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"North Korea's Preemptive Strike?" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian07 Dec 2017 1:12 p.m. PST

Imagine a surprise strike by Kim where he launches nuclear weapons at not only Seoul and Tokyo – two of the most populated cities on Earth – but also strikes U.S. and allied bases all over Northeast Asia…


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 2:05 p.m. PST

Hmm. That would be a lot of nukes in the air.

Seeing as how Lil Kim's toys aren't as reliable as he would like, I wouldn't be surprised if he predeployed suitcase nukes or dirty bombs to key cities and then launched dummy missiles to those sites.

Even if the missiles only flew a few miles before fizzing out, as long as the location was hit in some way by one of his agents he could claim the missiles hit their intended target, and that claiming anything else was just Western imperialistic propaganda.

With Lil Kim the truth is extremely fluid.


Raynman Inactive Member07 Dec 2017 2:41 p.m. PST

And North Korea will cease to exist!

Oldgrumbler Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 2:42 p.m. PST

I would think that an EMP would be N Korea's best option. Targeting would not have to be precise and only a limited reentry into the atmosphere would be needed. Read William Forstchen's One Seocond after series of novels. Impressive results could be achieved.

Mick in Switzerland07 Dec 2017 3:40 p.m. PST

This is a right wing US fantasy. We are firmly in "Wag the dog" territory.

Tgunner07 Dec 2017 3:57 p.m. PST

I'm guessing that denial is more than just a river in Egypt…

Oldgrumbler Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 4:07 p.m. PST

I don't think much will happen but an EMP would be the way to go. I think we now have to live with a nuclear N Korea & then a nuclear Iran, & then a nuclear Saudi Arabia, etc. Kim will likely not be so stupid to actually attack anyone.

The Beast Rampant07 Dec 2017 4:12 p.m. PST

This is a right wing US fantasy.

What is?

"However, any rational person can read the tea leaves and see that the chance of a war – indeed, a nuclear war where millions of people could lose their lives – is now a very real possibility."

Yeah, that is just NOW happening. Everything was just hunky-dorey from the Rosenberg Treason til last month.

Iran is a bigger threat. China can stomp a mudhole in Poppin' Fresh whenever they want to. I assume they are going for the slow burn.

The Beast Rampant07 Dec 2017 4:20 p.m. PST

This is all about a Certain Political Figure antagonizing the Nutjob Dictator du Jour. Maybe that's a reasonable course of action- placating them, bribing them repeatedly to be nice, and just ignoring them and hope they get bored and find something else to do for fun, has NOT Bleeped textING WORKED. So what else ya got?

Sundance Inactive Member07 Dec 2017 4:36 p.m. PST

Sooo…some of you seem to be saying that L'il Kim doesn't have missiles capable of reaching the US? Or doesn't have nukes? Or…? What exactly is the left wing fantasy? This guy's a nut job regardless of anything else. I guess the Euroweenies would prefer the world kowtow to the crazies rather than tell them to shut up, sit down and behave like we should be telling them. Part of the problem is the UN likes to think of itself as a world government but doesn't have the guts to actually govern itself let alone those who refuse to listen.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

"This is a right wing US fantasy"

Yes. He's a little puttie cat, without a mean bone in his body. His billboards are just misunderstood humor. He would never do to the US the things he's said he would do. He was joking. Innocent posturing. The US and it's allies have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Sure. Of course it's all the West's (mainly US) fault that the regime is what it is. It has nothing to do with China not tolerating a regime change. It's all the fault of the evil decadent capitalists in the West. By the way, I hear that NK really loves open-minded tourists though. This might be a good time to find out how hospitable and we'll-meaning he and his regime are:

TMP link




28mm Fanatik07 Dec 2017 4:58 p.m. PST

Anything is possible "in theory." So the right-wing hawks want to scare us and get Trump to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Norks.

Good luck. Trump is a paper tiger who "talks the talk" but he's proven to be extremely timid when it comes to confronting our "adversaries," not just Russia for obvious reasons but China for its activities in the SCS and Iran for its overreach in the Middle East.

After all, a war would be costly and negatively impact the stock market sans the defense sector.

Mick in Switzerland08 Dec 2017 12:52 a.m. PST

Have you watched "Wag the Dog"?

It is about a US President who wants to divert attention from political scandals at home by starting a war with a random small nation.

North Korea has an army that is mostly 1930s technology. Most of their army has to walk because they dont even have buses and trucks. The North Korean people are about 12 inches shorter than in the West because of chronic malnurishment.

Even if the North Korean missiles are real – the USA can take easily them out before launch.

A war with North Korea would be like Zulus fighting the death star.

I think the whole thing is just theatre.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2017 2:16 a.m. PST

Lol. So all their recent nuclear tests are fictional? And their missile launches all nothing but paper rockets? And their use of nerve agents at home and abroad just exaggeration by its neighbors? And his threats of hitting Guam, Tokyo and Seoul simply a mistranslation.

Like I said. LOTS more people need to go pay North Korea a visit and prove us all wrong by showing us how much they truly love us. Who knows? Maybe their department of tourism is looking for foreign promoters and they're willing to offer permanent positions.

