North Korea launches a new round of threats against the West after the U.N. imposes tougher sanctions

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 28, 2013

The government from North Korea promised “significant steps” towards strengthening its position in the world stage, reported the Asian news agency KCNA. The report suggested that the country’s leadership is poised to carry out a third nuclear test despite the opposition of the international community.

The statement comes after leaders of security and foreign affairs held a meeting that has hosted by North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Kim expressed “determination to take substantial and important government measures”, in view of the “grave situation” on the Korean peninsula.

The statement does not specify when the meeting took place or the nature of the actions that will be carried out, but Pyongyang said last Thursday that its military will perform and conduct more nuclear tests, including one with missiles that will point towards its “sworn enemy, the United States.”

The determination from the Asian country came after a late Tuesday U.N. Security Council meeting where the organization passed a new resolution condemning North Korea for the December release of a long-range missile, which, according Pyongyang, was only intended to put a satellite into space.

The North Korean regime accused the United States of leading the United Nations’ movements against the North and of pushing unprecedented “new sanctions that impede Pyongyang’s efforts to develop its economy. “This has proven once again that the (North) must defend its sovereignty by itself. It has become clear that there can’t be a Korean peninsula that is nuclear free before the world is nuclear free,” said North Korean state television.

The Security Council of the UN punished North Korea with new sanctions while ordering the nation not to conduct new nuclear tests.

The warning from Kim Jong-un on Sunday came a day after Pyongyang said that it plans a new nuclear test in response to the latest sanctions. These new sanctions increased the number of North Korean entities in an international blacklist.

The North Korean regime has also warned it will continue to develop rockets to counter what it sees as U.S. hostility. Washington says Pyongyang threatens their safety and that of the region, and this is the reason for the existence of its nuclear weapons program. The two countries fought in the Korean War (1950-1953). The conflict ended with an armistice, which never became a final peace treaty. The United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea at the moment as a pre-emptive step to curb the North’s appetite for conquest.

It is estimated that Pyongyang has enough plutonium ready to build four to eight nuclear bombs, according to the U.S. nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, who visited the nuclear facilities located northwest of Pyongyang in November 2010.

No one in the international community is sure whether North Korean scientists have been able to manufacture nuclear warheads small enough to put in a long-range ballistic missile. The nuclear tests and rocket launches are necessary to perfect the technique. South Korea says the North is all set logistically to conduct a nuclear test within days.

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Russia didn’t veto attack on Libya and now wants cease-fire

NationalJournal.com
March 22, 2011

In a stinging rebuke of U.S. policy in Libya, the Russian defense minister accused the U.S.-led coalition of killing Libyan civilians through errant air strikes and called for an immediate cease-fire on Tuesday. The comments drew a quick rebuke from visiting Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said the Russian criticism was based on “outright lies.”

Speaking to reporters following an hourlong meeting with Gates, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Russia continued to support the United Nations resolution authorizing the creation of a no-fly zone over Libya but made clear that Moscow was increasingly uneasy about the escalating campaign.

“Unfortunately, recent developments in the country demonstrate that it is experiencing real hostilities, destroying civilian facilities, and the killing of civilians,” Serdyukov said. “This shouldn’t have been let to happen and we informed our U.S. counterparts of our opposition.”

Gates, in his own remarks, said the coalition was going out of its way to avoid civilian deaths, noting that most of the strikes have targeted Libyan defensive systems located far away from major population centers. Gates also said he expected major combat operations over Libya to taper off markedly within the next few days; he is the first senior American official to put any sort of timetable on the ongoing offensive there.

Gates fired back at the Russians shortly after departing the Ministry of Defense. Speaking to reporters in his hotel overlooking the Kremlin, the American defense chief said he was taken aback by the ferocity of the Russian criticism of the ongoing American-led military operations.

“I’m a little curious, frankly, about the tone that has been taken,” Gates said. “It’s perfectly evident that the vast majority, if not nearly all, civilian casualties have been inflicted by Qaddafi… and it’s almost as though some people here are taking at face value Qaddafi’s claims about the number of civilian casualties, which as far as I’m concerned are just outright lies.”

