In its 6th and largest test to date, North Korea exploded a nuclear bomb deep underground. The explosion triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake which Kim Jong Un described as a perfect success. The test came hours after Kim Jong Un showed off what he described as a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on an ICBM.
North Korea said it conducted a sixth and significantly larger nuclear test Sunday, stepping up pressure on President Donald Trump in what is shaping up to be his biggest foreign policy crisis.
In a televised statement, North Korea described the underground explosion, which triggered a large earthquake, as a “perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for an ICBM.” Pyongyang said “the creditability of the operation of the nuclear warhead is fully guaranteed.”
The test came just hours after leader Kim Jong Un showed off what he described as a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The explosion at the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri in North Korea’s mountainous northeast triggered an initial magnitude-6.3 earthquake, followed by a magnitude-4.1 temblor that was possibly caused by a structural collapse, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The latest nuclear test was estimated to have a yield of as high as 100 kilotons—about 10 times the power of the North’s previous test and roughly five times that of the atomic bomb that the U.S. dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, according to Kim Young-woo, a South Korean lawmaker who is chairman of the legislature’s defense committee and received a briefing from military authorities.
“The Kim regime made the strategic decision to develop a nuclear armed ICBM that can strike the United States,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. “It is in a sprint to deploy that capability, because it wants the world to recognize it before returning to diplomatic talks, and before sanctions become unbearable.”
However, analysts have been divided on whether North Korea could shrink a nuclear warhead to fit on the tip of a missile. Many also remain skeptical about whether a North Korean warhead can survive the strain of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
In photos published by North Korean state media before Sunday’s nuclear test, Mr. Kim gestured toward a bulbous silver device that appeared capable of holding the two nuclear devices that would be necessary for a thermonuclear blast.
A hydrogen bomb—technically known as a thermonuclear weapon—typically uses a smaller, primary atomic explosion to ignite a secondary, much larger blast. The first stage is based on nuclear fission—the splitting of atoms—and the second on nuclear fusion, which combines atoms, smashing them together and unleashing more energy. Additional stages can be added to increase its destructive force.
In North Korea’s statement before the nuclear test, Mr. Kim also threatened to detonate a nuclear device at a high altitude above the U.S. The detonation could emit a brief but powerful electromagnetic signal capable of disrupting swaths of the U.S. electrical grid, experts say.
Fears of such an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack by North Korea have circulated for years among some U.S. policy makers, though others have openly dismissed the possibility that Pyongyang could launch such a strike.
Trump’s Problem – South Korea
A US attack on North Korea would likely cause severe damage to South Korea and the entire region.
North Korea could strike back at Seoul and there would be nothing anyone could do about it unless we instantly took out 100% of North Korea’s military capability.
Seoul, South Korea
South Korea’s Economy
Wikipedia provides this discussion of the South Korea Economy.
South Korea is a sovereign state in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. Highly urbanized at 92%, South Koreans lead a distinctive urban lifestyle; half of them live in high-rises concentrated in the Seoul Capital Area with 25 million residents and the world’s sixth leading global city with the fourth largest economy and seventh most sustainable city in the world.
South Korea is East Asia’s most developed country in the Human Development Index. Driven by a highly educated and skilled workforce, it has the world’s eighth highest median household income, the highest in Asia, and its singles in particular earn more than all G7 nations. Globally, it ranks highly in personal safety, job security, ease of doing business and healthcare quality, with the world’s third highest health adjusted life expectancy and fourth most efficient healthcare system. It is the world’s largest spender on R&D per GDP, leading the OECD in graduates in science and engineering and ranking third in the Youth Wellbeing Index.
South Korea Business
Home of Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia, South Korea was named the world’s most innovative country in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, ranking first in business R&D intensity and patents filed per GDP. In 2005, it became the world’s first country to fully transition to high-speed Internet and today it has the world’s fastest Internet speed and highest smartphone ownership, ranking first in ICT Development, e-Government and 4G LTE coverage.
Global Fortune 500
What’s Trump to Do?
If Seoul went up in flames, the impact would likely be an immediate global recession.
Things could get much worse. China threatened to back North Korea if the US struck first. Is that a bluff?
For discussion, please see my August 11, article War Games: China Say It Will Prevent US From Attacking North Korea First (Is this a Game or is it Real?)
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.
Go to hell with your crappy blog!
The USA cannot be the first to use a nuke against NK. The only way we could even think of responding with a nuke would be if NK shot first.
So that means that a ground invasion of NK is the only viable solution. We would need to get China to come in from the north while SK/Japan/USA came in from the water and south. We would have to convince China that eliminating NK and uniting Korea would be in China’s + the world’s best interest.
Of course, there would be much death and destruction. And NK might just shoot off one of their [few] nukes at Hawaii or Japan as a last ditch response before the regime fell.
But NK needs to be neutralized sooner rather than later.
Jon Sellers said:
North Korea will drop tactical nuclear weapons on invading troops. And blow Seoul to smithereens with conventional weapons. Possibly 10s of millions dead and no guaranteed victory.
Better to improve the economy of NK. Maybe give Kim and his military leaders stock options in major SK, US, and Japanese companies. Make peace be in his best interests financially.
Leon Kienow said:
Yes Jon Sellers,
Just continue the policy what we have done for 20+ years, Reward them.
Get your head out of the sand or your ass.
They are like a petulant child.and must be reprimanded.
China may as well agree or KYAG
Regime change would be great..
If 50 million people get killed in an attack on NK.
What do you say to them: Oops – Sorry
You are the exactly the person I had in mind when I talked about armchair philosophers
By the way, it is US regime change and nation building that created much of this mess.
If the US did not go about doing such things, countries would not need to protect themselves from US agression
Agreed. If the US had demilitarized Korea decades ago, and not blown up several countries for no reason, this would not be the situation.
