Beyond the Cusp

August 15, 2017

Trump and a War with North Korea

 

We have an added introduction. The latest reports as of just before posting was that North Korea had backed down and decided to talk and cease their missile launching. We feel the article will still be relevant, as Kim Jong-un will likely play games similar to those we are all here very familiar with from Mahmoud Abbas. He will make demands, make half promises and then claim that the United States reneged on their promise, thus he will not need to keep his promise. Then more talking and somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas Kim Jong-un will announce he has had it with the American double-dealing and perversity and lies and return to firing missiles. The probable reason Kim Jong-un even agreed in the first place is he needs time to manufacture the weapons his latest nuclear breakthrough allows him to build. First, he needs to perfect the manufacturing process and then go into production. After he has made some number of warheads, thermonuclear warheads most likely, then he will return to his threatening ways as then he will have a number of deployable weapons making his threats real. For that reason, the article will still apply somewhere near when Americans are doing their Christmas shopping. It will just add more joy to the season, not.

 

The way we have read the potential conflict between the United States and North Korea has us somewhat confused. Much of the news appears to center on the threats President Trump has made in reference to the continued missile and other tests by the North Korean military and what President Trump has framed as threats coming from North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un. The framing has appeared to place the threats as coming from President Trump and any threats made by Kim Jong-un have been in reaction to things said by President Trump. This has given the impression that should any actual fighting or launchings of missiles should erupt that it would be on President Trump that all blame should be placed. The theory is that President Trump should never have stood so strongly opposing to the tests and actions by North Korea or to the statements from Kim Jong-un and instead should have sought to have coddled Kim Jong-un by seeking to placate the dictator and give him some room to retain dignity by being able to claim he had stood up to the United States, demanded relief of some kind or other demands and in the end probably just required sending funds and possibly other material support in order to end any potential for confrontation.

 

Then there are other reports which claim that Kim Jong-un has intentionally provoked President Trump and threatened actual missile attacks and implied heavily that such an attack may very well carry a nuclear warhead should the North Koreans decide that was a necessity. They have stated that President Trump has been responding to North Korean provocations and been attempting to prevent any such attack and bring an end to the North Korean nuclear program before they develop an active nuclear stockpile of weapons, of nuclear warheads of immeasurable potential for destruction. There have been reports of Kim Jong-un making threats to strike Guam if the United States does not back off their provocations. Exactly what these provocations are has been only vaguely referred to in most of the media, well, almost all of the media. So there appears that there are two contrasting media viewpoints with one claiming that the threats and belligerence has come from President Trump forcing retorts by Kim Jong-un and the other the opposite with the North Korean actions pushing this crisis and President Trump simply trying to protect the interests of the United States and her allies in the region.

 

President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Missile Face-off

President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Missile Face-off

 

We wondered ourselves exactly who has been pushing whose buttons. We thought back and remember some of the beginnings of this ever-worsening crisis. The North Koreans have been suspected of working in conjunction with the Iranians. There have been reports that Iran has invested large quantities of funding with the North Koreans and there have been North Korean scientists witnessing Iranian missile launches, Iranian engineers witnessing North Korean nuclear tests and reports of cooperation to a high degree between these two adversaries of the United States. Reporting on the Iranian agreement reached by President Obama and the Iranians stated that Iran would be capable of producing nuclear weaponry before 2025. This is interesting as some have theorized that Iran already has nuclear weapons and had tested them in North Korea. For this service, the Iranians presumably provided the North Koreans with funding and in return, additionally in this deal the North Koreans provided the Iranians with missiles and carriers modeled after Russian ballistic missiles. And where did we find corroborations for this, CNBC (see video at link below).

 

The dangerous tie between North Korea and Iran

 

The entire North Korea imbroglio has been playing out exactly as one might expect from a B-movie. Kim Jong-un has thrown missile after missile into the Japan Sea and Pacific Ocean as an open challenge to President Trump.

March 6, of four ballistic missiles.
April 5, a failed launch exploding immediately after launch.
April 15, in the parade celebrating the birth of its founder, Kim Il Sung, displays several new ballistic missiles.
April 16, there was another failed launch exploding after launch.
May 14, tests of one of the missiles displayed in the parade which experts assess that it is capable of a range of 4,800 kilometers.
July 4, North Korea successfully flight tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-14, and with that launch it included a functional reentry vehicle, something not stressed seriously enough by reports but the return to splashdown confirmed this fact.
August 8, a leaked Defense Intelligence Agency report found that North Korea has produced miniaturized nuclear warheads.
August 9, North Korean made a statement detailing a plan to test four Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missiles.

