Battleland

North Korea’s Nuclear Cul-De-Sac

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REUTERS / KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a March 11 sail aboard what is most likely a nonnuclear vessel of the North Korean navy

The mutual bluster and braggadocio persisted over the weekend on the Korean Peninsula, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continued to drive his state down an atomic dead end. He brayed anew at the state of war between his impoverished nation and the alliance of South Korea and the U.S., at least when his websites, seemingly hacked over the weekend, were operational.

The U.S. military, for its part, saw Kim a pair of B-2 bombers and raised him a pair of F-22 fighters. The best fighters in the world, the F-22s — normally based in Japan — flew to South Korea’s Osan Air Base to participate in the continuing U.S.–South Korean monthlong military exercise that has unnerved Pyongyang.

It’s almost as if the U.S. Air Force has moved a branch of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to South Korea. First, Eisenhower-era B-52 flew missions over the peninsula, followed by Reagan-era B-2s. With Sunday’s dispatch of the George W. Bush–era F-22s, the Pentagon is running out of airpower muscles to flex. It will be years before the next-generation fighter, the F-35, is operational.

(PHOTOS: North Korea Ratchets Up Tension on the Peninsula)

But North Korea can take solace from the fact that the F-22, operational for three U.S. wars, has seen action in none of them. Designed to combat Soviet fighters that were never built, the world’s best and most costly fighter — at $350 million a pop — is now poised to strike fear into a nation that cannot even adequately feed its people.

“The real threat is to what North Korea might be boxing itself into,” Representative Peter King, a Congressman from New York, said on ABC Sunday. “Kim Jong Un is trying to establish himself. He’s trying to be the tough guy. He is 28, 29 years old, and he keeps going further and further out. And I don’t know if he can get himself back in.”

That’s the nuclear cul-de-sac: with his threat to attack the U.S. and South Korea with nuclear weapons, Kim has effectively painted himself into a corner. Anything less than that could be seen as retreat among his more hard-line military generals, whose country he rules only with their blessing.

King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he fears that a face-saving, tit-for-tat military exchange could spiral out of control. “I wouldn’t be that concerned about them hitting the mainland U.S. right now, even any U.S. territory,” he said. “My concern would be that he may feel, to save face, he has to launch some sort an attack on South Korea or some base in the Pacific. And then the President of Korea, President Park [Geun-hye] … may respond against North Korea.”

(MORE: North Korea’s Saber Rattling: Is the Bark Worse Than the Bite?)

Tensions escalated further over the weekend when North Korea threatened to shutter a factory complex it operates just inside its border with South Korea. The eight-year-old Kaesong industrial park is a vital source of cash for North Korea, with more than 50,000 citizens earning close to $100 million annually. The factory, which has continued to operate normally — with hundreds of South Korean workers traveling to work there each day — has withstood prior strains between the two Koreas. U.S. experts say its shutdown would be grim news.

The military calculus is pretty simple on the peninsula: after a half-century of preparation, North Korea’s massive numbers of artillery tubes and rockets could initially inflict tremendous damage on South Korea, including Seoul’s 10 million residents.

But, as U.S. officials have made clear privately for years, any major strike by North Korea against U.S. or South Korea targets would be suicidal: neither the U.S. nor the South Koreans have any interest in returning to the status quo ante — “the way things were before” — if the balloon goes up. The Americans and South Koreans know this, and have certainly made it clear to China, North Korea’s closest ally. It’s a safe bet North Korea knows it too.

The only question now is whether Kim believes it.

MORE: North Korea’s Secret Weapon?

61 comments
kellerjosef260
kellerjosef260

When nukes are built,it is hazmat wherever they wanna store it , they have depots in OGADEn and i suspect  depots could be in iran.


JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

It is time to wedge all round WAR against North Korea gathering International force. America or the West should not go alone but let the neighboring countries take leadership and the West should whole heartily support such war providing all logistical, military, political and financial help to take out this poisonous mole from the civilized world. War against Saddam, Assad and Gadhdhafi were illegal and on wrong footings but the War with North Korea should be considered un-avoidable and necessary evil. The U.N. should give an ultimatum to the young dictator and if time comes take him out using all means. I know, there is no OIL or wealth, but it is a right CALL. 

azmalhome
azmalhome

it's absolutely uncountable what can happen in the Korea war. i think that USA and south Korea are going to a big mistake, because they still don't know enough about north Korea power. the  Pentagon is not so well for information, because this  Pentagon has become unable to protect world trade center. http://azmalhome.wordpress.com/


JamesBaltimore
JamesBaltimore

The F-35 is already operational. I get your sarcasm but facts count....

