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North Korea (Superthread)

This from the PRK info-machine (screen capture & stamps attached) ...
New Stamps Issued in DPRK to Commemorate ICBM Launch

The DPRK State Stamp Bureau issued stamps (two sheets and one individual) in commemoration of the second successful test-fire of intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14.

Seen on the stamps are letters reading "Demonstration of strategic nuclear force of the Workers' Party of Korea" and "The successful second test launch of ICBM Hwasong-14".

A sheet carries an image of respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un among soldiers in the field of national defence science who successfully conducted the second ICBM test-launch on its center surrounded by pictures of the fluttering WPK flag and the ICBM soaring into the dark sky leaving a column of flames behind.

The other sheet, containing the peak height, distance and duration of the ICBM with the background of the globe, shows that the invincible mightiness and inexhaustible potentials of Juche Korea advancing under the banner of the new line of the great WPK for simultaneously developing the two fronts have been strikingly displayed once again. An individual stamp depicts the ICBM soaring into the space with the boom of victory in the showdown with the U.S.


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A somewhat wider ranging view which looks at the essential question "why?". Understanding the motivations behind the DPRK's quest for nuclear weapons and ICBMs allows for a better targeting of both regime figures, but also refines the ever increasing diplomatic and economic pressures being exerted by Washington:


Trump Is Right. Nuclear Talks With North Korea Are Pointless.
But that doesn't mean war is the only option.
By Eli Lake
August 31, 2017 at 05:42:20 EDT

The U.S. must prepare for Pyongyang's aggression. Source: STR/AFP/Getty Images
Here's a shocker. On Wednesday morning Donald Trump tweeted something that was mostly true: "The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!"

Technically the U.S. government stopped providing North Korea food aid and oil shipments in 2009. But other than that, Trump got this one right. The notion that the current standoff between North Korea and the U.S. and its allies should end in another round of six-party talks recalls the old joke about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Remember North Korea has violated every agreement it has ever made with the international community. From the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to the 1994 Joint Framework Agreement, the Hermit Kingdom does not keep its word.

And yet, despite Trump's tweet, it seems like this is the direction America is headed. Kim Jong Un's ballistic tantrum in recent weeks seems likely to have the same outcome as his father's past fits. He threatens to incinerate Guam. He keeps testing missiles. The latest one flew over Japan and has prompted yet another rebuke from the United Nations.

Trump correctly stated that more words will not be sufficient. But his administration is already backpedalling. Secretary of Defense James Mattis Wednesday told a pool reporter: "We're never out of diplomatic solutions. We always look for more. We're never complacent."

That's vague enough to leave the door open to something better than another round of summitry. But it doesn't look good. Already many nonproliferation experts are chiming in with shop worn policy recommendations to combine carrots and sticks with the aim of negotiating another agreement. It's quite possible that Trump's tweet will have the same staying power as his promise to release his tax returns.

Fortunately for Trump, he has other options. To start, he should take a sensible approach to North Korean diplomacy and abandon the fantasy that more talks will persuade the Kim regime to abandon its nuclear weapons. Instead, Trump should engage in what American Enterprise Institute scholar Nicholas Eberstadt has called "threat reduction."

This does not mean abandoning diplomacy altogether. It would be useful to have a military hotline with the North Koreans to avoid catastrophic miscalculations.

But the U.S. must prepare for more aggression from Pyongyang. In overlooked congressional testimony from January, Eberstadt recommends a policy of bolstering missile defense systems for South Korea, Japan and the U.S. and encouraging South Korea to bolster its civilian defense capabilities. Eberstadt also recommends doubling down on counter-proliferation, interdicting North Korean ships on the high seas, targeting its illicit procurement network, and other steps past administrations have taken to make it harder for the regime to perfect its missiles and nuclear weapons.

I would add to this list: covert operations aimed at sabotaging these programs similar to the Stuxnet virus deployed against Iran's centrifuges in 2009 and 2010. 

Eberstadt also warns that it's important to understand that North Korea's nuclear program is not just an insurance policy for the survival of the regime, as most experts understand it. He says nuclear weapons are also a component of the country's strategy to break the U.S. alliance with South Korea. He points out that unification of the peninsula has been a consistent aim of the Kim family since the start of the Korean War. They have shown no sign of giving this up. This means the U.S. must plan now for a response to a conventional military attack on South Korea.

