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Winston

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China Warns North Korea Situation Has Hit "Tipping Point", Threatens "Never Before Seen" Measures (against NORTH KOREA)
Apr 12, 2017

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017...-never-seen-measures-if-they-dont-de-escalate

This is why things have become so dicey recently:

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test Highlights Ominous New Capabilities
North Korea's new solid-fuel, road-mobile ballistic missile may not have extreme range, but it's far more menacing than its predecessors

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...sile-test-highlights-ominous-new-capabilities

That combined with the apparent fact that NK finally got a Pu239 implosion device working correctly: NK's 9 September 2016 nuclear weapon test results - Jeffrey Lewis of the California-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies puts the estimation at 20 to 30 kt - Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources has initially estimated the yield as 25kT - The University of Science and Technology of China estimates the yield at around 17.8 kt, with a margin of error of 5.9 kt.

Possibly the device shown below. If so, probably small and light enough for their mobile missile:



The mobile solid propellant missile launch:

[video=youtube;vBqo9eS4tSw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBqo9eS4tSw[/video]

 

AfterBurners

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I'm sure the US will put a stop to it immediately and knock that piece of cr** off his high horse. What he si doing is against UN policies. He needs to be stopped.
 

Winston

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Right now, the NK threat if attacked is primarily to SK although a chemical weapon threat possibly exists for Japan:

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/5-north-korean-weapons-south-korea-should-fear-14825

Artillery

While North Korea’s massive forces are largely primitively equipped, Pyongyang possesses the capacity to launch a catastrophic artillery strike on the city of Seoul.

Most of the artillery pieces—numbering in the thousands—are already in place, camouflaged and dug in. Neither the U.S. military nor South Korean forces can hope to eliminate those weapons before they obliterate the city—which by some estimates would take less than two hours. By some estimates, the city could be hit by over half-a-million shells in under an hour.

North Korea’s artillery pieces include the 170 mm Koksan, which has a range of about 25 miles, using conventional projectiles. However, the city is well within range if the Korean People’s Army rocket-assisted shells—which have a range of just less than forty miles.

U.S. and ROK forces could eventually eliminate these artillery pieces, but damage would already been done—especially if the North Korean regime decided to use chemical rounds.

Chemical Weapons

North Korea has a massive stockpile of chemical weapons—much of which can be used in conjunction with its artillery forces. But the poisons—which Pyongyang can produce domestically—can also be delivered by air or ballistic missile.

According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative:

“North Korea may possess between 2,500 tons and 5,000 tons of CW agents. The South Korean government assesses that North Korea is able to produce most types of chemical weapons indigenously, although it must import some precursors to produce nerve agents, which it has done in the past. At maximum capacity, North Korea is estimated to be capable of producing up to 12,000 tons of CW. Nerve agents such as sarin and VX are thought be to be the focus of North Korean production.”

Special Operations Forces

North Korea invests heavily in special operations forces to offset its conventional weakness. In 2010 it reported that the Korean People’s Army had 200,000-odd special operations forces tasked to carry out attacks on major South Korean and American facilities in South Korea, as well as assassinations of government officials. The commandos would infiltrate the South by using underground tunnels, mini-subs and Russian Antonov An-2 biplanes during a war.

Ballistic Missiles

North Korea has a fairly significant ballistic missile capability—which it developed with Russian and Chinese help. Some estimates show that North Korea has over 600 short-range Scud missiles, more than 200 Nodong missiles, and about fifty Musudan and Taepodong missiles. These weapons could be used to deliver conventional, chemical or even nuclear weapons to targets around the Korean peninsula and beyond.


The future threat - the SLBM the mobile land-based solid fuel missile was developed from:

North Korea's hidden submarine threat is another worry as regime warns it's 'ready' for war
Apr 12, 2017

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/12/north-korea-submarine-threat-is-another-worry.html

Excerpt:

Experts believe North Korea's navy has around 70 submarines in its fleet, although only a handful today are believed to be capable of firing submarine-launched ballistic missiles or so-called SLBMs. What's more, defense analysts believe Pyongyang has the capability today of building a nuclear warhead small enough to arm a submarine missile.

