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Author Topic: Could North Korea Annihilate Seoul With Artillery?
airforce
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North Korea has 12,000 artillery pieces, and another 2300 pieces of rocket launched artillery over 107-millimeters, so at first glance it would seem so. But they're forgetting about counter battery fire, and the need to blunt any counteroffensive.

quote:
...A 2011 study by the Nautilus Institute throws a considerable amount of cold water on this scenario. While the sheer number of artillery tubes could theoretically kill a large number of civilians, operational issues complicate matters and push the number of civilian casualties greatly downward. Despite the thousands of artillery pieces, only 700 heavier guns and rocket launchers, plus the newer 300-millimeter MRLs, have the range to strike Seoul. Only a third would normally be fired at once, and notional rates of fire would be slowed tremendously by the need to withdraw guns into their hardened artillery sites (HARTS) to shelter them from counter battery fire.

Other factors reduce the projected loss of life in the greater Seoul metropolitan area. The city has extensive air raid shelters for civilians that will quickly reduce the exposed population density. The North will struggle to keep these heavy artillery units supplied with shells, particularly with its aging supply system. Finally, U.S. and ROK forces will quickly begin hunting down units participating in the bombardment, causing their numbers to drop almost immediately.

Finally, the North would face a strategic dilemma. Artillery used to bomb Seoul could not be used to soften up border defenses for a general invasion, and in wartime it would be critical to capture the enemy capital quickly as possible. An all-out bombardment of the South Korean capital might very well leave Pyongyang without the ability to actually capture it, while at the same time ensuring a U.S./South Korean counteroffensive that would spell the end of the regime of Kim Jong-un. Even if a million civilians were killed in Seoul it would ensure Kim’s untimely demise, and from his perspective that is still almost certainly a very bad trade.

North Korean artillery will undoubtedly play a very large role in any future conflict. While the Korean People’s Army certainly has a large amount of cannon and rocket artillery, recent experience suggests that it falls short of its actual potential. Furthermore, while an artillery attack on Seoul would undoubtedly cause a great deal of civilian casualties, there are numerous factors involved that would give the North pause before unleashing such a scenario. This should not necessarily embolden hawks to use force against North Korea; the ideal future is still one in which the country’s plentiful artillery is not used at all.

Read the whole thing at the link.

Onward and upward,
airforce

[ 06-12-2017, 08:12 PM: Message edited by: airforce ]

Posts: 17171 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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Korea just keeps getting more interesting. A third carrier group - the USS NImitz - is being deployed to the western Pacific. it will join the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan.

quote:
The U.S. Navy has decided to deploy the USS Nimitz as a third carrier-led strike force to the western Pacific to increase pressure on North Korea to rein in its arms programs.

Nimitz, one of the world's largest warships, will join the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan there, sources close to the U.S. military said May 26.

It is rare for the U.S. Navy to deploy three aircraft carriers to the same region at the same time. This latest decision means that three of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers will be deployed in the western Pacific.

The Trump administration deployed the strike force to put pressure on Pyongyang to refrain from more nuclear and missile tests amid mounting concern that it will soon acquire the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, has said that Pyongyang will ultimately succeed in acquiring the technology to equip its ICBMs with nuclear warheads and threaten the U.S. mainland.

According to the sources, the Nimitz strike group, which is part of the U.S. Third Fleet, was originally scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East region. It was initially to depart from its homeport, Naval Base Kitsap in Washington State, on June 1.

However, the U.S. Navy changed tactics and decided to deploy the nuclear-powered warship to the western Pacific for six months to deal with this latest crisis involving North Korea, the sources said.

The decision also sends a signal to China to continue cooperating with the United States on this issue. President Donald Trump has already said that the United States will independently take action against North Korea if China does not cooperate.

The Carl Vinson strike group, which is also part of the Third Fleet, has been deployed to the Sea of Japan since late April.

