Home » Uncategorized » Krunch Time for Korean Krackpot Despot, Kim Jong-Un: Missile Crisis Countdown Has Begun
            

Krunch Time for Korean Krackpot Despot, Kim Jong-Un: Missile Crisis Countdown Has Begun

Kim Jong-un watches nuclear test

The Korean missile crisis has never been hotter. Trump is turning the screws on everyone to force action. China, Japan, and South Korea join in threatening Kim Jong-un with imminent war, but North Korea’s crackpot despot isn’t backing down.

Trump has dispatched war ships, including the USS Carl Vinson, to North Korea as North Korea continues to show signs that it is preparing to do another nuclear test on Saturday (known as ‘Day of the Sun,’ which celebrates the birth of the present dictator’s grandfather, who was North Korea’s founding president). Voice of America has reported that North Korea “has apparently placed a nuclear device in a tunnel, and it could be detonated Saturday AM Korea time.”

By that time (Friday in the US), I suppose, those American ships will all be in place to do whatever it is they’re going there to do — maybe blow up the facilities around the test site. A US aircraft (Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix ) commonly called a nuclear sniffer, used to monitor radiation after a nuclear blast, has been moved up to Japan. The US has two destroyers capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles positioned near North Korea’s nuclear test set, and it has heavy bombers in Guam, capable of attacking North Korea.

 

US pre-emptive strike against North Korea on the table

 

North Korean Missile TestsUS intelligence officials told NBC that the US may launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if they test another nuclear device. When asked about the NBC story, the Pentagon responded, “No comment.” North Korea, in response, has warned of a “merciless retaliatory attack” if the US takes such action and has said it will hit the US with a nuclear weapon if there are even signs of aggressive reaction from the US armada.  (It is not believed that North Korea has such a weapon … yet.)

A defiant North Korea has said it will do more tests, regardless of US threats, and that it “will not back down.” America’s UN ambassador under Obama already called the threat “extremely grave,” saying last fall that North Korea was more dangerous than ever and a threat to the entire world.

Now the US and South Korea have deployed thousands of troops in the area, and US troops have been practicing the assassination of North Korea’s crackpot tinpot dictator. North Korea confirms that it has no doubt that the US is threatening the life of its leader, and that the US, since the Obama days, has used its own nuclear bombers to push North Korea toward further development of its own nuclear arsenal.

After a recent North Korean missile test off of North Korea’s coast, Japan began conducting mass nuclear evacuation drills. In the last couple of weeks, Japan also installed anti-missile batteries around the country, and a report has been circulating that President Trump last week made the extraordinary post-WWII policy change of granting Japan permission to attack North Korea on its own volition so long as China is not already engaged in conflict with North Korea. Japan denies this report. So, this might have been talk to get China more engaged as China would prefer to keep Japan out of North Korea.

It has also been reported on several news sites this week that China has moved 150,000 troops into location along North Korea’s border and has even stated to North Korea it will go to war against it if North Korea attempts another nuclear test. Trump tweeted his confidence in China’s response, saying they would “properly deal with North Korea,” but adding that, “if they are unable to do so, the US, with its allies, will!” Trump also said that, when he met with China’s president, he told President Xi Jinping to remind North Korea that the United States has nuclear submarines.

China issued its own uncharacteristically blunt caution to all parties this week:

 

The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering,”  China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said in Beijing…. “No matter who it is, if they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this.”  (The New York Times)

 

Even the normally reticent South Korea has warned the north that it can expect significant punishment that it will find hard to recover from if it attempts another nuclear test or intercontinental ballistic missile test. So, North Korea’s days of getting away with nuclear tests that defy world conventions are clearly over, and I think the days of negotiation are also past. There will be no more tests without action.

 

North Korea gears up for war

 

Kim Jong-un watching submarine's test missile launch.

Kim Jong-un watching submarine’s test missile launch.

