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North Korea’s “H Bomb”: No Ado About Something
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In my opinion, a lot of the mockery of the North Korean nuclear test—the silly little man with his silly little bomb—is racism that reassures. It evokes the explanation for why many poor rural whites adopted a posture of racial exclusion instead of class solidarity with poor rural blacks in the American South: “because ‘If you ain’t better than a ****, who are you better than?’”. We may have our problems, in other words, but at least we’re not North Korea.

But of course, the mockery has another, more unsettling note: that North Korea is one problem that we’re not solving. And we’d like to ignore that by retreating to the comforting assertion that the leadership of the DPRK is simply bugnuts.

It is an inconvenient fact that US North Korean policy has been a rolling fiasco for the last decade, climaxed by two years of chaos in 2005-7 as hardliners attempted to effect regime change in the DPRK through a campaign of financial sanctions. The effort backfired, literally, with the DPRK’s first nuclear test, in 2006, accompanied by frantic backpedaling by the Bush administration, and a half-year of desperate obstruction by the discredited hardliners. There has been a concerted effort to convert this resume stain into one of the great achievements of forceful American diplomacy and, in the current issue of CounterPunch Magazine, in a piece titled The Treasury’s Bomb, I have taken pains to lay out the little known history of this spectacular debacle.

Today, US diplomatic impotence vis a vis North Korea is acknowledged by a do-nothing policy of “strategic patience”.

And a lot of misplaced har-har about the stupid Norks.

On Twitter I saw the eye-rolling if somewhat tongue in cheek assertion that Kim Jung-un had conducted the test out of spite because the PRC had unceremoniously cancelled the concert tour of the NK-Pop band Moranbong for “anti-American lyrics”.

Actually, what it probably meant was that the PRC knew about the upcoming test, either because the DPRK officially or unofficially passed the word or because the PRC figured it out themselves (the preparations are not that easy to hide), and Beijing wanted to pre-emptively dispel any impression of friendly, hunky-dory relations with Pyongyang.

Mocking the DPRK’s nuclear dysfunction by questioning whether Kim Jong-un really had the vigor to detonate a hydrogen bomb also has an anxious edge. North Korea doesn’t really need an “H-bomb” i.e. a bomb that uses X-rays from a fission package to fuse hydrogen atoms and can be used to build weapons of virtually unlimited yield—and has traditionally been delivered by a strategic bomber force or heavy ICBMs, things that North Korea doesn’t have. North Korea does, however, have a vested interest in a “boosted” bomb, one that relies on the fusion of a tiny amount of hydrogen at the core of a fission weapon in order to increase efficiency i.e. release more energy before the uranium or plutonium sphere fragments and the chain reaction ends.

A boosted bomb bumps up the bang you can get out of a weapon small enough to fit on top of a Scud-based missile. And North Korea has a significant capability in these smaller, mid-range missiles, which can reach Japan and, of course, South Korea.

As to motivation for the test, it is apparently too simple for many commentators to even consider: the DPRK wants to convince the United States that the costs of not negotiating directly are becoming unacceptable as the DPRK improves and increases its arsenal unchecked in the absence of US engagement.

The flip side is that Kim Jong-un has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to distance himself from the PRC an overbearing not-quite-patron with a predatory interest in exploiting the North’s resources and meddling in its politics. I suspect that the DPRK’s nuclear program is conceived as a double deterrent against the regime-change calculations of the People’s Republic of China as well as the United States.

One of the most interesting riddles of North Asian diplomacy is why the United States does not respond to Kim’s rather backhanded nuclear overtures and take this opportunity to stick it to the PRC by conducting a bilateral Myanmar-style rapprochement with North Korea, instead of continuing to endorse the PRC’s Six-Party-Talks formula for Beijing’s continued dominance of the DPRK’s foreign engagement.

