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80 Nukes for Kim

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Winston

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I HOPE there's some intended deterrent effect they expect to come from open discussions of OPLANs!

Yes, The United States Did Draw Up A Plan To Drop 80 Nuclear Weapons On North Korea
In 2017, a war between North Korea and the United States was much “much closer than anyone would know,” President Trump claims.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2020


Current nuclear war plans are among any nuclear-armed military’s most closely guarded secrets. Details of one such attack plan recently became available, however, revealing that the United States envisaged using 80 nuclear weapons in case of war with North Korea. The way this particular detail emerged is also pretty unusual — the associated passage appeared in U.S. journalist Bob Woodward’s book Rage, detailing President Trump’s administration, which was published this week.

In fact, the particular quote from the book was not entirely clear:

"The Strategic Command in Omaha had carefully reviewed and studied OPLAN 5027 for regime change in North Korea — the U.S. response to an attack that could include the use of 80 nuclear weapons."

This can be read two ways: a potential attack from the North could involve the use of 80 nuclear weapons, or the same number of weapons can be envisaged as a possible U.S. response to a first strike ordered by Pyongyang.

In an interview with NPR, Woodward cleared up any confusion, noting that the 80 nuclear weapons were part of a U.S. attack plan — OPLAN 5027, which would include ‘decapitating’ the North Korean regime of dictator Kim Jong-un.

“I think given North Korea is a rogue nation, they have, as I report, probably a couple of dozen nuclear weapons well-hidden and concealed,” Woodward explained to NPR. The veteran journalist confirmed that the then U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was worried he might have to issue orders for a nuclear strike on North Korea. “The potential we’d have to shoot to prevent a second launch was real,” Mattis admitted.

“You’re going to incinerate a couple million people,” Mattis told himself, according to Woodward. “No person has the right to kill a million people as far as I’m concerned, yet that’s what I have to confront.”

According to Woodward, Trump was worried that shooting down a North Korean ballistic missile (nuclear-armed or otherwise) on a trajectory headed toward the United States could prompt a full-scale nuclear attack from the “Hermit Kingdom.” Woodward writes that Trump had delegated authority to Jim Mattis to launch a conventionally armed interceptor missile to shoot down any North Korean missile that might be headed for the United States.

Woodward said that Mattis confided in him that he was not worried that Trump might launch a preemptive strike against North Korea. Instead, the source of his angst was the North Korean leader in Pyongyang.

In fact, such was Mattis’s level of concern that he would sleep in his gym clothes, Woodward claims. “There was a light in his bathroom… if he was in the shower and they detected a North Korean launch.”

There were alarm bells set up in Mattis’s bedroom and kitchen too, and on more than one occasion during the summer of 2017 they sounded the alert, and he entered the communications room in his Washington DC residency. Woodward explains that Mattis’s car was also constantly followed by an SUV with a team equipped to plot the flight path of any incoming missile, whether it was threatening Japan, South Korea, or the United States. If Mattis considered the missile hostile, he had a mobile communications link to issue launch orders to shoot it down.

The book describes one particular missile alarm in particular detail. This occurred at 5:57 a.m. on August 29, 2017, when “exquisite” intelligence indicated that North Korea was about to launch another missile. Mattis was at home and entered the communications room, where he was told that U.S. interceptor missiles were ready to fire. The defense secretary monitored the progress of the North Korean missile on a geospatial map, watching it pass over Japan then come down in the sea. Woodward describes Mattis’s job at this time as “a nonstop crucible, personal and hellish. There were no holidays or weekends off, no dead time.”
 

Alan15578

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Meanwhile, what's up with the recent China feint attack(?) on Taiwan, and potential US response to a real attack?
 

aerostadt

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Thanks, Winston, I had not heard this and I am not planning to buy Woodward's book. On the other hand what if our ABM(s) missed the attacking ICBM? What has Kim been doing these past few years in being so quiet? Is he and his cohorts up to something? The North Koreans could easily had made some accommodation with the West by now, but have chosen not to do so.
 

Winston

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On the other hand what if our ABM(s) missed the attacking ICBM?
That's where those 80 nukes come in as a deterrent against a North Korean launch in the first place.
 

rklapp

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We sometimes have the Sea Based X Band radar here at Pearl Harbor. We call it the golf ball.

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We still have the tsunami/ICBM warning siren test once a month. When the alert happened in 2018, I turned on the TV and saw the basketball game uninterrupted so I didn't panic. Finally after 40 minutes, they scrolled a message above the game that the alert was false.

I watched a video about the SLAM missile which was a nuclear powered cruise missile that could drop 18 nukes on the commies. It could fly around indefinitely. Problem was that the exhaust was highly radioactive and would contaminate any friendly countries as well. Apparently, Russia and China have their own hypersonic missile along with Trump's Super Duper missile. Based on the nuclear accident in Russia recently, theirs doesn't sound healthy at all either.

 

Knuckledragger

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Really nothing new as we war-gamed that scenario for decades until Trump pulled the plug on joint exercises with SKDF. Variable yield tactical nukes are still messy but were always a key point in command and control denial for NK targets. When Kim Jong Il passed and his son took over we were busy as all get out in PACAF not knowing just what might go on during the transition. We exercised for ever between joint forces and joint commands to make sure we were all on the same page. Our previous yearly exercises Foal Eagle and Key Resolve were specific to the pennisula but Cope Thunder, Cope Tiger were our advertised joint ops to incorporate a what if scenario and undoubtedly there are numerous gamed outcomes locked in safes somewhere in the different branches senior officer war planning colleges. Its not lost on China or NK that those assets are deployed nearby and undersea
 
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Winston

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I watched a video about the SLAM missile which was a nuclear powered cruise missile that could drop 18 nukes on the commies. It could fly around indefinitely. Problem was that the exhaust was highly radioactive and would contaminate any friendly countries as well.
I posted a thread about that here long ago, but it went away, so here's my input to a thread started by someone else about it. It includes links to a full hour Untold Stories about that impressive, deadly thing told in great detail.:

 
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