Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Book on the Sixth Seal of New York


http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2011/08/aftershock-earthquake-in-new-york-original.jpgEarthquakes Threaten More of America Than You Might Think
Nate Hopper
“You can be forgiven,” writes Kathryn Miles in Quakeland (Aug. 29), “for thinking that the ground beneath your feet is solid.” Yet it isn’t, and by the end of her reporting readers will feel a bit unsteady.

The concerns at the core of Quakeland are that seismologists know the most about the potential earthquakes that are the least alarming, and that we all know little about quakes to begin with. They remain the least predictable of natural disasters and possibly the most catastrophic.
Miles renders a map of other endangered municipalities, like the Oklahoma city that houses tanks containing tens of millions of barrels of oil, in a state where quakes are increasing. Or the stretches of Mississippi River communities where survivors would struggle to receive relief depending on how one bridge fares. Or the several states where the mining and oil- and gas-drilling industries are causing more and more unnatural quakes and whose paychecks allow impoverished people to buy houses their work could end up cleaving. There are also plausible not-even-worst-case scenarios where thousands die, hundreds of thousands become homeless and billions of dollars’ worth of property and resources disintegrate — and that’s only for the known seismic faults. Scientists worry more about the many they have yet to find.
That fear you feel? It’s intended. Miles prefers the most provocative possibilities as Quakeland seeks to rattle us free of the ignorance, uncertainty and short memory that have paralyzed plans for prevention and survival.

Antichrist Has Unified the Islamic Horns (Revelation 13)



Saudi, Iraqi leaders ‘draw closer’ after Sadr meeting
Al Jazeera
The motivation for Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia Muslim scholar, to meet the Saudi crown prince last month was an attempt to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq, seek a leadership role and tone down sectarianism between the two countries, analysts say.
Sadr, who is openly hostile to the United States, was hosted on July 30 by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The reason behind the gathering in Jeddah centred on a shared interest in countering Iranian influence in Iraq, Baghdad-based analyst Ahmed Younis said.
Saudi-Iran row: Iraq offers to mediate
Sadr’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a bold shift of his policy to deliver a message to regional, influential Sunni states that not all Shia groups carry the label ‘Made in Iran’.”
For Sadr, who has a large following among the poor in Baghdad and southern Iraqi cities, it was part of efforts to bolster his Arab and nationalist image ahead of elections where he faces Shia rivals close to Iran.
“This is both a tactical and strategic move by Sadr. He wants to play the Saudis off against the Iranians, shake down both sides for money and diplomatic cover,” said Ali Khedery, who was a special assistant to five US ambassadors in Iraq.
Ultimately, Sadr seeks a leadership role in Iraq that would allow him to shape events without becoming embroiled in daily administration, which could erode his popularity, diplomats and analysts say.
Days after the Jeddah meeting, Sadr met Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, who has also taken an assertive line against Iran, the dominant foreign power in Iraq since the 2003 US invasion ended Sunni minority rule.
Iran has since increased its regional influence, with its forces and allied fighters spearheading the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levane (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and holding sway in Baghdad.
For Saudi Arabia, less Iranian influence in Iraq would be a big win in a rivalry that underpins conflict across the Middle East.
“There are plans to secure peace and reject sectarianism in the region,” Sadr told the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper last week, saying that it was “necessary to bring Iraq back into the Arab fold”.
When asked what Saudi Arabia hoped to achieve with Sadr’s recent visit to the Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, a Saudi official at the Saudi embassy in Washington said: “Saudi Arabia hopes to encourage Iraqis to work together to build a strong resilient and independent state. With that in mind, it will reach out to any party who could contribute to achieving that goal”.
Limited Influence
A politician close to Sadr said the Jeddah meeting was aimed at building confidence and toning down sectarian rhetoric between the two countries.
The rapprochement is “a careful testing of the waters with the Abadi government and some of the Shia centres of influence like Sadr and the interior minister,” said Ali Shihabi, executive director of the Washington-based Arabia Foundation.
Another sign of rapprochement is an agreement to increase direct flights to a daily basis.
Iraqi Airways hopes to reopen offices in Saudi airports to help Iraqis travel to the kingdom, especially for pilgrimages, Iraq’s transport ministry said.
As OPEC producers, the two countries cooperated in November to support oil prices. Their energy ministers discussed bilateral cooperation and investment last week.
Iranian reaction to the meetings has however been minimal.
“Iraqi personalities and officials do not need our permission to travel outside of Iraq or to report to us,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said last week, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trump and World War III (Revelation 15)