Of course, the United States is hobbled by President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize-worthy commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, and the awkward fact that North Korea will never give up its nukes, thanks in part to President Obama’s distinctly non-Nobel-Peace-Prize-worthy effort to acquire some Arab Spring cred by backing the bloody deposition of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

In addition to creating a black hole of dysfunction, anarchy, and terror in what used to be one of the more prosperous enclaves in North Africa, the Libyan adventure undid one of the few foreign policy accomplishments of George W. Bush: the denuclearization (and renunciation of all WMD ambitions) by Gaddafi in an extremely expensive deal, whose outlines are worth repeating:

Gaddafi revealed and decommissioned his nuclear and chemical WMD programs under international inspection, acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention, re-opened Libya’s oil industry to foreign investment, and ponied up over US$1 billion in compensation for the Lockerbie bombing (if, as some suspect, Iran engineered Lockerbie as retaliation for the U.S. shootdown of Iran Air 655, the mullahs of Tehran must be grateful indeed). In return, Libya got normalized relations, a U.S. shield from terrorism lawsuits, visits from Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair, and the pleasure of receiving, incarcerating, and abusing repatriated anti-Gaddafi dissidents. The “Libya model” was actually touted as a precedent for bringing North Korea in from the cold.

Today, the “Libya model” works the other way.

North Korea’s jaundiced view of any security guarantees the US might be willing to provide is encapsulated in one of the rare examples of eloquence one encounters in its US-language press releases. In announcing the “H-bomb” test, the DPRK stated:

Genuine peace and security cannot be achieved through humiliating solicitation or compromise at the negotiating table.

The present-day grim reality clearly proves once again the immutable truth that one’s destiny should be defended by one’s own efforts.

Nothing is more foolish than dropping a hunting gun before herds of ferocious wolves.

If you look closely, it appears the DPRK is willing to show up at the negotiating table. As long as the nukes are not on that table.

A foolish consistency in non-proliferation policy is not one of America’s faults (or virtues), so any switch to a negotiated track with a nuclear-armed North Korea could presumably be finessed. For precedent, President Obama has followed President Bush in giving a free pass to India to bring its nuclear sector into the international system by brokering an inspection exemption for its nuclear weapons programs, and India has generously reciprocated America’s trust by proceeding with construction of a secret “nuclear city” whose probable objective is to add hydrogen bombs, real ones, mega-yield bombs, to India’s nuclear arsenal targeting China.

A factor in US reticence in engaging with North Korea is probably the PRC has declared unambiguously that North Korea is off-limits and Beijing will not brook any North Korean regime that is aligned with the US against the PRC. Washington’s road to Pyongyang, in other words, must run through Beijing. And the United States is not really interested in going down that road, and contributing to a revitalized North Korea that would simply serve as a more functional and formidable strategic and economic asset for the People’s Republic of China.

So, the US might tacitly acknowledge North Korea as a sphere of PRC vital concern—the northern analog to the much-contested South China Sea “core interest” formulation—but it comes at a price.

One price is maintaining the status quo of North Korea as a sanctioned pariah state, a resentful, needy, disruptive, bomb-detonating incubus that sees the PRC as selfishly and unreasonably blocking its attempts to engage with the world economic system.

As for the second price, I suspect that any US arms control-related priorities relating to engagement with North Korea on its nuclear threat and/or working with the PRC to “denuclearize” the Korean peninsula are submerged by the realization that for noble purposes of anti-Chinese pivot strategy and vulgar considerations of military contractor profit, it is better to use the North Korean program as a justification to make hay while the sun shines and slug in as many missile-defense systems as possible into North Asia and around the PRC. No need in rushing in to address a relatively insignificant threat at the expense of the greater strategic and financial good, in other words.

This is a mindset apparently shared by Prime Minister Abe, America’s BFF of the moment in Asia, so the threat/military buildup narrative inevitably has to get serviced before any thought of diplomatic jaw-jaw.

In the final analysis, North Korea’s “H Bomb” test is the price for doing nothing. And that’s a price it seems everybody is quite happy to pay.

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaddafi, H Bomb, Kim Jong Un, Libya, North Korea 
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  1. 5371 says:

    [Nothing is more foolish than dropping a hunting gun before herds of ferocious wolves.]

    They need a press release writer with a better grasp on the English collective noun.

