Definitely Not Mission Creep In A Not War

There’s nothing to see here, move along, it’s all just part of enforcing the U.N. mandated humanitarian no fly zone to, ahem, protect civilians. It’s definitely not ramping up NATO offensive military operations in support of one side in a civil war.

Liam Fox denies Apache strikes are a change of tactics

The Apaches hit targets near the Libyan town of Brega during the latest wave of Nato strikes against forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the MoD said.

The Defence Secretary, epeaking at a security forum in Singapore, said that the use of British Apache attack helicopters in Libya was a logical continuation of the Nato-led military operation against Muanmar Gaddafi’s forces and did not mean that fighter jet attacks had failed.

“It’s not plan B at all,” said Dr Fox.

“The use of the attack helicopters is a logical extension of we have already been doing. We already have fast jets in action, this gives us a chance to target new targets in a way we weren’t able to do.

See also:
NATO uses attack helicopters for first time in Libya air assault
British, French helicopters strike Gadhafi troops
U.K., French helicopters strike Qaddafi troops
NATO Attack Helicopters Strike Libya Targets for First Time
NATO helicopters hit targets in Libya
Combat helicopters enter Libya fray
British, French helicopters strike Gadhafi troops
Army Apache helicopters launch first British helicopter strikes in Libya against Gaddafi’s forces
British Apache helicopters strike Gaddafi’s forces for first time
Night strikes by French Tigre helicopters
NATO launches helicopter strikes in Libya

So now NATO is using attack helicopters, where the hell in U.N. Resolution 1973 is that authorized? The current NATO operations are now way beyond what was ever intended or mandated by the original, authorized, humanitarian U.N. mission. Seriously, can ground troops be far behind the attack helicopters?

/just how kinetic does a humanitarian kinetic military action have to get before one may dare call it direct, offensive, one sided, military intervention in a civil war?

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Hey Obama, Thanks For The Naval Escort!

This is nationally embarrassing, can someone please check Michelle’s purse for her husband’s balls?

US will not use force to inspect NKorean ship

The United States will not use force to inspect a North Korean ship suspected of carrying banned goods, an American official was quoted as saying Friday.

An American destroyer has been shadowing the North Korean freighter sailing off China’s coast, possibly on its way to Myanmar.

Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy met with South Korean officials in Seoul on Friday as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing a U.N. sanctions resolution aimed at punishing Pyongyang for its second nuclear test last month. The North Korean-flagged ship, Kang Nam 1, is the first to be tracked under the U.N. resolution.

North Korea has in response escalated threats of war, with a slew of harsh rhetoric including warnings that it would unleash a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” and “wipe out the (U.S.) aggressors” in the event of a conflict.

On Thursday, the communist regime organized a massive anti-American rally in Pyongyang where some 100,000 participants vowed to “crush” the U.S. One senior speaker told the crowd that the North will respond to any sanctions or U.S. provocations with “an annihilating blow.”

That was seen as a pointed threat in response to the American destroyer.

Flournoy said Friday that Washington has ruled the use military force to inspect the North Korean freighter.

“The U.N. resolution lays out a regime that has a very clear set of steps,” Flournoy said, according to the Yonhap news agency. “I want to be very clear … This is not a resolution that sponsors, that authorizes use of force for interdiction.”

Flournoy said the U.S. still has “incentives and disincentives that will get North Korea to change course.”

“Everything remains on the table, but we’re focused on implementing the resolution fully, responsibly and with our international partners,” she said.

Flournoy’s trip came as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing the U.N. sanctions.

It is not clear what was on board the North Korean freighter, but officials have mentioned artillery and other conventional weaponry. One intelligence expert suspected missiles.

The U.S. and its allies have made no decision on whether to request inspection of the ship, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday in Washington, but North Korea has said it would consider any interception an act of war.

If permission for inspection is refused, the ship must dock at a port of its choosing, so local authorities can check its cargo. Vessels suspected of carrying banned goods must not be offered bunkering services at port, such as fuel, the resolution says.

A senior U.S. defense official said the ship had cleared the Taiwan Strait. He said he didn’t know whether or when the Kang Nam may need to stop in some port to refuel, but that the ship has in the past stopped in Hong Kong’s port.