MentalisticPage
MentalisticPage

He's going to declare war with the U.S., give up and demand billions in foreign. Smarter than the average bear. Via www.mentalistic.com

luciussullagallo
luciussullagallo

How long have Nuclear Weapons equaled welfare checks? Now North Korea is jumping on the bag wagon. 

KountyKobbler
KountyKobbler

ship in Cheney as the envoy  hes not got Rod-mans  decoreations  or ball handling skills  but  he knows how to stir up a hornets nest so they sting themselves out of existence if that's not  enough  send in Lawyer Graham   to do the debate  with youthful leader...

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

Can't Dennis Rodman go back over there and practice more diplomacy?

They're good friends you know.

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

One wonders if the generals are pulling the strings on Kim, or Kim is pulling the strings on them. Because after all, this is purely and simply an exercise in trying to make the kid look as tough as his old man.  He's an Oriental Ida Amin and he has to play the role.  He's not going to attack anybody because he knows we'll break his ice cream machine if he does.  Oh, he might provoke an incident and, if he does, we have to be careful not to overreact. I suspect it's the generals who are pulling the strings because they don't want to lose their comfy jobs and spiffy uniforms.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

If anyone follows the military (And Battleland should), they'd know that the F-22 doesn't live up to its hype in combat.  It's not as stealthy as they say it is, and is routinely shot down in mock-combat dogfights against the Eurofighter.

Plus there's that whole, pesky "I can't breathe" thing that tends to annoy the pilots they still haven't definitively fixed yet.

And, unlike the B-2's, they haven't actually be used in real combat before, so its performance in real-world is uncertain.  I'm not sure how much of a threat Lil Kim will feel from it.

Student
Student

"... U.S.-Soul Korean month-long military exercise that has unnerved Pyongyang."

 Do you mean Seoul?

ParthaNeogy
ParthaNeogy

North Korea's predictable nuclear tantrums are part of its Oz wizardry.  It would be a mistake to read too much into it.

melonheadx13
melonheadx13

is this an april fool gag or is this written by a native english speaker?

"He is 28, 29 years old, and he keeps go further and further out."  you have no credibility with writing like that.  have mom proofread for you.



roknsteve
roknsteve

Kim Jong un: Give us food and video games and we'll be good until next week or when the rice wine runs out. 

BillKennedy
BillKennedy

This was the previous week's outrage, they're coming thick and fast. This guy had already done it once and was coming back for a second dip.


"EX-NASA CONTRACTOR ARRESTED ON PLANE TO CHINA 

Mar 18, 6:38 PM EDT 

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A Chinese national who worked at NASA's Langley Research Center has been arrested on a plane bound for Beijing on charges of lying to federal agents. 

Bo Jiang made his initial appearance Monday in Norfolk federal court. It wasn't immediately clear whether Jiang had an attorney. 

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf says Jiang wasn't employed by NASA, but worked at the Hampton, Va. facility for the National Institute of Aerospace. 

An affidavit says Jiang was under investigation for possible violations of the Arms Control Export Act. 

The affidavit says Jiang was arrested aboard a plane at Dulles International Airport on Saturday when he failed to disclose all of the electronics he was taking with him. 

The affidavit says Jiang had previously taken a NASA laptop to China that contained sensitive information."

BillKennedy
BillKennedy

Where does North Korea get its advanced missile technology?  Maybe their best friends in China help a little.


Perhaps there should be a little more concern about security regarding the high-tech visa, H1-B, of which China is the second biggest user:


"Chinese citizen sentenced in military data-theft case...


“The reason this technology is on the State Department munitions list, and controlled ... is it can navigate, control and position missiles, aircraft, drones, bombs, lasers and targets very accurately,” said David Smukowski, president of Sensors in Motion, the small company in Bellvue, Wash., developing the technology with L-3....


In the past four years, nearly 100 individual or corporate defendants have been charged by the Justice Department with stealing trade secrets or classified information for Chinese entities or exporting military or dual-use technology to China, according to court records. A number of other cases involving China remain under seal, according to the Justice Department."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/chinese-citizen-sentenced-in-military-data-theft-case/2013/03/25/dc4567fa-9593-11e2-ae32-9ef60436f5c1_story.html?hpid=z1

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

Peter King is an expert on racism and blowharding against people different than himself, which he has richly displayed previously against Muslims and now again in this concocted crisis on an Asian peninsula far away.

ajfinken
ajfinken

"With Sunday’s dispatch of the George W. Bush-era F-22s, the Pentagon is running out of airpower muscles to flex. It will be years before the next-generation fighter, the F-35, is operational."

 This is terribly misleading.  The F-22 and F-35 serve different purposes, and in many ways the F-22 will remain superior to the F-35 throughout their lifespans.  After the F-35 officially deploys, the F-22 will still be the most advanced air superiority fighter in the world.