    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum
  2. If the Japanese aren’t seriously considering their own nuclear weapons program, then I’ve grossly underestimated Japanese intelligence. Any nation that still relies on the United States for any aspect of its defense thoroughly deserves the disappointment that it will surely experience.

    I’m kind of surprised that the NORKs felt the need for a thermonuclear weapon, although perhaps they were testing a gas-boosted design (the deuterium-tritium burn at the center of the fission core is difficult to model without test data). A simple fission device seems to me quite adequate to threaten Japan and South Korea, which, aside from irritating the U.S. and enhancing the leadership internally, is probably the objective of the NORK program.

  3. ivvenalis says:

    While the DPRK’s nuclear program is real and no joking matter, their weapons must be relatively crude devices based on measured yield. The 2006 test produced a sub-kiloton yield. Seismographic comparisons of the test a few days ago and the 2013 test suggest very marginal, at best, improvements in explosive power compared to the order-of-magnitude increases expected of a successful true hydrogen bomb test:

    These pages claim the most recent test must have yielded less than 10 kilotons, compared to the ~16 kilotons produced by the Little Boy device used on Hiroshima–the crudest nuclear munition ever produced by the United States–or the ~20 kilotons produced by the Trinity nuclear test. If nothing else, the recent test suggests the DPRK is making poor progress on warhead miniaturization.

    Still, this is bad news for nuclear proliferation–the DPRK is able to produce weapons even though they seem to lack some sort of knowledge that the US had in the 1940s and available to other nuclear powers today. Others could follow their lead.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  4. manton says:

    I don’t know what the point of this piece was, but no matter.

    If they really are trying to do boosted fission and the best the can do is yield well under 10kT, then they are just not very good that this. They ought to be able to get over 20 with just a plutonium core and high explosive lenses alone. Boosting should up that exponentially. If you know what you’re doing.

  5. Bliss says:

    A factor in US reticence in engaging with North Korea is probably the PRC has declared unambiguously that North Korea is off-limits and Beijing will not brook any North Korean regime that is aligned with the US against the PRC. Washington’s road to Pyongyang, in other words, must run through Beijing.

    Trump knows that:

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday said China should rein in its ally North Korea after Pyongyang said it successfully tested a hydrogen device.

    Nobody is discussing it with China. China has total control. Believe me — they say they don’t — they have total control over North Korea, and China should solve that problem,” Trump said in a phone interview on “Fox and Friends.”
    “And if they don’t solve the problem we should make trade very difficult for China,” he added.

    Trump also slammed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “madman.”

  6. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    Peter Flea, you aware of China Paradox?

    It go likey this.

    If China to weak, it attract foreign powers to Asia cuz China no longer able to support small Asian nations from invasion by foreign powers.

    It is like, after China lose opium war, West figure rest of Asia can be taken. If Big China no can defend self, then it no can help smaller Asian nations.


    If China too strong, it also attract foreign powers, esp the US. Why?
    It is cuz smaller Asian nations fear China and seek protector in US. And US, alarmed by rise of China into maybe superpower, seek to check China military power by alliance with little Asian nations.

  7. @ivvenalis

    I agree that these yields aren’t impressive in the nuclear weapons world. It’s remotely possible that they are deliberately detuning their test devices, although that would require considerable sophistication. But you don’t need all that much yield to have an effective weapon to threaten soft targets (i.e., cities). The standard U.S. “city killer” for years was the W-68, which had a yield of about 40 kilotons. I guess that there is a question of whether the NORKs can make a reasonable yield warhead small enough to fit on an IRBM.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  8. @5371

    Here goes the kibitz with another brilliant contribution. These article and this forum is not about English grammar. Perhaps the grasp on the English collective noun of the Korean press release person is not as good as yours but than how good is your Korean and how does it relay to the article?

    • Replies: @5371
  9. athEIst says:

    then it no can help smaller Asian nations.
    Is there ANY example of China helping smaller Asian nations?

  10. I’m not terribly interested in whether their weapons can yield a kiloton, 10KT or even 1MT. My concern is a ship-launched missile to low-orbital altitude from a random craft carrying a “simple” low-blast, high-pulse warhead of plutonium that would wreck our grid, ending for quite some time, “civilized society” in the US.

