Darrell Castle talks about the crisis with North Korea and poses the question – Is North Korea a legitimate nuclear threat to the United States that must be attacked and destroyed militarily?
NORTH KOREA—NUCLEAR THREAT OR JUST BAD PEOPLE
Hello this is Darrell Castle with today’s podcast. Today is Friday June 23, 2017, and on today’s podcast we will be talking about the crisis with North Korea from the perspective of whether or not that nation is a serious nuclear threat to the United States, or whether it is just a place run by really bad people or perhaps really bad lunatics.
North Korea is about the last place one would normally think of as a serious threat. It can’t even feed its own people without massive help from China and the West. It can’t seem to make anything such as appliances, air conditioners, cars, etc., most of which it imports from its Chinese benefactor as well as its sworn enemy, South Korea.
North Korea keeps its people, those not confined at hard labor in concentration camps, in a total media blackout. It has been run as a matter of inheritance by the same family of dictators for decades. The current one, Kim Jong-un seems like the craziest one yet. He appears to be rather insecure and is constantly trying to convince the world that he is powerful, and a man who leads a nation to be feared and respected. He acts a lot like a spoiled adolescent looking for attention.
In April of this year, Kim held a big parade in his capital city of Pyongyang in which he, in the grand style of the Soviet Union’s May Day parades, showed off a “terrifying array” of massive nuclear capable missiles. The world wasn’t fooled, however, and headlines around the world poked fun at him for his wooden missiles, and missiles that can’t fly. He keeps saying that all the missiles he keeps testing, most of which fail, are nuclear capable, but there is no evidence that he has successfully mounted a nuclear warhead on one, or that he even has nuclear warhead capability for that matter.
The United States is certainly treating North Korea as a serious and legitimate nuclear threat. The Trump administration seems to be weary of Kim’s constant belligerence, and threats to attack the United States and its allies. The attack carrier USS Carl Vinson and its entire battle group has been on station off North Korean waters for a couple of months, and now a second carrier battle group, the Ronald Reagan, has departed its home port of Yokosuka, Japan for the short sail to North Korea. Now the carrier USS Nimitz and its battle group have reportedly sailed for North Korean waters.
A total of three strike carrier battle groups, each with about 100 attack aircraft capable of hitting anywhere in North Korea will soon be deployed off its coast. Keep in mind that when carriers are deployed somewhere they are unavailable to be used anywhere else. With the George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf that’s four front line carriers committed long term. It is also very expensive to keep an entire battle group at sea. I can’t confirm absolutely the figures but I’ve read reports that say $25 million dollars per day for each group, so if accurate, that’s $100 million per day for the four groups.
In addition, the United States has taken other action in what appears to be a coming and increasingly unavoidable war. Global Intelligence expert and chairman of Geopolitical Futures Mr. George Friedman stated recently at a Strategic Investment Conference lecture that “it has become apparent that the US is preparing to attack North Korea”. Mr. Friedman, who has long been a US Government advisor, went on to say that the B-52, B-2, and B-1 bombers based in Guam would be the axis of attack supported by over 100 fighter aircraft. Civil defense exercises and briefings are being conducted in Guam since it is a US territory and has to be protected.
Mr. Friedman says that he doesn’t think that North Korea has offensive capabilities of striking the US mainland but “South Korea is an ally and we have large numbers of troops there, and Seoul is a metropolitan area of 25 million people.” North Korea reportedly has 11,000 artillery pieces aimed at Seoul, so massive damage would result. The US strike would have to attack the nuclear facilities but also the guns aimed at South Korea.
Mr. Friedman says that the line of reasoning of the Trump administration is the same as laid down by the Bush and Obama administrations and that is that there is a red line where North Korea has the nuclear capability of attacking its neighbors and at that point we intervene. Mr. Friedman believes the timeline to be very short and on Wednesday of this week the headlines reported that Mr. Trump said that China had tried to help but was unsuccessful, a very ominous sign.
There is little doubt that in this technology flooded world even a backward country like North Korea could acquire nuclear capable weapons. Mr. Kim Jong-un could buy them from the Iranians or even the Chinese, but miniaturizing these weapons for mounting on an ICBM is a whole different technological leap.
I wish I had time to go into the geopolitical aspects of this crises, but in this podcast I have limited time, so I will just say that it is an unknown what the Chinese and Russian reactions would be to a nuclear exchange on their borders. Both countries border North Korea, and both have sent large numbers of troops to their border. The situation has disintegrated to the point where it is difficult to see it resolved peacefully without some concession coming from Mr. Kim Jong-un and he doesn’t seem so inclined. The recent matter of the student, Otto Warmbrier, being imprisoned essentially for nothing, and then being sent home to his parents brain dead is a complicating matter.
The sad thing about all this is that it doesn’t make logical sense and it appears to be unnecessary. What is the reasoning behind making what could be confined to a regional conflict into a global confrontation? This reminds me of the history of Europe in 1913 and 1914, when things were so volatile that the slightest spark could ignite a global fire. Finally, one did, ending the lives of 50 to 60 million people, and destroying a whole generation of young European men.
If North Korea wanted to attack the United States, Japan, or South Korea with nuclear weapons, why would it choose a missile? The minute the missile launched it would be tracked, possibly shot down, but if not, then it would invite instantaneous, massive retaliation, which would be suicide for Kim and for North Korea. Such an attack would be an invitation to national annihilation, so why do it?
Why not put the device on a large container ship such as the one that recently rammed the US destroyer, USS Fitzgerald? The ship has hundreds of containers like the ones you see every day on the railroad in your town. It could be sailed into Los Angeles, Seoul, Tokyo, or any other city and exploded there. It could also be off loaded and sent by rail anywhere in the U.S., including Washington D.C., then exploded by cell phone or some other simple device.
Should you wish for faster delivery, why not put it on a commercial airliner and land it anywhere in the U.S., and if you could miniaturize it, Fed Ex could deliver it overnight. The whole concept of ICBM delivered nuclear annihilation is now just a weapon to be used as a threat of retaliation in case anyone is crazy enough to launch such an attack. That is cold war technology being used by Kim Jong-un to get his way and shake up the real nations. The ship or airliner method would be almost impossible to determine origin so retaliation would be a guessing game.
Finally folks, to conclude this podcast pray for the sanity of the world. Pray for a diplomatic solution to this mess. Most of all, I advise you to always have your affairs in order spiritually and otherwise. When you leave your families in the morning make sure your words are kind, and say what you would want your last ones to say.
At least that’s the way I see it.
Until next time folks, this is Darrell Castle.
Thanks for listening.