Problems with North Korea are nothing new. Ever since the closing days of World War II, this small country has tried to take on the world with their bravado and fiery rhetoric.
Almost 70 years ago, that broke out into the first Korean War on June 25, 1950. Now they’re scratching the surface again…
The only reason why North Korea wasn’t annihilated as a political entity and absorbed into the nation of South Korea was that China came into the war once American forces got close to the Yalu River; the boundary between North Korea and China.
Concern that American forces wouldn’t stop at the Yalu, not a love for North Korea, caused China to enter that war, pushing American and South Korean forces back past the 38th parallel and forcing an armistice.
The reason why the Chinese wanted to protect North Korea is that they see the small country as a buffer. So North Korea serves an important purpose for them, as part of their defensive perimeter.
Given that, it’s no wonder that China has stood behind North Korea, as they have tried to bully the rest of the world.
So the problems we currently have with North Korea aren’t anything new. The only new aspect of them is that North Korea is finally reaching their long-stated goal of developing nuclear tipped missiles. Recent test launches show that they have finally developed an ICBM which will reach American cities, making their threat to rain nuclear war down upon us much more real.
Living in Suicidal Denial
American media and the intelligence community have had a hard time accepting North Korea’s success in missile and nuclear technology.
Denial after denial has come forth, downplaying the success that they have had and making it seem like it will be years before Km Jong-un can be a real threat to our nation’s security.
But while this has all been going on, North Korean engineers and scientists have been working hard to fulfill their dictator’s goals.
As we’ve watched missile test after missile test, we’ve been hearing over and over again that it didn’t matter, because North Korea still had to learn how to miniaturize their warheads, so that they’d fit on the missile. But that’s been a false narrative, given to use as a placebo, so we wouldn’t worry.
You see, one thing that has been kept secret from the US population is that North Korea already has miniaturized nuclear warheads. That information was found out and reported during the Obama presidency. But since it went against Obama’s agenda, the report was buried and we were all led to believe that North Korea wasn’t as ready as their missile program made it seem they were.
This hit a whole new level last Sunday, as North Korea did another nuclear bomb test; the first since last September. While any nuclear bomb test is something worth noting, this one is attracting a lot of attention.
Video first seen on euronews (in English).
The reason is that according to the official North Korean state news, this was a hydrogen bomb, the first such bomb built by the North Koreans. Producing roughly ten times the explosive yield of any previous test, this one caused an earthquake measured at a 6.3 magnitude.
The epicenter of the earthquake was less than a mile from the last underground test the hermit kingdom had, increasing the credibility that this was an actual nuclear weapons test, even if it wasn’t a hydrogen bomb. Shock waves from the test were felt in both South Korea and China.
Are We Heading to Disaster?
So we need to ask the question… Is North Korea really ready to launch a nuclear-tipped missile at the United States?
The answer to that question is probably yes… and no.
From what we’ve seen of the North Korean tests, they really haven’t mastered the fine art of missile manufacturing. Their success rate still isn’t 100% or anywhere close to it. Nor do we know of if they have figured out how to protect their warheads from heat on reentry, a minor technical problem that could render their nukes ineffective.
But that’s assuming American ideas about success rates. We expect every missile we launch to work perfectly. A 98% success rate isn’t good enough.
But if Kim Jong-un is willing to roll the dice, realizing that not all his missiles will function perfectly, he could launch an attack right now. At least some of his nukes would reach their mark, or at least close enough to their mark to give him success.
Since Kim Jong-un isn’t planning on shooting his first ICBMs at the American mainland, his chances of success are probably even higher than 50%.
Recent statements he’s made indicate that he has Guam in his sights right now. Perhaps he thinks we will be impressed by his restraint in not destroying a major American city with his nukes, but rather going after a Pacific island which has been a major American military stronghold since before World War I.
So why would Pyongyang threaten Guam, rather than one of our major population centers here at home? Besides the fact that it’s a closer target, making it easier to attack; Guam is a major part of the US Military’s plans for any action in Asia. As our closest major base to North Korea, any attack we might need to make against the hermit kingdom will use Guam as a staging base. The naval base there would probably become the most important logistics hub in that effort.
Attacking Guam would also be attacking American citizens, as the people of Guam hold American passports. That’s not even including the thousands of American military personnel who are stationed there. That would be a direct attack against our military, something that’s considered an act of war in anybody’s book.
The threat of North Korea attacking Guam has supposedly reduced a little, with North Korea stating that they are going to “watch a little more of the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees.”
