Aren’t they afraid that Kim Jong Un also has the nuclear codes?

How to deal with the North Korean threat is the major international issue of our time. I was happy to see The Oz feature it this morning but this is hardly going along with the intensity of the Cuban Missile Crisis which you young ones out there may not have been around for. But it unfolded over a series of days as the top international news story everywhere even though other than Castro himself, no one was threatening to send nuclear missiles towards the US other than as an abstract possibility. With NK, we are dealing with a madman who is being used by others as a means to erode American power which is the counterweight to their increasing their own, and he really does have them and he really does threaten to attack someone, somewhere and possibly very soon. But where’s the focus – online right now the top story at The Oz has become, “ABC staff warned on same-sex marriage coverage” which is surely not the priority issue with all this going on to our north. The only story related at Drudge on NK at the moment is this one from the Washington Post: With ‘fire and fury,’ Trump revives fears about his possession of nuclear codes. From which:

When President Donald Trump went off script Tuesday to deliver a startling threat to North Korea – “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” – it was as if the nation relived the most lurid themes of the 2016 campaign in one chilling moment.

Last fall, Hillary Clinton’s campaign used as one of its final weapons a TV ad featuring a longtime nuclear missile launch officer who warned against voting for Trump: “I prayed that call would never come. Self-control may be all that keeps these missiles from firing.”

Then, quick-fire, a series of clips of Trump on the stump: “I would bomb the s— out of them.” “I want to be unpredictable.” “I love war.”

“The thought of Donald Trump with nuclear weapons scares me to death,” Bruce Blair, the retired launch officer, says in the ad. “It should scare everyone.

The Democrats are useless in any of this and you will get no insight into any of it by reading the views of graduate journalists with a three-year arts degree. Moreover, a nuclear standoff is not something any political leader in the world has had any experience with. But if you are scared of Trump, you should be even more frightened by this: Obama administration knew about North Korea’s miniaturized nukes.

Tuesday’s bombshell Washington Post story that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has determined North Korea is capable of constructing miniaturized nuclear weapons that could be used as warheads for missiles – possibly ICBMs – left out a crucial fact: DIA actually concluded this in 2013. The Post also failed to mention that the Obama administration tried to downplay and discredit this report at the time. . . .

Americans need to recognize as they ponder the increasingly dangerous North Korea situation that the Obama administration not only refused to do anything about this crisis but tried to downplay and conceal intelligence from the American people and Congress on how serious it was.

The reasons why you should never elect a government of the left are near endless, but this is the sort of thing that should sit near the top of the list. But when all is said and done, the question remains, what is to be done?

This entry was posted in International. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Aren’t they afraid that Kim Jong Un also has the nuclear codes?

  1. Entropy

    NK usually comes out sabre rattling after each US election chasing a smackeral of Danegold (food, loot, notoriety, whatever) which seems to have worked in recent times, the most unpleasant bit for the NK being having to put up with Jimmy Carter for a few days.
    Problem this time is the new Prez didn’t follow the script and there is no Danegeld forthcoming, so… escalate.

    Pretty shameful of the Chinese all the same, this nutter is in their border.

  2. Art Vandelay

    When President Donald Trump went off script Tuesday to deliver a startling threat to North Korea – “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” – it was as if the nation relived the most lurid themes of the 2016 campaign in one chilling moment.

    As pointed out on Instapundit, Trump’s language towards North Korea wasn’t at all ‘startling’ or unprecedented. For example:

    Bill Clinton, in 1993:

    … during a speech in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea that if Pyongyang ever used nuclear weapons, “it would be the end of their country.”

    The media are just making stuff up again.

  3. RobK

    A couple of comments:
    1) Owning a weapon is useless, even harmful, if you are not prepared to use it.
    2) if I recall correctly, the Cuban missile crisis was as much a US/Soviet embrinkmanship exercise rather than anything else.

  4. H B Bear

    I suspect Fat Kim learned from Saddam and Gaddafi why you don’t co-operate with the US.

