Skip to comments.Heads up: Pentagon report suggests North Korea might already have nuclear missiles
Posted on 04/11/2013 4:57:44 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Via Eli Lake, who had a separate timely piece this morning quoting experts who think the world should be taking this latest NorK tantrum more seriously than it is. Fast-forward to this afternoon’s House Armed Services Committee hearing with Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey. Lake:
According to the [Defense Intelligence Agency] report, DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles however the reliability will be low. That line was read aloud by Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, on Thursday during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. Lamborn was questioning Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who seemed taken aback and declined to answer the question, saying, I havent seen it and you said its not publicly released so I choose not to comment on it.…
The DIAs conclusion also has implications for how the U.S. assesses progress on Irans nuclear program. North Korea has shared advanced missile technology with Iran, according to a February 2010 diplomatic cable disclosed the same year by Wikileaks. North Korean engineers were also found at the Syrian nuclear site bombed by Israel in 2007 known as al-Kibar, according to photos released by the U.S. government nearly a year after the strike.
If NK knows how to miniaturize nukes and stick them in missile warheads, Iran eventually will too. I’m not sure what that bit about “reliability” in the excerpt means, though. Does it mean their missiles are so rickety that they’d fail in the air, as as has happened before? Or does it mean they could hit something on the ground but probably not the specific target they’re aiming it? There’s not much comfort in the latter: Imagine Kim deciding he’s going to flex the ultimate muscle by nuking some uninhabited atoll and instead he hits Japan or Guam. Nuclear war, full stop. Michael Totten wonders, what if Kim’s serious this time?
Kim almost certainly isnt serious, but what if he is? How would we know? His attention-seeking theatrics are identical to the behavior of a lunatic hell-bent on blowing the region apart. If war breaks out next month, everyone who has been paying even the slightest bit of attention to the Korean Peninsula will slap their forehead and see, with the clarity of hindsight, that every warning we could possibly need, want, and expect was right there in front of us.
The North Korean military is nothing like Saddam Husseins or Moammar Qaddafis. Pyongyang has such an enormous array of artillery batteries targeting South Korea (the capital, Seoul, is only 30 or so miles away from the border) that hundreds of thousands of people could be killed over the weekend. North Korea would eventually lose at the hands of South Korea and the United States. It would be finished forever as a state. But the cost in lives would be unspeakable.
The regime is like a honeybee. It can sting only once, then it dies. But its like a honeybee the size of a grizzly bear.
Read this Time piece about the significance of April 15, Kim Il-Sung’s birthday, to North Korean saber-rattling. The Kims do tend to get a bit friskier in early April per Time’s chronology. Cross your fingers for an uneventful weekend, as unlikely as that now seems. Even Dick Cheney’s worried. Exit question: How on earth is it that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff hasn’t yet seen the report Lamborn’s quoting here?
Update: A defense expert at British think tank tells the Times, “They now have a deliverable warhead,” albeit no missile — yet — that could reach American soil beyond bases in Japan. Does Iran have a deliverable warhead too?
We know they can put an object in orbit. Is this nuke small enough for their rocket to put in orbit?
This better not be a ‘never let a crises go to waste’ moment.
What’s to stop the current government to launch an EMP nuke into orbit and set it off over Kansas??
And I am NOT talking about Norte Korea here...
They should be nuked the second they initiate a launch. Too bad the president is on their side.
Heads up? Shouldn’t that be “duck and cover”?
They are a lot more concerned about the news of it getting out than the fact of it.
‘North Korea would eventually lose at the hands of South Korea and the United States.’
That is provided we get involved. If we are underestimating what Kim is doing then we are probably overestimating what Obama will do or even want to do. In other words, we are probably in deep doodoo.
The Pentagon knows they have nukes. The Pentagon knows they have missile that reach outer space. The leader of the North Koreasn has threatened to nuks the United States and FINALLY he Pentagon says maybe they have a nuclear missile.
Whatever gave them that idea.
If the north launches a pre-emptive strike, the south may not have time to respond and we immediately lose 29,000 soldiers. I don’t believe the Obama administration will retaliate. They will wait and see and by then, the north will already have occupied the south. If we don’t respond immediately, China may eventually get involved to support the north as they want the buffer zone between them and the west.
But, but, but,,, some in here say we have nothing to worry about!
Just because a NK missile will not reach the U S, but can reach Japan...does not mean it is not a threat. That sort of crises would surely broaden beyond those areas, should it ever occur.
I think the jury’s still out on who’s spewing the nonsense here.
No big surprise. I would expect the Norks could put a ~5kt nuclear device onto a Scud or Nodong missile.
Can they put one on their three-stage Unha rocket? Not yet. Moreover they still lack anything like a viable ICBM.