Suspecting serious trouble, North Korea partially evacuated its capital, Pyongyang, this week in order to reduce the population present to the number that can be accommodated in bomb shelters, and its Supreme Despot, Kim Jong-un (whose plopped-on hairstyle is only trumped by the Donald’s orange swirl), has told journalists to get ready for a big event. This event may have been the ribbon-citing ceremony Kim participated in this week with journalists present, as he showed off Pyongyang’s latest development, but the press is gathered for the upcoming Day of the Sun celebrations and anticipates something much bigger at this event at which North Korea has in the past displayed missile tests or other evidence of military prowess. As he preps for whatever he’s prepping for and makes his various threats, Kim Jong-un is all smiles like a lunatic with something up his sleeve.

 

Kim Jong-un dances with soldiers as he celebrates a North Korean missile test. Everybody is happy.

Kim Jong-un dances with soldiers as he celebrates a North Korean missile test. Everybody is happy.

 

All nations are on edge

 

Vice President Pence is scheduled to visit Seoul on Sunday, during his first Asian trip. The timing of his visit, after the Day of the Sun, might indicate the US does not plan any pre-emptive strike against North Korea on the Day of the Sun. However, while Pence is ostensibly going to South Korea to talk with the government there about North Korea’s nuclear development, the White House has also said it has contingency plans for the VP’s visit, should North Korea carry out another nuclear test, indicating the possibility of a sudden shift to a war footing if Kim goes ahead with his apparent plans. Said a White House foreign policy adviser of Kim Jong-un,

 

He continues to develop this program, he continues to launch missiles into the Sea of Japan. With the regime it’s not a matter of if – it’s when. We are well prepared to counter that.

 

The Kremlin has reported that it is watching the developments around North Korea with great concern. According to the head of Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev,

 

The most alarming thing about the current U.S. administration is that you can’t be sure if it is bluffing or really going to implement its threats…. America objectively poses a greater threat to peace than North Korea…. The entire world is scared and left guessing if it strikes or not. (Associated Press)

 

Maybe that is Trump’s plan — to keep everyone off balance so no one feels safe with the status quo in order to push for real change. Plan or not, North Korea’s vice foreign minister says President Donald Trump is more “vicious and aggressive” than President Barack Obama was. You got that right.

 

We are comparing Trump’s policy toward the DPRK with the former administration’s and we have concluded that it’s becoming more vicious and more aggressive.

 

It takes one to know one: North Korea denounced Trump’s “maniacal military provocations.” But maybe that is exactly Trump’s strategy: convince North Korea that he is just as crazy as Kim Jong-un and just as likely to have a hair trigger in order to get the tubby Korean crackpot to back off a little. Convince the world with his recent attacks in other countries that he will act strongly and unpredictably in order to intentionally set everyone on edge.

 

Is the Trump edge shrewd and necessary strategy or a game of tit for tat?

 

Trump is turning the screws hard because, while China and the Kremlin are counseling the US toward further negotiation, decades of negotiation with North Korea, from Clinton on, have already gone nowhere. So, Trump’s recent military moves, including the advancement of this armada, may be intended to rapidly ramp up pressure on China and Russia to do more than talk endlessly about negotiation. That doesn’t mean Trump is bluffing, any more than his actions with Syria and Afghanistan were some kind of bluff. This is a rapid ramp up of real pressure, meaning real action will be taken if North Korea takes one more step toward nuclear armament.

 

“It’s high stakes,” a senior intelligence official directly involved in the planning told NBC News. “We are trying to communicate our level of concern and the existence of many military options to dissuade the North first. It’s a feat that we’ve never achieved before but there is a new sense of resolve here,” the official said, referring to the White House. (NBC News)

 

Trump’s sudden actions in Syria and Afghanistan this week were probably designed to make it clear to the North Korea, China and Russia that they cannot count on him to telegraph his plans to China and Russia. They cannot sit easily as they assume he will wait any longer for action on North Korea. Trump is making it abundantly clear everywhere that China and Russia have little time left to be of any further influence on the so-called Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He is deliberately keeping all parties guessing about what he will actually do because a ticking time bomb is strong incentive for all parties to do everything they can to avert a conflict that will put them at risk.

