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Showing posts from April 7, 2013

US seeks to ease tensions with North Korea by postponing missile test

Test launch of a Minuteman 3 intercontinental missile next week delayed until next month to avoid exacerbating crisis An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile leaves a contrail through the sky in California. The test has been rescheduled for next month. Photograph: Greg Vojtko/AP

The US has attempted to ease rising tensions with North Korea by postponing a missile test scheduled to take place in California next week, lest this be interpreted by Pyongyang as deliberately provocative.

The US defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, decided to delay the long-planned test launch of a Minuteman 3 intercontinental missile from an airbase until next month over concerns it could exacerbate the crisis, officials briefed reporters anonymously. "This is the logical, prudent and responsible course of action to take," a senior defence official was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The test had no connection to North Korea and could be rescheduled for next month, the official said, mainta…

Guatemalan President Accused of Involvement in Civil War Atrocities

Former soldier tells trial that Otto Pérez Molina ordered soldiers to burn and pillage during 1980s war

By Associated Press

April 06, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - A former soldier has implicated the Guatemalan president, Otto Pérez Molina, in civil war atrocities during the trial of the former US-backed military strongman Efraín Ríos Montt, proceedings that have heard witnesses recount a litany of horrors.

Hugo Reyes, a soldier who was a mechanic in an engineering brigade in the area where atrocities were carried out, told the court that Pérez Molina, then an army major, ordered soldiers to burn and pillage during Guatemala's dirty war with leftist guerrillas in the 1980s.

"The soldiers, on orders from Major 'Tito Arias', better known as Otto Pérez Molina … co-ordinated the burning and looting, in order to later execute people," Reyes told the court by video link.

Pérez Molina, who retired as a general, was elected president for the conservativ…

What A Third Korean War Would Look Like

By Eric Margolis

April 06, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - The intensifying war of words between North Korea, the United States and ally South Korea could ignite a major conflict. The likely trigger would be a small clash at sea, in the air, or along the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas.

What would a war in Korea look like?

First, nuclear conflict is unlikely. North Korea is not believed to have any long or medium-ranged nuclear weapons, certainly none that could hit North America. North Korea might be able to strike South Korea with a nuclear device. But then US nuclear weapons would wipe North Korea off the map.

North Korea’s military strategy would be to launch a surprise attack on the south to occupy Seoul and Inchon. The vital US Air Force bases at Osan and Kunsan, and eight South Korean air bases, would be primary targets.

North Korea’s elite 88,000 special forces units are tasked to attack and neutralize these air bases as well as headquarters, communication…

Behind the North Korean Crisis

By Dennis J. Bernstein

April 06, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - In early March, the U.S. and South Korea launched an expanded set of war games on the Korean Peninsula, prompting concerns in some circles that the military exercises might touch off an escalation of tensions with North Korea.

Christine Hong, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, worried that the U.S. “was lurching towards war” since “the military exercises that the U.S. and South Korea just launched are not defensive exercises” but rather appear to promote a “regime change” strategy.

Those military pressures have, indeed, led to threats of escalation from North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, and have set the Korean security situation at “hair-trigger dangerous,” Professor Hong said in the following interview with Dennis J. Bernstein.

DB: There’s a lot of disinformation and patriotic reporting coming out of the U.S. Why don’t you tell us what is going on right now. What is the situatio…