Not surprisingly, North Korea decried the deployment of the American carrier task force to the volatile region. "If the U.S. dares opt for a military action … the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Monday. DPRK is short for the North's formal name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Experts believe North Korea's navy has around 70 submarines in its fleet, although only a handful today are believed to be capable of firing submarine-launched ballistic missiles or so-called SLBMs. What's more, defense analysts believe Pyongyang has the capability today of building a nuclear warhead small enough to arm a submarine missile.

Last August, North Korean media showed off video of a so-called KN-11 submarine missile being launched from eastern coastal waters. Images of the North Korean dictator pointing to the missile launch were shown on the state television network.

The submarine-launched missile flew about 310 miles toward Japan. The test set a new distance record for Pyongyang's SLBM program, and experts suggest the ballistic missile has the capability to travel more than 600 miles.

"The problem with the SLBM is that it exposes South Korea's flanks to attack," said Bruce Klingner, an Asia and national security specialist at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank.

Klingner, a former CIA deputy division chief for Korea, explained that the THAAD anti-missile system deployed last month by the U.S. in South Korea is focused on identifying missile threats from the North. As a result, a submarine missile from the North Korean navy could be launched behind radar and evade defense systems.

Similarly, missiles fired by North Korean submarines off the east coast of Japan might be able to dodge detection from Japan's Patriot anti-missile system by launching from behind radar.
 

Winston

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I'm sure the US will put a stop to it immediately and knock that piece of cr** off his high horse. What he si doing is against UN policies. He needs to be stopped.
The best case I think we can hope for is the US taking out all of NK's nuclear facilities and leadership with precision strikes with China meanwhile sending a clear message to NK that if NK strikes back at SK they will kick their behind. I suspect that's what this may be building up to. A better case would be for NK to nuke disarm, but with the nut in charge there who knows his only protection is the nuke threat, I doubt if that will happen without some really serious bribes.
 

AfterBurners

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The best case I think we can hope for is the US taking out all of NK's nuclear facilities with precision strikes with China meanwhile sending a clear message to NK that if NK strikes back at SK they will kick their behind. I suspect that's what this may be building up to.
The key word is precision.
 

Winston

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I think I would have destroyed the runway as well
BGM-109s can't do that effectively. The holes they'd create can be easily and quickly filled. Cratering sub-munitions are required that rip up the entire runway and fracture the concrete under it.
 

Winston

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Awesoem phots

What if there's a "live" Nuke warhead and its struck. I don't know much so please forgive my ignorance, but won't that cause a lot of harm, or are they activated prior to launch?
The vaporized Pu239 would be spread around which would contaminate the surrounding area and that would present a Pu239 dust inhalation/ingestion problem, but there wouldn't be a major nuclear yield because such devices require an ultra-precise symmetrical implosion for them to work properly. Otherwise, like a grape seed from a squeezed grape, the vaporized core just jets out of the implosion. That's primarily what's so difficult about making them at all, let alone one as small as the NKs have apparently come up with to allow for it to be sent a decent distance with their relatively wimpy missiles.
 

AfterBurners

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The vaporized Pu239 would be spread around which would contaminate the surrounding area and that would present a Pu239 dust inhalation/ingestion problem, but there wouldn't be a major nuclear yield because such devices require an ultra-precise symmetrical implosion for them to work properly. Otherwise, like a grape seed from a squeezed grape, the vaporized core just jets out of the implosion. That's primarily what's so difficult about making them at all, let alone one as small as the NKs have apparently come up with to allow for it to be sent a decent distance with their relatively wimpy missiles.
What I don't get is why the heck wasn't this done years ago by our administration. It's apparent that this leader of NK is a couple clowns short of circus. If there isn't much risk lets take out the targets.
 

