Skip to comments.N. Korea: US might find Pyongyang strike 'tempting'
Posted on 05/20/2005 8:52:40 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
US might find Pyongyang strike 'tempting'
By Hamish McDonald
May 21, 2005
South Korean electronics giant Samsung has launched a unilateral initiative to improve relations with the North. It has signed North Korean dancer Cho Myong-ae to promote its mobile phones. Cho will be the first North Korean to appear in an advertisement in the South.
A nuclear arms control expert has warned that the United States might be tempted to carry out a strike on the reactor that is North Korea's source of bomb-making plutonium.
The warning comes as North Korean moves suggest it may soon carry out a nuclear test.
The North Koreans last month shut down the reactor and removed its 8000 fuel rods after two years of operation. This was apparently to start reprocessing the rods to extract the plutonium that is created during reactor operations.
Peter Hayes, head of the respected San Francisco-based Nautilus Institute, said the removal of the fuel rods also meant there was now an opportunity to destroy the reactor with a precision strike - without a risk of a plume of radioactive material being blown over North Korea and neighbouring countries.
"You would hit the reactor so you could cap any future plutonium production," he said. "Even if it was refuelled, for some months you could actually hit it and there wouldn't be enough burn-up of the reactor to cause a plume," Mr Hayes said. "There are those who might feel this is an appropriate time to cap the program."
But against the temptation for Washington hawks, Mr Hayes pointed out the risk of a retaliatory North Korean conventional strike across the Demilitarised Zone against South Korea.
He said a strike would almost certainly cause the antiquated North Korean reactor, whose core is shielded by graphite, to burn out, removing a scientific record of past plutonium production.
Only by drilling out samples of the graphite core and measuring radioactive decay could nuclear scientists determine with a high degree of certainty how much plutonium had been produced in past. "If you don't have that base line, you'll never have closure on whether there's up to two weapons' worth of plutonium floating around somewhere in North Korea," Mr Hayes said.
|You would hit the reactor so you could cap any future plutonium production.
PETER HAYES, arms control expert
Washington has been guarded about moves it would make if Pyongyang continues to refuse to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks in Beijing and moves to build up or test its nuclear arsenal.
A week ago, US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said the US would take action if Pyongyang did carry out a nuclear test. However, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has also said the US possessed sufficient deterrence to counter any likely acquisition of nuclear weapons by the North - suggesting that Washington has come to accept that there will be no early solution and is looking to contain the Pyongyang threat.
China has meanwhile expressed frustration with President George Bush for having "destroyed the atmosphere" it had been building for a new round of talks by repeatedly criticising North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as a "tyrant".
Pyongyang's defiant stance is bringing some gains as a nervous South Korea tries to entice it back to the negotiating table with economic incentives. Seoul will start shipping 200,000 tonnes of fertiliser today to help boost the North's spring grain crop, citing "humanitarian and compatriotic" reasons. It will also resume ministerial-level talks with Pyongyang on June 21.
The World Food Program this week described the food situation in the North as very serious.
But in three days of talks with North Korean officials this week, the South failed to win any commitment for resumed participation in the Chinese-sponsored six-nation talks, stalled now for 11 months.
Seoul had offered new incentives to the North if it would agree to limit and eventually eliminate its nuclear weapons and production plants. That is the aim of the Beijing talks, which involve the two Korean states with China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
I am wondering just how much weapons grade uranium and plutonium could be in North Korea. Now, as the possibility of a preemptive strike seems greater, the pundit and "expert" class seems to be minimizing the potential amount as it suites their purposes.
Actually many of them now takes the different approach. They blame Bush for deteriorating situation by being 'mean' to Kim Jong-il
This is a perfect example of the completely wrongheaded, even stupid, approach to North-South relations in South Korea. What is needed is South Korean propaganda in the North, not North Korean propaganda in the South.
I defy anyone to explain to me just how Samsung's move will do a single concrete thing to "improve relations with the North". How many DPRK Divisions will pull back from the DMZ as a result? How many prison camps will close? How many South Korean television channels will be carried in the North?
As I thought.
