Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Goguryeo

So, are the North Koreans pursuing  a rational policy?  Or are they 'whackaloons?

I cannot imagine the common people of North Korea being any different from the people of South Korea.  Aren't they both 98-99% homogeneous, and have the same DNA?    Yes, the NorKo regime itself is a family dynasty of vampires feasting on the blood and spirit of its people.   But in a weird way they do seem to have a crafty deterrence strategy.  But is that strategy based on reality?  Or is based on irrational fear?  Or is it based on the internal politics of staying in power?

I'm definitely not an expert on East Asia.  I've spent a total of two months in Korea (the South) back in the mid 70s.  Even though it was below zero winter weather, I loved my time there.   The ladies all had apple cheeks reminding me of upstate New York girls.  Vendors were roasting chestnuts on street corners of the villages on the outskirts of Uijongbu.  The baked chicken with body cavities stuffed full with garlic (entire bulbs, not a few cloves) was even better than my dear Aunt Rosa's  (sorry Rose, may you rest in peace).  The people were friendly and hard working.  Same same for Little Seoul in LA and the various Koreatowns throughout the west coast.  I believe the North Korean people to have the same intrinsic characteristics.

Whatever happened to the re-unification dream?   China wanted it, as did the Russians, the US, the UN, and both the North and South Koreans at least gave it lip service.   Grampa Kim proposed a 'Confederation of Koryo' in which North and South Korean respective political systems would remain.

We should be sending fertilizer and tractors to Pyongyang and not aircraft carriers.  Ivanka and Jared should have done some ski diplomacy in Masikryong instead of carving S-curves on the slopes of Aspen.

hat tip on the photo to bjornfree.com/kim/








68 comments:

  1. In my experience talking to South Korean friends, reunification is a tricky issue, and it essentially appears to boil down to heart vs mind. In their hearts, they want reunification, but in their minds, it's been too many years, and the economic disparity between the separated nations would mean a long and painful process of reintegration that would utterly tank the united Korean economy for decades to come.

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    1. Stephen Chen -

      Thanks for that insight. It is a tricky issue. But I do hope it eventually comes. And in a way similar to how the GDR and the FDR were reconciled and finally got together. Not that that was reunification was painless, but it was peaceful. As opposed to the reunification of Viet-Nam.

      But I do not see that happening anytime in the near future. It would require a peaceful revolution such as happened in the GDR in 89, and that will not happen under the repressive regime of the House of Kim. It would also need assent by China and Russia. It may be a small economic benefit to China to have one of the Four Asian Tigers tank their prosperity, but perhaps only if the Chinese economy was facing hard times. Russia? Maybe not, Putin is no Gorbachev.

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    2. Tyrannies often seem very stable until the day they collapse.
      A single plane crash with Kim aboard and the entire tyranny may collapse, or experience a kind of Destalinisation.

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    3. Sven -

      Was that a hint for sugar in the tank? Or expoding cigars? If so, I'm against it. The tyranny may collapse as you say, but it could get worse. He has a lot of guys working closely with him who would lose their rice bowl and maybe their head in reunification. So if he goes it may turn into a Kim-tensification.

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  2. I dunno Mike...you take a country of abused people who are, for lack of a better term...used to the way things are...and try to "reunite" them to a prosperous and fat South Korea...I just don't know if average people of North Korea could handle a unification process at this point in time.


    sheerahkahn

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    1. Sheerakahn -

      You are right of course. And many of the average people of South Korea wouldn't be able to handle it either as they would be sacrificing economically for their northern neighbors.

      But IMHO it would be a good thing to try. Although I have no skin in the game. So what the he!! do I know?

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  3. My bride is fascinated by the NORKs Mike, so I've had to gin up some basic knowledge of the joint just to keep up. And one thing I can't stress enough is how little the commonality of the people on opposite sides of the DMZ really matters politically.

    Politically the Kim dynasty is what all issues hinge on, and the degree to which, or not, the NORK armed forces and political elites will worship at the Kim altar. Provided that they do it's the reigning Kim that matters, and the current one has shown indications of being as impulsive, random, and egocentric as our own Orange Emperor.

    That's where the "whackaloon" part comes in. I don't think there's any way to know which way this cat will jump if, say, the U.S. launched a decapitation strike and failed, or went after his nuke sites. Would he glass Seoul knowing the retaliatory strike would flatten his country? I have absolutely no idea, and I'll bet you nobody else really does, either.