Trump should also aim to delegitimize North Korea. This is distinct from isolating the regime, which is a mantra every president has said for the last 25 years. North Korea is already isolated. As I wrote recently, it's important to continue to support quiet programs to break the information seal the regime tries to impose on its citizens. Ebertsadt elegantly put this principal as follows: "The regime is deadly afraid of what it terms 'ideological and cultural poisoning,' what we could call foreign media, international information, cultural exchanges, and the like. We should be saying, bring on the 'poisoning'! The more external contact with that enslaved population, the better."

For now this means continuing to support efforts of North Korean defectors to get portable DVD players loaded up with South Korean television programs over the demilitarized zone through smuggling, drones and other means.

Another component of delegitimizing North Korea should be to awaken South Korean civil society to their responsibility to begin planning for how it will one day have to absorb a population that has lived under a Stalinist tyranny for nearly 70 years.

Greg Scarlatoiu, the executive director Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, has also recommended for the U.S. to push for suspending North Korea's voting rights at the United Nations. This is a long shot because China to this day has acted most of the time as North Korea's protector at Turtle Bay. But the message it sends is important. North Korea is not part of the community of nations; it's a criminal syndicate masquerading as a government.

Many experts have suggested another component should be getting tough with China, North Korea's benefactor and supplier of fuel and electricity. But even Trump has acknowledged that his initial effort to work with Beijing in this regard has so far failed.

It's possible that ratcheting up pressure could get better results. But it's also a risky strategy because it could spark a trade war or prompt China to become more aggressive in other areas such as the South China Sea, where it continues to build artificial islands as a military foothold.

For now the most important thing for Trump to do is to prepare for the worst, mitigate the North Korean military threat and lay the groundwork for the day when Koreans can liberate themselves. The one thing he shouldn't do is apply sanctions today in the hopes of negotiating at some point in the future. As Trump tweeted Wednesday, that's what the U.S. has been doing for the last quarter-century. Let's hope he sticks to his guns this time and avoids the same mistake as predecessors.


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Perhaps they have a hydrogen bomb ? If this is the case then some type of premrptive strike,is a strong likelihood. They arent going to abandon their program. Buying them off hasnt worked.Sanctions arent meaningful to a leader that doesnt care about the welfare of his people. What is more concerning is the cooperation with Iran is the strong possibility the Iranians will also have a hydrogen bomb. The Israelis are paying very close attention.
And a few more pix via the PRK info-machine of the (alleged) warhead ...


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I have to admit, those guys be styling in those bitching suits.  No wonder all the NK chicks go gaga over Kimbo.
If that is the real deal, looks to my eye like they went gun type in weapon design, vice implosion.

If it is a real device: trouble.

If he is bluffing: trouble.
jollyjacktar said:
I have to admit, those guys be styling in those bitching suits.  No wonder all the NK chicks go gaga over Kimbo.
... not to mention the 'do's ...
SeaKingTacco said:
If it is a real device: trouble.

If he is bluffing: trouble.
:nod:  :pop:

Meanwhile, POTUS45's initial response attached.


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So embarrassing:

China embarrassed

Robin Brant, BBC News, Shanghai

North Korea's sixth nuclear weapons test is an utter rejection of all that its only ally has called for.

Beijing's response was predictable: condemnation, urging an end to provocation and dialogue. But it also spoke of urging North Korea to "face up to the firm will" of the international community to see denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

There is no sign though that China is willing yet to see that firm will go beyond UN sanctions, which recently clamped down on seafood and iron ore exports, in addition to the coal and minerals that are already banned from crossing the border.

It is noteworthy also that this test took place just as the Chinese president was about to welcome a handful of world leaders to the two-day showpiece Brics summit on China's east coast.

Even the state-controlled media will find it hard to ignore the fact that their man has been upstaged - embarrassed too - by its almost universally ostracised ally and neighbour.

full article on yesterdays "h-bomb" test: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41139445
If it's a real device SKT, they're all dead from cancer / radiation poisoning.  ;D

Come on! that's a set up. The room where they are filming this doesn't even closely look like the "clean" rooms where you do that type of work. And you would just lean the missile like that to load it!!! again: even at that size, the damn apparatus is heavy as shit and would not be on a small stand like that.

Those bitchin suits! They wouldn't wear them in a "clean" room.

That's a model to explain to the leader what is being done by the scientists and techs. Or, since it is DKRP and the beloved leader knows everything there is to know already, for the scientists and techs to receive his wisdom a point in time when it is irrelevant anyway since they already have done all the work.
SeaKingTacco said:
If that is the real deal, looks to my eye like they went gun type in weapon design, vice implosion.

If it is a real device: trouble.

If he is bluffing: trouble.

