As Biden prepares to travel to Asia intel agency says NK is preparing to launch a missile

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • US assesses North Korea preparing for possible long range missile test within days as Biden prepares to travel to Asia
  • Biden and Yoon will discuss the most effective measures for deterring North Korean nuclear missiles along with other global issues, including issues in the Indo-Pacific and economic security, according to Kim.
  • North Korea appears to be preparing for a possible intercontinental ballistic missile test within the next 48 to 96 hours, just as President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to Asia, according to a US official familiar with the latest intelligence assessment.
  • “The things we have noticed in the past for a launch are the things we are noticing now,” the official said. The launch site under satellite observation is located near Pyongyang. The official would not detail specifics of the current imagery, but typically, intelligence analysts look for signs of scaffolding or other launcher equipment, fueling, vehicles and personnel.
  • The US now believes that a North Korean missile launch on May 4 was a failed ICBM that exploded shortly after launch.

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14th missile launch from N.K

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Amid Rising Animosities
  • North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to speed up the development of his nuclear weapons “at the fastest possible pace” and threatened to use them against rivals.
  • The launch, the North’s 14th round of weapons firing this year, also came six days before a new conservative South Korean president takes office for a single five-year term.
  • Japanese Vice Defense Minister Makoto Oniki said that the missile was believed to have landed in waters outside of the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone.

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South Korea Fires Multiple Missiles After Alleged N.K. Launch

Revelations 6:3-4 “ when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • South Korea ‘Fires Multiple Ballistic and Guided Missiles’ Following Alleged ICBM Launch by DPRK
  • South Korea’s military said it fired “several ballistic and guided missiles” after North Korea’s ICBM launch.
  • It added that it is “ready and capable” of precision strikes against North Korea’s missile launch locations and control systems “if needed”.
  • The launch was also condemned by Japan, with Tokyo sending a protest note to Pyongyang. Emergency headquarters were established by Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to gather and analyses information about North Korea’s alleged missile launch
  • The US has also criticized North Korea’s actions, urging Pyongyang not to destabilize the situation further
  • Should the infraction be confirmed, it will be North Korea’s 11th launch this year

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Fire and fury: With missile launch, North Korea shows ire at neighbor

A view of North Korea's missile launch on Thursday, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 26, 2019. KCNA/via REUTERS

By Josh Smith and Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s blistering criticism of South Korea as he oversaw his latest missile launch this week sparked new questions over the South’s role in mediating a nuclear deal between the North and the United States, analysts said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been one of the most vocal proponents of engagement with the North, using last year’s Winter Olympics to host its delegations and then meeting Kim at summits filled with feel-good imagery, smiles, and hand-holding.

But Moon has been unable to convince Washington to ease sanctions and allow economic cooperation between the neighbors, nor has he persuaded Kim to take major steps toward giving up his nuclear weapons.

On Friday, North Korea called the previous day’s missile launches a warning to South Korean “warmongers” to stop importing weapons and holding joint military drills, with Kim explicitly urging Moon not to ignore them.

Kim may be impatient with what he sees as South Korea overpromising and underdelivering, said Jenny Town, a managing editor at 38 North, a U.S.-based project that studies North Korea.

“The North Koreans have made several statements challenging Moon to move forward, but obviously the situation has left Seoul unable to do so,” she said.

For his part, Moon said there had been “a lot of progress so far in inter-Korean relations and North Korea-U.S. relations, but we still have a long way to go.”

“I think the biggest challenge is national unity,” he added, in comments to a group of Buddhist leaders in Seoul.

North Korea’s growing frustration with its neighbor culminated in the missile tests as a protest against the South’s acquisition of new weapons, such as U.S. F-35 stealth fighters, and its participation in military drills with the United States.

Kim’s comments showed how skeptical North Korea has become regarding the South’s usefulness in talks with the United States, said Shin Beom-chul of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

“To them, the South Korean government is only a nuisance,” he said. “So the message is either ‘Persuade the United States,’ or ‘Stay out of it.'”

Overseeing Thursday’s launches, Kim Jong Un said the new missiles had to be developed to neutralize the weapons being acquired by South Korea and turn them into “scrap iron”.

South Korea’s acquisition of American F-35 stealth fighter jets, the first of which arrived in March, would force its neighbor to develop and test “special armaments” to destroy the aircraft, the North had warned in mid-July.

While Moon has faced some domestic concern that national security could be affected by his North Korean pacts, from a no-fly zone to fewer guard posts and landmines along the heavily fortified border, he has also pushed ahead with plans to modernize and invest in the South’s already large military.

In January the defense ministry unveiled a plan to boost military spending for the next five years by an additional 270.7 trillion won ($228 billion).

Still, some observers believe Kim Jong Un is leaving space for engagement by focusing on South Korea’s military.

“The state media report shows the North was still willing to maintain inter-Korean ties, as they mostly targeted the military forces, not the whole government,” said Kim Dong-yup, a professor at Kyungnam University’s Far East Institute in Seoul.

An official at Moon’s office said it would not comment on the state media report but the government remained committed to working to revive momentum for nuclear talks.

Poor relations have also prompted a show of reluctance by Pyongyang in accepting 50,000 tons of rice South Korea offered as food aid to its impoverished neighbor.

A South Korean official said the government discussed the plan with the World Food Programme, but Pyongyang had recently showed a “negative” attitude, citing the joint military drills.

Attempts to discuss two South Korean sailors detained by the North have also gone unanswered, the official added.

(Reporting by Josh Smith and Hyonhee Shin; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Japan, South Korea sign preliminary intelligence-sharing pact on North Korea

Officer near Japan and South Korea flags

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan and South Korea signed a preliminary pact to share and safeguard sensitive information on North Korea’s missile and nuclear activities on Monday, a move that had already prompted anger among opposition lawmakers in Seoul.

The signing of the General Security of Military Information Agreement had originally been expected in 2012, but South Korea postponed it amid domestic opposition against concluding such a security pact with Japan, a one-time colonial ruler.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that discussions in the third round of the talks had reached an agreement and that a provisional signing had taken place.

Discussions would continue ahead of a final signing, which Kyodo news agency said could take place by the end of November.

Reclusive North Korea, which is still technically at war with the South because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, has carried out repeated nuclear and missile tests in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions and sanctions.

Tokyo’s ties with Seoul, plagued by a territorial dispute and Japan’s past military aggression, have warmed after reaching a landmark agreement last December to resolve the issue of Korean girls and women forced to work in Japan’s wartime brothels.

South Korean opposition parties had warned against signing the agreement, threatening to dismiss or impeach Defence Minister Han Min-koo.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Nick Macfie)