Wednesday, July 5, 2017


North Korea yesterday successfully tested an ICBM with the capability of reaching both the continental United States and the Australian Northern Territory.     Informed opinion has it that it is only only a matter of time before they miniaturise their nuclear weapon capability to fit the warhead.

North Korea is a rogue state and the inherent tension in the leadership which by its very nature is arguably bereft of the checks and balances that exist in other nuclear powers means it is entirely possible that they might choose to exercise their first strike capability to prove the point they are a world power to be reckoned with in the expectation that the 'West' will bulk at all out nuclear war.  

That poses the question to which there is probably no right answer ... 'Are there any circumstances that would justify a pre-emptive nuclear strike designed to neutralise North Korea's nuclear capability'.    

One thing for sure and dollars to donuts that question is exercising the minds in Washington and Beijing and many places in between.    Arguably tension has reached new levels.   The stakes have never been higher.

Comment invited.     



Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I'd have to say the answer is 'yes.'

Unpalatable as it may be, no responsible leader can wait until a million of his or her citizens are wiped out before taking preventive action.

Noel said...


David said...

"Informed opinion" was what led to the destruction of Iraq and the rise of ISIS. How about we do way with informed opinion and rely on facts?

"North Korea is a rogue state..." is a propaganda statement that would make Goebbels proud. It adds nothing to our understanding of what is going on, both inside and outside the Korean Peninsula.

Right now Xi and Putin are trying to negotiate a detente while Trump is... well, being Trump and yelling at CNN. America is no longer the adult at the table.

The foreign ministries said that as a “voluntary political decision,” North Korea should declare a “moratorium on testing nuclear devices and test launches of ballistic missiles.” In turn, the U.S. and South Korea should “accordingly refrain from large-scale joint maneuvers,” the joint statement added.

They said “the confronting parties” involved should sit down for talks to agree on principles that include a refusal to use force and a pledge to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

Isn't that better than the dick waving Americans?

On the Korean Peninsula the US is the aggressor, using South Korea as a bulwark against China, regardless of the wishes of the Koreans. You might ask why the US deployed additional THAAD in SK. Back in June, the South Koreans suggested loudly to the US that THAAD deployment should … maybe be done on South Korea’s schedule, not the US’. Their reasons were pretty specious: South Korea was having an election and wanted to let the people express their opinion, in terms of the representatives they elected. But none of that matters a tinker’s fart to the US, which not only deployed the THAAD on Lockheed-Martin’s shareholders’ schedule, it violated the agreement with South Korea while doing.

Of course, to the US, South Korea is just another colony.

It is well worth remembering the history of why there is a divided Kora. It was not the desire of the Koreans, it was forced upon them by the USSR and the USA. The North Korean attempt qt reunification was ill conceived, but that is no reason why there cannot be a reunification in the future. But for that to happen will require the US to act for the best for Koreans and to stop using Korea as a cudgel against China.

Oh, and the US really should stop portraying Kim Jong Un as a deranged clown. At this point, it’s quite embarrassing for them.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise, Troll Adolf DLT says yes.

One Missile does not a war make. Given it's technology it is a wonder it got off the ground and from what I hear if they try and launch a practise missile with a nuke tip Fatboy will be visiting China.

The tactical facts are that in order to do mischief with missiles you need about fifty RELIABLE units. A single launch is containable with the current anti missile defences and AWS's.....but Fatboy knows this and all his posturing is for local consumption, he and Trump have a lot in common. Another huge mistake the Media make is trying to convince us that like Trump, Fatboy rules by divine right....crap....the real power lies in the cabal of generals and the faceless ones who have built up a power base over the last fifty years.

And of course the main reason there will not be a preemptive strike is because of the proximity of Sth Korea and more importantly China and a thing called wind..If you should accidentally hit a uranium or nuclear stock will kiss goodbye to the peninsular through wind drift.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

David ... thank you. Clearly we can rest easy on your assurance that DKR would never dare to miniaturise its nuclear weapons capability ... spew.

