Inside North Korea’s bubble in Japan

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A Message to the Congress of the United States on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to North Korea

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days of the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.  In accordance with that provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to North Korea declared in Executive Order 13466 of June 26, 2008, expanded in scope in Executive Order 13551 of August 30, 2010, addressed further in Executive Order 13570 of April 18, 2011, further expanded in scope in Executive Order 13687 of January 2, 2015, and under which additional steps were taken in Executive Order 13722 of March 15, 2016, is to continue in effect beyond June 26, 2017.

The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula; the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea that destabilize the Korean Peninsula and imperil United States Armed Forces, allies, and trading partners in the region, including its pursuit of nuclear and missile programs; and other provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to North Korea.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 21, 2017.

Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to North Korea

NOTICE

– – – – – – –

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY
WITH RESPECT TO NORTH KOREA

On June 26, 2008, by Executive Order 13466, the President declared a national emergency with respect to North Korea pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula.  The President also found that it was necessary to maintain certain restrictions with respect to North Korea that would otherwise have been lifted pursuant to Proclamation 8271 of June 26, 2008, which terminated the exercise of authorities under the Trading With the Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. App. 1-44) with respect to North Korea.

On August 30, 2010, the President signed Executive Order 13551, which expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by the continued actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, manifested by its unprovoked attack that resulted in the sinking of the Republic
of Korea Navy ship Cheonan and the deaths of 46 sailors in March 2010; its announced test of a nuclear device and its missile launches in 2009; its actions in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, including the procurement of luxury goods; and its illicit and deceptive activities in international markets through which it obtains financial and other support, including money laundering, the counterfeiting of goods and currency, bulk cash smuggling, and narcotics trafficking, which destabilize the Korean Peninsula and imperil United States Armed Forces, allies, and trading partners in the region.

On April 18, 2011, the President signed Executive Order 13570 to take additional steps to address the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 and expanded in Executive Order 13551 that would ensure the implementation of the import restrictions contained in United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and complement the import restrictions provided for in the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.).

On January 2, 2015, the President signed Executive Order 13687 to expand the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, expanded in Executive Order 13551, and addressed further in Executive Order 13570, to address the threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014, actions in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094, and commission of serious human rights abuses.

On March 15, 2016, the President signed Executive Order 13722 to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders, to address the Government of North Korea’s continuing pursuit of its nuclear and missile programs, as evidenced by its February 7, 2016, launch using ballistic missile technology and its January 6, 2016, nuclear test in violation of its obligations pursuant to numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions and in contravention of its commitments under the September 19, 2005, Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, that increasingly imperils the United States and its allies.

The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  For this reason, the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, expanded in scope in Executive Order 13551, addressed further in Executive Order 13570, further expanded in scope in Executive Order 13687, and under which additional steps were taken in Executive Order 13722 of March 15, 2016, and the measures taken to deal with that national emergency, must continue in effect beyond June 26, 2017.  Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to North Korea declared in Executive Order 13466.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 21, 2017.

Time Is Running Out” – China Is Planning For A Crisis Along North Korean Border

Despite Chinese officials reassurance that “military means shouldn’t be an option,” WSJ reports that China has been bolstering defenses along its 880-mile frontier with North Korea and realigning forces in surrounding regions to prepare for a potential crisis across their border, including the possibility of a U.S. military strike.

While all eyes in America are once again distracted by “Russia”-related narratives and the dismal GOP efforts to replace, repeal, re-who-knows-what Obamacare, the threat of North Korea has not gone away… and neither has China’s preparations. As President Trump stepped up the rhetoric, pressuring China to do more to ‘solve’ the North Korean problem, and threatening military action to halt Kim’s nuclear weapons program ambitions, it is clear that China has used this crisis to not just prepare for potential problems with North Korea but to reinforce military forces elsewhere.

The Journal writes that a review of official military and government websites and interviews with experts who have studied the preparations show that Beijing has implemented many of the changes in recent months after initiating them last year.

Recent measures include establishing a new border defense brigade, 24-hour video surveillance of the mountainous frontier backed by aerial drones, and bunkers to protect against nuclear and chemical blasts, according to the websites.

China’s military has also merged, moved and modernized other units in border regions and released details of recent drills there with special forces, airborne troops and other units that experts say could be sent into North Korea in a crisis.

They include a live-fire drill in June by helicopter gunships and one in July by an armored infantry unit recently transferred from eastern China and equipped with new weaponry.

China’s Defense Ministry didn’t respond directly when asked if the recent changes were connected to North Korea, saying only in a written statement that its forces “maintain a normal state of combat readiness and training” on the border.

While Chinese authorities have been preparing for North Korean contingencies – including economic collapse, nuclear contamination, or military conflict – according to U.S. and Chinese experts who have studied Beijing’s planning, perhaps more intriguing, as Mark Cozad, a former senior U.S. defense intelligence official for East Asia, now at the Rand Corp, explains..

China’s contingency preparations “go well beyond just seizing a buffer zone in the North and border security.”

In other words, China is not letting a good crisis go to waste. Coad goes to note:

“Once you start talking about efforts from outside powers, in particular the United States and South Korea, to stabilize the North, to seize nuclear weapons or WMD, in those cases then I think you’re starting to look at a much more robust Chinese response.”

“If you’re going to make me place bets on where I think the U.S. and China would first get into a conflict, it’s not Taiwan, the South China Sea or the East China Sea: I think it’s the Korean Peninsula.”

As The Journal further notesBeijing also appears to be enhancing its capability to seize North Korean nuclear sites and occupy a swath of the country’s northern territory if U.S. or South Korean forces start to advance toward the Chinese border, according to those people. That, they say, would require a much larger Chinese operation than just sealing border, with special forces and airborne troops likely entering first to secure nuclear sites, followed by armored ground forces with air cover, pushing deep into North Korea. It could also bring Chinese and U.S. forces face to face on the peninsula for the first time since the war there ended in 1953 with an armistice – an added complication for the Trump administration as it weighs options for dealing with North Korea.

China has long worried that economic collapse in North Korea could cause a refugee crisis, bring U.S. forces to its borders, and create a united, democratic and pro-American Korea. But as WSJ’s Ben Kesling  reports, China’s fears of a U.S. military intervention have risen since January as Pyongyang has test-fired several missiles, including one capable of reaching Alaska. In a notably outspoken article written in May, retired Maj. Gen. Wang Haiyun, a former military attaché to Moscow now attached to several Chinese think tanks, made his view clear (while carefully noting he did not speak for the PLA)…

China should “draw a red line” for the U.S.: If it attacked North Korea without Chinese approval, Beijing would have to intervene militarily.

“Time is running out,… We can’t let the flames of war burn into China.”

China should demand that any U.S. military attack result in no nuclear contamination, no U.S. occupation of areas north of the current “demarcation line” between North and South, and no regime hostile to China established in the North, his article said.

“If war breaks out, China should without hesitation occupy northern parts of North Korea, take control of North Korean nuclear facilities, and demarcate safe areas to stop a wave of refugees and disbanded soldiers entering China’s northeast,” it said.

Beijing’s interests “now clearly extend beyond the refugee issue” to encompass nuclear safety and the peninsula’s long-term future, said Oriana Skylar Mastro, an assistant professor at Georgetown University who has studied China’s planning for a North Korean crisis.

China’s leaders need to make sure that whatever happens with (North Korea), the result supports China’s regional power aspirations and does not help the United States extend or prolong its influence,” Ms. Mastro said.

In other words, China may appear to be preparing for a North Korean crisis… but is really building its capabilities should President Trump decide the time is right for more international distractions.