Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Feb 10, 2024

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Happy Chinese New Year

Yang begins its annual rise as turning of the earth's Yin Yang cycles renews. The start of Chinese spring. Right on schedule my early yellow crocuses have began to bloom and green tips of daffodils are peeking out of the soil.

Yin Yang interrelationship and some of China's basic philosophy regarding energy was developed in northern China, where annual cycles of energy are easily noticed in 4 distinct seasons and changes in length of night and day. As Chinese civilization expanded and citizens migrated the Yin and Yang interrelationship was noticed in other aspects of the natural enviornment.

Infographic: Where the World Celebrates Chinese New Year | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

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Follow up on some local news I reported about 18 months ago.
The original event.

US Forest Service employee arrested in Oregon over spread of prescribed burn The Guardian Oct 21, 2022

Rick Snodgrass, a “burn boss” with the forest service, was overseeing a 300-acre burn in Oregon’s Malheur national forest that had been approved by the agency. A spot fire escaped control, according to officials in Grant county and charred roughly 20 acres of private land belonging to Holiday
...
Shortly after, Snodgrass was arrested for “reckless burning” and transported to Grant county jail. It’s not clear yet whether Snodgrass will be officially charged but the county district attorney Jim Carpenter said there was enough probable cause to make the arrest.

It is the latest episode to underscore tensions simmering in rural, conservative eastern Oregon over management of federal lands.
...
In 2016, tension erupted in adjacent Harney county when rightwing extremists took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest the treatment of two ranchers who were imprisoned for setting fire to federal range land. That conflict exploded when armed rightwing extremists occupied the refuge, which lies 300 miles southeast of Portland, for 41 days.

The follow up.

Ex-USFS burn boss indicted after 2022 Oregon prescribed burn escaped lines Central Oregon Daily February 6, 2024

Ricky Snodgrass was charged on Feb. 2 by a grand jury with reckless burning, a class A misdemeanor.

Snodgrass was in charge of a 300-acre prescribed burn and the crew conducting it on Oct. 19, 2022. The fire north of Seneca ended up burning 20 acres of private land before firefighters were able to put it out.

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The Putin-Carlson interview has a few sections where China was discussed, here are a few key points.

Putin-Carlson interview: Full transcript 2nd Smartest Guy in the World Feb 8, 2024 (HatTip to snoopydawg for the transcript link and humphrey the video link)

Tucker:...But you've never explained why you think that happened, except to say that the West fears a strong Russia. But we have a strong China the West does not seem very afraid of. What about Russia do you think, convinced policymakers they had to take it down?

Vladimir Putin: The West is afraid of strong China more than it fears a strong Russia, because Russia has won 150 million people and China has 1.5 billion population. And its economy is growing by leaps and bounds, or 5% a year. It used to be even more, but that's enough for China.
...
Tucker:...And maybe you trade one colonial power for another, much less sentimental and forgiving colonial power. I mean, or is the the BRICs, for example, in danger of being completely dominated by the Chinese, the Chinese economy? In a way that's not good for their sovereignty. Do you worry about that?

Vladimir Putin: Well, we have heard those boogeyman stories before. It is a boogeyman story. We're neighbors with China. You cannot choose neighbors, just as you cannot choose close relatives. We share a border of 1000km with them. This is number one. Second, we have a centuries long history of coexistence. We're used to it. Third, China's foreign policy philosophy is not aggressive. Its idea is to always look for compromise. (full answer multiple paragraphs)
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Tucker:...You've run this country for so long, you've known all these American presidents. What are those power centers in the United States? do you think? Like who actually makes the decisions?

Vladimir Putin: I don't know. America is a complex country. ... Then look, why, in my opinion, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, such an erroneous, crude, completely unjustified policy of pressure was pursued against Russia. After all, this is a policy of pressure. NATO expansion, support for the separatists in Caucasus. Creation of a missile defense system. These are all elements of pressure. Pressure, pressure, pressure. Then dragging Ukraine into NATO is all about pressure, pressure, pressure. Why? I think, among other things, because excessive production capacities were created. During the confrontation with the Soviet Union. There were many centers created and specialists on the Soviet Union who could not do anything else. They convinced the political leadership that it is necessary to continue chiseling Russia, to try to break it up, to create on this territory several quasi state entities, and to subdue them in a divided form, to use their combined potential for the future struggle with China.

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While our attention was focused on other events of the world Diplomatic Jan 31, 2024 China recognized the Taliban government of Afghanistan.

