Saturday, April 15, 2017

North Korea Attempts Missile Launch, Defying Xi & Trump

 According to multiple prominent news outlets including SKYNews, The BBC & ABC citing the South Korea’s Defense Ministry as a source have reported that North Korea attempted to launch a missile from their East Coast test facility near Sinpo in the Province of South Hamkyong. Reportedly the missile explolded mere moments after launch.

The South Korean Defense Ministry said:

"North Korea attempted to test an unidentified type of missile from Sinpo area in the South Hamkyong Province this morning, but we suspect the launch has failed."
As Vice President Mike Pence visits South Korea on a diplomatic tour, this move only serves to heighten tensions between Washington D.C. and  Pyongyang, which are already on a razor’s edge.

These events coincide with the “Day of The Sun” celebration of in Pyongyang, a festival day which marks the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il-Sung. This day is typified with Military parades and shows of martial strength. The celebrations stand in a stark contrast to the growing fear around the world that we are rapidly approaching a major war. CNN was among the few international media groups invited to attend.

Here is a breakdown of the events leading up to this latest stand-off :

  • North Korea has repeatedly threatened throughout 2015 & 2016 to reduce South Korea and the United States to “A Sea of Fire” since the rise of Kim Jong-Un. These sentiments have only increased since the election of President Donald Trump.
  • President Trump tweeted on April 11th encouraging Chinese pressure on North Korea, the apparent response from Beijing was almost immediate:

  • On April 11th the Chinese State owned Global Times reported that 150,000 Chinese troops have been massed near the North Korean border. The Chinese government now denies this claim.
  • April 12th Chinese President Xi Jinping banned North Korean Coal imports, effectively placing a stranglehold on the delicate state-run economy.
  • In response to recent missile tests, on April 14th the U.S. Navy’s Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group was redeployed from Australia back to the Sea of Japan.
  • In a surprising move, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force has deployed a group of destroyers to rendevous with the Carl Vinson Strike Group. This move is especially striking as Japan is restricted tightly in it’s Defensive operations by their post-WWII constitution which forbids them to engage in war.
  • Russian military forces have mobilized near Vladivostok a mere 8 miles from the North Korean border. President Putin’s intentions for this move are unknown at this time.

As of 8PM EST 04/15/17 the Trump Administration has not yet released a statement or response to this most recent act of provocation from North Korea. The world waits anxiously as leaders in Moscow, Beijing and Washington D.C. weigh their options.

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