  5. Confused Old Misfit

    Bill Clinton, in 1993:

    … during a speech in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea that if Pyongyang ever used nuclear weapons, “it would be the end of their country.”


    also, for more nuance:

  6. Confused Old Misfit

    BAd link. Try this:

  7. Louis Hissink

    I wonder what China and India are up to at present – they seem to be having a slight border tete a tete in the Himalayas. Something about disputed territory.

  8. Zyconoclast

    Pretty shameful of the Chinese all the same, this nutter is in their border.

    I think the. Chinese love this bloke.
    A constant distraction for the USA.

  9. yackman

    Re the Cuban Missile exercise in 1962; there were many who listened all the day and night the Soviet ships approached the line. Robert Macnamara “In Retrospect” puts a very high risk on the situation because of the delegated authority to local commanders and the fact that weapons were already in place in Cuba. Macnamara also talks about the history in “The Fog Of War” using the phrase “we lucked out” regarding a number of near misses.

    I cant recall my reaction but certainly all in my immediate circle at University were well aware.
    This current situation has a very dangerous feel to me with no easy solution.

  10. Acatfan

    Entropy said, above: ‘Pretty shameful of the Chinese all the same, this nutter is in their border.’
    Yes. NK is China’s rottweiler-on-a-leash. NK will not offend its owner, nor exceed the bounds of the leash. China feeds the dog with trade, and probably a lot more besides. Would China for one instant allow NK to develop nuclear weapons on its doorstep if it was not 100% certain they would not be flying in their direction? How can they be that certain? Only if they totally own NK. This issue is really about about China, by proxy. The problem is China, the answer is China.

  11. Tim Neilson

    I suspect Fat Kim learned from Saddam and Gaddafi why you don’t co-operate with the US.

    And the Ukraine. Bill Clinton got them to give up their nukes in return for a guarantee of American protection, but Barry was busy on the golf course when Putin invaded.

  12. Tim Neilson

    Owning a weapon is useless, even harmful, if you are not prepared to use it.

    Very true – and even more so if other people know you’re not prepared to use it.

    Which is why Trump’s comment that he wants to be unpredictable is simply common sense in situations like this.

  13. John Comnenus

    I think Trump has very skillfully manipulated his bargaining position against NK.

    But we need to remember that North Korea has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them because of a total failure of US and international diplomacy. Everyone recognised the dangers of the North Korean’s weapons programs for years. Trump inherited a bipartisan and international diplomatic failure. North Korea enhanced its position because the of the international community’s preference for patient diplomacy, talks and concessions.

    Throughout the previous failed approach, North Korea has patiently and persistently pushed its nuclear weapons and missile program. So the most stupid approach to this crisis would be to continue with the failed approach of the past.

    I would imagine Kim, and China, wanted to test Trump once he came into office. I assume they wanted him to become another failed talker like all his predecessors going back at least to Bill Clinton, if not earlier. So Trump wanted to try a new approach, which is the only rational approach to this problem.

    The fog of war mostly envelopes the side without the initiative. It is up to that side to try to work out what their adversary will do? what options he has? how he might use those options? and then what counters and responses do you have for the range of possibilities you assess your opponent has?

    Initially Trump politely asked China to reign in Kim who has used diplomacy to buy himself time to develop a nuclear weapons and missile program. With every the US pursued a failing diplomatic approach, Kim’s weapons and missiles program progressed.

    Every day the program is not dismantled it becomes more difficult to detect, defeat and destroy. So Trump is right to say the period of strategic patience is over. North Korea has used the USA’s strategic patience to grow stronger.

    China rebuffed Trump early showing it had no intention of reigning in North Korea. So Trump moved to phase two, increased the economic pressure and used that leverage to totally isolate North Korea. For the first time in a long time Russia and China supported a US initiated resolution in the UN security council.

    North Korea is formally isolated and China will need to breach the UN resolution to economically assist North Korea – which it will probably covertly try to do. Now that North Korea is isolated economically and diplomatically Trump has taken the initiative by introducing significant uncertainty into North Korea’s and Chinese strategic equation.

    Trump has clearly boxed China and North Korea into a difficult position by now refusing to negotiate. The North Koreans and Chinese have no experience of dealing with a Western negotiator who has set out a very clear objective – dismantle the weapons and missile program – and who is not prepared to trade anything away to achieve that objective.