China, Russia pip US to the Taliban hearth India Punchline by M. K. Bhadrakumar February 6, 2024
(worth a full read)

At its most obvious level, Beijing has outwitted the US’ surreptitious, attempts in the recent months to return to Afghanistan after its humiliating military defeat and exit in 2021. The Biden Administration produced in the public domain a back-dated document titled Integrated Country Strategy for Afghanistan on the same day that Xi Jinping received the letter of credentials from the Taliban ambassador at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on January 30.

The document contained the following core elements:

“Predatory powers like Iran, China and Russia seek strategic and economic advantage (in Afghanistan) or at a minimum to put the US at a disadvantage;
“Even as, –- and for as long as –- the United States does not recognise the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, we must build functional relationships that fulfil our (US) objectives”;
“With diaspora Afghans, we discourage support for a new armed conflict through resistance group proxies in Afghanistan — more violence or regime change is not the solution to the Taliban”;
“we must simultaneously pump unprecedented amounts of humanitarian assistance into the country, convince the Taliban to adopt international economic norms and advocate tirelessly for education”;
“With the Taliban we advocate for consular access…”

The document is a shameful retreat from the thundering US rhetoric that unless the Taliban fulfilled its conditions, Washington would ostracise the government in Kabul and freeze its bank accounts. Apparently, the Biden administration no longer insists on its demands and is knocking at Kabul gates for entry.

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After reading multiple articles regarding results of the Taiwan election Jan 13 found this one which is similar to my thoughts.

Kirill Babaev: Here’s why the result of Taiwan’s election is bad news for the US
Russia Times (translated and edited article originally published by Izvestia 2-5-24) February 7, 2024

These facts are important for an understanding of the current relationship between the two parts of China. They are inextricably linked not only by the commonality of language, history, and culture, but also by hundreds of thousands of trade and production contracts. And this may prove to be a decisive factor in the long-term struggle for the island between the great powers.

The elections in Taiwan on January 13 did nothing to change this. On the contrary, apart from pro-American candidate Lai Qingde’s victory (with a far-from-solid 40% of the vote), the parliamentary elections revealed the defeat of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which lost its majority and ten seats in the Legislative Yuan to the conventionally “pro-Chinese” Kuomintang Party.

The outcome has made the island’s power system somewhat unstable, suggesting that the main battle between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan is yet to come. However, the US has only one undeniable advantage in this war – the ability to pump its proxy with weapons and defense systems in anticipation of a violent conflict. China, on the other hand, has far more leverage. Thus, in the coming years, Beijing won’t try to solve the Taiwan problem militarily: on the contrary, it will attempt to turn America’s “Pyrrhic victory” on January 13 into a final US defeat in the next elections on the island.
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As a result, Taiwan is now well aware that the path to independence is a dead end, as none of Taipei’s closest allies will endorse the move or recognize the existence of an “alternative China.” The path of maintaining the status quo, on the other hand, is the most unstable, because in this case the sword of Damocles of armed conflict between the US and China will hang over Taiwan, in which the island risks losing its entire economy and many thousands of its citizens’ lives.

The only option for Taiwan in the long term is a compromise with mainland China; some kind of full-fledged arrangement that will allow the island to maintain the way of life and economic system that it’s accustomed to, and that will allow Beijing to consider the question of reunification closed, or at least with a clear, if distant, solution.
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Only one country would be extremely disadvantaged by such a cross-strait arrangement, namely the US. Washington has invested too much in the doctrine of containment of China, in the formation of a chain of military and political alliances around its borders and a defense belt on the island of Taiwan itself, to lose this “unsinkable aircraft carrier.”

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Pepe Escobar article this week.

Why Medvedev Is Free to Go Full ‘Born to Be Wild’ Strategic Culture Foundation Feb 8, 2024

Meanwhile, a confidential memo designed at the London School of Economics suggests close cooperation between the German government, USAID and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation to build a sort of “new Singapore in Kiev”: that is, a “reconstruction” profiting corporate Germany out of a low-wage hellhole.
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It’s now crystal clear how Washington is actively splitting the EU in favor of a rabidly Russophobic Vilnius-Warsaw-Kiev axis.

Meanwhile, the “no compromise” in Ukraine is deeply determined by geoeconomics: the EU desperately needs access to Ukraine’s lithium for the “decarbonization” scam; the vast mineral wealth; the rich black-earth soil (now mostly property of BackRock, Monsanto and co.); the sea routes (assuming Odessa does not revert to its status of “Russian city”); and most of all, the ultra-cheap workforce.

