North Korea On My Mind

By now many people know just how pathetic our policies are when dealing with NK…..there have been one ‘summit’ and one failed ‘summit’….but Fearless leader does not see a problem with NK’s short range missiles…bet Japan does not see it the same as Trump….

I have written about the recent missile launches…..https://lobotero.com/2019/08/26/north-korea-missiles-and-other-stuff/

Looks like Trump is allowing NK to develop and test some ingenious weapons……

Clicking through a series of photo slides that depict recent North Korean missile tests, South Korean military defense expert Choi Kang reacts in a tone suggesting he’s both fearful and impressed.

“This is really imaginative or creative thinking of using missiles,” said Choi, a former director of South Korea’s National Security Council and now vice president of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a prominent conservative think tank in Seoul.
Experts say the latest missile tests by Kim Jong Un’s regime show Pyongyang is, for the first time, actively using testing weapons to target weak points in the advanced missile defense system that protects the US, Japan and South Korea.
Before resuming ballistic missile testing in May, North Korea hadn’t test-fired any missiles since November 2017. That pause was a crucial factor in helping create the right conditions for the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June 2018.
 
Weapons tests and the promise of new talks with the US…..
North Korea launched two projectiles toward the sea on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said. The move came hours after the North offered to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States but warned its dealings with Washington may end without new US proposals. The launches and demand for new proposals were apparently aimed at pressuring the US to make concessions when the North Korea-US talks restart, reports the AP. North Korea is widely believed to want the US to provide security guarantees and extensive relief from US-led sanctions in return for limited denuclearization steps. The North Korean projectiles fired from its South Phyongan province, which surrounds Pyongyang, flew about 205 miles across the country and in the direction of the waters off its east coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Ministry.
 
The JCS didn’t immediately say whether the weapons were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery. “More detailed analysis is needed to determine the exact specifications,” JCS spokesman Kim Joon-rak said. Tuesday’s launches were the eighth round of launches since late July and the first since Aug. 24. On Monday night, the North’s vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, said North Korea is willing to resume nuclear diplomacy in late September but that Washington must come to the negotiating table with acceptable new proposals. She said if the proposals don’t satisfy North Korea, dealings between the two countries may end. “We’ll see what happens,” President Trump responded. “In the meantime, we have our hostages back, we’re getting the remains of our great heroes back and we’ve had no nuclear testing for a long time.”
This foreign policy soap opera has not changed much since the first ‘summit’ then two had earlier.
 
But it is always interesting to see just how silly these events can become….
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”
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That Wayward Missile

By now everyone with a Twitter feed or a TV has heard about the missile accident in Russia…..but in case your rock is not equiped with either of those news sources….I can help……

A deadly explosion rocked the Nenoksa Missile Test Site in Russia last week, and Moscow has offered shifting accounts of what happened. A new report in the New York Times might explain why Moscow is being so cagey: This might have been the region’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, though on a much smaller scale. Specifically, US intelligence officials think a nuclear-powered cruise missile exploded just offshore, or at least a prototype of one that is near and dear to Vladimir Putin’s heart. On Sunday, officials of a Russian research institute confirmed that a nuclear reactor exploded, though they did not say it was linked to cruise missile tests. Seven people were killed, including five scientists. The institute says only that they were working on “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”

It’s not just US experts who suspect this involved an experimental cruise missile. A UK scientist tells the Guardian that independent experts think the blast came from the failure of a missile NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall and Russia calls the 9M730 Burevestnik. Putin boasted of the weapon in 2018, saying its nuclear source would make it virtually unstoppable. However, international nuclear experts have remained skeptical about whether such a missile could actually work. The Times phrases the biq question like so: “Beyond the human toll, American intelligence officials are questioning whether Mr. Putin’s grand dream of a revived arsenal evaporated in that mysterious explosion, or whether it was just an embarrassing setback in Moscow’s effort to build a new class of long-range and undersea weapons that the United States cannot intercept.”

This is a nuclear powered missile….do you know what the means?

We are not talking about a warhead attached….we are saying that the missile has its own nuclear power source.

Maybe you should think about that for a minute.