To recap, we’ve had one U.S. destroyer or another shadowing the Kang Nam for more than a week now, ever since it left North Korea. We’re almost positive she’s carrying banned weapons or technology but we refuse to board her and find out because, the U.N. resolution says we can’t, China says no, and we’re scared to death that North Korea might retaliate.

In fact, our entire strategy is that we’re hoping that the Kang Nam has to stop to refuel in a port that will enforce the U.N. sanctions and inspect her cargo. Gee, don’t you think the North Koreans already know this and have factored it in, what if the Kang Nam doesn’t have to stop to refuel? There might be a reason she’s proceeding along at 10 knots, to conserve fuel, or maybe she has extra fuel aboard. And what if the Kang Nam does pull into, let’s say, Singapore, where she will be searched, might not the North Koreans respond in the same manner as if the United States had boarded her at sea? One thing’s for damn sure, if the Kang Nam makes Myanmar without having to refuel, there isn’t going to be any inspection of her cargo as per the U.N. sanctions.

Likely Destination of N Korean Ship Often Used for Weapons Deliveries

The Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT), believed to be the destination of the Kang Nam 1, a North Korean cargo ship being tracked by the US Navy, has often been used for deliveries of weapons, according to sources at the facility.

The Kang Nam 1, which left a North Korean port on June 17, is believed to be carrying weapons, missile parts or possibly even nuclear materials.

“There are two reasons to use Thilawa,” said an MITT operator. “First, it is not too close to Rangoon, and second, it is easy to increase security here so people don’t know what is being unloaded.”

The international multi-purpose container port, Burma’s largest deep sea port, is located about 30 km south of Rangoon.

According to other MITT employees, the facility has often been used for deliveries of weapons since it was built in the mid-1990s.

“Cargo ships carrying many kinds of weapons from Russia, China, North Korea and the Ukraine have docked at Thilawa,” said an MITT worker.

Normally, the source explained, the ships are offloaded around midnight to avoid attracting attention. Then, around 2 a.m., convoys of trucks deliver the weapons to a military depot at Intaing, about 25 km north of Rangoon.

“When cargo ships carrying military equipment dock at the port, naval personnel based near Thilawa take over port security and coordinate the unloading of the ships,” he said. “No unauthorized personnel are allowed near the port when cargo ships carrying weapons dock here.”

On Wednesday, officials from the Myanmar Port Authority, which operates under the Ministry of Transport, met with the Thilawa port authorities. It is believed that the meeting was related to the imminent arrival of the Kang Nam 1.

See also:
Whither the Kang Nam, North Korea’s suspect cargo ship?
Why Burma May Be North Korea’s Best Friend
Burma denies link to N Korea ship
Suspect North Korean Ship Has Been Detained Several Times for Maritime Violations
US needs to be able to search NKorea ships: Top lawmaker
Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

C’mon President Obama, grow a pair, we’re still technically at war with North Korea already, are you going to let them intimidate us at will too?

/unless we let our attendant destroyer board and search the Kang Nam, she’ll make Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa, we’ll never find out what her cargo was, and North Korea will just be that much more emboldened to push the envelope further

Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

Just how much does Kim Jong-il have to taunt and torment us before we say enough is enough and obliterate the North Korean regional and world menace once and for all? Is there anything we won’t let them get away with, a line somewhere we’ll defend that they haven’t already crossed yet? After recently sentencing two U.S. journalists to 12 years hard labor, how much more in our face does North Korea have to get before we do something about it? What else does Kim Jong-il have to do before we finally push back, provide the fireworks for our Independence Day?

Japan warns that North Korea may fire missile at U.S. on Independence Day

North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.

Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii’s main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea.

Details of the launch came from the Japan’s best-selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun.
Both Japanese intelligence and U.S. reconnaissance satellites have collated information pointing to the launch, according to the report.

It is understood the communist state is likely to fire the missile between July 4 and 8. A launch on July 4 would coincide with Independence Day in the States.It would also be the 15th anniversary of North Korean president Kim Il-Sung’s death.