Whatever happens next, Baab’s diagnosis for the EU and Germany is gloomy: “The European Union has lost its central function”, and “historically, it has failed as a peace project.” After all now it’s the Washington-Vilnius-Warsaw-Kiev axis that “sets the tone.”

And it gets worse: “We are becoming not only the backyard of the United States, but also the backyard of Russia. The energy flows and container traffic, the economic centers are moving eastwards, forming along the Budapest-Moscow-Astana-Beijing axis.”

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Scott Ritter: Unseen Power Struggles in the Middle East (32:30 min) Feb 6, 2024

The livestream videos this week by Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current events in Tucker Carlson interview with President Vladimir Putin, Israel/Hamas/Gaza, expanded Middle East Conflict Zone and Ukraine/Russia conflict. The interviews are generally posted on Monday through Friday if would like to view them in a more timely manner.

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What is on your mind today?

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xin nian kuai le (新年快乐) in Cantonese

AKA Spring Festival

Year of the Dragon

th-89530342.jpeg

dragons are considered to be authoritative, strong, and successful

chinese-new-year-collections-4-3-3595103478.jpg

Thanks for the Potluck and good luck!

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Lookout's picture

Eventful times...

5 min

A misty morning and consequently a slow trade day. None the less nice to see friends and have a stroll. Big rains tomorrow and Monday, but we could use it.

Hope all is well on the homestead. Thanks for the OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

snoopydawg's picture

.

This is out-of-this-world beautiful, absolutely breathtaking.

Every year at the CCTV gala - the most watched show on earth - they have ONE dance which truly sets the bar. This year this is the one.

To me this is worth a million Taylor Swift or any other of the hypersexualized American idols.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

@snoopydawg

3D dancing with watery intones
beautiful, thanks for sharing!

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snoopydawg's picture

@QMS

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@snoopydawg

The costumes are so much like the koi as you see them swimming. And the music is lovely.

snoopydawg, thank you, and Happy New Year.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Linda Wood

Hopefully this year will get better since it started out with awful news.

I was amazed at the talent of the women and how agile they were. I wonder how long it took for them to get it perfect.

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enhydra lutris's picture

Per Kim Dotcom eks message fka tweet,

The 2 hour interview of Putin had 150 million views in the first 24 hours.

. This could be a ray of hope except he doesn't say where. How many in USA and how many in ROW. How many of those in ROW in EU and how many in Rus, global south, China, India, etc.

Skipped farmers' market today, think we have enough veggies to keep us going for most of the week, real question is what to cook. Meanwhile, catch-up continues, weeding, "mowing", pruning, and all that plus the paperwork side of life.

all be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

soryang's picture

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Senate Confirms China Hawk Kurt Campbell as Deputy Secretary of State

Back in 2021, Campbell said that when it came to China, the “period that was broadly described as engagement has come to an end” and that the “dominant paradigm” in the US-China relationship would be competition. Since then, tensions between the two nations have escalated as the US imposed new harsh economic sanctions, increased support for Taiwan, and continued to build up its military presence in the Asia Pacific.

Campbell is replacing Wendy Sherman, who retired in July 2023. His appointment signals the administration is still focused on increasing its military and diplomatic footprint in Asia despite the war in Ukraine and the escalating situation in the Middle East. Victoria Nuland, a notorious Russia hawk credited with orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine, has been serving as the acting deputy secretary of state.

While Campbell has been known to focus on China most of his career, he is also a Russia hawk. During his Senate hearing, he said he favored more military aid to Ukraine. In 2022, Campbell said he believed the US could sustain two theaters of war as it did during World War II.

So called Asian Czar, promoter of the Asian pivot, Oxford product, outdated twentieth century views on relative US power.

Tucker's views on China are crude projection on his part.

Professor Gao's youtube interpretation of the history of the dragon myth and significance in Chinese culture was interesting. Maybe not for everyone, watched it twice. It's thirty minutes long I'll just put the link below. Skip the first two and half minutes, where she tries to promote her work. I doubt she will ever draw a following in the English speaking world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB8Vby54Uuk
Happy Dragon Year!! 龍年快樂!!

Thanks for the great Potluck SOE!

