Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Second Nuke Test reported, but veracity doubted

Japan reports possible second nuclear test, according to the Daily Telgraph. "North Korea may have conducted a second nuclear test today, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, but South Korean officials quickly denied the report." But the US does not confirm the second test, citing lack of seismic evidence. It was the spuriously reported "second test" that got me thinking about suitcase nukes or at least at the prospect that the Nokors were developing small bombs. This second reported test, if real, may indcate a failure in their basic design, as it seems even less powerful thatn the first. But I'm going to wait until more information is available and keep watching the situation.

40 Comments:

Blogger USMC_Vet said...

Looks like it was a quake about 200 miles NE of Tokyo. But their jitters (pardon the mild pun) are quite understandable considering.

See:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003298301_webnewtest10.html

Cheers, mate.

Steve (TW)

10/10/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Japan will nuclearize sooner or later. Even if the North Korean regime collapses, you'll get a unified Korea with nuclear weapons staring at Japan across 100 miles of water. Then it will be China who's jumping at every little tremor.

10/10/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

If they are building a primitive device for a small platform, it seems reasonable that the yield would be small.

I'm no expert this just seems logical.

10/10/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

``I have had not received information about any indications ... that a test has take place,'' Abe said at a parliamentary budget meeting.

U.S. and South Korean monitors said they detected no new seismic activity Wednesday in North Korea.


Fears

10/10/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger USMC_Vet said...

Teresita:

In 2001, NTI reported that Japan had 30 metric tons of spent fuel in storage at French and British reporcessing facilities and 5-7 metric tons on their own soil.

Japan has the standing ability to convert existing stores of spent fuel into plutonium. It's only a mattter of doing it. This was surely at least in part by design.

Few Japanese technological endeavors suffer from poor design or craftsmanship.

The Jeanie hates her bottle.

10/10/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger USMC_Vet said...

...yes...I know it's genie...

Showing my age, but I grew up in love with Barbara Eden.

10/10/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Analysts said the yen's reaction to initial reports that the Japanese government was investigating the possibility of a second nuclear test by North Korea showed how jittery markets were.

Shahab Jalinoos, ABN AMRO Bank's currency strategist, said in a note to clients the degree of risk priced into markets was still very low.


Risk Still Low

10/10/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger American Fool said...

So what happens now? Clinton tried giving NK money... that didn't work. Bush rattled his saber... that didn't work. I'd love to see both a blockade and sanctions, though I'm not familiar enough with the international politics - how would China respond to a blockade? Stronger measures may be eventually required, but first I'd like to give the N Koreans a chance to rectify the errors of their leader on their own... as unlikely as it is to happen. Why? Teaching people to value their own freedom is how you build a stable Democracy; you can't just give it to them as we've tried to do in Iraq.

10/10/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Robert Kaplan asks that same question, "what now Lieutenant?"

"... American military worry less about an indiscriminate artillery attack on the South than about a very discriminate one. My sources feared that in the aftermath of the KFR’s missile launches in July, the Bush administration might actually have been foolish enough to react militarily—which might have been exactly what Kim Jong Il was hoping for, since it would have allowed him to achieve a primary strategic goal: splitting the alliance between South Korea and the United States. How would that happen? After the United States responded in a targeted fashion to the missile launches or some other future outrage, the North would initiate an intensive five- or ten- minute-long artillery barrage on Seoul, killing some Americans and South Koreans near Yongsan Garrison (“Dragon Mountain”), the American military’s Green Zone in the heart of the city. Then the North would simply stop. And after the shell fire halted, the proverbial question among American officers in a quandary would arise:
What now, Lieutenant?

Now a blockade is an act of war, siezing and boarding a NorK ship is an act of war. The tit for tat question to be answered, how many minutes of artillery salvo targeting Seoul per ship turned away or boarded?
How many SorKs sacrificed to US fear, when the locals are willing to "live with it" indeed the current status que is prefered in Seoul and Peking.

