Just four months ago a post here “North Korea conflict – an insolvable problem, other than war?” posed the question if another Korean war was impending and in the making, didn’t it?
Well, we now have the answer we all didn’t want TO HEAR and that is “YES”, wouldn’t you say? Certainly, North Korea seem to expect it, as reportedly it fully evacuated its capital Pyongyang a few days ago [some 600,000 people (they must have thought it was to be attacked by the US?)].
The situation seems analogues to that which brought about the start of WWII when world leaders fell over themselves to appease madman Adolf Hitler, who burnished an insatiable ambition to expand Germany into Europe, watched him blatantly illegally building up all Germany’s military forces to attack strength, and that of course included having weapons specifically prohibited to them, excused him threatening other countries, watched as he then went on to attacked other countries, but widely condemned him internationally, including berating him at the toothless ineffective League of Nations (the predecessor of the follow-on toothless ineffective United Nations, eh?)
Just compare all that with what has happened with communist, warmongering North Korea, where world leaders are beside themselves trying to placate and rein-in madman in chief Kim Jong-Un, who has an unbridled ambition to restart the Korean War [so called “Forgotten War”] because the North have ALWAYS wanted to try again to take over South Korea by force, to recreate ‘one Korea’ (and have only been stopped from doing so by failure to solicit the help of their main benefactor China (& fellow-travelers Russia), haven’t they?
Meanwhile they haven’t simply idly bided their time, but have spent a decade or more building-up their conventional military strength to an irresistible level that will overwhelm the South when let off the leash. However, they know that their next attack on the South would be met, not only by them, but probably like the last time, with South Korea being aided by America, Britain, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Ethiopia, Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Greece, France, Columbia, Belgium, South Africa, Netherlands, Luxembourg, where three of those countries are major nuclear powers with the ability to wipe North Korea and its leadership off the map, wouldn’t you say.
That is exactly why North Korea has consistently defied international law and the United Nations to embark on the quest of developing a ‘deliverable’ high strength nuclear bomb. With that weapon in place, they know that the so-called superpowers will not risk any intervention that would make themselves vulnerable to nuclear attack, don’t they?
So, despite increasingly stringent ECONOMIC & TRADE sanctions, North Korea has just one week ago conducted another illegal underground nuclear bomb test, their largest explosive device yet [that is the sixth test – a thermonuclear H-bomb indeed, with an estimated explosive yield of some 140kt of TNT – some eight times more powerful than the first A-bomb dropped on Japan]. Well, they had finally ‘admitted’ ditching the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons some fifteen years ago, to go on to conduct their first nuclear weapons test back in 2006 and it is thought that they now have available up to fifty such weapons.
Not only all that of course, but they are determined holders of even other weapons of mass destruction. They have a significant amount of both chemical weapons (perhaps five thousand tons including nerve, blister, blood, and vomiting agents) as well as biological weapons (including anthrax, smallpox, and cholera), bolstered by modern nanoweapons (which involve the manipulation of molecules and that includes laser weapons, thermobaric explosives, miniaturised unmanned aerial vehicles, ultra-lightweight airborne vehicles, and enhanced attack miniature munitions), all that currently aren’t even covered or restricted by international law!
Furthermore, the Pyongyang powers have just two weeks ago illegally tested another intercontinental ballistic missile (believed capable of reaching continental America), which would be the delivery system for a highly destructive nuclear bomb, and did so by it travelling 2,700 kilometres, overflying Japan to land in the Pacific Ocean, which was fully intended as a provocative threat to show the rest of the World that they can and will attack the least offensive of targets. [be aware that after World War II, the United States imposed a constitution that limited Japan’s forces to defensive purposes only]. However, North Korea should beware the very fact that America which has immense offensive capability, has a surprisingly close militarily alliance with Japan, don’t you think?
[An ICBM (and the later MIRV) intercontinental ballistic missiles are able to travel via outer space, so have a MINIMUM range of 3,400 miles (MIRV going up to 8,500miles). That means, possibly in range of a North Korean missile we might have Tokyo 800m, Delhi 2850m, Darwin 3550m, Brisbane 4250m, Berlin 4300m, Sidney 4600m, Brussels 5300m, London 5400m, Paris 5450m, Los Angeles 5950m, New York 6800m, depending on the development achieved so far].
North Korea have test launched about thirty missiles, since they actually promised to stop fifteen years ago (which includes fifteen this year alone), in clear violation of the UN Security Council. Eighteen months ago, North Korea indeed launched a space satellite, which would not only have allowed them a spy-eye up there in space [if only it had not tumbled in orbit so became useless as such!], but it was also a devious way of test firing their ICMB rocket technology with seemingly not breaching ICBM rules [doubtless their main objective, eh?].