TMP link

PS. "Wag The Dog" was a movie. A work of fiction. :)





Dentatus Fezian08 Dec 2017 6:23 a.m. PST

So we all know dictatorships require an external enemy to stay in power, which is the role the US serves. Much of NK's rhetoric is necessary propaganda and posturing.

While I'm not convinced his missile tech is up to par, I'm equally dubious about L'il Kim's powers of reason; he really might launch, thinking he can get away with it.

Which would be absolute bat shat crazy.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2017 6:41 a.m. PST


North Korea, autocratic power and the art of deterrence.

Patrick R ·Thursday, November 30, 2017

It is common advice, if faced by a bully, just strike back, they are more afraid of you, than you are of them.

Why it didn't work on my bully and why he kept coming back despite my best efforts was for many years a mystery. Turns out he was one of those psychopathic-narcissistic types that not only love to prey on others, but see any resistance to their actions as a deed of aggression against them.

The core problem is that it makes them almost totally incorrigible because unlike normal people when confronted by sanction or coercion by say an authority, change their behavior accordingly. These people don't, they cannot accept that there is a force above them and for them it's "Dominate or die." There is no alternative.

Many of our interactions relay on the basic principle that both actors are nominally rational in their behaviour and share certain basic expectations such as self-preservation, being able to weigh the cost of an action and measure an expected outcome versus a likely outcome. Granted even rational actors can make mistakes due to anything from honest mistakes and false assumptions, to being driven by an agenda dictating a specific course of action.

Most personal interactions are ultimately framed by higher authorities be it a school principal or a legal system that will arbitrate that can intervene if our interaction goes wrong. If you bully a fellow student, you run the risk of being punished, keep this as a grudge and lash out as an adult and you could be escorted to jail, screaming death threats at the judge as my bully apparently ended up doing.

But what happens when the highest authority is the actor ? Nations interact with each other like people would interact if there was no substantive higher authority other than some basic agreements to play nice and a mostly non-binding legal framework that mostly depends on others to take appropriate action in the case of infringements.

Thankfully many international relationships are of a benign nature, mostly concerned with daily coexistence, but at times relationships are of an antagonistic nature and the threat of armed confrontation becomes a distinct possibility.
Since its creation North Korea has been tightly controlled by its autocratic dynasty, the Kim family. It's an extremely tragic, but highly efficiently run system. The state is being kept in a permanent state of near-war, still officially at war with South Korea under a cease-fire that has lasted since 1953. Supported by China and the USSR as a fellow traveler in the great communist cause it was always perceived as a lesser evil, isolated from the rest of the world.

The border with South Korea is lined with one of the most impressive series of military fieldworks in the world today. A massive array of bunkers, tunnels, emplacements, millions of miles of barbed wire and extensive minefields are claimed to be a bulwark to ward off any further South Korean aggression. That this is also a perfect stepping stone for a possible invasion of the South is brushed off as merely western propaganda.
North Korea, unlike the kleptocracies typical of African dictatorships where corruption is a game anyone collectively plays openly from the great leader himself down to the lucky owner of a single official stamp, corruption and abuse is carefully hidden. Make no mistake, the idea of an autocratic ruler ruthlessly stamping out corruption at every level is simply a fantasy because it is squarely at odds with some basic principles of power.

No ruler can run a nation all by himself. He must acquire power to achieve his lofty position and must maintain this, and is therefore tributary to those people who help maintain his position. Rewarding those important to your rule becomes primordial and turning a blind eye to any attempt they will make to acquire wealth is actually productive and conducive to keeping you in power. A wise autocrat will therefore make the redistribution of wealth to his supporters a priority. If you gained power through revolution or simply got elected makes no difference, you will reward your fellow revolutionaries, or those who helped to elect you (this does not necessarily involve the electorate), but remember your state will only generate so much money, so if you want to see that Swiss bank account swell to bursting you need to reward only the important ones or better yet give them free reign by redistributing the wealth to your supporters or better yet, leave them with the magnificent opportunity to carve out their own little corrupt system asking for a nominal tribute and the implicit notion that they are free to plunder everyone, except the one at the top.

North Korea is a communist state you say, it is ruled by an
ideology and the Kim family abides by it.

A good efficient autocrat is free of ideology and only uses it for his own benefit. If they do suffer from ideology or feel inclined to waste money on people who are unimportant in the power game, it should be chalked up to a character flaw. After all nobody is perfect.

In North Korea communism is the framework that is used by the ruling powers to keep everyone in line, but the Kim family could easily have proclaimed their own ideology and go from there.

Personality flaw ? Kim Jong Un is a complete nutcase !

Have you ever been in a situation where you were confronted by somebody who was behaving so dangerously your main preoccupation was to get away as quickly as possible ?

North Korea is not only a very efficient autocratic system, but it is also a master of deterrence. Everything is both rational and calculated and designed to appear so toxic that nobody wants to get near it.

