Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake: Revelation 6

Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake

Roger BilhamQuakeland: New York and the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Given recent seismic activity — political as well as geological — it’s perhaps unsurprising that two books on earthquakes have arrived this season. One is as elegant as the score of a Beethoven symphony; the other resembles a diary of conversations overheard during a rock concert. Both are interesting, and both relate recent history to a shaky future.

Journalist Kathryn Miles’s Quakeland is a litany of bad things that happen when you provoke Earth to release its invisible but ubiquitous store of seismic-strain energy, either by removing fluids (oil, water, gas) or by adding them in copious quantities (when extracting shale gas in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, or when injecting contaminated water or building reservoirs). To complete the picture, she describes at length the bad things that happen during unprovoked natural earthquakes. As its subtitle hints, the book takes the form of a road trip to visit seismic disasters both past and potential, and seismologists and earthquake engineers who have first-hand knowledge of them. Their colourful personalities, opinions and prejudices tell a story of scientific discovery and engineering remedy.

Miles poses some important societal questions. Aside from human intervention potentially triggering a really damaging earthquake, what is it actually like to live in neighbourhoods jolted daily by magnitude 1–3 earthquakes, or the occasional magnitude 5? Are these bumps in the night acceptable? And how can industries that perturb the highly stressed rocks beneath our feet deny obvious cause and effect? In 2015, the Oklahoma Geological Survey conceded that a quadrupling of the rate of magnitude-3 or more earthquakes in recent years, coinciding with a rise in fracking, was unlikely to represent a natural process. Miles does not take sides, but it’s difficult for the reader not to.

She visits New York City, marvelling at subway tunnels and unreinforced masonry almost certainly scheduled for destruction by the next moderate earthquake in the vicinity. She considers the perils of nuclear-waste storage in Nevada and Texas, and ponders the risks to Idaho miners of rock bursts — spontaneous fracture of the working face when the restraints of many million years of confinement are mined away. She contemplates the ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera — North America’s very own mid-continent supervolcano — and its magnificently uncertain future. Miles also touches on geothermal power plants in southern California’s Salton Sea and elsewhere; the vast US network of crumbling bridges, dams and oil-storage farms; and the magnitude 7–9 earthquakes that could hit California and the Cascadia coastline of Oregon and Washington state this century. Amid all this doom, a new elementary school on the coast near Westport, Washington, vulnerable to inbound tsunamis, is offered as a note of optimism. With foresight and much persuasion from its head teacher, it was engineered to become an elevated safe haven.

Miles briefly discusses earthquake prediction and the perils of getting it wrong (embarrassment in New Madrid, Missouri, where a quake was predicted but never materialized; prison in L’Aquila, Italy, where scientists failed to foresee a devastating seismic event) and the successes of early-warning systems, with which electronic alerts can be issued ahead of damaging seismic waves. Yes, it’s a lot to digest, but most of the book obeys the laws of physics, and it is a engaging read. One just can’t help wishing that Miles’s road trips had taken her somewhere that wasn’t a disaster waiting to happen.

Catastrophic damage in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964, caused by the second-largest earthquake in the global instrumental record.

In The Great Quake, journalist Henry Fountain provides us with a forthright and timely reminder of the startling historical consequences of North America’s largest known earthquake, which more than half a century ago devastated southern Alaska. With its epicentre in Prince William Sound, the 1964 quake reached magnitude 9.2, the second largest in the global instrumental record. It released more energy than either the 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off Japan; and it generated almost as many pages of scientific commentary and description as aftershocks. Yet it has been forgotten by many.

The quake was scientifically important because it occurred at a time when plate tectonics was in transition from hypothesis to theory. Fountain expertly traces the theory’s historical development, and how the Alaska earthquake was pivotal in nailing down one of the most important predictions. The earthquake caused a fjordland region larger than England to subside, and a similarly huge region of islands offshore to rise by many metres; but its scientific implications were not obvious at the time. Eminent seismologists thought that a vertical fault had slipped, drowning forests and coastlines to its north and raising beaches and islands to its south. But this kind of fault should have reached the surface, and extended deep into Earth’s mantle. There was no geological evidence of a monster surface fault separating these two regions, nor any evidence for excessively deep aftershocks. The landslides and liquefied soils that collapsed houses, and the tsunami that severely damaged ports and infrastructure, offered no clues to the cause.

“Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about present-day vulnerability.” The hero of The Great Quake is the geologist George Plafker, who painstakingly mapped the height reached by barnacles lifted out of the intertidal zone along shorelines raised by the earthquake, and documented the depths of drowned forests. He deduced that the region of subsidence was the surface manifestation of previously compressed rocks springing apart, driving parts of Alaska up and southwards over the Pacific Plate. His finding confirmed a prediction of plate tectonics, that the leading edge of the Pacific Plate plunged beneath the southern edge of Alaska along a gently dipping thrust fault. That observation, once fully appreciated, was applauded by the geophysics community.

Fountain tells this story through the testimony of survivors, engineers and scientists, interweaving it with the fascinating history of Alaska, from early discovery by Europeans to purchase from Russia by the United States in 1867, and its recent development. Were the quake to occur now, it is not difficult to envisage that with increased infrastructure and larger populations, the death toll and price tag would be two orders of magnitude larger than the 139 fatalities and US$300-million economic cost recorded in 1964.

What is clear from these two books is that seismicity on the North American continent is guaranteed to deliver surprises, along with unprecedented economic and human losses. Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about the present-day vulnerability of US infrastructure and populations. Engineers and seismologists know how to mitigate the effects of future earthquakes (and, in mid-continent, would advise against the reckless injection of waste fluids known to trigger earthquakes). It is merely a matter of persuading city planners and politicians that if they are tempted to ignore the certainty of the continent’s seismic past, they should err on the side of caution when considering its seismic future.

The Antichrist Rises Again By Calling For “Public Dialogue”

Al-Sadr Rises Again By Calling For “Public Dialogue”


By David Sadler Last Updated Oct 6, 2022

Plasschaert to Iran and Turkey: Iraq is not your backyard

The leader of the “Sadrist movement” Muqtada al-Sadr took advantage of the talk about Iraqi internal affairs, which was said by the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Baghdad, Jenin Plaschaert, to once again appear to his audience and the Iraqis, 40 days after his retirement, by calling for a “public dialogue”, and his demand for the United Nations to help Iraq ” Hold the corrupt accountable.

Although most of what was stated by the UN Representative in Iraq, Plasschaert, in her briefing on the situation in Iraq before the Security Council the day before yesterday (Tuesday), has been on the tongues of the majority of popular trends in Iraq for many years, many viewed it as the most important statement on the For years, a UN official has spoken, in that it has been brought before the highest UN council, Iraq’s internal issues related to the “political blockage” and “corruption” and its disastrous results.

Al-Sadr announced in a tweet yesterday, Plasschaert’s talk about corruption and its disastrous consequences for the country. “Yes, this is very true and accurate, and the first step for gradual reform is the non-participation of the old faces, their parties and people in the next government according to the aspirations of the reference and the aspirations of the rebellious people,” he said. He added, “We agree to dialogue if it is public, in order to exclude all participants in the previous political and electoral processes and to hold the corrupt accountable under the cover of an impartial judiciary. We also look forward to the assistance of the United Nations in this regard.”

Like Obama, Biden juggles Iran nuke talks as Iranian repression grows

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting of the reproductive rights task force in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Biden juggles Iran nuke talks as Iranian repression grows


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has hit back at Iran over the government’s brutal crackdown on antigovernment protests. He’s praised the “brave women of Iran” for demanding basic rights and signaled that he’ll announce more sanctions against those responsible for violence against protesters in the coming days.

The outpouring of anger — largely led by young women and directed at the government’s male leadership — has created a seminal moment for the country, spurring some of the largest and boldest protests against the country’s Islamic leadership seen in years.

And while the Biden administration says it is dedicated to standing by the women of Iran, the president faces a tough question: Can he credibly side with the protest movement while also trying to salvage the languishing 2015 Iran nuclear deal that would pump billions into Tehran’s treasury?

“The risk of a nuclear Iran is terrifying on all levels,” Marjan Keypour Greenblatt, director of a network of activists that promotes human rights in Iran and a nonresident scholar with the Middle East Institute’s Iran Program, wrote in an analysis this week. “However, President Biden simply cannot offer the prospect of sanctions relief and de facto legitimize a regime that is ruthlessly gunning down its own citizens in the street.”


