On 10 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters. Most pressing for this report, on Thursday evening, AlertsUSA subscribers were some of the first in the nation to learn of a threat made by N. Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho stating that the country may conduct a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean in response to threats made by President Trump regarding N. Korea's continuous stream of provocative and highly dangerous actions.In the last three weeks alone these actions include numerous threats as a result of UN sanctions, an underground nuclear test on September 3rd, as well as two long-range missiles fired over Japan which ultimately impacted in the Pacific Ocean.
Earlier Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un issued a rare statement in his own name, lashing out at President Trump just hours after broad new sanctions were put in place in a bid to derail the North's nuclear and missile programs. In response to President Trump's speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Kim Jung-un stated that the country would respond with the "highest level of hard-line countermeasures in history."
Readers should not dismiss the seriousness of the increasingly tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. The dangers posed by N. Korea's missile launches alone (all unannounced) has resulted in numerous airlines, including Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines and Swiss Air, to change their flight routes to avoid crossing directly over the Sea of Japan amid growing concerns of an accidental strike. This concern is very real. After North Korea's second long-range missile test in July, it was revealed that Air France flight 293 from Tokyo to Paris had flown across the rocket's flight path just 10 minutes beforehand.
If the same reckless behavior is shown with an atmospheric detonation over the Pacific without appropriate international notification and planning, the effects could be disastrous, potentially knocking out the sensitive, unshielded electronics of aircraft over a broad area, not to mention that of maritime traffic and potentially even satellites in low-Earth orbit.
According to the Comprehensive (Nuclear) Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), of more than 2,000 test detonations that have been conducted since the advent of nuclear weapons, more than 100 were carried out in remote locations in the Pacific by the U.S., the United Kingdom and France. In the Marshall Islands and French Polynesia, the local population suffered from higher rates of cancer, birth defects and thyroid disorders, and a host of environmental impacts remain to this day.
According to a report by the Lowy Institute, N. Korean nuclear tests have demonstrated a track record of steadily increasing yields. With the September underground detonation of a thermonuclear weapon, the continued testing of such weapons on land is highly impractical given their small size, lack of large, unpopulated areas and geographic proximity to other nations. So future testing in international waters is the only practical option remaining if they intend to further refine the capabilities of these weapons.
Once again AlertsUSA warns that when the cloudy historical and political narrative is removed, the world is now faced with the following realities:
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.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor 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.