http://www.activistpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/nuclear_arms_race.pngHow Trump helped trigger a new arms race in the Middle East
Jonathan Manthorpe Published Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, warned on Tuesday his country will abandon the 2015 multinational Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) limiting Iran’s nuclear development program if the U.S. imposes any more sanctions.
The implication is that Iran would resume enriching uranium to weapons-grade levels.
Rouhani’s threat came a day after Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, passed a largely symbolic sanctions bill against the U.S. — and authorized a far more potent additional $US800 million for its expeditionary forces in the Middle East, the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Some of the money will go to Iran’s already sophisticated ballistic missile program.
The extra money for Iran’s Quds Force and its proxy allies in the wars in Syria and Yemen is a direct response to Saudi Arabia’s flexing of its regional muscles. There has been a notable increase in Riyadh’s assertion of its regional power and authority since May, when President Trump, on his first foreign tour, gave a speech clearly siding with Saudi Arabia and denigrating Iran.
“For decades,” Trump said, “Iran has fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror. It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.”
Saudi Arabia — whose foreign and military establishments appear to be in the hands of the young and excitable heir to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — has taken Trump’s speech as permission to pursue a power play against Iran. That goes well beyond pursuing an air war in neighbouring Yemen against Huthyi rebels backed by Iran, and supporting rebels fighting Iranian ally President Bashar Assad in Syria.
Immediately after Trump’s departure, Riyadh marshalled its allies in the Persian Gulf to isolate the Gulf state of Qatar, which Saudi Arabia accuses of funding terrorism and maintaining a treacherous relationship with Iran.
Gulf states Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are showing signs of nervousness that they too could be the targets of direct action by Riyadh if their loyalty comes under question.
At the same time, the Riyadh authorities are striking out against minority Shia Muslims in eastern Saudi Arabia. Iran is the heartland of the Shia faction of Islam, and Riyadh has long suspected Tehran of using the minority in Saudi Arabia to foment dissent.
This campaign has tipped Canada into the Middle East caldron. Photographs are circulating that appear to show Riyadh’s forces using Canadian-supplied General Dynamics light armoured vehicles (LAVs) and combat scout cars made by the Ontario company, Terradyne Armored Vehicles, against the Shia minority.
The evidence is bolstering political and public opposition in Canada to the pending $15 billion deal for London, Onatrio-based General Dynamics to sell its latest version of the LAV to Saudi Arabia.
So Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is investigating the latest claims against Riyadh. Government policy bans the export of arms to countries with a “persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens.”
Saudi Arabia’s atrocious civil rights record is such that Ottawa should not need physical evidence of Canadian combat vehicles being used to crush minorities in order to decide selling weapons to the Riyadh regime is not a good idea. But there are a lot of Canadian jobs on the line.
At the moment, however, Canada is playing a small role in the booming Middle East arms race springing from the Tehran-Riyadh contest for power. The latest figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show that all Middle eastern states, and Persian Gulf states in particular, have leapt up the rankings of arms buyers in the last year or so.
Tiny oil-and-gas-rich Qatar has tripled its weapons purchases since 2012 and is now the world’s third largest arms buyer.
Iran can now be expected to use Trump’s repeated claim that the 2015 JCPOA agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear program is a “disaster” as justification for abandoning the deal. In this, Trump is ignoring the stated position of the other parties involved — Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the United Nations — that Iran is holding to the deal.
While most international sanctions against Tehran are being lifted, Iran has not seen the expected economic benefits of complying with the program because the Trump regime continues to sanction both Iran and those that do business with the country.
Trump’s attitude has created a highly unusual unity in Iran between political hardliners and reformers on one hand, and the public on the other. That it was President Rouhani, widely seen as a reformer, who threatened on Tuesday to resume the nuclear program illustrates this effect.
There has always been a suspicion in Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Co-operation Council allies — the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain — that Iran might renege on the JCPOA deal, which came into force in January last year. And even if Tehran stuck to the agreement, Riyadh fears Iran will build nuclear weapons after the deal runs its course in 10 to 15 years’ time.
This has added to the conviction among international observers that Saudi Arabia is seeking its own nuclear weapons capability.
It has long been rumoured that Pakistan has agreed to supply Riyadh with nuclear weapons in return for Saudi financing of Islamabad’s nuclear arms program in the 1990s. However, in a recent report the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security says it has uncovered evidence that Pakistan will not supply Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons.
Instead, Islamabad will assist in other ways, such as supplying equipment, materials and know-how for Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning “civilian” nuclear program. Saudi Arabia might also be allowed to work on sensitive nuclear technologies in Pakistan, away from the watchful eyes of international inspectors.
Riyadh has announced it plans to build 16 nuclear reactors in the next few years. And Riyadh has a stock of ballistic missiles it bought from China a few years ago that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The world must hope that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and the president’s point man on the Middle East, has pursued his self-education on the region beyond his recent conclusion that the problems there are “difficult.”
The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