The Japanese newspaper also noted that North Korea had fired its first Taepodong-2 missile on July 4, 2006.

See also:
Report: NKorea may fire missile toward Hawaii
Report: N. Korea May Fire ICBM Toward Hawaii
Pentagon: North Korea Missiles Threaten US Homeland
Gates: Missile interceptors on way to Hawaii ahead of North Korea test
U.S. boosts missile defense amid reports of planned N. Korea test

Oh boy, we’re moving missile interceptors to Hawaii, just like we have for every North Korean missile launch so far. Will we intercept their missile? Probably not, we haven’t so far. Hey, I know, since we know exactly where their missile is, sitting on a launch pad, why don’t we really send a message to stop launching missiles and destroy it on the ground with a cruise missile strike, or would that be too provocative? God knows we wouldn’t want to upset Kim Jong-il.

Gee, looky here, after telling North Korea umpteen times that they’re not supposed to be proliferating weapons of mass destruction, they’re at it again. Why won’t they listen to us, aren’t they scared of what we might do in response? Apparently not.

U.S. Military Tracking North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes

The U.S. military is tracking a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The ship, Kang Nam, left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials.

“It is believed to be ‘of interest,'” a senior U.S. official told FOX News.

This is the first suspected “proliferator” that the U.S. and its allies have tracked from North Korea since the United Nations authorized the world’s navies to enforce compliance with a variety of U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test.

The ship is currently along the coast of China and being monitored around-the-clock by air.

The apparent violation raises the question of how the United States and its allies will respond, particularly since the U.N. resolution does not have a lot of teeth to it.

The resolution would not allow the United States to board the ship forcibly. Rather, U.S. military would have to request permission to board — a request North Korea is unlikely to grant.

See also:
U.S. Navy tracks North Korean ship
Navy monitoring North Korean ship: U.S. officials
Navy monitoring North Korean ship: U.S. officials
N. Korean ship under U.S. watch
Source: Military watching suspicious NKorea ship
Navy Pursues N. Korea Ship; Tensions Rise
N.K.: Searching ships would be ‘act of war’

Well, it would be rude of us to board North Korea’s ship, probably carrying a cargo of WMD, without North Korea’s permission. Besides, the U.N. sanctions resolution, that we argued over for two weeks, doesn’t allow us to board North Korean ships anyway. So, I guess we’ll just follow it instead. I have another idea. where are the SEALs? You know, it’d be a real shame if the Kang Nam were to take on water and sink under mysterious circumstances.

And how does Kim Jong-il pay for all his nefarious activities that irritate us so and yet we do nothing about? He robs and scams us blind!

Warning: Counterfeit dollars from N. Korea

The Treasury Department warned U.S. financial institutions Thursday that the North Korean government may resort to “deceptive financial practices” to get around economic sanctions.

The advisory from the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network comes as the Obama Administration steps up its efforts to prevent North Korea from furthering its nuclear weapons program.

The government said it remains concerned about “high-quality” counterfeit U.S. currency being passed from North Korea and urged banks to scrutinize attempts by North Korean customers to make large cash transactions.

Banks should be wary of attempts to suppress the identity or origin of transactions made by North Korean clients, the advisory said. Money transfers made via third parties, and repeated transfers that appear to have “no legitimate purpose” should also raise red flags.

Global Insurance Fraud By North Korea Outlined

For Kim Jong Il’s birthday, North Korean insurance managers prepared a special gift.

In Singapore, they stuffed $20 million in cash into two heavy-duty bags and sent them, via Beijing, to their leader in Pyongyang, said Kim Kwang Jin, who worked as a manager for Korea National Insurance Corp., a state-owned monopoly.

Kim said he helped arrange the shipment and watched in February 2003 as the cash was packed. After the money arrived, Kim Jong Il sent a letter of thanks to the managers and arranged for some of them to receive gifts that included oranges, apples, DVD players and blankets, Kim said.

“It was a great celebration,” he said.

The $20 million birthday present and the gratitude of its recipient, who is known as the Dear Leader, were annual highlights of a sophisticated global insurance fraud that North Korea has concocted to provide its communist leadership with hard currency, said Kim, who spent five years as an executive of the state insurance company in Pyongyang and worked for a year at its banking subsidiary in Singapore before defecting to South Korea.