 

President Trump did something by sending an aircraft carrier group into the Sea of Japan off the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jong-un launched another missile, this time straight over Japan registering alarms from the Japanese detection systems causing an alert. President Trump upped his ante sending a second aircraft carrier group to join the first. A third aircraft carrier was deployed to the area to take part in war games with the Japanese and South Koreans. That was the height of the United States presence but still Kim Jong-un continued leading to the latest threat to strike Guam. The United States since deployed additional bombers to Guam and other stations in the Pacific Rim. This is where the world stands at this point. There has been quite a large amount of talk about the prospect of imminent war between the United States and North Korea. There is one large and critical item, this noise and bluster is mostly relegated to the media with the intent of making President Trump appear unsettled and potentially unstable and thus forcing a situation which could result in war, or as they love putting it, nuclear war. The problem with their claims is that President Trump has promised “Fire and fury” should Kim Jong-un actually attack Guam, Japan, South Korea or anywhere else which falls within the range of his missiles. Kim Jong-un has been the sole person to mention striking anything with a nuclear missile though only through innuendo. The United States does not require nuclear weapons to strike at North Korea and probably could use minimal weaponry in a strike to simply decapitate the leadership of North Korea and end the communist tragedy which had victimized the people of North Korea since early in the 1950’s. The most serious threat is to Seoul, South Korea as North Korea has sufficient artillery and rocket artillery to all but wipe the Seoul metropolitan area from the map. That is and will remain the most pertinent threat held by the North Koreans, as they would only require a few salvos and a full launch cycle of the MLRS (multiple launch rocket system) to cause unrecoverable damages south of the border. The North Korean Army has sufficient troops located near the border to completely overrun the South Korean and United States troops guarding the DMZ (demilitarized zone). There are approximately thirty-thousand United States Army personnel assigned to the DMZ.

 

President Trump has also attempted to have China intervene and has pressed the United Nations and passed through the United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea to apply financial pressures into play. President Trump received a unanimous vote putting the sanctions in place, quite an accomplishment considering the record of the Security Council’s past. The one thing which can be assured is that President Trump will not break with the United States not being the ones to initiate a war without exhausting every other avenue and will continue seeking Chinese intervention, as they are the North Koreans closest ally officially. We felt the need for the official comment as nobody knows the full extent of the cooperation and reliance upon one another between North Korea and Iran which may actually be one another’s best friends, just not officially. Even if Iran is the best friend on Kim Jong-un’s speed-dial and rolodex, the Iranians are not about to be of any assistance to the United States and this is nothing new as they would not have assisted President Obama either despite what the media may have attempted to pass off as truth. The final reality is the leader most likely to initiate a war will be Kim Jong-un but President Trump will be the one to end it as well as the best hope to avoid the need or probability for war.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 28, 2017

Where Will You Be When Kim Jong-un Launches?

 

Kim Jong-un likes launching missiles. He likes to launch a bigger and scarier missile every nine months or so. That is less than good news if one lives in California. You see Kim Jong-un just launched a ballistic missile which can, in theory, easily strike Hawaii and possibly also reach parts of Alaska. This is the same North Korean dictator, or as he forces his subjects to call him, Dear Leader, who launched his ballistic missiles over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean simply to let Japan’s rulers understand that he was capable of easily striking their islands. Kim Jong-un regularly launches attacks on South Korea including the sinking of the South Korean Navy Corvette warship Cheonan. That was the equivalent of an open declaration of war. As China is Kim Jong-un’s closest ally, South Korea would be heavily dependent on the assistance of the United States in any confrontation with North Korea. As the Cheonan was sunk in March of 2010, while President Obama was in the White House and responsible for all American military, South Korea was probably ordered to simply accept the loss and allow the United States to talk down the situation. Then in another incident in 2013, North Korea released a photo displaying a missile strike plan targeting Honolulu, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas.

 

This begs the question, how long will a world, which knows what is inevitable, allow Kim Jong-un to develop longer ranged missiles, larger nuclear warheads and the miniaturization of said warheads for mounting ever greater yields atop his missiles. Soon his missiles will be capable of striking anywhere in the continental United States and soon after anywhere on the planet. In a similar short period, he will be capable of placing thermonuclear warheads atop these weapons and can already place nuclear EMP devices upon his missiles. The fact that North Korea placed a small satellite, weight about fifty to one-hundred kilos, into low earth orbit using a north-south orbit he would be capable of placing a ten to fifteen kiloton warhead to use as an EMP device to detonate over North America which could destroy much of the United States and Canada electricity grid. Yet the world allows Kim Jong-un to continually test these missiles without any seeming concern or distress. What will it take before somebody decides to sound the general alarm and actually get serious about this ever-growing threat.