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The weeks-old protests were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in Iranian security custody. Morality police had detained Amini last month for not properly covering her hair with the Islamic headscarf, known as the hijab, which is mandatory for Iranian women. Amini collapsed at a police station and died three days later.

Her death and the subsequent unrest have come at a complicated moment as the administration tries to bring Iran back into compliance with the nuclear deal that was brokered by the Obama administration and scrapped by the Trump administration.

The deal already was teetering toward collapse despite Biden’s efforts to revive it. But the administration has not given up all hope for a turnaround via indirect talks with the Iranian leadership. The pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, would provide Tehran with billions in sanctions relief in exchange for the country agreeing to roll back its nuclear program to the limits set by the 2015 deal. The deal includes caps on enrichment and how much material it can stockpile and limits the operation of advanced centrifuges needed to enrich.

Chances for a return to the deal have come tantalizingly close since the beginning of this year, but have been derailed by Iranian demands that the U.S. maintains are outside the scope of the original agreement. And now, prospects for a resumption in negotiations are bleak at least until later this fall.

Critics of the nuclear deal argue that the administration should break off all consideration of a renewed deal. They say the sanctions relief windfall that Iran would enjoy would be used to further repress its own people and fund proxies that would exacerbate broader threats in the region.

“The White House faces an internal strategic contradiction: How can you claim to be holding the regime accountable for internal repression while offering that same regime sanctions relief in Vienna?” said Richard Goldberg, an analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on foreign affairs and national security.

But the administration has so far held to Biden’s initial campaign position: A deal with Iran will make the world safer. That strongly held viewpoint creates an unusual split-screen dynamic for Biden, who speaks frequently about the need to stand firm in the battle of democracies vs. autocracies.

His administration has insisting on keeping nuclear talks with Iran on a separate track — even while condemning Tehran’s selling drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine; persistent attacks against U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria and Iraq; holocaust denialism by Iran’s president and supreme leader; the wrongful detention of American citizens; and now a brutal effort to squelch the voices of Iranian women speaking out for basic rights.


“Look, I mean … we have concerns with Iran; we have said that before,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier this week. “But the JCPOA is the best way for us to address the nuclear problem that we see. As long as we believe pursuing JCPOA talks is in the U.S. national security interest, we will do so.”

Officials say they are still convinced of the central argument the Obama administration made when it negotiated the original nuclear deal in 2015: An Iran with a nuclear weapon is more dangerous than an Iran without one, no matter what the circumstances.

There have been other moments when pent-up anger has convulsed the Islamic Republic only to peter out. In 2009, millions took to the streets in what was known as the Green Movement after the government declared the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a hotly contested presidential election.



Tens of thousands of frustrated Iranians protested in 2017 and 2018 against the country’s stunted economy and seeking greater social freedoms. Hundreds of protesters were killed in protests in late 2019 spurred by skyrocketing fuel prices and government policy writ large.

But Amini’s death has galvanized a measure of outrage that’s caused reverberations far beyond Iran’s borders. Videos spreading on social media show school girls marching in the streets without hijabs and college-aged students chanting for independence, freedom, and death for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The White House says the administration’s support of the protesters has been robust.

Biden spoke of the protesters at U.N. General Assembly last month. The United States moved quickly last week to impose sanctions on the country’s morality police and more sanctions are expected in coming days.

Yet, some analysts argue that thus far the administration has offered only a tepid response to the crackdown on the demonstrations. The most significant support the administration has provided to protesters thus far has been easing restrictions on the export of software and hardware to make it easier for Iranians to communicate with each other and the outside world.

Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said it’s time for the administration to think bigger.

“The Biden administration should broaden its Iran strategy to focus not only on countering the destructive aspirations of the Iranian regime, but also to champion the constructive aspirations of the Iranian people to live in a free society at peace with the world,” Sadjadpour said.

The Antichrist is ready for public dialogue that distances the participants in the political process

Iraq's Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on August 30, 2022. [Karar Essa - Anadolu Agency]

Iraq: Al-Sadr is ready for public dialogue that distances the participants in the political process

October 5, 2022 at 9:00 pm | Published in: IraqMiddle EastNews

Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on August 30, 2022. [Karar Essa – Anadolu Agency]October 5, 2022 at 9:00 pm

On Tuesday, the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr, agreed “to dialogue, if it is public, and in order to exclude all participants in the previous political and electoral processes.”