    So now the fog of war has descended on China and North Korea. What do they want to do? What do they think Trump might do? Is he really prepared to use overwhelming military force? and if he does will he really not put any boots on the ground to rebuild North Korea? Will he really leave a smoking ruin for China and maybe Russia to clean up?

    How frightening for China and North Korea to have to contemplate this range of possibilities. They have never had to serious contemplate these possibilities before leaving them with significant freedom of action.

    Trump has skillfully changed the strategic calculus by seizing the initiative and he is in no mood to relinquish it.

    The next move belongs to China and North Korea. Trump has signaled he wont make anymore useless concessions to diplomacy which will only be used by North Korea and China to further develop a more sophisticated, resilient and effective weapons program. China and North Korea better not fuck this up.

    By one means or another this program needs to be destroyed soon before it becomes too powerful. Trump seems to get this. China will more slowly realise that any Korean War impact will fall more heavily on it than the USA. China better think very carefully and force North Korea to back down.

  14. Dr Fred Lenin

    The US could pressure China by imposing trade cuts for lack of support in curtailing their fellow fascist norks ,this would help the u,s,balance of trade and create u.s.jobs . It would cut Chinese industry. creating un employment and the last thing the Chinese fascists want is a large mob of angry unemployed starving people ,eager for change , any change its a win win for the u.s.a. and a lose lose for the fascists .
    If the u.n.communistsdont like it cut off funding confiscate the u.n.bulilding and deport the red bastards .

  15. Cementafriend

    I think some people are too excited about Korth Koreas technical competence. They may have one or two missiles which can go up into the air but it is very unlikely they can lsnd one on any target. Then even if they get close the USA can shoot it down. The Israellies can do that and can one doubt the US is more sdvsnced. The N Koreas may have a nuclear device but then there is great doibt that they can set it off in a missile away from thrir coast. The US can send in many at a time to wipe them out and Kim knows that. A nuclear device going off in N K will not do anything for the rest of the world. The effect will be les thsn the recrnt eruption of Mt Etna.

  16. Tim Neilson

    Trump should announce that if NK takes any aggressive action against US territory, citizens, allies or economic interests, his administration will launch a top secret response, the details of which are totally classified and never to be revealed publicly, which goes under the completely opaque code name “Operation Vapourise Fat Boy”.

  17. Diogenes

    John Comnenus,
    I agree with the general thrust of your argument re China. If however Newsweek is correct in that most of the China trade with the DPRK is carried out by 10 companies large & influential , then a suggestion made by Scott Adams, that the US releasing the names of these 10 companies and products sold world wide might be able to achieve what the Chinese Govt can’t/won’t do.

  18. Diogenes

    Cementafriend,
    the norks are saying they will fire a missile towards Guam in the next few weeks. with the plan being that they land within 20-30km of the island. Should they succeed that would rather make your argument moot.

  19. Roger

    Cementafriend, the norks are saying they will fire a missile towards Guam in the next few weeks. with the plan being that they land within 20-30km of the island. Should they succeed that would rather make your argument moot.

    The Norks have been consistently underestimated to date; now is not the time to gamble on their competency.

    And thanks China for doing nothing; why, one might even think they were in cahoots.

  20. Muddy

    The U.S. Center for Security Policy has been covering the North Korean threat for some time, including concerns they may possess and use an E.M.P. weapon. Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio podcast frequently has guests with solid security credentials.

  21. Crossie

    Entropy said, above: ‘Pretty shameful of the Chinese all the same, this nutter is in their border.’
    Yes. NK is China’s rottweiler-on-a-leash. NK will not offend its owner, nor exceed the bounds of the leash. China feeds the dog with trade, and probably a lot more besides. Would China for one instant allow NK to develop nuclear weapons on its doorstep if it was not 100% certain they would not be flying in their direction? How can they be that certain? Only if they totally own NK. This issue is really about about China, by proxy. The problem is China, the answer is China.

    Fully agree and as others have pointed out China needs to be punished. Trump should announce greater economic ties with India and see what happens then. China does not make anything that can’t be supplied by any other industrialised Asian country.

