How To Handle The North Korea Situation

This situation with North Korea is getting a bit redundant…..this will be the last pot for now on NK that is until something new breaks….

I have offered my many opinions on how to handle the North Korean situation….and during those opinions I have had some dolt from the Right go off with something about the situation that has little to nothing to do with the situation.

These people seem to have the same opinion….”nuke ’em all and let God sort them out” mindset.  They offer little as far as an actual idea on how the situation needs to be approached.

First the report that came out over the last weekend……

China’s president delivered a direct message to President Trump: Ease up on the North Korea rhetoric. In a phone call with Trump Friday night, Xi Jinping said he wanted both sides to avoid “words and actions” that would make the situation worse, per the BBC, citing Chinese media. The White House statement on the call said the two leaders agreed that North Korea must stop its “provocative and escalatory behavior,” though it didn’t mention Xi’s plea to Trump as well. The call came after Trump made a series of aggressive statements directed at Pyongyang on Friday, the most recent one saying that the North would “truly regret” any missile launches toward Guam. The North, meanwhile, ramped up its own rhetoric on Saturday with a boast that 3.5 million people have volunteered to join the military to fight the US, reports the Washington Post.

“All the people are rising up across the country to retaliate against the US thousands of times,” said a newspaper. Meanwhile, China isn’t the only nation worried. Japan installed missile interceptors, South Korea is speeding up the process needed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-defense system, and Germany’s Angela Merkel voiced concern after one of Trump’s tweets, saying, “I consider an escalation of rhetoric the wrong answer,” per the Guardian. Despite his aggressive language, Trump also has spoken of a non-military outcome. “Hopefully, it will all work out,” he said Friday. “Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you.”

3.5 million have signed up to fight…..now if that report is accurate it is something to think about…..has any American felt such patriotic fervor and signed up?

Guam In The Cross Hairs

I know I am an opinionated SOB and from time to time I get a Right winger that stops by to drop some wisdom on me…..I have been writing a bit about the North Korean situation and the way we are approaching it…..this well intention person said “If you are so goddamn smart how would you stop a missile from falling on Guam”?

After some thought I decided to take this person up on the challenge.

My plan would center around Ukraine…..this country needs help with encroaching Russians….plus they want to join NATO and possibly the EU….there is lots of bargaining chips in that situation.

I appears that Ukraine is the answer to the North Korean missiles….why?

The heart of their missile is an engine made in Ukraine…..

Many are worried over North Korea’s ICBM launch last month, which analysts say indicate its weapons can now reach the US. And what may be behind this apparent success: liquid-propellant rocket engines from a Ukrainian factory linked to Russia’s missile program that were then scooped up on the black market, per the New York Times. This revelation comes via classified documents from US intelligence agencies and an analysis by Michael Elleman for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in which he notes the “astounding strides” of North Korea’s missile program, including its upgrade from medium-range missiles to a Hwasong intermediate-range missile and ICBM in just two years’ time—which he says no other nation has ever done. Elleman says it seems Pyongyang was able to pull off this feat with a rocket engine based on Soviet RD-250 engines, which only a few Soviet plants made.

The state-owned Yuzhmash factory that’s being eyed is in Dnipro, a plant the Times describes as “awash in unpaid bills and low morale.” What Elleman says lends credence to his theory is that two North Koreans were busted six years ago trying to swipe data on these types of engines from there. The Yuzhmash website notes it “will not [participate] in any cooperation involving the transfer of potentially dangerous technologies outside Ukraine,” though Elleman doesn’t buy that. “It’s likely that these engines came from Ukraine—probably illicitly,” he tells the Times. “The big question is how many they have and whether the Ukrainians are helping them now. I’m very worried.” No one’s sure how the engines would’ve made it to North Korea, which the Times notes would indicate a “broad intelligence failure” on the part of all countries keeping an eye on Pyongyang. Elleman’s in-depth take is here.

Take away the engine and you take away the threat to Guam.  Hard for a rocket to make it to the island without a motor….that is unless they have a real large sling shot.

We make a deal with the engine maker tom wither stop export of these motors or we do some tweaking to keep them from operating properly.  Granted will be a short term fix but maybe enough time for some sanity to return to this region.

Now this would possibly eliminate Guam as a target for now but it does not solve the South Korean dilemma…..and Japan is a rock’s throw away….they are still under a massive cloud of weapons aimed at their heart.

The challenge was for Guam not South Korea or Japan.

Done And Done!

All The News Of North Korea

Since my Asian Desk is pretty sparse…I need to do lots of research to get up to speed ……maybe it will help my reader as well…..

The words of war are flying around the airways…..there are those that would like an attack on NK as a “must”…..but those mental midgets do not think beyond their own bravado….

As the rhetoric continues to pick up around North Korea, the talk of military options, or worse the “military solution” increasingly appears to center around the conceit that there is some possibility for a limited war, or some other way that the US could make a quick attack on North Korea and fix everything militarily.

Experts, however, broadly agree that’s simply not the case. North Korea has spent the last 60+ years worrying about a US attack, and preparing to retaliate with everything that they have. This retaliation, even before factoring in North Korea’s nuclear program would destroy much of South Korea, and likely kill upwards of a million people.

