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.

Sony cancels release of ‘The Interview’

Whatever your plans are for next Thursday, Christmas Day, they won’t include going to the movies to watch a silly Seth Rogen movie. That’s because Sony Pictures Entertainment decided late yesterday to cave to threats form Guardians of Peace, a hacker group believed to be responsible for the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack that took place four weeks ago. Guardians of Peace did not want The Interview, a comedy staring Seth Rogen and James Franco, to be shown in theaters. The Guardians of Peace, or someone claiming to be Guardians of Peace, published a threat invoking the terror attacks of September 11.

According to NBC News, unnamed U.S. officials have concluded that the North Korean government ordered the hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Not that I’m surprised. The attack sees too large-scale for a typical criminal hacking group. The size of it suggests that it was state sponsored. What state would have motive to go after Sony over a movie depicting the assassination of North Korea’s Dear Leader in the name of comedy? North Korea, that’s who.

So now nobody will see The Interview, not because they don’t want to, but because North Korea doesn’t anyone to. That bothers me.

I don’t want the government telling me what movies I can or cannot see, not my government, not any government. I especially don’t want North Korea telling me what movies I can or cannot watch. I don’t want even the illusion that North Korea has any control over me or what I do. By canceling the release of this movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment has done just that.

Congratulations Sony Pictures Entertainment. Way to make us look like a bunch of cowards.

Photo: David Goldman/Associated Press

Theaters cancel showings of ‘The Interview’

In response to threats by a hacker group known as Guardians of Peace, movie theater chains have begun canceling showings of The Interview, a Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy slated to open on Christmas day. In the movie, Rogen and Franco are journalists who travel to North Korea to interview North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. They are also on a secret CIA mission to assassinate the North Korean Dear Leader. Hilarity ensues.

Evidently North Korea has a problem with the movie. It’s believed that they are behind the Guardians of Peace hacker group and are directly responsible for the giant Sony Pictures Entertainment hack that took place four weeks ago. Sony Pictures is the studio behind The Interview.

It’s hard to really understand how North Korea, or more specifically, Kim Jong Un, could have a problem with The Interview. I realize his assassination is the focus of the movie’s plot, but it’s just a silly Seth Rogen movie. Then again, it’s North Korea. They aren’t known for rational behavior.

If I were in charge at Sony Pictures, I wouldn’t have made The Interview. North Korea is a hornet’s nest that I don’t think is worth kicking, at least not for the sake of a goofy movie. I would no sooner make a comedy involving the assassination of Kim Jong Un then I would make a comedy focusing on destroying Mecca.

Not that I have any love for North Korea or Kim Jong Un. I hate communism and the people who practice it. For me, the Cold War still burns hot. Part of me now wants to go see this movie on Christmas day, if for no other reason than North Korea doesn’t want me to.

Then again, if theaters aren’t showing it, I really can’t go see it.

Update: Sony has decided to scrap the release of The Interview.