BillyBob Texas said:
Yep. But we did. And now here we are.
What do we do about the continuing threat to hit one or more of our cities as soon as he can – and killing a couple million of US citizens (unless he hits LA, then only about 1/3 US citizens…) and create a wasteland for decades….
Become the 4th prez to ‘let it slide to the 5th”..? This WILL be ugly unless little fat boy goes – one way or another…..
“By the way, it is US regime change and nation building that created much of this mess.”
Correct. Saddam and Gaddafi gave up their nuke programs and look what happened to them. You don’t think NK and Iran noticed this?
There is no military action by anyone that can remedy this situation without getting millions in SOUTH Korea also killed.
So, ignore fat boy Kim and move on. He only wants nukes and missiles as a life insurance policy. Don’t consider them as potential bargaining chips because I don’t think he’ll give them up now that he has them. I don’t think he’s stupid enough to do that based upon some promise not to implement regime change or even further economic pressure.
HE won’t use nukes first because he knows if he did that it would be the CERTAIN end of him and that is against the entire purpose of his missiles and nukes. They are meant as a deterrent just like ours.
The plans to his successfully tested thermonuclear device will now be in big demand on the illicit arms market. I read somewhere that Iran may have been cooperating with NK on this, so they might now also have the design.
Ron J said:
“If the US had demilitarized Korea decades ago, and not blown up several countries for no reason, this would not be the situation.”
Except that NK had no interest in demilitarizing. It has always been the Kim family goal of reuniting Korea under their rule.
John Doez said:
Bullseye. The US has to do two things to de-escalate the geo-political situation.
1 – state that the regime-change days are over, for ever
2 – force through a two-state solution in the middle-east (this isn’t regime change, just refuse to subsidise Israel until it accepts this)
The only recent positive has been improved relations between the US and Russia, but the US has to start undermining its military-industrial complex. The US needs to stop pushing the nuclear imbalance which is motivating Russia to advancing its own nuclear programme.
Whether such policies can be pushed through when it is all too easy to sable-rattle to get re-elected is another matter.
“Last year, Kim told other North Korean leaders that his country would conduct a nuclear strike if it was threatened by “invasive hostile forces with nuclear weapons.”
It’s a pretty vague intimidation — nothing new when it comes to the North Korean leadership — but the implication is clear: If North Korea feels like its sovereignty or an important national interest is threatened, it will seriously consider using a nuclear weapon to respond.”
Why stop with NK? Why not take out Syria and Iran, or anyone else that gets in the way of our energy interest? The pipeline workers could wear Hazmat suits.
I can’t stand the US always being blamed for jackasses around the world.
He is an idiot, blowing all the people’s money (what there is of it) on weapons to show off. Most of them aren’t even going where they are supposed to go.
Nobody will miss him when he is gone.
South Korea is being a little belligerent, so we need to back off and let them handle it away way they want, and give Japan the bomb if they want it. China might pay attention to that. They seem like dead wood leaders now. Of course, China doesn’t want a unified Korea anytime soon. .
j c said:
China won’t attack NoKo and a reunified Korea is not in their national interest.
NK is not creating Nuclear capabilities for offensive purposes. Countries are doing this so the US will leave them alone. It is the only course to stop the US from meddling too much with your country. It is defensive. Iran is doing it for the same reason, fear of the US. Leave NK alone. Leave Iran alone. Get used to it, they are about to join the Nuclear Club. One more place the US will be powerless to interfere without dire consequences.
No! Regardless of why NK wants to develop nukes, they should not be allowed to do so. This is in the world’s interest, not just the USA.
If a country is allowed to develop nukes because they are afraid of some other country, then where does it stop? There is always a country that is afraid of another. Countries are afraid of the USA, Russia, China or whomever.
Talk has proven to be cheap, which is why India and Pakistan have nuke weapons and Iran probably does also. Sometimes a line needs to be drawn and then action taken if that line is crossed.
It’s already happened, in Israel, Pakistan, India, now NKorea, and always for the same reason, fear of invasion by larger countries. Get used to it, US policy has created this situation.
The US is the party that adamantly torpedoes every initiative to denuclearize the globe. They want to be the only ones wielding the nuclear threat, which is exactly why nobody trusts them, that along with their hundreds of regime change and bullying actions around the globe.
Ah yes, but the US also developed nuclear weapons for fear of invasion.
The escalation since has a long history, the US takes part in it, but is not its author.
More recent history definitely does not portray the US as being trustworthy on the international stage, but that does not make others more trustworthy either.
The problem is a global one and deserves a global answer.
Fully agree. The US has bullied the world since WWII. We are responsible for this mess. NK is no crazier than Iran. Don’t see us rushing to stop them with an invasion or nuke strike. They will proliferate way before NK.
If a country is allowed to develop nukes because they are afraid of some other country, then where does it stop?
It stops when Washington stops threatening and attacking other countries.
Sometimes a line needs to be drawn and then action taken if that line is crossed.
You are right. But who is going to stop the crazies who drive US foreign policy?
Stuki Moi said:
That line in the sand was crossed when it was OK for the US to have nukes because they were scared of the Japanese.
Carl R. said:
There is no winning in this situation. It’s too late, now. You have a lunatic with nukes. In time he will sell them to terrorists, and instead of using cars or knives or guns or bombs, suicide bombers will use nukes. There really isn’t a solution. It was inevitable that we would get to this point.
” you have a lunatic with nukes ”
Trump is no
BillyBob Texas said:
Seenit: You are wrong about not being offensive. I doubt he will have the ability to hit the CONUS with precision anytime soon…but someday he will. In the meantime – the little fat kid WILL sell his crude nuclear weapons to whomever will pay him cash. And that would be easy to do.
THEN what do you do when Baltimore Harbor goes POOF!?? Say….”gee, I didn’t think THAT would happen..”
