By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
Matthew 24:6 KJV - And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Kim Jong-un, the best fed member of North Korea's population, the pudgy dictator, continues to defy the world regarding his quest for nuclear ascendancy. The Korean War that exploded shortly after the end of World War II, and launched the world into a fight to keep the dominoes from falling into communist hands during the Cold War that continued through the Vietnam War; and didn't reach its final conclusion until the fall of the Berlin Wall shortly after the Ronald Reagan presidency, never ended for the North Koreans.
While communism has changed its form behind the scenes, and now is working to dismantle the West in the name of liberalism and progressive policies, the Korean War has been raging on for North Korea. The North Koreans have been raised worshipping their leader, and expecting the United States to come back and try to finish the job against the Koreans in the North that they began in the 1950s. So, North Korea is always on the warpath. Kim Jong-un is working towards military supremacy, and creating a nuclear arsenal capable of strikng the United States first. As with the rise of Islamic terrorism, the reality of a problematic North Korea is not as much the fault of any U.S. President, or Western leftist policy as much as it is that North Korea, like Islam, long ago already had become determined to reduce the United States to ashes for no other reason than that the U.S. is the symbol of freedom in the world, and the nation that embraces the light of Christianity. The shining city on the hill is seen by the North Koreans and Islam as their greatest threat, when in reality what the U.S. represents is the most glaring and brightest spotlight shining on them that reveals their opposition a being the tyrannies that they truly are.
As the rhetoric deepens, Kim Jong-un may have passed the point of no return. His ego, and promises to his starving people, require him to finish what he started. Therefore, he continues to up the ante, even when he doesn't have the chess pieces in place to carry out his threats. North Korea's state media warned the United States of a "super-mighty preemptive strike", a threat that came shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was looking at ways to bring pressure to bear on North Korea over its nuclear program. North Korea is making these threats with the robust attitude of having the means to carry out such a threat, even though it is less than a week since their latest failed missile test.
Kim Jong-un is eating up the attention, because in the past North Korea was treated more like China's yapping little dog that won't get back on its leash. With President Donald Trump taking the North Korean leader serious regarding his threats, Kim Jong-un is sort of like the teenage boy who suddenly thinks sticking out his chest means something (rather than the show of immaturity it actually provides). The petulant dictator has rebuffed admonitions from neighbor China and has proceeded with nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions.
The North Korea state run media published the following threat: "In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes."
Threats against South Korea, Japan and U.S. bases in East Asia are nothing new.
Communists do those kinds of things. After all, in a Soviet Union and Chinese style, North Korea even had the temerity to once again provide for all the world to see a huge display of missiles at a parade in Pyongyang (though, one wonders if the missiles in the parade were actually foam or paper mache).
At an event I was speaking at, recently, regarding the U.S. Constitution, a member of the audience asked me if submarine missile launches by North Korea, so as to reach the U.S. mainland, were possible since intercontinental missiles by Kim Jong-un are still likely four years away. According to Free Beacon writer Bill Gertz, North Korea is making rapid progress on developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles and missile-firing submarines. Gertz based his assessment on a report by a United Nations panel of experts.
"Rapid technological developments have taken place over a short period, resulting in significant progress towards an operational submarine-launched ballistic missile system," the eight-member U.N. panel of experts stated.
The report provides new details on Pyongyang's development of a submarine-launched missile called the KN-11.
"The shift from liquid to a solid-fuel engine for the KN-11 is a major technological development, affording greater stability, quicker preparation and longer fuel storage," the report states.
The development of a missile-firing submarine by North Korea was first disclosed by the Washington Free Beacon in August 2014 amid skepticism among naval experts who said the communist state lacked the advanced technological capabilities needed for such a complex weapon.
In an effort to rein in their barking rat-dog, the Chinese are stating they will likely halt crude oil exports to North Korea.
North Korea relies almost entirely on China for oil. The Chinese communists shipped approximately 500,000 tons of crude to the North each year until 2013. The reduction in shipments was a direct result of Pyongyang carrying out its third nuclear test. The reports to the West says all shipments of crude oil to North Korea stopped since 2014, but most experts believe China continues to provide crude to North Korea off the books. A complete freeze would be devastating to North Korea, and further damage its already limping economic condition.