    As for diplomacy...that'd be terrific. Except the dynasty keeps the DPRK closed and always will - it learned the lessons of 1989 all too well.

    As for reunification, yeah, tough one. Many issues, think Germany but with a post-communist population WAY worse off mentally and politically than the Ossies. One reason China is so slippery on this is their fear of how unstable the post-Kim mess could be...

    The possibility that the idiot Trumpkins think they can "solve" this makes my blood run cold...

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    1. The reply grew too much and became too fundamental, so I used it as a blog text instead:

      http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2017/04/no-link-between-cause-and-effect.html

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    2. FDChief -

      "...if, say, the U.S.launched a decapitation strike and failed, or went after his nuke sites."

      WTF? Of course we know. He would have the same reaction as us. He would go bananas.

      Does your bride read NKnews? I used to years ago but the subsciption got too expensive. They had a neat "Ask-a-North-Korean" story posted weekly on not only the Kim's repression and economics, but also just daily real life stuff: romance, binjo ditches, kimchee recipes, etc. May even be an ROK mouthpiece written by wannabee journos in the basement of the Blue House. But interesting!

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    3. Sven -

      Thanks for the plug on your esteemed website. Although for me, I do not think pacifistic is the correct term for us here. Yes, most if not all authors on this blog are against the stupidity of war, but not against defense. Ranger Jim here is probably a diehard pacifist, and good on him for that.

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    4. Agreed, Sven. I replied in long form at your joint, but the bottom line is that the current administration appears to contain two flavors of GOP "foreign policy" ice cream; there's the "Old Skool Neocon" flavor, the kind that pimped a land war in Asia because they insisted that they "created their own reality", and there's the "Screaming Bugnut Fearful Wangflogger" flavor, who considers everything and anything not contained in a Georgia Presbyterian church picnic a terrifying foreign menace that Must Be Crushed!

      Neither variety is liable to be willing to admit that they can neither predict nor control what happens if they use force on the NORKs short of glassing the place...and that has its own issues (see: China).

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    5. mike;
      that's the definition of moderate pacifism. necessary defence yes, aggression or great power gaming no.


      BTW, I don't think Kim would use his nuke. It makes no sense, for it won't lead to success. He would likely not even use it if he was forced into Chinese exile by force. The reason is that the nuke - as everything about that government - serves him. The moment he uses it he guarantees that he won't be safe even in exile. Men like him have plenty wealth outside their tyranny - he could live the (safer) life of a billionnaire if forced out of NK. He wouldn't be safe even in the PRC under protection by the PRC if he had used a nuke on civilians.

      I suppose we all know that 20 kt nukes are actually very "disappointing" against troops in the field. The common idea of what nukes do to deployed forces is about what 100 kt nukes do.
      100 kt nukes bust a brigade, while 20 kt nukes only bust a battalion in its normal dispersion and need to be fairly well-aimed (not easy against moving target with all the chain of events required for employment).

      I doubt he has any war-winning nuclear potential, and he knows the political nature of his nukes.

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    6. I still think the problem, Mike, is that nobody can really feel confident we know what "bananas" would mean.

      Sven sums up the problems Kim might have actually using his nukes - assuming he would and could, since I'm not sure how functional the DPRK program is - and we can't be sure whether he'd take a Caribbean retirement offer or go all Hitler-die-in-my-bunker daring the ROK to take him. While I agree the North doesn't have any hope of winning a war w the U.S. - conventional or nuclear - I'm not sure to what extent Kim is high on his own supply and realizes that himself.

      The very idea of two narcissist freaks like Kim and Trump colliding across the DMZ is horrifying.

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    7. Sven -

      I concur that Kim would not use nukes unilaterally. Why would he throw away his hole card?

      But if Trump decides to slap him around some with an attempted decapitation or an attack on his launch sites????? Maybe? But if that were the case, he would use it against cities, not against battalions or regiments. Or maybe his acolytes would if Trump were successful in taking out Kim. Or he might try to level Seoul with conventional artillery, which could be just as horrendous.

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  4. Mike,

    I spent some time in Korea, and I think that the biggest challenge that reunification faces is that is going to be complicated and dangerous under the ideal circumstances.
    Because China cannot allow the US to station troops on its border and because the US cannot leave Korea, I don't think there is likely to be reunification without disaster, miracle, or profound political/military changes in the US or China. In any case, here are some thoughts on what could help/hurt.
    If US troops came home, that would help by making China feel less threatened OR it could hurt and cause the North to invade/increase military conflict on the peninsula.