While they urge negotiation and sanctions, China is also reluctant to go with sanctions and clearly needs a major push to get there even in the present pressured environment:

 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said this week that the Trump administration should not expect China to risk instability in North Korea by going along with choking sanctions. China and North Korea are “neighbors with traditional friendly ties, including normal trade activities,” a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang, told reporters on Thursday. (The New York Times)

 

While Trump has been assessing tougher economic sanctions and pushing for them, I suspect his policy looks something like this: “We’ll apply sanction as soon as we can work them out with others, and we’ll engage in talks if North Korea shows signs of stopping its nuclear advancement, BUT we’ll never even get there if North Korea sends up another missile. We’ll simply shoot it out of the sky, and the second the DPRK detonates another nuclear bomb, we’re going to destroy those parts of the nuclear test site and of Korea’s nuclear development facilities to whatever extent they can be safely destroyed.”

(Obviously, we have to be careful that we don’t send a reactor into meltdown mode that could contaminate and kill friends in the region or harm the earth generally. You cannot just knock out its control room without creating your own bomb right beside South Korea, which could also drift contamination over Japan, Russia or China. Those countries may be more concerned about that kind of literal fallout than they are about Kim Jong-un’s retaliation. Japan has also expressed concern that Kim might respond with chemical-tipped missiles, aimed at Japan.)

Kim Jong-un sits alone

Kim Jong-un sits alone

Personally, I think getting North Korea’s insane leader out of the way could be a big win for Trump. It’s the only situation I see where regime change actually does make sense because Kim is clearly both evil and insane enough to use whatever he has at his disposal. Unlike Assad or Qadaffi or Hussein, Kim directly threatens the US as often and as directly as he can. So, why would we wait until he has whatever he needs at his disposal? If someone is holding a gun to your head while you’ve got one aimed at theirs, do you wait until they start to pull the trigger before you pull yours?

 

CNN, however, can only wring its hands

 

After stating that “four-year-old” Trump doesn’t have the attention span it takes to fulfill his campaign statement that he might be able to “talk ’em out of those damn nukes,” CNN can only wring its hands and say,

 

The price of war is too high to bear, and the time for pre-emption passed on October 9, 2006, when Pyongyang said it conducted its first nuclear test. Doing nothing has only resulted in continued military development and aggression from North Korea. (CNN)

 

That’s a silly statement and is the kind of writhing in the wind that has gotten us where we are. The price of waiting for North Korea to get a nuclear missile is even higher, and pre-emption hasn’t passed if the US can take out North Korea’s nuclear arms before North Korea is capable of moving them to the US. If doing nothing has resulted in further military development by North Korea, and attempts at negotiation by Bill Clinton (before he gave up on that path) and talk by Obama did nothing to slow North Korea down, what option is left, other than an attack aimed at disarming them?

If you want real action here, you’re going to have to apply real pressure, which means real risks because no one in North Korea is listening to all the threats. So, Trump may be doing this to push things into action, but it clearly won’t work (because it hasn’t) if the threat isn’t completely real. Trump is saying, “We are past threats. It’s crunch time. Cease and desist immediately, or immediate action will be taken.”

If cease and desist works this weekend, talks will have a little time to proceed along with sanctions. If it doesn’t, there won’t be any further need for talks.

 

 

  • Dr. Wolf

    While NK’s leader appears to be insane what laws has he violated that warrants invasion by another country. Just asking.

    • He’s broken international laws against nuclear proliferation; but worse than that he’s “test fired” missiles into waters around Hawaii, South Korea and Japan and has stated that, if the US appears “too aggressive,” he’ll send loaded nuclear missiles the next time. Of course, who knows what “too aggressive” means. Given that he is clearly insane, should we wait and see if he means it?

      • Dr. Wolf

        Makes sense. If one is testing dangerous weapons in areas other than your own that is a problem. Could you explain what the phrase under the “international law against nuclear proliferation” means? Does this mean that no country can experiment with nuclear weapons in their own territory anymore? What is the current law in dealing with international violations? No country can just go into another and just bomb them can they? Certainly the acts by President Trump in Syria violated current International law, UN law and Federal law.