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語必忠信 行必正直

snoopydawg's picture

@soryang

which has been gnawing at the back of my mind too. Remember when AOC who was supposed to be anti Pelosi got lots of coverage from the media? Anyone else who really was anti Pelosi was shushed and ignored by the same media.

https://off-guardian.org/2024/02/10/what-no-one-is-saying-about-tucker-c...

Who knows what’s true, but an open mind is a must.

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soryang's picture

@snoopydawg

Anderson Cooper, Kos, Tucker, considered employment with the CIA.

"When did this reinvention happen?" Indeed. I remember this-

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語必忠信 行必正直

meaningless and perhaps even worse.

https://apnews.com/article/israel-military-aid-gaza-congress-supplementa...

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new directive by President Joe Biden appeared to ease a split among Democrats over his military support for Israel’s war in Gaza, with lawmakers on Friday praising the order authorizing a swift cutoff of military aid to countries that violate international protections of civilians.

For Biden, the commitment to conditioning U.S. military aid for Israel and other allies and strategic partners will help him shore up support among center-left Senate Democrats for his proposed $95 billion supplemental assistance package, which is aimed primarily at military aid for Ukraine in its war with Russia and for Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

Democratic senators on Friday called Biden’s directive — meant to bring breadth, oversight, deadlines and teeth to efforts to ensure foreign governments don’t use U.S. military aid against civilians — historic.

The new order comes in what’s officially known as a presidential memorandum. Those have the force of law, although succeeding presidents can overturn them.

Here is why it is completely useless. Get a load of the timing and who is in charge. It is being led by Zionist war criminal Antony Blinken.

Biden’s order has immediate effect. It gives Secretary of State Antony Blinken 45 days to obtain “credible and reliable written assurances” from foreign recipients of U.S. military aid that are in active conflicts, which includes Israel and Ukraine, that they are using U.S. military assistance in compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law and other standards.

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@humphrey
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bomb the hell out of anyone is not quite humanitarian

'they are using U.S. military assistance in compliance with international humanitarian law'

Blinkeyman can not even approximate adhering to these standards.

Just reading the same script being doled out to the rest of the administration.

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snoopydawg's picture

@humphrey

How many days ago was the mass grave of bound, blindfolded and executed Palestinians found? Israel executed a family yesterday including a young girl and the only ones who are reporting on it is the alternative media.
Biden doesn’t need to give Blinken 45 days to see what Israel is doing. They’ve been doing it since day one.

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@snoopydawg

It simply gives the Israelis an opportunity to continue the atrocities. Also gives extra time to get the aid for Israel and Ukraine passed in Congress after which the pressure to control their actions has disappeared.

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snoopydawg's picture

@humphrey

Especially because Israel has pushed most people into Rafah and has plans to bomb it and either kill the people there or push them into Egypt. But how many people will survive 45 days without food or water? And Biden has cut all aid going into Palestine which just shows his meanness which is not a strong enough word. Sociopathy is better.

I’ve long been happy that after Biden tried 3 times to become president that once he has his mind is too far gone to enjoy it. What would make me even happier is if he gets thrown out by the 25th amendment. Lol…how great would that be? And he just made a fool of himself in front of the world when he said his mind is fine and then he forgot what he was saying.

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snoopydawg's picture

@humphrey

the law.

Sept. 14, 2023

Choosing Security Over Rights, U.S. Approves $235 Million in Egypt Aid

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken overruled congressional restrictions on U.S. military aid tied to Egypt’s dismal human rights record.

But they conceded that Mr. Blinken had issued a waiver to release the previously withheld money because he concluded that U.S. national security interests outweigh congressionally mandated benchmarks for Egyptian progress on human rights.

I’m betting that Egypt's president ALMO Has learned his lesson not to commit human rights abuses.

Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia are warning Israel not to bomb Rafah or else! I remember quite a few countries warning dire consequences if Israel invaded Gaza….then crickets.

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Cassiodorus's picture

my dish comes from NYC:

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"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine

There have been plenty of rumors that he gets doped up before his appearances.

It doesn't appear to be altered as here is the image provided by the German embassy.

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People who have paid attention probably have heard Putin answer Carlson with themes they have heard before. The main effect is on Western media/deep state control of media narratives, and the control over dissent. This includes the images coming out of the genocide in Gaza, and the farmers revolt throughout all of EU. "The narrative managers as Caitlin Johnstone calls them don't have the easy control over propaganda as they once did.

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https://thehill.com/homenews/media/4460817-carville-biden-not-accepting-...