10/10/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

It really will come down to "heroic" vrs our current usage of ""Post-Heroic" Warfare"

If we get serious with the bad guys of the world we need to fight on the level they do...

no medicine, no food, no fuel, no technology at a MINIMUM.

If they fire rockets or cause terror, then ten-fold on thier cities.

I know it's cruel but if the iranians, hamas, nokor, hezbollah, somalia, taliban types want to have a pissing contest, let's give them one.

and also MOCK EM when we do it...

10/10/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Persian Hands

By JOHN BATCHELOR
October 10, 2006
New York Sun

Why did the North Koreans detonate a nuclear weapon now? Who benefits from a clear defiance of the United Nations Security Council? What possible gain could North Korea's utilitarian despot achieve by humiliating his protector, Beijing, by baiting his enabler, Seoul, and by threatening his adversary, America, in defense of its ally Japan?

Answer this question and you can begin to answer the scale of the threat posed by the North Korean test. Answer this question and you begin to see that the Bush administration faces an enemy that is well prepared to beggar commerce, wreck security, and blackmail the Security Council unless it gets what it wants. Answer this question and you will see that the hands on the nuke weapons test are not Korean but Persian.

Recall three months ago, when North Korea raised an intercontinental ballistic missile on the launch pad and taunted Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo for weeks before firing the weapon into the Japan Sea. At the time, Washington was accused of provoking North Korea by refusing to negotiate face-to-face and by spurning North Korea's demand for an American guarantee not to attack. Madeleine Albright recently called President Bush's foreign policy a "mess" and said he should have used Bill Clinton as a special negotiator with Pyongyang to defuse the confrontation. Horsefeathers. On July 4, North Korea launched at least seven missiles within a short time span, one of which was a Taepodong-2 missile capable of carrying a miniaturized nuclear warhead, not because Mr. Bush wouldn't telephone Kim Jong Il's bunker but because the test was paid for by, and staged for, Tehran.

It has since been confirmed repeatedly not only that several officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards rocket forces were present at the missile launches, but also that the missile test was a complete success. The first wave of media reports — and remember that in war, the first three reports are wrong — declared the Taepodong-2 missile test was a failure because it fell into the Sea of Japan after only 42 seconds. The first media reports also declared that the other smaller missiles, single-stage, short-range Scud types, were fired to mask the Taepodong-2 error. Wrong on all counts. The Iranians paid for the test and intended it to demonstrate a counter strike after an American first strike. North Korean rocket forces were dispersed beforehand in warlike conditions, without communications among the units, exactly as if America had just scored a first-round decapitation. Each rocket brigade then launched one short-range theater missile to accompany the strategic weapon, the Taepodong-2, in order to simulate the mass firing of the arsenal. The missiles all landed within observation of prepositioned trawlers.

The Iranians were delighted. Their agents, the North Koreans, from whom Tehran has bought its missile systems and its nuclear weapons systems, had demonstrated that in the event of the expected American bombing, Tehran would be able to launch weapons in all directions. Tehran also knew that American signals-intelligence watched everything and understood the message.

The remaining component was the nuclear warhead itself. It is logical, and now confirmed, that Iranian agents were present at the test site, since they both ordered and paid for the test. It is logical, though not confirmed, that the agents were the same mix that was present at the July 4 missile exercise, either Pasdaran officers or Iranian Nuclear Energy Agency ops or Iranian intelligence ops, or all of the above. It is logical, though not confirmed, that the same device that was detonated is the miniaturized warhead that Iran needs to mount atop its rebuilt Taepodong-2 missile, a version of which Tehran calls the Shahab-3. It is logical, though not confirmed, that Iran wanted the American national security apparatus to see that the two critical elements in a mutually assured destruction scenario are now in place: a launch-on-warning missile offensive and a nuclear warhead for the outgoing strike.

The U.N. Security Council warned the North Koreans not to fire the nuke or else. The U.N. Security Council warned the Iranians that it must cease enrichment of uranium or else.

