JAPAN: North Korea nuclear strike on US ‘imminent’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The threat of a nuclear strike upon the U.S. by North Korea has grown to a “critical and imminent level” Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera warned U.S. officials during a talk session on Monday.

Onodera’s remarks came as he met with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-Moo at a gathering of Asian defense chiefs in the Philippines.

“(The) threat posed by North Korea has grown to the unprecedented, critical and imminent level. Therefore, we have to take calibrated and different responses to meet with that level of threat,” said Onodera, speaking through a translator.

South Korea’s Song echoed Onodera’s comments, stating “North Korea’s provocative behavior is becoming worse and worse.”

The sense of urgency were in response to Mattis’s recent remarks in which he said the U.S. would continue to seek out diplomatic efforts in an effort to avoid war.

Meanwhile, as reported by The New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/opinion/sunday/jimmy-carter-lusts-trump-posting.html), former president Jimmy Carter has offered to travel to North Korea to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an effort to defuse escalating tensions.

“I would go, yes,” Carter told the Times of making the trip to North Korea.

“I’m afraid, too, of a situation,” he said of “unpredictable Kim Jong-un . “I don’t know what they’ll do. Because they want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly to Kim Jong-un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China,” he said of China’s promise to help cool North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

“I told him that I was available if they ever need me,” he said of President Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.

In an interview with Fox Business Network on Sunday, President Trump warned North Korea to tread carefully as the U.S. was “so prepared, like you wouldn’t believe” for a showdown with Pyongyang.

“You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be,” Trump said. “Would it be nice not to do that? The answer is yes. Will that happen? Who knows, who knows.”

Kim has publicly called out Trump on many occasions as “mentally deranged.”

ww3

 

COTTON TO TILLERSON, MATTIS; Get on board with Trump or get out

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R)- AR had some strong words for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Monday: Get on board the Trump Train or get out.

In an interview with Politico (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/09/tom-cotton-senate-trump-whisperer-215692) Cotton said if Tillerson and Mattis can’t align themselves with the president’s stance on removing the United States from the Iran nuclear accord they’d be better off finding themselves a new job.

“They understand they’re not the president. Donald Trump is the president. Their job is to advise. His job is to decide,” Cotton told Politico.

“When you think the president is wrong, you have a duty to try to present to him the best facts and the best thinking to help him see it in a different light. Maybe you can, but if he doesn’t, and he says, ‘No, I want to do it my way,’ then your job is to move out and execute. And if you feel strongly enough, then you have to resign,” he continued.

Cotton also called out Mattis’ public comments that staying in the Iran nuke deal was “in the national interest.”

“On that specific point, I simply disagree with him,” Cotton said of Mattis’ assertion. “At root, though, we don’t have secretaries of state and secretaries of defense to make these decisions. We elect a president, who’s democratically accountable to the American people. And they say, in baseball, that the longest 18 inches is the difference between the assistant coach’s seat on the bench and the manager’s seat. That it’s the difference between advising and deciding. Same thing is true at the National Security Council table.”

Iran “is on the president’s mind right now, probably more than anything,” Cotton added.

Cotton’s comments come on the heels of last week’s controversy after published reports suggested that Tillerson had considered resigning out of frustration with Trump, allegations that Tillerson vehemently denied.

“There has never been a consideration in my mind to leave,” Tillerson said of the controversy speaking from a podium in the Treaty Room of the State Department.

“I serve at the appointment of the president and I am here for as long as the president feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives.”

mattistillerson

‘AMERICA DOES NOT BEND’: President commemorates first September 11 as president; Vows, ‘Our nation will endure’

NEW YORK, N.Y. — President Donald Trump on Monday presided over his first 9/11 ceremony in office, marking the 16th anniversary of the most deadly terror attack to occur on U.S. soil.

With wife Melania by his side, the president observed a solemn moment of silence first at the White House, followed by a second at the Pentagon.

The first moment of silence took place on the White House grounds at 8:45 a.m., marking the moment the first plane, American Flight 11, struck the north tower of the World Trade Center. The second, at the Pentagon, occurred at at 9:03 a.m., marking the moment officials say another plane slammed into Pentagon headquarters 16 years ago.

“For the families with us on this anniversary, we know that not a single day goes by when you don’t think about the loved ones stolen from your life,” Trump said to a crowd of hundreds attending the ceremony. “Today, our entire nation grieves with you and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists 16 years ago.”

“On that day not only did the world change, but we all changed,” the president said. “Our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we faced, but in that hour of darkness we also came together with renewed purpose. Our differences never looked so small, our common bonds never felt so strong.”

