Growing Potential for War on the Korean Peninsula
August 12, 2017
Between August 8th and 11th, the following related Flash messages
were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:
8/11 – USGOV issues new travel warning for N. Korea. Restricts use of U.S. passports for travel into, in, or through N. Korea as of 9/1. See email for full info.
8/9 – SecDef Mattis warns N. Korea it faces devastation and “destruction of it’s people” if it does not end its pursuit of nuclear weapons. See email for full stmt.
8/8 – Per WH pool report, Pres. Trump warns DPRK: “Best not make any more threats to the U.S.. They will be met w/ fire and the fury like the world has never seen.”
What You Need To Know
On ten occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding security matters. Most pressing for this report, there has been a dramatic increase in tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The Trump administration is taking a hard line with North Korea in the face of repeated threats of attack on the U.S. and our allies. On Wednesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of a direct warning to N. Korea made by Secretary of Defense James Mattis which stated:
“The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.“
Analysis of commercial satellite imagery by the U.S. Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University suggests North Korea may be accelerating the development of the sea-based leg of its nuclear forces and that a new series of “at sea” test launches may be forthcoming.
Additionally, late Friday USGOV intelligence sources indicated North Korea has begun moving both Intercontinental and intermediate range ballistic missiles, suggesting the possibility of additional launches in the coming hours and days, a move likely to bring a stinging response from the international community.
AlertsUSA subscribers are urged to view this situation with balanced caution, but to be paying close attention. While it is impossible to predict the next actions to be taken by the N. Korean regime, what is very clear is the period of calm negotiation between bespoke, fine brandy swirling plenipotentiaries has drawn to a close.
When the cloudy historical and political narrative is removed, the world is now faced with the following realities:
- N. Korea now possesses miniaturized nuclear weapons.
- N. Korea now possesses the means to deliver those nuclear weapons.
- Now that N. Korea is in possession of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, it is highly likely their close ally, Iran, will also soon possess them.
- The N. Korean regime fully realizes that their survival is based on the continued development of this nuclear deterrent meaning they are highly unlikely to willingly end their program.
Given these realities, restraint and the quest for diplomatic solutions virtually assures continued proliferation into the hands of rogue nations and those private individuals and groups with deep enough pockets.
No Evacuation Recommendations… Yet
At the time of this report’s preparation late Friday, there have been no official recommendations issued by the State Department for American citizens to leave the Korean Peninsula. This past June, the Department of Defense carried out the first of two evacuation drills known as Focused Passage. Technically referred to as a noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO), Focused Passage was established to ensure that all DoD family members and non-emergency essential DOD Civilians and their families are prepared in case an evacuation order is issued. In addition to DoD related personnel, the drill and this evacuation means are available to U.S. embassy personnel, DoD retirees, as well as contractors and their families. Essentially, this means anyone with normal military base access, which does NOT include general civilians.
In Focused Passage, evacuees are identified, registered, and moved to evacuation nodes located in the southern coastal region. From there, they are ultimately flown to Japan by the U.S. Transportation Command and their ROK counterparts.
U.S. Civilians in S. Korea Should Be Prepared
It is important for readers to understand that this evacuation option is NOT intended for average American civilians in South Korea for private sector work, study, summers abroad, tourism, etc.. American civilians, like those of most other western nations, are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and have a means of evacuation in place when traveling abroad, and in particular, in dangerous or crisis-prone regions.
If you voluntarily choose to be on the Korean Peninsula during periods of tension, such as the present, you better have your act together because it is NOT the responsibility of the State Department or military to facilitate your departure.
“The assistance we provide depends upon the nature of the crisis. Regularly scheduled commercial flights or transportation are always the best option when local communications and transportation infrastructure are intact and operating normally, even if we have advised all U.S. citizens to leave. Our efforts are devoted to keeping the local U.S. citizen community informed of developments and travel options.”
“Expectations of rescue by helicopters, the U.S. military, and U.S. government-provided transportation with armed escorts reflect a Hollywood script more than reality. It is almost impossible for the U.S. government to provide in-country transportation service to individuals or specific groups during a foreign crisis. You should therefore heed State Department travel and safety information for the country you are traveling to or residing in, monitor local conditions, and have a plan of action in case of emergency.”