The else clock is running. The six-party talks in East Asia to contain Pyongyang are a sham. The European Union talks in Geneva to contain Tehran are a sham. The U.N. Security Council talks in New York to contain the nuclear weapons proliferators are a sham. The only confab to wait out is the Congressional elections. After that, and regardless of how much noise the appeasers make in the House of Representatives, the fleet sails to defend America and enforce civilization.

Mr. Batchelor is host of "The John Batchelor Show," now on hiatus.



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10/10/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger ppab said...

OT, but in the same regional neighborhood kinda sorta:

Bomb diffused in Cotabato City

"It was the third bombing since Tuesday, when two bomb attacks killed at least six people and injured more than 30 others in Makilala town in North Cotabato province and Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat province.

Obatay said the improvised explosive device used in Cotabato City was made from an 81mm
mortar attached to a timing device - similar to the bombs used in the Makilala and Tacurong attacks.

''The attackers must have intended to explode the device during rush hour, when a lot of people would be on the street and near the attack site, but the bomb exploded earlier,'' he said.

Security forces in the southern region of Mindanao were placed on red alert earlier in the day following Tuesday's bombings.

Director General Oscar Calderon, national police chief, said that based on intelligence reports, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militants and the local Muslim Abu Sayyaf rebels were planning more attacks in Mindanao and other key cities.

''We are preparing for any eventuality,'' he said. ''We have placed all our forces on highest alert, including those in Metro Manila.''"

10/10/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger ppab said...

From the above Catobato City article:

"Colonel Ruperto Pabustan said the bomb that was discovered on Wednesday was made from two 81mm mortars attached to a mobile phone as a detonator and a nine-volt battery.

He said the cellular phone showed more than 20 missed calls, an indication that the suspects attempted to detonate the bomb.

''Luckily, it did not explode,'' he said. ''Had it exploded, hundreds more would have been killed since the area was densely populated at the time of the incident.''"

Maybe that collision of terminology, that of the mobile end user and the terrorist, will persuade those folks who were so aghast at sting operations targeting this technology.

So, how many tracfones does it take to pull the Dow below 8000?

10/10/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

It's somewhat unsettling to think of the aftermath of a nuclear attack on South Korean and the brutal reuniting of the two country's populations.

[London Times]

...The North Korean refugee had one request for her captors before the young Chinese soldiers led her back across the steel-girdered bridge on the Yalu River that divides two "socialist allies".

"She [the escaped NK women] asked for a comb and some water because she said that if she was going to die she could not face going to heaven looking as dirty and dishevelled as this," recounted a relative of one [Chinese] soldier who was there. The [Chinese] soldiers, who later told family members of the incident, marched the woman, who was about 30, to the mid-point of the bridge.

North Korean guards were waiting. They signed papers for receipt of the woman, who kept her dignity until that moment. Then, in front of the Chinese troops, one seized her and another speared her hand — the soft part between thumb and forefinger — with the point of a sharpened steel cable, which he twisted into a leash.

"She screamed just like a pig when we kill it at home in the village," the soldier later told his relative. "Then they dragged her away
."

See: the Times On Line

10/11/2006 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

USMC_VET, Genie ruled! Blonde, excited to please the master and magical. You’re gonna have to arm wrestle for her!
Charles, Link to the story next time.
This NOKOR Nuke event only shows the Impotency and Humiliation of the “Lone Super Power”, just the image boasting event Narcissi’s, Homicidal Megalomaniacs like the NK leader and Mullahs love. Bush is now Damned if he does and Damned if he doesn’t do anything by everyone at home that is a Delusional Lefty or overly sensitive public School/College trained American and the International Community, Bush did not play his hand well in this poker game. Iran is being shown that obtaining Nuke’s at current is a simple threat game with little consequences to the ruling elite and at worst a few sleepless nights in a deep dark damp bunker. With the NOKORs there has (and never has been) real never been a military option available to stop them, Don’t get me wrong, Prez Kerry would have screwed this up 10 fold as bad, the cards were dealt on Clintons watch and there was never really anything Uncle Sam could do after that.