The History Of New York Earthquakes: Before The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)


Historic Earthquakes
Near New York City, New York
1884 08 10 19:07 UTC
Magnitude 5.5
Intensity VII
New York historic earthquakes
USGS.gov
This severe earthquake affected an area roughly extending along the Atlantic Coast from southern Maine to central Virginia and westward to Cleveland, Ohio. Chimneys were knocked down and walls were cracked in several States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Many towns from Hartford, Connecticut, to West Chester,Pennsylvania.
Property damage was severe at Amityville and Jamaica, New York, where several chimneys were “overturned” and large cracks formed in walls. Two chimneys were thrown down and bricks were shaken from other chimneys at Stratford (Fairfield County), Conn.; water in the Housatonic River was agitated violently. At Bloomfield, N.J., and Chester, Pa., several chimneys were downed and crockery was broken. Chimneys also were damaged at Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Allentown, Easton, and Philadelphia, Pa. Three shocks occurred, the second of which was most violent. This earthquake also was reported felt in Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Several slight aftershocks were reported on August 11.

Quakeland: New York and the Sixth Seal


http://andrewtheprophet.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/New-York-Quake-880x630.jpgQuakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake
Roger Bilham
Given recent seismic activity — political as well as geological — it’s perhaps unsurprising that two books on earthquakes have arrived this season. One is as elegant as the score of a Beethoven symphony; the other resembles a diary of conversations overheard during a rock concert. Both are interesting, and both relate recent history to a shaky future.
Journalist Kathryn Miles’s Quakeland is a litany of bad things that happen when you provoke Earth to release its invisible but ubiquitous store of seismic-strain energy, either by removing fluids (oil, water, gas) or by adding them in copious quantities (when extracting shale gas in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, or when injecting contaminated water or building reservoirs). To complete the picture, she describes at length the bad things that happen during unprovoked natural earthquakes. As its subtitle hints, the book takes the form of a road trip to visit seismic disasters both past and potential, and seismologists and earthquake engineers who have first-hand knowledge of them. Their colourful personalities, opinions and prejudices tell a story of scientific discovery and engineering remedy.
Miles poses some important societal questions. Aside from human intervention potentially triggering a really damaging earthquake, what is it actually like to live in neighbourhoods jolted daily by magnitude 1–3 earthquakes, or the occasional magnitude 5? Are these bumps in the night acceptable? And how can industries that perturb the highly stressed rocks beneath our feet deny obvious cause and effect? In 2015, the Oklahoma Geological Survey conceded that a quadrupling of the rate of magnitude-3 or more earthquakes in recent years, coinciding with a rise in fracking, was unlikely to represent a natural process. Miles does not take sides, but it’s difficult for the reader not to.
She visits New York City, marvelling at subway tunnels and unreinforced masonry almost certainly scheduled for destruction by the next moderate earthquake in the vicinity. She considers the perils of nuclear-waste storage in Nevada and Texas, and ponders the risks to Idaho miners of rock bursts — spontaneous fracture of the working face when the restraints of many million years of confinement are mined away. She contemplates the ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera — North America’s very own mid-continent supervolcano — and its magnificently uncertain future. Miles also touches on geothermal power plants in southern California’s Salton Sea and elsewhere; the vast US network of crumbling bridges, dams and oil-storage farms; and the magnitude 7–9 earthquakes that could hit California and the Cascadia coastline of Oregon and Washington state this century. Amid all this doom, a new elementary school on the coast near Westport, Washington, vulnerable to inbound tsunamis, is offered as a note of optimism. With foresight and much persuasion from its head teacher, it was engineered to become an elevated safe haven.