CharlieBlumhardt
CharlieBlumhardt

CharlieBlumhardt 5pts

2 minutes ago

I feel sorry the NK people ...and kids growing up in a kingdom of war...they know nothing the usa or the other free counties..But where was Kim educated ...?? So that poor bastered inhereted a kingdom ..at war ...I bet he is tired of keeping that army pumped up all the time

They only know one thimg ....war, thats what.. Kims dad tought them...so Kim is probley under pressure to do somthing after 30 years of prep for war ....So Kim cant win a war and if he doesent make war,which is expeced by his people...he may loose his head....

He cant win.....they are still living in the 50's.....and Kiim is stuck there......

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Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/03/29/north-koreas-secret-weapon/#ixzz2PD4OCAYq

kellerjosef260
kellerjosef260

@JohnDahodi there is gold , uranium and other natural resources estimated 7 Billion $  . Is it the right CALL , i guess YES it is, it is an Armistice and broken by NK as per 2010 (49 SK Sailors dead) and by the direct war declaratio/nuclear thread issued by KIM per 13MAR 2013 . Also refusal to let in human rights inspectors into the 12 to14 Gulags  is an additional reason to justify the use of force. China are at best playing and enjoying us when it comes to make  negotiation attempts.Russia has failed its duty from the very beginning 1945,they failed to occupy,control  and protect NK.1953 they left the crime scene. 

It is a crime, to wage an aggression war. Stalin did initiate an agression war 1951 , he commanded the occupied NK Army to invade the SK, he gave them  almost 1000 Yakoflw and Tupolev  airplanes.He painted NK Flag on these airplanes and pilots,soviet pilots ,with their families and loved ones (BTW Stalin probably forbidden to love anybody anyway),were forbidden to talk russian over the aircraft  radios. They could not speak accentfree  chinese ,they were on sorties under false flag anyway, so they

simply coul;d not talk and warn one an other if an opponent aircrafts dove down on them out of the sun.

Anyway 3 years before , we USA  supplyed stalin  with vehicles eg 500000 studabaecker  trucks , adjacent to NK in the NE for about 17km  was bordering Russia , Vladivostok , the port. 1944,1945  the supplyroutes/ports  were only 2 in the winter time ,Shat el arab (Basra( Iran  and Vladivostok )

 We do not know , if these trucks  ever  all of them made it  onto transsiberian railroad networks to the front against the NAZIs Some or most of delivery may have stud in the area and  given to NK to carry out the agression war against  SK.  Japan  helped too, they helped at sea and within japan with the logistics.History books tell us  the Chinese Infantry walked  from Chnese staging ciries to the busan Perimeter  2ooo miles or more !!!  Entry date  for the chinese infantry was 10 Days after General McArthur reaches Soul in his counter-offensive.summer 1951 . Something i do not buy,Mao had it planed out with Stalin long before ,possibly even before the agression war was initiated.More than likely using American built trucks,Especially  during a time when no American air reconaincense had reason to fly/patrol anywhere  at and above  Latitude 38 degrees . Counter -offensive was ( compare Kuwait liberation FEB 1991,gulfwar 1) looking  difficult first , But  chinese  infiltration 

was in place,just hiding out somehow. It was a show on part of the NK and chinese Infantry. So MacArthur thought he cleared the ennemy and was quickly at the YULA river ,chinese borders .the Counter-offensive looked succesful. The UN had drummed up 22 Nations to contribute military forces,military material,vessels was mostly provided by the U.S. One Nation was as far as South America , Columbia, it toke them 7 weeks to even get the first batch of boots on the ground. So  the 22 Nations ,the 8th Army  the 10th Army  were all stretched out from Incheon resp Busan all the way to Yalu river. Unarmed asiatic men seen were considered farmers ,local farmers in SK the SK  and NK the NK. they were hiding their rifles and Carabiners somwhere and at nighttime , they  showed color as the chinese  volounteer infantry and  fought vehemently the UN Coalition resp. the USA.

The Air Campaigne was great for USA ,GB and CAnada. Those YAKs and Migs did not have a long sky  survival chance , after 1/2 of the fleet down,those soviet pilots did no longer strap in, and ceased  their sories , they realized they do not have a fighting chance under false flag .I do not know about defections . I guess stalin did not want to lose any more these aircrafts. On the ground it was overnight  becoming a nightmare. Gen MacArthur needed nukes,they were refused, needed  to swing out into china for elimination of supply ,transpo and ammo depots, was refused to him.  So he was replaced  by GEN Ridgeway and subsequently Mark Clark. An armistice was signed 1953 ,Russia  did not have the courage to show up for signing ,but had the courage before to install these horrifying gulags in NK.





Cboyle88
Cboyle88

@DeweySayenoff Yeah it would be no problem to shoot down, what with North Korea's air superiority and all.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@Student Several typos in the article.  Good writers are very hard to find these days.