10/11/2006 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger enthymeme ∙ said...

Teresita wrote: "Japan will nuclearize sooner or later".

What an absurd pronouncement. Neither China nor the rest of Asia will stand for a re-militarised Japan, let alone a nuclearised one. At most Japan will cower under the US nuclear umbrella.

In the event of a unified Korea, whatever legacy nuclear program left over will go the way of South Africa's. The Koreans will not provoke an arms race with Japan, nor will the Japanese want to redefine their relationship so foundationally with the rest of Asia. To suggest otherwise is to betray a stunning ignorance of history, and the Japanese historical psyche.

10/11/2006 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

So...who does the US surrender to? the Hermit Kingdom or the Caliphate? Or would China give the US better terms? Should Bush surrender now or wait and let Hillary surrender in 2008?

This is one of the times when I'm glad that my WW2 Marine combat veteran father is deceased. All of this girlish whining would kill him.

10/11/2006 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

I'm not worried. The United Nations still functions as the worlds primier problem solving and peace keeping body.
The members of that august body will deliver our beloved Earth neighbors the hand of friendship, thus easing Noth Koreans very tight panty wad.
Should that not work we'll send the Harlem Globetrotters on a North Korean tour and if that fake bucket of water/confetti doesn't have'm laughing then we'll just have Bill and Hillary host a picnic at Fort Marcy Park for their leadership. I here they host killer parties.

10/11/2006 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger epictetus said...

I see three options--

1) We live with North Korea's nukes and hope they stop their aggressive behavior. Downside is that this option is based on hope and is unlikely to succeed. Historically aggressors become MORE aggressive as they get stronger.

2) We launch a massive surprise attack against them with nuclear or conventional weapons. The stronger the weapons we use, the more N Koreans we kill and the more S Koreans we save from reprisal. Main downside here is that we end up killing millions of innocent people.

3) We start playing the same game as China and Russia. Taiwan, Japan, Poland, and perhaps Georgia get invited into a nuclear technology partnership with the US. In the interim, we invite them into a joint protection agreement. Downside is that this invites a massive world-wide arms race which will likely lead to war.

It really seems like we are in a bit of a Prisoner's Dilemna. The best outcome for China, Russia, and the US collectively is if we all act peacefully towards each other. However, they seem to think that, by supporting regimes like N Korea and Iran, their relative position compared to ours will be greatly improved. They believe that N Korea and Iran will harm us, but not so greatly that it will threaten them. Unless we are willing to suffer this (option 1), we must convince Russia and China that we are willing to upset the applecart for everyone (options 2 or 3) if they won't play nice.

Unfortunately, given the political divisions in our country (as well as the obvious painful consequences to ourselves of any retaliation we might make), we can't credibly make this threat now.

10/11/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Neither China nor the rest of Asia will stand for a re-militarised Japan, let alone a nuclearised one.

Well, Bush said the US will not stand for a nuclear North Korea too, and now they're nuclear, and we're standing for it. And Japan is already militarized. Even now the Japanese self-defense force is a thing to be reckoned with...especially with Aegis-type destroyers.