Commenting on the briefing given by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Plasschaert, he said in a tweet, “With regard to the briefing by the UN representative, what she said caught my attention as she said the main reason for what is happening in Iraq is the corruption that everyone agrees exists.”

“Indeed, this is very true and accurate, and the first step for gradual reform is the exclusion of the old faces, their parties and people from the next government in accordance with the aspirations of the rebellious people,” noted Al-Sadr.

He added, “We agree to dialogue if it is public, in order to exclude all participants in the previous political and electoral processes and to hold the corrupt accountable under the cover of an impartial judiciary.”

“I also support the need for restraint, as stated in the speeches of those participating in the UN Security Council session, so I call for restraint and not to resort to violence and weapons from all parties. I also call for immediately punishing perpetrators without regard to their affiliations, in addition to what was raised about the problem of uncontrolled weapons outside the framework of the State,” he said.

But, most importantly, according to Al-Sadr, “the uncontrolled weapons should not be within the framework of the State and should not be used against opponents and revolutionaries, or for the sake of establishing the rule and influence of the deep State, especially since the current Prime Minister is subjected to enormous pressures in this regard. Although he is the Commander of the Armed Forces, some militants do not respond to him, even if they are within the scope of the State.”

He called on the dear neighbouring countries “to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and maintain its security and stability through diplomatic means or through dialogue.”

He continued, “I stand against the insistence of some members of the Security Council to form a government in Iraq. Many governments have been formed, but they have harmed the country and the people. The people’s aspirations are to form a government that is far from corruption, dependency, militias and foreign interference in order to be an independent and stable government that serves its people, not the interests of its parties and sects.”

On the security front, in the early hours of yesterday morning, southern Iraq witnessed an escalation in the form of an armed attack on the government complex Al-Qusour in Basra, which includes the headquarters of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, while the protesters burned parts of the Dhi Qar Provincial Council building.

Dozens of Antichrist’s supporters break into Baghdad TV channel HQ

Dozens of Muqtada al-Sadr supporters break into Baghdad TV channel HQ

05 October ,2022: 04:15 PM GST

Dozens of supporters of Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr broke into the building of the Baghdad-based al-Rabiaa TV channel on Tuesday night, over allegations the channel had insulted al-Sadr’s former militia.

Al-Sadr is a populist cleric who emerged as a symbol of resistance against the US occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

He formed the Mahdi Army militia that he eventually disbanded and renamed it Saraya Salam — the Peace Brigades.

His supporters allege that al-Rabiaa insulted the Mahdi Army militia during a recent talk show.

Security forces and anti-riot police were deployed to the channel’s office after the mob broke in.

Videos shared by the channel showed its equipment and furniture destroyed, while al-Sadr followers were shouting pro-Mahdi Army slogans.

Al-Rabiaa is an Iraqi TV channel that was founded in 2021.

The name al-Rabiaa, or fourth in Arabic, refers to Fourth Estate of the press.

Israel Can No Longer Ignore Hezbollah’s Force Build-Up

Israel Can No Longer Ignore Hezbollah’s Force Build-Up Outside the Temple Walls: Rev 11

by Shmuel Tzuker


Israeli navy boats are seen in the Mediterranean Sea as seen from Rosh Hanikra, close to the Lebanese border. Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad

Recent threats by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to attack Israel’s Karish offshore gas platform in the Mediterranean — if Israel starts extracting gas before reaching an agreement with Lebanon on maritime borders — remind us that a monster has emerged to Israel’s north.

Hezbollah’s force build-up includes some 150,000 projectiles, and the terror organization could fire thousands of them at Israel per day. It is no secret that Hezbollah poses a strategic threat to Israel. It is armed with between 500 to 700 precision-guided missiles, and the combination of these two capabilities can undoubtedly bring the State of Israel to a halt.


This raises questions about the extent of Hezbollah’s ability to influence Israeli decision-making at the Karish gas platform. Would Israel proceed with extracting gas in its economic waters in the absence of an agreement?

