Monday, October 23, 2017

North Korea: Is war likely? Is an EMP attack possible?

I'd love to write about other things, but nothing is more important than this:
Tonight's Nelson Report (a reputable newsletter on NE Asia): Removing personal assets from #ROK now advisable, say sr. admin. officials.
That's a tweet from Van Jackson, an expert associated with the Center for Strategic Studies. (ROK = South Korea.) That advice from the Nelson Report was issued two days ago, on the 21st. The Nelson Report is a source which Josh Marshall has praised highly in times past.

Van Jackson's other tweets have been equally concerning:
Admin source tells me "Everyone wants 'preemptive war' now except for Mattis." Normal Korea experts have no idea how serious this is
From other convos, I infer that "everyone"=McMaster, Pompeo, Haley, Dunford, Pottinger, and Trump. Nobody cares what Tillerson thinks
War w NK not imminent. "Everyone" but Mattis has reckless preferences for aggressive action. Situation is powder keg but fuse not yet lit
From other convos, I infer that "everyone"=McMaster, Pompeo, Haley, Dunford, Pottinger, and Trump. Nobody cares what Tillerson thinks
This CNN analysis offers an important Trump quote:
Trump upped the rhetoric another notch in an interview with Fox Business Network broadcast Sunday, in which he said Washington was "so prepared, like you wouldn't believe" for any contingency with Pyongyang.

"You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be," Trump said. "Would it be nice not to do that? The answer is yes. Will that happen? Who knows, who knows."
I heard Trump say these words during a recent newscast. It seemed obvious to me that he was dying to say more -- and that he had, perhaps, already said too much.

As readers know, I have flirted with a theory that America possesses a secret anti-missile program, one which gives us, in effect, first strike capability. This is not a popular theory and I freely admit that little evidence supports it. But Trump's own statements indicate that he has been initiated into such a secret, and that he would love to exercise this power. The man is certainly acting like someone who thinks he can hurl nukes without playing catcher.

Any American "victory" will, of course, be Pyrrhic. If war ends with North Korea incinerated and the United States uninjured, this nation will be loathed by the rest of the world. We would win the war and lose our allies -- which will, eventually, lead to the loss of our superpower status.

On the other hand, we could face a far worse outcome.

EMP. According to Forbes, Congress has received a CIA report warning of a North Korean EMP attack.
Unlike a conventional ICBM which launches and then goes into a suborbital flight before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, an EMP warhead need not re-enter Earth’s atmosphere before exploding hundreds of kilometers above its target. Super-EMP weapons are designed to produce a high level of gamma rays, which generate the sort of high-frequency electromagnetic pulse that is most damaging to the broadest range of electronics, the report concludes.

And if the EMP device just happens to be part onboard an orbiting satellite, North Korea need only detonate the device remotely via encoded signal. Pry, Chief of Staff of the now de-funded Congressional EMP Commission, told me that at an altitude of 300 kilometers, the resulting electromagnetic pulse would affect all 48 contiguous states.

A warhead fused for an EMP in a satellite or ICBM could work on a timer, via GPS, or using an altimeter, says Pry, a nuclear strategist formerly with the CIA, who has a certificate in nuclear weapons design from the U.S. Air Force nuclear weapons lab. He says North Korea could even rig the warhead to detonate in the event that it was intercepted by our own missile defenses.

The consequences of such a detonation would be dire.

“The U.S. can sustain a population of 320 million people only because of modern technology,” said Pry. “An EMP that blacks-out the electric grid for a year would [decimate] the critical infrastructure necessary to support such a large population.”

In three days, the food supply in local grocery stores would be consumed and the 30-day national food supply in regional warehouses would begin to spoil, says Pry. In one year, he contends that up to 90 percent of the population could perish from starvation, disease, and societal collapse.
For the past month or so, various media organs (including Popular Mechanics) have discussed the grim possibility of an EMP attack. This journal adds some important details:
The EMP commission was actually defunded on September 30th. It was created in 2001 and has been extended several times over the years, the last time in 2016. This extension was allowed to lapse, even as North Korea issued a specific threat in September to carry out an EMP attack and published a technical paper in the official communist party paper “Rodong Sinmun” outlining some details about it.
"Defunded?" Well, at least Trump won't have to worry about the political consequences. He won't have much of a nation left.

Here is the North Korean threat, in Google translation:

I have heard that google can use balloons to create an internet relay system. However, I do not know if the balloons rely on existing satellites for guidance.

Donald Trump is not the right man for job right now. He won't understand that if North Korea takes out our satellite network and we retaliate by destroying North Korea,, (assuming we still could) that we would still no only lose the public relations aspect, but North Korea would be helped before the U.S. even as the U.S. and its population is dying from lack of electricity.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to spend money on "Infrastructure".
Trump put our planes carrying nuclear warheads on 24 hour ready alert this Sunday. Wish the fake news would hound him on that...and also on why he's ignored the EMT threat and left us vulnerable.
The DPRK has yet to launch a vehicle capable of orbiting any kind of nuclear device. Sounds to me like Forbes is trying to be the 2017 version of the New York Times when they parroted Dick Cheney lies about Iraq MEDs. Prepping the public for Trump's preemptive strike.
Mike, Forbes was hardly the only source for that story -- in fact, they came to it a bit late. Ultimately, the source is a report from the CIA.
The western portrayal of Kim Jong-Un and of various aspects of life in North Korea since Kim ascended to the dynastic throne in 2011 - the pictures of a funny-looking guy surrounded by yes-men in Soviet-style military caps, perhaps holding binoculars or poring over a map, shot with what may have been the production values in Hollywood in the 1960s, carrying the message "he thinks he's so important, but let's all laugh at the fool" - may have been deliberately tailored to pave the way to war.

Epithets such as "secretive" and "hermit" didn't have to get applied. Few people have heard, for example, of the Christian-funded English-language private university in Pyongyang. Its sixty US staffers couldn't make it for the beginning of the current academic semester, by reason of the US government telling them they weren't allowed to go.

"If war ends with North Korea incinerated and the United States uninjured, this nation will be loathed by the rest of the world. We would win the war and lose our allies -- which will, eventually, lead to the loss of our superpower status."

Ditto if the war ends any other way, except if it stays tiny; or if it starts and doesn't end soon after. If the US tries to nuke the shit out of North Korea, then it's curtains for South Korea, it's the end of the Chinese-US trade relationship, it's the end of the US dollar except perhaps in Ecuador, and I cannot see the oligarchs of Japan, Malaysia, or anywhere else in the Far East, even in Taiwan, not opting for the protection of the dragon rather than the eagle.
OK, while the contemporary definition of "decimate" is something like "total destruction," the technical definition is "to remove 10%".

The USA produces a lot of corn and soybeans,and EMP need not destroy that -- unless the harvesting combines are EMP-vulnerable. EMP also doesn't destroy buildings.
b, that sounds dire that the school staff were not allowed to go.
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