        • Hi Wolf,

          As you will be able to see in the latest article I just posted yesterday, I think Trump is on very shaky ground with his attack in Syria. Going after regime change is much different than going after terrorists that are in someone else’s country if they are terrorists that are a threat to us.

          Of course, Obama was just as bad but in a strictly covert way in that he often appeared to be either aiding terrorists in Syria who were going after Assad (the falsely called “moderate rebels). What on earth is a moderate terrorist? At other times, he appeared to be going soft on attacking terrorists who were strategically damaging to Assad when we should have been killing them for our own sake. Constant mixed motives are what kept our efforts there against Al Qaeda and ISIS rather disappointing in its success rate.

          If you read my next article ( http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/getting-trumped-in-syria/ ), you’ll see I’m not going soft on Trump over the Syrian thing; but there is a big difference between someone who is constantly threatening the US (N. Korea), who has fairly recently attained nuclear weapons, and Assad who seems to be pretty much leaving us alone. (In my mind, anyway.)

          The exact details of the UN’s nuclear proliferation agreements, I don’t known; nor do I know exactly how it would apply to North Korea, which I presume has not signed on. I don’t spend as much time researching my comments as my articles (can’t afford the time), so I’m just going on statements I’ve read.

  • Charles Manson once said, “Insanity is relative.”

    Or, as Kim Jong-un once said, “Insanity is A relative; kill him.”

  • Auldenemy

    I agree totally with your assessment of this extremely dangerous and evidently insane little pork pie in NK and what needs to be done about him. Look what happened to his older half brother recently (very obviously assassinated on pork pie junior’s orders). The manner of that assassination, at an airport terminal full of people and using a toxin so lethal that an amount less than a grain of salt will kill (not only if inhaled but if contact is made with the skin), shows the complete disregard NK has for human life. Just a few drops of that toxin (which is odourless and colourless), could have wiped out many other people that day.

    The USA and Europe have been fixated on The Middle East. One can argue the rights and wrongs of that until the cows come home, but it has increasingly puzzled me as to why the USA and Europe have seemingly ignored the lunatic running NK for so long. The levels of starvation his people have endured so he can carry on where Daddy left off, as in attempting to build long range nuclear missiles and an ever expanding military, is disgusting. So are his methods of execution, including having his own uncle tied to an artillery gun so as to be made into instant jam. Only a complete psychopath could behave like this.

    I suppose China hasn’t bothered about NK because it knows the pork pie relies on it for trade and it also knows porky won’t ever dare to sling a nuke in its direction. Perhaps China has enjoyed seeing not only the West but also Japan become more uneasy by the antics of porky and Co. Whatever, there is no way NK under the leadership of this insane spoilt brat is going to change anytime soon. As you say, decades of trying to negotiate with NK have achieved nothing. Little off-his-head porky needs put to bed for good and I hope it is done swiftly and with the co-operation of China rather than the USA alone. Either way, it has to be done. If this raving imbecile is not taken out then sooner of later he will nuke either SK, Japan or even the USA (if his longing for long range nuclear missiles is ever realised). While he hopefully doesn’t have full nuclear capability yet, it is highly likely that NK has masses of chemical weapons. The concern has to be that these may well be aboard his growing fleet of submarines. It is therefore possible that these could appear anywhere in the West and fire guided chemical weapons into Europe and the USA (also Japan of course). If the little maniac knows he is going down then presumably he will try and destroy as many human beings as he can in the process. If his airforce can drop even small, dirty bombs, hundreds of thousands of people could die, add on chemical missiles fired from submarines and millions of us might die.

    So if the USA is going to take out this maniac then I hope to God they somehow manage to kill him fast. Using the analogy of the snake, the head needs to be cut off first if there is any chance of slowing down the body until it stops. No doubt porky has deep underground, luxury bunkers (full of junk food and porn to keep him entertained in a WWIII scenario).

    This has to be the most dangerous time for our world since Castro and the Russian missile crisis. It is worse though because at least JFK could talk to the Russians. How do you talk to a completely insane pork pie with a massive arsenal of deadly weapons, a vast and brainwashed army and a longing to use them both?

