South Korea Will Become A Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Would South Korea Really Go Nuclear?

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election last month, concerns over a nuclear South Korea have intensified. Although President-elect Trump reassured President Park Geun-hye of the U.S. security commitment to South Korea, a strong fear of abandonment has arisen in South Korea in light of Trump’s campaign statements. When South Korea feared U.S. disengagement from Asia in the early 1970s, it responded by attempting to develop nuclear weapons. Today, the prospect of a nuclear South Korea, unthinkable since the 1970s, is more real than ever. The recent impeachment of Park by the National Assembly earlier this month adds to uncertainty for South Korea’s security policies. Could the next administration pursue nuclear weapons as a result of these fears?
The answer will heavily depend on whether the Trump administration reaffirms the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance. Otherwise, it is anyone’s guess what the policies of the next president will be, which could include “going nuclear.”
Until recently, calls for nuclear armament were considered extremist in South Korean political discourse. However, public support for nuclear armament is growing in South Korea due to North Korea’s nuclear provocations. In a recent Gallup Korea poll, 58 percent supported nuclear armament. If the U.S. security guarantee is not credible in the minds of South Koreans, and nuclear armament is the only way to defend South Korea’s security from North Korea, a nuclear option will seem even more appealing to the public.
Such public sentiment would affect the upcoming presidential election. Presidential candidates could appeal to populist sentiment and promise pursuit of nuclear weapons. At the minimum, they may pledge to acquire the ability to produce nuclear fissile materials (enriched uranium or plutonium) so that South Korea could minimize a future timetable for developing nuclear weapons. This would be a major blow to U.S. nonproliferation policy.
As long as the U.S. security guarantee is intact, nuclear proliferation in South Korea is not a rational choice, as the costs and risks seem to far outweigh the benefits. The security risks would be substantial. Should South Korea decide to go nuclear, the United States would withdraw its security guarantee, while South Korea would require several years to acquire a functional nuclear arsenal. Unless Seoul could manage a covert nuclear weapons program, fooling its closest ally and the rest of the world, which seems highly unlikely given rigorous International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections over its nuclear facilities, going nuclear would in fact decease South Korea’s security rather than strengthening it.
The economic costs of nuclear armament are no less substantial. If South Korea’s fear of abandonment escalates under a Trump administration and the country reveals new nuclear weapons capabilities, the UN Security Council would impose economic sanctions on South Korea, which would damage the country’s highly trade-dependent economy. Electricity production, 40 percent of which derives from nuclear energy, would also be disrupted. South Korea imports a large portion of its nuclear fuel from the United States to operate its 25 nuclear reactors. The U.S.-South Korea civil nuclear agreement bans the use of U.S.-origin materials for military purposes. The breach of the agreement would lead to a suspension of U.S. export of nuclear fuels to South Korea. It would be difficult for South Korea to purchase enriched uranium from other suppliers, too, since international nuclear export control regimes, such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, prohibit transferring nuclear materials to states that develop nuclear weapons in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty. The suspension of the nuclear fuel supply would cause economic and social distress in this already energy-starved country.
Despite the negative consequences to pursuing a nuclear weapons program, the current political environment in South Korea, combined with Trump’s tough campaign rhetoric about the future of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, means that decades-old policies could shift radically overnight. How Trump values America’s security role in East Asia will strongly impact the next South Korean administration’s decision to challenge North Korea with nuclear weapons development of its own.
Lami Kim is a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University and a lecturer at Boston College.

The Sixth Seal: The Big Apple Shake (Rev 6:12)

Big Apple shake? Potential for earthquake in New York City exists

NY bridge
NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – For the last 43 years John Armbruster has been a seismologist with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  A veteran of what he describes as “a couple of dozen” quakes, he is interested in the seismic activity throughout the Pacific region in recent weeks.
However, does the amount of plate movements around the world in recent weeks as well as years to translate to New York City being more vulnerable, “These earthquakes are not communicating with each other, they are too far apart,” said Armbruster in an interview with PIX 11 News on Wednesday.
What would a magnitude 6.0 earthquake inflict upon the city?
“We know that its unlikely because it hasn’t happened in the last 300 years but the earthquake that struck Fukushima Japan was the 1000 year earthquake and they weren’t ready for the that.

Obama’s Iranian Horn (Ezekiel 17)