Hezbollah’s firepower capabilities have reached deeply disturbing levels, while Israel’s home front is far from being prepared for this level of assault.

The combination of Hezbollah’s offensive capabilities and the increasingly aggressive tone of its leadership raises a key question: Is Israel obligated to sit and wait to be attacked?

The only time Israel conducted a clear preemptive strike and took the initiative at the strategic level (not including small-scale tactical operations in Gaza) was at the start of the 1967 Six-Day War.

Preemptive action is based on the idea of seeing the potential for tragedy, such as the deployment of an enemy army or the stockpiling of dangerous weapons by an adversary, and realizing that time is of the essence — and that waiting is not an option.

Preemptive doctrine is surprisingly foreign to Israeli military doctrine, since most wars and conflicts it has fought have been reactionary in nature and not preventative.

The threat posed by Hezbollah to Israel is different from the one posed by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and it could fall under the category of preemptive action justification.

Hezbollah’s firepower could, for a time, eliminate Israel’s ability to conduct sovereign state functions due to its inability to deal with the damage. Even the IDF may struggle to implement its plans. The country would have to deal with massive fires, destruction of infrastructure, and paralysis at multiple levels. These are events that have never been experienced by the Israeli home front, though the deadly 2010 Carmel fire disaster, which brought the Haifa area to a standstill, provides a hint of the scale of the issue.

In light of the above, Israel must in principle reserve the right of preemptive action.

At the same time, the Israeli government must fast-track preparations on the home front, such as the construction of rocket-proof safe rooms and bomb shelters, and preparing selected northern populations for the option of evacuation.

With Hezbollah becoming a significant menace, Israeli decision-makers must also grapple with the uncomfortable question of which side is more deterred in the “balance of deterrence” in place between Israel and Hezbollah.

This is an important question. Israel is a major regional power, and Hezbollah seems to have been intimidated by the prospect of fighting it since the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War. But the fact of the matter is that Israel is also deterred by Hezbollah. It does not seek a conflict with it because it understands the consequences of a new war. Beyond the human and material losses that Israel would incur, such a war would inflict significant economic harm as well.

Businesses could fail due to infrastructure degradation, and the consequences for many civilians would be troubling. It is difficult for many Israeli civilians to internalize the scope of the threat, since the home front has never absorbed such firepower directed against it in the past.

The Israeli public is familiar with the “Gaza benchmark,” in which Hamas targeted mainly southern Israel, and to a lesser degree central Israel, with projectiles, while the Iron Dome offered Israelis a good level of protection.

A war with Hezbollah would not resemble such precedents. Not only would Hezbollah’s arsenal overwhelm Israeli air defenses, but a Lebanese front in the north could be joined by Hamas rocket attacks from the south, and internal mass disturbances by sections of the Arab Israeli community throughout Israel. Such disturbances, combined with the massive quantities of weapons that circulate in the Arab Israeli community, could leave the country facing an extraordinary event.

The extent of deterrence in place against Israel is visible when its policies in Syria are compared to those in Lebanon. In Syria, Israel pursues an active campaign to disrupt Iranian entrenchment and arms smuggling. Every few days, reports surface of air strikes on targets in Syria, mainly to halt precision-guided missile production lines and to prevent a new Syria-based Iranian-Hezbollah-Shiite militia front from developing against Israel.

Yet Lebanon is the focal point of the threat. There are numerous production lines of advanced weapons in existence in Lebanon — and Israel is doing nothing about them.

Even in Gaza, in between rounds of escalation, Israel does not challenge Hamas force build-ups, unless an escalation erupts. Israel simply does not want to be “dragged” into conflict against enemies that can fire rockets at its cities.

Those who ask what would follow a war with Hezbollah appear to be following a rational line of questioning, but the questions also paralyze Israel to an extent, since the same questions are posed by those who always seek to dodge conflict with Hezbollah and never to use Israel’s power against it. In the event of a war with Hezbollah, which would of course be a deeply undesirable development, Israel’s goal will be to take the wind out of the terror army’s sails, and to make it clear to it that it spent all that money and all those years building up a force for nothing. This will make it doubly more difficult for Hezbollah to start the force build-up process all over again.