    Korean reunification, in my opinion, is a lot like walking through a very shallow river at the edge of a waterfall. It is doable and if you place your feet firmly and make no mistakes it'll seem very easy. If you slip or fall, though, you're going over the edge and that's all she wrote.

    PF Khans

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    1. PFK -

      Good points all!

      We probably not leave before reunification. At least not until we go stone broke.

      And China would not believe a promise that we would leave directly after reunification. Why would they no matter how high we guaranteed it?

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    2. I tend to agree, PF, except I'd characterize reunification more like juggling live grenades with the pins out and the handles held in place with a skinny rubber band. If EVERYTHING goes absolutely perfect you get a huge round of applause at the end.

      But one, single, tiny little mistake and everything goes completely to hell.

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  5. Me thinks also is that Dear Leader is viewed as a god-king, divine if you will...To me, given the political fighting pit that South Korea's politics have taken... Reunification would have to deal with that, well, 'white elephant' which is explaining to North Korea's hoi-polloi that dear leader is oh-so-very-NOT-god.

    I just don't see how it is even feasible.

    sheerahkahn

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    1. Sheerakahn -

      You are right that the political infighting in the south would probably amaze northerner joe sixpack. But the elite in the north understand political infighting.

      I'm not even sure what Park Geun-Hye's impeachment was about. Was she involved in the influence peddling? But even so, don't all politicos peddle influence - some legally, some for cash on the barrel? Lot of hate for the Park family there because of her father's coup d'etat and 18-year ironhanded rule. Both her father and mother were assassinated, her Mom by a Norko sympathizer. And some of the earlier assassination attempts on her Dad were tied to Grampa Kim.

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    2. Sheerahkahn -

      Her is a weather report from six years ago in the Pyongyang Times that validates your divine god-king comment:

      "Mysterious snow fell at Mt. Paektu Secret Camp from 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 to 7 a.m. on 19. In general, snow falls from an overcast sky, but at Mt. Paektu Secret Camp snow fell from the starry sky all night. Local residents said Kim Jong Il was the heaven-born man and so the sky shed tears at the news of his demise... Even those who had been living there for a long time saw such a large scarlet glow for the first time. At the view of an unusual glow tinging the sky with deep and clear color, people said in excitement that even nature, unable to forget the heaven-born man, unfolded in the sky a red flag associated with the life of Kim Jong Il."

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  6. I have to wonder if dropping the GBU-43 MOAB on a Daesh tunnel complex in Afghanistan was a message to Kim Jong-un?

    Of course, a C-130 drop over NORKO would not survive. But their are some hints on the web that there has been some work going on with the B-2 to integrate a MOAB capability. Shouldn't be hard to do. British Lancaster bombers flew with and dropped "Ten-Ton-Tess" bombs against submarine pens well over seventy years ago.

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    1. The Grand Slam bomb didn't fit into the Lancaster's bomb bay. No doubt the USAF would insist on B-2 carrying munitions only in its bomb bay. So the size, not the mass, is the issue.

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    2. BTW, NK has almost no air force. Lots of museum pieces and a handful of 1980's MiG-29s win disrepair. Even the C-17 could be used to bomb NK.

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    3. Sven -

      Can't find a source on the dimensions of the B2's internal bay. It handles the GBU-57 MOP but that is only six meters in length. The additional three meters for MOAB may be a far stretch?

      KPA has some old SAMs and AAA also: S200 a case in point - but they also have an S300 locally produced knock off. And they are said to have the most extensive integrated air defense system in the world.

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    4. PS -

      Sven, how did those British Lancasters take off carrying that monster 'Tess' externally?

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    5. Never mind, found it:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpfZX9nLSpQ

      They took off the bomb bay doors, cut away the rear of the bay to accommodate the tail. Tessie tucked up in there neatly. I see they also put on a beefed up undercarriage and wheels.