Tero
Tero

@Student 

He was gonna say "South" but then switched to "Seoul" half way through. Like saying "Gl'ice to meet you."

sverry7
sverry7

@melonheadx13  To be fair to the writer, he could simply have accurately quoted a garbled spoken sentence.  It was in quotation marks...

melonheadx13
melonheadx13

@bojimbo26 china is missing a great opportunity to step up and show the world how they can be a positive world power in diplomacy.  spank the brat and make him get right.  or is this a conspiracy between the two to actually accomplish that very end?

kellerjosef260
kellerjosef260

@BillKennedy   Of course NK can show the fruts of chinese technicians.Germans are involved too, and  a team of russians  .But all in all i would say Chin is still in control of all nuclear advancements and maneuvers. They are playing us like a fiddle and of course playing Kim too. They are probing this,"how can we make  America nervious"


forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@BillKennedy 

Advanced missile technology?  They aimed for space and missed - an amateur rocket builder can build better missiles than them.

I'm not saying there is an epidemic of Chinese corporate espionage - that's somewhat expected when you're an upcoming world power and have trade relations with the current dominant power (see the US trying to steal from Britain in the 19th century).  However, that doesn't mean it's automatically being funneled to the North Koreans.  China wouldn't want North Korea to be able to hit the US - it would mean the end of North Korea.

nstaley401
nstaley401

@triplesec did you read that report? they said the euro fighter would have been destroyed 20 miles before they could even see the F-22

betry
betry

@CharlieBlumhardt i agree your points,north korea people are innocent,kim deserves what he had done//

BobbyPotter
BobbyPotter

@CharlieBlumhardt : you sound dumb, at minimum. All they know is war? What about YOUR American kids? Have you forgotten that we are STILL at war with Afghanistan, having JUST pulled out if Iraq??? And now they're drum rolling our latest possible war with Iran??? America is a war country and you, DUMBLY will be repaying TRILLIONS back for the oil & Jewish wars...

kellerjosef260
kellerjosef260

@JohnDahodi Important to know KIM lives in Pyongyang ,the capitol city ,was completely bombed to burn down  1952, B-52 and B-29 were used.

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

I saw the interview - King was perfectly coherent.

melonheadx13
melonheadx13

@bojimbo26 we should remove our troops and let li'l un declare victory.  he wins, nobody loses. 

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@betry @CharlieBlumhardt The real answer is for someone to take that guy out.  You have to wonder why he is allowed such nonsense from his military, who surely knows they are toast in a real fight.  Everyone must have a gun on their heads from unknown points.

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

Ah, the oil and Jewish wars.  Assuming you mean Afghanistan and Iraq, they together cost just over $1 trillion - less than our current annual deficit.  Whether or not Iraq was a good idea is obviously a topic for heated debate, but the suggestion that the U.S. targeted Afghanistan for oil (of which it has none) or its danger to Israel rather than, say, harboring the Taliban responsible for 9/11 makes you sound far dumber than anything Charlie said up there.

FuzzyPotato
FuzzyPotato

@BobbyPotter while @CharlieBlumhardt might be inarticulate about things, there's a major difference between North Korea and the US.  They've been at war for decades.  Let me explain that to you: decades, as in the the Korean War hasn't officially ended yet.

While I certainly agree that the US has been more belligerent a nation in the past decade or so, that doesn't put the US in the same category as North Korea (or East Germany when it existed) or whatnot.  And while we're on the subject of inarticulate and dumb, "oil & Jewish wars" makes you sound both simplistic and anti-Semetic.  Perhaps you need to look in a mirror before you critique someone else's comments.


kellerjosef260
kellerjosef260

@JohnDahodi and now the USAF has not the courage to drop leafletts.Mr Park Sang HAk  has to wait for best winds in Soul to launch them with balloons.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@forgottenlord @notLostInSpace  You are correct but what seems to happen now is that the people editing don't know much more than those who are writing.    Not like the old days where there was some gray haired 40 year veteran checking the work.  Media companies of all kinds are putting those people out to pasture to save money.    

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

China loves having NK as a proxy thorn in the US' side.  It doesn't want open war because that would mean millions of malnourished NK citizens streaming across its border, but anything short of that is just good fun.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@FuzzyPotato @BobbyPotter @CharlieBlumhardt  While the Korean war was never officially "ended", the practical reality is that very few people in North or South K remember actually fighting.  They do a lot of staring at each other like we did in Berlin.  They have been told forever they are in war but there are no missiles flying, bullets dropping, houses blowing up, etc.  In the US we have been in war with few breaks since WW1.  (WW1, 2, K, V, Hussein 1, 2, Absurdistan). 

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