North Korea Says It Does Not Have Plans to Nuke Europe

The fact that Europe is within ICBM range means that any NATO country that to comes to the aid of South Korea during a crisis puts them at risk of nuclear retaliation.  Will any NATO countries risk nuclear retaliation to help the ROK?:

North Korea responded Wednesday to European concerns about being in the path of Pyongyang’s potentially nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) by assuring the leader of Western military alliance NATO that such weapons were only intended for the U.S.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said during an interview last week with Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun that “Europe has also entered the [North Korean] missile range, and NATO member states are already in danger.” North Korea’s ruling party-run Rodong Shinmun newspaper countered these claims, calling Stoltenberg’s remarks “false and groundless” because, although European states are indeed in North Korea’s missile range, Pyongyang has no intention of pulling the trigger.

“The DPRK’s ballistic rockets are for deterring the U.S. nuclear war hysterics and ensuring peace and security on the Korean peninsula and the region. They are not for threatening Europe and the world,” the commentary read, according to the official Korea Central News Agency, referring to the country’s official title: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  [Newsweek]

You can read more at the link, but this is just another example of how their nuclear and ICBM programs are about more than regime survival.  They also are being developed to isolate the ROK from its allies and ultimately separate the ROK from the US.

French Carrier Arrives In Japan In Show of Force Against North Korea

It is pretty clear that over the next month enormous pressure is going to be put on North Korea to give up their nuclear and ICBM programs as even the European powers are now deploying military assets into the region:

A French navy ship arrives at the Sasebo naval base in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, on April 29, 2017

France’s Mistral amphibious assault carrier docked in Nagasaki, Japan on April 29 in advance of military exercises to be conducted with the U.K., U.S., and Japan. Nagasaki is the closest major Japanese port to South Korea, and coming at a time of tension on the peninsula, the French and U.K. naval presence sends a strong message to both China and North Korea. Japan’s increased naval activity is also welcome support for South Korea, and will decrease diplomatic tension between the two natural allies. The U.K. and French presence shows that NATO, including the U.S., is strongly behind South Korea.  [Forbes]

You can read more at the link.

Tweet of the Day: NATO Warned By US Defense Secretary to Increase Spending

It is telling that Secretary of Defense James Mattis gave no warnings to South Korea or Japan during his recent visit to the area, but did gave a warning to NATO to increase spending: