What happened to North Korea?

RichLB
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#81 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby RichLB » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:27 pm

You guys all seem to be far more informed about this situation than I am, so I have a couple questions.
1. If North Korea actually launches those four missiles toward Guam and we succeed in shooting them down, what is likely to be North Korea's reaction? What does the US do in response to the launch even if not aimed at Guam?
2. Would the US attempt to shoot down those missiles even if they were non-nuclear and how would we know if they were or not?
3. What would the rest of the world do in reaction to both another North Korea missile launch and the US's attempt to destroy them?

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#82 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby fountainhall » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:52 pm

IMO no one really has much clue what will happen. My view is -

1. I'm not sure North Korea would actually do anything if its missiles were taken out. If it wants to self-destruct, it could then launch further strikes against its neighbours, South Korea and Japan. Although both countries have anti-missile defence systems, the North has so much firepower aimed at least at the South, that the time it would take for the missiles to hit Seoul would be just a few seconds. That could certainly destroy a major part of the city. With a population of 10 million, your guess is as good as mine as to how many would die. Probably several hundred thousand minimum.

There is a complicating factor, though. If a strike on Seoul were to happen, one of the targets would be the US bases close to Seoul with around 30,000 American service personnel. It is doubtful if the missile defence systems could take out the thousand plus missiles already targeted at the South. If a large number of Americans are killed, I suspect the gloves come off and the USA commanders pummel North Korea very hard and very quickly.

As to what the US might do if it succeeds in shooting down the missiles aimed at Guam **, I think its options are extremely limited. Precisely because of the North's arsenal aimed elsewhere in the region, a strike on Pyongyang and other targets in the North would not prevent the launch of most of the North's missiles. So the US could be seen to become responsible for all that destruction and death. (I know that's debatable - just my view).

2. Haven't a clue if the US would know if the missiles had nuclear warheads. The Kim regime is a master at the bluffing game. It certainly has nuclear weapons, but how sophisticated and whether they could fit on to the top of a missile is, I believe, uncertain. The experts agree that they do not yet have nuke warheads that could stand reentry into the atmosphere. But presumably a strike at Guam would be conventional missiles - not the intercontinental ballistic variety. Re the technology of missiles, again I have no idea. Presumably there needs to be some sort of detonator to ensure they do explode close to their targets and not high in the atmosphere. If that's the case, I imagine taking them out would not result in a mushroom cloud if they were nukes.

3. I don't believe there is much the rest of the world can do - except China and to a certain extent Russia. China has its own interests and these do not align with those of the US. But it has come on board with the recent sanctions and I believe it will not stand for the North taking preemptive action by launching missiles at any other country. You can only bet on one thing. The world's diplomats will all be working massive overtime!

** As I mentioned in an earlier post, I do not believe Kim intends to hit Guam. He has never in the past signalled his true intentions. He may have another target in mind. But he will know only too well that a strike against US interests wherever may push the US into uncharted waters. It may therefore result not just in the destruction of the country but of him and his elites as well. I don't believe he wants that - at almost any cost.

There is another issue. If Kim did launch against Guam and if the US took all missiles out, Kim would lose an enormous amount of face in the North. The likelihood would be that a large bunch of generals and technicians would be put in front of firing squads. Kim will then need to spend far too much time shoring up his own power base to worry about nukes and further launches for quite some considerable time. This might even result in a putsch against him. Who knows?

Joachim

#83 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby Joachim » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:10 pm

North Korea never claimed that they are going to strike Guam. That would be suicide. In case of launching missiles within 20 miles of Guam, as they claimed, US will respond with tactical strikes to presumed launching sites of North Koreans. If Korea choose to start a war, it will not be nuclear weapons to begin with.

If you read various scenarios of such a war, everybody saying that US will need a lot of ammunition, weeks of bombings, at least two carriers etc. This presumes that response will be with ordinary weapons. There is no sign that US prepares for such a scenario.

Everybody is also saying that North Korea has 21000 at least pieces of artillery (well entrenched) and within striking distance of Seoul. It is predicted that it will suffice to kill millions (without missiles or nukes). This equipment can also deliver biological and chemical weapons.

In my opinion, the only realistic option US has is to use tactical nuclear weapons in the beginning of the conflict (justifying this by possible millions of civilian victims mentioned above. "The ideal" weapon for this would be neutron bombs which would take out North Korean forces concentrated on the border. I do not know weather US currently have neutron bombs (lance missiles were decommissioned in 2011) but something like that should be available. This would eliminate an immediate threat to Seoul and limit radioactive pollution.

I would not be surprised that this scenario will be in some form communicated to North Korea generals so that they would think twice before starting full-fledged war.

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#84 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby fountainhall » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:39 pm

Joachim is quite correct. North Korea's statement mentions a strike in the waters 30 - 40 kms off the island. Presumably these will be American waters. Even now, though, we don't seem to know if the NK's missiles can be launched and reach their target with such pinpoint accuracy.

