Skip to comments.Foreign rocket engines for North Korea: Why? (somewhat tinfoil-ish)
Posted on 09/22/2017 8:17:52 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Foreign rocket engines for North Korea: Why?
For Russia, the path to a weakened China could be through a major nuclear accident in North Korea.
In early August 2017, German rocket scientist Robert Schmucker published in the Deutsche Welle his opinion that North Korea´s ballistic missiles program can only exist due to transfers of Russian and Soviet rocket engines and components. Schmucker stopped short of accusing Moscow of providing Pyongyang with technology intentionally. Five days later, the New York Times published an article linking North Korea missiles to Ukrainian rocket engines. The president of Ukraine immediately issued orders to investigate such a possibility, while Ukrainian analysts quickly pointed out the Russian family links of the main source of the NYT article, missile expert Michael Elleman.
What is Ukraine's motivation? Here we are in September 2017: a North Korean ballistic missile was flown over Japan, followed by the strongest North Korean nuclear test so far. More is promised to follow.
The sudden acceleration in Pyongyang´s rocket program dozens of ever-stronger missile tests since the beginning of 2017 dwarf anything before is most likely catalyzed by engines and components that have come to North Korea from the outside. While Russian or Ukrainian weapon smugglers could possibly deliver some of them, it cannot be excluded that at least some, if not all, rocket components are being delivered by state actors.
But why should any government help Pyongyang to build the ballistic missile and atomic bombs?
There is nothing Ukraine´s government could get from assisting North Korea: quite the contrary, for a country aspiring for future EU and NATO membership, such a move would be suicidal. Back in 1994 Ukraine then the country with the third-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons agreed to give up all her nuclear arsenal, being misled by security guarantees from the United States, United Kingdom and Russia. Even after a blatant betrayal by the US and the UK after the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014 followed by the armed invasion of Eastern Ukraine, to go against the West does not make a drop of sense for Kiev.
Shared border The opposite holds true for Moscow. Not only does Russia have a direct border with North Korea, so deliveries of rocket engines from Russia could be easily disguised, but Russia´s anti-Western and anti-American positions and rhetoric are notorious and visceral. Anti-Americanism and anti-Europeism actually play an entirely central role in Russian internal politics, serving to hide domestic corruption and decline. This key role was, until the 2016 US presidential election, deeply under-reported in the Western media and underestimated by the Western public and politicians.
Rather, it has become common wisdom recently that North Korean missile and nuclear programs may very well be welcomed by Russians, not only for making life more difficult for Washington but also for distracting American attention from Russian moves elsewhere, especially in the US itself. From this perspective, clandestine support for a North Korean missile program and possibly also for a nuclear program could make sense to Kremlin strategists. US-based Russian author Alexander Nemets goes so far as calling North Korean missiles merely a semi-autonomous branch of Russian Strategic Rocket Forces.
A more strategic game But "entertaining" the US may not be the true reason for eventual support from Moscow for Pyongyang. In fact, it could be just a suitable distraction in a more strategic and vital game.
Many Russians are aware that despite Moscow's vitriolic anti-Western rhetoric, the West is no real threat to Russia. All that Europe needs from Moscow is oil and natural gas and Russians are eager to sell it, as the EU is by far their largest and most reliable customer and a key source of income. The US economy for its part would not even notice if Russia suddenly disappeared from the Earth - so small and insignificant is the Russian economy.
Unlike the US and Europe, there is one country which does need Russian water, land, minerals and other natural resources. The country which actually controlled much of what is now Russia before being pushed out and eventually forced to sign, under Russian guns, treaties in 1858 and 1860. Many Russians fear that the day will come when this country will reclaim the stolen land.
China the main target? The country is North Koreas largest neighbor and protector - China. An economic and military superpower which dwarfs Russia in everything except territory and number of nuclear warheads. The population giant which, when confronted with progressing climate change, will need more and more Siberian water and agricultural land. East of the Lake Baikal lies territory almost as large as the contiguous United States and inhabited by just 6.5 million people. Hundreds of millions of Chinese look across the border into this huge emptiness. When China decides to move in, there will be no way that Moscow could stop it. Not if China is as strong as it is today.
Could China become much weaker too weak to be able to challenge Russians? Maybe. The path to a weakened China could be through a major nuclear accident in North Korea. A very specific accident. The explosion of a strong nuclear head on a ballistic missile tested several hundred kilometers above the territory of North Korea could generate an electromagnetic pulse capable of knocking out electric infrastructure and electronic devices for millions of square miles below the epicenter. Prolonged loss of electricity would have devastating and lasting economic effects on all affected advanced economies: China, South Korea and Japan. In a worst-case scenario, it could throw them into economic, social and political chaos.