    Trump could kill two birds with one stone, push China into resolving the NK crisis and revive the US manufacturing industry.

  22. Tel

    Cementafriend, the norks are saying they will fire a missile towards Guam in the next few weeks. with the plan being that they land within 20-30km of the island.

    I guess the US needs to test their anti-missile defense on something, and it’s rather unrealistic to expect them to start plinking at Russian missiles.

    The elegance of North Korea launching missiles near Guam is that it keeps the meager North Korean production facilities running full tilt, and at the rate of one missile every three months the US has time to get their eye in with the anti-ballistic missile systems. Plus, the lefties won’t be able to pay attention to Trump’s wall building and dismemberment of the EPA. Winner all round really.

  23. .

    1st world nations manufacture when they have high productivity, not when they sit behind tariff walls.

    He can’t punish China in a direct manner or without significant costs.

    BTW how do you really punish another nuclear-armed power?

  24. Tel

    Trump should announce greater economic ties with India and see what happens then.

    He should offer greater economic ties with India anyway… but lately the Indians have been determined to destroy their own economy so a good first step might be if Trump sends over someone to help explaining that destroying your own currency is a bad idea. At any rate, the best brains in India are mostly already living in the USA, and the rest are planning to move soon, Trump has promised to slow down the flow. Maybe India should thank him for that much.

    Funny old world.

  25. max

    “War is the Health of the State”
    Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World
    War is a racket. It always has been.
    It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

    “Washington’s half-century long occupation of South Korea and its current 29,000 lethally armed troops stationed there have not actually kept the peace; they have merely prolonged the political division of the peninsula and provided the external threat that has kept the miserable dictatorship of the Kim family in power since the 1950s.
    Moreover, ever since Washington went into the “regime change” business under Bush the Younger, the unnecessary conflict in Korea has sharply escalated and the Pyongyang regime – especially after Kim Jong Un took power in 2011 – has dramatically intensified its quest to develop a nuclear deterrent.”
    David Stockman

    “Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He wants what every nuclear power wants — the ability to strike his enemy’s homeland with horrific impact, in order to deter that enemy.
    Kim wants his regime recognized and respected, and the U.S., which carpet-bombed the North from 1950-1953, out of Korea.”
    Patrick J. Buchanan

    “What President Trump really meant is that he has painted the US into a corner with all his threats of war and really does not know what to do next.   North Korea called his ‘or else’ bluff. 
    North Korea can’t today seriously threaten North America with missile strikes, but it probably will by 2019.   Meanwhile, North Korean nuclear and conventionally-armed missiles (and this could include poison gas and biological warheads) today threaten the 80,000 plus US military personnel based in Japan, South Korea and Guam.  They would be immediate targets should the US and South Korea attack the north.
    Add tens of millions of South Korean and Japanese civilians who are at risk of North Korean retaliation.   Half of South Korea’s capitol, Seoul, is within range of North Korean heavy artillery and rocket batteries dug into the so-called Demilitarized Zone.
    It would take only three nuclear weapons to shatter Japan and just two to cripple South Korea, not to mention polluting the globe with radioactive dust and contaminating North Asia’s water sources.

    North Korea has scraped and skimped for decades to build nuclear weapons for the sole reason of deterring a major US attack, including the use by the US of tactical nuclear weapons.  Pakistan ‘ate grass’ for decades to afford nuclear weapons to offset the threat from far more powerful India.  Israel uses the same argument to justify its large nuclear arsenal.
    After Washington overthrew the rulers of Iraq and Libya, it became painfully apparent that small nations without nuclear weapons were vulnerable to US ‘regime change’ operations.  The North Koreans, who are very eccentric but not stupid, rushed to accelerate their nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
    Growing US hysteria over North Korea, a nation of only 25 million, recalls the propaganda storm launched by Washington to justify its invasion of equally small Iraq.
    North Korea, South Korea and the United States remain in a state of war.  The 1950-52 Korean War ended with a cease-fire, not a peace.  The US has been trying to overthrow and undermine North Korea’s Stalinist regimes ever since, using military threats, subversion and economic warfare.”
    Eric Margolis

  26. harry buttle

    The answer is China, give them notice that if North Korea is still an issue in 6 months the US will approve of and provide assistance to Japan amd South Korea in producing deloverable nukes.

