Asking again the same question I asked the other day — Are we worried about North Korea

Kim Jong-Un has now established himself as a madman on steroids. He’s not doing the usual North Korean war games dance followed by demands for food and money.  Instead, he’s declared that the Korean War, which was merely in abeyance, is reinstated and that North Korea is standing ready to rain havoc on America.  He seems to believe his own mythology.  I’d be willing to bet that he’s had the country’s best minds figure out how he can put his pants on both legs at a time, thereby raising himself above even the former Russian Tsar (whose peasants said of him that he was still a man who put his pants on one leg at a time).

Will Kim Jong-Un’s military follow him?  Are they so brainwashed that they will be incapable of a coup that will stop him as he embarks upon a path that will witness his country’s complete destruction?

I have no doubt, incidentally, that if Kim did start a war against the US, we would quickly destroy him.  I also have no doubt that his attacks and strategy would be primitive and of limited effectiveness, even if he did launch nuclear missiles.  But knowing those two things doesn’t mean that any war he starts won’t be a bloody disaster for the Korean mainland and, possibly, for parts of America too.  There might be a nuclear mess to clean up, and thousands, or tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people — South Korean, North Korean, and American could die or suffer radiation poisoning.  In addition, there’s the very real possibility that China will feel compelled to defend its satellite, reasoning that it’s better to have a crazy satellite than no satellite at all.

Fall out shelter from the 1950s

We think we’re too sophisticated for 1950s fall-out panic, but are we really? In any event, without the 1950s civilian defense infrastructure, what the heck can we do? We’ve felt impregnable for decades behind our “best military in the world.” But how much will it help us against a lunatic totalitarian state led by a man who thinks he’s not just a demi-God, but a God, armed with nuclear warheads?

And again, one ask to ask if this is just a feint, with the real business of war taking place in Iran?

I’m not panicking, I assure you, but I’d be lying if I said I felt happy and comfortable about this.

Incidentally, if you’d like to read a stellar North Korean analysis, you can’t do better than reading Thomas Lifson, since he is deeply conversant with the Far East.

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Comments

  1. Ron19 says

    “Will Kim Jong-Un’s military follow him?  Are they so brainwashed that they will be incapable of a coup that will stop him as he embarks upon a path that will witness his country’s complete destruction?”
     
    You mean like what happened in Iraq?

  2. MacG says

    “Will Kim Jong-Un’s military follow him?”
     
    With some of NK’s front line military defecting to SK just for food I cannot imagine that it’d take much to finish the demoralization of the ‘fighting’ forces.  A question to consider is can we rebuild that half of the country by borrowing money from China?

  3. SADIE says

     
    Impossible to read the tea leaves. I believe a good part of the rhetoric coming out of N.K. is tied to mid-April when they mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung. The new kid on the block may just be trying to shore up his “image” with the military.
     
     

  4. Ron19 says

    North Korea has threatened South Korea, Japan, and the West Coast of the USA for quite some time now.
     
    Recently, they added Hawaii to the list and suddenly we have defensive missals being installed in Guam.  The reason stated by the US is that they will protect South Korea, Japan, and the US.  This first production run was to be installed not now but two years from now against Iran.
     
    A look at a globe shows that a defensive missal fired from Guam can’t do anything to protect South Korea or Japan.  The great circle routes to Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California would at best be a tail chase, or just plain useless.
     
    Ahh, but Hawaii!  For the Hawaiian homeland and family vacation land, Guam could do some good.  Another installation on Midway could be a second line of defense for the Islands, and some protection for our West Coast.  I will stay tuned to see if that happens. 
     
    So sorry, Israel, and Eastern Europe, you’ll have to wait until a later installation is manufactured, tested, shipped, and installed.  Too bad about that abandoned defensive missal deployment to Poland, I think it would have been.
     
    Japan has been developing and deploying its own defensive shield for several years.  We have (had?) been deploying defensive Navy missal cruisers for protection from China and especially Russia, but there are so few of them they can’t be stationed close to the Asian landmass, or Japan.
     
    When I was stationed in South Korea, we described the base as “five minutes by air from beautiful downtown North Korea.”  Back then, we were talking about the same kind of MiG jet that was getting creamed in North Vietnam, not rockets that could put a small satellite into orbit.  South Korea would need a line of Israeli Iron Dome installations, close enough to the DMZ to be very provocative to the North.
     
