Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.”
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

China Horn’s Vertical Nuclear Expansion is Real

China’s Vertical Nuclear Expansion is Real

As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to flout international norms, the world is falling behind in terms of any meaningful effort to confront their calculated aggression. Some positive, yet incremental events have occurred recently: namely, the Biden Administration issuing two new rules limiting American companies from exporting chips and chipmaking equipment to China; providing anti-ship and air-to-air missiles in the recent arms sale to Taiwan; Congressional movement on the Taiwan Policy Act; Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s perfectly acceptable summer visit to Taiwan; and reportsshowing a deep decline in projected Chinese GDP for 2022.

However, Chinese military growth and combativeness remains unconstrained. They treat the South and East China Seas as if they were China’s exclusive economic zones. This is a clear affront to international law and norms, as well as a show of flagrant disrespect for various countries with true and legitimate rights to use of those waters. Further, they disrespect the free and democratic Taiwan in every way possible. Most concerning is the PRC’s modern and growing nuclear arsenal. More precisely, the significant vertical expansion (an increase in the number of nuclear warheads) of this arsenal in the hands of such a destabilizing force. It needs to be confronted post-haste.

As a threshold matter, the world needs less not more nuclear weapons, including the United States. What complicates this is that for the last 75+ years, and for the foreseeable future, nuclear weapons have been the single greatest deterrent when one nation-state considers aggression against another. Also, in order to maintain nuclear superiority in relation to the malign Russian Federation, any reduction in nuclear warheads must have a correlative modernization component to ensure a meaningful deterrence and effective response.

The United States nuclear triad is old and in need of modernization, whereas an ideal arsenal would become lean, safer, and with greater durability and more lethality. This is exactly what the PRC is doing to their arsenal without regard to its impact on global stability and the proliferation interests of other nation-states. And while they are developing and building modern air, land, and sea capabilities, China’s vertical expansion should be the overriding concern rather than assessments and warnings focusing primarily on launch capability.   

By public accounts, the PRC had approximately 240 nuclear warheads in 2010. Today, that number is around 350. By 2030, conservative public projections have that number around 1000. According to the most recent Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community:

Beijing will continue the largest ever nuclear force expansion and arsenal diversification in its history. Beijing is not interested in agreements that restrict its plans and will not agree to negotiations that lock in U.S. or Russian advantages. China is building a larger and increasingly capable nuclear missile and bomber force that is more survivable, more diverse, and on higher alert than in the past, including nuclear missile systems designed to manage regional escalation and ensure an intercontinental strike capability in any scenario.  

The unclassified report describes Chinese nuclear program improvements, such as: building hundreds of new intercontinental ballistic missile silos; operationally fielding the nuclear capable H-6N bomber, providing a fixed wing platform for the PRC’s nuclear triad; and, most concerning, the flight test of a hypersonic glide vehicle flight test that circled the globe before landing inside China.

A world with more nuclear weapons, especially in the hands of a brutal communist regime (cue treatment of Uighur population and pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong) does not bode well for global peace and security. China continues to contravene international arms control regimes, non-proliferation agreements, and disarmament commitments as highlighted by the U.S. State Department earlier this year:

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has failed to adhere to its November 2000 commitment to the United States not to assist “in any way, any country in the development of ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Concerns remain about the PRC’s lack of transparency regarding the nature of its testing activities and its adherence to its testing moratorium, which the PRC declared in 1996, judged against the “zero-yield” standard.

During the Trump administration, great effort was made to bring the PRC to the negotiating table along with the Russian Federation with the legitimate aim of reducing nuclear proliferation and warhead production. Officials from the Cabinet on down to the operational levels engaged with the PRC directly and indirectly to entice, pressure, and cajole Beijing to discuss nuclear proliferation. The PRC flat-out refused.

The average person might be confused by the concern of many in the national security profession regarding the PRC’s vertical nuclear expansion. After all, public reports assert that both the United States and the Russian Federation have anywhere from 10x to 20x the number of warheads as compared to the PRC. According to the Arms Control Association, the world’s other nuclear powers have between 40-300 warheads, a sufficient number for those with deterrence in mind. (This excludes North Korea who will continue to increase their numbers as Kim Jong-un redirects money from starving children to nuclear expansion with Beijing’s blessing). The concern is because China’s desire to dramatically increase their numbers is all about pride, perceived inadequacy, and reputational positioning. For the United States and the Russian Federation, the unnecessarily large numbers of nuclear warheads correlate with historic, not current, Cold War-era build-up.