by DR. MICHAEL LEDEEN December 28, 2016
As I promised, as the days of Obama draw down, the jihadis are stepping up the terror tempo. They know that there will be no reprisals from the Oahu links, and they fear Trump’s lineup of tough guys in the cabinet, so they’re in a hurry to kill infidels while the killing’s good. Therefore we, along with the other Western nations, are at maximum risk right now, until roundabouts January 20th.
And the killing’s plenty good, isn’t it? Berlin, Zurich, Ankara, Moscow, with a very nasty plot uncovered in Melbourne, and yet another involving terrorists in Detroit, Maryland, and Virginia. Not to mention the ongoing slaughter in Syria, and, on Christmas day, Cameroon.
What does the “western world” do in response? Declare the Western Wall “occupied territory.” This is no accident, since the jihadis believe that they have unleashed holy war against infidels. That war will not end, in their view, until we infidels have been crushed and subjected to the will of a caliph. They’ve got plenty of support from the Russians, without whom thousands of Iranians and Iranian proxies would have been killed in Syria and Iraq, and the Assad regime would have been destroyed.
That would have been a better world, but Obama did not want that world. Nor did the feckless Europeans, who act as if profits on Iran trade compensate for the open subversion of public order. Indeed, as Christmas arrived we were treated to the spectacle of the bishop of Rome-aka Pope Francis–blaming material misery for the jihadist assault on the West. Thus the first Jesuit pontiff surrenders the moral high ground to his mortal enemies.
Maybe Obama should convert and run for pope.
Paradoxically, the jihadis and their secular allies are launching their new assault just as they are suffering systematic setbacks on the battlefield, their own internal conflicts are intensifying, and there are signs of a religious and patriotic revival within the boundaries of their archenemy, the United States. Walter Russell Mead neatly catches the irony that, just as Obama handed the Palestinians a resounding political victory, a sober look at the situation suggests that the Palestinians have not been this weak, this divided, or this helpless in many decades.
In like manner, the Iranian regime, flush with its success in Aleppo, is increasingly riven. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has had two medical events in the past 10 days, and the scrambling for the succession has resumed. You may have noticed that General Qasem Soleimani has returned to the front pages, which invariably happens when the leader is ill; the Revolutionary Guards want him as the strongman of the next regime (he can’t be supreme leader for lack of theological standing, but he could still be a dominant figure). And it isn’t all peaches and cream for Soleimani, as recent demonstrations in Tehran against the rape of Aleppo make clear. Iranian apologists love to tell us that Persian nationalism overwhelms internal tribal and sectarian divisions, but Iran has lost thousands in Syria, and the Persian nationalists don’t like their husbands and sons dying to save Bashar Assad.
What would President Trump do if Khamenei passed from the scene, and millions of Iranians took to the streets again? The president-elect has said he’s not a great enthusiast of regime change, but it’s hard to imagine he’d abandon the Iranians as Obama did seven years ago. He ought to be thinking it through.
Yes, I know good news is hard to swallow, but we are living in a revolutionary moment, of which the Trump election is a dramatic symptom. The crisis of the Islamic Republic would be a fitting end to the Obama era. He dreamt of a glorious strategic alliance with Iran, and a definitive lethal blow against Israel. How fitting with the Divine sense of humor to have the Palestinians and Iranians to wreck their own enterprises.
You never know. Life is full of surprises.
Dr. Michael Ledeen is the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is also a contributing editor at National Review Online. Previously, he served as a consultant to the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Defense Department. He has also served as a special adviser to the Secretary of State. He holds a Ph.D. in modern European history and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rome.
He is author of more than 20 books, the most recent include: Accomplice ot Evil: Iran and the War Against the West; The War Against the Terror Masters; The Iranian Time Bomb; Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules Are As Timely and Important Today As Five Centuries Ago, Tocqueville on American Character: Why Tocqueville’s Brilliant Exploration of the American Spirit Is As Vital and Important Today As It Was Nearly Two Hundred Years Ago; and, Freedom Betrayed: How America Led a Global Democratic Revolution, Won the Cold War, and Walked Away.
Dr. Ledeen regularly appears on Fox News, and on a variety of radio talk shows. He has been on PBS’s NewsHour and CNN’s Larry King Live, among others, and regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal and to National Review Online. He has a blog on

North Korea Ready To Enter Nuclear Race

North Korea Is About To Give Trump The Nuclear Arms Race He’s Lusting After
Out of the many things that simply scare the bejesus out of people about Donald Trump, the scariest may be his seemingly cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons. Last spring he said he thought more countries should have nukes for their own self-defense. But when he got called out on that remark he backtracked and claimed he had never said it.
Last week, in a tweet that seemed to contradict itself, Trump said the U.S. should greatly expand its nuclear arsenal.
Trump’s advisors rushed to media outlets to explain what their boss meant. Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told Matt Lauer on Today,
He’s going to ensure that other countries get the message that he’s not going to sit back and allow that [nuclear proliferation]. And what’s going to happen is they will come to their senses, and we will all be just fine.
When MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski asked the president-elect to clarify what he meant in the tweet, Trump responded “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass.” Now a North Korean defector says he may be about to get his wish.
Thae Yong-ho, a North Korean diplomat who defected to South Korea in July, said in a December 27 news briefing that the country’s leader Kim Jong-un is pushing for the development of nukes “at all costs by the end of 2017.” He says Kim believes that neither South Korea nor the United States will be in a position to stop the country’s nuclear development “due to domestic political pressures.”
This is what makes Trump’s position on nuclear weapons so dangerous. If he believes, as Spicer said, that countries will “come to their senses” over nukes, it’s time for a wakeup call. Many countries, including our own in the near future, are not run by people who are prone to common sense. And Kim is certainly among that group.
In October, Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper explained why North Korea’s stance on nuclear weapons is so dangerous.
A cap would require negotiations and a “carrot and stick” approach to the problem. But Trump has indicated that he has no interest in carrots — he only wants to threaten with a promise to build more and bigger sticks.
According to Thae, Kim’s goal is to pressure both the U.S. and South Korea into “stability-focused” policies by adopting a provocative military posture. That plan may have worked with a normal American president of either party, but we all know Trump isn’t normal. His entire posture is based on dominance rituals in which he must humiliate his opponents. That’s a dangerous type of arrogance to bring to a nuclear standoff.
Trump’s proposed arms race will only dig the U.S. into a deeper budget hole than ever. And that’s the “good” news. If he is expecting leaders such as Kim Jong-un to give in to American demands on nukes in order to avoid an arms race, then the hole we’re talking about might be a smoking, radioactive crater.