We have been screwed by the last 3 Prez’s who didn’t have the balls to stop this guy. You want to make it 4? THEN a US city will go POOF before YOU realize this IS a world danger….?
Not any GOOD solutions….but whatever happens over there is better than happening over here…..
A land invasion is impossible. A nuclear strike is unthinkable, and could lead to the end of civilization. While NK is not going to launch a strike against anyone unless they are invaded, so get over your neocon delusions.
BillyBob Texas said:
If I were King – a land invasion would NOT even be considered. Lots of other things would.
Would you care to bet one of our many large harbors (maybe the one closest to YOUR home) that he would not sell one of his to some terrorist organization to be delivered in one of their containers…?
I wouldn’t bet a dime against THAT.
So we just plod along, until he gets enuff to sell SEVERAL of them…..? That scenario is just about unthinkable……
I think one difference amongst the other Nuclear Powers you mentioned is that they care enuff about their country to realize that if one of theirs ended up in one of our cities, their country would probably be ERASED…..little fat boy isn’t smart enuff to figure that out – or doesn’t care….THAT is the scary part….
“NK is not creating Nuclear capabilities for offensive purposes. Countries are doing this so the US will leave them alone.”
From what I understand it isn’t necessarily their nukes that stop a regime change, its the threat they could kill millions over the border in South Korea with CONVENTIONAL weapons if attacked.
The only reason NK exists is as a buffer to US troops. No way China would allow a unified Korea with US troops right at their border.
Macro Investor said:
The soviet union was defeated by economics. Everyone in DC knows this. So here is how this ends —
China will be told to remove Kim, or no trade with US. They will also be told if they take the north, they can keep it as a buffer zone.
Remember Trump told his cabinet “give me tariffs”. He wants a border tax to bring back jobs. Steve Bannon has said the same many times.
Either way Seoul may take artillery fire. It won’t kill millions. Perhaps a few thousand. Once the guns start firing, they will be identified and quickly silenced. I also think the NK generals will surrender just as fast as those *fearsome* republican guards in Iraq. This is WAY OVER BLOWN.
There is no way that NK has developed this level of technology in the last ten years. The nukes and the missiles are Chinese designs. When you understand that, the response options become few
Actually, I think the designs came from Pakistan. In truth, I don’t know how true this article is, but it certainly is extremely plausible, if not extremely likely.
Stuki Moi said:
“There is no way that NK has developed this level of technology in the last ten years. ”
Hence, by far most probably, they don’t have this level of technology. Nor anyone capable of developing if for them. Getting this stuff to work, is hard. It takes enough brains, and enough awareness of the field, that those capable of seeing the development to fruition, won’t bother doing it for som Nutjob McKim.
If what went on even was a nuclear detonation; the bombs, and fissile material or at least the ability to refine it, comes from abroad. If it came from China, it came with a protected envoy to oversee the whole smoke and mirror theater, and to make sure nothing dangerous gets pilfered away by the children. If it did not come from China, it came from someone China has exactly zero interest in seeing nuke-arming North Korea (India, Pakistan, Russia or the US.)
Regardless, it’s China’s problem, much more than it is “ours.” If it was Kim Canuck acting up and triggering seismic events, on our border; making it “our” problem, just might have made some sense. It’s not. North Korea is squeezed between China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.. All of them big boys. Plenty grown up and capable of dealing with whatever this really is.
“…But NK needs to be neutralized sooner rather than later….”
there is zero indication that the Norks have any desire for a first strike. The Norks have been consistent their nukes are for deterrence ( same as ours )
plenty of countries have nukes these days – no need to wet your panties
BillyBob Texas said:
…until they sell one to the highest bidder. And they WILL, as they will need CASH to keep the little fat boy in Johnny Walker Blue and whatever else he needs…..
So far, it doesn’t appear anyone of the current Nuke Club has sold anything – except Pakistan – which sold to the NoK’s and probably – thru NoK to the Iranians…
…as soon as those two get several – and transportable…..WHO KNOWS who will get them. I suspect BOTH of those would like someone ‘else’ to set one off in the CONUS……
They’d have to undercut Pakistan.
BillyBob Texas said:
I only hope the US has already put out this edit:
If a NUKE GOES OFF ANYWHERE IN THE U.S., we will determine where the plutonium came from – and WILL ERASE THAT COUNTRY FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH AND ALL HISTORY.
It is necessary that any ‘sellers’ of any weapons KNOW they will pay the entire price for ANY of their weapons going off over here….
..(and, to be fair….they can hold us to that demand, too……)
Stuki Moi said:
Considering which country originated presumably all the warheads known to be on US soil, hence capable of having “going off” here, I would hope policy is a bit more nuanced than that…..
David Fox said:
Sounds like the old Cold War of Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD ?
calm down chicken little
the sky is not falling
BillyBob Texas said:
So, Vooch, what part of it do you disagree with or thing is incorrect?
south will eventually have to surrender said:
next a rapid incursion across DMZ ,quickly move forces into the south and seize territory then simply watch what happens,if trump stands down (tweets)then move to take seoul,Sk will be on it’s own against much stronger NK/China axis,surrender is the only option
Conscience of a Conservative said:
considering trump’s indication a few days ago that he’s ending the south korean free trade agreement, today’s tweet that blames south korean apeasement on the current situation and that we all know trump only likes winners and has a short attention span, it loos as if trump is about to hang south korea to dry.
airing public disputes with your ally and ending important trade agreements during a crisis would seem to be two things you don’t do when you want to show support for an ally and that’s what trump is doing? very incohesive strategy,
David Fox said:
President Donal Trump is a one term president. Two Republicans in the House have announced intention to seek their parties nomination in 2020.
BillyBob Texas said:
HAHAHAHAHA . 16 “Republicans” ran against him last time………..HAHAHAHA
KozJam (@KozJam) said:
Billy Bob has it right.