As for the DKR not being a rogue State and while Venezuela and Zimbabwe (perhaps you haven't heard/don't want to know about the DKR trained 5th Brigade responsible for an estimated 50,000 deaths in the 'Gukurahundi' campaign) would support your view ... most of the world does not.

For Egbut ... we agree to disagree. In this context one missile does a war make in a country where the usual norms are found wanting. Your point notwithstanding and nuclear weapons capability has advanced to the point where fallout can be limited to a relatively small area.

Don't take this as condoning a preemptive strike. Rather, a sober assessment of how things stack up

David said...

Here you go again, Veteran, refusing to see the inter-connectedness of events, trying to grab a piece in isolation.

You want to talk about 50,000 killed in Rhodesia by NK trained troops, what have you to say about the far greater number of deaths attributable to CIA trained militias? What about the national governments overthrown by US forces? Got a plank in you eye, haven't you?

50,000 in Zimbabwe pales in comparison to the million dead Vietnamese as a result of the US's lie over the Gulf of Tonkin "incident". Then there's the roughly quarter million US/NZ/Aust/Canadian dead.

North Korea lost over 2 MILLION civilians in the Korean War, a war that would never have occurred if the USSR and USA had left the Koreans to determine their own national fate after liberation from Japan.

How many nations does NK have military bases in? At the most recent count, one, itself. The USA? Around 800 bases in 70 countries. Bit of an imbalance?

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned our Government must be strong;
It's always right and never wrong;
Our leaders are the finest men
And we elect them again and again.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad;
I learned about the great ones we have had;
We fought in Germany and in France
And someday I might get my chance.

Pete Seeger.

Anonymous said... there something about wind you don't understand. I have used a lot of it in my time.

Typically, due to aerodynamic drag, there is a wind gradient in the wind flow just a few hundred meters above the Earth's surface—the surface layer of the planetary boundary layer. Wind speed increases with increasing height above the ground, starting from zero due to the no-slip condition. Flow near the surface encounters obstacles that reduce the wind speed, and introduce random vertical and horizontal velocity components at right angles to the main direction of flow. This turbulence causes vertical mixing between the air moving horizontally at one level, and the air at those levels immediately above and below it, which is important in dispersion of pollutants and in soil erosion. The danger area of a 105 shell is small but you can smell it downwind a K away.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

North Korea's not the concern here. It's doing what it always does, there's nothing new about any of it. What is new is that the US is now also ruled by a narcissistic, petulant child - that's the difference and the cause of the increasing tension. Don't look to whether the Koreans are crazy enough to launch a nuclear first strike on the USA - they don't have the means and aren't likely to for a long time, if ever. The question is whether the US govt is crazy enough to launch a first strike on NK, and right now it's pretty fucking crazy.

George said...

Well, when North Korean news stops claiming that the US has declared war on them in EVERY morning 'news' I'll be inclined to accept them as somewhat saner than they are now.
Incidentally the NK threaten all surrounding countries, even Australia.
It's time that they were brought to heel and their population treated humanely.
The NK are more likely to launch a nuke attack on South Korea than anywhere else

David said...

George, the Korean war has never ended, it has simply paused.

When you have the posturing from the petulant man child in the Whitehouse threatening decapitation strikes, I think fear is a normal response.

When you have people still living with memories of their nation being bombed back to the stone age, I think that American saber rattling would induce a war like state of mind.

North Korea may "threaten", but as PM said above, so what, that's business as usual. Right now the US and its sycophants are invading other nations, acting with impunity, killing civilians, and committing actual war crimes.

Andrei said...

The only place that this missile could hit on the Continental USA is Alaska and the only part of Australia it could reach is the tip of the Northern Territory neither of which are prime targets or highly populated

NK does not have the resources to build these in great numbers and using one on any other nation would be suicide because The USA has over 10,000 missiles and Hydrogen bombs that could hit anywhere in NK and turn it to glass

This is all posturing - this missile represents a threat to Seoul but the Norks already have lesser missiles and even artillery that can hit Seoul

The Veteran said...