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    6. My guess (and it really IS a guess, since I've almost already given up trying to figure out if the Trumpkins have an actual thought process or just go with whatever they pulled out of the FOX/Breitbart/Inforwars ass that morning...) is that 1) this really was some sort of "Collapse The Tunnels of Chu Chi" thing; the Talibs/Daesh/whoever appear to have had some sort of partially-underground-cave-complex in what is supposed to be a very rural/unpeopled portion of A-stan that was the only way this thing would have worked and why it was a target of opportunity, and 2) the Trumpkins probably do think that they're ALSO "sending a message" to the NORKs.

      Mind you, what kind of "message" the Kim regime will receive is a whole 'nother nut roll. If it was me, the "message" I'd get was that is was long past time to be sending my most devastatingly seductive operatives out to steal the S-400 design plans from some vodka-drenched engineer at Fakel Machine-Building Design Bureau...but that's just me.

      Again...the problem with these jokers is that it's difficult to assess what they know and when, and the whole gang lies so constantly and idiotically (that is, they lie when they don't need to, and over things that the lie is arguably no better than telling the truth) that it's already hard to tell what the hell they're really up to...or whether they're "up to" anything at all and not just randomly dick-swinging.

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    7. The curious thing is that the 22-ton bomblet isn't design for penetration...it's a surface cleanser...big boom, lots of AoE, dust everywhere, lots of conformal force, big ouch on soft pink skins, lots of particulate-to-sizable things going left, right, up, and all around pound-fer-pound an above-ground surround sound fire work.

      I'm not sure what they, theater commander was hoping to accomplish...because I think napalm would have had a better surface affect than this...but...I'm just having a hard time with this piecing this decision together.

      So, with that said...

      I think Chief may have the right of it...the lies, counter lies, and the "Oh yeah, we lied about that too, didn't we...yeah give me a minute while I come up with something new...yes it's going to be a lie...just wait for the new lie."

      So this could have been a validation run...or it could have been a "lookie here! Oooh, Aaah, isn't this amazing? What do ya'think Kim, want get a real swifty-nifty close up of one?"

      It seems to me when Trump does something militarily iffy...er, sorry, BIGLY, he goes golfing, so...is Trump golfing?

      sheerahkahn

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    8. Sheerakhan -

      AF says: " The weapon is expected to produce a tremendous explosion that would be effective against hard-target entrances, soft-to-medium surface targets, and for anti-personnel purposes. Because of the size of the explosion, it is also effective at LZ clearance and mine and beach obstacle clearance. Injury or death to persons will be primarily caused by blast or fragmentation. It is expected that the weapon will have a substantial psychological effect on those who witness its use. The massive weapon provides a capability to perform psychological operations, attack large area targets, or hold at-risk threats hidden within tunnels or caves."

      So, they are hoping it collapsed the tunnels, took out many Daesh above ground, and scared the bejesus out of any survivors. Blast effects are intensified by a large factor in mountain valleys.

      Trump went golfing afterwards. Not that there is anything wrong with golf. I luv the game myself. But even being retired I get on the course less than our golfer-in-chief.

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    9. The B-29s carried their nukes the same way to Japan.
      It's unacceptable for B-2 because of its size - one could use a B-1B or even B-52 instead.

      The MOAB is indeed not meant for penetration, but for surface blast. It can clear foliage, mines, buildings and obstacles in general.

      The super heavy anti-bunker munition would be the MOP, and I think some PR guy may have made a mistake by identifying the MOAB as the munition used. On the other hand MOP supposedly is only available for the B-2, and B-2 wasn't mentioned afaik.

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    10. "Can't find a source on the dimensions of the B2's internal bay. It handles the GBU-57 MOP but that is only six meters in length. The additional three meters for MOAB may be a far stretch? "

      http://media.defenceindustrydaily.com/images/ORD_MOP_Mockup_in_B-2_WLT_lg.jpg

      Penetrating bombs always have a lot of rather high density metal and are thus much smaller than bombs with much explosive power of similar weight (all explosives have low densities compared to steel, tungsten, uranium).

      Delete
  7. The thing that seems to tie the Trumpkin Way of War together how much it resembles what His Fraudulency is best known for; "reality" TV.

    Think about what we've seen; the Yemen raid, loosening the ROE in Iraq, the Syria strike, and now this ginormous bomb.

    All splashy, attention-gathering acts? All basically apparently unconnected to any sort of larger plan or strategy? All seemingly driven by domestic ratings rather than geopolitical need? And all without any sort of pre-thinking or followup?