The Ronald Reagan strike group, which belongs to the Seventh Fleet that is based in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and is in charge of the western Pacific, left its homeport on April 16. It is scheduled to carry out a joint drill with the Carl Vinson strike group.

Whether the Nimitz strike group joins the drill or not has yet to be revealed.

Onward and upward,
airforce

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airforce
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The world is saved! Dennis Rodman is going back to North Korea. Well, he's a better diplomat than Hillary was.

quote:
...CNN spotted Rodman at Beijing International Airport, where he declined to answer questions. Rodman would be arriving in Pyongyang at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Pyongyang, which is currently detaining four Americans.

It's unclear what the purpose of Rodman's visit to the secretive country could be, but the eccentric former basketball player -- and a former contestant on Donald Trump's pre-presidency reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice" -- is one of the only Americans to have met current North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

When asked by CNN journalists in Pyongyang, unnamed North Korean officials confirmed that Rodman is expected to arrive in Pyongyang Tuesday. They gave no further details.

Rodman has visited the country at least four times, with three of the visits taking place between 2013 and 2014. A senior US official said the State Department was aware Rodman was planning to travel to North Korea, but stressed he is not there in any official capacity.

His last visit came in January 2014, when Rodman and a group of other former NBA players took part in an exhibition basketball game. It was supposedly a birthday gift for Kim who's said to be a big basketball fan.

Rodman was filmed leading a sing-along of "Happy Birthday" to the North Korean leader, a man he calls a friend and a "very good guy," but is widely seen as a brutal dictator who once lauded the execution of his own uncle.

Rodman has described his series of trips to North Korea as a "basketball diplomacy" project and defended the trip for Kim's birthday in a CNN interview saying it was a "great idea for the world." (...)

Onward and upward,
airforce

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airforce
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Here's a hot new rumor: Dennis Rodman is a secret ambassador for Trump.

quote:
...Rodman’s trip has sparked speculation that he may be traveling to free some or all of the four American citizens currently being held by North Korea, perhaps as a first and important step toward lessening tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

Trump, who had the basketballer on his “Celebrity Apprentice” show twice, has recently called Kim a “smart cookie” and has said he would be “honored” to meet him.

Multiple people involved in unofficial talks with North Korea say that the Trump administration has been making overtures toward the Kim regime, including trying to set up a secret back channel to the North Korean leader using “an associate of Trump’s” rather than the usual line-up of North Korea experts and former officials who talk to Pyongyang’s representatives....

The Washington Post seems to think it's possible. I don't, but I've been wrong before.

Onward and upward,
airforce

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airforce
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Dennis Rodman reportedly gave Kim Jong-Un a copy of "The Art of the Deal." Maybe there's some truth to that rumor after all. [Big Grin]

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17171 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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These are the six options for dealing with North Korea. And none of them are pretty.

quote:
...1.) Yet another “do the right thing” bid to Beijing. China has vulnerabilities. China’s imperial territorial expansion in the South China Sea has produced adversarial reactions. China’s other borders are anything but problem-free, and Beijing’s bullying has intensified several disputes.

Chinese jockeying failed to shake the new government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and force the withdrawal of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile (ABM) battery deployed in South Korea.

China threatened South Korean companies. It curtailed travel and cultural contacts. It threatened Seoul with political reprisals.

The THAAD tantrum failed, and China is still processing that failure. Moon was pegged as a “peace candidate” of the timorous political stripe Beijing and Pyongyang might manipulate. He performed a brief “review” of the THAAD deployment (which he promised he would do during his campaign), but after his meeting with President Donald Trump, he declared “a unified front” against Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

South Korea knows THAAD provides protection. Japan also knows U.S. anti-ballistic missiles (ABM) provide protection.

Beijing has not yet adapted to South Korea’s and Japan’s new resolve. Moon is positioned to help Beijing adapt to 2017’s new reality and encourage China to finally squeeze the nukes out of the North.

Eighty-five percent of North Korea’s international trade is with China. North Korea’s miserable economy depends on China.