David ... that the DKR is a rogue state is hardly a Goebbels like statement and neither is the USA the devil incarnate. There are many things about the US that make me feel uncomfortable but there are checks and balances in their system which are simply not there in the DKR and therein in the genesis of the problem.

To an extent the DKR is predictable in its unpredictability but if anyone thinks their attempts to acquire a nuclear first strike capability is to be ignored is kidding themselves.

North Korea remains a functioning state (just) per courtesy of China and it can be argued that China is the key to its survival. It remains to be seen if the 'squeeze' being exerted on that country by the US to have the DKR wind back its nuclear program is successful. For myself think the chances of that are slim as Kim Jong Un's government believes that having a credible nuclear weapons capability is the key to its survival to be used to win concessions from the United States.

So David et al ... spruk on with your anti-american rhetoric if that helps you sleep at night but the problem is a real one and won't be going away any time soon. I don't have the answer and I'm not sure anyone does. Tensions have never been higher and any miscalculation by any of the players could easily result in a nuclear holocoust.

Andrei said...

The DKR is a state that has been prevented from developing normally for the past 50 years and under continual threat from the USA which is why it has developed a siege mentality

Both China and Russia including the large city of Vladivostok are within range of those missiles why not back off and let them sort it out?

The USA is not the worlds policeman and has illegally attacked more countries than all the other nations of the world put together

David said...

There are many things about the US that make me feel uncomfortable but there are checks and balances in their system which are simply not there in the DKR...

The Americans are quickly finding out that the checks and balances they believed in do not exist. Trump is riding roughshod over the constitution and over all moral and ethical imperatives for good government, and no one can do a damned thing about it.

Tensions have never been higher and any miscalculation by any of the players could easily result in a nuclear holocoust.

I think tensions were a lot higher in the hot Korean War when MacArthur wanted to use nukes and wanted to invade China. Fortunately Truman took the correct, Presidential action, and sacked him.

I think tensions were a lot higher when the Berlin Wall was built.

It is within the gift of Trump to avoid an all out war, nuclear or not, by being the one thing he has never shown the capacity to be - A Statesman. He could emulate Nixon and bring NK in to the world community, opening up opportunities for education, trade and ping-pong!

The Veteran said...

Andrei ... DKR is still at war (technically) with the UN. It refuses to sign a peace treaty. It is a pariah state where civilised societal norms are non existent ... I mean 15 years hard labour (and death) for 'acquiring' a propaganda picture is hardly the mark of a country in step with the rest of the world.

You're right. China is a player in this game. As for Russia and relying on them to sort it out is much akin to letting a fox loose in the hen house.

The Veteran said...

David ... a slave to your own rhetoric. The checks and balances are there ... you see it every day in operation. Trump can't even get his replacement to Obamacare through the Senate ... held up by his own Party. The ultimate sanction is of course impeachment but, that aside, I can't see Trump serving out his full term.

THe DKR has shown no evidence of wanting to be part of the world community for the simple reason that were it to open its boarders to the world and the whole rotten pack of cards would come crumbling down.

Andrei said...

You're right Veteran the Korean War has been stalemated for over sixty years and the situation is that of a ceasefire not a resolution and during that time NK has been isolated and prevented from establishing normal relations with most of the world. We can't trade with them and they can't trade with us for example, which kid of distorts things for them don't you think?

" As for Russia and relying on them to sort it out is much akin to letting a fox loose in the hen house."

What you actually mean is that any resolution negotiated by Russia might not suit the Western Powers i.e. the USA who want to unilaterally dictate the terms which is why we got the Korean war in the first place

The obvious end goal would be a united Korean peninsula which would have been relatively easy in 1945 but is just about impossible now and for the foreseeable future

The Veteran said...

