Posts Tagged ‘US’

The North Korea Nuclear Launch Sites are Closed – But Kim Keeps the Key

April 21, 2018

Christopher Lee

21 April 2018, London

Kim Jong-un says North Korea has developed ‘weaponisation” so from this passing weekend, North Korea will stop testing.

Nuclear weapons engineers will say this is nonsense. The job of being a nuclear weapon state has only just begun.

But for the moment at least, North Korea has reached the goal of its leader, that of a state able to put even a small nuclear warhead on a long range missile, fire that missile into outer space and then guide its return into the earth’s atmosphere, release warheads and direct each one onto targets that include the United States, certainly China and certainly Japan.

That makes North Korea a member of an exclusive club that somewhere has a technology base that can return to production and ever be in scientific and technological research state to bring the missile and the guidance and launch systems to a longer range and higher readiness, the re-entry process more reliable and the delivery systems more accurate and threatening.

President Trump should not need to be told this.

The series of North South and East-West meetings begin this coming week. North and South Korea meet openly, US-Korean officials meet quietly and then, perhaps as early as June, President Trump meets President Kim.

At that point, Kim Jong-Un achieves that which has eluded himself, his ancestors and something which is not always understood in Western capitals. President Kim has yearned for respect as a ‘proper’ leader of an important country. He reads the progress in international recognition achieved by Pakistan when it became a nuclear weapons power and immediately a state able to kill millions of its decades old enemy India at the press of half a dozen buttons.

In just a decade of fast technology he’s made the US take him seriously. Rocket Man is not a joke Trump lyric.

He may tell us that North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions are over, but like the rest of the black mushroom growers, the genii is out of the bottle. His people know how to do it and, who knows when the disappointment of international treatment and recognition will mean a return to the test sites.

And to test the value of his new position, remember that Mr Kim will be receiving Mr Trump, not the other way round. Mr Trump has to go to him. Mr Kim will step his own higher ground.

What would they want? An official end to the Korean War. That is an easy found formality. A recognition that North Korean is an equal partner in the strategic balance of the Korean Peninsular, Eastern China and Japan for starters. That is status worth having. It will also be a process that leads to the true lessening of conflict: sign a contract with a potential enemy that boosts its economy and allows the country to grow for a fat enemy rarely goes to war.

The bringing about of this summit, if it happens, will be largely the work of President Moon of South Korea with the nitty sorted by the three heads of Intelligence of America, South Korea and North Korea.

Mr Kim will get his respect and will settle some of the uncertainties of the ruling North Korean families who are saying the Mr Kim must change his ways if the country is not to fold economically and collapse. Mr Moon will sweep aside the continued feeling that he could fall at any moment. And Mr Trump?

In America, even senior politicians have never heard of any efforts other than the tough-talk of their President. If it works, he will be the man who brought 60 years of crisis to an end and made Kim Jong-un close down his nuclear threat.

The tailpiece in Washington to this is an irony: undoubtedly, if a June meeting is the type of success we imagine, then there will a strong movement for a Nobel Peace Prize. So? So there is no way the FBI could file against a Peace Nobel Laureate Trump.

Could anything spoil what is possible? Yes.

Whatever agreement between North Korea and the US, it is extremely likely that Congress will not ratify any treaty on the grounds of it being impossible to verify North Korea keeping the test sites closed.

In other words, June’s not far but there are years to go before Mission Accomplished make sense.

 

Advertisements

Christopher Lee

March 31, 2013

Image

Korea: The Director’s Cut.  Not Good Viewing

30th March 2013

Kim Jong-un is the movie buff who runs North Korea and wants a silo-load of nuclear tipped missiles to frighten the other guy, the other guy being President Barack Obama who is not a movie buff  but does have enough nuclear warheads to meltdown North Korea in an afternoon.

Kim Jong-un hasn’t the firepower to melt a marshmallows.  You would have thought no contest.  You would have thought wrong.

The North Korean has America prancing around the region like a tag wrestler winding up his image; China wondering what the hell it has to do to keep junior in line; the Japanese doing gold pen affairs on any defence treaty that will make them feel secure – which they will not – and, South Korea saying that maybe the latest north-south of the Panmunjon line spat is just another incident and it’ll go away some time soon.

There’s major problem in all this. Kim the movie man has to learn the difference between a trailer and a main feature and Washington is banking on this. So is China. So is Japan.

 

Kim has ordered his troops to go stand-by for a full scale war against America and South Korea.  He’s pulled the plug on the hot line. He’s told his rocketeers to point them south – long range and short. Targets are on his mental pinboard: Guam. Hawaii. Washington State and DC – he doesn’t care which zip code gets it.

According to this man “The time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation.” Which is what?

Back in February, Kim’s people ran a nuclear test. The UN, egged by the US, raised further sanctions on North Korea. The Americans are running manoeuvres with the South Korean military.  They’ve flown a couple of long range Stealth bomber operations over the Korean peninsular, had two dummy bombing B-52s in the area and made sure Kim’s seen the newsreels.

Kim says all this is bad news and shows no respect for his position.  He does not mention that he has to prove to his generals that he’s no easy shake down when it comes to facing off Obama. So then we get warm to the problem.

It could be of course that Kim is hanging on to an old North Korean tradition.  Every time there is a new President in South Korea, the North Koreas wing off a couple of rounds and test the resolve of the new man.  Just last month, South Korea got a new President, Park Geun-hye.   

Well that could explain everything excepting that Kim needs fast track nuclear weapons development so that he can get one-on-one respect from the US because any White House will be nervous of any genuine nuclear power.  Kim knows his recent history.  

India and Pakistan were given a hard time by America when it was heard they may be getting into nuclear weapons.  But once they were in, the rhetoric from Pennsylvania Avenue dropped to flesh pressing and newest best friends rating.  

And now Kim sees Iran getting the hard time from America just like him.  He also senses that if America had been going to do something about Iran, they would have done so or got their Middle East legman, Israel to do it.  They may still happen but Kim is not betting what’s left of the North Korean ranch on it.

But Washington’s nervousness is that Obama’s analysts are telling him that Kim has pulled this Red Alert trick before and backed down. So nothing to worry about.  Not so say Obama’s think tankers.  Could be that Kim realizes that his own generals and the crowds in the big state capital Pyongyang Square on 24-hour demo are going to be thinking that the wonderful leader is just big on screaming Death To The US Imperialists and nothing else.  Seems the whole nation is short on respect.

So the real fear is not an all-out rocket attack from the North Koreans but just maybe there’ll be a couple of fly-over rockets and maybe a border incident, maybe two.

There’s a dull truth that the Americans don’t want to share.  North Korea really is on the same sort of position as Iran.  If Kim wants nuclear weapons, chances are that the US will not, in spite of the diplomatic arm twisting, be able to do anything about it.  In the Middle East, the people to stop the Iranians at lastminute-dot-bomb are the Israeli.  They have the regional interest that cannot be denied and the rest of the world that matters in this business will leave it to them.

In the Far East, China is the local Israel.  They have the most to lose if North Korea go nuclear. They may not pull a raid on the test facilities, but they are the only hope of cutting Kim down to size.

The realistic thinking in the White House is that China won’t do it and North Korea won’t go down the diplomatic trail.  Then what?  That’s the last superpower’s problem.  The US doesn’t know what to do.  They talk about Kim having something to prove.  He hasn’t really. But this American President has.  Next American president may well discover on her or his watch, that North Korea is about to get the kiloton magic mushroom.  Then what happens?  Washington doesn’t know. That is what’s known as scary diplomacy especially in a week when US movie buffs are watching a new release.  It’s theme is a North Korean attack on America. This is not a trailer.