Tiger I think you got exclusive that model are we going hear six month later that that same model going be new Mrs Kim Jong 11
I think he can get marry to this lady because last Mrs Kim Jong 11 died of car accident or cancer
I am not sure of whole story
Sounds like a plan to me.
Maybe its time to resurrect the "smart spears" idea: a kinetic energy weapon, the smart spear is a 16 foot long titanium tipped, satellite guided carbon steel spear dropped from high altitude that would strike the reactor at mach 2 plus, completely penetrate, and bury itself deep beneath the reactor.
To remain covert, I'd suggest a well placed charge to create a meltdown. Then push for IAEA (and the CIA of course) to go in and do their tests.
The word I would use is not 'tempting", but "overdue".
I've been there too. Would be even better if we could get someone else in the region to do it for us.
It is a gimmick geared for S. Korean population. For Samsung, it rides the touchy-feely 'reconciliation' bandwagon to push its products, while the government tries to get political mileage by showing that everything is hunky-dory even though N. Korea might set off a nuke soon.
However, it does nothing to change N. Korean behaviors, as you said. Plastering N. Korean babe's image on screen sure got many sheeple excited.
To some airheads, the reconciliation with N. Korea is nothing more than getting to like N. Korean dancers, entertainers or some smooth-talking officials, but not worrying about the plight of poor miserable haggard peons.
You know what I never thought of that LOL!!!!
Get South Korea sheeple all excited to have North Korea babe advertisting what is this cell phone company LOL!
Come think of it is this same model might be illegtimate daughter of Little Kim himself LOL!
What's in that vase atop Cho's head...?
Maybe they can send a "specially equipped" cell phone to Mr. Ronery himself, and give him a wake-up call with it.
" ... might find Pyongyang strike tempting."
Well, I sure would.
WHAT ON EARTH IS RICE TALKING ABOUT! GOD HELP US ALL IF THAT IS THE LEVEL OF ADVICE SHE IS GIVING. The end-game of the North Koreans has been made clear by defectors for years (it is to have enough to deter OUR response to a convential attack, since they could threaten to escalate to hit Japan or LA, etc.). We are "check-mated" by their having enough weapons dispersed or on submarines (turned into suicide bombers to travel to Los Angeles harbor) to survive a massive preemptive air strike and ASW campaign by us. The entire country has been building for decades towards preparing for a nuclear war (industries under ground, shelters, deep underground storage sites, pipelines underground, simply massive bunkers all over the damned place -- massive numbers of tunnels so big you can drive tanks through). A scale of preparation for nuclear war -- and, by coincidence the sort of modern war we saw in Iraq (with our PGMs/bunker busters), never before seen. They have been getting ready for decades (and especially since 1997).
We are in the middle of a major crisis situation there (with the North Koreans talking rabid -- that's why we buckled last week to meet one on one at a "low level"), and no one seems to be taking much notice here. The North is prepping to test, the talks are the moribund self-delusion of fools at Foggy Bottom, and the world knows we have no choice but to strike if they do.
One of the problems we have on our side is that we don't have enough people left who know what kinds of irrational murderous thugs rabid Communists can be. Soviet FM Gromyko once wrote about how Mao lobbied for a global nuclear war and was prepared to lose most of China's population so that they would have the most left to rule the rubble. Castro was busted in a Russian document when it was leaked he lobbied Khr. for a preemptive strike during the crisis to start a global nuclear war. You have probably read about the murderous views of Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hafiz. Amin (Afghanistan), and on and on. Now imagine a country with a million screaming fanatic Bolsheviks of the sort the Finns mowed down in the face of human wave attacks in 1939-1940, all with absolutely nothing left to lose, and you can imagine what we face in North Korea. It is NOT the USSR, with greater ambitions at risk through escalation -- even so there were still quite a few fanatic communist imperalists into the 1980s (even a former top military officer famously said on Russian TV, after the fall, that they were ruled by "crazy" men, who once talked of winning a global nuclear war [Sokolovskii, et. al.]). Here, there is nothing for many in the North to lose, except their pride and reason for living (to reunify Korea and fight against the U.S. and Japan -- and destroy the capitalist imperialist, blah, blah, blah...). The country is itself a fiction of a nation, having been ruled not by a Tito, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, etc., who came to power through guerilla movements and national struggle, but a creature installed as a puppet of Stalin's regional ambitions. That is, the propaganda and lives of top Communist Party members and military elites have been truly Orwellian -- and directed at permanent preparations for war. Why? Because that is what they were created for -- to prepare to attack in the event of a world war between East and West during the Cold War. Now, post-CW, the ambition and basis for ruling has been narrowed to reunification at any price (under an "Army First" campaign since 1997). They signaled their intent to "break out" years ago, and not just as a response to the Iraq War -- few paid attention back then. They are preparing for a decisive showdown -- and are not playing games.