No Andrei ... we got the Korean war because North Korea invaded the South in a planned attack which saw them occupy Seoul within 39 hours of them crossing the boarder at first light on 25 June. Back in April Stalin gave permission for Kim to invade the South under the condition that Mao would send reinforcements if needed. Kim met with Mao in May and, while Mao was concerned about possible American intervention, agreed to support the invasion as the Chinese wanted the military and economic aid promised by the Soviets.

Some 'apologists' have argued that the South attacked first ... hardly credible especially given what transpired. At the start of the war the North had between 150,000 and 200,00 organised into ten infantry divisions, one tank division and one air division. They had 274 T34/85 tanks; 200 artillery pieces; 110 attack bombers and 150 fighter aircraft. The South had 65,000 'combat' troops and 30,000 'others'; no tanks and no combat air force. Five days after the start of hostilities the South was down to just 22,000 troops. What saved them was that the North had overstretched their supply lines and that made them vulnerable to interdiction by US air power. Another factor was that there was no spontaneous uprising in the South in support of the invasion as expected by the North ... the rest is history.

Andrei said...

Veteran Korea was theoretically part of Japan in 1945 and loosely became independent with the Japanese surrender

The Soviets accepted the Japanese surrender in the North and recognized an interim government so the Americans moved into the South and accepted a different interim Government because they didn't like the one the Soviets had accepted and one country became ipso facto two

It was China under Mao who encouraged the North to try and reunify the country not Stalin

At that time the China on the security council was not the Peoples Republic of China but Nationalist China and the Soviets were boycotting the UN thus the USA was able to get its mandate to interfere in what was an internal matter for Korea, thus making matters much worse and leaving a mess that hasn't been resolved to this day - this is all cold war crap and will never be resolved by the USA being bellicose toward the North which is what they have been doing for sixty years

David said...

The world has turned on its head, Andrei is the one making the most sense. As a Veteran of the cold war, I can only assume that our esteemed host is still under the sway of the propaganda of the time, the Domino Theory, the yellow peril, and reds under the beds.

We would not be in this mess now if the "winners" had left the Koreans alone to discover their destiny.















Syria (again)

Have any of these US interventions made the world a better, safer place? Did they improve the lives of the citizens? Or did they just enrich the US Corporatocracy?

But we're expected to believe North Korea is the threat?

Anonymous said...

Funny things these circular arguments where Andrie and David delve into the past to try and justify or solve present day problems. Quite simply to believe that te Americans or Russians responsible for political or military decisions of the past are still alive and have some bearing on todays events is propaganda and is moving into the Monty Python "What have Romans ever done for us" sketch.

List of Russain invasions where sometimes they did not go home and sometimes went home leaving a puppet Govt.

Poland (1939–1956)
Baltic states (1940–1991)
Finnish territories (1940)
Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (1940)
After the USSR entered the war on the Allied side

Northern Iran 1941–1946
Hungary (1944)
Romania (1944)
Bulgaria (1944)
Czechoslovakia (1944)
Northern Norway 1944–1946 / Bornholm 1945–1946
Germany (1945)
Austria 1945–1955
Manchuria 1945–1946
Korea 1945–1948
Kuril Islands 1945

Cold War

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 Czechoslovakia (1968–1989) Afghanistan 1979–1989

But those were the bad old days when the so called Communists were in charge....much different today with the enlightened regime of President for life Mr Putin.

Lord Egbut

Andrei said...

Lord Egbut you dolt The British invaded Iran in 1941 in collusion with the Soviets

And you complete and totally ignorant moron Germany, Hungary, Romania all invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 and made war on the Soviet Union. They all attacked they Soviet Union and killed Soviet citizens on Soviet soil! Which was a big mistake.

And do you know something else the USA invaded Germany in 1945 and unlike the Russians they are still there like a dose of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea

The Veteran said...

David ... I suggest you (and Andrei) bone up on your history. It was Stalin who gave the green light to Kim invade the south in a well documented meeting that took place in the Kremlin in April 1950. Stalin was happy to promote a proxy war with the West in the expectation that a militarily weak (at that time) United States would balk at intervention and that they (Russia) would have a client state in control of the Korean Peninsula.