Some North Korean defectors argue tough sanctions—meaning an embargo and blockade with China participating—could cripple the Kim regime.

In April, Trump tweeted “a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better if they (China) solve the North Korean problem!” An economic payoff? Yes, but better than a shooting war.

2.) Coercive diplomacy directed at China. In March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said “strategic patience” with North Korea was over and done.

Eventually strategic patience with Chinese posturing will also end.

China is attempting to portray itself as “the global adult” in the Trump Era and as the “go to nation” for the next Davos. However, backing North Korea utterly exposes this Chinese narrative as the sham it is. In February, Kim Jon Un’s assassins murdered his half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. The killers smeared him with a liquid nerve poison, persistent VX. In a missile warhead, VX is a weapon of mass destruction. Assassination as a geo-political advertisement that North Korea is an outlaw regime is an action no responsible nation would permit.

So coercive diplomacy starts with an information campaign challenging China’s pose.

It gets uglier. In the U.S.-China relationship, trade politics and geo-politics intersect. Business isn’t simply business when the promise of wealth keeps China’s Communist Party in power. The United States has the economic power to damage China. Trump knows it and so does Beijing. Trump has already talked trade barriers.

The U.S. is energy independent and China isn’t. The U.S. and its allies can restrict Chinese exports and access to raw materials.

Smaller but politically irritating sanctions like denying wealthy Chinese the ability to purchase real estate in the U.S. could have political effects among Chinese elites. In the upcoming party Congress scheduled for this fall, Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to solidify his control. However, he faces internal Communist Party opposition. The U.S. could exploit emerging factions in the party elite.

Coercive diplomacy stops when China forces North Korea to denuclearize.

Risky? Of course. It could spark a ruinous global trade war. But it is an option.

3.) The cynical trade and sell-out. The U.S., Japan and South Korea could acknowledge Chinese control of the South China Sea or they could give Taiwan to China in exchange for a denuclearized North Korea.

Outrageous? Yes. India would never accept it. Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia would go tilt.

I don’t think the U.S. and Japan would ever seriously contemplate it.

But it’s an option and likely the “appeasement” deal Beijing wants to make.

4.) Return of serve. This is an operation that could support several diplomatic options. The U.S., South Korea and Japan could use their ABMs to intercept every North Korean test launch. They might also employ cyber warfare to disrupt tests (perhaps they have already done so). The objective of “Return of Serve” is to stymie the test program and embarrass Kim Jong Un.

5.) Decapitation. What does Pyongyang want? The murder of Kim Jong Nam suggests one key objective: to retain Kim Jong Un’s control. Encouraging a North Korean Army coup sounds great, and if you know the faction who would do it, contact CIA immediately. Targeting Kim with a missile or aircraft-delivered munitions is extremely difficult. Moreover, his death may not lead to denuclearization and attacking him would be an act of war.

6.) Delayed reprisal and the war to denuclearize. Is a pre-emptive strike reckless? This asks another question: Just how responsible is a post-emptive strike?

The Korean War isn’t over.

Donald Trump is already a Korean War president—but so was Barack Obama and every other American president since Harry Truman.

Over the years, North Korea has committed atrocities throughout Asia. The regime has murdered and kidnapped South Koreans, Japanese and U.S. personnel. North Korea’s embedded belligerency defies the laws of war. The War to Denuclearize would be less of a pre-emptive strike than a delayed reprisal.

The U.S. and South Korea have exercised what they call a 4D strategy to “detect, defend, disrupt and destroy” North Korea’s missiles.

Weapons systems involved include various U.S. aircraft and a South Korean submarine with cruise missiles.

This is a bare sketch of some of the systems that would be employed in a “simultaneous strategic bombing strike” to knock out North Korean missiles, missile launchers, storage sites, nuclear and chemical weapons sites, command and control centers, communications systems and air-space defenses.