Winston

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What I don't get is why the heck wasn't this done years ago by our administration. It's apparent that this leader of NK is a couple clowns short of circus. If there isn't much risk lets take out the targets.
He wasn't a super serious nuke threat until just recently after he's developed a solid fueled SLBM and land mobile missile along with a nuke with decent nuclear yield and it was feared and still is that any strike would be met with some VERY serious repercussions for SK. I hope all of this saber rattling by, this time, both the US and China gets the nut to nuke disarm.
 

boatgeek

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What I don't get is why the heck wasn't this done years ago by our administration. It's apparent that this leader of NK is a couple clowns short of circus. If there isn't much risk lets take out the targets.
Even without the nuclear/chemical weapons risk, a conventional-only war in Korea would be really ugly. NK has a million or two men in their army and a thousand or so artillery pieces in range of downtown Seoul. NK could probably level a significant piece of Seoul before the artillery was destroyed.
 

AfterBurners

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Even without the nuclear/chemical weapons risk, a conventional-only war in Korea would be really ugly. NK has a million or two men in their army and a thousand or so artillery pieces in range of downtown Seoul. NK could probably level a significant piece of Seoul before the artillery was destroyed.
Yeah thats true...too bad we just couldnt level NK completely
 

Winston

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Even without the nuclear/chemical weapons risk, a conventional-only war in Korea would be really ugly. NK has a million or two men in their army and a thousand or so artillery pieces in range of downtown Seoul. NK could probably level a significant piece of Seoul before the artillery was destroyed.
Although they are most likely highly brainwashed, I suspect that those large forces would act like many Iraqi forces did in the first gulf war - surrender in large numbers wanting a ticket to the real world especially after experiencing their mass slaughter. However, that severe conventional artillery threat is definitely there even without a chem attack which I doubt that NK would hesitate to make.

"Here I am, crawling through barbed wire, over land mines, through rivers and mountains to escape the evils of free market capitalism... said NO ONE... EVER!" - anon

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Capitalism: Bread waits in queues for you.
 

Winston

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North Korea tensions: Reports of Chinese troops on border
Apr 11, 2017

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-...chinese-troops-on-border-20170411-gviljw.html

Beijing: China and South Korea have agreed to take new measures against North Korea if the rogue state conducts another nuclear or intercontinental missile test, Chinese media has reported.

As concern mounts that North Korea will use a national commemoration on Saturday to conduct its sixth nuclear test, claims the Chinese army has amassed 150,000 troops including medical teams on the border with North Korea have been repeated on the front page of China's state-owned Global Times newspaper.

North Korea's Supreme People's Congress began its annual sitting on Tuesday, and there is speculation a nuclear plan will be unveiled ahead of April 15, the birthday anniversary of North Korean founder Kim Il-sung.

North Korea's daily newspaper warned on Tuesday: "Pre-emptive strike is not an American monopoly".


Xi and Trump Discuss Rising Tensions With North Korea
Apr 12, 2017

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/world/asia/trump-china-north-korea-xi-jinping.html

BEIJING — China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and President Trump spoke by phone on Wednesday about the escalating tensions with North Korea as a prominent Chinese state-run newspaper warned the North that it faced a cutoff of vital oil supplies if it dared test a nuclear weapon.

Tensions escalated further on Wednesday as reports said the Japanese Navy would join the United States Navy strike group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in its mission off the Korean coast. Those joint exercises would take place as the American armada passed through waters close to Japan, Reuters said.

North Korea on Saturday is celebrating the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the nation. Its current leader, Kim Jong-un, his grandson, is expected to use the occasion to either stage a nuclear weapons test or conduct a missile test, in direct defiance of the United States and its main patron, China.

In an unusually strong editorial, Global Times, a newspaper that sometimes reflects the thinking of China’s leadership, said Beijing would support stiffer United Nations sanctions, including “strictly limiting” oil exports to North Korea should it conduct a nuclear test.

The editorial, indicating nervousness about what the North might do on Saturday, said that the peninsula was the closest to “military clashes” since 2006.

“China, too, can no longer stand the continuous escalation of the North Korean nuclear issue at its doorstep,” the editorial said. “Instead of accepting a situation that continues to worsen, putting an end to this is more in line with the wish of the Chinese public.”

The newspaper called on Pyongyang to avoid a “head-on collision” with Mr. Trump by suspending its provocative activities. If the North Korean regime did not restrain itself and made “a huge mistake, it may be difficult to have another chance to correct its strategy.”