  27. .

    max

    I sympathise with you and it pains me to disagree with Stockman, but the North started a war of aggression. I don’t think anything has prolonged the conflict other than Russian and Chinese arms, conscripts and gold.

    The only thing that would have shortened the conflict would have been a brutal expansion of the war in 1953 to defeat China and otherwise capitulation by the South.

    Quite frankly, saving the South from annexation by the North was one of the few good things the UN ever did.

  28. max

    The stage for the Korean war began to be set at Yalta and Potsdam. As Bevin Alexander notes in Korea: The First War We Lost, “North Korea was one of the spoils the Russians gained in their intervention in the war against Japan.”

    Yes, that’s right: FDR, with the prodding of Soviet spies (and White House workers) Harry Hopkins and Alger Hiss, not only sold the Eastern Europeans down the river, he sold out the Koreans as well.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2001/11/david-dieteman/remembering-the-korean-war/

  29. max

    Let’s be clear: There is no doubt that the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea both fear and loathe the United States. Paranoia, resentment, and a crude anti-Americanism have been nurtured inside the Hermit Kingdom for decades. Children are taught to hate Americans in school while adults mark a “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” every year (it’s in June, in case you were wondering).

    “forgotten war.”
    Forgotten despite the fact that this particular war isn’t even over — it was halted by an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty — and despite the fact that the conflict saw the United States engage in numerous war crimes, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, continue to shape the way North Koreans view the United States, even if the residents of the United States remain blissfully ignorant of their country’s belligerent past.
    For the record, it was the North Koreans, and not the Americans or their South Korean allies, who started the war in June 1950, when they crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded the south. Nevertheless, “What hardly any Americans know or remember,” University of Chicago historian Bruce Cumings writes in his book “The Korean War: A History,” “is that we carpet-bombed the north for three years with next to no concern for civilian casualties.”
    How many Americans, for example, are aware of the fact that U.S. planes dropped on the Korean peninsula more bombs — 635,000 tons — and napalm — 32,557 tons — than during the entire Pacific campaign against the Japanese during World War II?
    How many Americans know that “over a period of three years or so,” to quote Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, “we killed off … 20 percent of the population”?
    Twenty. Percent. For a point of comparison, the Nazis exterminated 20 percent of Poland’s pre-World War II population. According to LeMay, “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea.”
    Every. Town. More than 3 million civilians are believed to have been killed in the fighting, the vast majority of them in the north.
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/05/no_author/n-koreans-hate-us/

  30. max

    We were fighting on behalf of Syngman Rhee, the US-educated-and-sponsored dictator of South Korea, whose vibrancy was demonstrated by the large-scale slaughter of his leftist political opponents. For 22 years, Rhee’s word was law, and many thousands of his political opponents were murdered: tens of thousands were jailed or driven into exile. Whatever measure of liberality has reigned on the Korean peninsula was in spite of Washington’s efforts and ongoing military presence. When the country finally rebelled against Rhee, and threw him out in the so-called April Revolution of 1960, he was ferried to safety in a CIA helicopter as crowds converged on the presidential palace.

    The standard neocon-cold war liberal line is that the North Koreans, in league with Moscow and Beijing, launched a war of aggression on June 25, 1950, when North Korean troops poured across the disputed border. What this truncated history leaves out is that, in doing so, they preempted Rhee’s own plans to launch an invasion northward.

    As to who did in reality fire that shot, Bruce Cumings, head of the history department at the University of Chicago, gave us the definitive answer in his two-volume The Origins of the Korean War, and The Korean War: A History: the Korean war started during the American occupation of the South, and it was Rhee, with help from his American sponsors, who initiated a series of attacks that well preceded the North Korean offensive of 1950. From 1945-1948, American forces aided Rhee in a killing spree that claimed tens of thousands of victims: the counterinsurgency campaign took a high toll in Kwangju, and on the island of Cheju-do – where as many as 60,000 people were murdered by Rhee’s US-backed forces.