The U.S. and its allies in east Asia have the aircraft and missiles (cruise and ballistic) to deliver at least 2,000 (likely more) precision blockbuster-sized conventional weapons within a two to 10 minute time frame on North Korea’s critical targets. The April U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile attack on a Syrian Shayrat airbase provides an example.

The missiles were fired at a distance, but since they can “loiter,” the 59 missiles arrived near simultaneously. U.S. Air Force heavy bombers can drop smart bombs so that munitions dropped from different aircraft arrive near simultaneously.

A simultaneous strategic bombing strike seeks to surprise the enemy, destroy his strategic weapons systems and suppress his key defenses throughout the battle area.

That is asking a lot—perhaps too much.

Success depends on many things, but the first D—detect—is vital. Conducting a successful simultaneous strategic bombing strike requires very accurate, real-time intelligence. Allied ABMs must be ready to intercept any North Korean missiles that survive the attack.

That’s a sketch of the first 10 minutes. Over the next month subsequent strikes would occur, to make certain North Korea’s long-range missiles, chemical munitions, nuclear weapons stockpiles, missile manufacturing capabilities and nuclear weapons manufacturing capabilities are eliminated.

The U.S. and it allies must protect Seoul. North Korean artillery can bombard the northern reaches of South Korea’s capital. Military analysts debate the severity of the threat posed to Seoul by North Korean artillery deployed along the Demilitarized Zone. Some call it overrated. Perhaps, but best to suppress and destroy the artillery. North Korea’s tube and rocket artillery systems—even the ones in caves and bunkers—are vulnerable to weapons like the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb.

Smart bombs can close tunnel entrances.

This is a major war, and the risks are great. But so is exposing Los Angeles to the violent whims of a nuclear-armed Kim Jong Un.

Onward and upward,
airforce

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airforce
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If I were Kim Jong-Un, this would make me a little nervous.

quote:
...“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander.

“Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”

Trump is said to have run out of patience with North Korea.

He added: " If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."

The United States often sends powerful warplanes in times of heightened animosities with North Korea.

B-1 bombers have been sent to South Korea for flyovers several times this year in response to North Korea's banned missile tests, and also following the death of a US college student after he was released by North Korean in a coma....

Lots of cool photos of B1-B's at the link.

Onward and upward,
airforce

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ConSigCor
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If I lived in SK or Japan I'd be worried right now. They will bare to brunt of Kim's assault.

If we go hot, they better get the job done this time.

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

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airforce
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I hear underground bomb shelters are a pretty hot item in Japan right now.

Onward and upward,
airforce

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ConSigCor
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RED ALERT China reveals its terrifying military weapons with vast parade including stealth jets, nuclear missiles, attack helicopters and thousands of elite troops President Xi Jinping - wearing his military fatigues - inspected his troops personally By Danny Collins

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

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ConSigCor
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The U.S. Is Inches From A War With North Korea In Which Millions Could Die

Events are moving us in the direction of such a war very rapidly now

Michael Snyder Economic Collapse - July 31, 2017

We are just inches away from the outbreak of World War III, and yet most Americans seem completely oblivious to what is happening.

On Friday, North Korea conducted a missile test which proved that it now has the capability of hitting major U.S. cities in the western half of the country. Every diplomatic effort to end North Korea’s nuclear program has completely failed, the Chinese have shown that they do not intend to do much of anything to intervene in this crisis, and the United Nations is a dead end. Given enough time, the North Koreans will build hundreds of ICBMs capable of delivering nukes to cities all over America, and the Trump administration has already indicated that they will never accept this. If no other way can be found to derail North Korea’s nuclear program, President Trump will almost certainly order a military strike, and that could set off a war in which millions could die.

Personally, I am stunned that North Korea’s missile test on Friday didn’t receive more attention from the mainstream media, because the truth is that this was the biggest step toward war on the Korean peninsula since 1953…

After North Korea’s missile launch on Friday, the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists shared its fears that the country’s latest weapon had the capacity to reach major US cities.