Why is that? Probably because of statements by President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mattis, both of whom have made it clear that any attack by North Korea would be met with the full force and fury of the United States military.
Who’s Cards Is China Playing?
But there’s another factor coming into play here that might be scaring Pyongyang even more than statements by Donald Trump and General Mattis, that is that China has made it clear that they won’t support North Korea in any attack they make against the USA.
This is something that President Trump has been pushing for ever since taking office. As North Korea’s major trading partner and protector, China has a major influence on the actions of the North Korean leadership. Kim Jong-un might be a dictator and might think he’s the toughest kid on the block, but when it all comes down to it; he needs the backing of China to do anything.
But obviously, we don’t want it to come down to North Korea launching a nuke at anyone. The question then becomes how to stop them?
That’s where politicians, military planners and pundits all disagree. Former President Obama tried appeasement, just as he did with Islamic terrorists.
But appeasement doesn’t work against countries which are hell-bent on destruction. There is absolutely no indication that North Korea took any more notice of Obama’s foreign policy, than to see it as an opportunity to continue their testing, without interference from the United States.
The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, has favored a similar philosophy, wanting to open a dialog with the North, with the hope of renewing the “Sunshine Policy.” The idea behind this is to lure the North into disarmament through engaging them economically. However, those efforts have failed.
Actually, the North Korean government has been totally opposed to any sort of negotiations, preferring to use angry rhetoric and threats instead. They have taken a hard line to any South Korean or American military presence at all in the area.
Specifically, they have objected for years to joint exercises between North Korean and American military force. As far as they are concerned, American and South Korean military presence in the region is a provocation.
President Trump and his Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, have taken the opposite approach to the North Korean problem, standing strong against this adversary. While that seems to be having some effect, at least in making the North Koreans take pause, it is yet to be seen how much overall effect it will have over the long term. While it may delay action by the north, that doesn’t mean that it will succeed in bringing such action to a complete standstill.
A large number of options are on the table and being looked at by President Trump, Defense Secretary Mattis and their advisors. One of the difficulties they face is that the North Korean missiles are all mounted on mobile launchers.
So the possibility of a preemptive strike taking out all of the North Korean missiles is extremely low. Should such an attack fail, it is almost guaranteed that North Korea will make good on their threats and launch a nuke at the USA.
Where Do We Go From Here?
It is clear that the crisis with North Korea isn’t ending anytime soon, and short of another Korean War, it might never end. Continued diligence is essential, as North Korea continues to test their missiles. Any one of those could actually be more than a test, should they decide to arm one secretly.
Just a few days ago, North Korea launched three medium-range missiles into the Sea of Japan, with one of them actually overflying Japanese airspace. This has surely attracted the attention of our Japanese allies, as it was a direct threat against them. Pyongyang claims that the threat was supposed to be against Guam, rather than Japan, but if that’s true, their aim was off by a good 60 degrees or more.
It is clear that the North Korean’s aren’t going to stop their missile testing program. This could be nothing more than thumbing their collective nose at US and UN demands; but it doesn’t really matter the motivation.
Each launch teaches them more about making their missiles function properly, so that when they do finally want to launch a nuclear-tipped missile, their chances of success will be higher.
Will they launch such an attack? Nobody knows. I don’t even think they know themselves. I would say that chances are high that they eventually will. You can’t put as much effort into such a program, literally starving your population to fund it, and not have anything to show for it. They need results.
Sadly, the results they get may not be the results they want. But in this day and age aggressive action by one nation-state against another is considered unacceptable. We cannot simply turn out head and ignore it, if they actually launch a nuclear-tipped missile at American territory or the territory of any of our allies.
For the sake of protecting the world, we would be forced to act as President Trump said, raining “fire and fury” down upon them.
The sad victims of all this will be the people of North Korea, those who are blindly following their leader, cut off from the rest of the world. They are being fed nothing but a diet of lies, as their “beloved leader” twists the tail of the tiger, daring it to bite. When it does, they will be the ones to die, not the dictator who is gambling their lives like poker chips.
As the governor of Guam said, “I am glad that we have a man like Donald Trump at the helm. One who will make clear statements and who is not afraid to make the tough decisions when it comes to our enemies.”
He may soon need to make those tough decisions and I can only hope that the information that is being given him is true and accurate, so that he can make the best possible decision in the defense of our country.
What can you do is to prepare yourself for the worst, and expect for the best!
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.