    They talk incessantly of sinking aircraft carriers. No need, too difficult, too expensive. Just get a fire going on the flight deck. The hull is useless without the ability to operate in the way the hull is meant to operate. No need to blast it. In that light, there is no need whatsoever to rain missiles on a country. Air burst a single weapon 80 miles up, center-line of the U.S., you take down the U.S. grid via EMP. If you take down the grid, the society crashes, millions die, tens of millions, some estimate 100 million dead from starvation and societal breakdown in the first year alone. Everything crashes, transport, the grid, data nets, everything stops at the grass roots.

    All from a simple, nationwide take-down of the grid by an orbital-altitude nuclear blast over the U.S. and you’re not hear it, see it, not a single window broken. A nuclear blast-induced Carrington Event. The grid goes down, the lights and everything else stop, all of society’s barriers instantly fall. The cops and military go home, everyone is on their own. Hell, upside is, you may even see the end of the reign of feminism and the alphabet soup of sexual depravity. Women will be brought back to their natural role, comfort, breeding and bargaining chips, the alphabet soup of sexual depravity, eliminated.

    Who can do that? Korea can pop a nuke, Iran recently orbited a small satellite and btw it flew over the United States. All we need is for Korea and Iran to get together, mate a small warhead from Korea with an orbital-range rocket from Iran, and bingo they could crash our grid. Perhaps questionable (for now) because Korea hasn’t miniaturized that tech or triggers for a project like that. I question whether they actually ever set off anything nuclear, but rather a big pile of high explosive and some radioactive dirty-stuff released to show our birds a little “yield” from deep within North Korean mountains. Enough to rattle the earthquake sensors, but not a true nuclear explosion.

    Any electrical engineers around? Easy? Hard? I’ve read the books, some written years ago, it sounds like all they need is the intent and of course, if not done anonymously, the willingness to be flattened into a nuclear puddle themselves. Iran and North Korea sound like perfect companions for a deal like this.

  11. For the roots of the current troubles, look to the Bill Clinton/Jimmy Carter-negotiated Sunshine Accords of the early-late 90s. In response to North Korea’s blackmail and threats to go back to war against South Korea (and they COULD destroy South Korea conventionally in very short order) we gave North Korea tens of billions of dollars, heating oil, foodstuffs and other sundries in an attempt to buy them off. We paid them not to do this and here, they’ve done it.

    Those billions went to work immediately for the North Korean regime for missiles and nuke-tech. So spare us the Obama/Bush combination of screw ups. This deal here with North Korea goes way back Jimmy Carter’s Sunshine Accords. Ever since, they know every time they get hungry or close to broke they can start in with the blackmail and true to form, likely secretly lately, we buy them off and kick the can down the road. This is our policy, even as North Korea is considered one leg of the Axis of Evil triad. A year or two back they sunk a South Korean cruiser killing some number of South Korean military personnel, South Korea threw a few missiles at some radars on islands. But things stabilized and one wonders what the payoff was. Any guesses?

    • Replies: @bach
  12. @Jim Christian

    Your apprehension is justified. I don’t know how difficult it is to make an enhanced EMP weapon, and what the relationship is to nuclear yield. Hell, just taking down the internet at this point would probably cause financial and economic chaos.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    , @TWS
  13. Rehmat says:

    America’s problem with North Korea is no different than it problem with Iran. Netanyahu wants a regime change in both countries, as both countries leaders refuse to accept Jewish occupation of Palestine.

    Jewish lobby has blamed Russia, China and Pakistan for helping North Korea in country’s nuclear program which is being projected as an “existential threat” to the United States. The American and other foreign intelligence services including the IAEA has no proof that Pyongyang has developed some long range delivery system to launch an attack on American soil. However, some Zionist “nuclear experts” are warning Washington that Pyongyang could use Hizbullah or other anti-Israel groups to launch a mini-nuclear attack (Mossad false flag operation). In fact, whenever Pyongyang threatens the US – it always meant the 38,000 US soldiers stationed in South Korea.