The State Department also encourages all U.S. citizens traveling abroad, especially those who plan to be overseas for a significant amount of time, to sign up with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It is important that you keep your contact information up-to-date so that the State Department can notify you or your designated emergency contact of developments and provide valuable information.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the situation on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the overall domestic and international threat environment, and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.
OTHER ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE
8/9 – US Embassy Paris warning Americans in France to maintain security awareness flwg vehicular attack on French soldiers in the Levallois-Perret suburb of Paris.
8/11 – Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula publishes teaser for next issue of Inspire Magazine calling for train derailment ops in the West. Monitoring for release.
8/10 – AlertsUSA monitoring rptd explosion in Denver, CO @ 28th and Dahlia. No injuries. Bomb squad on scene. Few details released. Add’l alerts as warranted.
8/9 – AlertsUSA monitoring response to possible active shooter at the Environmental Protection Agency building (1200 Penn) in Wash, D.C. Caution if in the area.
8/8 – Police fire on vehicle in Molenbeek, Belgium. Suspect claims there are explosives on board. Bomb squad en route. Area on lockdown. Add’l alerts as warranted.
8/7 – Widespread SMS outages are being reported nationwide impacting most major carriers. AlertsUSA suggests a close eye on email today as carriers work to resolve their issues.
8/5 – AlertsUSA monitoring early morning explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Ctr., Bloomington, MN. No injuries, cause unknown. Fed authorities on scene.
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World News Roundup
August 12, 2017
Other Developments We Are Following
Canada struggles with asylum seeker influx from US
NAFTA negotiations could mark end of era for Mexican exports
Mexican official says migration, security at stake in NAFTA talks
UK criticized over sales of military equipment to Venezuela
Here’s How the DoD Wants to Counter ISIS Drones and Roadside Bombs
Trump promises ‘billions’ more for missile defenses
The Navy’s First Female SEAL Officer Applicant Just Dropped Out
Why the Price of the F-35 Keeps Soaring
Trump declares US opioid pain drugs national emergency
US investigating after diplomats fall sick in Havana
Pentagon’s Silicon Valley unit helps target terrorists
Experts debate pros and cons of lethal arms for Ukraine
Number of migrants arriving in Italy from Libya falls by half in July
Spain migrant arrivals triple compared with 2016
German Defense Industry Gearing Up
Britain’s New Supercarrier Trains Alongside US Counterpart For First Time
Extreme heat decimating crops in parts of Europe
Russian ‘ISIS fanatic’ ‘plotted to crash a US plane by flying a DRONE into it’
French police arrest suspect after car ploughs into soldiers in Paris
Man ambushes French soldiers in car attack, later arrested
Paris attack: ‘Algerian-born’ suspect in Lille hospital
US drone strikes in Somalia target al-Shabaab fighters
Protesters storm Shell crude flow station in Nigeria’s Niger Delta
ISIS used eBay to funnel terror cash to US, feds say
Mothers exert most influence on foreign fighters to return home
U.S. to designate the IRGC, affiliates as terrorists
Yemen’s civil war turns country into cholera breeding ground
Trump says Iran not ‘living up to the spirit’ of nuclear deal
Israel to speed up Gaza tunnel barrier
Second India-China war in 2018? Here’s the war blueprint if it happens
US, Japanese troops begin joint military exercise amid North Korea threat
Any new Korean war could quickly escalate to catastrophe
US and S. Korea to stage huge military exercise despite North Korea crisis
Nations start to choose sides in event of North Korea war
Cambodia PM gives ultimatum to Laos over ‘border invasion’
US diplomacy is gaining results, says Mattis
China protests after US warship sails near island
Russia Boosts Air Defense in Far East Amid N Korea Nuclear Situation
As global reach grows, China builds military to match
On Afghanistan, Trump Is Right to Hesitate
Travel Security Update
The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.
Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings
Additional Sources of Travel Guidance
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.