“We can never erase your pain, but we can honor their sacrifice by pledging our resolve to do whatever we must to keep our people safe,” the president, himself a native New Yorker, vowed.

Joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford a short time later, the president laid a wreath in honor of the victims killed.

Secretary Mattis, who also spoke at the ceremony, said that America will never be intimidated by those who seek to do us harm.

“We never asked for this fight but we are steadfastly committed to seeing it through,” Mattis said at the Pentagon. “We Americans are not made of cotton candy. We’re not seaweed drifting in the current. We are not intimidated by our enemies.”

Mattis added: “Mr. President, your military does not scare.”

“The horror and anguish of that dark day were seared into our national memory forever. Innocent men, women, and children whose lives were taken so needlessly,” Trump said. “Our values will endure, our people will thrive, our nation will prevail, and the memory of our loved ones will never, ever die.”

Last week, the president proclaimed Sept. 11 as “Patriot Day.”

“We rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our country and unite us as one,” said Trump in a statement, “as we commemorate all the heroes who lost their lives saving others.”

trump911

TRUMP TO TRANSGENDERS: ‘YOU’RE OUT’; PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES RETURN TO BAN ON TRANSGENDERS IN MILITARY

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a stunning announcement, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced an immediate reversal on former president Barack Obama’s policy which allowed transgendered persons to serve in the U.S. military.

In a series of tweets posted to his official Twitter account, the president wrote:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming..victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

The announcement quickly caused a wave of backlash from members of the LGBTQ community who called the announcement an offense to transgendered individuals.

“This is worse than don’t ask don’t tell, this is don’t serve, don’t serve,” The National Center for Transgender Equality said in a written statement. “This is an appalling attack on our service members; it is about bigotry rather than military readiness, reason or science. It is indefensible and cannot stand.”

However, the announcement was met with high praise from pro-family and pro-military groups who felt the Obama era policy was harmful to active military members and promoted the wrong priorities.

“I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities – and not continue the social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation’s military,” FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement. “The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) was also quick to praise the president’s decision.

“Pleased to hear that @realDonaldTrump shares my readiness and cost concerns, & will be changing this costly and damaging policy #readiness,” Hartzler wrote on Twitter upon hearing the news.

Many believe the decision to reverse the controversial policy was fueled by tough talking Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who last month delayed the review of the Obama mandate that allowed transgender people to join the military.

In a statement in June, Mattis approved a recommendation to defer the decision to allow transgender individuals to join the military, a policy known more commonly as accession. “The services will review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces,” the statement read.

Mattis was asked during his confirmation hearing in January whether he would move to ban openly gay and transgendered from service on the basis that their presence somehow makes the military seem less lethal.

“Frankly, senator, I’ve never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with,” Mattis responded, but refused to comment as to whether or not he felt their presence eroded the military’s image.

In a statement from The Pentagon, Capt. Jeff Davis refused to comment on the president’s announcement of reversal and deferred all questions on the new policy to The White House.

“We refer all questions about the President’s statements to the White House,” a statement from Davis read. “We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military. We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future.”

A 2016 study by Rand Corp. estimated that approximately 6,630 transgender individuals were actively serving in the U.S. military. The total force is about 1.3 million. Under the Obama mandate, any transgendered person who chose to have gender reassignment surgery would be provided treatment and said surgery on the tax payer’s dime.

Prior to the Obama mandate, the Pentagon banned transgender troops from openly serving in the military. Any transgendered person who intentionally revealed their transgender service would be discharged or denied reenlistment.

trumpmilitary

NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR THREAT ‘PRIORITY ONE’ AS SENATE IS BRIEFED ON ESCALATING TENSIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One hundred Senators were called to the White House on Wednesday during a nearly unprecedented event to be briefed on rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

According to a report published by Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-usa-senate-idUSKBN17Q1LR), the briefing, which began at 3:00 pm EST, was originally scheduled to take place in the Capitol building but was moved to the White House at the request of President Trump.

The Senators are reportedly being briefed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will chair the meeting, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis on the latest developments in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the threats that it’s leader, Kim Jung-un, has made against the United States. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats will also participate in the briefing.

The meeting comes on the same day that local governments throughout the Washington, D.C. area are participating in “full-scale” terror attack drills in response to the developing conflict. The drills are being carried out in multiple locations throughout the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R)-South Carolina, discussed the North Korea briefing during a dinner Monday evening at the White House with President Trump, and told reporters on Tuesday that his fellow colleagues will be advised on Trump’s plan to respond to North Korea’s recent acts of aggression.

“It’s clear to me that this president will not allow North Korea to develop an [intercontinental ballistic missile] with a nuclear weapon on top to hit America,” said Graham. “And I think the senators are gonna hear that tomorrow night.”

Sen. Ben Cardin, (D)-Md., the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters that he hopes that North Korea’s recent hostilities can be countered without military action.

“It’s (the location of the meeting) their choice,” he said of Trump’s meeting request. “I hope that we hear their policy as to what their objectives are, and how we can accomplish that hopefully without dropping bombs.”

mattisnorthkorea

PREPPING FOR WAR: NORTH KOREA HOLDS ‘LIVE FIRE’ DRILLS AS U.S. BATTLE SHIP DRAWS NEAR

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea on Tuesday conducted a mass live-fire drill that reportedly involved up to 400 artillery pieces under the supervision of leader, Kim Jong Un. The drill is just the latest indication that the rogue state is preparing to launch a preemptive strike against the U.S., say military experts.

The drill comes on the heels of the approach of a nuclear-powered American submarine that is currently barreling toward the region.

As reported on Monday, the entire U.S. Senate has been called to the White House for an emergency briefing of the conflict (https://rebekahworsham.org/2017/04/24/brink-of-war-entire-senate-called-to-white-house-for-briefing-on-north-korea-as-rogue-state-warns-of-preemptive-strike/).

According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are have cleared their schedule in order to update members of the Senate on the latest developments.

Meanwhile, China president Xi Jinping has warned Kim Jong Un that should war break out between the United States and North Korea, it will be Korea that suffers most.

In an editorial piece for the Global Times, a publication that is widely regarded as the official news source of the Communist Party, Chinese government officials wrote: “The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point.”

The warning continued that “it is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return” and that “all stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.”

Lu Kang, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, urged Kim Jung un to find a peaceful solution to the conflict before “it is too late”.

“The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive and the tension is high,” said Kang.“We urge all sides concerned to keep restrained and calm and refrain from taking actions that could escalate tensions.”

The aid of the Chinese government comes just weeks after president Donald Trump met with Xi Jinping and essentially told him that destruction of the United States was not in China’s best interests. “If we go down, our debt to you and the trillions that you make from us in foreign trade goes down with us,” Trump reportedly told Jinping.

Despite warnings from their Chinese neighbors, North Korea has seemingly remained defiant.

“There is no limit to the strike power of the People’s Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturised nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles,” a government spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday to a Pyongyang-based newspaper (https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0425/870024-donald-trump-wants-tougher-new-sanctions-on-north-korea/).

Trump on Tuesday said that “one way or another” North Korea’s nuclear weapons program must be stopped.

“North Korea is a big world problem,” said the president, “and it’s a problem we have to finally solve.”

warwithkorea

BRINK OF WAR: ENTIRE SENATE CALLED TO WHITE HOUSE FOR BRIEFING ON NORTH KOREA AS ROGUE STATE WARNS OF ‘PREEMPTIVE STRIKE’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump has asked the entire U.S. Senate to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on the escalating situation in North Korea.

During his daily press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the upcoming meeting, during which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats plan to fill the lawmakers in on the developing conflict.

The decision to call the nearly unprecedented briefing came after Trump’s conversation by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On Monday, North Korean state media warned the United States of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States would do whatever it takes to stop the communist country’s quickly expanding nuclear program.

“In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only US imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the US mainland and reduce them to ashes,” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned.

Meanwhile, the rogue leader has taken another American citizen into custody, bringing the number of U.S. citizens imprisoned by the regime to three.

Tony Kim, a 58-year-old Korean-American professor, was detained at Pyongyang International Airport after teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and working on aid and relief programs to North Korea for the past month.

Kim was reportedly taken into custody in North Korea on Saturday as he was trying to leave with his wife on a flight to China.

21-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student Otto Warmbier was also detained on January 2, 2016, at Pyongyang International Airport, while visiting the country as a tourist with Young Pioneer Tour.

During a one hour trial, Warmbier was charged with stealing a political sign from a staff-only floor in the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang and committing “crimes against the state.”

The Ohio native was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

During an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlton Show” this month, Warbmier’s parents have reached out to president Trump for aid in bringing their son home.

“President Trump, I ask you: Bring my son home. You can make a difference here,” Fred Warmbier, the young man’s father pleaded.

Korean-American businessman Kim Dong Chul is also being held in a North Korean prison after arrested in October 2015 while in the city of Rason.