When it launched the missile on Friday, North Korea aimed it on a high trajectory which allowed the weapon to crash in to the Sea of Japan.

The ground range of the test was 6,500 miles, according to multiple agencies, and it had a flight time of around 47 minutes.

If the missile had been fired at a standard trajectory, it could have easily reached Los Angeles, Denver or Chicago.

In other words, more than half the continental United States is now within range of North Korean missiles…

Preliminary data from the launch reveals that half, if not most, of the continental U.S. would be in range of the missile tested Friday.

“Looks like it pretty much can get to New York, Boston and probably falls just short of Washington,” David Wright, co-director and senior scientist for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNBC.

This is supposed to be a red line for President Trump, and it will be extremely interesting to see how he responds in the days ahead.

On Twitter, Trump sounded like a man that is completely out of patience with North Korea…

“Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

In addition to Trump, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is also indicating that time for diplomatic maneuvering has run out…

“The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”

The Trump administration has already made it very clear that they will not be going to the UN Security Council with this matter because they believe that would be a dead end.

At this point, the available options for dealing with North Korea are narrowing rapidly, and direct military action appears to be gaining favor. In fact, General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy released a statement on Saturday night warning that the U.S. is ready to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force”…

The U.S. and its allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” if necessary, against North Korea, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces warned Saturday night.

The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, came after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that American citizens are now banned from traveling to North Korea. That is the kind of action that you would take just prior to a war.

But an attack on North Korea would not be easy. We don’t even know exactly how many nuclear weapons they actually have, and they are promising to start launching nukes if we choose to strike them…

“If the Yankees . . . dare brandish the nuclear stick on this land again . . . the DPRK will clearly teach them manners with the nuclear strategic force,” the spokesman said.

North Korea is honeycombed with underground tunnels and bunkers. There is no possible way that we could hit all of their nukes on a first strike, and if the North Koreans even get off a single nuke in response it is going to be an unprecedented disaster.

Could you imagine what would happen if a North Korean nuke hit Tokyo or Seoul?

Even one nuke could kill millions in those densely populated cities, and financial markets all over the world would almost instantly implode.

And North Korea also has some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet. Within moments of an attack, thousands of North Korean artillery pieces and rockets would start raining fire on Seoul, and even just a few chemical or biological warheads would cause immense devastation in that city of about 10 million people.

In addition, North Korean forces are poised to invade South Korea at literally any moment, and the only way that South Korea could survive such an invasion would be direct intervention by U.S. forces.

On top of everything else, what if the North Koreans were able to successfully launch a nuke or two toward our major cities? Or what if they already have the technology to set off an EMP blast high in the atmosphere above the continental United States? Or what if their agents that are already embedded here start releasing biological agents in our major cities?

These are nightmare scenarios that most Americans never even consider, but they would be very real possibilities in the event that we go to war with North Korea.

I just don’t see how a direct military conflict with North Korea could possibly end well. For those that still doubt this, please consider the words of General Mark Milley…

“A war in the Korean Peninsula would be highly deadly. It would be horrific,” warned Gen. Milley. “The United States military along with the South Korean military would utterly destroy the North Korean military — but that would be done at high cost.”

“But we are at a point in time where tough choices will have to be made,” he continued. “We are going to have to make conscious decisions that are going to have significant consequences and I will just stop there. It’s not going to be a pretty picture — I can tell you that. It’s going to be very violent.“

A war with North Korea would be the most disastrous event for our planet since World War II, and it is something that we want to avoid at all costs.

Unfortunately, events are moving us in the direction of such a war very rapidly now, and it is very difficult to see how we are going to avoid such a scenario.

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

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airforce
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[url=http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/08/04/us-national-security-adviser-kim-jong-un-should-not-sleep-easy-at-night/]Kin Jong Un should not sleep easy at night[url], says the National Security Adviser.

quote:
U.S. national security adviser Gen. H. R. McMaster warned during an interview with MSNBC on Thursday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un should not sleep easy at night, following continued threats from North Korea.