I'm not so sure about the neutron bomb availability. His theory to blast the DMZ area with a fusillade of neutron bombs is something I have not heard before. These weapons limit the spread of nuclear contamination. But does the USA actually have a stockpile of these weapons? As Joachim points out, they were supposed to be decommissioned decades ago and the last ones dismantled 6 years ago. It is thought that China and Russia may have some.

But surely the problem with neutron bombs is they were intended to kill people near the explosion site but not destroy most of the buildings. They certainly cannot penetrate heavily protected bunkers, for example. And even if they knocked out all the personnel, the NK's command and control systems must surely be positioned elsewhere. Even if the US knows precisely where these are, it would still only take seconds for the North to deploy its arsenal against Seoul.

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#85 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:06 pm

We're finally hearing something a little more substantial from China:
__________________________________________________________

China warns North Korea: You’re on your own if you go after the United States

By Simon Denyer, The Washington Post

August 11, 2017

BEIJING — 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.

The Global Times newspaper is not an official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, but in this case its editorial probably does reflect government policy, experts said.

China has repeatedly warned both Washington and Pyongyang not to do anything that raises tensions or causes instability on the Korean Peninsula, and strongly reiterated that idea Friday.

“The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

“China hopes that all relevant parties will be cautious in their words and actions, and do things that help to alleviate tensions and enhance mutual trust, rather than walk on the old pathway of taking turns in shows of strength, and upgrading the tensions.”

In an editorial, The Global Times said China should make it clear to both sides: “when their actions jeopardize China's interests, China will respond with a firm hand.”

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” it added. “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

Full story, graphic, photo, and video: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chi ... story.html

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#86 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby fountainhall » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:45 pm

I believe that presents a very useful, clear and succinct clarification of what China will and will not do. Now back to Trump!

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#87 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:13 am

fountainhall wrote:clear and succinct clarification of what China will and will not do.

It's what China says it will do. Would China really go to war with the USA? I doubt it.

As for regime change in North Korea, if it comes to that, I have a feeling that before a military strike, the USA and China would come to some sort of behind-closed-doors agreement as to what would happen next if the North Korean regime is toppled and who gets control of what. Maybe they already have. I can't see the USA attacking North Korea without first having made some sort of agreement with China.

Trump is right about one thing. The constant threats from North Korea have gone on for years and it isn't just the USA that's sick and tired of it. It reminds me of the time Khrushchev said, "We will bury you."

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#88 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby fountainhall » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:15 am

Gaybutton wrote:As for regime change in North Korea, if it comes to that, I have a feeling that before a military strike, the USA and China would come to some sort of behind-closed-doors agreement as to what would happen next if the North Korean regime is toppled and who gets control of what. Maybe they already have. I can't see the USA attacking North Korea without first having made some sort of agreement with China.

I am sure that is correct. (As would not have been said 50 and more years ago,) China is the African-American in the woodpile. It is too close to North Korea both politically, economically and geographically to avoid a negotiated agreement. Whatever each of those two parties is saying in public, their diplomats will probably now be in the process of dotting i's and crossing t's on that secret agreement - much as Kennedy did with the Soviets at the height of the Cuban Missile crisis.

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#89 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby firecat69 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:22 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Gaybutton wrote:As for regime change in North Korea, if it comes to that, I have a feeling that before a military strike, the USA and China would come to some sort of behind-closed-doors agreement as to what would happen next if the North Korean regime is toppled and who gets control of what. Maybe they already have. I can't see the USA attacking North Korea without first having made some sort of agreement with China.

I am sure that is correct. (As would not have been said 50 and more years ago,) China is the African-American in the woodpile. It is too close to North Korea both politically, economically and geographically to avoid a negotiated agreement. Whatever each of those two parties is saying in public, their diplomats will probably now be in the process of dotting i's and crossing t's on that secret agreement - much as Kennedy did with the Soviets at the height of the Cuban Missile crisis.


That would be a possibility under a normal President. However the state department has very few diplomats and Tillerson is a novice in the field and it is questionable whether Trump listens to him or Bannon. Unfortunately I am in the USA and have to watch this Idiot Trump every day on TV.

Yesterday he said we may have to invade Venezuela because people are dying. Some of the dopes in Congress are getting some spine and standing up against such ridiculous proclamations but as yet not enough of the useless Republicans.

Trump is the most dangerous man in the world !

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#90 Re: What happened to North Korea?

Postby Dodger » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:05 pm

Tillerson appears to be listening to our Generals and doing a good job.

Joint U.S. Strategy:
Keep sanctions in place. (Cut off the gas and you cut off the air).
Wait for North Korean General(s) to eliminate Kim.
May take years...but S. Korea safe.
Long term...reignite bilateral talks between North and South...remove missile stockpile in exchange for sanctions relief.
China's happy...no U.S forces sleeping along its border.
U.S. happy...threat removed (or minimized)
N. Korean generals happy...their families survive a nuclear nightmare.
S. Korea happy...its economy will grow ten fold.

At least that's the way I'd like to see this unfold.


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