Trump is un-beatable on the campaign trail.
Stuki Moi said:
…..Doubly so by the undifferentiated pack of less-than-zeroes going by the moniker House Republicans.
“Two Republicans in the House have announced intention to seek their parties nomination in 2020.”
NOPE. Why do you think neoCON Pence is where he’s at? Once Trump is adequately obstructed and sabotaged by the Dems with help from the RINO Party, aka the phony opposition, Pence will be nominated and run in 2020 bringing the majority RINO contingent of the swamp’s Rep/Dem duopoly fully back in control so they can promise another bazillion things they won’t actually implement.
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!” ― George W. Bush
No, too many people apparently can be…
The US needs to primarily develop a reliable way of intercepting and destroying ICBMs. This would render NKs ICBM threats useless.
Then policies and resources in place to swiftly annihilate NKs conventional military so as to reduce the threat and damage to SK and Japan.
Further, the US needs to make clear to NK, China and the world that a NK attempted attack would mean retaliation from the US and world, with the goal of regime ELIMINATION/extermination, and reunification of the two Koreas, under South Korea rule.
Then heavy sanctions on NK, and ultimately China, to reduce NK to nothing. The lifting of sanctions conditional on the destruction of NKs nuclear program and weapons.
If the nuclear program is destroyed, then not only sanctions lifted, but a move toward normalization of relations with NK, and open trade.
China does not want war, reunification , but neither do they want open trade for NK. So this is a tight rope.
We have the technological ability to intercept and destroy ICBMs. The logistics and infrastructure need to be built up.
NK has subs, they need to be neutralized. All shipments to/from NK haunted via blockade and searched. They must not be allowed to trade with Iran or other violent nations.
And Pakistan is involved in all of this as well. They are supplying nuclear material and knowledge to both NK and Iran. Trump is right to turn the heat up on them.
I read a lot of SF. If we had a force field that could seal NK in and everything else out, that would solve a lot of problems.
Barring that, laser weapons would be nice to shoot down missiles. The USA has some that they are testing now, mounted on boats. But how powerful are they? A LOT MORE power is required to use lasers effectively in an atmosphere.
Stuki Moi said:
Boost phase interception, considering North Korea is small enough that the interceptors can be placed fairly close to any in-country launch site, is at least slightly less pure sci fi than force fields. I certainly wouldn’t know how to build them. But then again, neither would I know how to build most of the cool kit the Pentagon boys get to play with. So who knows if they are being worked on, and if so, how far along they are.
As a cold war defense against the Russia threat, given Russia’s massive land mass and submarine launchpads, those were never a focus. But Pentagon people have at least been talking about developing that capability for a while. Specifically to deal with the off-chance that a “rogue” state like NK could somehow get their hands on a missile.
This is all bluster and I am not paying attention to any stories about North Korea. All they are doing is needlessly stoking fear.
A few weeks ago the media was at defcon level 10 about North Korea and then *poof* they stopped talking about it a week later. You couldn’t find any stories about North Korea anywhere after that one week of hysteria. Anyone else notice that?
BillyBob Texas said:
DTF: Yeah, I noticed that. They went on to Melania’s high heels and more bullshit about Trump talking about building a hotel in Russia back in 2005……BOTH were WAY more important than an errant nuclear madman…..@#$%^&^%$#@#$%^&!!!!
j c said:
Beloved Leader is treating Trump like Rodney Dangerfield
Too simplistic. The idiot is just as likely to set off a bomb in his own territory.
This needs Global action.
How will JP react given their history and recent rocket test over their heads?
Shooting war? A calamity waiting to happen.
China appears manipulative or impotent or just plain foolish.
Please explain why the U.S. ‘needs’ to do anything? Little Kim has the bomb. So do a lot of other nations. If he uses it, then flatten his frozen, shithole of a country. Otherwise, let China & South Korea enjoy dealing with their little tyrant.
That’s valid. Help Japan defend of self.
China wants a larger global role?
Well let it tidy-up this mess first as a test.
What if “he uses it” somewhere in the USA?
Diogenes of Sinope said:
The war and ensuing ceasefire between North and South on the Korean peninsula were, are and continue to be mandates of the United Nations.
There never has been a “peace treaty” but a simple cease fire that keeps each side on their side of the DMZ.
Pray tell, where in heaven is the UN in all of this? South Korean Ban Ki Moon was Secretary General of the UN for 10 years and this was not an issue. He leaves office in December and by August we’re facing WWIII.
The US needs to act? Yes, they need to tally up an invoice of services rendered on behalf of the UN and have Nikki Haley present it to them in New York for immediate payment. Start marshaling the Blue Helmets and bring Joe Sixpack’s kids home from Korea.
It’s only a matter of time before similar weapons are in the hands of NGOs with apocalyptic beliefs. Total global WMD control is likely only after some truly disgusting event that leads to mass suffering.
True! Maybe the aliens will come down from space and disable all our nuke toys.
It will happen when all the largest global powers are quaking at the knees. When it’s almost too late. Enforced by overwhelming shared enforcement power.
We might just have some peace thereafter.
NK has a significant military, if wiki is to be believed. US ground forces would likely be outnumbered by at least five-to-one on the ground, though the US would have sea and air superiority.
Post any military conflict – that is, surrender by NK from a conventional nava and aerial bombardment that levelled all NK’s infrastructure and military capability – unless the US has won the “hearts and minds” of all N. Koreans, any US prescence in NK would be under permanent attack via a guerilla war (that would make ISIS activities in the Middle East look like a kids playground).
A nuclear strike would also probably irradiate both China (in the NW) and Russia (NE) – is that really a viable option?