In a recent meeting with President Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed that North Korea poses a serious threat. Trump has has been urging China to use its influence over the North, and likely used an art of the deal maneuver promising to not fully chase after all of his anti-China rhetoric he spit out during the 2016 Presidential Campaign in return.
China, however, has warned the United States not to take unilateral actions, such as a military move (and perhaps a missile strike) against North Korea, insisting that any additional sanctions require U.N. Security Council approval.
"It's unlikely that Russia, which has objected to the Syria strikes, will cooperate with the U.S. on North Korea," one expert said. "Russia will probably hold the U.S. back if the debate goes to the Security Council."
In preparation for any problems that may emerge out of this modern-day missile crisis, China has deployed 150,000 troops to their border, suggesting the move was necessary because they may need to deal with fleeing refugees if the United States were to strike North Korea. Russia has also moved troops and armored vehicles to their border with North Korea, with reports stating the move is to also prepare for a possible humanitarian exodus.
Really? The experts truly believe the deployments by China and Russia are for humanitarian reasons, or to deal with refugees? Simply put, they are ramping up for war.
With tensions high, and fingers near the button because it is considered prudent to do so, United Nations experts suggest the chance of an 'Accidental' Nuclear War is on the rise.
Errors happen. Computers can provide false alarms.
A report from a United Nations research institute warns that the risks of a catastrophic error, like one that took place 1983 (and nearly sent the world into a nuclear war), are increasing.
On January 27, President Trump mandated a review of the U.S. Defense Department's nuclear weapons arsenal. The Pentagon is scheduled to complete the review by the end of the year. The current administration would like to modernize different aspects of our nuclear deterrent. The new report from the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, or UNIDR, argues that as the modern battlefield has become much more technologically complex. The war scenario is now crowded with more sensors, satellites, drones, and interconnected networks, making the risk of a nuclear accident increase in likelihood.
“A greater reliance on automated systems can lead to misplaced confidence while introducing new points of vulnerability,” says the report. Those new points of vulnerability include so-called “hidden interactions.” That means a sensor or computer program misinterpreting some bit of data and possibly presenting false information in a way that could cause an accident. The 1983 incident provides a good case in point. Oko satellites mistook a very unusual sunspot on top of a high altitude cloud as a missile strike, hence the false alarm.
That said, if modernized and properly maintained and monitored, today's technology can also warn us sooner than ever before if a nuclear strike has actually been committed. Also, while there may be several potential cyber vulnerabilities in nuclear command and control systems, that is also something we can utilize as our own weapon. For example, are we sure North Korea's recent failed missile launch was the result of bad engineering on the part of the North Koreans? Or did the Trump administration somehow sabotage the launch before the fires beneath the missiles were ignited?
Along the West Coast of the United States, in terms of distance, Seattle is closest to North Korea, followed by San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. With the possibility of North Korea reaching intercontinental capabilities, should those of us in California be nervous?
Communist countries have always historically used propaganda videos and images showing San Francisco and Washington DC in ruins. North Korea has broadcast its intention to be a world nuclear power, and have made the same threats toward the mainland of the United States. While we believe North Korea remains years away from that potential, we must ask, "Are we sure?"
While their missiles are usually blowing up prematurely, North Korea has performed five successful nuclear tests in a decade. Regardless of whether or not North Korea is an immediate threat to the North American mainland, our interests are already at risk with the proximity of South Korea, Japan, and roughly 80,000 American soldiers stationed in those countries, to North Korea.
We have not yet seen North Korea test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could cross the thousands of miles of Pacific waters. Those kinds of missiles are much more complex, and also need a specialized warhead. In short, the North Korean engineers have to make rockets, and warheads, capable of surviving the violent vibrations of launch, the wrenching g-forces of flight, and the temperature changes of takeoff and re-entry from space.
“Producing a warhead that can handle all that is a challenge,” said Joseph Bermudez, an analyst for 38 North, a thinktank affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Although Kim has said he wants to test an ICBM later this year, Bermudez doubted the test would be a success.
In February, North Korea fired a medium-range missile into the Sea of Japan, travelling about 300 miles. North Korea has also developed a missile with an estimated range of 2,200 miles, almost halfway to Hawaii, but so far have struggled to launch it.
No worries . . . yet.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary