SEOUL — The North Korean army said Thursday it had final approval to launch “merciless” military strikes on the United States, involving the possible use of “cutting-edge” nuclear weapons.
In a statement published by the official KCNA news agency, the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) said it was formally informing Washington that reckless US threats would be “smashed by… cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means”.
“The merciless operation of (our) revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified,” the statement said. “The US had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation,” it added.
North Korea had threatened a “pre-emptive” nuclear strike against the United States a month ago, and last week the supreme army command ordered its strategic rocket units to combat status for strikes on the US mainland and US bases in Guam and Hawaii.
“The moment of explosion is approaching fast,” Thursday’s statement said, adding that a war could break out on the Korean peninsula “today or tomorrow”.
“In view of this situation, the KPA General Staff in charge of all operations will take powerful practical military counteractions in succession,” it said.
Despite a successful long-range rocket launch in December, most experts believe North Korea is years from developing a genuine inter-continental ballistic missile that could strike the mainland United States.
Hawaii and Guam would also be outside the range of its medium-range missiles, which would be capable, however, of striking US bases in South Korea and Japan.
The army statement said responsibility for the current crisis “entirely rests” with the United States, citing the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in ongoing joint military drills with South Korea.
“Never has the whole Korean peninsula been exposed to such danger of a nuclear war as today,” it added. source – Google
The Department of Defence said it would deploy the ballistic Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) in the coming weeks. Pyongyang has threatened to target South Korea and the US in recent weeks.
The state’s warlike rhetoric follows new UN sanctions and joint military drills by the US and South Korea. The THAAD system includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, and AN/TPY-2 tracking radar, together with an integrated fire control system.
The Pentagon said in a statement the missile system would be moved to Guam as a “precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat”.
“The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend US territory, our allies, and our national interests,” the statement added.
In recent weeks, North Korea has mentioned military bases in the US territory of Guam and the US state of Hawaii as possible targets.
“Some of the actions they’ve taken over the last few weeks, present a real and clear danger,” said US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, in his first major speech on Wednesday since taking up his post.
He added that Pyongyang had also threatened the interests of South Korea and Japan
The North has apparently been angered by UN sanctions imposed after a recent nuclear test. Pyongyang has escalated its warlike rhetoric amid the current round of US-South Korea military drills.
The US has recently made a series of high-profile flights of stealth fighters and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea.
Officials have also confirmed that the USS John McCain, an Aegis-class destroyer capable of intercepting missiles, has been positioned off the Korean peninsula.
A second destroyer, the USS Decatur, has been sent to the region. source – BBC UK
The U.S. Navy is shifting a guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean peninsula in the wake of ongoing rhetoric from North Korea, U.S. defense officials said.
The USS McCain is capable of intercepting and destroying a missile, should North Korea decide to fire one off, the officials said.
Still, U.S. defense officials insist that there is nothing to indicate that North Korea is on the verge of another launch.
The White House on Monday said the United States hasn’t seen large-scale movements from North Korean military forces in the aftermath of harsh rhetoric from the reclusive government. source – NBC News
When President Obama ordered the “raid” on Osama Bin Laden’s compound last year, it has triggered one unexplained event after another. Not the least of which is the fact that all the members of SEAL Team 6 have been dying in mysterious, unexplained ‘accidents’. But before you try to answer that question, do YOU know what happened on December 26, 2001?
FLASHBACK STORY: 25 members of SEAL Team 6 Die In Helicopter Crash August 6 2011
From NBC News: A Navy SEAL from the elite SEAL TEAM 6 was killed and another SEAL injured Thursday night during a parachute training accident in Marana, Arizona, the military said. Details of the accident are not immediately available.
One SEAL was pronounced dead on arrival at the University of Arizona Hospital. The second remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Members of SEAL TEAM 6 carried out the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. All SEAL teams receive extensive parachute training, which is often required for hostage rescue or anti-terrorist operations. The names of the two SEALS involved in the fatal training mishap have not been released pending notification of next of kin. source – NBC News
North Korea Says Ready To Attack US Mainland
North Korea’s leader has told rocket units to be on standby for an attack on US bases, according to state media. The country’s KCNA news agency said Kim Jong-Un had signed off on the order to train sights on American bases in South Korea and the Pacific after a midnight meeting with top generals.
The move was followed by reports of increased activity at North Korea’s mid to long-range missile sites, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. It comes after two American stealth bombers flew over South Korea in a show of force to Pyongyang, following an escalation of rhetoric from the North’s young leader.