From here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea
Main article: Korean People’s Army
See also: North Korea and weapons of mass destruction and Songun
Korean People’s Army (KPA) soldiers at Panmunjom
The Korean People’s Army (KPA) is North Korea’s military organization. The KPA has 1,106,000 active and 8,389,000 reserve and paramilitary troops, making it the largest military institution in the world. About 20 percent of men aged 17–54 serve in the regular armed forces, and approximately one in every 25 citizens is an enlisted soldier. The KPA has five branches: Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Force, and Rocket Force. Command of the Korean People’s Army lies in both the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the independent State Affairs Commission. The Ministry of People’s Armed Forces is subordinated to the latter.
Of all KPA branches, the Ground Force is the largest. It has approximately one million personnel divided into 80 infantry divisions, 30 artillery brigades, 25 special warfare brigades, 20 mechanized brigades, 10 tank brigades and seven tank regiments. They are equipped with 3,700 tanks, 2,100 armoured personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 17,900 artillery pieces, 11,000 anti-aircraft guns and some 10,000 MANPADS and anti-tank guided missiles. Other equipment includes 1,600 aircraft in the Air Force and 1,000 vessels in the Navy. North Korea has the largest special forces and the largest submarine fleet in the world.
BillyBob Texas said:
Yep, look at the numbers for Saddam’s Iraqi Army in 1991. About the same. They were vastly overrated and just plain not any good at all against overwhelming air, sea and land forces. Of the nearly 1 million men under arms in their Regular Army, estimates are thet perhaps only 200,000 actually fought – the rest didn’t have the guns, supplies, ammo, training, or just flat out surrendered or deserted when they came under fire.
I suspect our military has a pretty good idea what will happen with theirs…..
Joseph L. said:
I would worry more about an EMP detonation than a nuclear missile.
The US army, already stretched to near breaking point, is in no condition to fight a new korean war. And neither China nor SK nor Japan have any plans to attack SK, however much the US prods them. That leaves a nuclear strike or diplomacy as the only options. Let us hope cooler heads will prevail and the US will take the diplomatic route.
“there would be nothing anyone could do about it unless we instantly took out 100% of North Korea’s military capability.”
Can do. Five, maybe Fifteen minutes tops.
John Doez said:
NK isn’t playing a high-stakes game; it is playing a totally insane one.
Kim Jong Un increasingly resembles the protagonist of the Scottish play; he has assassinated his main rivals, consolidated his domestic power, but started to lose his marbles in a very big way.
But war is way off; it is far more likely that the Kim dynasty will be overthrown by domestic political rivals, backed to the hilt by the US and / or China.
Kim just like his father is a megalomaniac who loves to read stories about himself and all these new sophisticated weapons he has developed. Years ago Jimmy Carter went to North Korea and came back home convinced that they were using their nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. I don’t remember exactly when this policy of appeasement got started, only that every few years they would start making threats so that eventually we would give them several billion dollars for some peaceful purpose to shut up and go away for a while. Now things are more serious, but still we need to ask what exactly are his motives in this present situation? This time I would think he would want much more than what his father has received in the past. Or does he think he can force America to stop providing security for South Korea so he can invade the South, though just a guess on my part.
Sam Vesp said:
Further appeasement may embolden Kim to outright invade South Korea. Even so, the Pentagon will conclude a preemptive strike is not an option. The risk of massive civilian casualties in the millions is too much even for our career warmongers to contemplate. Trump’s threat of “fire and fury” was just a bluff, and now Kim is calling him on it.
Blue Cranes, International Crane Foundation: Save the Cranes
Cranes are dinosaur survivors. They existed long enough that bird of paradise plants mimic them to frighten herbivores, insects, and rodents.
If you think this is unpleasant, just wait.
The time will be soon be upon us where viruses can be manipulated quickly and smuggled into countries for release in big cities.
If NK is fairly homogeneous with some common characteristics different to SK, or SK can quickly administer an antiviral, a modified virus could be a way to take down NK.
Evil, but again, only a matter of time.
Future wars may be fought on the Genome battlefield.
Economic collapse is only one modified virus away. Meanwhile missile shield used to prevent last-ditch firings by NK.
Surface heat sources can be identified rapidly from satellite as rockets fired with close to ground response.
Ethically diverse populations can be more resilient.
I would be surprised if such capabilities are not already available.
Only a matter of time.
Doubt NK is ethnically diverse.
I would bet their DNA base is already known.
Man knows no bounds to his ability to kill and control others.
Such could be made to appear as severe influenza targeting NK DNA carriers.
The frightening thing is this capability could be adopted by terrorists and much harder to trace than radiation trails or nuclear exports.
Cities would be on lock down until an antiviral was quickly developed. Releasing multiple biological sources simultaneously would be a nightmare scenario.
It might not even need as much tech as nuclear capability if you don’t want to control the output well.
It could be one way to take down NK however if done very discreetly. If enough people get Flu at the same time collapse will occur.
Shouldn’t we use Patriot missiles on all those test launchings?
ICBMs fly thousands of kilometers into space, and likely exit the atmosphere within North Korean airspace. Patriot won’t hit them on ascent either I think, so that is why the seperate NMD programme.
Casus Belli = zero // Money for war = zero // Hitting Asia region for the 3rd time w/ nuke bombs is not in US national interest. Make no sense : who is mad here?
China is a threatening rising power, not NK.
NK is within a spitting distance from China. They have many issues w/China.
NK can be a proxy against China. It can be converted, for a price, to change direction.
Perhaps the whole 50 years Nixon era should be inverse. Are we still obsessed w/ him ?
Why do we, the US, have to protect Korean and Chinese jobs and the routes in which
their finished products are being shipped to the US and their supply lines.
General Marshal worked very hard, under the Truman administration, to save China
from itself, but the results of the Chinese civil war, sent us packing. For the 1st time,
in 200 years of US presence in China took a vacation, until Nixon re entered China (1949 to 1972). Why do we have to be China best customer. Are we trying again to save China from itself ?