    Historically, the United States was the first country which diverted nuclear technology for military usage. Its military nuclear program, known as the Manhattan Project, began during early days of the WW II. The project was headed by some immigrant Jewish scientists. Incidently, it were American Jewish spies who stole US nuclear research secrets and helped Russia and Israel to become nuclear powers later. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, an American Jewish couple was hanged for passing atomic secrets to soviet agents. American Jewish scientist, Zalman Shapiro, while head of NUMEC laboratories, helped Israeli agents to steal 741 pounds of highly enriched uranium suitable for weapons production. Israel has also been caught in selling stolen US nukes to South Africa in the late 1950s.

    Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of Zionist advocacy group, the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, in an Op-Ed, titleld, ‘North Korea Today – Iran Tomorrow’, published in Israeli daily Arutz Sheva this month, blasted Barack Obama administration for not taking North Korean threats seriously.

    “Contrary to the Obama administration and the uninformed mass media, developing a nuclear missile warhead is not such an insurmountable technological challenge that it should be used as an excuse to deny the existence of a nuclear missile threat from North Korea. North Korea has been working on nuclear weapons for 19 years, but using modern 21st century technology, with access to copious declassified U.S. materials on nuclear weapons design, and with help from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran and others. We know from our own experience with nuclear weapon designs of a half-century ago that North Korea may well already have warheads that its missiles can deliver against the United States,” wrote Pry.

    Then Pry lists Israel’s secret weaponization program to prove that North Korean regime is pulling wool in front of American eyes as did Israelis in the past…..

    • Replies: @Sherman
  14. @Diversity Heretic

    EMP happens with the simplest plutonium warheads. The problem is, we have no way to repair all the transformers and substations that fry when an overhead pulse is unleashed. Even a direct hit from a high-magnitude solar flare from the Sun will fry the grid, too. I imagine military facilities are stocked and hardened but out here at the “grass roots” where all the microchips and overhead grid exist, all is vulnerable. Everything ceases when you lose electricity and hence, communications, transportation, water, food, everything freezes in place because nothing can run. You can’t even gas your car, but that doesn’t matter because your car’s computer will fry and the car won’t run anyway.

    They know this happens because they would fry radars and radio antennas in Hawaii in the fifties and sixties testing nuclear weapons in the Pacific hundreds of miles away. This is serious stuff and they aren’t doing anything about it. Ah well, a little chaos is good for civilization, I guess.

  15. @Diversity Heretic

    We used to carry the B-61 warhead on the A6’s back when they were in service. .3KT to around 300KT if memory serves. Dial-A-Yield we called em. Very simple two-stage weapon and looking at old declassified reports, they put out huge electrical pulses of X and Gamma rays. Grid-destroying pulses. Modern grid destroying pulses that is. The problem is the delicate chips that run everything and of course, tranformers, substations and the chips that run THEM. When one goes off, you don’t even know, everything just stops working. If that happens in your lifetime, you will then be transported to VERY interesting times indeed.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  16. Sherman says:

    Hey Homer,

    You should mention that NK sold missile and nuclear technology to Iran, Syria and likely Pakistan.

    Apparently, Muslim nations (except perhaps Pakistan) lack the capacity to develop their own weapons technology.


    • Replies: @Rehmat
    , @Jim Christian
  17. Rehmat says:

    Shalom Abe Foxman. Did you remember the execution of sister and brother-in-law Ethal and Julius Rosenberg for selling US nuclear secrets to Soviet Russia?

    How about your two Jewish brothers Shimon Peres and Dr. Zalman Shapiro, who smuggled 741 pounds of bomb-grade uranium to the Zionist entity?

    I bet Nazis would not had betrayed Germany as these Zionist bastards betrayed America.

  18. @Jim Christian

    There was a novel a few years ago about the effect of an EMP. Pretty scary, but, as far as I know, nothing has been done. A really intense solar flare, as you note, could have similar effects. I think that there was a solar flare event in the 19th Century that caused telegraph keys to burn. Hate to think what would happen today.

    I was aware of the dial-a-yield feature on the B-83 (.25 to 1.25 megatons) but I didn’t know the B-61 had a similar capability. I think that the warheads on the Spartan (5 megatons!) and Sprint ABMs aimed to destroy incoming ICBM reentry vehicles and their warheads as much with EMP as with blast and fireball.