    So, again, the caveat is that it's really difficult to tell what goes on inside this clusterfuck of an Administration...but could it be that there's nothing here but a grifter showman doing what he does; farting loudly in public to draw attention to himself?

    I honestly have no idea.

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    1. I'm trying to hold back on anti-Trump suspicions a bit, but there is an enticing interpretation:

      Trump may have watched a TV show about the MOAB once,
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuGrDSP0rj8
      and may have demanded that his general use it. The generals found no suitable target, someone mistook the bomb for MOP and demanded a use against bunkers, you know - the famous underground bunkers AQ was using.
      So the military dropped a MOAB and sold it to the public, even though the action was almost certainly of negligible military relevance. The CinC is happy, top bras can expect more toys in next presidential budget proposal - and we know Congress only adds, hardly ever subtracts in that part of the federal budget.

      It's enticingly plausible.

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    2. I do not believe an MOP penetration bomb was called for in this case. These were not hardened bunkers. That far back in the mountains the caves were presumably not reinforced with concrete. A MOP would perhaps completely collapse caves and tunnels, much more than MOAB would.

      The Air Force claims MOAB is optimized for targets in environments like caves, canyons or extensive mine fields. But to my knowledge they only conducted live tests of MOAB at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle. I'm not a Floridian but my assumption is there are few deep canyons there. And any caves there would be primarily limestone instead of the granite(???) caves in the Afghan mountains. Perhaps our resident geologist could comment?

      I suspect the primary targets (other than shock and awe psychology) were the extensive mines and IEDs. Hopefully that was thouroughly tested at Eglin.

      PS - I don't think Trump watches the Discovery Channel, so the chances that he saw that video are slim unless it was rebroadcast on Fox.

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    3. Last thing I heard indicated the tunnels were under a village. Kind of like Chechen village fortifications - tunnnels between buildings + escape tunnel from destroyed village.

      A surface blast makes a little more sense against this than against mountain caves, but still not quite as much as an ordinary Mk 84 (delay fuse setting) carpet or two laid by a B-1B.

      It still looks like a publicity stunt to me.

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    4. My Afghan geology is a trifle rusty, Mike. My understanding is that the Achin district of Nangarhar province is largely underlain by fairly young (Tertiary; 66 million-year-old or younger) sedimentary rocks, described in the Army Corps of Engineer publication (http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a534998.pdf) as predominantly sandstone and conglomerate in the vicinity of the published location of the strike. It's hard to be sure, because the geologic map has no civil details on it other than unnamed road lines, and the location of the target (34.073336, 70.631215) is very close to the contact between the Tertiary valley fill/sedimentary bedrock and the granitic massif to the south.

      But typically you don't get many caves in granitic or metamorphic basement rocks, and they're harder than hell to hammer out galleries in, so my guess is that this IS Chu Chi was in the edge of the sedimentary rock plain.

      If so, then a large enough bomb could probably collapse some of the shallower tunnels. Definitely the entrances could be blocked/sealed. Keep in mind that during the world wars deep bunkers withstood days-long bombardments, tho, so depending on how deep these jokers dug in the actual casualty count might have been pretty small.

      IMO, tho, the real point is "what's the big whoop?" It's not like the U.S. and its allies haven't bombed and shelled the living shit out of Afghanistan (and Iraq, Syria, etc...). Yeah, this was one big effing bomb...but it was JUST a big effing bomb. Bombs - large and small - aren't really a geopolitical "solution" without some sort of actual strategy. I see no sign that the BFB was part of that...hence my rumination on this as part of the "TrumpTV" school of warfare; lots of big boomy things that are intended to boost ratings...and nothing more.

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    5. I think that is the point of the issue...if they, Theater Commander was serious about rooting out the ISIS Morlocks then the 32ton penetrator would be what they would go with...scrubbing the surface isn't going to affect deeper tunnels...and if the tunnelers are competent they have more than one exit...because, you know, tunnels.
      But they didn't use a penetrator, they used a 22ton surfactant, and I'm leaning heavily towards, "live fire validation test for effect with emphasis on that shlock and d'awww."that seems to be the prelude to "other" adventures that our Military might be thrown into.

      tl;dr I'm getting this itchy feeling that Mr. Trump isn't done wagging that dog yet because the FBI is leaking specifics about Trump Campaign individuals who seem to be permeating the stench of treason.