The latest threat came on Thursday, when North Korean state-run media reported that government officials threatened that the U.S. is “on the knife’s edge of life and death.”

During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC, McMaster was asked if Kim should be sleeping easy at night.

“No, I think he should not be,” McMaster answered. “Because he has the whole world against him, right? He’s isolated. He’s isolated on this.”

North Korea and the U.S. have been engaging in a back and forth of displays of strength. The communist state has been overtly antagonistic, testing Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missiles that Kim has called “gifts” for the “American bastards.” The first launch was on July 4 and was said to be able to reach Hawaii or Alaska. Last week, North Korea tested another ICBM, this time with the reported capability of hitting inner American cities, such as Denver or Chicago.

The second missile test put North Korea two years ahead in terms of what experts thought the country’s technological capability would be. But it is unknown if North Korea currently has the capability to successfully attach nuclear warheads to their ICBM’s.

Despite rising tensions, South Korea’s Unification Ministry and the U.S. have been attempting to attain peace between the allies and North Korea. This has been met with silence from North Korea, as well as criticisms from North Korea’s state-run media.

McMaster reminded Hewitt that the war with North Korea never officially ended.

“Since 1953, the Korean peninsula has been in a state of armistice,” he said. “The war never formally ended. There has been no aggression from the United States, South Korea, any of our allies.”

Hewitt asked McMaster if tensions would ease if Kim Jong Un was removed from power, which McMaster said he wasn’t sure about.

“I don’t think anybody has a very clear picture of the inner-workings of that regime,” McMaster said. “What is very clear is that it is an authoritarian dictatorship that has existed since the end of WWII. It is now in its third generation, and the difference in this third autocratic ruler is that he’s as brutal as the previous two have been but he’s doing some things differently. He’s killing members of his family.”

“The future of that regime, it’s almost impossible to predict,” he continued....

Onward and upward,
airforce

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airforce
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About all that's on the news right now is a Washington Post report that North Korea has a nuke that can fit inside a warhead. There's no confirmation of this, and North Korea has yet to develop a warhead that can survive reentry, but this is not good news.

Onward and upward,
airforce

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ConSigCor
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This situation is rapidly escalating and could easily spin out of control. Reminds me of the Cuban missile crisis.

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

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ConSigCor
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North Korea Threatens More Ballistic Missile Tests Over Japan

Kim Jong Un calls Hwasong-12 launch the first step to fighting “an actual war” in the Pacific


Mikael Thalen | Infowars.com - August 29, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened further missile tests overflying Japan Wednesday in a statement released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang test-launched Tuesday a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which traveled 2,700 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 550 kilometers, that overflew the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

North Korea’s statement indicated the drill was intended to both train military units for potential strikes against U.S. military bases on the island of Guam and to push back against the ongoing U.S. and South Korean joint military exercise Ulchi-Freedom Guardian.

“Involved in the drill were Hwasong artillery units of the KPA Strategic Force tasked with striking the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces located in the Pacific operational theater in contingency and intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12,” an English translation of the KCNA statement said.

“As known to the world, the intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket launching drill of the KPA Strategic Force was conducted as a part of the muscle-flexing to counter the Ulji Freedom Guardian joint military drills the U.S. and the south Korean puppet forces finally kicked off in disregard of the DPRK’s meaningful and crucial warning.”

The test launch also aimed to “estimate and examine the posture” of North Korea’s military forces and to confirm the actual war operation capacity” of the Hwasong-12 – a missile designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

“The drill was carried out through the combination of sudden maneuvers and strike in order to estimate and examine the posture of the KPA Strategic Force for prompt counteraction in contingency on the Korean peninsula and to confirm the actual war operation capacity of the intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket newly equipped with by it.”

Kim later applauded the launch as an opportunity for the Hwasong artillery units to gain “good experience in their rocket operation for an actual war.”

