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DPRK Stepping Up the Heat Again

 
 
Reply Sun 18 Jun, 2006 09:30 am
We understand that the DPRK has stacked and is fueling the Taepodong-2 multi-stage missile. This long-range missile is design-capable of striking the continental United States. The missile is nuclear capable, but it is uncertain how much the weight of untested DPRK warheads would affect the missiles reach. The Taepodong-2 has not been test fired previously.

The DPRK news releases have also been increasing in bellicosity of late. Japan is very upset and vows to take the matter before the UN Security Council if the DPRK tests the Taepodong-2. A smaller Taepodong-1 was tested in 1998, or 1999 (my memory is going), and over flew Japan.

This is a matter of concern, but it also fits the pattern of DPRK "diplomacy" and threatening behavior established over the past 50+ years. We can expect the DPRK to rachet up its provocative behavior and threat levels over the coming months. If we give in to the threats, new demands will be made. The only response that has ever been shown to be effective is to demonstrate that the we are ready to resume active combat operations on the Korean Peninsula any time the DPRK makes it necessary. Time to be tough again.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Jun, 2006 09:51 am
Oof.

Thinking of boomer's brother.

From that discussion, seems evident that you know a lot about the subject, so thanks for the bulletin.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Jun, 2006 10:12 am
The probability of this deteriorating into actual combat is very remote. The DPRK has been crying wolf for over 50 years, and this merely fits the pattern. We can expect a lot of table thumping and loud voices predicting the end of the world, but in the end ... if we hang tough, the DPRK will pull-back, retrench and there will be another lull.

I fully expect the DPRK to conduct its test launch this week, perhaps as early as tomorrow. The missile will almost certainly overfly Japan again and land somewhere in the North Pacific. This is a test, so no one is immediately at risk. AFter the last test of the TD-1, no further tests were made for half a dozen years. Of course, in the meantime the DPRK secretly built-up a small arsenal of nuclear devices (untested, and not likely to be tested on the Korean Peninsula). The DPRK doesn't seem to have a large inventory of these missiles. One of the apparent purposes of this test is to probe for weakness and some sort of payoff for the DPRK not continuing its weapons programs. Faced with resistance, they will promise to forbear but will continue to secretly develop their weapons capabilities. The worst mistake that could be made is to hope that by giving into ANY DPRK demand will do more than buy a few years time.

Those with military families stationed in ROK should, of course be concerned, but this isn't something so threatening that we should lose sleep over it. As it happens our son is reassigned to Japan, and his family will be leaving ROK in the next few weeks. If the baloon truly went up in N.E. Asia, Japan is no safer than Seoul ... perhaps even less safe.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jun, 2006 05:02 pm
Apparently the DPRK conducted a "successful" test of the TD-2 earlier today. This event, I believe, marks the beginning of another period of heightened tension between the DPRK and the rest of the world.

As the sun sets today, it is now conceivable that the DPRK is capable of making a nuclear strike on Seattle in the near future. U.S. warships are being deployed around the Korean Peninsula, and Japan is rightfully concerned. The DPRK periodically probes for U.S./ROK weakness by staging provocations and making threats. Kim Jong-Il is now testing to see how far he can push while the U.S. military is stretched thin. If the United States does not make a strong and credible counter move the threat levels will increase. Kim probably is hoping that we will try again to buy him off, rather than risk military action.

Some will advise a series of air and missile attacks on DPRK missile and nuclear facilities to reduce the risk that Jong-Il will obliterate the population of Seattle ... the closest high-value U.S. target. Jong-Il is betting that we wont strike his nuclear and missile complexes for fear that general hostilities will breakout on the Peninsula.

Seoul is 25 miles from the DMZ, and well within the range of DPRK artillery massed along the border. An artillery bombardment of Seoul could not go unanswered, and combat operations on the Peninsula could recommence. The DPRK has a very large military establishment, but has virtually no chance of air supremacy, or the ability to really hurt the USN without using a nuclear weapon. DPRK might try to invade south, but would have to cross one of the most lethal kill-zones left in the world today. It is doubtful that the DPRK has adequate fuel and ammunition stocks to sustain a long campaign, but they could conceivably occupy Seoul again for awhile. Last time out they murdered tens of thousand South Koreans as political enemies.

So ... we have to balance the risk of the DPRK exploding a nuclear device over the west coast of the continental U.S. or Canada, against the potential costs of an intense resumption of the Korean War.

I'm glad that my grandchildren will be relocating to Japan by the middle of July, even though that may be a more dangerous location than Seoul itself.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jun, 2006 05:21 pm
It seems that I misunderstood the television news report. I'm deaf and saw the report in a crowded and noisy restaurant. Now it appears that the news report was only that the USN has deployed warships around the Peninsula and activated our missile defense system. If the DPRK didn't launch this morning, then they have a window extending into early July before the missile would have to be emptied of fuel and unstacked. Thats a dangerous procedure, and I think that a test launch will happen.

Prompt deployment of warships has an outside chance of causing the DPRK to rethink its need to test this missile.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 12:20 am
The key to this thread is the notion that we, sometimes, have to be tough.

First of all, we need a nation that assumes that it's government is advancing goodness, and not one that assumes it is an agent of evil. The latter is so perverse that it is frightening.

Inevitably, our government will, on occasion, prove not to be an agent of goodness. The beauty of our system, however, is that it is more than possible that as a nation we are able to identify our leaders who slip toward the Dark Side, and correct this problem. How many other countries in the world can say the same? More importantly, how many other countries with incredible global power can say the same?

Here is a reality which so many people at so many levels refuse to accept:

While positive motivation is the most powerful means of incentivicim, there is a significant percentage of the population (locally and globally) who are perfectly happy to forgo rewards if they are only allowed to do things as they please. For these people (and nations) punishment for unacceptable behavior is required.

Balance --- in all things --- is the secret of success.
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