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    6. Hmmm...we'll have to watch this. My take on these TrumpWars is that Hair Furor loses interest quickly, so he bombs and then forgets (or never cared) why. Now he's saying that "his military" did the actual mission planning and he was just sorta there.

      What a total shitshow. Thanks again, Trump voters!

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  8. Going back to the original question: Are the North Koreans whackaloons?

    Based on their response so far to the warhawks here that are threatening pre-emptive strikes, I would say they are saying and doing the same things we would say and do if faced with similar threats. 'Pyongyang vowed a "merciless" response to any US military action.' We would vow the same IMHO.

    I don't think Trump's dog and pony MOAB show impressed the Sacred Leader.

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    1. Like we discussed, Mike, it's not "Koreans" but the current Kim, and I'd argue that he is living in a narcissistic bubble to the point where it's hard to guess what he actually knows or will do it attacked. Or, at least, enough so as to make war my least-favorite option unless he's clearly intent on going nuts...and we don't have any confirmation that he's gone there yet...

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    2. Hmmm? A narcissistic national leader? Where have I heard that before, oh, wait!

      I also think it's hard to guess what our own head narcissist would do if attacked. Does he actually know what nukes are? Or does he just consider them the next step up from MOAB?

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  9. I'm, very irritated by how the media parrots death toll claims (36, now 92).
    These figures are rather implausible, and considering that the attack was supposedly on a tunnel network, the figures cannot be considered legitimate at all. Nobody may have dug out 92 corpses out of shattered tunnels that quickly.

    It's as disconcerting as the war porn by Williams or the war porn presentation of the video that shows nothing at all.

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  10. Want to see some good news for a change?

    http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2017/04/war-doesnt-work-that-well-for-trump.html

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    1. Sven -

      It is too early to tell. That is a single poll. Trash talking by Trump always gets his base energized, so maybe they (his base) have not yet spoken.

      Regarding the 36 and 92 numbers: that is typical of our media. They rush to get a scoop and do not wait for all details to come out.

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    2. The German news media isn't really hawkish, but they parroted the war porn videos and the fake kill count figures as well.

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  11. The media here is also salivating over never-before-seen weapons, or what some call Frankenmissiles seen at the North Korean "Day of the Sun" parade.

    What got me was the ocean of pink at that parade. Pink pompoms, pink balloons, ladies in traditional but pink chimi skirts. Is this an attempt to show a softer, gentler side? A 'see-how-much-nicer-I-am-than-Trump' message to the world? Even the parade float celebrating missile advances was surrounded by a pink tide of civilians waving flowers.

    At two and a half hours, the parade video is much too long to watch in its entirety. The civilian floats and crowds are near the end. But check out the Dance of the Sword Maidens starting at minute 2:25, and the promotion of alternative wind farms at hour 2:00:50.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0-27M6aqMc&t=5178s


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    1. Oh wow...that is a sea of...neon pink!

      sheerahkahn

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    2. Here's the short version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwoSFQb5HVk

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    3. FDChief -

      That is from 2010. Plus the dancing sword maidens have been edited down to less than five seconds, not a good thing for us fanboys.

      But it shows that Daddy Kim also liked pink.

      I note that both father and son acknowledge troops passing in review with that broken-chicken-wing, flying-thumb, cupped-palm salute. Grampa Kim should have had a grizzled KPA Sergeant teach those 8-balls some military courtesy. Or have one of those sword maidens beat their a$$ with the flat of the blade while running them around the parade ground.

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  12. I hate to say this, but I'm getting a certain amount of cynical amusement watching the Trump fanbois have the screaming fantods as they watch the Tangerine Populist bomb the shit out of random things. But...but...that was Killary's shtick! Our Leader was going to bring the troops home and the jobs back! Whuhappen?

    It's not really funny, tho, when you stop and realize these people really believe stuff like Steve Bannon as an agent of compassion for the common clay. That's what's driving the politics of the Right. WASF.

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    1. AJ is reportedly claiming Trump neutered the NorKo IRBM test launch with the Airborne Laser (ABL). I thought that was in the boneyard at Davis Monthan?

      Or maybe AJ is saying "should", instead of "did"? Either meme is poking a stick in a hornets nest IMHO.

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    2. Oddly, Mike, I was thinking about what the Vinson group could do in the Sea of Japan that would be legitimately useful and using an ABM to knock down a a Nodong came to mind. His Rotundity has no business lobbing missiles into international waters anyhow and as a "settle down, nimrod" it's a subtle sort of bitchslap. For just that reason I'd be shocked if Napoleorange greenlights it.

