Tuesday, April 16, 2013
How North Korea Tipped Its Hand
This is of course extremely bad news. Think dirty bomb dumped on
Seoul. These chaps do not understand anything except
complete submission and their behavior the first time around will curl your
As I have posted before, all this noise about the
is a smoke screen to cover their true intent.
That must be an attack on South Korea. And how better than to flip a bomb or bombs
on the strongest military concentrations and on the city of Seoul itself just before you launch an
assault on the South.
Stopping them is an immediate and real problem that can be solved by only two parties. The best is
and that entails a preliminary agreement with South Korea to pay the costs of
reconstruction. It also expects China to acquiesce
in a future Korean powerhouse smack on their border. It may be best, but may also be politically
impossible for China
The next best option is to make an arrangement with
stand down while the USA
brings its power to bear along with the South Koreans. By confronting the North with overwhelming force
on its Eastern sea coast with a range of deliverable threats, it should be
possible to put the North Off balance and in a state of collapse. It all starts with a no fly containment and
low flying sonic booms to break every window in the country.
This can be also done noisily without
The worst option is to dither and let the North retain the initative until the bomb(s) are deliverable.
Tipped Its Hand North Korea
When North Korean engineers launched a satellite into space on December 12, it seemed like business as usual, with the familiar cycle of condemnations from the west and statements of defiance from the
. But that launch
also led many U.S.intelligence analysts to assess that Hermit
Kingdom possessed the ability to miniaturize
the components necessary to yield a nuclear explosion for a crude warhead that
would sit atop a ballistic missile. Pyongyang
After the North Korean launch, U.S. Navy ships managed to recover the front section of the rocket used in it, according to three U.S. officials who work closely on North Korean proliferation. That part of the rocket in turn provided useful clues about North Korean warhead design, should the next payload be a warhead rather than a satellite.
The same basic engineering and science needed to launch a satellite into space is also used in the multi-stage rockets known as inter-continental ballistic missiles. The front of the satellite rocket, according to three U.S. officials who work closely on North Korean proliferation, gave tangible proof that North Korea was building the missile’s cone at dimensions for a nuclear warhead, durable enough to be placed on a long-range missile that could re-enter the earth’s atmosphere from space.
“Having access to the missile front was a critical insight we had not had before,” one
non-proliferation official told The Daily Beast. “I have seen a lot of
drawings, but we had not seen the piece of that missile at that time.” This
official continued: “we looked at the wreckage from the launch and we put it
together with other kinds of intelligence and came to this judgment that they
had figured out the warhead piece.” U.S.
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released a classified assessment last month saying that it now has “moderate confidence” that the “North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles however the reliability will be low,” South Korea has provided additional intelligence bolstering this conclusion, according to U.S. officials.
That assessment, in line with but more assertive than earlier comments from the agency., was made public three days ago, in a question from Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. The Pentagon spokesman, George Little and the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, soon after the disclosure issued statements trying to play down the news. Clapper said, “it would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully developed and tested the kinds of nuclear weapons referenced in the passage." He added “
has not yet
demonstrated the full range of capabilities necessary for a nuclear armed
missile.” North Korea
But neither Little or Clapper disputed the basic judgment that
could likely build a nuclear warhead of low reliability. While the DIA
assessment does not represent the view of all 16 North Korea U.S.
intelligence agencies, the recovered satellite rocket helped move CIA analysts
away from their skepticism about ’s ability to build a
nuclear warhead as well. “The DIA was always more forward leaning on this,” one
official said. “The CIA was always extremely cautious on this. The doubters in
the CIA finally found some common ground with DIA when we did the recovery.”
(The CIA declined to comment.) U.S.
could design a nuclear warhead has
been building for many years. A.Q. Khan, the man considered to
be the father of the Pakistani nuclear program, for example has said in
interviews and correspondence that in 1999 on a visit to North Korea he was
shown boxes of components for three finished nuclear warheads that could be
assembled within an hour. North
official who works on North Korean proliferation said there was reason to
believe that Khan could have been lying when he said this. “Khan was like a
used car salesman,” he said. “He wanted future customers to think he could get
them the full package even though many times the equipment would not work as
well as he said.” This official said there may have been components for
warheads in a box, but “we never knew if those components could actually work.” U.S.
More recently though, other kinds of intelligence have also come to the attention of the U.S. intelligence community that suggest North Korea has mastered the miniaturization and warhead design work as well. Another
U.S. official who works on North Korea work told the Beast that South Korea has recently shared more traditional
kinds of intelligence with the United States
warhead design work, but did not get into the details of that intelligence.