China may well be the main target and future victim of what appears on the surface as the North Korean missile and nuclear arms program. Many in the West tend to believe that the Chinese government is visionary and strategic. Quite the contrary: its blissful ignorance of the threat from a ballistic and nuclear North Korea may prove it as one of the most irresponsible and shortsighted governments of recent history.
Highly speculative? Indeed. So were many other crazy ideas - for instance, the one that Russian interference in the US election may help get the White House someone like its current resident. The temptation to strangle a snake by someone else's hands may be very tempting for Russians, just as the possibility to eliminate South Korean's military technology superiority and economy by knocking out its electronic devices may prove irresistible for Pyongyang. Speculations. Unless proven right.
Juraj Mesík is the climate and energy advisor to Slovak Foreign Policy Association
22. Sep 2017 at 10:53 | Juraj Mesík
Fat boy thinks Putin has his back.
What he doesn’t know is Putin has a knife in his hand.................
>The explosion of a strong nuclear head on a ballistic missile tested several hundred kilometers above the territory of North Korea could generate an electromagnetic pulse capable of knocking out electric infrastructure and electronic devices for millions of square miles below the epicenter.
Is this actually true? It sounds rather unbelievable.
It will be interesting to see if the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, et al, suddenly pull their diplomats out of NK.....................
It would be a windfall for Apple and Samsung.........Everybody’s smartphones would be dead..................
it cannot be excluded that at least some, if not all, rocket components are being delivered by state actors.
Did Hillary and Obama give them the OK to do this when she SOLD them the Uranium, was this part of their secret deal?
Shouldn’t they be asked these questions.
Why doesn’t Kim Ding Dong threaten to pop a nuke over South Korea?
I thought defeating South Korea was his goal?
He acts like he’s a puppet.
But Samsung’s factory would be dead too.
I’m not buying this theory.
First off, let’s acknowledge that suggesting Russia wants N.Korea to blow up to hurt China is definitely in the category of conspiracy theory. But to entertain the conspiracy theory for a moment, you have to believe that a Nuke going off over N.Korea will perminantly weaken China. Even if the EMP aspect is technically correct (which is also an assumption) I just don’t see how it has a major permanent effect on China’s power.
This recalls the civil war in Spain during the 1930’s.
Germany and Italy were fighting a proxy war with the Soviet Union on somebody else’s real estate, the “Republicans” (backed by the Soviet Union) against the Spanish Falange (supported by the Italian Fascists and the German Nazis).
Everybody involved had to be some kind of socialist, but it was an excellent test bed for trying out various military hardware and tactics. The Spanish Falange (under Franco) sat out the Second World War, but was still a conduit for assistance to the Axis powers.
North Korea is a place to try out a test bed of various Russian Federation designs. Russia and China do not always have the easiest of relationships, and this is as much between Russia and China as it is between the US and North Korea.
There is a secret struggle going on we are not seeing.
Sat out-ish. Spain sent the 'Blue' Division to Russia after Barbarossa and withdrew it when it looked like Germany would lose.
They also made good money selling tungsten to the Axis which was needed for armor and hardening AP shells.
Would anybody notice?....................
I'm not sure anyone can even find out how many engines we actually buy from Russia unless they go to the Russian source and people in the US have been batter dipped in lies about Russia so who would believe what the manufacturer said?
Maybe the same Pentagon that can't account for several Trillion dollars can tell us how many we purchased and how many we've used, right?
As far as I'm concerned, the fact that we know Ukraine is desperate for cash therefore it's inexpensive to pay them to look the other way, the factory (owned and controlled by a criminal oligarch) that makes the engines in question is sitting idle with a stash of engines on hand, and Ukraine was trying to sell engines even before the coup took place, points the the talk about Russia or China being involved as nothing by smoke. The mirrors to go with that smoke are in Pakistan where they make an engine almost identical to the one in question for their own IRBMs.
Don't want to upset the Afghanistan opium business with any fuss over the Paks selling engines or the looting of Ukraine with fuss over Ukraine selling them. That's the bottom line which means the most likely suspects aren't the most popular suspects.
Your post is pretty thick with the well known false conspiracy theories.
My opinionated, “in general” comment:
The term conspiracy theory is often used to validate false explanations by discrediting true explanations.
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