‘Fire and Fury’ – America is about to bury North Korea
The Asia-Pac region should expect a fairly epic ‘exogenous shock’ in the near future.
Lil’ Kim and his communist cronies have made impressive progress in missile technology in 2017, according to America’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The regime has conducted 16 missile tests in less than a year, including one that can shoulder a nuclear warhead. ‘Little Rocket Man‘ and his field marshals are aiming to weaponize an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) — one that could level LA and other American cities in a matter of minutes.
Moreover, the rogue regime has stashed away oodles of plutonium and highly-enriched uranium (HEU) that can be converted into nuclear weapons or ‘dirty bombs’ in a jiffy. It has also made decent strides in nuclear ‘miniaturization’ technology that can pack a powerful punch if properly delivered.
Last month the DPRK (North Korea’s official name) hit a critical milestone, at least from the perspective of Western intel agencies: it detonated a munition that could inflict serious hurt on an unsuspecting populace in Soul, just south of the border. Military analysts confirmed that the detonation was a hydrogen bomb instead of an atomic bomb. The difference matters a fucking lot.
Both types of nuclear weapons work by releasing neutrons in critical-state radioactive material, either highly enriched uranium or plutonium. The difference is that the atomic bomb works by fission, literally “splitting” an atom, so that a neutron is emitted, collides with other atoms and causes a chain reaction with a whopping release of energy.
The hydrogen bomb, on the other hand, works by fusion. Atomic particles are “fused,” or pushed together, in a way that destabilizes the atom and also releases a fateful neutron. Both methods trigger a chain reaction. But the fusion method in a hydrogen bomb is orders of magnitude more catastrophic. The destructive force can be 100 or even 1,000 times greater than that of an atomic bomb. This gives the Hermit Kingdom’s strategists much broader scope for lethal action, either against South Korea, Japan or other US allies/territories. If they can mount a miniaturized hydrogen-bomb on an ICBM, reckons the Pentagon, then preemption is inevitable.
Lil’ Kim doesn’t even have to worry about accuracy. An atomic weapon has to hit the target to destroy it. A hydrogen bomb just has to explode in close proximity to it. This means that North Korea can pose an existential threat to U.S. cities even if its missile guidance systems are rickety.
And…a hydrogen bomb gives North Korea the ability to unleash an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). In this grim scenario, the hydrogen bomb does not even strike the surface of the Earth; it is detonated near the edge of space. The resulting electromagnetic wave from the release of energy could knock out the entire U.S. power grid and all electronics. Good luck with your cryptocurrencies and Instagram accounts in that scenario. Even airborne planes would fall out of the sky.
When these technologies are perfected and merged, North Korea will be able to kill one million-plus residents of Los Angeles with the push of a button or subvert the entire U.S. power grid. This nightmare reality is basically a year or two from now, possibly sooner.
And last week Lil’ Kim threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to new Western sanctions (even their ‘bff’, China, backed the sanctions). That could have severe environmental consequences, in addition to scary geopolitical ramifications. In 1963, the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to stop testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, underwater, or in space. A North Korean H-bomb detonation would be a colossal, ecologically devastating event, especially to the Asia-Pac.
On that note, North Korea has made things starkly clear — and incredibly dangerous. Not long ago the DPRK regime released a propaganda vid that depicted missile salvos raining down on U.S. cities, allies and military installations. The film also showcased Little Rocket Man, celebrating a successful missile launch with his military lieutenants and lackeys, laughing and high-fiving around the launch site.
And just last week North Korea released another propaganda film showing its missiles taking out U.S. planes and an aircraft carrier battle group. Kim Jong-Un has also threatened to reduce the United States “to ashes” with its newest nucs.
As a result, generals Kelly, Mattis and McMaster have made it clear that the U.S. would engage in pre-emptive warfare with North Korea to extinguish that nation’s nuclear program if necessary. Secretary of State Tillerson, despite (false) rumours of his resignation this week, also refused to rule out taking lethal measures against the maniacal Kim regime. And President Trump’s cryptic comments yesterday about “the calm before the storm” probably has Lil’ Kim on edge like never before. Even the Chinese are sketched out about hair trigger escalation in the region.
Zhang Liangui, a doyen of Chinese international strategic studies and advisor to PRC policy planners, recently said that the risk of a calamitous war on the peninsula has increased dramatically: “[North Korea] has already touched the red line of the U.S. and it seems that the U.S. does not have other choices. The possibility of military action is increasing.”
There is no doubt that North Korea and the U.S. are on a collision course and headed for conflict unless North Korea relents, which seems improbable, or the U.S. can deploy a superior technology to neutralize the North Korean threat (it probably has one but doesn’t want to reveal it to China on the battlefield).
These threats are existential from the American point of view. Deterrence does not work when the opponent has so little to lose. Lil’ Kim tortures, starves and rapes his own people on a good day. At times the North Korean populace has been reduced to eating bark from trees and munching on parched soil. Why should Rocket Man be deterred by U.S. intimidation if he and his clan are hunkered down in bomb-proof bunkers?
It’s almost certainly too late for negotiation or diplomacy at this point. That conclusion is based on what is called “breakout” behavior. It’s one thing to develop these weapons in baby steps and back off when the hyper-power confronts you. Then you negotiate some concessions, bide your time, wait a few years and break your promises. Wash, rinse and repeat. (That’s what Iran has been doing for two decades, by the way).
Breakout is different. It’s more like football when you’re in the red zone and decide to throw a pass into the end zone. You just ‘hail mary’ it. Kim will not be deterred now. He believes the U.S. is bluffing. He believes he’s safer with nuclear weapons than without them. The rascal’s going for it.
The U.S. only has two choices now. The first is to do nothing and learn to live with nuclear blackmail from North Korea. The second is to attack, probably in the next three to six months and to snuff out once and for all Lil’ Kim and his abhorrent ilk. President Trump, in our estimation, will go for the attack option. If that ‘exogenous shock’ takes place, expect mass casualties, extreme market volatility and a complete re-ordering of the Asia-Pac and Sino-US relations.
Images via Wikimedia Commons + The CIA
VIVISXN MEDIA – Geopolitics + Military Doctrine + Foreign Affairs