In the last decade, many small countries believe that they need a nuclear 2nd strike
capability to protect themselves. Soon, a new bubble will be formed. 80 to 120 countries –
and their privateers – possessing nuclear weapons. All in a belief that they
are safe, the world is safe and LT risk = zero.
The best thing for the US to do is to consolidate before it’s too late. Not to educate.
The US should play defense by playing bunker and keep our existing assets in
a pre-determined consolidated zone and leave the rest of the world to the pirates.
Paranoia, being afraid, is a recipe for staying in the game for a long time. It’s a great skill.
Until injuries will send us watching from the bench.
China supplys NOKO with nuclear material, thwn condemns the nuclear testing. Yep, they are our ally.
Diogenes of Sinope said:
Aren’t they supplying microchips to some significant US weapons systems as well?
Wait until it’s discovered they’re playing games with US Navy navigation systems.
NOKO is a source of rare earth elements as well as China. The two countries literally are holding our advanced systems by the balls. The Obama administration refused to disclose anything about this problem to the press.
The world is full of complex problems to which there are no simple solutions. This is just one more example.
Trump promised lots of simple solutions to complex problems; he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare with better, cheaper health care. He was going get Mexico to pay to build the wall. Pull out of Afghanistan. Stop Iran and N. Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Destroy ISIS, since he knew more about them than the generals. He was going to cut funding for FEMA and the EPA. Fix the tax system, and cut everyone’s taxes. Bring back jobs that were automated out of existence 30 years ago. And a hundred other simple solutions.
The reality is that he keeps making these stupid promises and ridiculous tweets, and then blames everyone else, when the simple solution can’t be found.
The really sad part is that so many people still believe that Trump can somehow easily defeat NK without causing millions of deaths, mostly in SK.
If a country own nuclear assets, they don’t have to keep 100% inventory in vaults at home. They will diversify.
Ordnance don’t have to be launch through the south pole, reentering the atmosphere.
They can be launch from an old rusty bulk ship, from 300 miles offshore, a fishing boat nearby, or from a small apartment in a major city.
Wiping out a whole country within 20 min will not reduce the 2nd strike capability to zero.
Therefor, a superpower should transfer power to few “strong hands” to manage and
handle their zone, within a guideline.
Trump will macro manage, he isn’t a micro manager.
When the “tenants” are too difficult, he will sell and unload assets.
All he will do is to consolidate, kick the can down, until better times.
Going against him in head on collision, make no sense.
He always able to survive against all odds and rebound even from his Trump, close to zero rating, junk bonds.
The problem, again is China not NK.
China got a “helping hand”, several times, from a “family” of foreign nations. But as
always, nobody couldn’t save China from itself.
Will the next time will be different ?
Will we, in the USA, be in big troubles ourselves, after 240 years of existance ?
The solution to this “annoying” problem is simple.
USA announces ALL of its military forces on and around the Korean peninisula are being withdrawn immediately, on a permanent basis. An apology should be pronounced to ALL of the Korean people (north and south) for our constant interference in their affairs, and that we have also decided to abrogate our treaty with the South Korean government. No more diplomacy is necessary. We are leaving.
Oh, I almost forgot. “Privately”, of course, we should deliver a brief note to both the Russian and Chinese governments, in which we make plain that ANY attack against OUR sovereign territory and possessions (ie, guam) by North Korea shall be considered an attack originating from Russia and China, and shall be subject to the “most” severe retaliation, both economic and military at our disposal, including space based nuclear and laser weaponry.
Macro Investor said:
The next morning 1 million NK troops crash the border and take over the south. Millions die.
Next Japan is attacked. Millions die. The US promised to protect them so they wouldn’t re-arm after WWII. Oh well, promises don’t need to be kept, according to ignorants like you.
You must have been kept out of school. The history of the world is sociopathic leaders who crave power, and only stop when someone kills them.
the RoK is 45 times larger than the Norks, they have a vastly more powerful
Army than the Norks.
Field artillery in NK would kill 20+ million in SK in first 45 minutes of bombardment. If also hit with EMP, add another 15+ million.
Retaliation would have to come from the U.S. It would take more than 45 minutes to decide on a response. If NK troops still standing, they could march into SK with overwhelming force.
Plus, NK getting assistance from both China and Pakistan. Only deterrence is threat of overwhelming U.S. response. If NK troops flood SK and Chinese troops flood NK, how likely is that?
Notice that this case requires no nuclear weapons, and that NK has tested hydrogen nukes..
Think of this in terms of game theory instead of morality and such.
Why would NK ever attack the USA (unprovoked), knowing they would never even get to enjoy it or even to see whether the strike is succesful before being annihilated?
What would happen if the US pursued the low cost option of recognizing the regime and giving international guarantees of sovereignty and getting out of Korea? They would be giving NK what they want. The Chinese and Russians would all be on the same page as the USA. The NK regime would have to completely reorient their priorities and justification for their existence. With the threat of war and a wartime economy no longer viable, they would need to adapt to show their legitimacy. A process of evolution would start, of which the outcome is uncertain, but certainly preferable to nuclear war with tens of millions dying. All at no tangible costs.
Game theory is for rational actors, not the emotional ones which run governments nowadays.
so much of this sounds familiar. .somewhere. was it Kissinger telling golda not to strike first to the mounting arab attack or no us help/aid. so isreal let the arabs attack first.. isn’t Kissinger still in the loops?
personally, if someone told me they hate me, are making nukes and a way to deliver them at me, I would feel threatened.
I am not at all for war.not at all. but if war is thrust upon me, then I will do my damnest to win. and quickly.
big countries don’t care about little countries populations dying and suffering. fight over there but not here.
the usa can wipe out NK anytime it wants to. so I ask , what is really going on? what is the game not being talked about.?
a nuke going off wipes out the current financial mess and resets the stage for someone else to make bucks while no one is looking.
