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Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:55 pm    Post subject: What about North Korea? Reply with quote

There is a fascinating exchange taking place in US-North Korea relations. "Cold" doesn't seem to be the right word. More like "Almost War". Nuclear war.

The new knowledge -- the already suspect intelligence services come to the conclusion that it is 'likely' that North Korea has mastered the 'miniaturization' of a nuclear bomb. And it is implied that they have 60 such bombs.

I think this might well be propaganda. If we could go back to the basis of this information, there are probably a lot of assumptions involved.

North Korea threatens Guam. Guam? This is going for the capillaries. Still, this is probably a target they can actually hit. The talk about hitting Boston is probably alarmist.

Still, it's an actual threat of nuclear war. What is mystifying to a lot of Westerners is what they want out of it.

I suspect that this is the result of an escalating set of embargoes being applied to North Korea. What they fundamentally want, I imagine, is relief from these embargoes, and to keep their missiles and bombs.

And Trump has responded with an "Oh yeah?" response. He told them to shut up or he'll give the signal.


This goes back. Obama flew nuclear bombers over the peninsula, to get a little intimidation, for instance. The whole thing has been going on for years. The UN, the USA, etc have all tried to get North Korea to stop a program of developing a nuclear bomb and have been essentially swindled every time they got an agreement.

And when they didn't, they applied economic pressure. Embargoes. Currency valuation. Stuff like that. The North Koreans very likely have taught the people that this is an attack on them by outsiders.

Now it seems to be coming to the point where the can can't be kicked down the road any further. There is a real prospect of war. North Korea has already made a huge investment in their military, and they feel they are still at war with an enemy that is occupying half their peninsula. They want to reunify their country, they really do.

The Trump people are right, in my book, to want to settle this issue before the North Koreans have the bomb and a long-range missile system to boot. This is a complicated issue because (I suspect) China is involved. I could be wrong, but North Korea is likely a client state -- if an unruly one -- and I can't imagine that the North Koreans would make such progress in such a short time without Chnese aid, or at least turning a blind eye to embargo violations.

Just so you understand, according to the CIA Worldbook, North Korea has a GNP of $40 billion and a per capita income of about $1800 US dollars. (That's 10% of what it is in Mexico!) It has a 1% growth rate, and a 25% unemployment rate. It looks like it has lapsed into depression (by two-year-old numbers). It could be a way of China having control of such rockets without the risk of actually having them -- if you see what I mean. Duplicity abounds in this world.

What is to be done? Any thoughts?

Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been digging not very deep, but into the resources that North Korea can command.

The North Korean has a population of 25 million, and the high estimate of its economic productivity gives them a GDP of about $40 billion. That's about $1700/capita, which is right down there with Haiti.

The question is -- how can a country with such low productivity have become a missile-armed nuclear power?

The thing is -- it isn't just developing an A-bomb, and then an H-bomb. It's also developing and building missiles and, probablt just as tough, developing a guidance system that gives your missiles half a chance of hitting their targets.

They would have us believe that North Korea has the economic and technical resources to do all of this on its own. This deserves a snort of derision.

As far as I am concerned, there is no possibility of that happening without China's connivance, and probably as much cooperation as they can, without being discovered. At a very minimum, China must look the other way when all the parts are being assembled to build the missiles,' for example. At the other end of the possibilities is that North Korea is Red China's nuclear missile program.

Iran could be involved as well.

A Closer Look at Iran and North Korea's Missile Cooperation
How Iran and North Korea cooperate in their twin quests to develop better missiles.

By Samuel Ramani
May 13, 2017

On May 2, 2017, the Iranian military conducted a missile test from a Ghadir-class submarine in the Strait of the Hormuz. Even though the missile test failed, the close similarities between Iran’s Ghadir-class submarine and North Korea’s Yono-class miniature submarine alarmed Western policymakers. Many U.S. defense experts have argued that Iran’s missile test was proof of continued Tehran-Pyongyang military cooperation, despite repeated attempts by the United States to isolate the DPRK regime.

Even though there was considerable optimism that the July 2015 ratification of the Iran nuclear deal would halt Tehran’s long-standing military cooperation with North Korea, Iran’s ballistic missile program continues to rely on North Korean military technology. Iran’s ongoing cooperation with North Korea can be explained by a shared distrust of U.S. diplomatic overtures and the common belief that countries have a right to develop self-defense mechanisms without external interference.