    One fellow with whom I worked in my first job had been an A-6 Vietnam era pilot. I saw some on the USS Eisenower around 1991–their engines were louder than the F-14s!

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  19. @Sherman

    Rehmat is a madcap Jew/Israel hater. If a light bulb burns out in Singapore, it’s the fault of those Jews. He’s a radical Islamic comment-generator, I figure his goat keeps him warm at night. You’ll see all of his talking points in two posts, then cut and pasted everywhere. I wouldn’t sweat him, but it isn’t worth the time to rebut because he just pastes his prior remarks. All-Muslim, all the time.

    • Replies: @anon
  20. @Diversity Heretic

    I go way back DH, I’m an old bastard. I went aboard Nimitz in 1976-1981 with Attack Squadron 35, A-6E Intruders. I was an AME2 by the time I got out. AME’s fixed ejection seats, liquid oxygen, aircraft air conditioning. Life-support type stuff. There were collateral duties, weapons were one. Of course, the A6 is long-retired although it has been sorely missed for it’s range and load I understand. And yes, it was a loud bastard. It used a pair of P&W J-52 turbojets. The neighbors of NAS Oceana hated it. To this day, the Nimitz sails, but rarely since we can’t get our carrier groups out to sea in any force because the ladies of the Navy are single mothers and refuse to deploy (what to do with the children after all?). For them, it’s a job, a salary, benefits and a Sexual Trauma Pension from the VA, 100% disability because some man looked at her aboard ship. Rape Culture is what women do to the VA with unfounded claims, but the VA pays up and quickly. Meanwhile, when your mission force is down 1/3 to pregnancies and single mothers, you can’t go to sea. THAT is another issue entirely. Cheers.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    , @TWS
  21. Sean says:

    The North Koreans built a weapons reactor based on the British Magnox design, which was so outdated that it was declassified and published at an international peace conference. The US was responsible for disseminating nukes via this program.

    North Korea is not in the Middle East so no one in the US that matters is interested in it. Ditto India.

  22. @Jim Christian

    Thanks, Jim. Guys like you made the Navy great! Anchors aweigh!

    I’ve heard that Navy ships routinely deploy short-handed because of pregnancies and family issues. What a state for a great service.

  23. Yeah, we should cut up the carriers and decommission the squadrons and send the planes to the boneyard. If we did that however, what would single women with kids do without their shore side squadrons and floating office buildings at the pier do for a job? Oh well. Enjoy the decline.

    • Replies: @Karl
  24. bach says:
    @Jim Christian

    For the roots of the current troubles, look to the Bill Clinton/Jimmy Carter-negotiated Sunshine Accords of the early-late 90s. In response to North Korea’s blackmail and threats to go back to war against South Korea (and they COULD destroy South Korea conventionally in very short order) we gave North Korea tens of billions of dollars, heating oil, foodstuffs and other sundries in an attempt to buy them off. We paid them not to do this and here, they’ve done it.

    Actually the roots go much further back then that (including recent threats of invasion and nukes during the Clinton administration), but we can start there.

    You’re referring to the 1994 Agreed Framework and it’s an agreement that we broke during the Bush administration. But even before that, it was all but dead when we dragged our feet and failed to produce the light water reactors as we had agreed.

    It seems Clinton never really planned on fulfilling our side of the bargain because we expected/hoped the fall of the North Korean regime was imminent. But the clock kept ticking… 5 years… 7 years… And the North Koreans began to ask, “What happened to our deal? Where are those reactors? And what happened to that part about detente?”

    This is our policy, even as North Korea is considered one leg of the Axis of Evil triad.

    Sure, according to Frum and the neocons. But why would you believe them?

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  25. @Jim Christian

    You seem to labor under the misapprehension that Iran is governed by the same sort of barking mad murderous psychopaths as the US.