I think the global financial debt is at that point. thptb think we need a war to reset.
not saying I want this but what I suspect is going on.
there are more in the tea leaves than trump and kim show.
I get the impression that China and Russia don’t have much control over Kim. It wouldn’t surprise me if Washington is driving this behind the scenes. It looks like a mix between the strategies applied to ISIS and the Ukraine.
Arrange for NK to get the money and material to build ICBMs and nukes. Knowing how paranoic North Korea is about western imperialism, it’s easy to stir them up with naval war games and military plane flyovers. Whenever Kim shows off his new toys, it gives Washington a pretense for installing missiles in SK and Japan, and to impose trade sanctions that impact Russia and China.
It is my understanding that NK has a battery of artillery spread out across the DMZ. If true, there is no defense for artillery fire flattening out Soul.
Easily, NK is more at threat from Washington then any of NK’s neighbors are from NK.
Hey, The Donald!
May I recommend a great movie for you and Kelly and the boys while you sort all this out?
It’s called “Catch 22”.
Clinton, Bush and Obama are to blame for this by playing nicey-nice with NK for the last 25 years. They kicked the can down the road and now it’s reached a point that it can no longer get ignored. Otherwise NK will continue extort us and their demands will become absurdly unrealistic as they modernize their nuclear weapon and delivery systems.
The solution is through clandestine operations to destroy the Kim regime from the inside out. Destabilize NK and topple the government without firing a shot. Airtight sanctions are the starting point.
But once Kim fires on a US ally or attacks a US territory – we have no choice. We have to light them up.
One thing is for certain. We can’t continue w/ business as usual. The problem will only grow exponentially in the next 5 years.
I would not want to be in the US Armed Forces stationed in SK about this time.
LF. That may indeed be a temporary solution, but it would have to be done with China’s cooperation, with the result being a new NK regime, more under China’s control. The US would have to offer China some significant concessions, such as less interference from the US military in the region. Then perhaps, they could work together to change the regime in NK.
I would not be blaming previous US presidents for playing nice, but I might blame them for trying to control other countries, with often disastrous results. Which is the same policy that you are promoting here.
Carl R. said:
Here’s a musical interlude for you:
There are no easy solutions here. One possible path (I’m not offering any guarantees) is to continue to encourage China to step in and cool things down. One thing China desires is stability and NK is currently de-stabilizing the region. China does not like that.
However, China wants to keep NK as it is. They do not want a unified Korea, which would undoubtably be pro US, with US troops and missiles on its border. But they also don’t want NK to keep messing with regional stability.
Persuasion, behind closed doors, is probably the best option. Tweets and press announcements that threaten China, or NK only make things worse. Every time Trump makes a threat, it just encourages NK to ratchet things up another notch, and makes it more difficult for China to reign them in. Trump, sadly, cannot stop himself from being the centre of attention, and seems unwilling to let the diplomats do their job behind closed doors.
This could be a black swan event with disastrous consequences.
I don’t think you understand.
Kim is making direct threats of nuking our country. What is Trump supposed to do? Ignore him? Then all the Trump haters would accuse him of being a wuss.
The 3 former Presidents created this problem by not effectively addressing it and nipping it in the bud before it grew into a crisis. Now they’ve dumped it in Trump’s lap.
I saw this coming years ago. NK made threats long before they acquired nuclear weapons. Now Kim feels empowered and it will only ratchet up his rhetoric. 10 years ago he was an annoyance. Today he’s a danger to humanity.
They’ve tried diplomacy for the last 3 decades. And obviously all attempts have failed.
what direct threat ?
the Norks have never made a direct threat
stop swallowing neocon misinformation
Apparently you haven’t read the international news reports of what Kim and the North Koreans have been saying lately:
:”Destruction of the American Empire”
“Drop a “nuclear hammer” on America.
“Annihilate America w/ missile strikes”
“Blow the US from the Planet”
“Destroy the US w/ merciless nuclear strikes”
Stop downplaying direct threats.
Hey LF. What I understand is that this is a complex problem with no simple solution. I also understand that Trump”s approach of tweeting about it because he desires attention is beyond selfish and stupid. I also understand that the previous presidents are to blame because they continued US policy of trying to control other countries, which leads to these kinds of problems.
I also understand that Americans who believe it’s okay to to screw around with other countries are part of the problem too.
BillyBob Texas said:
Realist: I think you just about got it all correct.
Now what do we do about it?
Nothing? THAT’s exactly what Carter, Clinton, Bush and OBAMA! did……How’d THAT work out for ya’? Is everything OK, since we haven’t had a city incinerated YET…?
And whatever we do – or don’t do – will determine A LOT what Iran does next year or two…..
Mish please don’t take this as a personal attack, but how can you talk about a possible nuclear attack by America that would wipe out 50 million North Koreans and totally ignore the attack by planned parenthood, an organization which you strongly support, who has already murdered way more than 50 million people? As much as I admire you, your hypocrisy here reveals a dark side of your thinking, your flawed belief system of which you are not even aware. My wife for many years did volunteer work at the Crisis Pregnancy Center to encourage these young girls to have their babies ” support don’t abort” and have them put up for adoption. Mish if you ever saw the film “Silent Scream” which shows exactly the absolute horror which takes place inside the womb when the fetus senses the abortion tool is beginning to destroy it, I think you would change your mind!!
Equating abortion to nuclear holocaust is well beyond absurd.
Whirled Peas said:
Not so absurd.
Carl R. said:
Killing one person at a time is very different than killing them all at once. Killing the unseen and unknown is very different than killing the seen and known. Killing behind doors, privately is very different than killing in the open, where everyone can see. They are very different.
BillyBob Texas said:
What’s the difference?
They are both premeditated, intentional, horrific destruction of a human life.
