Friday, April 5, 2013

North Korea Loads 2 Missiles Onto Launchers, tells UK to consider evacuating ambassadors from Pyongyang

Here is the latest from Steve Herman on the Korean peninsula, reporting for Voice of America. VOA material is in the public domain.

Report: North Korea Loads 2 Missiles Onto Mobile Launchers
"South Korea's military is stepping up preparations for anticipated missile launches by North Korea. Meanwhile, the Cabinet minister in Seoul in charge of North-South relations says it is up to Pyongyang to keep in operation the only joint project of the two Koreas.South Korea has dispatched two of its warships, equipped with advanced missile tracking radar, amid rising concern North Korea could soon conduct provocative missile launches.One ship has been placed off the west coast of the Korean peninsula, the other is monitoring the east coast. South Korea's semi-official news agency, Yonhap - quoting what is described as a top government official - reports North Korea has now placed a second intermediate-range missile on a mobile launcher. The Ministry of National Defense in Seoul on Thursday confirmed the movement of one missile. The Yonhap report says both missiles have now been hidden in a military facility near the east coast."
Above, North Koreans attend a rally against the United States and South Korea in Nampo, North Korea, April 3, 2013. Reuters via VOA.

"They want to scare the world well enough so that after the missile test or nuclear test when we decide to convene and pass another round of sanctions against them, another round of condemnation, we would think twice, do we really want to bring the escalation by another notch up or not,” said Mansourov. South Korean officials and independent defense analysts speculate Pyongyang may time missile launches to coincide with an April 15 national holiday. That is when North Korea celebrates “The Day of the Sun” to commemorate the birth of its late founder, Kim Il Sung. At the only joint project involving the two Koreas, the Kaesong industrial complex, operations were suspended Friday, which is a national holiday in North Korea. On the two previous days, the North did not allow any cargo trucks or South Korean citizens to enter. The vehicles and the managers of numerous small factories making household goods were not given permits required to cross the border."

End VOA Report. There is more at the link. Next, in the UK Telegraph we read,

North Korea tells Britain to consider evacuating Pyongyang embassy 
"We can confirm that the British Embassy in Pyongyang received a communication from the North Korean government this morning," said a spokesman for the Foreign Office. "It said that the North Korean government would be unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organisations in the country in the event of conflict from April 10," he added."

In the Telegraph article above, the UK spokesman said that Russia also said it had received the same notice. Though we understand that North Korea blusters annually every spring, this time seems different.  As the official is quoted in the Telegraph article, "Unfortunately, the situation (on the Korean peninsula) is not developing in the way that we would like."

Amen to that.

The world is certainly paying attention. In separate Voice of America tweets (@W7VOA) today, 'Australian Prime Min. Gillard tells Pres. Park her nation fully supports efforts to cope with North Korean threats and Australia's heart is with South Korea' and 'The Philippines foreign minister tells reporters his country considering offering U.S. use of military bases there if North Korea attacks.'

I don't know if this is accurate, being from a lay-person in Florida on Twitter, but it seems so, "Thank you to our troops supporting the United Nations Command (S.Korea). Army: 19,755 Navy: 274 Air Force: 8,815 Marines: 242."

We have focused our attention on our troops in the Arabian deserts so long that we also need to
remember the troops in the Asian sphere; Hawaii, Japan, Guam, South Korea.

However, if the situation is not moving in the direction the officials would like, is it moving in the direction as Jesus would like? Of course. Jesus said that there would be wars and rumors of wars. (Matthew 24:6). He goes on in the first part of verse 24:7 to say, "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." (Photo caption, Juche Tower Monument to the philosophy of Juche = self-reliance. Wikipedia).

His dialog in Matthew 24 with the Disciples is a Tribulation discussion. Jesus is speaking to them about what will happen to the Jewish people and the world in the future "Time of Jacob's Trouble." (Jeremiah 30:7). There will be wars because in Revelation 6:4 we read that peace will be taken from the earth and to the rider of the war horse "he was given a great sword."