  26. @Bill Jones

    I don’t enough about the iranian govt to say anything but I got nothing to refute your claim about the us govt. kinda fucking sad 🙁

  27. @bach

    I don’t consider North Korea as anyone but rogue nation #902. The Axis nonsense was just that, a construct of the Bush admin. I don’t believe in handing those sorts anything, technology wise. Also, at some point, what is South Korea’s responsibility for their own defense? Actually, I consider those particular North Korea a client of China. And any commerce we did with China ought to have been contingent on North Korea’s behavior. When rogue nations threaten nuclear powers, that ought to bring their patrons some grief. Didn’t happen with North Korea and China. They roll merrily on. And on. And on..

    • Replies: @bach
  28. @Bill Jones

    I labor under nothing. I’m retired except for special projects that involve no labor at all, thanks very much. However, I prefer our psychos to theirs. Either way, both sets of psychos cost me an extra ten months deployed at sea in 1979-1980, one set of psychos believing they could pluck hostages from the possession of the other set of psychos. Ragged-ass as this system runs, as I sit and read on this night, I prefer life here to the life led under an Iranian dictatorship driven by mullahs. Although, I understand feminism hasn’t gained much traction in Iran. I applaud them for that. Nonetheless, everyone should be responsible for their own clients. They aren’t folks we should be involved with. They’re Russia’s client, let Putin handle them. North Korea? China’s client. Saudi Arabia? OUR client, arguably at the moment a bigger pain in the ass to all of us than Iran and North Korea, again, at the moment. It seems like these folks, unheard from for a period of time, like to make a splash every now and then. Saudi with their sudden New Years’ beheadings, North Korea setting off dirty dynamite inside a mountain, Iran with their threats and missiles in the Gulf. Like children, jumping up and down yelling, “Look at me”. Problem is, the “children” are armed. The world is not good at managing their clients these days.

    Our psychopaths here should concentrate on our troubles here and let Russia’s psychopaths and China’s psychopaths handle their problems. Especially, most recently, China and North Korea. The American tightrope is getting awfully damned thin and is unraveling quickly. Or not. Who knows, the psychopaths don’t keep us in the loop to know. If you don’t know the how, why and where, you aren’t invited anyway.

  29. bach says:
    @Jim Christian

    Also, at some point, what is South Korea’s responsibility for their own defense?

    It doesn’t seem to be Washinton’s strategy to leave their defense to themselves. I don’t think that’s how overlord/vassal relationships work.

    And any commerce we did with China ought to have been contingent on North Korea’s behavior.

    Isn’t it in our interest that North Korea acts up once in a while? How else then could we explain our China encirclement policy?

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  30. @5371

    It is clear you do not realize how much you reveal about yourself by these insults. If this is all you can do why don’t you just leave this forum where most of the contributors are head and shoulder above your ability to engage in meaningful discussion.

  31. @bach

    Well, you don’t know what our policies are, so all your little quirky assumptions are as nothing. Sorry.

    • Replies: @bach
  32. bach says:
    @Jim Christian

    My assumptions may be without concrete evidence, but if it sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, maybe it’s a duck?

    What I can say with greater certainty is that the policy of cold war against this tiny country going on over 60years is irrational, cruel and barbaric, particularly when the division of the Koreas was a decision made in Washington to serve Washington’s interests with a view to rebuilding Japan, the WWII aggressor and loser.

    For the people of North Korea, they have been in a state of colonial occupation, hot war or cold war for over 100 years.

  33. Karl says:
    @Jim Christian

    >>> If we did that however, what would single women with kids do without their shore side squadrons and floating office buildings at the pier do for a job?

    become a “WestPac Widow” ?

  34. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim Christian

    You are one of those $cum americans who love to be sodomised by them judens. Hey, if it gives you pleasure… enjoy dude:)

  35. And I thought you were one of the smarter ones..

  36. TWS says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    Popular Science did an article decades ago about a non-nuclear emp weapon. It would not affect a large area maybe a small city but enough to seriously f-up a nation’s day.

    Now I read and hear nothing on the subject. EMP is the way future wars will be declared and by then it will be too late.

  37. TWS says:
    @Jim Christian

    Just wait until we have serious fire and those women need to actually fight it. Something like 0% of the women can handle the equipment. It will be a nightmare and an entirely preventable one.

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