Speaking of missiles, the PRC’s destabilizing activities were on full display before, during, and after Speaker Pelosi’s legitimate visit to Taiwan, when President Xi decided to lob at least four ballistic missiles over Taiwan and into their northeast and southwest waters, as well as Japan’s exclusive economic zone. In addition to these missile launches, the PRC flooded the surrounding waters with war ships and dozens of sorties using bombers, attack aircraft, and 5thgeneration fighters. Oh, and according to press reports, they apparently executed multiple cyber-attacks in coordination with the Russian Federation. What about this activity from an advancing nuclear power can we call normative behavior within the bounds of international order? Absolutely none.

In short, the broad expansion of their nuclear triad and significant increase in the number of nuclear warheads is a global dilemma. The PRC threatens its neighbors, is the world’s second largest economy, and has the planet’s largest active military ground force at 2M personnel. In a broad context having another nation-state arsenal growing toward Russian and American numbers, the North Korean testing and demonstration, and Iranian nuclear pursuits, genuinely threatens worldwide security and economic stability. Little by little the PRC escalates and the hostilities in Ukraine have shown the world what happens when tyrannical governments go unchecked. While we may think this broad nuclear expansion and aggression towards Taiwan is saber-rattling, the march to war is the time to attend to our values and decide what kind of future we want.

Countering Chinese nuclear vertical expansion is paramount and necessary, and the U.S. government and its allies must do more, today. While modernizing the United States nuclear arsenal is essential, so too is compelling China to discuss nuclear proliferation. It should continue to be an aim and interest to American policy makers. Whether through establishing mutually agreeable confidence building measures or, less likely, by sanctions regimes taking steps to counter the growth is warranted. There is bipartisan agreement on these issues and there is opportunity. Just last month, President Biden updated U.S. policy relating to defense of Taiwan making clear that America will defend the island against a Chinese invasion. This is something members of Congress from both political party’s support. The Administration and Congress can unite to improve American nuclear systems and contain Chinese nuclear growth.

The clock is ticking.David F. Lasseter is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering WMD, visiting fellow at the National Security Institute, and Founder of

Pakistani Horn may be ‘one of the most dangerous nations in the world’

Biden says Pakistan may be ‘one of the most dangerous nations in the world’

United States President Joe Biden said Pakistan may be “one of the most dangerous nations in the world” as the country has “nuclear weapons without any cohesion”, it emerged on Saturday.

He made the remarks while addressing a Democratic congressional campaign committee reception on Thursday.

A transcript of the address, published on the White House’s website, quoted Biden as saying: “… And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion.”

The US president’s remarks were made in the context of the changing geopolitical situation globally.

He said the world was changing rapidly and countries were rethinking their alliances. “And the truth of the matter is — I genuinely believe this — that the world is looking to us. Not a joke. Even our enemies are looking to us to figure out how we figure this out, what we do.”

There was a lot at stake, Biden said, emphasising that the US had the capacity to lead the world to a place it had never been before.

“Did any of you ever think you’d have a Russian leader, since the Cuban Missile Crisis, threatening the use of tactical nuclear weapons that would — could only kill three, four thousand people and be limited to make a point?

“Did anybody think we’d be in a situation where China is trying to figure out its role relative to Russia and relative to India and relative to Pakistan?”

Talking about his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the US president termed him as a man who knew what he wanted but had an “enormous” array of problems.

“How do we handle that? How do we handle that relative to what’s going on in Russia? And what I think is maybe one of the most dangerous nations in the world: Pakistan. Nuclear weapons without any cohesion,” Biden said.

A day later on Friday, US Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned about Biden’s comments to which she said that the US president viewed a “secure and prosperous” Pakistan as “critical” to its interests.

She added that there was “nothing new” to his remarks as he had made similar comments before too.

“But, you know, again, he believes in a secure and prosperous Pakistan, and so he believes that’s important to our own interests here in the US,” she reiterated. has reached out to the Foreign Office for comment.

‘Responsible nuclear state’

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in whose administration Pakistan became an atomic power, also weighed in on the matter, saying Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state that is perfectly capable of safeguarding its national interest whilst respecting international law and practices.

“Our nuclear programme is in no way a threat to any country,” he said on Twitter. “Like all independent states, Pakistan reserves the right to protect its autonomy, sovereign statehood and territorial integrity.”

Meanwhile, leaders of the PTI, which has long claimed that the US was behind a regime-change operation against their ousted government, seized on Biden’s comments.

PTI chief Imran Khan said he had two questions regarding the US president’s statement. “On what info has Biden reached this unwarranted conclusion on our nuclear capability when, having been PM, I know we have one of the most secure nuclear command & control systems?