That threat of massively destructive retaliation was always the ace up North Korea’s sleeve that kept them from getting attacked in the first place, sort of a mutually-assured destruction build around conventional arms and the fact that the huge, and economically important, city of Seoul is so close by.

The theory that the US could precisely take out North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal and resolve the situation, then, is clearly preposterous on its face, as North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities are substantial and were built long before the nuclear program.

While pretty much any preemptive attack necessarily will provoke retaliation, a US strike on North Korea’s nuclear sites would certainly provoke an even bigger one, as the North Korean government could only interpret it as the start of an American war of regime change.

(antiwar.com)

The NK situation is far more complex than the simpletons in the Trump admin would have you believe.

There needs to be a place where the news of NK can come together and readers can have it all in one place and NO need for the Google button.

Maybe I can help……

Not all reporting follows the paradigm that the Pentagon, Trump and the MSM wants to get out to the public.

Further reading for those that have an inquiring mind….lots to read but it will,give the reader a better picture of the situation than by listening to the MSM and the alt-Right…..enjoy

Source: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations – Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures

Source: North Korea Leaves Us With Only One Good Option | World Affairs Journal

Source: Only Morons Believe What the US Government Says About North Korea

Source: Newsweek Exclusive: North Korean Missile Claims Are ‘a Hoax’

Source: Why a war with North Korea is unlikely | North Korea | Al Jazeera

All aspects of this volatile situation need to be presented so that NO wrong thinking can be invaded into to the process.

WTF?

After my Closing Thought I usually shut IST down for the evening but from time to time a story comes out and I just cannot let it go……this is one of those stories…..

We have heard all the “tough” talk that Trump has leveled at the North Korean leader…..the Fire & Fury”…that the US is “Locked & Loaded”…but he has hit a new level of stupid.

Just a short time ago Trump was meeting with the press at his gold club in New Jersey and while answering question he made a bold assertion….

Trump said, “We have many options for Venezuela, and by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option. We have many options for Venezuela. This is our neighbor. You know, we’re all over the world. We have troops all over the world, in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering, and they’re dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

If you don’t want to read it then listen to it…..

Now the reason I am posting this immediately is because I have NO idea what Venezuela has done to the US that would warrant an attack.

How many more counties is this mad man going to threaten?

Somebody needs to reel in this person before we are fighting every third world country he can think of…….

The title describes this the best….WTF?

North Korea–That Was The Week That Was

There has been a wealth of news on and about North Korea this week…..let me catch everyone up that was smart enough to ignore most of it…..but if you did not get enough speculation and innuendo then I can help out….

President Trump escalated his war of words with North Korea on Thursday by declaring that his provocative threat to rain down “fire and fury” might not have been harsh enough, as nuclear tensions between the two nations continued to crackle. – New York Times

With the United States and North Korea locked in an escalating exchange of threats, South Korea told its people on Friday that the White House had agreed not to do anything on the Korean Peninsula that would catch the South off guard. – New York Times

China won’t come to North Korea’s help if it launches missiles threatening U.S. soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned on Friday, but it would intervene if Washington strikes first. – Washington Post

North Korea’s vow to ignite an “enveloping fire” of test missiles near the American island of Guam is the first time it has specified a target with so much detail, escalating a showdown between Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and President Trump. – New York Times

Some have urged President Trump to open negotiations with him. But it is unclear whether Mr. Kim is interested in talking, or what if anything he might demand in exchange for freezing or abandoning his nuclear program. He has made building a nuclear arsenal a top priority, arguing that it is the only way the North can guarantee its security and develop its economy. – New York Times

North Korea’s rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon that could strike the United States, and the escalating war rhetoric in both capitals, has raised fears of atomic annihilation — a sense of dread not experienced since the coldest days of the Cold War. But the nuclear standoff also carries the risk that future, smaller disputes with Pyongyang, however manageable in the past, will become far more consequential. – Washington Post

The CIA and other key U.S. intelligence agencies agree with the assessment that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear weapon to place atop a ballistic missile, U.S. officials told NBC News. – NBC News

The United States and its allies have military options for confronting North Korea — including an all-out invasion, more limited air and missile strikes, cyberattacks or a covert effort to oust the regime of Kim Jong Un. But those scenarios carry enormous risks, including the possibilities of loss of life, loose nukes falling into terrorists’ hands or the conflict spreading to a wider Asian war. – Politico

The Trump administration is asking U.S. allies to cut back on the number of North Korean workers they allow in the country, in a bid to starve North Korea of money it uses to fund its weapons program. – Washington Examiner

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Thursday that North Korea’s expanding nuclear weapons program marks a ‘failure’ on the part of the United States. – The Hill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday said President Trump doesn’t need congressional approval for a military strike against North Korea, but he urged his colleagues to give it “as a last resort.” – The Hill

South Korea has sought to damp down escalating tensions between North Korea and the US over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme, telling its northern neighbour that the door to dialogue is still open. – Financial Times