It is common wisdom that North Korea is an isolated nation, but it is not, it has carefully built up a hidden network throughout Asia that allows it to both generate wealth, secure a steady stream of foreign currency, acquire modern technology to benefit the ruling elite and helps to give it international leverage.
Whereas many autocratic powers have a two-tier system where the bulk of the economy serves the autocrat and his ruling elite, while the general population can live off the scraps. North Korea adds another tier and makes a distinction between the ruling elite that helps to prop up the regime and the Kim family. If the money stream going to the elites is nebulous, but still traceable, the economy tied to the Kim family and said to exceed that of the two other tiers combined is completely separate.

I'll let that sink in for a second.

Forget Mobutu, forget Mugabe, Kim Jong Un is the only person in the world that has his own national economy. Most of it isn't even in North Korea.

Does this sound like a nutcase ?

North Korea wants you to believe they are crazy enough to pick a fight with the rest of the world because it assumes that its interlocutors are rational people who feel that starting a shooting war with North Korea is not worth the trouble.
Deterrence is an art. Speaking of peace, international cooperation and a friendly resolution of conflict and arguments are lofty and noble goals and coming to an agreement is the hallmark of a civilized society. Until you get involved with bad people, the bullies of the world.

Sooner or later somebody comes to power who feels they are better than others and deserve a bigger share of the pie and because they are stronger can start to dictate others what to do.

You can collectively try to isolate them and push them into revising their attitude and play nice with others. This often takes time and there are always those willing to make a little deal under the table or flatly refuse to help put them down because their self interest creates a conflict.

" I have always been fond of the West African proverb: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." Theodore Roosevelt

North Korea is focused on survival against the rest of the world. To this end they have carried deterrence to its highest conclusion by acquiring not only the "poor man's atom bomb" a massive stockpile of chemical weapons, but actual nuclear weapons, performing tests not so much to perfect the weapon as to show off how dangerous they are.

In reality North Korea doesn't have the means to fight a prolonged conflict. Not without major foreign aid. Yes, there are thousands of guns aimed at Seoul and they could flatten the city in hours if something bad happens, but these bunkers are quite unusual, they have been built around the guns, fixing them permanently in one direction so that nobody would ever be tempted to turn them on say Pyongyang. The guns have just enough ammo, kept under lock and key by the most trusted officers of the regime, to do their initial job, because many are poorly maintained anyway. It is believed that anything from half to three quarters of the mines scattered between the two countries are duds or malfunctioning. It is believed that most regular divisions are woefully underequipped and many of the most loyal and trusted divisions have significant breakdown rates even in peacetime. The North Korean military is a force to be reckoned with, they have special forces trained to infiltrate and devastate South Korean infrastructure.
If there is a battle plan the most likely one will be an early attempt to gain as much ground as possible and then try to hold onto it until countries like China and Russia force another cease-fire and help to push a peace deal that would favour North Korea, probably ignoring the 38th parallel.

Kim Jong Un does not eliminate top brass, vital aides and even relatives because of some madness or a sadistic streak. It's terror aimed at everyone in the system. Cross the line and you get blown up with a missile or a cannon or you get poisoned in the perceived safety of another nation far away from isolated North Korea.

North Korea's deterrence is second to none. They threaten war, defy even perceived aggression with bloody retribution. They create a state nobody wants to get involved with, let alone go to war with.

But North Korea is now having to deal with a completely new problem.

Donald John Trump.

"Don't kick the hornet's nest, they will sting you." A rational person would take these words to heart. Trump ?
I'm not saying Trump is irrational, but he has openly defied North Korea and is acting just as irrational as North Korea's posturing. Be it genius or madness, Trump has North Korea sweating because they don't know if he is coming for them or is merely a shrewd tactician calling their bluff.
You may not agree with his policies, but others are also starting to feel a little nervous that they might end up in Trump's scope.

Rationality has never been a safeguard against tragic mistakes, the whole of Europe thought somebody would back down in the June-July crisis of 1914 and the whole system of alliances and the concert of Europe collectively failed in the most dramatic way. Rationality however prevailed during the Cold War where self-preservation and the prospect of a nuclear war always won from the temptation to scale up a hot moment.

North Korea has long gambled on the concept that any rational nation would not entangle itself in another war where the use of chemical and now nuclear weapons seems almost guaranteed. Put an unpredictable figure like Trump in the game and …

Interesting times.

28mm Fanatik08 Dec 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

Don't be fooled by Trump's so-called "unpredictability." Trump thrives on chaos and is a master of using mixed messages to achieve his aims. Notwithstanding all his bluster and seemingly contradictory messages on the world stage – like his ambiguous stance on Taiwan for instance – he's a foreign policy realist of the Henry Kissinger school.

It's a transactional rather than an idealistic approach that we haven't seen in a long time.

As I said in my earlier post above, he's not going to do anything beyond making a lot of noise. His only military action so far is a toothless cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield in response to a chemical weapons attack on civilians by Assad, a symbolic gesture (he "had to" do something) which did little damage.

If or when Trump gets impeached and the neo-con hawks take over our foreign policy establishment, then things might get "more interesting."

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