10/11/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

The problem is that even under an almost unprecedentedly aggressive US administration - one most willing to take the most cynical view of the strategic picture - north korea and its russian masters (cf. Shanghai Cooperation Organization and, e.g., Bushehr) appear to be pushing commensurately harder - russia under plausible deniability, NK under its Clinton experience, all parties under the reasonable belief that the US can be pulled apart by its will to enforce the post-war picture, such as it exists (and of course compared to alternatives, which are myriad, it manifests itself profoundly despite the stress on the system). In view of NK's native character, its actual conduct within the context of the agreed framework of '94 and within the 6 party context, such action ought only to be considered as an excuse to blow our wad now and take it out, in concert with SK and, perhaps improbably, China. Without China, our own strategic administrative policy will not tolerate unilateral action where one result may be Japanese rearmament, or the humiliation of the USA by a dwarf anachronistic cannabilistic power. Iraq, in my view, demonstrates nothing so much as the complete vicious and stupid cruelty of Arab culture, pure and simple; if plan A democratization fails, surely plan C democratization will not, although there will be many fewer Arabs, one hopes, who must find their way back to the much-discussed but probably hopelessly inaccurate "peace between Sunni and Shia that subsisted prior to the colonial experiment following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire." obviously, this an example of the "there was no CNN there, so it must have been quite nice" contemporary fallacy, which really cries out for a latin rendering, no? But Iraq does not show the inadequacy of US armed forces; quite the contrary. Any fucking idiot can see there are no successful Arab societies, and so having failed to shepherd one into existence is no great failure. However a North Korea with nukes whose shelter under Russia proved sufficient to force actual changes in force alignment and posture and other measurable consequences not of the Cedarford Hysteria variety would constitute a humiliation beyond the merely moralistic, which is fundamentally ephemeral and transitory and predicated on victory or defeat anyway. A North Korea that could actually threaten China, SK or Japan, to say nothing of continental USA or Australia or Guam or Hawaii, ought to inspire a concerted Desert Storm type action. What is the alternative? To placate this government, a pariah for 50 years, the only state against whom the UNSC has authorized force, besides Iraq? And... to let it run roughshod, like a toddler with a .9mm, through the international living room?

What is all this fucking cowardice for? If people have to die, then they have to die. Better that they die in a saturation bombing run than in a gulag. Or, if you'd like to placate them and support their continuing perversions, allow them to be the crazy enforcer of the smirking Mongols, bent on Asiatic revenge, then I'd like to hear WHY. DOn't tell me about 23 million refugees - who gives a shit about 23 million refugees? Aren't they already 23 million refugees fucking with everything in sight? Isn't a rational policy one that sough to bring this swiftly to an end, not to indulge in fantasies of mitigation and containment, which have been irrefutably proven to be fantasies?

10/11/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

"And Japan is already militarized. Even now the Japanese self-defense force is a thing to be reckoned with...especially with Aegis-type destroyers."

Well, in a sense the police department in my town is militarized too. That doesn't mean they have a war-waging capability. Japan's self-defense force is just that. . .focused on keeping an enemy at bay long enough for the USA to kick in on Japan's side. Japan has virtually no ability to extend military influence anywhere beyond its islands.

Aegis destroyers are powerful bits of military kit, but to bandy about the name as if its some sort of mega-weapon is sensationalism. In fact, the Aegis destroyers are designed primarily for fleet defense, to provide a comprehensive C^3 capability and contribute to the anti-aircraft/anti-sub/anti-missile screen of a carrier battlegroup.

10/11/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

THat's true but Korea isn't exactly 8,000 miles from Japan, either.

10/11/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

China is all that keeps North Korea afloat. China could turn North Korea off like a switch. The Chinese have lost considerable face in the recent attempt(?) by North Korea to demonstrate a nuclear weapon. The only thing that keeps China from shutting down North Korea is the legitimate fear of millions of North Korean economic refugees streaming into Manchuria. China's basic strategic dilemma is balancing the certainty of economic hardship if North Korea implodes versus the mere possibility that North Korea might do something stupid with a nuclear weapon. South Korea faces a similar dilemma as China in that their economy would be ruined by a North Korean political implosion. Japan is also in a strategic dilemma. Japan has done quite nicely as a pacifist economic super power. It would be very much in Japan's interests to stay that way. However Japan is a probable target for North Korea "doing something stupid" with a nuke. The United States position is actually the simplest, i.e. we're not directly threatened by North Korea's political implosion. North Korea's greatest threat to us is they might hand a working nuke over to al Qaeda or the Iranians. However I can't imagine North Korea handing off a nuke for free, or that al Qaeda could come up with sufficient cash to buy one. That brings us back to the Iranians who remain our greatest threat. Although North Korea is a problem, we should remain focused on Islamic fascism.

