Just when you thought the whole North Korea debacle was stagnating, things, unfortunately, got interesting this weekend. The first thing that happened is we found out that the US is sending 1,250 Marines to Australia. The North Koreans are claiming that we are staging our troops there for an invasion of the Hermit Kingdom. They are threatening to hit Sydney with nukes. I kind of doubt that they can, but who knows? As regional tensions escalate and a US carrier strike group approaches the Korean peninsula, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the secretive regime “must be stopped” as it represented a threat to the region and, potentially, globally. The NoKos have also threatened the USS Carl Vinson, vowing to strike and sink it.
But wait… there is much more afoot. China ostensibly cut off North Korea’s oil and gas supplies this weekend. Gas prices rose by 85% there and all gas stations were shuttered. Then China froze and disabled all Chinese ATMs in the country. How do you spell panic? There’s more you aren’t hearing out there. President Trump called both China and Japan last night. No reason or transcript has been released. Chinese president Xi Jinping released a statement afterward that said China opposed any actions that went against UN security council resolutions, as Japan confirmed it was joining drills with the strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson that is headed to Korean waters.
Rodong Sinmun, the official paper of the Worker’s Party of North Korea, highlighted the US Marines arrival in northern Australia on April 18th. The Marines will be joined by 12 military helicopters including five Cobra helicopters and four Osprey carriers. “This is the largest scale US military presence in Australia after World War 2,” the newspaper reported on Monday. Tomorrow is another holiday for North Korea and America is watching to see if missiles are launched or a nuke is tested. Either will be seen as a provocation to war. U.S. commercial satellite images indicated increased activity around North Korea’s nuclear test site, while Kim has said that the country’s preparation for an ICBM launch is in its “final stage.” South Korea has said that something could now happen at any time.
From Fox News:
The entire U.S. Senate has been invited to the White House for a briefing Wednesday on the North Korea situation, amid escalating tensions over the country’s missile tests and bellicose rhetoric.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the upcoming briefing, for all 100 senators, on Monday.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats plan to provide the update to lawmakers.
It is rare for the entire Senate to be invited to such a briefing.
Spicer clarified that while the event will take place on the White House campus, it is technically a Senate briefing and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is the one who convened it.
The briefing, first reported by Reuters, was confirmed after President Trump earlier spoke to the leaders of both China and Japan.
A rare briefing will be held Wednesday to brief all 100 Senators at the White House. Mitch McConnell will chair the briefing as Majority Leader. The President himself has called this meeting along with his military leaders. Some say it is for sanctions against the NoKos, but that would be overkill. These types of briefings are called when a President is seeking permission to go to war. Whether that is what this is or not is yet to be seen. A similar briefing for all House members is also being arranged.
All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said. I don’t know about you, but the war drums just got deafening over here. The briefing will be at 3 pm EST. Tensions over North Korea have been escalating higher and higher over the last couple of weeks. It looks like we may be getting ready to dance after all.