    Multum In Parvo

    • Indeed. It astounds me how many people at Zero Hedge are reading this article and arguing that the US should back off and let him get nuclear weapons because the US has them and used them once. That was seventy years ago, and the US has shown TOTAL restraint ever since, never once pulling one out in a war where it would have been certain and instant victory. We could have won Vietnam and every other war since. (There would be nothing left, and i would have been a grave evil, but we certainly had the ability to do it. The point is we don’t.)

      The number of brainless people responding at ZH as though it is completely ridiculous to think a psychopathic killer would ever misuse his nuclear weapons is ridiculous in itself. It is almost paralyzing that the world is actually that stupid.

      I’d love to see the US disarm from nuclear weapons and all of the rest of the world, but I’m far more concerned about twitch-fingered maniac who genuinely believes he’s a demigod than I am about the US (though Trump is erratic and concerning, too). It’s just dumbfounding that anyone (much less so many) can argue that it makes more sense to let Dr. Strangelove continue building his warhead and continue building up his submarine base that is capable of launching them at the US already. (What? Do they think it takes an operations ICBM to hit the US from a SUBMARINE? A much simpler missile from a hundred miles offshore would more than do the job. Or just manage to sneak the submarine into any US harbor, and it’s game over for that city.)

  • jakartaman

    It will go like this
    Kim shoots off a missile
    Our navy shoots it down
    All countries/talking heads have a happy day.
    Kim goes missing within two weeks

    • I think the first half is a likely bet. The second half? Reunification? There are bound to be a lot of bad ol’ commies in North Korea that don’t like that idea, particularly people who did well under the Kim’s who are criminals who would be prosecuted under South Korea. It’s a nice thought. One can hope.

  • Oz

    So is the goal, with Kim Jong-un out of the way as Supreme Leader, maybe just disappearing somewhere (hiding in a safe house in Paris? has he got an RV somewhere he can drive around South Korea?), North Korea suddenly folds and we all go back to doing whatever we were doing before we got rudely interrupted? That’d be great, I’d finally have time for that slice of chocolate cake.

    • Or maybe the goal is Kim Jong-un flopping and dying in the street so everyone knows he and his family were never gods after all. That reduces the likelihood of another Kim taking the reins by divine right.

      After you take out North Korea’s nuclear facilities and its ICBMs, the tough part begins — figuring out who replaces Kim — but, at least you set the clock way back on the nuclear missiles and bombs and removed Mini-Me who dances and smiles as he contemplates using them.

      And then you’ll have time for your chocolate cake, which you can simply nuke in your little oven in order to get it all warm and drippy the way you’ll like it.

      • Oz

        What country do you live in? Is it 1610 there?

      • Oz

        I want to be clear here, I am NOT knocking your goals — in fact I would/will be very happy if removing Kim Jong-un turns out to be a workable option somehow (hopefully without a lot of casualties) that would result in a more stable/better world. So I’m with you there. But I simply can’t believe that everybody in North Korea is suddenly going to be anti-Kim, pro-USA if that happens. Like, here in the USA, we get to vote people in and out of office, we’re marginally informed as to what the qualities of a good leader should be, right? And how good a job do we do?

        • Auldenemy

          You are skipping ahead of yourself.

        • “I simply can’t believe that everybody in North Korea is suddenly going to be anti-Kim,”

          Nor I. Well, much of the populace would be IF they weren’t afraid to admit it, and they will be afraid to admit it because they can never know whether change is going to take hold and stay.

          “pro-USA if that happens.”

          Nor I. I have no delusions they will love us for it, or that the bad guys will all slink away; but I also have no delusions that anything is else is going to work outside of getting real tough and real … real. Because nothing has. It’s been years, and they are far too close to getting nuclear weapons — may even already have one or two. How much worse if we let it keep going until they have a hundred. It’s a high risk game, but the risk only goes up with each passing year. Kim Jong-un is not likely to gain better mental health as the number of years that he thinks he is a god continue on.

          “Like, here in the USA, we get to vote people in and out of office, we’re marginally informed as to what the qualities of a good leader should be, right? And how good a job do we do?”

          Apparently not very.

          –David