Miles briefly discusses earthquake prediction and the perils of getting it wrong (embarrassment in New Madrid, Missouri, where a quake was predicted but never materialized; prison in L’Aquila, Italy, where scientists failed to foresee a devastating seismic event) and the successes of early-warning systems, with which electronic alerts can be issued ahead of damaging seismic waves. Yes, it’s a lot to digest, but most of the book obeys the laws of physics, and it is a engaging read. One just can’t help wishing that Miles’s road trips had taken her somewhere that wasn’t a disaster waiting to happen.
Catastrophic damage in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964, caused by the second-largest earthquake in the global instrumental record.
In The Great Quake, journalist Henry Fountain provides us with a forthright and timely reminder of the startling historical consequences of North America’s largest known earthquake, which more than half a century ago devastated southern Alaska. With its epicentre in Prince William Sound, the 1964 quake reached magnitude 9.2, the second largest in the global instrumental record. It released more energy than either the 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off Japan; and it generated almost as many pages of scientific commentary and description as aftershocks. Yet it has been forgotten by many.
The quake was scientifically important because it occurred at a time when plate tectonics was in transition from hypothesis to theory. Fountain expertly traces the theory’s historical development, and how the Alaska earthquake was pivotal in nailing down one of the most important predictions. The earthquake caused a fjordland region larger than England to subside, and a similarly huge region of islands offshore to rise by many metres; but its scientific implications were not obvious at the time. Eminent seismologists thought that a vertical fault had slipped, drowning forests and coastlines to its north and raising beaches and islands to its south. But this kind of fault should have reached the surface, and extended deep into Earth’s mantle. There was no geological evidence of a monster surface fault separating these two regions, nor any evidence for excessively deep aftershocks. The landslides and liquefied soils that collapsed houses, and the tsunami that severely damaged ports and infrastructure, offered no clues to the cause.
“Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about present-day vulnerability.” The hero of The Great Quake is the geologist George Plafker, who painstakingly mapped the height reached by barnacles lifted out of the intertidal zone along shorelines raised by the earthquake, and documented the depths of drowned forests. He deduced that the region of subsidence was the surface manifestation of previously compressed rocks springing apart, driving parts of Alaska up and southwards over the Pacific Plate. His finding confirmed a prediction of plate tectonics, that the leading edge of the Pacific Plate plunged beneath the southern edge of Alaska along a gently dipping thrust fault. That observation, once fully appreciated, was applauded by the geophysics community.
Fountain tells this story through the testimony of survivors, engineers and scientists, interweaving it with the fascinating history of Alaska, from early discovery by Europeans to purchase from Russia by the United States in 1867, and its recent development. Were the quake to occur now, it is not difficult to envisage that with increased infrastructure and larger populations, the death toll and price tag would be two orders of magnitude larger than the 139 fatalities and US$300-million economic cost recorded in 1964.
What is clear from these two books is that seismicity on the North American continent is guaranteed to deliver surprises, along with unprecedented economic and human losses. Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about the present-day vulnerability of US infrastructure and populations. Engineers and seismologists know how to mitigate the effects of future earthquakes (and, in mid-continent, would advise against the reckless injection of waste fluids known to trigger earthquakes). It is merely a matter of persuading city planners and politicians that if they are tempted to ignore the certainty of the continent’s seismic past, they should err on the side of caution when considering its seismic future.

