Korean Nuclear Horn Prepares For Another Test

By Mike Firn, Tokyo
6:16AM GMT 31 Dec 2015
North Korea is digging a new test tunnel at its nuclear proving site in Punggye-ri, according to the latest satellite imagery.
High-resolution photographs show fresh signs of excavation and a canopy over the tunnel`s entrance, US-based 38 North reports on its website.
Work at Punggye-ri continues after experts said they believed Pyongyang may be less than five years from having thermonuclear weapon
Satellite imagrey has in the past been used to spot signs of impending tests at the facility and experts believe the hermit state may be five years from having a thermonuclear weapon, with seven times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
The images also show new activity at a test tunnel started in May 2013. It is not clear whether the work is for maintenance or for some other purpose, says the group, run by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and headed by a former US State Department official.
The new tunnel, providing access to Mount Musan, is in a different area from the three existing sites. Excavation work has caused erosion, leaving the surface of the mountain cracked and weak, 38 North says.
North Korea has carried out three nuclear tests since 2006.The last, in February 2013, was seen as a show of strength by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who came to power just over two years earlier.
The test provoked global condemnation and sanctions.
There are concerns that tensions on the Korean Peninsula will rise again following the death of one of Mr Kim’s closest advisors.
Kim Yang-gon was killed in a car crash on Tuesday, according to the state news agency.
He helped broker a deal with South Korea in August to try to reduce military tensions. Follow-up vice-ministerial talks this month failed to reach agreement on how to improve relations.
Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said: “North Korea has repeatedly demonstrated it rejects implementing the political and economic reforms necessary to justify a principled South Korean engagement strategy. Nor will the regime moderate its aggressive foreign policy to refrain from threats of nuclear incineration and highly insulting diatribes against President Park Geun-hye.”

Iran Buzzes Babylonian Vessel (Daniel 8:4)

Iran’s weekend provocation is further proof getting a final nuclear deal is going to be a rocky road.
By Eugene Daniels | December 30, 2015
In a statement Wednesday, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet said, “Firing weapons so close to passing coalition ships … is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law.”
The fleet wasn’t in Iranian waters at the time, and there is no evidence the troops were targeted.
The Strait of Hormuz is an area that’s no stranger to tense events like this. In April, 11 unguided rockets were fired about 6 miles from the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Most famously and tragically, in 1988, the USS Vincennes thought it was under attack and ended up firing on an airliner heading to Dubai, killing all 290 people onboard. (Video via The Wall Street Journal)
Provocations like this will further concerns some members of Congress have about the landmark deal on Iran’s nuclear program, especially the sanction relief part of the agreement. Democratic senators sent a letter to the president just last week with concern about recent Iranian missile launches.
Even with the nuclear agreement moving along, the Treasury Department is reportedly getting ready to slap new sanctions on companies and people participating in the ballistic missile program. According to The Wall Street Journal, Iranian officials have warned new sanctions would be seen as a violation of the nuclear agreement.
The U.S. disagrees, saying the Treasury’s right to “blacklist Iranian entities allegedly involved in missile development” is a separate activity from the nuclear deal’s provisions.
So far, there’s been no official comment on the latest missile launch from Iran, but state-run news agency Fars said the incident was planned and all vessels in the area were warned ahead of time.

The Australian Nuclear Horn Continues To Grow (Daniel 7)

Press Trust of India | Updated: Dec 30, 2015 23:27 IST
New Delhi: The union cabinet  on Wednesday ratified the India-Australian civil nuclear cooperation agreement that came into force last month and has further eased the supply of imported uranium for India’s nuclear power plants.”The civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Australia was brought into force on November 13 along with the administrative arrangement for implementing the agreement,” a cabinet communique said after the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The fuel supply arrangements with Australia will bolster energy security by supporting the expansion of nuclear power in India,” it said.
Both countries began talks on the nuclear cooperation agreement in 2012 after Australia lifted its ban on selling uranium to India. The agreement was signed during the then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to New Delhi.
Australia ranks third in terms of production of uranium, while it does not operate nuclear power plants in the country.
India currently has nuclear energy agreements with 11 countries and has signed long-term agreements for supply of uranium from Kazakhstan and Canada.
Listing some of the recent measures to boost nuclear power generation in the country, the statement said: “Commercial negotiations between Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Westinghouse for construction of 6 units of the AP-1000 reactor at Mithi Virdi, Gujarat are on course for finalization in 2016.”