I hate to admit it as I honestly didn't think things would escalate to this degree.  But, NK seems hell bent on pushing everyone to the point where someone is going to be forced to respond with force.  I wonder who's finally going to snap?
All of this under the backdrop of an Olympic games within range of NK artillery only 5 months away...
Now the hermit is threatening an EMP attack..


How to deal with North Korea


Mark Bowden would have the administration accept the fact that a nuclear armed North Korea is here to stay. Sadly that would also mean a nuclear Iran as well. Maybe we can live with that,but can Israel ? For that matter would Japan and the ROK be forced to obtain nuclear weapons. Already Japan is looking for a first strike option. It would be less dangerous to take out the North Korean leader or even better get the Chinese to engineer regime change.
Some of the latest from the U.S. DoD info-machine ...
Mattis, Dunford Brief President on Military Options Available to Deal With North Korea
By Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2017 — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, standing in front of the White House this afternoon after the latest and largest nuclear test carried out by North Korea, said the United States has many military options for dealing with Kim Jong Un's provocations and that President Donald J. Trump wanted to be briefed on each one.


This graphic from the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Program shows a shake map from the magnitude 6.3 explosion-generated earthquake that took place Sept. 3, 2017, 22 kilometers east-northeast of Sungjibaegam, North Korea. A shake map is a product of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in conjunction with the regional seismic networks. Shake maps provide near-real-time maps of ground motion and shaking intensity following significant earthquakes. U.S. Geological Survey graphic

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined Mattis for his announcement.

At about 11:30 p.m. EDT last night, the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Program detected a magnitude 6.3 explosion, about 13 miles east-northeast of Sungjibaegam, North Korea, located near the site where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past, according to a USGS statement.

Other institutions and organizations specializing in seismic detection also reported the explosion and resulting seismic signature.

The Korean Central News Agency announced that North Korean scientists had carried out a test in the country's northern nuclear test ground of a hydrogen bomb built to sit on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile, describing the device as a two-stage thermonuclear weapon.

Media reports say that the test was the most powerful of the six, but there is no official measurement yet of the force of the hydrogen weapon.

Ironclad Commitment

In his remarks, Mattis said they had made clear to the president that the United States has the ability to defend itself and its allies -- South Korea and Japan -- from any attack.

"Our commitments among the allies are ironclad," the secretary added. "Any threat to the United States or its territories, including [the U.S. territory of] Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming."

This nuclear test was North Korea's sixth since 2006.

The weapon tested last night was a fusion bomb, also called a hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear weapon. Fission weapons, such as those that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, are sometimes called atomic bombs.

In a hydrogen bomb, according to a 2012 paper by Martin E. Hellman, a Stanford University professor, a primary element is an implosion fission weapon that is used to ignite the secondary fusion reaction.

The Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, is the only federal organization whose mission is to detect and report technical data from foreign nuclear explosions. The center operates and maintains a 3,600-sensor global network of nuclear event detection equipment called the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection Systems, the largest sensor network in the Air Force.

Once a disturbance is detected underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space, the event is analyzed for nuclear identification, and the findings are reported to national command authorities.

Unified Voice

This afternoon, Mattis said that Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council's unified voice.

"All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses, and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said.

"We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. But as I said, we have many options to do so," Mattis added.

The U.N. Security Council announced that it will have a meeting about the nuclear test (this) morning.
I was really hoping someone had smuggled a nuclear weapon into North Korea & detonated it...and made it look like it was one of their own, set off by accident during development.  Sigh.

Guess not...
The ROK is floating the idea of the US moving tactical nukes back to the ROK to counter threats from the North. I like the idea of eco friendly nukes name neutron weapons.The enhanced radiation shell could be made for 155mm artillery.WE no longer have the Lance or 8in artillery which were the delivery means for the 80's neutron warhead.


tomahawk6 said:
The ROK is floating the idea of the US moving tactical nukes back to the ROK to counter threats from the North ...
But before that, this for now ...
President Trump and his South Korean counterpart agreed on Monday to remove payload limits on the country’s missiles in an escalation of military force after North Korea detonated a nuclear device over the weekend, according to a report.

President Moon Jae In spoke to Trump on the telephone and the two agreed to end the limits as a “countermeasure against North Korea’s sixth nuclear test,” said presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun in a statement, according to the Yonhap news agency of Korea.

Monday’s agreement comes after talks between the two leaders over the past few weeks as a way to strengthen South Korea’s defense against President Kim Jong Un’s rogue regime.

Under an agreement with the US, South Korea’s missiles were limited to carry a warhead of 1,100 pounds ...
More @ link