(Unless you will state unequivocally that the fetus is not a human being until outside the vaginal canal..?) IMO, you’d be WAY wrong…but at least you’d be consistent. Which one is it?
The end result is the same for the eugenics-loving globalist nut jobs.
Let’s say there was a media ban on what NK was doing, like there is on the abortion pushers. No one would care what a dictator does to convince his people he is powerful to prevent being taken out by another wannabe ruler.
The military industrial complex needs to promote the risk of NK to advance their careers, perks, and power.
Why is the abortion industry and globalist afraid of transparency? It’s the same reason they create faux transparency if needed with wars that benefit them (which includes the wars on poverty, drugs, and terrorism). If they exposed the truth behind the abortion industry, the people might just get behind the war against those that so carelessly kill the most innocent.
The moral bankruptcy that has infected humanity, has also infected govt and the corporations that buy their protection and favor. Some call this syndrome the Credibility Trap and Control Fraud:
Showing respect for all human life is equally as contagious as the desensitization of wars and abortion on demand.
Diogenes of Sinope said:
Damn it, this sounds serious!
Where the hell is Victoria Nuland when you really need her to topple a foreign regime?
Mission Accomplished said:
Agonizing death is REAL personal.
Kim knows what happened to Saddam & Gaddafi.
That’s his calculus.
C Jones said:
When the US and UN tried the military option 60 odd years ago, they lost.
Now that both sides have nukes, why does anyone think we’d get a better outcome second time around?
BillyBob Texas said:
Hopefully the same reason landing on Normandy in 1944 was different than the Highway of Death in Basra in 1991. It’s called OVERWHELMING.
(BUT! His current Nukes ARE a much bigger problem….!!!!)
Are there ANY good solutions? Doing nothing is also NOT GOOD.!
Øyvind Nyhammer said:
Do this :
It is doubtful that the USA will get co-operation from either of NK neighbours Russia or China since America has already declared war on them both by positioning advanced weaponry all around them, this demands a response. Remember Russia’s much less effective action in Cuba was considered an act of war by Kennedy. Both Russia and China can be expected to take a longer view and not openly display western style paronoia but make no mistake moves are being made to contain the USA and NK might just be a loud mouth fall guy – a useful ploy to drain more treasure from the already underwater US treasury whilst the real left field target is the international oil $USD and a Eurasian block comprising two thirds of the world’s population. Eventually Japan and Sth Korea will join it too. If I was a Sth Korean I would look forward to that as a valid option to a remote USA posture and it’s dangerous warmongering.
Give the Chinese Taiwan, and strike a deal.
For whatever reason, Trump has caved to the military industrial complex, like he has to the health non-care industry. Maybe he or his kids woke up with a horses head or worse in their beds. An assasination attempt worked to whip Reagan in line, but it would be to obvious if tried on Trump, which would make the silent majority less silent.
NSA whistleblowers have shown us that nothing is off limits when it comes to the establishment maintaining power. Fortunately, or unfortunately, their actions are killing the golden goose, and there is still a large percentage of the population that believes freedom and liberty are worth fighting for. Hopefully, there is a similar percentage in the military and police forces, and a smaller percentage that will hide behind the excuse they were just following orders.
russell cohen said:
The answer is really very simple.China provides almost all of the crude oil and refined oil to NK. Without this oil the regime would collapse within 6 months.
There are four ways to do this
1.Make it impossible for certain Chinese banks to do business with the US if they continue to do business with NK.This would include some of the largest banks in China.
2.Tell the Chinese that the US is going to announce much closer military and commercial ties with Taiwan.This would include the reintroduction of US troops into Taiwan and the placement of THAD missile interceptors into Taiwan
3 Tell the Chinese that the US would publically back the introduction of nuclear of nuclear weapons into Japan and also announce that the US and Japan are partners in developing more advanced anti-missile systems
4.Strongly back India in its border conflicts with China .Describe how the Chinese forced the Dali Lama out of Tibet
BillyBob Texas said:
Well, Russell, THAT all sounds good…..but when WalMart runs out of all the products they sell…..the people here are gonna’ get REALLY whiney and start complaining that their $149 BBQ now costs $349……
Even Steve Bannon thought the idea of bombing NK was idiotic. The only reasonable alternative is to somehow get China to cut off the wealth and imports from NK. Kim Jong is essentially a gangster and is only in this for personal wealth. He is saber rattling to convince the US to bribe him to shut up-the Clinton Doctrine. Even if China cuts NK off, Kim Jong may continue to threaten the region so he can make his money. A better alternative is to have the South Koreans infiltrate and put a bullet in his head. I am sure his Generals will be a touch more reasonable. Or maybe his generals have to have him killed…But again I am sure he knows this and they also are personally wealthy being his protector
BillyBob Texas said:
I think an Internal Incident would probably be the best we could hope for.
Maybe start sending low-level (hard to see and shoot down….) drones over his place at night dropping leaflets showing the affluence of South Korea, perhaps telling the people (and Generals) that we would welcome them into the living standards of the rest of the world, that they don’t have to live under this subsistence level, starving to death, concentration camps, yada, yada. Yes, the peasants have no guns….but about 2 million of them DO……and maybe just one of them would decide it would be worth it……
In the past – around the world – the flow of information has helped bring down tyrants. Why is there no internet? This is why. He MUST keep his people in the dark…We should enlighten them. Over and over again with nothing but a swarm of disposable drones……..somewhere, someday, somehow, someone might take it to heart…..
Hey! it’s better’n a swarm of nukes…….
I do not believe NK has detonated even one nuclear device.
All that has happened is that very large amounts of conventional explosive have been set off, perhaps with a small amount of fissionable/radioactive material mixed in.
If NK had a viable device (let alone a deliverable weapon) they would have set it off
above ground so that the watching planes/satellites etc. would pick up the double flash
and other signature characteristics. There is no way someone with Kim’s personality would leave the issue in doubt.