Gates’s comments were an implicit rebuke to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who on Monday accused the U.S. of causing significant civilian casualties in Libya and likened the entire American-led operation there to a “crusade.”

That triggered an unusual public spat between Putin and his nominal ally and successor, President Dmitri Medvedev, about the country’s support for the U.S.-led military campaign against Libya. Medvedev fired back quickly, telling reporters was that Putin’s comments were “unacceptable.”

Russia had abstained in the U.N. Security Council vote that authorized members to take “all necessary measures,” including military force, to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by loyalists to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and enforce a no-fly zone.

American officials traveling with Gates said the two Russian leaders had probably been surprised by the scale and intensity of the allied bombing campaign inside Libya. But the U.S. officials said that, at least for the moment, they didn’t expect Russia to take steps aimed at bringing the conflict to a close.

Qaddafi-controlled media reported dozens of deaths by coalition airstrikes, while the U.S., France, and Britain reported Monday that they had no indications of civilian casualties.

“We have been very precise in our instructions to the air crews about what they may and may not do, and we are very, very conscious in… limiting civilian casualties,” said commander of the operation in Libya, Gen. Carter Ham, on Monday, adding that the missions to protect civilians will only be conducted with force “where we can safely without risk to other civilians and causing collateral damage.”

Coalition air forces from the U.S., France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and the United Kingdom flew missions to sustain the no-fly zone over Benghazi to protect civilians from attack by regime ground forces and to conduct further reconnaissance, Ham said.

Fake ‘slam dunk’ intelligence for War with Iran

Mysterious “Laptop Documents”. used to Justify a Pre-emptive Nuclear War on Iran

Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research

Photo: Hossein Fatemi

The UN Security Council on June 9 2010 adopted the imposition of a fourth round of sweeping sanctions against The Islamic Republic of Iran. UNSC Resolution 1929 includes an expanded arms embargo as well as “tougher financial controls”:

“[Resolution 1929 (June 9, 2010)] Decides that all States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Iran, from or through their territories or by their nationals or individuals subject to their jurisdiction, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems …. , decides further that all States shall prevent the provision to Iran by their nationals or from or through their territories of technical training, financial resources or services, advice, other services or assistance related to the supply, sale, transfer, provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of such arms and related material, and, in this context, calls upon all States to exercise vigilance and restraint over the supply, sale, transfer, provision, manufacture and use of all other arms and related material;” (Security Council Imposes Additional Sanctions on Iran, Voting 12 in Favour to 2 Against, with 1 Abstention, Includes complete text of UNSC Resolution 1929, UN News, June 9, 2010, emphasis added, )

Both the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China caved in to US pressures and voted in favor of UNSC Resolution 1929. In November, following a decree issued by president Dmitry Medvedev, Moscow announced the cancellation of its military cooperation agreement with Iran pertaining to the S300 air defense system.

Without Russian military aid, Iran is a “sitting duck”. Its air defense system depends on continued Russian military cooperation.

These developments strike at the very heart of the structure of military alliances. They prevent Russia and China to sell both strategic and conventional weapons and military technology to their de facto ally: Iran. In fact, that was one of major objectives of Resolution 1929, which Washington is intent upon enforcing.

Fake Intelligence

UNSC Resolution 1929 is based on a fundamental falsehood. It upholds the notion that Iran is an upcoming nuclear power and a threat to global security. It also provides a green light to the US-NATO-Israel military alliance to threaten Iran with a pre-emptive punitive nuclear attack, using the UN Security Council as  rubber stamp.

The US stance in the UN Security Council, has in part based on alleged intelligence documents which provide  “evidence” of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

In November 2005, the New York Times published a report by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger entitled “Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran’s Nuclear Aims”. Washington’s allegations, reported in the NYT  hinged upon documents “obtained from a stolen Iranian computer by an unknown source and given to US intelligence in 2004”. (See Gareth Porter, Exclusive Report: Evidence of Iran Nuclear Weapons Program May Be Fraudulent, Global Research, November 18, 2010, emphasis added).