The escalating threat arising from nuclear-armed North Korea’s recent series of missile tests is prompting South Korea to beef up its military muscle and experts warn it could spur an arms buildup elsewhere in Northeast Asia. – Reuters

Interview: The Cipher Brief’s Mackenzie Weinger reached out to former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin for his thoughts on the president’s comment and why he thinks resumed negotiations at some level are still worth a try. – The Cipher Brief

Michael Mazza writes: For too long, the regime has sown terror among its own people and wreaked havoc on the international stage. Bringing about its downfall and, potentially, peaceful unification with Seoul, is the best way to eliminate the North Korean threat once and for all while bringing freedom and prosperity to its long-suffering people. – Forbes

Patrick Cronin writes: The Korean Peninsula has been a dangerous flashpoint ever since the war resulted in an armistice just over sixty-four years ago. North Korea’s latest achievements in weapons of mass destruction make the situation even more dangerous and yet, as with the past, manageable. We have reached a culminating point, and we should brace ourselves for a new level of permanent crisis even if hot war never breaks out. – The National Interest

Kori Schake writes: Stock markets in the U.S., Asia, and Europe unsurprisingly registered their worry in retreat. What is surprising is how little alarm has been expressed so far by the governments of South Korea, Japan, and China. This suggests that governments are beginning to ignore the president’s statements. Disbelief of the president may be a stabilizing factor for foreign governments, but as Eliot Cohen points out, it will be a major liability if the president needs to persuade the American people to go to war against North Korea. – Defense One

Now if you still have your sanity then go out and enjoy your weekend…..if all this bummed you out…then welcome to the club.

Don’t Privatize the Afghan War—Just End It!

Well said!

I have been a proponent of the US getting out of Afghanistan for several years…..that war is going nowhere fast.

It seems that the president is not happy with the situation in Afghanistan either….now someone in the admin has floated the idea of privatizing the war and letting a horde of mercenaries handle the situation.

Trump’s mercenary supporter Erik Prince has a self-serving proposal for Afghanistan. It must be condemned and rejected.

Erik Prince, the notorious founder of the military contracting company formerly known as Blackwater, has been making the rounds of media outlets to promote his idea for privatizing the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Prince, whose company was renamed Academi, and who now chairs a Chinese-owned company named Frontier Services Group, is unabashedly vying for a lucrative Pentagon contract that would turn over military operations in Afghanistan to a private corporation. He has gone as far as calling for an “American viceroy” in Afghanistan to fix the United States’ failing war.

Source: Don’t Privatize the Afghan War—Just End It – Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists – Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists

The Navy Times notes that the proposal would likely run into legal trouble. Current defense law stipulates that “the use of combat power against enemy forces or hostile actors is inherently in the purview of the U.S. government.” Contractors can provide assistance, but Prince’s plan goes way beyond that. The former Navy SEAL says it would cost about $10 billion year, far less than the Pentagon’s current annual outlay of $40 billion.

I agree with the author….enough time and resources have been spent on the country…..declare a success and bring the troops home and let the country rise or fall on its own.

There Might Be A Problem

Note:  This draft was written before the latest mash-up and threats against North Korea.

As a geek for all the stuff in the Middle East I found myself becoming drawn into the situation with North Korea…especially these days with all the hype about their missile tests.

The days of their nuke tests is over…that is until they detonate another one and then the hype will start all over.

These days it is all the missile tests that NK is conducting…..the hype is that they can reach our allies of Japan and SK and now with the ballistic tests they could reach as far inland as Chicago.

Of course this hype has lead to a wealth of hysteria and hyperbole…..

But there is a small problem with the most recent test…..

North Korea’s latest missile launch was seen as a worrying success that means much of the US mainland is now in reach of Pyongyang’s missiles—but analysts have seen signs that not everything went according to plan. Video shows that the mock warhead on the intercontinental ballistic missile apparently breaks up during re-entry, suggesting that North Korea has so far been unable to create a warhead capable of surviving the extreme heat of re-entry, the New York Times reports. Missile expert Michael Elleman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London says it could take around six months for North Korea to fix the problem, buying the US more time to plan missile defense systems.

The need to fix the warhead problem also means the North is likely to have to carry out more ICBM tests, giving the US more opportunities to respond. “We will handle North Korea. We are gonna be able to handle them,” President Trump told reporters Monday. “It will be handled. We handle everything.” In addition to the ICBM test, the US says it has detected “highly unusual and unprecedented levels” of North Korean submarine activity, along with signs of a missile “ejection test,” a defense official tells CNN.

This will not play well with all the garbage we are fed daily.

In reality, experts say the video footage of the ICBM shows that it broke up upon re-entry, and hit the sea in pieces. Lack of re-entry capability, along with lack of advanced guidance technology, were both cited as problems with the previous test as well.

Indeed, some have argued this makes North Korea’s missile an ICBM only in the loosest sense of the word, as it lacks necessary technology to be accurately fired at such a long range. At its core, these missiles are just medium range missiles with an extra stage of fuel that makes them seem like they’d go farther.

Funny this was not important to the MSM…..but then I would not expect it to be worthy of their attention for it does not fit the paradigm of the day.

As I said before…..hype and hyperbole.