Technology Sharing between Iran and North Korea since the 2015 Nuclear Deal

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While media coverage on Iran-North Korea military cooperation has focused principally on technician exchanges between the two countries and nuclear cooperation, ballistic missile development has been the most consistent area of Tehran-Pyongyang technological cooperation since the Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015. This collaboration explains the striking similarities between Iranian EMAD and North Korean Rodong missiles.

Even though parallel missile developments are powerful indicators of collaboration between Iran and North Korea, American and Israeli analysts have intensely debated the nature of the Tehran-Pyongyang partnership. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has been one of the most outspoken proponents of the view that Iran-North Korea cooperation is largely transactional. In a recent interview, Bolton declared that if North Korea gets nuclear missiles, “Iran could have that capability the next day” because of Tehran’s long-standing defense contracts with the DPRK and Pyongyang’s desperate need for hard currency.

While the DPRK’s dire economic situation can explain some dimensions of the Iran-North Korea military partnership, there is compelling evidence that Tehran-Pyongyang ballistic missile technology cooperation is a more mutual exchange than many U.S. policymakers have assumed.

Israeli defense analyst Tal Inbar recently noted that Iran purchased North Korea’s technical know-how on ballistic missile production, upgraded the DPRK missiles’ forward section, and distributed these advancements back to North Korea. The similarities between North Korean missiles launched during recent tests and Iranian technology suggests that Iran is a possible contributor to North Korea’s nuclear buildup, rather than a mere transactional partner. [emphasis added]

The whole article is worth reading. In a similar vein, there's this: http://nationalinterest.org/fe.....sile-19459

The article doesn't deal with the guidance systems the missiles require, which is as big a problem as building the missiles themselves, maybe bigger. This is where China figures into the equation.

Flashback: Bill Clinton gave China missile technology
by Matthew Vadum
DECEMBER 21, 2016

With all this talk of Russians allegedly interfering in U.S. elections, it is worth recalling that it wasn’t too long ago that the previous Democrat in the White House betrayed America by working hand in hand with our Communist enemies in mainland China.

As president, Bill Clinton essentially wiped out any strategic advantage the U.S. had by selling advanced U.S. missile technology to our enemy, the People’s Republic of China.

That “administration’s voluntary release of all the secrets of America’s nuclear tests, combined with the systematic theft of the secrets that were left as a result of its lax security controls, effectively wiped out America’s technological edge,” David Horowitz writes in the recently published, The Black Book of the American Left Volume 7: The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama.

Unlike the administrations that preceded it, the Clinton administration accepted millions of dollars from the military and intelligence services of at least one hostile foreign power. All of this was done in exchange for illegal campaign contributions from a massive totalitarian country determined to eclipse the U.S. as a world superpower.

President Clinton also lifted security controls, allowing thieves to access other vital military technologies, while disarming his own side and opposing needed defenses.

“One of the key technological breaks China received, without having to spy to get it, was the deliverance of supercomputers once banned from export for security reasons,” writes Horowitz.

“Supercomputers underpin the technology of nuclear and missile warfare, and not only for firing and controlling the missiles. A supercomputer can simulate a nuclear test and is thus crucial to the development of nuclear warheads. But, according to a Washington Post editorial: ‘In the first three quarters of 1998 nine times as many [supercomputers] were exported [to China] as during the previous seven years.’”

“This transfer,” he writes, “was authorized three years after the spy thefts were detected. What rationale—besides stupidity, greed, or some other equally indefensible motive—could justify this? What responsible president or administration official, at any relevant level in any government, would allow the massive transfer of national-security assets like these to a dictatorship they knew had stolen their country’s most highly guarded military secrets?”

Back in the 1990s, as longtime Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe, now governor of Virginia, set records raising money for the Clintons. In that era congressional investigators unearthed an elaborate Communist Chinese money-laundering scheme.

Under it money was funneled to the Clinton organization through businesspeople, including Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie. In that case, 94 individuals either refused questioning, pled the Fifth Amendment, or fled the country. Trie accepted a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in 1999 in exchange for providing information about questionable campaign contributions from China.

McAuliffe helped a company called Loral Space get seats on official trade missions. He reportedly convinced the Clinton administration to overrule national security officials in order win approval for a Loral deal that gave Red China critical missile technology. Loral’s chief executive officer became the Democratic National Committee’s largest donor and McAuliffe became DNC chairman. [....]

Scary stuff because it means that we are already in an undeclared arms race, and that we are on the path of increased tension with China, and that China is the power chiefly responsible for the proliferation of nuclear arms.
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What about North Korea?

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