The Sixth Seal: The Whole World Will Know (Rev 6:12)

The New Madrid Earthquake That Will Divide The United States In Half

New-Madrid-Fault-Earthquake-Zone-300x192
Published on Monday, 23 February 2015 20:39
Written by Michael Snyder
Back in 1811 and 1812, four of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history struck that area of the country. The movement of the ground was so powerful that it changed the course of the Mississippi River and it rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts. So could such an earthquake (or worse) strike today?
Scientists tell us that it is just a matter of time until another superquake hits the region, and personally I am one of the millions of Americans that believe that we will eventually see a New Madrid earthquake that will divide the United States in half.
That is one of the reasons why I included a New Madrid earthquake in my novel. But others are skeptical. They point out that we have not seen a truly devastating earthquake in that region for more than 200 years. So why be concerned about one now?
What everyone can agree on is that there is an area of significant geological weakness under the New Madrid fault zone. This area of weakness formed when the continents were breaking up. The rift that formed did not end up splitting the North American continent at that time, but the area of weakness remains. The following comes from Wikipedia…
This relative weakness is important, because it would allow the relatively small east-west compressive forces associated with the continuing continental drift of the North American plate to reactivate old faults around New Madrid, making the area unusually prone to earthquakes in spite of it being far from the nearest tectonic plate boundary.
And indeed, there have been some awesome earthquakes in this region throughout history.
Back in 1811 and 1812, there were four earthquakes along the New Madrid fault zone there were so immensely powerful that they are still talked about today.
The most powerful of this series of quakes was on December 16th, 1811. The following is one description of what happened on that day…
This powerful earthquake was felt widely over the entire eastern United States. People were awakened by the shaking in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, S.C. Perceptible ground shaking was in the range of one to three minutes depending upon the observer’s location. The ground motions were described as “most alarming and frightening” in places like Nashville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky. Reports also describe houses and other structures being severely shaken, with many chimneys knocked down. In the epicentral area the ground surface was described as being in great convulsion, with sand and water ejected tens of feet into the air — a process called liquefaction.
But there have also been others times throughout history when we have seen a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault.
For example, according to scientists there is evidence of other superquakes in the distant past…
Geological evidence indicates that two such super-earthquakes happened twice in the past 1,200 years: the first some time between 800 and 1000 A.D., and the second between 1300 and 1600 A.D.
And now earthquake activity in the central portion of the nation is increasing again.
As I noted above, the USGS says that the frequency of earthquakes in the central and eastern portions of the United States has more than quintupled in recent years. And the USGS has now gone so far as to point out the relationship between human activity and the increase in earthquakes. The following comes from an article done by the U.S. Geological Survey…
The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States. Nearly 450 earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and larger occurred in the four years from 2010-2013, over 100 per year on average, compared with an average rate of 20 earthquakes per year observed from 1970-2000.
This increase in earthquakes prompts two important questions: Are they natural, or man-made? And what should be done in the future as we address the causes and consequences of these events to reduce associated risks? USGS scientists have been analyzing the changes in the rate of earthquakes as well as the likely causes, and they have some answers.
USGS scientists have found that at some locations the increase in seismicity coincides with the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed for this purpose.
So what would happen if a major earthquake did strike the New Madrid fault zone?
In October 2009, a team composed of University of Illinois and Virginia Tech researchers headed by Amr S. Elnashai, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), considered a scenario where all three segments of the New Madrid fault ruptured simultaneously with a total earthquake magnitude of 7.7. The report found that there would be significant damage in the eight states studied – Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee – with the probability of additional damage in states farther from the NMSZ. Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri would be most severely impacted, and the cities of Memphis, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri would be severely damaged. The report estimated 86,000 casualties, including 3,500 fatalities; 715,000 damaged buildings; and 7.2 million people displaced, with 2 million of those seeking shelter, primarily due to the lack of utility services. Direct economic losses, according to the report, would be at least $300 billion.
But remember, that study only considered a magnitude 7.7 earthquake.
Of course most Americans are completely oblivious to all of this. In fact, most Americans don’t even know what the New Madrid fault zone is or where it is located.
But there are people in the government that are very aware of this threat. In fact, the federal government considered it important enough to hold a major five day simulation known as “National Level Exercise 11″ just a few years ago…
In May, the federal government simulated an earthquake so massive, it killed 100,000 Midwesterners instantly, and forced more than 7 million people out of their homes. At the time, National Level Exercise 11 went largely unnoticed; the scenario seemed too far-fetched — states like Illinois and Missouri are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at the edge of one. A major quake happens there once every several generations.
National Level Exercise 11, or NLE 11, was, in essence, a replay of a disaster that happened 200 years earlier. On Dec. 16, 1811, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit the New Madrid fault line, which lies on the border region of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. It’s by far the largest earthquake ever to strike the United States east of the Rockies. Up to 129,000 square kilometers [50,000 square miles] were hit with “raised or sunken lands, fissures, sinks, sand blows, and large landslides,” according to the U.S. Geological Service. “Huge waves on the Mississippi River overwhelmed many boats and washed others high onto the shore. High banks caved and collapsed into the river; sand bars and points of islands gave way; whole islands disappeared.” People as far away as New York City were awakened by the shaking.
More quakes, of a similar size, followed. But the loss of life was minimal: Not too many people lived in the area at the time. Today, there are more than 15 million people living in the quake zone. If a similar quake hit, “7.2 million people could be displaced, with 2 million seeking temporary shelter” in the first three days, FEMA Associate Adminsitrator William Carwile told a Congressional panel in 2010. “Direct economic losses for the eight states could total nearly $300 billion, while indirect losses at least twice that amount.”
And major corporations are also concerned about what could happen.
For example, in a previous article I noted that Wal-Mart had “participated in an exercise” that simulated a major earthquake in the New Madrid fault zone…
Buried in a Wall Street Journal article from about a week ago was a startling piece of information. According to a Wal-Mart executive, Wal-Mart “participated in an exercise to prepare for an earthquake on the New Madrid fault line” earlier this summer.
Nobody knows when it is going to happen.
But this is a real threat.
And if we do see a magnitude 9.0 earthquake or greater, we could be talking about a continent changing event