Too bad for them that the West did not buckle as expected and too bad for Korea that much of it was turned into a wasteland per courtesy of Kim. The Chinese were, I think, reluctant players. It was only after MacArthur discarded their many warnings (from India and others) to stay clear of the Yalu that they decided on intervention.
The Chinese, the Koreans and Chinese and the Vietnamese enjoy a very interesting relationship.

David ... I accept you are a neo Communist and don't know any better.

The Veteran said...

Andrei ... silly me. So the Russians didn't attack Poland in 1939 and the Katyn massacre never happened.

Andrei said...

Veteran the Soviets took back territories in 1939 that the Poles had annexed during the Polish Soviet War in 1920

None of these things are as black and white as you make them out to be

For example during the Munich Crisis Stalin offered the British and French Soviet help to preserve Czechoslovakia and was rebuffed. And when Chamberlain sold out the Czechs Poland gleefully seized the opportunity to annex parts of Czechoslovakia for itself but nobody ever talks about that

Anonymous said...

Andrei......Iran quite correct except that you didn't mention that the USA, although unable to stop the invasion as it was not in the war yet did try to get the invaders to back off and respect Iran's sovereignty.

Even to day there is diplomatic correspondence from all wars locked away and will never see the light of day which makes all this finger pointing redundant.

More to the point as far modern history goes Krushchev ceded the Crimea to the Ukrainian federation in 1954 and when Putin's mob could no longer manipulate the current Govt. invaded, bloody Indian givers. The Russians nicked the Crimea off the Ottoman empire in the 1700's after a short war. As I said, utterly pointless arguments over the decision of men long dead don't help except to get the great unwashed excited.

Lord Egbut

Anonymous said...

Waiting with breath bated for Andrie's response to the Katyn massacre which the Soviets blamed on the Germans..........

Anonymous said...

The "Gonorrhoea" gave Germany the Marshall plan.. The Russians gave Germany a five year plan spread over 11 instalments.

Dolt and moron?......It seems you get most of your colloquial sayings out of Jeeves and try and keep up.

Lord Egbut

Psycho Milt said...

Veteran the Soviets took back territories in 1939 that the Poles had annexed during the Polish Soviet War in 1920

"The Polish Soviet War" of 1920 being of course the previous invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union, which regarded Poland as as much of an abomination as the Nazis did. And of course the Soviet government did regard this as "taking back" territory, because as far as it was concerned Poland had no right to exist - it's just not clear why anyone not an imperialist with no regard for other people's national identity would share the Soviet government's view.

Andrei said...

PM Poland didn't even exist as a country until 1918 - lots of new countries were born with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Civil War was raging, the Soviet Union didn't even exist yet. Most of the new countries didn't survive they were absorbed by the more aggressive ones that did, like Poland

The Poles wanted to rebuild the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that disappeared about 1650 and to that end took Kiev in 1920, which caused the local population to rally to the Red Army because they hated the Poles who were Western Slavs and Latin Catholics while they were Eastern Slavs and Orthodox - this is an ancient division. This is the Polish Soviet War which nearly brought and end to the second Polish Republic

WW1 did not end in 1918 in Eastern Europe and as the fighting raged on the seeds of WW2 were being sown

The Poles also fought wars with Czechoslovakia and Lithuania to annex territories they held

And pre War Poland was not a homogenous nation state actual Poles were barely a majority and plenty of Poles lived outside its borders, which are not the same as they are today

In 1914 Warsaw itself was part of the Russian Empire and its population was only about 50% Polish - its not as black and white as you make it Milt

The Veteran said...

Fascinating comments all ... remember history tends to be written by the winners, not the losers although sometimes losers can be winners ... confused?

Andrei thinks Putin is perfect; David thinks the US is the font of all evil; i'll go with Putin is dangerous, Trump is an idiot, China is very much a major world player while the US, notwithstanding its many faults, is the leader of the western world and the only real check on Russian and Chinese 'imperialist' expansion.