 

North Korean Missile Launcher Utilizing Chinese Trucks

North Korean Missile Launcher Utilizing Chinese Trucks

 

We understand that President Trump talked with President Vladimir Putin of Russia (as if anybody needs such identified) and President Xi Jinping of China asking that they interject their influence with Kim Jong-un and have him rein-in his missile and nuclear programs. They both declined to take any direct interjections and within the next six months, Kim Jong-un responded with one nuclear test and three missile launches. What has made matters more concerning has been the fact that despite North Korea not producing mobile missile launchers for ballistic missiles, China has seen fit to provide Kim Jong-un with an inestimable number of launchers which makes detection of launch sites far more difficult. Europe and the United Nations appear to be satisfied that the North Koreans have only the most modest range ballistic missiles and the missiles only threaten those nations within a limited and local radius. The latest missile tested by Kim Jong-un was a Hwasong-14 missile which, according to North Korean officials, was capable of hitting the “heart of the United States” with “large heavy nuclear warheads.” Their test launch of the missile was tracked by South Korean military and reportedly flew after launch into a high-altitude trajectory of 1,730 miles and flew horizontally about 577 miles into the Sea of Japan with a total time of almost fifteen minutes. All of the North Korean missiles have mobile launch capability and fit on their redesigned launchers which are using Chinese made heavy trucks to power them. China claims they were unaware that the North Koreans were planning to utilize their heavy vehicles for missile launchers.

 

North Korean Hwasong-10 missile

North Korean Hwasong-10 missile

 

Fisher of the Virginia-based International Assessment and Strategy Center was quoted in The National Interest warning, “This is truly dangerous.” North Korea has “crossed the line from failure-prone, liquid-engine, long-range missiles to long-range, solid-fuel ones.” And now, having made it to the other side of the threshold, it can make rapid improvements: “We can now expect the North will soon produce solid-fuel, intermediate- and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles.” Add that they are also using what are apparently Chinese designed launch vehicles and everything enters into a whole different theater. The North Koreans using either given or stolen Chinese technology in their launch vehicle construction allows them to constantly move their launch vehicles around making them next to impossible to track and know reliably where they are all located. They have been known to have numerous fake launchers which they can use as decoys adding to the level of difficulty.

 

Pukguksong-2 Launch Vehicle Recently Deployed by North Korea

Pukguksong-2 Launch Vehicle Recently Deployed by North Korea

 

All of this leads to the main problem, what does Kim Jong-un plan to do once he has the ICBM’s and the nuclear, or thermonuclear, warheads placed atop the missiles which he has placed throughout the countryside all over North Korea, under trees and in other concealed locations. If, as it was reported at the time, when John McCain calling Kim Jong-un a “crazy fat kid,” with grandiose tantrums, caused his regime to claim that was actually a “grave provocation, little short of declaration of war.” Now consider what fat-boy Kim Jong-un is pondering with three super-carrier groups sitting off his shores in the Sea of Japan or just slightly further afield in the Pacific Ocean. To Kim Jong-un (yes, I am enjoying typing his name repeatedly) that must be tantamount to bring half the world down on his little fiefdom. But he knows he has little to fear because the United States never acts without the permission of the United Nations and he has two big bad veto-wielding protectors sitting on the Security Council. But the Security Council is not the problem as the problem is a paranoid-schizophrenic megalomaniac with delusional-rant disorder, namely Kim Jong-un.

 

Each leader of North Korea, all three, have been just that little more unbalanced than the previous one. Kim Jong-il was somewhat less stable than Kim-Il-sung and Kim Jong-un is exactly as balanced as one would expect a child-king-god-dear leader who was raised in a bubble of wealth and being given his every whim being told constantly how he would rule over the world and be the most loved and cherished individual to have ever graced the face of the planet. Remember that we are talking about a leader of a nation where starvation is a national pastime who eats Russian caviar as the jelly on his peanutbutter sanwiches. A man who swills champagne as if it were soda pop and eats like royalty, just look at his rotund physique to judge if he has ever gone without a meal. He killed his uncle and one of his commanding generals and ordered his half-brother murdered. Kim Jong-un has to be the least stable leader on the planet even ahead of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has delusions of being the new Caliph of the reestablished Ottoman Empire. Maybe the two should meet, then again, maybe not. Kim Jong-un could be every month on a psychiatric disorder of the month calendar. And thus far the world has not decided to take away the book of matches he is playing with, or the nuclear tipped ICBM’s he is developing. Where is this a good idea? Eventually he will decide what is the use in having a stockpile of nuclear tipped ICBM’s if he does not use them. After all, what are they for. Sure they would probably make his little nation safe from any ideas of attacking him.