The blunt truth is that North Korea has made unexpected rapid progress in developing its ability to deliver a nuclear bomb worldwide, so we in Britain need to be aware that London and our other big cities are potential targets, and are nearer than the likes of LA in Southern California. Without doubt, they will have had outside help, albeit from Russia, China, Iran or other nuclear competent sympathetic state, and with dependable intelligent gathering in North Korea being a virtual impossibility due to the isolated impenetrable nature of the place, it mountainous terrain, together with its complex secret underground facilities (caves, tunnels and the like) for military facilities, including factories and storage, means that its military assets and capability are basically indeterminate.
Some have always said that Kim Jong is over-boastful of their advanced weapons successes – well they were wrong when they have demonstably proved that they have an impressively powerful nuclear device PLUS the ability to deliver payload thousands of miles, wouldn’t you say? Now whether or not they YET have the capability of marrying the two, to give it the operational capability to deliver a missile beyond Asia, is a moot point but they certainly WILL be able to do so in the not too distant future, won’t they?
Human intelligence on the ground from the likes of spies, defectors, commercial or political or diplomatic sources, electronic eavesdropping (you see, the country lacks the normal intercept vehicles used, due to the restriction and dearth of widespread communications facilities, including those of hackable computers, broadband & internet technology, mobile phones, and all the rest) is so sparse to say the least that nothing leaks! No pictures are allowed to be taken of solders, let alone other military things, and even the dozen or more residences of Kim Jong are kept secret (ensures he can’t be easily targeted or taken-out, eh?).
The consequence is that we outsiders only ‘know’ what can be actually seen from satellite pictures – which means hard knowledge is severely limited, so we are very much in the dark (as the bulk of North Korea is at night, eh?).
Some would have it that Kim Jong [who has isolated himself from any outside influence] “isn’t really” a madman, but is solely determined to gain the prestige of making North Korea a nuclear power (with the World influence that goes with that), and so able to overrun the South – but many of us would dispute that, on the evidence alone of his ruthless executions to remove ANYONE who might cross him – and that would include reportedly having officials torn-apart by dog packs or slain by AA guns, as well as ordering Kim Jong–Nam, his exiled, playboy, critical (& so out-of-favour), half-brother’s evil assassination last February by two women (suspected paid massage-parlour ‘good-time’ girls) , using a sprayed toxic nerve gas agent [CDC/VX – a classified ‘weapon of mass destruction’, so not readily available at the local pharmacy, eh?] onto his face at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur airport departure lounge.
In the event of any military conflict, you can fully expect North Korea NOT to adhere to international law or conventions in weapons use, so without doubt they will fully deploy their immense killing arsenal without restraint, even if it causes their own destruction. You have to understand their mindset, which is very similar to that of terrorists like ISIS, but where their ‘supreme leader’ now simply has replaced any god, and the people nowadays accept the poverty, starvation & malnourishment, lack of basic facilities, and even death, that come with the Country’s 60-year-old policy of “military first”, which overrides ALL other considerations, domestically and externally, doesn’t it?
The peoples most at ‘immediate risk’ from the current Kim Jong dynasty, are those 50 million in South Korea (especially capital Seoul’s 25 million people) and particularly the 10 million just 700 miles across the Sea of Japan in Tokyo, as well of course, as the US forces of 75 thousand based within the region [Japan. South Korea, Guam (Naval & air force bases)].
The problem faced by ALL concerned other counties is that there is no way on earth of avoiding that problem and considerable loss of innocent life, is there? Do NOTHING and South Korea will be powerful enough to defy everyone and militarily conquer South Korea, which will see possibly say a million dead in the process, whence they will impose the same oppressive control over the South that they have achieved already in the North, where its population of twenty-five million are enslaved and subservient to a cloistered, secretive, cruel, violent, uncontrollable dictatorship.
However, a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist, and will certainly worsen, so America and its allies would be wise to strike at North Korea’s known launch pads while it still can, as the intelligence community consensus is that their ability to launch a fully operational ICBM with a substantial nuclear payload is only about a year or two away at most – and neither President Donald Trump’s ‘empty’ threats, nor UN ‘pointless’ condemnation, nor ‘harsher’ trade restrictions, nor ‘falling-on-deaf’ ears diplomatic censures, nor ‘persuasive’ reasoning, nor ‘extortion money’ food & energy aid funding, nor ‘appeasement’ talking, will have ANY effect on Kim Jong, as no action other than ‘decisive’ military strikes, will force him and his regime to halt the progress towards that result, will it?
Of course, there can be zero confidence that mere air and missile strikes can eliminate North Korea’s substantial offensive capability, and without doubt they will use it to retaliate so things will escalate, but what option is there?
Kim Jong’s current Achilles Heel is that he doesn’t YET have the capability to launch an ICBM from a submarine like we do, so his launch sites are potentially attackable – but for how long, eh?
[Nobody in their right mind wants to start a war, not least when nuclear weapons are around (and might well be used), BUT Kim Jong-Un isn’t apparently of sound thought though, and the World should NOT and CANNOT wait for him to come to his senses, can it?]