A flying unshielded nuclear reactor would spew massive amounts of radiation, and that’s if it’s working correctly.

When President Donald Trump heard that Russia’s experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile had exploded, killing seven scientists and causing a major radiological incident less than 300 miles from the Finnish border, he fired off a boastful tweet. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology,” he said. 

This is…not accurate. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United States pursued a less advanced version of a similar technology but abandoned the effort before ever launching an actual test vehicle. Nuclear-powered cruise missiles, the Pentagon concluded, are a bad idea. 

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/08/nuclear-powered-cruise-missiles-are-terrible-idea-russias-test-explosion-shows-why/159189/

Now what about the US…well I do what I always do…..give you a shot of history….

The US spent a few years looking into something along these lines…it was called Project Pluto…..

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the development of controlled release of nuclear energy (as opposed to runaway reactions in nuclear weapons) seemed to make previously impossible things straightforward matters of engineering. On occasion, it made the unthinkable all too thinkable. Project Pluto, also known as the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM), is one of the most extreme exemplars of this epoch. Unlike Project Orion, which envisioned a four thousand ton interplanetary spaceship powered by nuclear bombs, and Project Plowshare, which proposed using nuclear explosions for large civil engineering projects such as digging a new sea-level Panama canal, Pluto/SLAM (which I’ll henceforth refer to as Pluto) was developed and tested to the point where the technology had been proved. Pluto could have been deployed in the 1960s had the project not been cancelled due to financial reasons, competition from rival technologies, and people coming to their senses.

https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/pluto/

The history says it was abandoned in 1964….but after Trump Tweeted what he did are we still pursuing this or did it die in 1964?

Did Trump let slip some state secret that needed to remain secret?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

INF–Something Else To Fear

The year was 1987 and a treaty signed between the US and then USSR in essence ended the Cold War,

It is official…the end of the Cold War has ended.

The United States plans to test a new missile in coming weeks that would have been prohibited under a landmark, 32-year-old arms control treaty that the US and Russia ripped up on Friday. Washington and Moscow walked out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed in 1987, raising fears of a new arms race. The US blamed Moscow for the death of the treaty, saying that for years Moscow has been developing and fielding weapons that violate the treaty and threaten the US and its allies, particularly in Europe. “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement released on Friday, per the AP. Russia, meanwhile, pointed a finger at America.

“The denunciation of the INF treaty confirms that the US has embarked on destroying all international agreements that do not suit them for one reason or another,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday. “This leads to the actual dismantling of the existing arms-control system.” Pompeo said the US first raised its concerns that Russia was violating the treaty in 2013 during the Obama administration. He said the US tried for six years to prod Russia back into compliance. In February, Trump determined that Moscow was in material breach of the treaty, and the US suspended its own obligations under the agreement. That started a six-month clock to get Russia back into compliance—time that ran out on Friday. “As it has for many years, Russia chose to keep its non-compliant missile rather than going back into compliance with its treaty obligations,” Pompeo said. “The United States will not remain party to a treaty that is deliberately violated by Russia.

How absolutely fabulous! (Sarcasm)

With the treaty now officially gone, the Pentagon is acting quick to start testing and developing new intermediate-range nuclear tests, since of course such missiles couldn’t be developed since 1987.

Officials are concerned, however, that in bankrolling nuclear-capable missiles that were up until yesterday illegal to develop, they don’t have enough money set aside, and US officials say that they are concerned House Democrats may resist further funding.

Defense officials were already criticizing Congress for not giving them more money to develop the missiles, saying “it’s going to help Russia” to not spend more money on nuclear-capable arms.

Russia, for their part, issued an offer for the US to join them in announcing a temporary moratorium on deploying any intermediate-range nuclear missiles to try to prevent a race to put a bunch of more nuclear arms into the theater in Europe.

The US is unlikely to agree to such a deal, as the Pentagon seems to have been salivating, from the moment the INF’s collapse was suggested, about the chance to get a bunch of new missiles into testing.

(antiwar,com)

I have said it before and I shall say it again…..”Oh goody we are watching the end of the Cold War end”.