“This money helps keep Kim Jong Il in power at a time he is engaged in nuclear brinksmanship,” said David L. Asher, who supervised a State Department unit that attempted to track various illegal activities by North Korea during the Bush administration. “This is the gift that keeps on giving. It has become one of the North’s largest illicit revenue generators.”

In interviews and court documents, Western insurers, U.S. officials and defectors such as Kim said the impoverished and isolated North Korean government has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the world’s largest insurance companies on large and suspicious claims for transportation accidents, factory fires, flood damage and other alleged disasters. Still, recent attempts by international insurers to overturn North Korea’s claims have failed in British courts.

For years, the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies around the world have documented what they describe as state-sponsored criminality in North Korea. They have linked the North to illegal manufacturing and trafficking of drugs ranging from heroin to Viagra, as well as to expert counterfeiting of $100 bills and the production of high-quality counterfeit cigarettes.

Much less has been disclosed about North Korea’s international insurance claims, in part because they have been cloaked in legal settlements by firms with no interest in highlighting their losses.

“The exact scale of the fraud is hard to determine . . . because the insurance industry has been so gullible,” Asher said. North Korean insurance fraud “was absolutely something I should have been looking into more when I was running the [State Department’s] illicit activities initiative,” he added.

See also:
US warns banks about North Korea
U.S. Treasury warns on North Korea cash transactions
US Treasury Advises Vigilance By Banks Over N Korea
N Korea Insurance Scam Funds Weapons, Enriches Kim -Report
North Korea in global insurance scam: report
North Korea accused of massive state-sponsored insurance fraud
N.Korea ‘Made Millions from Insurance Scam’

We know what they’re doing to scam us and we can’t stop them. How do I know? Because they’re still doing it. The laugh at us and just ramp up their belligerence knowing full well there will be no consequences for their international outlaw behavior. They know that all they have to do is threaten us or our allies in the region and we’ll back down and do absolutely nothing to reign them in.

N. Korea Warns U.S. of ‘Thousand-Fold’ Military Action

North Korea warned Wednesday of a “thousand-fold” military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoked, the latest threat in a drumbeat of rhetoric in defense of its rogue nuclear program.

Japanese and South Korean news reports said North Korea is preparing an additional site for test-firing a long-range missile capable of striking the U.S.

The warning of a military strike, carried by the North’s state media, came hours after President Barack Obama declared North Korea a “grave threat” to the world, and pledged that recent U.N. sanctions on the communist regime will be aggressively enforced.

North Korea chemical weapons threaten region – report

North Korea has several thousand tons of chemical weapons it can mount on missiles that could be used on a rapid strike against the South, said a report released on Thursday by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

North Korea in recent weeks has raised tensions in North Asia, responsible for one-sixth of the global economy, with missile launches, threats to attack the South and a May 25 nuclear test that led to U.N. sanctions.

The report from the prestigious non-governmental organisation said the consensus view is the North’s army possess about 2,500-5,000 tons of chemical weapons that include mustard gas, sarin and other deadly nerve agents.

“If there is an escalation of conflict and if military hostilities break out, there is a risk that they could be used. In conventional terms, North Korea is weak and they feel they might have to resort to using those,” said Daniel Pinkston, the ICG’s representative on Seoul.

The North has been working on chemical weapons for decades and can deliver them through long-range artillery trained on the Seoul area — home to about half of South Korea’s 49 million people — and via missiles that could hit all of the country.

“The stockpile does not appear to be increasing but is already sufficient to inflict massive civilian casualties on South Korea,” the ICG report said.

After decades of conditioning, North Korea has learned that the phrase “actions have consequences” doesn’t apply to them. They have steadfastly refused to negotiate or, when they have, they’ve broken every single agreement they’ve ever made. The only recourse left that will have any chance of changing their behavior is the use of force, in one form or another. How long will we let this oozing pus sac on the world’s ass continue to fester, hold us virtually hostage, and generally contaminate the concept of civilization?

/why are we not stomping North Korea’s guts out?