all you folks. It's like a filter for the MSM.


posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 03:28 PM

Originally posted by Hithe Merinos
Just now from BBC

South Korea's intelligence chief is reported to have said that North Korea is very likely to attack again, a week after an artillery strike on a South Korean island. The revelation came hours after officials said Seoul was planning more military exercises with the US


S. Korea was the first to strike - it sent a missile into N. Korea just before this current US/S.Korea military exercise began. They later said it was accidental.

N.Korea seriously objects to these US/S.Korea military exercises... Personally, I believe it is provocation.
US refused to honor China's demand that it not sent a military warship into the area.

It is very possible that US is wanting to escalate this into a war.

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 03:31 PM
reply to post by wcitizen

S. Korea was the first to strike - it sent a missile into N. Korea just before this current US/S.Korea military exercise began. They later said it was accidental.

First time I heard of this.

Do you have a source the info?

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 05:00 PM

Originally posted by butcherguy
reply to post by wcitizen

S. Korea was the first to strike - it sent a missile into N. Korea just before this current US/S.Korea military exercise began. They later said it was accidental.

First time I heard of this.

Do you have a source the info?

I didn't keep the link to the article I read where it said S. Korea had said it was accidental, but there's a link here to an RT news video about S. Korea firing first.

posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 05:09 PM
New info. from Chinese news source

This seems to echo what Vitchilo stated on the last page of this thread about talks not happening/happening too late!!:

U.S. not interested in six-party talks now: spokesman 2010-12-02 03:32:20 FeedbackPrintRSS

The United States is not interested in six-party talks right now, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said on Wednesday, calling for Pyongyang to be a "constructive player" in the region.

"We are not interested in talks, and talks are no substitute for having North Korea fulfill its international obligations, meet its commitments and cease provocations," the spokesman told reporters at a press briefing.

edit on 1-12-2010 by sonjah1 because: typo

posted on Dec, 2 2010 @ 02:39 AM
Well yeah, they cannot reward North Korea by going to talks...

Satellite photos show S. Korea's counterfire hit N. Korean barracks
And yet North Korea says 1 dead and 1 hurt... maybe there was almost no one in the barracks..

Satellite images show S.Korean shelling ineffective

Claims by Seoul's military that its counter-fire hit North Korea hard after the North shelled a South Korean border island were called into question by satellite images published Thursday.

Military officials, trying to deflect charges they responded feebly to the deadly November 23 attack on Yeonpyeong island, have said their return fire was believed to have caused considerable damage.

But senior ruling party legislator Kim Moo-Sung said Thursday that the North's artillery positions apparently escaped unscathed.

So yeah... unless you are willing to nuke North Korea several times, good luck winning a war from the air against them....

US, Japan, S. Korea foreign ministers to meet Monday to discuss N. Korea. #Koreas about 10 hours ago via TweetDeck

Monday... Washington too late for the start of the December 6 war exercise...which starts December 5 Washington Time. Hopefully they are far enough from the contested territory that nothing will happen.

Top legislators from China, N. Korea hold talks

"The unswerving strategic policy of the Chinese government and the Chinese party is to continuously consolidate and develop friendly and cooperative relations with North Korea," Wu was quoted as saying on the statement.

China saying they support North Korea again... yeah they are in North Korea, but according to their policies in the last 60 years, China do support North Korea.

S. Korean intelligence chief: N. Korean attack linked to succession (Reuters)

Yep. Since the North Korean news are saying Kim Jong Un ordered the attack...

Japan, US to conduct massive military drill from Friday

The biggest US-Japanese exercises since 2007 will take place in Japanese waters off its southern islands, close to the southern coast of South Korea, officials said.

By having South Korean military officers observe the Japan-US exercises, Tokyo hopes to demonstrate solidarity among the three countries, Japan's Kyodo and Jiji Press news agencies said.

Japan sent soldiers in an observer capacity to take part in joint US-South Korean military exercises in July, held after the sinking of the Cheonan, a 1,200-tonne South Korean naval vessel, the Japanese defence ministry said.

North Korea will not like this...China might not too... Japan-South Korea, the two ``enemies`` joining up with the ``Great Satan``...

US lawmakers fume over China's Iran links

A cable from 2007 cited by the British newspaper the Guardian disclosed that China was given specific details about a missile parts shipment that was expected to transit Beijing.

US diplomats were instructed to express US concern "at the highest level possible."

Other cables detailed what US diplomats said was the delivery to Iran of 19 North Korean missiles with a range of up to 2,000 miles (3,000) kilometers.