  31. max

    My point is not Australian problem.

  32. max

    What ever is happening in korea — should be for koreans to decide between themselves.

    South korea is rich country and should be capable to defend itself without any help from outside.

    on this website:

    http://www.globalfirepower.com/

    2017 Military Strength Ranking
    South Korea is currently ranked 12

    and

    North Korea is currently ranked 23

    American President should go on TV and tell all world, we are out of South Korea and Koreans should decide their future.
    ( by the way because North have nukes , South should buy from USA some )

    And then koreans will have chance to do what Germans did, to unify.

  33. .

    Yes, that’s right: FDR, with the prodding of Soviet spies (and White House workers) Harry Hopkins and Alger Hiss, not only sold the Eastern Europeans down the river, he sold out the Koreans as well.

    Truman, Eisenhower and now Trump cannot be condemned for what FDR, Hopkins and Hiss did.

  34. Zatara

    Yes, that’s right: FDR, with the prodding of Soviet spies (and White House workers) Harry Hopkins and Alger Hiss, not only sold the Eastern Europeans down the river, he sold out the Koreans as well.

    Rumour has it Churchill was off hunting for a decent cigar at that ‘selling the Eastern Europeans and Korea down the river’ moment of the Yalta Conference.

    Given FDR gets all the blame it must be true.

  35. Tim Neilson

    My point is not Australian problem.

    Until Fat Boy decides that nuking Brisbane is the next move in his anti-US (and US allies) strategy.

    Fat Boy is a 3rd generation cult-worshipped mass murdering dictator. It would be insane to assume that he won’t do something like that.


    What President Trump really meant is that he has painted the US into a corner with all his threats of war and really does not know what to do next.

    This is utter bullshit. When Barry totally reneged on previous Presidents’ promises to the Ukraine and to Gaddafi, he obliterated any chance that his successor would be able to negotiate with Fat Boy. So Trump’s options were to continue Barry’s policy of watching idly and impotently while Fat Boy developed ever greater weapons capacity, or to bring things to a head before Fat Boy really could nuke the USA. Trump has wisely chosen the latter.
    Everyone would agree that it’s not an easy situation, and Trump may well not be certain of what to do next, but it was only going to get worse if nothing was done, so thank heavens there’s someone in the White House who’s willing to make decisions.

  36. Andrew

    And the Ukraine. Bill Clinton got them to give up their nukes in return for a guarantee of American protection, but Barry was busy on the golf course when Putin invaded.

    Um, Putin didn’t invade Ukraine – that’s FakeNews. The EUSSR did, after discussing their plan with Illary and the Kenyan.

    To recap:
    – Ukraine elected a pro-Russian Prez Yanukovych.
    – Yanukovych may well have been a corrupt scumbag, but that wasn’t a problem until he hinted at a FTA with Russia rather than what everyone else wanted: Ukraine in the EUSSR, and NATO (and hence NATO ships docked in Sevastopol with Russia expelled)
    – Everyone else thought it would be a jolly fine exercise to back rebels, oust Weird Al, and install a pro-EUSSR puppet
    – They then really rubbed it in by giving creepy old Joe Biden’s son a gig as head of the energy SOE despite being a NYC lawyer specialising in M&A and not actually knowing anything about fracking, or apparently speaking Ukrainian or Russian.
    – At that point Putin said “take the rest of the fucking country and do what you want with it, but I’m keeping Sevastopol” (noting that Crimea was overwhelmingly ethnically Russian, and pro-Russia).

  37. Andrew

    We were fighting on behalf of Syngman Rhee, the US-educated-and-sponsored dictator of South Korea, whose vibrancy was demonstrated by the large-scale slaughter of his leftist political opponents.

    Good. Good riddance. Sounds like a fine fellow. Bit late to give him a Nobel Peace Price unfortunately, but perhaps a statue of him in Queanbeyan facing the ACT border?

  38. .

    I see SRR has brainwashed someone else with her crack addled nonsense.

  39. stackja

    max – minimum knowledge.

Comments are closed.