Israel can unleash major destruction on Hezbollah and Lebanon, but now is the time for Israeli decision-makers to decide on the targets that will help shorten the war — something that Israel failed to do in its conflict against Hamas in 2014, striking the most sensitive targets (residential towers used by Hamas’s officers in northern Gaza) only at the end of the conflict.

Similarly, there can be no hesitation about activating Israeli ground forces, despite the “addiction” the government has developed to the use of air power. No less importantly, Israel must now check the ability of its home front to deal with such a scenario, and make decisions without delay to boost its readiness. Nasrallah’s threats serve as a timely reminder that these preparations can no longer be delayed.

While the maritime border dispute may be resolved diplomatically, the threat posed by Hezbollah’s firepower remains.

Brig Gen. Shmuel Tzuker (IDF, Ret.) is a publishing Expert at The MirYam Institute. He is the former Deputy Director General of the Directorate of Production and Procurement in the Ministry of Defense, Israel. During his military career he served as Commander of the Gaza Division, Commander of the Lebanon Division, and Commander of Judea & Samaria Division.

The MirYam Institute is the leading international forum for Israel focused discussion, dialogue, and debate, focused on campus presentations, engagement with international legislators, and gold-standard trips to the State of Israel. Follow their work at www.MirYamInstitute.org.

South Korean Horn fires missiles in response to North Korea test

South Korea, US fire missiles in response to North Korea test

October 5, 2022

SEOUL: The South Korean and US militaries fired a volley of missiles into the sea in response to North Korea firing a ballistic missile over Japan, Seoul said Wednesday, as global condemnation mounted over Pyongyang’s likely longest-ever test.

Nuclear-armed North Korea fired an Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) over Japan for the first time in five years on Tuesday, prompting Tokyo to issue evacuation warnings for some residents.

South Korea and the United States staged a drill of their own in response, firing ground-to-ground missiles into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, Seoul’s military said.

Both militaries fired two ATACMS short-range ballistic missiles into the water “to precisely strike a virtual target,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The military also confirmed that a South Korean missile failed soon after it was launched and crashed, without causing any casualties.

South Korean and US fighter jets had carried out a bombing drill at a virtual target in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday.

The joint drills aim to “make sure that we have the military capabilities at the ready to respond to provocations by the North if it comes to that,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN.

South Korea’s military also announced Wednesday that the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier would return to the area, having already conducted joint drills with Seoul’s navy last month.

Pyongyang’s Tuesday launch is part of a record year of sanctions-busting weapons tests by the isolated regime, which recently revised its nuclear laws, with leader Kim Jong Un declaring his country an “irreversible” nuclear power.

US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida decried the launch “in the strongest terms” while South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called it a “provocation”.

The United Nations Security Council was set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

The IRBM flew about 4,600 km (2,900 miles), Seoul and Tokyo said, likely the longest-ever distance for a North Korean test, which are typically fired on a “lofted” trajectory to avoid flying over neighbouring countries.

Officials and experts said it was likely a Hwasong-12 IRBM, a nuclear-capable missile that North Korea likely first tested in 2017, which has a range that could put US bases on Guam within reach.

North Korea has not commented on the launch in state media.

‘Ridicule’ response

“Regardless of today’s missile launch by the US and South Korean military, North Korea’s plan to carry out its next nuclear test will not change,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, told AFP.

“It’s likely that Pyongyang’s going to ridicule today’s missile launch — especially since one of the launches failed — and proceed with their next nuclear test, given the law changes they made on the nuclear use in September.”

The Tuesday test was Pyongyang’s fifth missile launch in 10 days.

The spate of launches comes as Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have been ramping up joint military drills to counter Pyongyang’s growing threats, staging the first trilateral anti-submarine drills in five years on Friday.

That came just days after the US and South Korean navies conducted large-scale exercises.

Such drills infuriate North Korea, which sees them as rehearsals for an invasion.

US Vice President Kamala Harris visited Seoul last week and toured the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean peninsula, on a trip to underscore her country’s commitment to South Korea’s defence.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea to help protect it from the North.

Pyongyang has tested nuclear weapons six times since 2006, most recently in 2017.

