The North Korea nuclear threat

From the Huffington Post:

Though analysts said Sunday that they doubt North Korea has truly developed a hydrogen bomb, experts said the country’s nuclear capabilities were evidently improving.

Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst in Seoul, told The New York Times he believed the test on Sunday involved a “boosted” atomic bomb. Nuclear weapons expert David Albright told the paper the power of the device suggested it contained “thermonuclear material.”

Vipin Narang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who specializes in nuclear strategy, described the weapon tested as a “city buster.”

“Now, with even relatively inaccurate intercontinental ballistic missile technology, [North Korea] can destroy the better part of a city with this yield,” Narang told The Washington Post.

So North Korea now has a weapon that can destroy the better part of a city. What are we going to do about it?

North Korea has made it very clear they plan on using a nuclear weapon against the United States. So far, our policy towards this threat is to whine to China a about it. That plan of action doesn’t seem to be working. China doesn’t seem to be doing anything about North Korea as evidenced by this latest test.

When it comes to defending American cities against nuclear attack, we shouldn’t rely on the kindness of others to save us.

The North Korea nuclear threat - Bent Corner
North Korean propaganda poster.

The United States will eventually have to take North Korea off the board. By that I mean destroy North Korea. The only question remaining is if we first wait for North Korea to destroy an American city, or if we neutralize the threat before it’s allowed to take full fruition.

I don’t want to wait for North Korea to kill an American city before taking action.

The North Korean nuclear attack will not come from space

Anyone who thinks North Korea doesn’t pose a real threat until they fully master their missile technology is delusional. North Korea does not need to attack from space to kill an American city. Somali pirates easily hijack oil tankers traveling the Indian Ocean. How hard do you think it would be for a North Korean commando unit to hijack a container ship traveling from South Korea to the United States?

Not very hard at all. They could jam communications, board the ship, kill the entire crew, transfer the nuclear weapon, and then proceed to the United States. They could do all this without anyone knowing anything even happened.

Show me a nuclear device small enough to fit in the nose cone of a North Korean missile and I’ll show you a nuclear device small enough to be transported by a North Korean commando team to a container ship.

Watch out Los Angeles

Los Angeles is by far the most likely target for a North Korean nuclear attack. The two most active container cargo ports in the United States are both in Los Angeles: the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.

Los Angeles sits in a basin. It has mountains behind it and the ocean to its front. It’s one of the things that make smog such a problem in LA. It would also make a nuclear blast and its radioactive fallout a very serious problem.

If we continue to react to North Korea’s aggression with a wait and see attitude, it’s not a matter of if North Korea will attack us, it’s a matter of when.

North Korea, Guam, and nuclear war

North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un has threatened to send four mid-range ballistic missiles over Japan and drop them within 18 to 24 miles of Guam. This development takes me back to the days of my youth.

After joining the Air Force at 19 and attending electronic warfare systems tech school, I was assigned to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. I spend three long years there. Our mission was North Korea. Everything we did was aimed at going to war against North Korea.

Our forward operating base was Osan Air Base in South Korea. If war kicked off with North Korea, we would deploy to Osan. We were required to have a mobility bag packed at all times containing four sets of uniforms. They would hold drills were we had to report to work with our mobility bag. They were supposed to inspect it to make sure it was actually packed, but I don’t think they always did.

We would also deploy to South Korea on a regular basis, usually once a year in February for Team Spirit. We would stay up to six weeks at a time living in tents. One year I remember going in October for ten or so days.

I got into scuba diving while stationed in the Philippines. There were some really fantastic dive spots in the Philippines, but they were far from Clark Air Base. It meant I could only dive on three-day weekends. I wished I could dive more often. Ideally, I wanted to be able to dive every day. It was then that I began thinking about Guam. If I were stationed on Guam, I could theoretically go diving every day.  Being that I was stationed overseas, if I volunteered to go to another overseas assignment, I would get rewarded with 30 days paid leave to use between assignments. Plus, if I volunteered for Guam after the Philippines, I would supposedly get higher priority with my assignment after Guam.

I changed my dream sheet, the Air Force document on file that listed our preferences on assignments, for duty on Guam.

I got my wish. My “dream” was fulfilled. I finally left the Philippines in 1988. I was assigned to the 43rd Bomb Wing at Andersen Air Force Base. I was stationed there for over two years and I loved every minute of it. I got to work on the B-52, something I loved. When I was stationed at Clark Air Base, I worked on the F-4E and the F-4G Wild Weasel. The F-4 was a pain in the ass to work on. If anyone ever tells you they loved working on the F-4, they are lying. I hated the Philippines and I hated working on the F-4.