Both China and Russia have appealed for calm
Moscow said the heightened military activity was slipping into a “vicious cycle” that could get out of control, implicitly criticising the US bomber flights. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that North Korea should also cool down, calling on “all sides not to flex their military muscle” and avoid the danger of a belligerent response.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: “We call on all relevant parties to make joint efforts to turn around the tense situation. Peace and stability on the Korean peninsula as well as Northeast Asia serves the common interest.”
The two nuclear-capable B-2 planes flew a 13,000-mile round trip from an air base in Missouri, dropping a dummy bomb on a target range in the South.
The planes were taking part in a joint South Korea-US military exercise that has inflamed tensions with Pyongyang, which earlier this month threatened to unleash an “all-out war” backed by nuclear weapons.
“This …. demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will,” the US military said in a statement.
“The B-2 bomber is an important element of America’s enduring and robust extended deterrence capability in the Asia-Pacific region.”
KCNA reported that Mr Kim had “judged the time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists in view of the prevailing situation”.
The agency said: “He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the KPA, ordering them to be on standby for fire so that they may strike any time the US mainland, its military bases in the operational theatres in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea.”
Following their leader’s call to arms, thousands of North Koreans turned out for a mass rally in the main square in the capital. Chanting “Death to the US imperialists” and “Sweep away the US aggressors,” soldiers and students marched through Kim Il-Sung Square during the 90-minute rally.
The US has denied its military exercise was provocative but said it was “committed to a pathway to peace” and “prepared to deal with any eventuality” in the region. source – Sky
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When a fire broke out in a church in Mesa County, Colo., in September 2011, the police department was ready with its flight team. Strapping a thermal camera to a Draganflyer X6, they flew the drone above the burning building. Together, police and firemen identified hotspots in the structure, and traced the direction in which the fire was spreading.
In 2010, a 5-pound Marcus drone was loaned to forest rangers in West Virginia by University Cincinnati researchers, in order to monitor a controlled burn. Now the group is developing an unmanned system to help control wildfires.
“With drones, we have arrived at a moment when it is technologically possible to engage in constant mass aerial surveillance,” the ACLU’s Jay Stanley told NBC News. But don’t surveillance cameras do some of that already? “We don’t like those either,” Stanley added, “But I think that drones raise the stakes considerably from there.” source – MSNBC
Drones across America a reality
Despite Americans’ concerns about the domestic use of drones, California local agencies are reportedly moving forward with an application to declare a broad swath of Southern California a “drone zone” – an area to be used to test pilotless aircraft. The purpose: government stimulus.
In California, the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration to create a drone zone. These groups want to stimulate state drone business, even as the state raises its taxes repeatedly, driving out other business. Northrup Grumman, a major drone producer, has relocated branches of its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program to Southern California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which produces Predator drones, is located in Poway. The UAV industry in San Diego County clocks in at approximately $1.3 billion, and that number is growing fast.
And it’s not just California
The FAA is prepared to greenlight six test zones across the country, and over 40 applications have been filed or will be filed shortly, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Applicants include the State Department, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the National Institute of Standards and technologies, and the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department. The winners of this drone zone sweepstakes will be able to claim a chunk of what may be a $10 billion industry. Senator Harry Reid’s office says he pushed the FAA program that laid the groundwork for the drone zones. “We had Nevada in mind,” said Reid’s spokeswoman to the Las Vegas Sun. But the zones are bipartisan-approved: Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) is apparently working with Reid and the FAA to try to grab one of the zones. source – Breitbart
Bloomberg’s Vision of a Drone Police State Coming True
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Envisioning a future where privacy is a thing of the past, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday it will soon be impossible to escape the eye of Big Brother in the city.
“You wait, in five years, the technology is getting better, they’ll be cameras every place,” Bloomberg said during his weekly radio appearance. “Get used to it — whether you like it or not.”
The Police Department already has a network of its own surveillance cameras throughout the city, including in Times Square. And in Lower Manhattan, an initiative developed after 9/11 known as the “Ring of Steel” integrates the NYPD’s cameras with those of banks and other institutions.The security measures have drawn scorn from some civil libertarians — but Bloomberg scoffed at privacy concerns on his Friday morning program on WOR-AM. “The argument against using automation is just this craziness that ‘Oh, it’s Big Brother,’” Bloomberg said. “Get used to it!”
In the future, the cameras won’t just be limited to buildings and red lights. Some of them will be able to fly, the mayor pointed out.
“It’s scary,” he said. “But what’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building? I mean intellectually I have trouble making a distinction. And you know you’re gonna have face recognition software. People are working on that.”
Bloomberg warned that drones would be able to peep into a home’s windows — adding that Peeping Tom legislation could help maintain some privacy.
“It’s just we’re going into a different world, unchartered…,” he said, adding that you “can’t keep the tides from coming in.” source- NY Daily News