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    3. I believe KJU has been launching them into Japan's ADIZ and also into her Exclusive Economic Zone for quite some time. Those may not be her territorial waters, but those launches were done without any warnings to navigation thereby imposing a danger to aviation and maritime commerce. That plus with Japanese national security concerns a case could be made for intercept.

      But aren't those Nodong's just a bigger, longer range Scud? The naming makes it sound impotent. Kind of like a Little Marco Rubio insult to DJT. Although Japan does not have THAAD, they do have SM-3's and Patriots which are somewhat Scud capable. Let Abe do the bitch-slapping.

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  13. My ABM knowledge is pretty thin, Mike, but I think the problem with the JSDF doing an interception is that it's more difficult to do in the terminal/descending branch. Ideally you hit the missile in the boost/ascending branch phase.

    But I'm not real picky who and how. I'd just as soon (if Five-Deferment Donnie MUST have a Splendid Little War) not poke the NORKs into contemplating lobbing VX rounds over the Z...

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    1. You cannot intercept in peacetime. There's no time.
      A test launch could turn into a real attack if there's some unexpected but planned thrust phase to push the rocket off a safe trajectory to a target-hitting trajectory.
      You cannot get all this done in a minute or less in peacetime.

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  14. Sven -

    Why "..a minute or less..", except possibly in the case of an solid fuel SLBMs. But subs can be tracked and shadowed.

    The Nodongs that FDChief cites have been thoroughly tested. Since there are a coupe of hundred of them, they may be KJUs best option in case of war. But aren't they liquid fueled? That gives plenty of warning. Unless they are replacing them with solid fuel versions. But even so, I thought shorter range Scuds (300 km) have a seven or so minute flight time. Japan has several Aegis/SM-3 destroyers. Those of course cannot stay at sea 24/7. And neither can we keep Aegis class warships on station permanently in the Sea of Japan.

    Perhaps an "Aegis-Ashore" ABM system could be installed in northern Honshu. They need them there a lot more thyan they do in Romania and Poland. But the best option in my mind is the China proposal for a NorKo freeze on nukes and BM tests, along with a US/SoKo halt on joint exercises. But T-Rex seems to have turned that down.

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    1. You cannot tell a test launch from a real attack until you calculated the approximate impact point. This can only be done once the missile is done manoeuvring, and a missile that manoeuvres long after the initial zoom phase may actually not be done manoeuvring until impact.

      NK fired a rocket over Japan months or years ago already.- They could have installed a rocket that ignites almost over Japan and the warning time would have been impractically short.

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  15. So what makes this farce instead of drama is that apparently the Vinson group is not and never was headed towards the DPRK; it's southbound for exercises w the RAN.

    Pierce's headline sums up the pure, solid-gold Trumpiness of the pick-up; "Who amongst us hasn't misplaced an aircraft carrier..?"

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    1. It makes him look even more like a loudmouth buffoon who's all noise no substance and not even in full control of the executive branch or not diligent enough to back up his talk with action.

      This may damage deterrence and some day there may need to be more substance shown than we'd like to see.

      What I don't get is why some people are still under his spell, even commenters at my place.

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    2. This is, I think, much worse than just Trump being a doofus. His Sec Def and NSA both made statements supporting this position. These are supposed to be the adults.
      If this is WWF and all a big show, fine. If Kim Jong-Un and the Chinese are in on it and all the leaders are doing is putting on a show for us proles and someone pulled the curtain back during the main act, fine. Then I don't want to add 10% to the budget of this show, it sucks.
      If this isn't all scripted then its highly indicative of how badly any war we would wage would look.
      ---
      So as far as I can tell, the guys on the carrier knew where they were and would have noticed the discrepancy in the news. Someone had to have noticed. I'm presuming this was discussed with the higher ups and someone called the sec def and told him, right? Or are our naval leaders used to the idea that the government and press is just making something up about their positions?

      PF Khans

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    3. As I replied to Mike, PF, I think we're trying to make this into something more complex than it is. And that's a White House chock full o' nuts "led" by an ignorant grifter. It's just chaos all the way down.