“Ignorantia Interficit Vos Lente”

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

North Korea–A Missile Too Far?

His Majesty Trump and the Beloved Supreme Leader of DPRK have been passing niceties for over a year….and all that time NK continues its research and its missile launches……like a few days ago….

North Korea on Wednesday fired several unidentified projectiles off its east coast, South Korea’s military said, less than a week after the North launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea. Observers say the launches were aimed at ramping up pressure on the United States to make concessions as the two countries are struggling to resume diplomacy on the North’s nuclear weapons program. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement the latest launches were done from the North’s northeastern area. It said South Korea’s military is monitoring for possible additional launches by North Korea, the AP reports. It wasn’t immediately known exactly what North Korea fired or how far the projectiles flew.

The launches came six days after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles that Seoul officials say flew 370 miles before landing off the North’s east coast. North Korea’s state media said leader Kim Jong Un supervised a test of a new missile Thursday designed to deliver “solemn warning” to South Korea over its purchase of high-tech US-made fighter jets and its plans to conduct military drills that Pyongyang sees as an invasion rehearsal. South Korea’s military said the flight data of the weapon launched Thursday showed similarities to the Russian-made Iskander, a short-range, nuclear-capable missile. A North Korean version could likely reach all of South Korea—and the 28,500 US forces stationed there—and would be extremely hard to intercept.

This is a problem that the UN felt it needed to address….

Britain, Germany and France have asked the United Nations Security Council to meet behind closed-doors on Thursday on North Korea’s latest missile launches, diplomats said.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles early on Wednesday, the South Korean military said, only days after Pyongyang launched two similar missiles intended to pressure South Korea and the United States to stop upcoming military drills.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believed the missile launches were “just another reminder of the importance of restarting talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

(reuters.com)

It is important enough for the UN to want some action and/or explanation…..but the action was not considered a threat to the US and Trump…..

The guided rockets flew about 250 km, and John Bolton says that they in no way violated Kim Jong Un’s pledge to the US to test launches. North Korea says the rockets were tested to confirm their usability.

Bolton clarified that the US would only consider ICBM tests a problem, and that certainly wouldn’t impact these rockets. This is also in keeping with Trump not being outraged by past short-range missile tests.

North Korea’s state media says that the rocket systems would be of major use in the event of a ground war. This is clearly once again aimed at South Korea, not the US. North Korea has been trying to develop rockets to shore up their forces, which historically are heavily reliant on artillery.

And yet Iran launches a few missiles and the Trump DoD and Bolton lose their small minds and predict catastrophic results unless the US acts against Iran……just saying.

Is a third summit so politically important that Trump and his minions will overlook everything short of a nuke strike on one of our allies?

Oh By The Way….NK has set off even more missiles as of yesterday….but not to worry they are not important….maybe Trump should tell Japan that….what a dunce!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

News Line: North Korea

The news around North Korea these days is about the missiles it recently fired off…..this gave South Korea and Japan a bit of a start….after some months of test free days……and then the US confiscated a tanker bound for North Korea….but the best part is the war of words coming from Bolton and then being slapped down by Trump…..

Kim is not mincing his words….he thinks one of Trump’s adviser is a “deformed” individual…..my bad…”defective”……..

North Korea on Monday called U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton a “war monger” and “defective human product” after he called the North’s recent tests of short-range missiles a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The statement by an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman came as President Trump continued his visit to Japan for meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in which the nuclear standoff with North Korea was expected to be high on the agenda.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-korea-john-bolton-war-monger-defective-human-product-missile-tests/

But through everything our dear beloved leader thinks that Kim is a man of his word and trusts him without waver…..and yet he is finding himself all alone on this situation……not Japan or South Korea views it as Trump sees it……..

President Donald Trump is isolating himself from allies and even his own advisers on North Korea, eager to insist that his denuclearization efforts will be successful going into his 2020 reelection bid.

The widening gap was apparent Monday morning when Trump disagreed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a joint news conference when asked about recent North Korean missile tests.

Abe had called the tests of several short-range ballistic missiles “quite a regrettable act” that violated a United Nations Security Council resolution, echoing language that Trump’s own national security adviser, John Bolton, had used on Saturday.