David said...

Yes, fascinating comments, but so much off the mark.

Even the original post's claim North Korea yesterday successfully tested an ICBM... being fake news.

The missile was actually an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile), but that doesn't sound as sexy or threatening as ICBM. Huge difference though, as an IRBM has a range of 3000-5000 kms while an ICBM has a minimum range of 5500 kms.

Then there is the concern that NK will attach a nuclear warhead, something the do not yet have, to launch an attack on ....? Who knows?

NK wants a nuclear "deterrent", not an offensive weapon.

I do not think, as claimed above, that the US is the font of all evil, but I can see why the Koreans do. They have had weapons pointed at them for 70 years. They saw Libya and Iraq give up their nuclear programs and the ensuing US invasion and destruction of those two nations.

It is not in NK's interests to launch a nuclear strike, they know they will be overwhelmed. But it is in their interests to play tit for tat.

It is not in South Korea's interest for trump to be a bellicose playground bully. NK apparently has the world's largest artillery with something like 8,000 mobile missile launchers that they keep moving around to reduce the damage from a pre-emptive strike. NK currently has the capacity to devastate Seoul, attack Japan with the Japanese getting fewer than 10 minutes warning. And yet it hasn't.

The danger is not NK randomly firing non-existent nukes, the danger is Trump's bullying will eventually lead to him having to "do something" and that something will be devastating for both parts of Korea and quite possibly Japan.

The Veteran said...

David ... do you enjoy being an apologist for North Korea. Is it true that you are the Oz Chapter President of the Kathy Dettwyler Appreciation Society ... just askin

p.s. It was North Korean State TV that announced that the test meant they had achieved ICBM capability and we have to believe them don't we.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Leftism at its loony best.

"The danger is not NK randomly firing non-existent nukes, the danger is Trump's bullying will eventually lead to him having to "do something" and that something will be devastating for both parts of Korea and quite possibly Japan."

Let me rewrite that for you, David.

The danger was not Hitler randomly invading existing neighbours, the danger was Churchill's bullying would eventually lead to him having to "do something" and that something will be devastating for Europe and quite possibly the world.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Poor David.

He will never recover from Trump's victory over his beloved crooked heroine.

No doubt he seriously believes the little fat Norker Porker would never have tested those naughty missiles if only Hillary had been Pres.

David said...

Good old Adolf, just like all the Righteous Right, always wanting to go to war, never having a valid reason, all they can do is invoke Hitler. About time you got some new lines.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

If David lived in Anchorage he might think a Norker nuke dropping in on his doorstep constituted a 'valid reason.'

Bu there, there, I should have realised the only reasons lefties go to war is to grab other people's assets and money when they've run out of their own.

Anonymous said...

Thirty five thought provoking comments and along comes Troll Adolf DLT with his two liners and ruins the thread. You are bit like your poster boy, don't like the centre of attention moving away do you? So you just barge in insult people and generally fuck things up. When it comes to the big boys posts you are as welcome as a Jimmy Saville tribute band at Starship.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I see losers are out in tandem today.

David said...

If I lived in Anchorage (probably the only Alaskan town Adolf has heard of) I would be quite used to living with nukes pointed at me. Now he wants to be BFFE with Russia, Adolf is quite prepared to whitewash the cold war and the threat of nuclear war from history.

That threat was real, unlike to confected threats from North Korea, Iraq, Syria, Iran, or any other nation that refuses to accept US hegemony.

Anonymous said...

David......sometimes you really do talk nonsense.

Lord Egbut

David said...

So Egbut, USSR / Russia had/has no nukes pointed at the US? The US has none pointed at Russia? The US hasn't had a nuke threat hanging over North Korea for nigh on 70 years? Or is it a case of when all you've ever been is a warrior the only solutions you can ever see are war?

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... can I bottle please your 'welcome as a Jimmy Saville tribute band at Starship' comment.