North Korea is almost entirely dependent on China for its oil, and a loss of its supplies would cripple the noticeable economic growth in the country over the last few years.


Foreign journalists in North Korea told to prepare for 'big' event
Apr 12, 2017

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-event-idUSKBN17E2CT

Foreign journalists visiting North Korea have been told to prepare for a "big and important event" on Thursday, although there were no indications it was directly linked to tensions in the region over the isolated state's nuclear weapons program.

Around 200 foreign journalists are in Pyongyang as the country marks the 105th birth anniversary of its founding president Kim Il Sung on April 15, North Korea's biggest national day called "Day of the Sun".

On Wednesday, North Korean officials told foreign journalists in Pyongyang invited to mark the [Saturday] national holiday that their schedule had been canceled, and to instead meet early on Thursday to prepare for a "big and important event".


I'd bet that event will be another nuclear test:

North Korea might be preparing for another nuclear test, satellite images suggest
March 30, 2017

https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...9bded6-14ed-11e7-924b-58851f3a675d_story.html

Images taken between March 24 and 28 show four or five vehicles or trailers at the entrance to the north portal of the underground site and machinery to pump water out of the site, presumably to keep the tunnels dry for communications and monitoring equipment that appear to have been installed.

“The North Koreans know when commercial satellites are passing overhead and typically try to avoid activities during that time,” Bermudez and fellow analyst Jack Liu wrote for 38 North. “The fact these formations can be seen suggests that Pyongyang is sending a political message that the sixth nuclear test will be conducted soon.

“Alternatively, it may be engaged in a well-planned game of brinkmanship,” they wrote.

South Korean government officials also see signs of preparations for another test.

“We have intelligence that North Korea may conduct its sixth nuclear test in the first week of April and are in the process of confirming this,” an unnamed South Korean military intelligence official told the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper. “We have determined that North Korea is expected to finish all preparations for a nuclear test by March 31.”

Furthermore, South Korean officials say they have spotted Kim’s private airplane at an airfield near the Punggye-ri test site.

“Our assessment is that the North is ready to conduct the nuclear test when they get the green light from Kim Jong Un,” Lee Duck-haeng, a spokesman for the Unification Ministry, which is in charge of the South’s relations with the North, told reporters Wednesday.
 

Winston

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Will the NK maniac blink?

US Navy carrier strike group sets its sights on North Korea
Apr 11, 2017

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/20...ike-group-sets-its-sights-on-north-korea.html

Tensions are so high that a top U.S. general in Korea will not return to Washington to testify in a congressional hearing. “Due to the security situation on the Korean Peninsula,” Col. Robert Manning, U.S. Forces Korea spokesman said in a statement, “General Vincent K. Brooks will not attend the April Armed Service Committee hearings in person.

Vincent K. Brooks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_K._Brooks

Vincent Keith Brooks (born October 24, 1958) is a United States Army general who is the current commander of United States Forces Korea, United Nations Command and ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command. He previously served as commanding general of the United States Army Pacific and before that as the commanding general of Third Army.[1] Brooks was the United States Army's Deputy Director of Operations during the War in Iraq, and frequently briefed the media, which raised his public profile.

Brooks was born in Anchorage, Alaska. He grew up in an Army family in California, and his father Major General Leo A. Brooks Sr. and brother Brigadier General Leo A. Brooks Jr. both retired after careers in the Army.
 

Winston

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The strategy may also be to induce an internal breakdown:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opin...nuclear-srike-james-robbins-column/100340508/

The problem, of course, is how to get Kim. The dictator is highly paranoid, and for good reason, since many people are out to get him. He can employ elaborate means of avoiding detection, and went underground for more than a month in 2014. Pyongyang is honeycombed with tunnels and underground bunkers, no doubt able to sustain Kim and his core group of aides and commanders for an extended period. But the solution may come from the inside. How can Kim fully trust those around him, those most likely to be on the receiving end of his irrational impulses, made worse by being holed up? Putting his personal protective system under constant pressure — such as through threats of imminent U.S. military action, and spreading information about suspected disloyal elements in the North Korean hierarchy — could lead to an internal breakdown, or flush the quarry.

