North Korea says that U.S. has declared war on their country

The Dance of the Loons proceeds as two leaders do the fandango, but if one of them slips there will be hell to pay. And so several sources, including the BBC, report this late-breaking news: North Korea says that the U.S. has declared war on it. To wit (my emphasis):

North Korea’s foreign minister has accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country.

Ri Yong-ho told reporters in New York that North Korea reserved the right to shoot down US bombers.

This applied even when they were not in North Korean airspace, the minister added. The world “should clearly remember” it was the US that first declared war, Mr Ri said.

The two sides have been engaged in an increasingly angry war of words.

Despite weeks of tension, experts have played down the risk of direct conflict between the two.

After Mr Ri addressed the United Nations on Saturday, the US president responded by tweeting that Mr Ri and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “won’t be around much longer” if they continued their rhetoric.

I’m still not worried, simply because I don’t think Kim Jong-un is suicidal. And for Trump, who has less to lose than the entire Korean peninsula, I’m confident his military advisors would strongly advise him against a first strike as being a crazy move that would kill millions of people, mostly civilians, to no real purpose except to bring down the North Korean regime (while killing many of its people, inflicting China with a huge political problem, and wiping out Seoul).  Still, one never knows. . . .


  1. enl
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Though his advisors may, for the most part, know that a first attack would be insane, we do have the control over the nuclear arsenal in the small, delicate hands of someone whose favourite line is “your fired”….

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      What would you give to be a fly on the wall at the Joint Chiefs water cooler? I really suspect that if Trump tried to start a nuclear war (absent an actual attack on the U.S. mainland) they and the sane politicians would immediately remove him under the 25th Amendment and clean up the political debris later.

      • Veroxitatis
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        I hop you’re right. Incidentally, is that why Generals Kelly and Mattis agreed that only one of them would be out of the country at any time? Gun to the head springs to mind!

      • Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        A former chairman of the joint chiefs was on MSNBC a few nights ago, and said if Trump ordered a nuclear attack on N.Korea it would be carried out, and if anyone tried to stop him they’d be arrested.

  2. GM
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I highly highly doubt the US will go to war against NK in the near future.

    Of course nobody cares about the fate of the people of NK, but the existence of NK in its current form is incredibly convenient as it provides an excuse to pile up battle ships, aircraft carriers and missiles in the region and to encircle both Russia and China. Notice what the parallel developments that have been happening on the other side of the Eurasian landmass and you will notice a trend.

    Merge NK with SK under the banner of the south, and that excuse is no longer there.

    Some saber rattling from time to time is useful to provide further justification for military presence in the region.

    If the US wanted NK gone, it would have eliminated it a very long time ago — the early 90s were a perfect opportunity to do that, for example.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      “…the early 90s were a perfect opportunity…”

      Not sure that’s true. Retrospectively, it might have been a less destructive (a very relative term) time for a shooting war, but it still would have destroyed the South, caused monstrous problems with China, and to a less clear purpose.

      It would be ironic if Douglas MacArthur was right.

      • GM
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Geopolitically it was the time to do it — the Soviets were in collapse, China was still weak, there would have been no opposition to it. The North was on its knees too, with the cessation of Soviet subsidies, the famine, floods, and everything else that hit, and it had no nukes yet

        • busterggi
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          China was as strong as it needed to be even then – several hundred million soldiers can be armed with pea-shooters and still be effective due to sheer numbers.

    • somer
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      I hope to goodness this does not escalate and Trump can be prevailed upon to shut up. As for GM’s remark that NK just provides a convenient excuse for US bases. Im not saying the west hasn’t done a lot of bad things but sadly humans do this kind of thing. And Putin IS a thug, though I think Merkel did the right thing averting confrontation in Ukraine with the Minsk agreement.

      Simon Sebag Montefiore on the grim reality behind the Death of Stalin

      China is buying up large slabs of Myanmar – a large part of the reason (along with Burmese bigotry) for the massive Rohingya outflow. Hill tribes are just quietly being killed.

  3. Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Is nuclear war in Asia the most effective way to push Mueller’s inexorable investigation off the rails? Won’t know till you try, I guess.

  4. Paul Monne
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    “I’m still not worried, simply because I don’t think Kim Jong-un is suicidal.”

    You also thought HRC would beat DJT…..would you like to bet again, double or quits????

    • barn owl
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Kim Jong-un doesn’t even have to be suicidal to start a major conflagration. He’ll be protected at all costs, perhaps even removed from the country for safety. The same is true for Trump to a certain extent. It would be great if we could lock the two of them in a concrete bunker and let them posture, stamp, snort, flip eyelids, swell necks, thump chests, and pee everywhere to their rotten little hearts’ content.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Ah, for the good old days of “single combat,” where these two tonsorially challenged doofuses could have it out mano-a-mano, and spare the rest of us innocents. 🙂

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    This is the danger posed by Trump’s brinkmanship with his John-Wayne-manqué tough-guy “fire and fury” threats against the DPRK. All it takes is one Gulf-of-Tonkin-style cock-up to trigger a nuclear holocaust at the cost of 75 million Korean lives.

  6. Randy schenck
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Trump’s actions regarding North Korea should be impeachable offenses. Failure to preserve America’s best interests or the interests of it’s allies is simply impeachable. No need to wait for Mueller and all the lawyers to figure it out. When you have this sort of juvenile behavior from the person in this office what else can you call it. It is no different than hiring a third grader to run the country and I am probably offending some very good third graders out there.