The Realpolitik of the Antichrist (Revelation 13)



Iraqi Shiite cleric’s Saudi, UAE trips show Gulf realpolitik
Brunswick News
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An influential Iraqi Shiite cleric, notorious for his followers’ deadly attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq over a decade ago and thought at times to have ties to Iran, has two new stamps in his passport — from the two fiercest Sunni critics of Tehran in the Gulf.
Muqtada al-Sadr’s trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates come as the two nations want to limit Iran’s influence in the wider Middle East, especially with Iranian-backed Shiite militias leading the fight against the Islamic State group on Iraqi battlefields.
Meanwhile, the chameleonic cleric hopes to cement his own standing ahead of Iraq’s parliamentary elections next year, part of his makeover from a militia warlord whose fighters battled American forces to an Iraqi nationalist who can fill Baghdad’s streets with his protesting followers.
How far any possible alliance between al-Sadr and the Gulf Arab countries could go remains to be seen, though photos of the black-turbaned Shiite cleric meeting with Sunni rulers already has stirred speculation in Iran.
“Why has Muqtada al-Sadr sold himself to the Al Saud?” the hard-line Iranian newspaper Keyhan bluntly asked after his visit, referring to Saudi Arabia’s royal family. The paper also warned that if al-Sadr continued on this path, “his popularity will fall and he will become an isolated person.”
Such harsh criticism from Iran would have been unthinkable in the years immediately following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
While Sunni Muslims represent the world’s principal branch of Islam, Shiites are the majority in Iraq. Neighboring Iran has had a government overseen by Shiite clerics since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated government massacred Shiites after the 1991 Gulf War and continued imprisoning, torturing and executing others up to his overthrow.
Al-Sadr, the son of a prominent Shiite cleric assassinated in a 1999 attack believed to be organized by Saddam, quickly organized Shiite dispossessed under Saddam against the American occupation.
“The little serpent has left and the great serpent has come,” al-Sadr told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program in 2003.
Saddam loyalists and Shiite extremists alike would soon fight an insurgency against the American forces. Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia fought American forces throughout much of 2004 in Baghdad and other cities.
Al-Sadr’s forces are believed to have later taken part in the sectarian killings between Shiites and Sunnis that plagued Iraq for several years after the bombing of one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. Al-Sadr left for Qom, a holy Shiite city in Iran, for religious studies around the time that his forces accepted a cease-fire in the 2008 battle of Basra, in southern Iraq.
Since that time much has changed.
Al-Sadr’s followers have taken part in Iraqi military offensives against the Islamic State group in Tikrit and other cities. He has organized rallies against government corruption, including breaching the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, the highly secure area housing government offices and many foreign embassies.
On July 30, al-Sadr traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the next in line to the throne. The state-run Saudi Press Agency published a photograph of King Salman’s son smiling next to the cleric, only saying the two “reviewed the Saudi-Iraqi relations and a number of issues of mutual interest.”
In the UAE, al-Sadr met on Sunday with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, and other officials.
“Experience has taught us to always call for what brings Arabs and Muslims together, and to reject the advocates of division,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement carried on the state-run WAM news agency.
Anwar Gargash, the Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted after the meeting that it was part of an effort to “build bridges” between the Gulf Arab nations and Iraq.
“Our ambition is to see a prosperous, stable Arab Iraq,” Gargash wrote. “The challenge is great and the prize is bigger.”
Using “Arab” to describe Iraq is no accident for the UAE, which opposed the 2003 American invasion. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia want to limit Shiite-ruled Iran’s power in Iraq.
“There are serious questions about how to help encourage Iraqi stability and minimize Iranian influence in the country,” said Lori Plotkin Boghardt, a former U.S. intelligence official who now is a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Building ties with someone like al-Sadr is part of the Saudis’ and Emiratis’ answer to this.”
One of the biggest question marks ahead for Iraq is what happens after the war against the Islamic State group.
Shiite militias advised by members of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard have proved to be among the most effective ground forces in the fight against IS. Disarming or incorporating the groups into existing security forces likely would be a major challenge for the national government.
Al-Sadr, already a respected Shiite cleric with a massive base of followers, demanded in March that Shiite militias disband, saying only Iraqi national forces should hold territory in the country. Though many among the militias disagree, saying they have proven their credentials in battle against IS, al-Sadr’s stand could provide Baghdad with the cover it needs to do so.
“This would be, of course, music to the Gulf countries’ ears,” said Fanar Haddad, a senior research fellow at the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore.
For al-Sadr, whose loyalists represent one of the biggest blocs in Iraq’s parliament, his foreign trips burnish his credentials as an Iraqi leader. However, it remains unclear what he wants — and whether any tilt toward the Sunni Gulf countries truly would represent a total break with Iran for the Iraqi nationalist.
“It shows he has options,” Haddad said.
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Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad contributed to this report.
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Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap . His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz .

Thursday, August 17, 2017

North Korea Is Not Our Real Enemy



North Korea’s leader holds fire on Guam missile launch
Al Jazeera
North Korea’s leader received a report from his army on plans to fire missiles towards Guam and said he will watch the actions of the US before making a decision to fire, North Korea’s official news agency said on Tuesday.
Kim Jong-un ordered the army to be ready to launch should he make the decision for military action.
North Korea said last week it was finalising plans to launch four missiles into the waters near the US Pacific territory of Guam, and its army would report the attack plan to Kim and wait for his order.
Kim, who inspected the command of North Korea’s army on Monday, examined the plan for a long time and discussed it with army officers, the official KCNA agency said.
“He said that if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the latter will make an important decision as it already declared,” it said.
The DPRK stands for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
North Korea’s threat to attack near Guam prompted a surge in tensions in the region last week, with US President Donald Trump warning he would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it did so.
Christopher Hill: US and North Korea in a ‘propaganda spat’
Kim said the US should make the right choice “in order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean Peninsula”.
The visit to the Korean People’s Army Strategic Force marks Kim’s first public appearance in about two weeks.
Trump spoke to Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, late on Monday to discuss North Korea.
“President Trump reaffirmed that the United States stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or actions taken by North Korea against the United States or its allies, South Korea and Japan,” a White House statement said early Tuesday.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday there would be no military action without Seoul’s consent and his government would prevent war by all means.
“Military action on the Korean Peninsula can only be decided by South Korea and no one else can decide to take military action without the consent of South Korea,” Moon said in a speech to commemorate the anniversary of the nation’s liberation from Japanese military rule in 1945.
“The government, putting everything on the line, will block war by all means,” Moon said.
North Korea is angry about new UN sanctions over its expanding nuclear weapons and missile programme and annual military drills between the US and South Korea beginning later this month that North Korea condemns as invasion rehearsals.
Guam braces for planned North Korea missile strike
A Guam official said he was “ecstatic” as North Korea appeared to back away from its threat.
“There doesn’t appear to be any indication, based on what we’re hearing, that there will be any missiles attacking in the near future or in the distant future,” Lieutenant-Governor Ray Tonorio said.
Jim Mattis, US defence secretary, warned on Monday the US military would be prepared to intercept a missile fired by North Korea if it was headed to Guam.
Mattis said that the US military would know the trajectory of a missile fired by North Korea within moments and would “take it out” if it looked like it would hit the US Pacific territory.
“The bottom line is, we will defend the country from an attack. For us that is war,” Mattis said.
Richard Broinowski, former Australian ambassador to Seoul, told Al Jazeera from Sydney on Tuesday that there was no real threat of war.
“Kim Jong-un is not stupid. He’s led his country for a number of years now, and he’s done well. There’s a lot of bluster and hyperbole,” he said. “On the part of the US, we have a president who is unschooled and unskilled in diplomacy. But he’s surrounded by people who are.”
He also said that the solution was direct talks without conditions between the US and North Korea.
“It’s been tried before and it needs to be tried again,” said Broinowski.