China Flashes Her Nuclear Horn Amid Tensions With The US

Dubbed as an “aircraft carrier killer”, the DF-21D has a range of around 1,800km and can carry multiple warheads. Photo: CCTV
Dubbed as an “aircraft carrier killer,” the DF-21D has a range of around 1,800km and can carry multiple warheads. Photo: CCTV

China Follows Russia’s ‘Nuke Threat’; Flashes Its Carrier Killer Nuclear Missiles Amid Tensions With The US

ByAshish Dangwal

October 5, 2022

Amid Russia’s nuclear threat to NATO over its involvement in Ukraine, China’s media recently released a video to commemorate National Day that featured the nation’s most potent strategic nuclear weapons.


The latest footage was produced for an eight-part documentary series for state-owned China Central Television. It featured anti-aircraft carrier DF-21D and DF-26B ballistic missiles and new-generation DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

These missiles, which have long been considered a severe threat to American aircraft carriers, can block the US Navy from safely conducting operations close to the Chinese coast.

China has two ballistic missiles dubbed “carrier killers,” the (Dong-Feng) DF-21D and DF-26, that could strike moving aircraft carriers. The DF-26, according to defense observers, is capable of carrying out precise nuclear or conventional attacks against land and sea targets. 

Meanwhile, experts, who believe the video is aimed at strategic deterrence, stated that the DF-41 ICBM could carry several nuclear warheads and have a range of nearly 12,000 kilometers (7,450 miles), allowing it to strike any location on the US mainland.

The CCTV series was broadcast last week to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. It featured at least a dozen DF-26B missiles with launchers or the equivalent of an entire missile brigade. 

Song Zhongping, a former People’s Liberation Army instructor, was quoted by SCMP as saying, “Showcasing Dongfeng series strategic weapons is a subtle warning to the United States, which is instigating other countries to put on pressure on Beijing over the Taiwan issue, as the fierce Ukraine war also poses a dilemma for China.”

He pointed out that the PLA Rocket Force’s strategic weapons were intended to be displayed in National Day military parades, but because China only holds such significant events once every ten years or every five years, the PLA can also use video footage to demonstrate its might to its American counterpart. 

“The dual-capable missiles – able to carry both conventional and nuclear warheads – would pose a great threat to the US aircraft carrier strike groups,” Zhongping warned. 

According to Zhongping, the conventional warheads on the dual-capable DF-21D and DF-26 missiles are strong enough to prevent US warships from approaching Chinese waters because of their precision strike capacity.

DF-21D and DF-26B Missiles

It is believed that the DF-21D and DF-26 have warheads with sufficient mobility to attack big, relatively slow-moving ships like aircraft carriers. 

In August 2020, the PLA Rocket Force fired two “aircraft carrier killer” missiles into the South China Sea just one day after accusing the US of deploying a U-2 spy plane into a “no-fly zone” during a PLAN live-fire naval rehearsal off China’s northern coast.

The DF-21D is designed to maneuver dynamically during its reentry phase, giving it the capacity to attack moving warships. It is believed to carry a conventional payload and has an estimated range of around 1,800 kilometers. 

“TV footage aired earlier by PLA channel 81 TV showed nearly two dozen DF-26B missiles and launchers, or at least two such missile brigades, as being combat ready,” the report noted. According to posts on Chinese social media platforms, one of the DF-26B brigades is reportedly stationed in the northeastern city of Dalian under the Northern Theater Command.

At least a dozen DF-26B missiles with launchers, as seen in the eight-part CCTV documentary series. Photo: CCTV
At least a dozen DF-26B missiles with launchers, as seen in the eight-part CCTV documentary series. Photo: CCTV

The report further highlighted that China has also established new missile brigades stationed in its eastern and southern theater commands, which are responsible for the security of the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, respectively.

The CCTV series’ opening episode, Forging Heroes to Revival, which consists of eight parts, also featured demonstrations of the DF-15 and DF-16 short-range ballistic missiles.

These were part of the massive live-fire military drill that the PLA staged around Taiwan on August 4. This was in response to a significant rise in tensions brought on by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei.

China views self-governing Taiwan as a province that would one day fall under its sovereignty. The “reunification” of China with Taiwan “must be fulfilled,” according to President Xi Jinping, who hasn’t ruled out the possibility of using force to accomplish the goal.

On the other hand, Taiwan considers itself separate from the Chinese mainland since it has a different constitution and democratically elected officials. The US president has previously stated that the country will support Taiwan against any PLA attack.