  7. Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    It is my understanding that, technically, the US and North Korea are in a state of war since the Korean war never formally ended.

    • GM
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      That is true, but it is also true that it wasn’t declared either.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        It was technically a conflict. Just as the Vietnam conflict was not a declared war. Our congress had abdicated it’s duties, it’s responsibility and simply let the President take us to the war and never declare it.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          Exactly right. We haven’t had a “declared” war (as provided for in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the US Constitution) since the days after Pearl Harbor (although, much like Oceania and Eastasia, we’ve pretty much been in continual war — hot or cold — with someone or the other ever since).

          • Randy schenck
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            The executive has the best of all worlds now. No need to get a declaration of war, do whatever you want. The congress is just a puppet. Then add to that, it is now an all voluntary military, no need to worry about drafting momma’s little boy or making any American citizen do anything they don’t want to do. And finally, no need to pay for any conflict because we just go further into debt. Easy Street.

            • busterggi
              Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

              Yep, where is the Republican congressional outrage about ‘executive overreach’ now?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but all North Koreans are taught to this day, and believe, that the war was declared by the US. That is what that quote in Jerry’s post is referring to. It’s not a new thing.

        As far as all NKs are concerned, the US declared war on North Korea and want nothing more than to break the cease fire. It is only their Dear Leader who protects them.

        • tomh
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Are they wrong? It sure looks like that’s what the US leader wants.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, it does now thanks to the idiot in the White House who isn’t capable of ignoring a bit if bluster. Trump created this situation.

  8. busterggi
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Donald has been threatening to nuke N. Korea for months – I’d call that an unwritten declaration of war.

  9. Veroxitatis
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    There is quite a lot of information to suggest that had LBJ been president in October 1962 he would have blinked first. So indeed, “one never knows”.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I believe you must be referring to the Cuban missile thing? If you are believing that Russia blinked first, that is just the story as Kennedy wanted all to believe. The real facts, not discovered until much later are: Krushev offered a deal and Kennedy accepted it. That deal was – we get our nuclear missiles out of Turkey and they get the missiles out of Cuba. In other words, the whole deal would likely not have happened if Kennedy had not put those missiles in Turkey.

      • Veroxitatis
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        I don’t disagree. I just doubt that LBJ would have had the patience to take matters to that point.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Well, there is no doubt that LBJ is the guy who took us to Vietnam but I would not let JFK totally off the hook either. They both were obsessed with the domino affect there and that was dead wrong. Kennedy also allowed the change in structure in Vietnam by his okay of the removal of Diem. By the way, LBJ was against that. Once Diem was dead the South was in the hands of corrupt military.

  10. Curt Nelson
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m worried that Trump will start something with N Korea to save himself from his legal problems.

  11. Hempenstein
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    If China summoned Kim to Beijing, would he go? Preferably during a rainy season, so everyone would have umbrellas. Thinking of a Georgi Markov scenario.

  12. Old_ones
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I wish DPRK would get a clue and shut the **** up. It takes talent to make Trump seem reasonable but fatboy Kim manages it. I would hate to see an actual war because of what it would mean for South Korea and Japan, but seeing that 4th rate garbage dump and its obnoxious leader get the taste smacked out of their mouths might be a minor silver lining.

  13. Tom Czarny
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    A dick-wagging contest between between a couple of microphalli, each holstering ICBM’s. What could go wrong?

  14. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    “North Korea reserved the right to shoot down US bombers.”

    I wonder how long it will be before they whack an airliner by mistake. The Russians have done it, the US Navy has done it.

    Three months ago I rebooked to avoid flying through Seoul (and as a result got totally lost in Changchun ‘International’ Airport – the ‘International’ was one flight to Hong Kong and one to Vladivostok). I’d certainly do that now.


    • Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I don’t know if it applies here, but an online associate of mine from years ago told me that “International” in the context of airports is a technical term. If he’s right, it means capable of handling the largest planes, so there are a *lot* of “rinky dink” international airports.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        That could be correct, though I didn’t notice any 747’s or A340’s – more like A320’s / 737’s. It appeared to be a busy regional airport in character. The “International” section was closed when I found it and only opened up for two flights, Hong Kong and mine.

        Also, nobody spoke any English at all. I managed by walking up to officials, pointing to “Vladivostok” on my boarding pass and following where they pointed.


        • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          Emergency only – if a 747 had to set down, it *could*, I think …

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            I was wrong on two counts. Wikipedia says it can accommodate 747’s (since 2011) and it is “one of the major international gateways in North-eastern China.”

            I must have caught it in a slack period (though the domestic traffic was huge).


  15. Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  16. Posted September 27, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    “North Korea’s foreign minister has accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country.”

    Of course Mr Trump will make war on North Korea if the US is threatened with a megaton bomb. Mr Chamberlain waited, Mr Roosevelt waited. But Mr Trump will not wait Until NK obliterates a million or more Americans with one missile.

    Did Mr Kim believe he could taunt a tiger and not get eaten?

    After Pearl Harbor Yamamoto is reputed to have said, I fear we have awakened a sleeping tiger.

    Seems that Mr Trump is taking deterrence seriously, before instead of after losing Seattle, San Francisco, or LA.

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