Now the moment of conflict and decision has come. Does anyone honestly think they would just "play games" or wait, and give us the opportunity to strike first? What is giving up a nuclear weapon worth to them? 10 million gallons of oil for 20 years? An all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas for Kim Jong-Il and his concubines? The concept of bartering or "negotiating" for such things is absurd on its face.
Get ready...and make no mistake, the Bush Administration LET THIS SPIN OUT OF CONTROL. So, too, did the Clinton Administration -- we should have attacked in 1992-1996 (Albright's deal was pure appeasement). All to appease the butchers of Beijing.
I think you mean "rods from God" well thats one name anyway. Very convincing but very expensive to put a rod of that much mass into space...only high priority targets would be on the list.
In the crisis like this, the real game is how our side can make up our mind before it is too late, not what our adversary does. The adversary's intention is pretty much clear and consistent over the years.
The real tragedy is not that the other side can wreak some havoc, but how empty-headed "useful idiots" allowed the eventual damage to snowball.
Oh, we'll be more than happy to provide their military-industrial underground complex with a 100 foot thick glass ceiling. You think you've seen mad, you haven't seen mad until someone actually lobs a nuke at the States. The fury at 9/11 will seem but the annoyance of suffering a fender-bender.
Sure, but we've sure let the enemies arm up to seriously. It seems we're far more interested in santifying the koran than actually stopping enemy states from gathering nukes.
I'm sure after they use a few here, we'll bitch and maybe lob a few back. But by then, it's too late. It's probably already way too late, going back to clinton times.
These are not dropped from space, only high altitude. The energy of the gravity fall of say 50,000 feet, combined with the mass and very small aerodymanic cross section is all that is required to bring these silent darts to a very high speed with enormous kinetic energy at impact....
Sheesh, is this any way to grow a "Peace Garden"????
Do you know that the policy goal of N. Korea this year is to concentrate on military industry and agriculture, nothing else. Somebody gave the following interpretation:
N. Korea had developed a nuke warhead which can be mounted on missiles, which can threaten Japan, not just S. Korea. They will test it, and be slapped with sanction. They plan to stick it out by growing enough to survive the duration.
If he is correct, S. Korea is sending fertilizers which would make N. Korea last during the coming sanction after the test of miniaturized nuclear warhead.
Any body who sends ANYTHING to North Korea, on the eve sanctions on them, is 'before the fact', 'propping them up'. Same goes with profits from amphetamine and sea food/crab sales in Japan, or other ways they rake in money around the world, either above board or in the shadows.
Sounds good to me.
Some great points. Bush actually came out pretty strong (verbally at least) against NK as his administration came up. Next thing, though, we have 9/11 on our hands and major military operations.
Kim's turn is coming. Have no doubt about that. For all the ROK's appeasement, loose NK WMD is a serious threat to the US. NK has shown reckless brinkmanship in the past. The key to shutting this down outside of war is not appeasement, but economic pressure on China.
It is funny how China postures and throws its hands up in the air, saying it can't PERSUADE the Norks to stand down. Funny, the Chinese have never had any problems persuading the Tibetans, the Indians or the Vietnamese amongst many others. China is playing this out to the full, but can stop it any time they want to. Time to start throwing their cheap goods out of Walmart, Target, K-Mart, etc.
Funny how China tells us the Norks want a nuke program and "bilateral nonagression pact" (hahaha) with the US because they feel threatened (and they should be threatened, as the bozo dork running the country has killed of ten percent of the population in the last ten years); if it's all about peace and quelling the perception of threat, maybe we should throw in a few nukes to Taiwan, too, until PRC signs a nonagression pact with them.
We need to wake up on this issue.