But the president on Monday, at the end of his short trip to Japan to meet the new emperor, insisted that he was not “personally” bothered by the tests and was “very happy with the way it’s going” in his efforts to engage North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Notably, Trump said he did not think the tests violated the U.N. resolution.

“My people think it could have been a violation,” Trump said. “I view it differently.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/27/donald-trump-north-korea-1345034

I think Trump is putting too much stock in his celebrity to ink a deal……but we will see.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-denies-north-korea-launched-ballistic-missiles-contradicting-japan/2019/05/27/3b02431a-7e38-11e9-8bb7-0fc796cf2ec0_story.html

But with all the rhetoric let us be sure of one thing…..

John Bolton accused North Korea’s recent tests of short-range missiles of being a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, but on Monday President Trump said he views the tests differently. Reporters are asking the State Department to reconcile this into a single position.

State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said that “the entire North Korean WMD program is in conflict with the UN Security Council resolutions,” saying that the US was focused on ending the WMD program.

The short range missile tests don’t appear to have had anything to do with WMDs, as Trump pointed out. Bolton argued that they were ballistic missiles, while the State Department said they have yet to announce if they think they were ballistic missiles or not.

Though President Trump has made clear that he doesn’t consider the tests a big deal at all, an doesn’t want to do anything about them, other US officials seem keen to keep the topic up for discussion, and not endorse the president’s position specifically.

(antiwar.com)

Further Reading:

Trump Contradicts Bolton on North Korea’s Missile Tests, Says He’s Confident in Kim

Blind trust is NO foreign policy…..Bring back a Reagan mantra….”Trust But Verify”.

Has the luster faded?

A new statement from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry was deeply critical of the US government, accusing them of acting in bad faith during the peace process, while continuing to conduct drills as part of an “evil ambition” to conquer North Korea by force.

The statement was attributed to the Policy Research Director of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry’s Institute for American Studies, who said the US has shown “ulterior intention” in the lead up to and following the failed Hanoi summit.

They further singled out John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for having “insulted the dignity” of North Korea’s leadership, and used “abusive language” in comments about the diplomatic process.

It concluded with a warning that US hostile acts would only add to tensions on the already unstable Korean Peninsula, and adding that the “use of strength is not at all a monopoly of the United States.”

(antiwar.com)

Slice And Dice Death

Recently there has been a rise in civilian deaths….both reported and those that are hidden from the light…..and it is not limited to one conflict or another it is across the spectrum in our War on Terror…..

“There is no military solution” is an often-heard saying since the “global war on terror” began almost 18 years ago.

We need political solutions to the military conflicts we’ve embroiled ourselves in over the last two decades, most policymakers agree. But in the meantime, the last three administrations have sent in the military to pave the way for a political solution—and have kept them there, allegedly to protect civilians from the Taliban in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia, among other militant groups.

Yet all too often, these civilians become casualties of the very military forces Washington supposedly deployed to protect them.

A series of new reports document an alarming escalation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — and with it, a pattern of U.S. denial about the scale of the problem. The result is a global war on terror that persists in killing and injuring civilians—including children—in ever rising numbers.

 
The Pentagon has come up with a solution to the alarming rise in civilian deaths……a new missile!
Ever heard of a missile that doesn’t explode? That, the Wall Street Journal reports, is a key feature of a secret weapon adapted by the US military. It’s a modified version of a Hellfire missile that hits pinpoint targets but doesn’t explode on impact, meaning reduced damage and less risk of civilian casualties. The weapon, which the Journal likens to a “speeding anvil” falling out of the sky, is known as R9X. But it also has a nickname, “the flying Ginsu,” inspired by its hidden ring of six blades, which emerges just before impact and shreds anything it meets. The missile was in development as early as 2011—a similar weapon was reportedly considered in the plot to kill Osama bin Laden—but so far the Journal has found only two instances in which it’s been used.
 