If the rider is to take peace from the earth, peace must have existed upon it prior. This is the peace and safety spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, that "While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." It is the peace spoken of in Ezekiel 38:8b before the Gog-Magog alliance attacks Israel, "Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them."

In Barnes Notes, we read of the Revelation verse where peace is taken from the earth by the rider on the red horse,
The characteristics of the period referred to by this are:

(a) that peace and tranquility existed before;
(b) that such peace and tranquility were now taken away, and were succeeded by confusion and bloodshed; and,
(c) that the particular form of that confusion was civil discord, producing mutual slaughter: "that they should kill one another."
(d) The presentation of a sword: and there was given unto him a great sword. As an emblem of what he was to do, or of the period that was referred to by the opening of the seal.
The sword is an emblem of war, of slaughter, of authority Romans 13:4, and is used here as signifying that that period would be characterized by carnage.
I'm interested in the 'great sword'. Sword is a symbol of war in the bible. This time it is a great sword. In the Greek great means 'great, in the widest sense.' A great war tool that brings great carnage...could it be thermo-nuclear? Very likely. But that is then. What about now?

Wars and rumors of wars are nothing new in the Age of Grace. For the past 2000 years, there have been wars and rumors of wars. However the context of these rumors and threats from North Korea if placed within the context of everything else happening, makes the situation more closely aligned, in my opinion, to the coming prophecies in Matthew and Revelation (And Zechariah 10).

All the officials seem to believe that though North Korea's bluster is annual, this time is different. And that difference is causing them to make troop deployment and war materiel movements based on their collective assessment of the Korean situation being of a more threatening color than previously. If we look at Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 and 1 Thessalonians 5, for there to be such worldwide peace, perhaps it is brought on by war. Perhaps something occurs first to shake the world into shock and push them over the edge into wanting peace at all or any cost. Perhaps this is that moment.

Perhaps not.

But we still watch, wait, and look up for our Redemption.

After relating that there would be wars and rumors of wars, Jesus went on to say, "See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.

How much less should we be alarmed given that we are dwelling in the Age of Grace? Jesus advised the disciples not to be alarmed, and that would be taking place after terrible wars that thrust Israel into the clamor for peace we discussed above, after the rapture, after mystifying cosmic incidents, massive storms... seems pretty alarming! But don't be alarmed in that context is "Don't be scared because it is all unfolding exactly as I wish. Have no fear, I am in control."

We live in a beautiful time. It is a time of Jesus. We read in the bible of the heroes, Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, David, Daniel, Rahab, Jael...but what of the decades and centuries in between where multitudes of Israelites just lived their lives in regularity an anonymity? There are countless men and women who lived, worshiped the LORD and died, of whom we know nothing. Yet Jesus put us here, now, at a time such as this, when His mightiest works will be shown, prophecies unfold and the rapture occur. We are His ambassadors for that time when we can call people to repentance, share the Gospel, and be His lights in the darkest time as yet.

How great is that? Jesus said how great it is to serve Him:

"If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." (John 12:26).

4 comments:

  1. And so it continues and who will stop this mad man? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Remembering the 'Cuban missle crisis' as a kid brings back the fear shared by all that I knew. Kruschev (sp?) banging his shoe on the podium at the UN scared me to death as he ranted "We will bury you." Hiding under our desk at school and all the while wondering why my father was not having a fallout shelter dug in our front yard-all vain and useless efforts.

    Now there is perfect peace, the peace of Jesus given as a gift to His bride-John 14:27. This is in my Father's hands no matter what the outcome. 2Tim. 1:7

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  2. Interesting post. Another interesting post might be to write about that Juche tower. The tower to the religion of self-reliance. How interesting that this religion of self-reliance is based in North Korea. North Korea - one of the most closed, dangerous, needy, and hopeless countries in the history of the world. It is as if God said you want self-reliance? Then you shall have it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I'm glad you picked up on that too. I thought it ironic they built an entire monument to self-reliance. Yet all who are apart from God can do nothing. (John 15:5).

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  3. what a great Word of encouragement, We will hold our peace since God is in control.

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