 

So what use will Kim Jong-un find to do with such power, such a threat? Sure he will initially make demands of Japan and possibly demand that South Korea be sacrificed for the general good of the peninsula demanding it be reunited under his rule. Kim Jong-un will demand food and whatever his demented little twisted heart desires and who will stand up to him and tell him no? Eventually there will be a first leader who says no and then what? How long before the entire world tires of his constant demands or else your destruction and strike at Kim Jong-un instead. Once anybody attacks Kim Jong-un you can bet he will simply start letting fly his nuclear tipped ballistic and intercontinental ballistic missiles targeting everybody near and far. Leaders from nations around the world will be falling over one another in trying to grant him presents if only he stops destroying everyone. What kind of world will it be when Kim Jong-un holds the ability to strike any nations, any city anywhere on the planet? Perhaps leaders of the world, and this includes China and Russia, should start to consider such a world. Oh, and China and Russia, do not for a moment think that Kim Jong-un will leave your nations alone and only pick on everyone else as he probably does not care about loyalty or friends, just ask that general, his uncle and his half-brother. If those who were close to him were inconsequential, how can you believe he will not wring your countries dry along with everybody else once he believes everybody fears him as if he were a god. Remember, he was raised to believe he was a god. Somebody will have to stand up and stop him eventually and that need be discussed while the price may be a few hundred-thousand or maybe fifty-million and before it becomes three-trillion or worse, a full seven or eight trillion. For those counting, that last number is everybody except Kim Jong-un, approximately.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 23, 2016

Barack Obama’s Wild Search for Any Legacy

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President Barack Obama entered office with even a great number of Europeans having sky high hopes for his future. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize largely due to his soaring rhetoric describing his desires and designs for a world blanketed in peace rather than strife, free of nuclear weapons rather than bristling with them, shared bounty benefitting all replacing areas torn by hunger and want, and his fresh message promising hope replacing despair. There appeared to be other areas of the world which also caught Obamaitis, a feeling of great hope due to dulcet tones of rhythmic rhymes and rhetoric promising the end of deprivation and the opening for all a grand cornucopia providing great giving filling the world with divine satisfactions and serenity, comforts and calm, lullabies and love. The world had to be at the leading edge of the Age of Aquarius.

 

 

This expectation of greatness and having found the leader for the new century who would wipe away all the old and stodgy ideas which presumably underlined the policies and failings of his predecessor, George W. Bush led to the reelection as if the expectations which had begun to fade could be brought to fulfillment if just the people would show their support and promise to stay the course with full support and continued adulation. Americans, as a whole, virtually all hoped that President Obama would be the President that all America could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with and repair the real problems facing the nation. Even, or possibly because of, many who initially feared that Obama would rule as what they perceived as an extreme leftist progressive anti-American still grabbed on to this prayer, this hope. I know as I was one such who had predicted that President Obama would be a President Jimmy Carter on steroids. I was wrong as I missed the part which would rival President Lyndon Baines Johnson with the steamrolling over all opposition; Constitution be damned. So now we sit in the closing months of a wounded Presidency which failed in even its own measuring stick. Gone beyond repair is Cap and Trade, Carbon Credits, the end of coal for energy, fracking continues, livable wage remains a dream, government run healthcare is in a shambles and the final crash is still ahead, universal nuclear disarmament is dead with the promise of proliferation like never before is about to spread these weapons across the most unstable Middle East and into North Africa (MENA) and, worst of all, there are numerous more wars with entire nations in various stages of disintegration as in Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine and the world seems closer than ever to the Eve of Destruction.

 

 

Musical interludes aside, the world is far more violent with more conflict and more nations in a state of complete anarchy where the governance has either disintegrated or no longer cares or represents the population. The continued anarchy and destruction in Syria and Libya can be indirectly or even directly attributed to actions or lack thereof by the United States under the directions of President Obama and largely the State Department. There have been reports online and in the mainstream media of recommendations made by the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff being ignored and even directly countermanded by the White House. Examples of such advice being completely ignored which led directly to many of today’s problems include pulling almost every American military force after refusing to provide a new set of terms and protections for the troops as President Obama refused to permit the Pentagon to work with the Iraqi government leaving the State Department to negotiate which was postponed until a mere ten weeks before the then existing agreement lapsed. Then there was the shifting, sliding and finally fading to nothing Red Line in the Sand to bring destruction down on Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad if he unleashed chemical weapons. The final example we will give was the entire concept of leading from behind which directly led to the decapitation of Libyan governance without providing even a modicum of force in place providing time to form new governance resulting in tribal internal warfare tearing the nation apart.