     
     
     

  5. says

    North Korea will not be easy to defeat. The NorKs have a special forces army of 180,000 men all of whom are fanatically loyal to Dear Leader Jr. 7000 of the SOFs can be deployed to SKorea in a matter of minutes. There’s an untold number of NorKs already in SKorea ready to move at a moments notice probably part of the Reconnaissance Brigades tasked to perform direct actions like seize and/or destroy strategic targets and assassinations. Any start of a war will be on N Korea’s timetable and these brigades will create enormous damage and havoc.

  6. Ron19 says

    Ron19 #6:
     
    OK, I should have talked about missiles, those round birds with their tails on fire, instead of missals; even though Li’l Kim is a religious fanatic about Armageddon.

  7. JKB says

    I doubt they’d put anything on Midway.  Last time I was there well over a decade ago, they had all but given the keys over to Fish and Wildlife.  I don’t remember when the final handover was.  I’d expect the channel’s silted in by now.  
     
    I still expect NK will be solved by China.  Last thing they want is the US running a hot war in what they consider their home waters.  Not to mention the Russians.  

  8. JKB says

    As an aside, I’ve been watching The Americans, which is about KGB agents in the US in the 1980s.  The plot has been flittering about the SDI (Star Wars) missile defense program.  Between this and Israel’s Iron Dome, I don’t see anyone making fun of Reagan’s push now days.

  9. Mike Devx says

    When you project weakness and indecision, as the Obama Administration has in national security, you invite provocation.
     
    One scenario you didn’t raise, Book, is that this is a Chinese-directed psychological ops campaign directed against, or a test of, the Obama Administration.  The goal might be determining the best way to confront Obama over Taiwan before 2016.
     
    If it’s not all bluff and bluster, I agree that North Korea can inflict serious damage on South Korea.  Also, an initial assault by their 180,000-man forces, as JKB said, would be difficult to repulse.  If that first overwhelming assault wave did not succeed in immediately overrunning South Korea, though, defeat would then be certain for North Korea.  (And even if they did overrun South Korea, it’s hard for me to see America allowing such a North Korean “victory” to stand – but with Obama, who knows?)
     
    The uncertainty over Chinese up-front motives and subsequent reactions complicate things.
     
     

  10. Ron19 says

    The initial assault could also be by an artillery attack from North Korea to Seoul, the capital of South Korea.  It is in range of heavy artillery.

  11. JKB says

    Mike Devx,
     
    I don’t see how Obama could do nothing in the face of a North Korea attack, even if it is contained to  South Korea. Americans will die and be captured in the attack.  Obama bailed on Iraq and gave up on Afghanistan but only after a long Leftist campaign to undermine the widely-supported original reasons for those wars.  Obama’s narcissism won’t let him leave office as President Loser.  
     
    Right after 9/11, I was a bit afraid.  Not of the attacks but that the upwelling of anger in America would cause us to let loose the constraints on the most powerful military ever.  We haven’t fought mad since WWII.  The World held its breath in the September long ago.  If NK tries to nuke the US, the great unwashed Jacksonians in America will demand and the “elite” will cower, Obama will have no choice but to issue one order as Commander in Chief, “Get ‘em”.  

  12. Charles Martel says

    Mike Devx raises a legitimate doubt about how far Obama would go in repulsing a North Korean attack on the South. I’m sure he would respond with massive conventional military force to push the North Koreans back across the 38th and probably to destroy their military infrastructure. But I wouldn’t see him going for the decisive kill, namely the decapitation of the North Korean political command and an insistence upon its surrender to the US and South Korea. Obama will attempt to return asap to a semblance the status quo ante lest China take umbrage.
     
    So, yes, Mike is on to something when sees this as an occasion for China to test how Obama would respond to an attack on Taiwan. If the worst that can happen is that the US beats back an invasion attempt without attacking China’s mainland bases, China will be in a sweet “what the hell” position where it can probe American resolve and test tactics and weapons with little fear of losing much. 

  13. Beth says

    Was musing about the threats (gee, should I make some apocalypse bread and cookies today?) and am wondering if anyone has heard if the US is evacuating any non-combats, i.e. families, from the peninsula?  When we were stationed there ’96-’98, the kids and I practiced the NEO once a year…usually this time of year as it is when the big exercises take place.  I would hope that if things are as dicey as they seem, then the families would be relocated…. 

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