Kim may also be shamed into showing himself above ground. The dictator is overly sensitive; North Korean state media responded scathingly to John McCain’s offhand comment about Kim being a “crazy fat kid.” Kim fancies himself an evil genius, but he has only mastered the first half of that equation. The burrowing gopher may have to show himself just to prove he is the godlike hero his regime has portrayed him as. Maybe he could be goaded into making another visit to People’s Army Goat Breeding Station 621. Hopefully, when the resulting strike rains down the livestock will be spared.
 

Winston

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China tells military to be ready to 'move' to North Korea border

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-...y-to-move-to-North-Korea-border/5871492003177

April 12 (UPI) -- China has ordered its military to be on nationwide alert, in addition to areas near the North Korea border, as tensions escalate on the peninsula.

The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, a nongovernmental organization in Hong Kong, said Beijing has ordered troops at all five military "regions" to maintain preparedness because of the situation in North Korea, according to Oriental Daily News in Hong Kong.

According to the NGO, China's armored and mechanized infantry brigades in the provinces of Shandong, Zhejiang and Yunnan received the state mandate.

About 25,000 troops of the Chinese military's 47th group army of the Ninth Armored Brigade have been instructed to be ready to move long distances, close to the North Korea border, the Hong Kong-based organization said.

Other troops may have been mobilized.

According to Taiwan's China Post, the Chinese government may have deployed about 150,000 troops along the North Korea border on Sunday, as U.S. and South Korea militaries conducted joint exercises in and around the peninsula.


--------

After all that, I don't really expect a US preemptive strike any time soon. Way too much for SK to lose. Oh, yeah, and there's this:

U.S. vice president to visit South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Hawaii

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-asia-pence-idUSKBN17821J

Pence will arrive in Seoul on Sunday, April 16... That's about the same time the US carrier group will arrive in the area.
 

Zeus-cat

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Keep in mind that China is willing to tolerate a tremendous amount of crap from North Korea to keep a buffer between their border and South Korea (and U.S. forces). And the "fat crazy kid" is playing all the parties involved to get stuff that he would never have a chance of getting any other way.
 

Zonie

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It's a delicate balancing act. China does NOT want a US ally on their border, and the US is cognizant of that, so the US and China need to work together to curtail the nonsense without destabilizing NK's government...
 

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Awesoem photos

What if there's a "live" Nuke warhead and its struck. I don't know much so please forgive my ignorance, but won't that cause a lot of harm, or are they activated prior to launch?
As long as it goes off only damage is to the immediate vicinity, so not really concerned about it (whether the nuke just created radioactive mess or if it exploded per design). This is a risk a country takes when the threaten a vastly superior force like the US, or China. Un is crazy- threatening to nuke us? We could easily deliver 20-30 to 1 from just a few Tridents. If his people were intelligent they would kill him before the Chinese or the US decide to solve this problem permanently.
 

markkoelsch

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It's a delicate balancing act. China does NOT want a US ally on their border, and the US is cognizant of that, so the US and China need to work together to curtail the nonsense without destabilizing NK's government...
That would be a big level of paranoia. Even if South Korea took over the peninsula it would be essentially no threat to China. There is not a force in the world that would think about invading mainland China so they have nothing to worry about.
 

hornet driver

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There's very little chance of a nuclear exchange. Even If this little troll decided to lob a nuke into SK. A nuclear retaliation is not likely. The prevailing winds would carry the fall out over Japan. If the pudgy gargoyle did do that, China and Russia will distance themselves ASAP! I suspect something like this will happen---China takes the lead in this situation--makes them look good to the world! They let the blob of lard know in no uncertain terms--" shut-up, disarm,go find a cave and eat some cookies " " we'll be glad to put you under our umbrella of protection. You can show up once a year for a photo op" Well, that's best scenario. I willing to bet something close to that happens. It's a good guess that EVERY installation in NK has a big red X on it as we speak. Even those nice quiet subs he owns are ALL targeted! It's fair to say that some of those won't be back to port ever---no mater what happens--as if we would say anything or the fat bastard would admit to it! Unless he's just a loon ,I don't think so, this whole thing will blow over and in time the NK will be of no concern.
 