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  16. The English language news-sites in SoKo are irate regarding Trump's statement that: "Korea used to be part of China." He reportedly said that during a WSJ interview last week. The WSJ article is behind their subscription wall so I do not have any details. But I would speculate that Trump got a Han Dynasty notion of East Asian history from Xi during their meeting.

    Actually, I believe it was the other way around, Goguryeo ruled Manchuria, parts of Inner Mongolia, and even a small chunk of the Russian Maritimes in the Fifth Century. 800 years later the Kublai Khan was overlord in Korea, but he and his troops were Mongolian not Chinese. Korea did accept help from the Ming against Japanese invasions but maintained their independence. Later the Manchu invaded but just the Northern peninsula. And of course the ChiComs were in Korea in force from 1950 thru 58. But even with all this Chinese influence, Koreans managed to keep their autonomy. So, by telling that story to Trump was Xi deliberately planting seeds of dissension between Trump and SoKo? Or was that his imperialist Chinese view: influence = ownership?

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    1. I think you're giving the Tangerine Toddler way too much credit for both strategizing and knowledge of Asia. I suspect the WSJ thing was His Fraudulency mouthfarting his belief how all those slopes were related. It's like how all the darkies here know all the other darkies, amirite? Besides, chinks, whatever, right?

      It's easy to forget how utterly ignorant this gomer is. Like Dubya, he can wear a tie and look like an adult but when he opens his piehole you get that he's a ten-year-old and not a bright one. And he's the chief executive of the world's most powerful Great Power. If that doesn't keep you awake I can't think what would.

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    2. I think you have to keep in mind the fact that China two months ago was an outsider to the Trump Admin, the whipping boy of "them" instead of the Rooskie "us" but China is a master in the art of "so that's how its going to be?" politics, and is now playing Trump like a violin.

      Particular note, the Chinese immediately recognized that access to Trump is through his kids...butter the kids, and the toast will line up as well...and guess what...now China is the "us" and the "Rooskies" are slowly becoming "them."

      The thing is I was at a party where two business men (I was assisting in the chef detail) were talking about Mr Trump prior to Nov. 4th (i.e. Summer of 2016) and these two men commented that Mr. Trump is not an innovator, he's an opportunist...he sees an opportunity and he jumps at it.
      The problem though is this, being an opportunist businessman is fine, nothing wrong with that...AS LONG AS you know how to seize and run with that opportunity.
      Mr. Trump, in their opinion, was incapable of doing that...he could recognize and opportunity, but he didn't know what to do with it, and didn't know if it was an opportunity to be seized, or let go.

      And ever since that evening...I've read up on Mr. Trump, and watched him...and...well, those two gentlemen are right.

      Trump is an opportunists, but he doesn't know what to do with that opportunity when he grabs it...he shakes it a bit, gets what he can from it, and then throws it out.

      No, China has his number, and they are going to be f**king him on a daily basis and he's going to smile the whole time because he thinks he's winning...while China just gets what they want, easy-peasy-tangerine-squeezy.

      sheerahkahn

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    3. FDChief -

      Giving credit to Trump? No. I was thinking of Xi Jinping.

      But maybe you are right that it was Trump's idea and not implanted by Xi? Maybe I watched too many Foo Man Chu movies as a boy? Xi seems to be fairly forthright. He reportedly enjoyed his stay with a farm family in Muscatine Iowa 32 years ago. And they seemed to have liked him.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101652/Xi-Jinping-Chinas-Vice-President-visits-Midwest-farming-family-stayed-exchange-trip.html

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    4. I think Five-Deferment Donnie - since as sheerah points out, he has no real ideas of his own; he's the remora, not the shark - tends to be easily influenced (and distracted). So he tends to go with the last thing he heard.

      BUT...he also seems kind of simple, so his understanding of most issues is almost moron-grade shallow. And he has no apparent principles outside if it's good for Trump, it's good". So if Xi thinks he's permanently pwned Donnie he's kidding himself. Anyone who offers the fool a shinier pretty will get his ear.

      I honestly thought there was no possible way any human could suck at this job worse than Dubya. Holy fucking Hell was I wrong...

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    5. Yeah, W's smile says it all, "HAH! I am NOT the worst President eva'h! now."

      The thing I'm really trying to hold back as I watch Trump just burn everything down around him is the question,

      Could it get any...

      And I stop myself...I realize, I can't finish that question because...honestly, I'm not sure I'm ready for that answer, either...I think...yeah, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know, too.

      sheerahkahn

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