A spokesman for the rogue North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, who has been known to execute his political enemies through military ordnance, is threatening “all out war” against the United States.
It’s the latest flagrant claim made by an official of the Hermit Kingdom. Kim has threatened to rain “nuclear thunder” on the United States.
The rhetoric is at least partly in response to President Trump’s tougher stance. Trump already has allowed the military to launch 59 missiles against a Syrian airfield from which a poison gas attack allegedly was launched on civilians and to drop an 11-ton bomb on an ISIS operation in Afghanistan.
Both attacks are regarded as statements to America’s enemies. At the White House briefing Monday, spokesman Sean Spicer said the president is watching North Korea closely.
“I think the president has made clear we’re aware of the activities that they’ve engaged in, and we’re monitoring them. And the national security team continues to keep him up to date,” he said.
But he said Trump will not broadcast any plans in advance.
“I think taking anything on or off the table is in itself limiting your options to some degree. And so I’m not going to even discuss that,” Spicer said.
The Sun reported North Korea’s foreign minister “threatened the U.S. with an ‘all out war’ if Trump is ‘reckless enough to use military means.'”
“We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” the report quoted Han Song-Ryol saying.
He charged, the report said, that it is “crystal clear” that President Trump is “hell bent” on prompting a war with North Korea.
“A nuclear war could break out at any moment on the Korean peninsula,” he warned. “The United States are disturbing the peace and global stability, insisting in a gangster logic.”
On Saturday, North Korea carried out a military parade of soldiers and vehicles carrying either missiles or mockups. Pyongyang also launched another missile test that failed.
There was a report that the U.S. launched a cyber-attack that foiled North Korea’s missile launch. But there was no confirmation from the White House, and Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to the president, said that’s as it should be.
“This is not the Obama White House,” Gorka said on Fox New’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “We don’t give our playbook away, that is not good strategy. We are just not going to tell people what we do. People need to draw their conclusions but understand the use of the MOAB, the use of the cruise missiles – these things send a clear message but we are not going to comment whether we were involved in anything happening in North Korea – that is not good strategy.”
At Monday’s Easter Egg roll at the White House, Trump simply said North Korea needs “to behave.”
While it appears unlikely that North Korea could reach the mainland U.S. with any sort of attack, allies South Korea and Japan are in the rogue nation’s backyard. And Hawaii is half the distance to the U.S. mainland.
Defying six United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions banning testing, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, and it has conducted additional missile tests this year.
Vice President Mike Pence, visiting in South Korea, warned that it would not be a good decision for North Korea to challenge the U.S.
“The era of strategic patience is over,” he said during his visit. “North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”
Trump several times has responded to questions about North Korea with an emphasis on his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and his confidence that China, as a close ally of North Korea, can achieve a reduction in the rhetoric of violence.
Spicer said: “With respect to North Korea in particular the president had a really good meeting with President Xi down in Mar-a-Lago. And they spoke extensively about the relationship they made down there. And that they continue to work to improve and the results of that are paying off – you see China playing a much more active role within respect to North Korea, both politically and economically. They can continue apply pressure to achieve results. And I think we are going to continue to urge China to exhibit its influence in the region to get better results.
“On the economic side of things, China is the No. 1 importer of North Korean coal. I think to see them curtail some of that has a real economic on the region. There is a lot of economic and political pressure points that I think China can utilize and we’ve been very encouraged by the direction in which they are going.”
Critics point out that Kim Jong Un has ordered the executions of hundreds of North Koreans, including an estimated 140 government officials he perceived as enemies.
He’s ordered the use of firing squads, flamethrowers, anti-aircraft guns and even mortar rounds to kill his enemies, sometimes even watching them himself along with a crowd.
One of the executions reportedly was ordered because a military official was “slouching” while he was with the dictator.
That kind of instability has several officials warning that it is not impossible that North Korea already has the makings of a nuclear attack – as least a high-level nuclear explosion that could trigger an electromagnetic pulse across the U.S. It’s a potential event that that has been characterized by experts as an “existential threat.”
Former Congressional EMP Commission member Peter Vincent Pry told WND recently there are suspicions that North Korean satellites – two orbiting over the U.S. so far – may be carrying nukes.
Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum. He served on the Congressional EMP Commission, as well as the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission.
He says the situation is serious.
“All of us,” he said, referring to a team of experts in the field, “have written we think that the threat, the possibility of a super-EMP warhead is so great, the United States should take them [North Korea’s satellites] down,” he told WND.
“We ought not tolerate them orbiting,” he said, because nobody knows for sure what’s on the satellites, which are in that suspicious orbit which was identified years earlier as a possible route should the Soviet Union ever decide to mount an assault on the U.S., the south polar trajectory.
The problem is that a significant EMP attack properly carried out in the skies over the United States could take down the nation’s electric and electronic infrastructure, including the systems that provide fuel, food, banking and medical care.
Such an attack could cause tens of millions of fatalities across the U.S., ushering in a literal “dark age,” said Pry.
“It’s that stark: A cliff waiting for us to fall over,” he said.
The EMP threat, he said, is the one way in which a nation like North Korea could inflict horrible damage on the U.S. and possibly even neutralize it. After all, if the electronic infrastructure were gone, would it even be possible for the nation to respond to an attack militarily?
The U.S., he said, would be “blind and defenseless.”
He warned that the Cold War-era defense philosophy for both sides, Mutually Assured Destruction, the idea that an all-out nuclear war would destroy both sides, doesn’t necessarily apply to leaders like Kim Jong Un.
He called the leader “Caligula with nuclear weapons.”
North Korea has become bolder in its rhetoric in recent years as Barack Obama’s foreign policy has left American enemies wondering about Washington’s willingness to defend itself.
Spicer told reporters “we’ve got a lot of tools left and a lot of conversations that are ongoing.”