10/11/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

For that festering pimple on the face of the earth, Kim Jong-il,

Nu-clear-a-sil.

We need a strong, militaristic sounding Japan to help us push the Chinese into pushing the Norks into compliance.

Or, we need a real militarizing Japan to help us push the Norks into the sea.

China's choice.

10/11/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Today at a news conference, Pres Bush was asked if a nuclear armed North Korea was still unacceptable.

He replied "It is." And that was all.

He was then asked about reports to the effect that the U.S. might now accept North Korea having nuclear weapons.

He replied "They're wrong." And that was all.

10/11/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ah, the first OBLIGATORY:

NYC SCARE: 'SMALL AIRCRAFT' CRASHES INTO HIGH-RISE ON UPPER EAST SIDE... 524 E. 72ND STREET AT YORK, NEAR EAST RIVER... 'NO REASON TO BELIEVE EVENT IS TERRORISM'... DEVELOPING...
---
Just another run of the Mill
Plane Crashes into Highrise Story.

Huge pieces of flaming Debris,
ho hum.

10/11/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Either a Domestic Dispute
Business Deal Gone Wrong
Drug related
or
Finally, last and LEAST:
A Crazed Muslim that loves Jews committing suicide.

10/11/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I forgot:
"Terrible Accident"
with sequelae.

10/11/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Small
Aircraft Hits Building in Manhattan

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 10 minutes ago
The aircraft struck the 20th floor of a high-rise condominium on the Upper East Side, a Fire Department spokeswoman said. Whether anyone was injured was not known, and it was unclear if the crash was an act of terrorism.
COULDN'T have "injured" anyone,
might be RPV

10/11/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Planes crashes into N.Y. building

Small plane smashes into high-rise building
Witness: Huge flames, people were screaming
President informed; crash believed to be accident

...NORAD orders aircraft patrol cities as precautionary measure.
ho hum

10/11/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

747 hits Empire State Building.
400 Jews believed to have decided to commit mass suicide.
Terrorism not suspected.

10/11/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The initial indication is that there is a terrible accident," said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke.
---
Like when that young Muslim in the lightplane was just a disturbed teen.

10/11/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Sometimes an accident is just an accident.

10/11/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

And just to add. . .
If this does turn out to be just some fellow sightseeing who caught a bad draft or lost his way, then the only people guilty of terrorism today are the reporters (who keep saying the word 'terrorism' in conjunction with a small plane crash, but won't say it when a man intentionally detonates himself in a cafe. . .no that's 'resistance' or 'insurgency') and nutcases who believe an accident can no longer happen without sinister implications.

10/11/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

As long as the US is a member of the UN it will remain the "Paper Tiger" Mao described.

Yes , I know, we routed the Taliban, got an election accomplished in Iraq, but we are too constrained. We are a Paper Tiger unable to finish off our enemies. We operate in a tiny envelope of our power dictated by our affiliation wiht the UN.
It is Americans interests we should protect, which doesn't mean spending billions globally on "feel good projects".
If we were a "power" and projected it as such other countries would step in line very quickly. They have learned our arsenal is only for MAD and not for power projection to compliment our diplomatic efforts. We are a bound Paper Tiger.
Our developing demographics will cement this in the coming decade,when larger and larger unassilmilated minority groups exert political pressure to "help" there "home" countries, while simultaneously binding any military action.

10/11/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

What Dan said at 9:09

10/11/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger The Machinist said...

1) We've seen it was a Yankees pitcher in a single-engine place. Suicide conceivably, it was a bad playoffs for us, but terrorism? Anyone still riding that pony or can we all have a good laugh now? Doug, this means you.

2) Stupids, am I the only one here who reads physics? Small warheads are *hard*. Among other things, in a Pu-239 warhead optimized for small diamaeter, the pit is NOT spherical but is most likely some flavor of spheroid. The math is MUCH much harder. You would NOT deploy this without real testing, MAYBE unless you were the USA.

(Corollary: Therefore, they were NOT kidding when they said not to sell supercomputers to nasty foreigners.)