Woody's Workshop

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We missed the perfect opportunity to Nuke them in 1949.
Doing so then would not had the impact that one would have now.
The world was not yet aware of the full dangers of nukes then, like they are now.
Viet Nam would have never happened.
 

J Blatz

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A bit of history I didn't know until recently is the scale of devastation the USAF inflicted on NK during the Korean War. An estimated 3 million North Koreans were killed, mostly civilians.

A snippet from the book "Napalm : An American Biography" is presented here - Napalm.jpg

Also of interest is this Washington Post article - https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...fb5ba6f2f69_story.html?utm_term=.137334262c17

Here's a takeaway from the article above for those with short attention spans - "The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984".

BTW, I think NK leadership is crazy and evil. I am only posting this for historical interest and in the context of "Well, how did we get here?".
 

Winston

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A bit of history I didn't know until recently is the scale of devastation the USAF inflicted on NK during the Korean War. An estimated 3 million North Koreans were killed, mostly civilians.

A snippet from the book "Napalm : An American Biography" is presented here - View attachment 317357

Also of interest is this Washington Post article - https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...fb5ba6f2f69_story.html?utm_term=.137334262c17

Here's a takeaway from the article above for those with short attention spans - "The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984".

BTW, I think NK leadership is crazy and evil. I am only posting this for historical interest and in the context of "Well, how did we get here?".
Interesting. Thanks.
 

Winston

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Not just a road as claimed in a link above, a massive construction project completed:

[video=youtube;41DWMAQRN7I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41DWMAQRN7I[/video]

Here's another reason for the greater concern in the west - Kim is taking NK down the Chinese-style capitalism route meaning they could end up being a very prosperous dictatorship with all kinds of money to spend on weaponry, especially nuclear weaponry. That is what is behind the west's economic sanctions:

North Korea’s growing economy - and America’s misconceptions about it

https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...51d2d0-c1a8-11e4-a188-8e4971d37a8d_story.html

North Korea’s economy is still a basket case, barely more than one-fiftieth the size of South Korea’s. But in talking about the changes underway, the businessmen described a North Korean economy that is increasingly run according to market principles, where people want to be in business, not the bureaucracy, and where money talks.

This year the national defense expenditures represent 15.9 percent of the budget, the same as last year. Meanwhile, authorities decided to increase investment in the technology sector over last year by 5 percent.

The following areas were also increased over last year: forestry (9.6 percent), basic construction (8.7 percent), physical education (6.9 percent), education (6.3 percent), culture (6.2 percent), general industry and light industry (5.1 percent), fisheries (6.8 percent), agriculture (4.2 percent) and health (4.1 percent).

Every aspect of the budget is designed to improve the citizens’ lives and further economic development. Finance Ministry Director Ki Kwang Ho explained, “[the budget] enables the state to raise the entire People’s economy and drastically improve the lives of the people while fully engaging in the forest restoration battle and the construction of monumental building projects.”

In his New Year’s address, First Chairman Kim Jong Un intimated his intentions to better the lives of the people through economic reform this year.

“We need to solve the people’s food issue through the three axes of agriculture, livestock and fisheries and bring the food situation to the next level […] We need to encourage businesses to be proactive and creative to take the lead in business activities,” he proclaimed in his address.




 

Winston

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Signalling?

US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
Apr 13, 2017

https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/afghanistan-isis-moab-bomb/

Washington (CNN)The US military has dropped an enormous bomb in Afghanistan, according to four US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission.

A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, was dropped at 7 p.m. local time Thursday, the sources said.
The MOAB is also known as the "mother of all bombs." A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb.

The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, according to the military sources.

They said the target was an ISIS tunnel and cave complex as well as personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province.
The military is currently assessing the damage. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, signed off on the use of the bomb, according to the sources. Authority had to be sought from Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command.

This is the first time a MOAB has been used in the battlefield, according to the US officials. This munition was developed during the Iraq War.


[video=youtube;i9H50tHiHjs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9H50tHiHjs[/video]
 
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