Essentially, the weapon is employed when a regular airstrike on a high-value target would pose a risk to innocent bystanders. Aware that the US would want to avoid civilian casualties, terrorists routinely hide in places with women and children. With the R9X, the US can minimize the risk. After the CIA used the R9X to kill an al-Qaeda terrorist traveling by car in Syria in 2017, for example, photos showed a large hole in the vehicle’s roof, along with some cracks in the windshield. Otherwise, the exterior of the car appeared in pretty good shape. Gizmodo notes rumors have been swirling about a secret weapon since that time.
 
(antiwar.com)
 
The key to the claim is the term “minimize” civilian deaths…..then they, the civilians, are still at risk just a lower risk than say a Hellfire…..
 
Sorry I am still not impressed….it is still an implement of destruction that will continue the killing of civilians but at a lower rate (does anyone see how silly that sounds?)

North Korea In The News!

I realize that our Beloved Supreme Leader has said that he trust Kim and that Kim would not break his word to Trump….and yet Kim has done just that…..

North Korea fired at least one unidentified projectile from the country’s western area on Thursday, South Korea’s military says. It was the second such launch in the last five days and a possible warning that nuclear disarmament talks could be in danger, the AP reports. The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff had no other immediate details, and it wasn’t clear what the North had fired. But some analysts have said that if the North returns to the kind of longer-range banned weapons that it tested in 2017, when many feared a Washington-Pyongyang standoff could end in war, it will be a strong sign that a frustrated North Korea is turning away from diplomacy.

A summit earlier this year between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended in failure. North Korea wants widespread sanctions relief in return for disarmament steps that the United States has apparently seen as insufficient. Longer-range ballistic missile tests, banned by the United Nations and seen as threatening by surrounding countries, would likely result in more sanctions. The launch came hours after the North, through its state media, described its firing of rocket artillery and an apparent short-range ballistic missile on Saturday as a regular and defensive military exercise and ridiculed South Korea for criticizing the launches.

Apparently North Korea has done what it does the best….Lie to American presidents…..and Trump is no different and may be the most gullible of the bunch…..

North Korea on Saturday tested a new short-range missile system and a multiple-rocket launch system, marking the regime’s first missile launches since November 2017. The tests reflect Kim Jong Un’s continued adherence to the regime’s longtime strategy of blackmail diplomacy, which seeks to secure sanctions relief without making meaningful concessions of its own.

The projectiles “landed in the water east of North Korea and didn’t present a threat to the United States or South Korea or Japan,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday. At the same time, he said, the United States remained committed to reaching a deal with Pyongyang to achieve its “final and fully verified denuclearization.”

The tested short-range missile is a new system (based on the Russian Iskander) for North Korea’s military. Both the missile system and the rocket system can now target major U.S. military bases in South Korea, namely the newly built Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base and beyond.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/policy_briefs/2019/05/07/north-korea-short-range-missile-test-reveal-kims-true-intent/

On another side of this situation…the US has walked out of the negotiations on the Korean War remains……

In a new sign of troubled relations with North Korea, the Pentagon said Wednesday it has suspended its efforts to arrange negotiations on recovering additional remains of US service members killed in the North during the Korean War. In a statement Wednesday, the Pentagon’s Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency said it has had no communication with North Korean authorities since the Hanoi summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in February. That meeting focused on the North’s nuclear weapons and followed a June 2018 summit at which Kim committed to permitting a resumption of US remains recovery, which had been suspended by the US in 2005.

“As a result, our effort to communicate with the Korean People’s Army regarding the possible resumption of joint recovery operation for 2019 has been suspended,” the agency said. “We have reached the point where we can no longer effectively plan, coordinate, and conduct field operations in the DPRK during this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, 2019.” The agency had hoped to arrange for recovery operations this spring, but the North never agreed to face-to-face negotiations to work out details such as payments required for the provision of support services by the North Korean army, reports the AP. Last summer the North turned over 55 boxes of what it said were the remains of an undetermined number of US service members. Thus far, three American service members have been identified from those remains.

After writing this draft news broke that the US had confiscated NK’s 2nd largest cargo ship for sanctions violations…..

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48221507

I recall something that was used in the military and has now become mainstream……..the North Korea situation is…..SNAFU!  (the “F” does not stand for “Fouled”)