"There seems to be no doubt that Chinese companies are pursuing energy investments and selling Iran refined petroleum. The Chinese acknowledge it," said Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Well yeah. Didn't you know that China was also building a missile factory in Iran? Damn those lawmakers are ignorant! We knew about this for years now...

US lawmaker warns of 'evil twins' Iran, NKorea

"It seems that the evil twins of Iran and North Korea have been separated at birth and have now reunited and found each other," Ackerman told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a session assessing the impact of tightened sanctions on Iran.

Funny one.

Rejecting China, US to meet allies on N.Korea

A State Department official said on condition of anonymity that China was not invited to Monday's talks, but its absence was not intended as a "snub."

But Bonnie Glaser, an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the United States was making clear to China that "if they wish to get back to the table, then they need to exert some pressure on North Korea."

"They want to be included. And we are taking a series of measures in which we are really strengthening coordination with our allies, and this is not really in China's long-term interests," she said.

Yep the camps are being set.

Peaceful Korean reunification now a distant dream: analysts
Well if war doesn't break out and the regime change finally happens, the situation might change with a new guy in charge.
edit on 2-12-2010 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2010 @ 07:26 AM
A new report... and I hope it's not based on reality otherwise we're in big trouble.

Page in Korean
Page translated by Altavista
Translation by Google

And from a South Korean...

According to a Tokyo newspaper article, a high ranking N.Korean officer name unknown released that N.K will shell the heart of Korea, a.k.a Seoul. The head Korean Spy section of the government also released that the next shelling would be on the ground.

So South Korean intelligence say that North Korea will do another provocation...and according to that Tokyo newspaper quoting anonymous North Korean high ranking officer, North Korea, in the ultimate provocation, will bomb the heart of the South... the Gyeonggi-do province, the most populated one...where Seoul is located.

Me thinks this is possible since it would be like the ``final provocation`` for Kim Jong Un to put him in power... like ``no one else had the guts to bomb the heart of SKorea but Kim Jong UN`` or some BS like that...

The article also points out a naval strike in the west of South Korea (probably Incheon)...

And that is planned BEFORE THE YEAR IS OUT probably so Kim Jong Il can talk about it in his new Year adress that every NKorean will hear/watch....

edit on 2-12-2010 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2010 @ 08:36 AM
reply to post by Regensturm

I just wish to give an update to a previous post of mine in which I highlighted how Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew reportedly told US Diplomats in a US Embassy cable that Japan 'may go nuclear.'

Since that post, I have discovered another leaked US Embassy Cable which may suggest that Japan already has.

From the period of 1st to 2nd November 2009, the then UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband visited Russia in an attempt to put an end to the "period of standoff," between the UK and Russia over the death of Alexander Litvinenko and over the 2008 South Ossetia War.

US embassy cables: Miliband's trip to Moscow

From the Link:

International Agenda


5. (C) START Follow-On: Lavrov was reportedly upbeat regarding START follow-on negotiations. According to British diplomats, Lavrov said the key issues involved conventional weapons on ICBMs, verification, and the "numbers gap," which was being narrowed. Following this treaty, Lavrov suggested multilateral negotiations on further reductions involving the P5, the D3 (Israel, India, Pakistan) as well as "dormant" nuclear powers such as Japan.

Allegedly, According to Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Japan is a "dormant" nuclear power.

What does this mean?

1) It could mean Japan is nuclear-armed, but it's "dormant" status suggests it has not built on it's arsenal or research and may have mothballed it. (Perhaps after the Cold War?)

2) Japan has the know-how and knowledge to build a nuclear weapon, could build a nuclear weapon at any time, but imposed a moratorium on itself over the issue.

3) Japan has the know-how, knowledge and capability to build a nuclear weapon, or facilities and expertise to build a nuclear weapon are in place, and all it needs is the go-ahead by the Japanese government to do so.

Putting together Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's alleged claim Japan could go nuclear, and then Lavrov's alleged claim that Japan is a "dormant" nuclear power, we have to dissect who we think may be more informed on the matter, (MM Lee or Lavrov) and/or what can be translated by the meaning of Japan being a "dormant" nuclear power (Lavrov), and Japan "may go nuclear" (Lavrov)

If both are true, I would say 2 or 3 may have been more likely to be right at the time, suggesting Japan is a "dormant" nuclear power, because at a moment's notice due to having the facilities in place, it could go "nuclear" at any time.

I think we should prepare to put Japan on the list of the "Nuclear club" of nations.

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