“Praising the Hwasong artillerymen of the Strategic Force for being well versed in the newly equipped ultra-modern rocket system and properly operating it, he said the drill would offer them an opportunity for gaining a good experience in their rocket operation for an actual war,” the KCNA statement added.

The North Korean leader, who called for further such drills overflying Japan, also characterized Tuesday’s launch as a “meaningful prelude to containing Guam.”

“Noting that the current ballistic rocket launching drill like a real war is the first step of the military operation of the KPA in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam, advanced base of invasion, he said that it is necessary to positively push forward the work for putting the strategic force on a modern basis by conducting more ballistic rocket launching drills with the Pacific as a target in the future,” KCNA said.

Kim warned any further launches from Pyongyang would depend on, among other things, whether the U.S. continues with its “bellicose war exercises for aggression.”

“Sternly saying that the U.S. answered the DPRK’s warning which it will closely watch the U.S. behavior with the bellicose war exercises for aggression, he added that the drill conducted by the Strategic Force is a curtain-raiser of its resolute countermeasures against the Ulji Freedom Guardian joint military exercises being conducted by the U.S. and its stooges,” the statement said.

“Noting that it is a lesson drew by the DPRK this time again that it should show action, not talk, to the U.S. imprudently denying the DPRK’s initiative measure for easing the extreme tension, he stressed that the DPRK will continue to watch the U.S. demeanors as already declared and decide its future action according to them.”

While provocative, experts believe Pyongyang’s statements signal an attempt to negotiate as tensions escalate in the Korean Peninsula.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump responded to the missile launch by warning that “all options are on the table.”

“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” Trump said in a statement. “Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world.”

The State Department also released Wednesday a rare readout of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s phone call on North Korea with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

 -

Tuesday’s launch stirred fears among Hokkaido residents after messages from the Japanese government warned that the missile could potentially strike the island.

“I woke up with a Siren and an announcement that North Korea launched a missile that would possibly hit cities within Hokkaido,” a Twitter user said of the incident.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke over the phone with Trump Tuesday and also vowed to “protect the public” during an early morning press conference.

The Hwasong-12 test follows the launch of three short-range ballistic missiles Saturday that traveled in a northeastern direction 250 kilometers from Pyongyang.

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15257 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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What a war with North Korea will look like. In a word, ugly. Too long to post here, but here's a portion:

quote:
...Ground forces along the DMZ, largely South Korean, will be locked in a knife fight. The terrain is rugged, narrow and provides very little room to maneuver. The mobile battlefield we all witnessed in 1991 and 2003 in Iraq will not be possible amidst the rice paddies and mountains of Korea. Massive firepower would rein death on both sides. The confined nature of the terrain, and the North’s ability to infiltrate behind our lines, makes even hand-to-hand combat possible. If the ground fight had to roll north for a decisive resolution, we would need more soldiers — a lot more soldiers. We would be almost certainly be viewed as occupiers, not liberators, in the minds of the North Koreans. We would have to dig them out of their defenses and control their population, and that would take a lot more soldiers.

The “horror” would set in as thousands were killed or wounded. In some estimates, North Korea would inflict 20,000 casualties a day just in Seoul during for the first few days. The herculean effort to limit collateral damage witnessed in our Middle Eastern wars will be impossible to repeat. We will operate within the laws of armed conflict, but significant loss of innocent life would be unavoidable due to the locations North Korea chooses to base or hide its weapons.

We will use cluster weapons that spread bomblets over areas the size of football fields. We will return artillery fire wherever enemy batteries are firing. When optimum for military conditions, we will hit targets in the middle of urban areas; it would be impossible to prevent civilian casualties. To fight effectively, we will have to bomb command facilities in the heart of neighborhoods. We will destroy missiles on mobile launchers even if they are placed in sensitive areas. Our ground forces will pour fire into the enemy without an excessive regard for damage. And, yes, we will bomb targets more widely than in recent decades....