These documents included “a series of drawings of a missile re-entry vehicle” which allegedly could accommodate an Iranian produced nuclear weapon.

“In mid-July, senior American intelligence officials called the leaders of the international atomic inspection agency to the top of a skyscraper overlooking the Danube in Vienna and unveiled the contents of what they said was a stolen Iranian laptop computer.

The Americans flashed on a screen and spread over a conference table selections from more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of experiments, saying they showed a long effort to design a nuclear warhead, according to a half-dozen European and American participants in the meeting.

The documents, the Americans acknowledged from the start, do not prove that Iran has an atomic bomb. They presented them as the strongest evidence yet that, despite Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is peaceful, the country is trying to develop a compact warhead to fit atop its Shahab missile, which can reach Israel and other countries in the Middle East.”(William J. Broad and David E. Sanger Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran’s Nuclear Aims – New York Times, November 13, 2005)

These “secret documents” were subsequently submitted by the US State Department to the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, with a view to demonstrating that Iran was developing a nuclear weapons program.

While their authenticity has been questioned on several occasions,  a recent article by investigative reporter Gareth Porter confirms unequivocally that the mysterious laptop documents are fake. The drawings contained in the documents do not pertain to the Shahab missile but to an obsolete North Korean missile system which was decommissioned by Iran in the mid-1990s.

How stupid! The drawings presented by US State Department officials pertained to the “Wrong Missile Warhead”:

In July 2005, … Robert Joseph, US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, made a formal presentation on the purported Iranian nuclear weapons program documents to the agency’s leading officials in Vienna. Joseph flashed excerpts from the documents on the screen, giving special attention to the series of technical drawings or “schematics” showing 18 different ways of fitting an unidentified payload into the re-entry vehicle or “warhead” of Iran’s medium-range ballistic missile, the Shahab-3.

When IAEA analysts were allowed to study the documents, however, they discovered that those schematics were based on a re-entry vehicle that the analysts knew had already been abandoned by the Iranian military in favor of a new, improved design. The warhead shown in the schematics had the familiar “dunce cap” shape of the original North Korean No Dong missile, which Iran had acquired in the mid-1990s. …

The laptop documents had depicted the wrong re-entry vehicle being redesigned. … (Gareth Porter, op cit )

Who was behind the production of fake intelligence? Gareth Porter’s suggests that Israel’s Mossad has been a source of  fake intelligence regarding Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program:

The origin of the laptop documents may never be proven conclusively, but the accumulated evidence points to Israel as the source. As early as 1995, the head of the Israel Defense Forces’ military intelligence research and assessment division, Yaakov Amidror, tried unsuccessfully to persuade his American counterparts that Iran was planning to “go nuclear.” By 2003-2004, Mossad’s reporting on the Iranian nuclear program was viewed by high-ranking CIA officials as an effort to pressure the Bush administration into considering military action against Iran’s nuclear sites, according to Israeli sources cited by a pro-Israeli news service.” (Ibid)

Lies and Fabrications to Justify a Military Agenda

The laptop documents were essential to sustaining America’s position in the UN Security Council.

We are dealing with a clear case of fake intelligence comparable to that presented by Colin Powell in February 2003 on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. The fake intelligence presented to the UN Security Council was used as a justification for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“The evidence, or lack thereof, speaks for itself. In the months leading up to the war in Iraq, the Bush administration produced hundreds of pages of intelligence for members of Congress and for the United Nations that showed how Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein possessed tons of chemical and biological weapons and was actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

The intelligence information, gathered by the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, a Department of Defense agency that gathers foreign military intelligence for the Pentagon, was used by the Bush administration to convince the public that Iraq posed a threat to the world.” (See Jason Leopold, Powell Denies Intelligence Failure In Buildup To War, But Evidence Doesn’t Hold Up, Global Research, 10 June 2003)

The US has once again used fake intelligence to build a justification to wage war.The position of the US in the UN Security Council falls flat. The important question is whether Russia and China will revise their stance in the United Nations Security Council pertaining to the Iran’s sanctions regime?

Will the US antiwar movement confront Washington’s plans to wage a pre-emptive nuclear war against Iran based on fake intelligence?