Democratic strategist James Carville said President Biden not sitting for an interview before the Super Bowl is a “sign” of his administration having little confidence in him.

“It’s the biggest television audience, not even close, and you get a chance to do a 20, 25-minute interview on that day, and you don’t do it, that’s a kind of sign that the staff or yourself doesn’t have much confidence in you, there’s no other way to read this,” Carville said in a recent interview on CNN’s “Smerconish.”

This will be the second year in a row that the president has not sat for an interview before the big game. Biden’s decision not to participate comes as he’s been facing bad press in the wake of the release of a special counsel report on his handling of classified documents.

Apparently the spin being put out by Biden supporters isn't working.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/4460653-white-house-republic...

A new White House memo says Republicans’ attacks on President Biden’s memory show that they are “afraid.”

“President Biden also led Democrats to the best midterm elections for a new incumbent in over 60 years, and to a string of other wins in 2023,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in the Saturday memo. “These are historic accomplishments that President Biden was uniquely capable of realizing – and that he is uniquely capable of building on.”

“And this undeniable record speaks to why it’s no surprise that Republican officials’ continue their desperate – and inadvertently self-undermining – age attacks after many years of failure: they’re afraid of Joe Biden,” the memo continued.

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snoopydawg's picture

@humphrey

Democratic strategist James Carville said President Biden not sitting for an interview before the Super Bowl is a “sign” of his administration having little confidence in him.

People would probably think that Biden was doped to the gills to get coherent enough to sound coherent.

Shitlibs are freaking out about the report and they are not only angry about garland giving Hur the job to let Biden off the hook for doing what Trump did, but they are also angry that Biden hasn’t fired him yet. Especially because he waited so long to charge Trump with his many crimes…duh! They are timed to tie Trump up in court so he can’t campaign…but they don’t seem to be slowing him down much.

Oh yeah they are going with Biden didn’t do anything wrong when he took classified documents…sure, Jen.

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janis b's picture

@humphrey

from all the news you find.

This makes me wonder whether there will ever be an end to useless excuses that people will believe?

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brief exchange about Chinain this essay.
I have to say, I disregarded Tucker for his entire MSM career, knew he had a youthful flirtation with the CIA. I have only recently begun to pay attention to him. Nevertheless, I have similar beliefs as he about some major issues. Some, not many, but some.
When reading his questions to Putin in re China, it is as if he posed them and framed them exactly like people who are still hooked on the MSM think, which exactly got what response from Putin they need to hear.
What if that was the intent? To dumb down his language to channel the audience who most need the answer from Putin?
There is no way Tucker doesn't know about our Pivot to Asia. He is aware of the Taiwan issue in all its' complicated aspects. He knows we are dropping the Ukie mess to shore up resources for a China conflict.
The Oregon firefighter is being wrongfully prosecuted imho, and I hope he gets his job back, gets back pay.
Thanks for the Pepe' fix, Soe, as well as the OT!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

soryang's picture

I meant to post this earlier-

https://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_northkorea/1127862.html

The Russian ambassador to Pyongyang warned that North Korea might carry out another nuclear test if the US continues to take “provocative steps” on the Korean Peninsula.

“I think whether or not there will be another nuclear experiment in North Korea depends on how the military-political situation on the peninsula will unfold. If expanded US-South Korean nuclear deterrence [. . .] or other provocative steps toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continue or if US Air Force strategic bombers continue to fly over the peninsula, the North Korean leadership may as well decide to conduct a new nuclear test for the sake of further strengthening of its defense capabilities,” Alexander Matsegora said in an interview with Russian news agency TASS on Wednesday.

Another nuclear test by North Korea would be its seventh such test. Analysts have been saying since 2022 that another nuclear test is imminent.

Matsegora also said that “North Korea doesn’t seek war” before warning, once again, that “whether 2024 will be a peaceful year in Korea or whether there will be a military conflict depends entirely on the Americans.”

That would be a bad idea to test before the April general election in South Korea or before the US November elections. He should wait and see who he may get to work with in the future. Kim already said he was indifferent if not outright hostile to South Korea for the foreseeable future, but... The big US-ROK military exercises coming up starting next month, and after are the problem for him, domestically. He has to appear to be doing something. Launch a satellite, test fire a few missiles, not a nuclear test. Would it even be possible for Yoon and Biden to exercise some restraint here? If Kim tests a nuke what left? Do it again? My understanding is that China doesn't like nuclear testing in South Korea.

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語必忠信 行必正直

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