“Unlike the US which has been involved in wars across the world, when has Pakistan shown aggression esp post-nuclearisation,” he asked.

The ex-premier claimed that Biden’s statement showed the “total failure of the imported government’s foreign policy and its claims of a reset of relations with the US”.

“Is this the ‘reset’? This government has broken all records for incompetence,” Imran tweeted, adding that he feared the incumbent government would end up compromising national security

Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari demanded an apology from the US president for his “nasty remarks”.

“A nuclear US is a threat to the world because you have no control over your nukes. B52 bomber takes off with six live nukes in 2007 and no one knows for hours,” she tweeted.

Mazari went on to allege that the US was an “irresponsible superpower with nukes”. “Your proclivity to interfere globally with regime change agendas alongside militarising the oceans. Custodial torture in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram. Even your own people are not safe with gunmen going on killing sprees. Have some shame, Biden.”

In another tweet, the PTI leader also called out the Pakistan Army and “imported government” for choosing to stay silent on “Biden’s tirade”.

PTI general Secretary Asad Umar said that countries in glass houses should think before throwing stones at others.

“Nuclear country without cohesion? Is Biden referring to the US? After all his party is going after Donald Trump for trying to subvert the constitution and steal the last presidential election,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, ex-minister Fawad Chaudhry demanded that Biden should immediately retract his statement, asserting that Pakistan’s leadership may be weak but its people were not.

At a press conference in the afternoon, Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir rejected Biden’s statement, calling it “baseless”.

“International agencies have — not once, but several times — verified Pakistan’s atomic deterrence and said that our command and control system is secure. It has all the protection that is required,” he said.

Former Pakistan ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said that Biden’s statement was “totally gratuitous and unjustified”, adding that the US president needed to be briefed by his officials. “He seems ignorant about the safety/security of Pakistan’s nukes.”

Earlier this week, it emerged that Pakistan, once a key US ally, was not even mentioned in the US National Security Strategy 2022, which identified China as “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge”.

The 48-page document does mention terrorism and other geo-strategic threats in the South and Central Asian region, but unlike the recent past, it does not name Pakistan as an ally needed to tackle those threats. Pakistan was also absent from the 2021 strategy paper.

In Washington, the omission is seen as reflecting a mutual desire to build a separate US relationship with Pakistan. Islamabad has long complained that the United States views Pakistan only as a tool to counter threats from Afghanistan and other nations.

In recent statements, both US and Pakistani officials emphasised the need to de-link Pakistan from both Afghanistan and India and give it the separate identity it deserves as a nuclear state of more than 220 million people.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price had said on Tuesday that the country “value[s] our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan”, adding that there were a number of areas where interests aligned.

Hamas mourns two Palestinian killed by Israeli occupation outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas mourns two Palestinian killed by Israeli occupation in West Bank

The continued aggression against the Palestinian people will neither provide the Israeli occupation with an alleged sense of security nor will it give Israeli settlers stability or legitimise their colonisation of the Palestinian territories.

The blood of the Palestinian martyrs and wounded will fuel a long-standing intifada to defend Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

We hail all Palestinian freedom fighters who have come together to stand up for Israeli occupation forces.

We also salute the residents of Jenin and across historic Palestine who are defending themselves and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We call on them to continue resisting the occupation with all means possible until they regain their rights to freedom and return.

Antichrist’s Sadrist movement says will not take part in the next government

Iraq’s Sadrist movement says will not take part in the next government: Report

15 October ,2022: 02:15 PM GST

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement on Saturday announced its refusal to join a new government being formed by prime minister-designate Mohammad Shia al-Sudani.

The announcement came two days after lawmakers elected Abdul Latif Rashid as Iraq’s new president, and he swiftly named Sudani as prime minister in a bid to end a year of political gridlock since October 2021 elections.

“We stress our firm and clear refusal for any of our affiliates to participate… in this government formation,” Mohammed Saleh al-Iraqi, a close associate of al-Sadr, said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The 52-year-old Shia former minister Sudani has the backing of al-Sadr’s Iran-backed rivals, the Coordination Framework, which controls 138 out of 329 seats in the Iraqi legislature.

In June, al-Sadr had ordered the 73 lawmakers in his bloc to resign, leaving parliament in the hands of the Framework, which includes representatives of the former paramilitary Hashed al-Shaabi.

In his statement Saturday, Iraqi charged that the upcoming government has a “clear subordination to militias” and would “not meet the (Iraqi) people’s aspirations.”