 

Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Pentagon

Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Pentagon

 

To the present we are witnessing a change and President Obama taking the lead very quietly while attempting to force what his passivity failed to accomplish. We have witnessed stronger language targeting Russian President Putin while arming rebels more directly, though which rebels has been kept somewhat vague. Some reports claim they are al-Nusra and others who were once claiming allegiance to al-Qaeda but have since renounced any allegiances. Some unofficial sources not aligned with the State Department or Pentagon has shown alliances with some of these rebels with the Islamic State. Even more troubling has been the unprincipled support using American air power of Turkey President Erdogan bombing the one group which deserved the greatest support, the Kurdish Militias (Peshmerga پێشمەرگە), who have been the most successful against the Islamic State all the way back to their initial ISIS or ISIL stage and the main force rescuing the Yazidi while the world governments sat silent feigning helplessness with one exception which has provided light weapons, anti-tank weapons and special forces to train Kurdish fighters, a nation which must remain unnamed. President Obama has made the known fallacious claim that Turkey is fighting the Islamic State when the reality is they are attempting to wipe out the Kurdish forces and people in a genocidal war and assisting the Islamic State which has recovered Aleppo from Kurdish control. These anti-Kurdish efforts are pushing some Kurds to seek protection with Islamist forces they once fought against. Talk of turning friends into enemies, what a great strategy.

 

President Obama still claims his brilliant nuclear treaty with Iran, which even the French had to be beaten into submission after initially vetoing the agreement, prevents Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. The statement can only be made valid if one adds, “while I am President,” onto the end. Even the White House had admitted that Iran will be fully nuclear capable and free of any restrictions after just over a decade from now. Then we have the most recent evidence of the hard-line being taken in response to a pair of missiles fired from Yemen originating in the area held by Iranian backed Houthis Rebels. The American Naval forces were freed to respond in kind. Further the United States Navy was ordered to cross into the expanded regions now claimed by China after they built a number of new islands placing military assets including artillery and anti-ship missiles in an effort to control an important Asian trade route. This new and unprecedented stance by President Obama has come with minimal if any inclusion of the Pentagon or Joint Chiefs of Staff other than to relay the orders and is being executed in order to shore up support for Democrat candidates in the coming elections. This also permits Hillary Clinton to imply that she may have had a hand in this new direction by the White House to accommodate her stronger stance in foreign policy. It is all a feint to make her appear to separate from the lead from behind strategy when in reality she will not lead at all with one exception which is worthy of discussion before closing this article.

 

A President Hillary Clinton will continue to bow to Iranian hegemonic plans in the MENA region and continue to snub Egypt, Israel, Jordan and other allies unless they curry favor as was the way to play when she was Secretary of State with higher entry fees as she is now the President. Further, she will allow China to extend their hegemonic desires throughout the western Pacific Ocean and into the Indian Ocean. This will revive an ancient animosity between China and India, an India which is likely to surpass China as the most populous nation within a decade or two. Hillary Clinton will further aid the influx of Islamic immigrants all but unvetted into Europe, mostly western Europe, while also increasing the rate for accepting immigrants from across MENA and including the Horn of Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Islamic nations except Iran, they need to remain strong with a large and capable military with secret side deals done without Congressional oversight or knowledge when possible. There is one place where Hillary Clinton will not only stand strong but will seek new venues to pressure, Putin and Russia. For reasons known only to the least sane amongst us, there has been an undertone softly growing demanding that Russian President Putin be brought low and to bend and surrender to the “equality of women” and raise the position of Russian women to their “rightful place” in Russian society. This is partly the demand for a “No Fly Zone” in Syria as this would soon lead to a direct confrontation. Do not doubt that any Russian fighter caught entering such a zone, even after dropping their ordinance and simply transgressing on way back to base, they would be intercepted and very likely fired upon or, even worse, shot from the sky using missiles pressing the Russians to respond. Even if Putin would take such a situation and apologize, explain and request for unarmed aircraft, after dropping ordinance, for Russian pilots to use the “safe zone” for returning to base, the request would be refused bluntly and with no regard for any damage as such would be intentional. What is the end desired? We wish we knew!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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