More, including photos, at the link.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17171 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
ConSigCor
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Breaking: North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Over Japan

Japanese residents ordered to take cover following launch of unidentified projectile

Mikael Thalen | Infowars.com - September 14, 2017

North Korea launched an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan early Friday into the Pacific Ocean, U.S. Pacific Command said Thursday.

“U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a single North Korean ballistic missile launch at 11:57 a.m. (Hawaii time) Sept. 14,” a USPACOM statement stated. “Initial assessment indicated the launch of an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM).”

Japanese residents began receiving text message notifications shortly after the launch urging them to take cover. Warning sirens were also heard throughout the country.

#northkorea launched another #missile. Hearing the sirens out here in #niigata #japan. Thanks for the heads up, J-alert pic.twitter.com/Yd459DPfw8

— Michael Bosack (@MikeBosack) September 14, 2017

The South Korean military stated that the projectile was fired from a site in the Sunan district near the North Korean capital. Pyongyang’s previous launch of a missile over Japan last month came from the same site.

Japanese media outlet NHK reported that the missile overflew the northern island of Hokkaido, splashing down 2,000km east. Japanese officials also told NHK that no attempts were made to shoot down the IRBM.

The missile, which was launched at 6:59 a.m. local time, came down into waters 17 minutes later. The projectile reached an altitude of 770km and had a total range of 3,700km.

Given the range, the missile would easily reach beyond the U.S. territory of Guam if fired in its direction – though experts are skeptical of the IRBM’s accuracy.

Performance indicates that the missile is likely North Korea’s Hwasong-12 – a nuclear capable ballistic missile.

The launch comes amid growing tensions in the Korean Peninsula following increased U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang for the country’s test of a purported hydrogen bomb.

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15257 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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Here's something you don't see very often:

 -

Three F/A-18E Super Hornets, assigned to the Eagles of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron 115, fly in formation over the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Nimitz and their strike groups along with ships from the South Korean Navy as they transit the Western Pacific, Nov. 12, 2017. The strike groups are underway and conducting operations in international waters as part of a three-carrier strike force exercise.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17171 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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It looks like Kim Jong-Un is playing musical chairs with his top military leaders again. But it's rather curious that he's doing it now.

quote:
Two key figures in the North Korean military have been punished for "impure behavior," according to a South Korean lawmaker, a move analysts say is likely intended to help leader Kim Jong Un tighten his grip on power.

A closed-door briefing by South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) identified the two officials as Hwang Pyong So, the director of North Korea's General Political Bureau (GPB), and his deputy Kim Won Hong, said South Korean Rep. Kim Byung-kee after the meeting.

The General Political Bureau, which is also referred to as the General Political Department (GPD), is being audited for the first time in 20 years, Rep. Kim added, citing the NIS.

It's unclear how exactly how Hwang and his deputy were disciplined, but one analyst told CNN they could have been required to undergo re-education, which is likely to include a period of re-indoctrination of North Korean ideology.

"He's playing musical chairs with key positions," said Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul and the director of NKNews.org. "Kim Jong Un doesn't want anybody in the military to stay in charge for too long ... He's brilliant, cynical, brutal and efficient."

Before his punishment, Hwang was one of three officials below Kim Jong Un in charge of the armed forces. The other two are the defense minister and the chief of the general staff, according to Lankov.

"Their duties are sort of delineated, but they have a great deal of overlap. Altogether, they control the military," Lankov told CNN.
The General Political Bureau is in charge of making sure the armed forces were properly indoctrinated and educated in communist teachings, North Korea's state ideology of Juche, and the life and teachings of the Kim family, among other things.

Political commissars are assigned to various branches of the military to ensure it is ideologically sound. GPB members can overrule higher-ranked military officials and its most senior members are granted body guards and special privileges, according to Michael Madden, an analyst who runs the North Korea Leadership Watch project.

"It's one of the most powerful entities in North Korea," Madden told CNN....

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17171 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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