Besides, in KJI's mindset, a little boom as not as good as a big boom. It would be easier, and more desirable, for him to do a Tsar Bomba than a suitcase. Poofy-hair does NOT need the Bomb for warfighting - let me say it, Wretchard is WRONG if he guesses this (the dug-in artillery suffices entirely for his terror purposes, and to actually repel a SK/US invasion he would need more nukes than he could possibly build).

NK cannot develop a small-diameter nuke on its own, China has none to sell them (this is not a W-88), greedy Russian supply sergeants may have sold them a SADM type WEAPON but NOT a DESIGN. In which case why would the Norks waste it on a test?

This was either a fizzle (I forget if it was Ivy Mike or what, but one US bomb test had a fizzle of such dimensions as those described for NK) or a passel of HE.

Maybe cooking off all his 1950s-era HE mixed with Chinese oil and domestic bull, ah, fertilizer. The seismic waves of a nuke should be pretty definitive - you should see the very sharp onset of the wave, not slow growth.

I say (ISTM, IMHO) it was not a real nuke, though it could have had some wastes mixed in to spoof the fallout detectors. And the talk of second strike missile testing with Iran seems so much crap as well. Just the style there, to make fake bombs and fake rockets.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't attack, embargo, whack KJI, whatever - but it does suggest that failure to do so is not cravenness by the Administration.

(The only concern I have with this hypothesis is, why would Russia lie, or why would they make a mistake?)

3) China's failure to subdue the Norks is sinister. Frankly - a refugee crisis? What has China run out of ammo? Not to mention, if they wanted to look good for the Games and all, just tell the UN they need appropriations to pay for all that emergency rice! You think the UN wouldn't shell out? I just don't see the problem. It does look to me like the Chinese are making excuses. They see it as not their problem. Well, they should be disabused of that notion.

Anybody recall the *legalities* of say Japan withdrawing from NPT? Six months notice, is it? If they pulled out tomorrow they would have a workable arsenal deployed before Poofy does. Let Japan have a hundred warheads on a tripwire - publicly aimed at China, why bother to shoot their dog? - and see if China thinks NK is not their problem anymore.

Corollary: Gee, haven't we stroked the Chinese enough, bought them somehow? Ne me fais rire. Does, uh, Wal-Mart ring a bell? Better they just do what we tell them.

4) Cedarford...ahhh, what's the use? Wacky views on Jews aside (another time for that), I used to think you were a paleocon type, but now I don't know what's your problem. You really mean to say you think we can't handle this? The will is one thing, but you seem to think we haven't the horses. Buck up, fella!

5) Repeating, and again either everybody misses this or it's the elephant in the room, the skunk at the garden party, the turd in the punch bowl:

ASSASSINATION; DESTABILIZATION; COUP

Is it patently absurd that KJI dying, peacefully/naturally or otherwise, wouldn't alter the dynamics of NK in a way we could leverage, if we planned for it? Ahmadinejad likewise? Are we just assuming for the sake of argument that such would be futile? Please let's discuss.

Maybe it wouldn't solve Iran, but surely would at least slow down NK and make them think.

6) I am tired of how the security word is never right when I've been typing a long post. Wretch, fix can?

10/12/2006 02:12:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

"We operate in a tiny envelope of our power dictated by our affiliation wiht the UN."

No offense, but the only thing constraining us is the will of our own nation. The UN hasn't constrained us in years. Hell, they can't even constrain tin-pot dictators in Sudan, much less the United States. To imply that we go by the dictates of the UN, that our membership is anything but a veto vote on the security council these days, is just plain wrong.

10/12/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Wretchard, great blog. I see the S.Koreans now want nuclear weapons and likely so do the Japanese.

On an unrelated matter, can I ask how you have just a few lines of each post showing on your main page with a link to the full post? I want to do the same with my blog so that it doesn't take 10 minutes to load.

Thanks,

V

vakaivosavosa@gmail.com

10/12/2006 04:38:00 PM  

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