The Rising China Nuclear Forces (Daniel 7:7)

Russian media: China’s nuclear forces make important breakthrough

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Editor: Yao Jianing

2015-12-30 17:21
BEIJING, December 30 (ChinaMil) — 2015 is an important year for the development of China’s strategic nuclear forces with combat capability enhanced, pointed out Vasily Kashin, an analyst with the Center for Analyses of Strategies and Technologies, in an interview with Sputnik on December 29, 2015.
New evidence showed that strategic nuclear forces had undoubtedly become one of the priorities of China’s military construction, according to Kashin. It backs the statement that China will ultimately develop into a nuclear superpower.
Strategic nuclear forces occupied a central position in the parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. China’s state media show an extremely open and positive attitude towards reporting China’s strategic weapons this year.
The most important iconic event for China to develop its national strategic nuclear forces is the deployment of the first battery of DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV),with which China can greatly increase damage to enemies.
China’s strategic nuclear forces also improve its ability against missile defense system. China has created a technology base to rapidly expand nuclear arsenal and ultimately develop itself into a nuclear superpower.
The second achievement is that China’s nuclear missile submarine has begun its patrol, according to a recent report. China will no longer only rely on ground-based ballistic missiles to guarantee its national security. The PLA Navy will give priority to deploy nuclear missile submarine to combat and patrol within China in future.
China also displayed two new medium-range missiles – DF-16 and DF-26. The latter has three improved versions to carry high-precision conventional warhead, nuclear warhead and anti-ship missile respectively.
Range of DF-26 can cover all bases of United States in the Asian-Pacific region. DF-26 can also threaten the U.S. aircraft carrier battle group, reducing the ability of United States to respond to crisis in the Asian-Pacific region.
China will continue to test new weapons, including new missile DF-41 and its rail-mobile version, new intercontinental missile DF-31 and its improved version DF-31B. These missiles can carry MIRV and employ new types of launchers. In addition, China is developing mobile supersonic warhead, which is expected to make achievement by the end of 2020. From a technical point of view, China may be on an equal footing with two nuclear superpowers.