Kim had been detained on suspicion of engaging in spying and stealing state secrets. Kim was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor after North Korea’s Supreme Court found him guilty of espionage and subversion under Articles 60 and 64 of the North’s criminal code.

While U.S. government officials have demanded the release of the prisoners, North Korean officials say they are not willing to negotiate amid the current tensions between their country and the United States.

MAD DOG TO SYRIA: DON’T RATTLE OUR CHAIN; MATTIS WARNS SYRIA ON ‘CONSEQUENCES’ OF FUTURE ACTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis warned the Syrian government on Tuesday that it will pay a “very, very stiff price” for future chemical attacks.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Army Gen. Joseph Votel at the Pentagon, Mattis said there is “no doubt” that the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was behind last week’s gas attack that killed dozens of Syrian civilians.

“Last Tuesday, on the 4th of April, the Syrian regime attacked its own people using chemical weapons,” Mattis said. “I have personally reviewed the intelligence and there is no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself.

“In response to the attack, our government began a deliberate process led by the National Security Council to recommend diplomatic and military options to the president,” Mattis said. “We met over several days and I spoke with some of our allies. The National Security Council considered the near century-old international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons.”

Referencing the air attack upon a Syrian airbase last week at the order of president Trump, Mattis said the United States is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that such atrocities do not occur again.

“The Syrian regime’s repeated violation of that international law and inexplicably ruthless murders the regime had committed, we determined that a measured military response could best deter the regime from doing this again,” he said.

“This military action demonstrates that the United States will not passively stand by while Assad blithely ignores international law and employs chemical weapons he had declared destroyed,” said Mattis. “The Syrian regime should think long and hard before it again acts so recklessly in violation of international law against the use of chemical weapons.”

When asked about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s angry response over the airstrike, said the United States was deliberate in their maneuver and “took appropriate actions to ensure no Russians were injured in the attack.” When pressed by a reporter who asked more specifically what, if any, involvement Russia may have had in helping it’s ally in planning the chemical assault, Mattis was evasive.

“We have gone back through and looked at all the evidence we can and it’s very clear who planned this attack, who authorized this attack and who conducted this attack itself.” he said. “The Assad regime planned it, orchestrated it and executed it. And beyond that, we can’t say right now. We know what I just told you. We don’t know anything beyond that.”

Mattis said that, despite Russia’s insistence that there is no proof that Assad ordered the chemical strike upon his own people, the strike ordered by Trump was necessary to “stop the cycle of violence into an area”.

“Even in World War II chemical weapons were not used on battlefields. Even in the Korean War, they were not used on battlefields,” he said.

How much advanced knowledge Russia had of the chemical attack in Syria remains a subject of debate. On Monday, the Associated Press quoted a senior U.S. official who asserted that Russia knew of the chemical attack before it occurred (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/19772be1238e49fbb62c509a5b659b3d/official-us-military-takes-extra-precautions-syria). However, during a daily press briefing from the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said there is no evidence to back up the official’s claim.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Army Gen. Joseph Votel, brief the media at the Pentagon

‘MAD DOG’ ON THE ATTACK: MATTIS SAYS NORTH KOREAN LEADER ‘MUST BE STOPPED’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Defense Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis says North Korea is out of control when it comes to its nuclear weapons and missile programs and it’s “reckless” leader, Kim Jong-un, “has got to be stopped”.

Mattis, who is famous for his no nonsense approach to terror, made the comments while speaking at a news conference in London in response to a journalist’s question about Iran.

“This is a threat of both rhetoric and growing capability, and we will be working with the international community to address this,” he said. “We are working diplomatically, including with those that we might be able to enlist in this effort to get North Korea under control. But right now it appears to be going in a very reckless manner.”

“That’s got to be stopped,” said continued.

In early March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also talked tough against the rogue nation, saying that “diplomatic … efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to a point of de-nuclearization have failed” before adding that military action to stop North Korea from attacking the U.S. was “on the table.”

Tillerson’s warnings apparently went unheeded as two days later North Korea conducted yet another ground jet test of a newly developed high-thrust missile engine. South Korean officials warned that the test proved that Kim had gained “meaningful progress” on the development of more sophisticated technology.

Kim has vowed to develop weapons capable of striking the U.S. and “destroying 90 percent of the U.S. population”. According to U.S. officials, North Korea has conducted more missile tests over the past four years than in the rest of the country’s history.

The Trump administration is reportedly testing sanctions against North Korea in an effort to slow the nuclear program by placing diplomatic and economic pressure on Chinese banks who conduct business with North Korea.

mattisunleashed