He said the Sadrist movement refused to take part in any government led by Sudani “or any other candidate from among the old faces or those affiliated with the corrupt.”

“Anyone who joins their ministries does not represent us… rather, we disavow them,” Iraqi said.

Snap elections were held last year following nationwide protests that erupted in October 2019 to decry endemic corruption, decaying infrastructure and the absence of services and jobs for youth.

Al-Sadr, who has the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of his supporters with a single tweet, has repeatedly demanded early elections, while the Coordination Framework wants a new government in place before any polls are held.

Tensions between the two rival Shia camps boiled over on August 29 when more than 30 al-Sadr supporters were killed in clashes with Iran-backed factions and the army in Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses government buildings and diplomatic missions.

N Korea inflames the S Korean Horn: Daniel 7

A TV screen shows an image of North Korea’s missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised tests of long-range cruise missiles, which he described as a successful demonstration of his military’s…   (Associated Press)

N Korea fires missile and shells, further inflaming tensions | Newser

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea early Friday fired a ballistic missile and 170 rounds of artillery shells toward the sea and flew warplanes near the tense border with South Korea, further raising animosities triggered by the North’s recent barrage of weapons tests.

The North Korean moves suggest it is reviving an old playbook of stoking fears of war with provocative weapons tests before it seeks to win greater concessions from its rivals.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement the short-range missile lifted off from the North’s capital region at 1:49 a.m. Friday (1649 GMT Thursday; 12:49 p.m. EDT Thursday) and flew toward its eastern waters.

It was North Korea’s 15th missile launch since it resumed its testing activities on Sept. 25. North Korea said Monday its recent missile tests were simulations of nuclear strikes on South Korean and U.S. targets in response to their “dangerous” military exercises involving a U.S. aircraft carrier.

After the latest missile test, North Korea fired 130 rounds of shells off its west coast and 40 rounds off its east coast. The shells fell inside maritime buffer zones the two Koreas established under a 2018 inter-Korean agreement on reducing tensions, South Korea’s military said. 

Observers said it was North Korea’s third and most direct violation of the 2018 agreement, which created buffer zones and no-fly areas along their land and sea boundaries to prevent accidental clashes. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it sent North Korea a message asking it not to violate the agreement again.

North Korea separately flew warplanes, presumably 10 aircraft, near the rivals’ border late Thursday and early Friday, prompting South Korea to scramble fighter jets. There were no reports of clashes between the two countries. It was reportedly the first time that North Korean military aircraft have flown that close to the border since 2017.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said North Korea’s provocations are becoming “indiscriminative’” but that his country has massive retaliation capabilities that can deter actual North Korean assaults to some extent.

“The decision to attack can’t be made without a willingness to risk a brutal outcome,” Yoon told reporters. “The massive punishment and retaliation strategy, which is the final step of our three-axis strategy, would be a considerable psychological and social deterrence (for the North).”

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Friday it imposed sanctions on 15 North Korean individuals and 16 organizations suspected of involvement in illicit activities to finance North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. They were Seoul’s first unilateral sanctions on North Korea in five years, but observers say they are largely a symbolic step because the two Koreas have little financial dealings between them.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters he supports South Korea’s decision to impose the sanctions. 

Most of the North’s recent weapons tests were ballistic missile launches that are banned by U.N. Security Council resolutions. But the North hasn’t been slapped with fresh sanctions thanks to a divide at the U.N. over U.S. disputes with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and with China over their strategic competition.

The missile launched Friday traveled 650-700 kilometers (403-434 miles) at a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers (30 miles) before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to South Korea and Japanese assessments.

“Whatever the intentions are, North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches are absolutely impermissible and we cannot overlook its substantial advancement of missile technology,” Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said. 

He said the missile flew on an “irregular” trajectory — a possible reference to describe the North’s highly maneuverable KN-23 weapon modeled on Russia’s Iskander missile. 

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan remains “ironclad.”

Other North Korean tests in recent weeks included a new intermediate-range missile that flew over Japan and demonstrated a potential range to reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam; a ballistic missile fired from an inland reservoir, a first for the country; and long-range cruise missiles.

After Wednesday’s cruise missile launches, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the tests successfully demonstrated his military’s expanding nuclear strike capabilities. He said his nuclear forces were fully prepared for “actual war to bring enemies under their control at a blow” and vowed to expand the operational realm of his nuclear armed forces, according to North Korea’s state media.

Some observers had predicted North Korea would likely temporarily pause its testing activities this week in consideration of its ally China, which is set to begin a major political conference Sunday to give President Xi Jinping a third five-year term as party leader. 