I loved Guam and I loved working on the B-52.

Guam was fantastic. Not only was the scuba diving better than the Philippines, it was a lot more accessible. I didn’t have to wait for 3-day weekends to go diving. I could go every day. Sometimes I did. I worked the flightline until midnight and would often go diving after work with some of the guys I worked with. Once you get into night diving, it’s hard to get back into daytime diving. In the pitch black with a high-intensity dive light, the colors really pop.

The Philippines was a third-world cesspool. Guam is the United States.

It makes me angry to hear Kim Jong Un threaten Guam. I’m tired of North Korea being a thing. It should have ceased to exist when the Soviet Union fell. It’s 2017. We shouldn’t still be burning calories dealing with North Korea. If North Korea launches missiles towards Guam, we should just nuke it from orbit and be done with it. Should we first wait for North Korea to use one of its nukes on us? To destroy an American city?

No thanks.

Super Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines

A massive super typhoon hit the Philippines on Friday, leaving hundreds, possibly thousands dead. The brunt of the storm, named Super Typhoon Haiyan, seems to have concentrated on the island of Leyte. The Philippines is a country comprised of thousands of islands. This is a photo of Super Typhoon Haiyan taken from space:

Typhoon_Haiyan_from_space

Photos taken on the ground of the carnage left in the storm’s wake aren’t nearly so beautiful. In fact, they’re pretty terrible. As a general rule, things normally look better from space.

I spent three years in the Philippines, from 1985 to 1988, while serving in the Air Force. I was stationed at Clark Air Base. I remember Super Typhoon Dot in 1985. I don’t remember it killing a lot of people, but I do remember it leaving a lot of people without homes. Mostly this was because some people living near the air base lived in little more than plywood shacks. In the Philippines, people would build shacks wherever they wanted, with whatever materials they had, whether they had any legal claim to the land or not. The house I was living in was made from solid concrete. although that construction method made it nearly impossible to hang anything on the walls, it made for a very secure dwelling, especially during a super typhoon.

The Philippine Red Cross is accepting donations online.

B-2 stealth bombers fly over South Korea

The Air Force flew two B-2 stealth bombers from their home-base in Missouri to the Korean Peninsula and then back again to show North Korea one of the many ways the United States has to destroy it if it ever chooses to do so. This isn’t the first time the B-2 has participated in military exercises in Korea, it’s just the first time the Air Force has publicly confirmed it.

It’s important for Kim Jong-un, the whack-a-doodle North Korea dictator who thinks it’s a good idea to threaten to nuke Guam, to understand just how simple it would be for the United States to destroy both him and his godforsaken communist country.

Photo: Shin Young-Keun/Yonhap

North Korea threatens to nuke Guam and Japan over B-52 flights

Reacting to news that the Air Force is flying B-52 bombers over South Korea as part of military exercises taking place in the region, North Korea is ratcheting up the rhetoric directed towards the United States. The following statement was issued by the Supreme Command of the Korean People’s Army and carried by the country’s state-run news agency:

The U.S. should not forget that the Anderson Air Force Base on Guam where the B-52s take off and naval bases in Japan proper and Okinawa where nuclear-powered submarines are launched are within the striking range of the DPRK’s precision strike means.

DPRK is short for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It’s what awful little country calls itself.

B-52 bombers flying the friendly skies of South Korea is nothing new. I was stationed on Anderson Air Force Base from 1988 to 1990 and we flew training sorties over South Korea all the time. Perhaps they were just to incompetent back then to realize it. It is after all, North Korea.

I was stationed in the Philippines from 1985 to 1988 and every winter, we would have to deploy to South Korea for six weeks. We lived in tents and had to wear chemical warfare protection suits, flack vests, and helmets. Military strategists deduced that if North Korea ever were to launch a ground invasion into South Korea again, it would happen in the winter. The reason? Because then the rice paddies would all be frozen and not pose a problem for North Korea’s tanks. Considering that the first Korean war began in the month of June, I’m not sure the threat of a winter invasion made a lot of sense.

Statue of Hitler kneeling in prayer placed in former Warsaw Jewish ghetto

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan created a statue of Adolf Hitler kneeling in prayer and then placed the statue in the middle of a former Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. The ghetto at one time was the home of 254,000 Jews as they awaited transportation to the Treblinka death camp. To say that some people have a problem with this being placed in such a historically significant site is an understatement.

Can anyone really blame them?

The statue is creepy. The fact that it was placed in a former Warsaw Jewish ghetto just seems unnecessarily rude. Art at times can be provocative, but this just seems more like trolling.