North Korea’s ongoing testing spree is reminiscent of its 2017 torrid run of missile and nuclear tests that prompted Kim and then U.S.-President Donald Trump to exchange threats of total destruction. Kim later abruptly entered high-stakes nuclear diplomacy with Trump in 2018 but their negotiations fell apart a year later due to wrangling over how much sanctions relief Kim should be provided in return for a partial surrender of his nuclear capability.

Kim has repeatedly said he has no intentions of resuming the nuclear diplomacy. But some experts say he would eventually want to win international recognition of his country as a nuclear state and hold arms control talks with the United State to wrest extensive sanctions relief and other concessions in return for partial denuclearization steps.

The urgency of North Korea’s nuclear program has grown since it passed a new law last month authorizing the preemptive use of nuclear weapons over a broad range of scenarios, including non-war situations when it may perceive its leadership as under threat. 

Most of the recent North Korean tests were of short-range nuclear-capable missiles targeting South Korea. Some analysts say North Korea’s possible upcoming nuclear test, the first of in five years, would be related to efforts to manufacture battlefield tactical warheads to be placed on such short-range missiles.

These developments sparked security jitters in South Korea, with some politicians and scholars renewing their calls for the U.S. to redeploy its tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea as deterrence against intensifying North Korean nuclear threats

North Korea’s military early Friday said it took unspecified “strong military countermeasures” in response to South Korea’s artillery fire for about 10 hours near the border on Thursday. South Korea’s military later confirmed it conducted artillery training at a frontline area but said its drills didn’t violate the conditions of the 2018 agreement. 

Maj. Gen. Kang Ho Pil of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a televised statement that South Korea issued “a stern warning to (North Korea) to immediately halt” its weapons tests. He said South Korea has the ability to deliver an “overwhelming response” to any North Korean provocations.

South Korea’s military said it will begin an annual 12-day field training next Monday to hone its operational capabilities under various scenarios for North Korean provocations. It said an unspecified number of U.S. troops plan to take part in this year’s drills.


Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed.

Russia warns us of the Bowls of Wrath: Revelation 16

NATO leaders
Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin are among the top defence officials attending a NATO meeting in Brussels on October 13, 2022 [Yves Herman/Reuters]

As NATO holds more nuclear talks, Russia warns of World War III

While NATO leaders discuss nuclear preparedness during a closed-door meeting, Moscow warns against Western involvement.

Published On 13 Oct 202213 Oct 2022

The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to defend “every inch” of NATO territory as closed-door discussions by the alliance’s Nuclear Planning Group got under way in Brussels.

As members on Thursday pressed ahead with plans to hold a nuclear exercise, Russia bristled and issued warnings should Ukraine ever join NATO.

What you need to know about the Russia-Ukraine war

“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War III,” deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Alexander Venediktov, told the state TASS news agency. “The suicidal nature of such a step is understood by NATO members themselves.”

During Thursday’s talks, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said, “We are committed to defending every inch of NATO’s territory – if and when it comes to that.”

He also announced the latest weapons and air defence systems Washington will provide Ukraine to help aid its war effort.

Fabrice Pothier, head of the political consultancy firm Rasmussen Global, told Al Jazeera that NATO members were attempting to balance their support for Ukraine without worsening an already fragile situation.

“[What they] are trying to get right is responding and pushing back [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s escalation, be it political or military, at the same time not setting off a chain of events that could lead to even worse escalation,” he said. “It’s about being smart about the kind of response that can help corner Putin into his own failure and defeat without triggering the worst response.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels [Yves Herman/Reuters]

Thursday’s schedule at NATO headquarters includes discussions on how to give a clear signal to industry to ramp up arms production both for internal needs and Ukraine’s defence.

The meeting is being held as global fears of nuclear warfare simmer after Putin’s thinly veiled threats about a nuclear attack and as Russian bombs increasingly pound Ukraine.

On Wednesday, an unnamed senior NATO official told Reuters that a nuclear strike would “almost certainly be drawing a physical response from many allies and potentially from NATO itself”. The official did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said NATO’s nuclear preparedness exercise, planned for next week, “is all about readiness.”

“NATO’s meeting is all about making sure we are ready for anything,” he said. “I mean, that is the job of this alliance – to make sure that the 30 partners together are ready for what is thrown at us. And we have to continue to work at that.”

During the annual exercise, called Steadfast Noon, NATO air forces will practise how to use US nuclear bombs based in Europe by conducting training flights without live weapons.