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 30, 2017

North Korea Sending Trump Personal Message


Kim Jong-un has allowed his latest missile to do his talking and his message could not be clearer. President Trump has just been asked whether he feels ready to actually challenge the leader of North Korea or is he ready to back down, bringing his ships home, especially the three aircraft carriers, and stand down from his demands. There will be further questions the least of which will be will the world actually do anything in about six months, a year tops, when Kim Jong-un decides the time has come to unify the Korean Peninsula and place all of it under his benevolent rule. That ought to satisfy his appetite for the remainder of the decade before his sights turn to Japan. Oh, also, should Kim Jong-un be permitted to unify the Korean Peninsula under his rule, the world should expect the unification of China with Taiwan being reunited with Mainland China under the Communist’s rule. Taiwan would still be granted some additional freedom in a similar manner as has been permitted Hong Kong. This would include the slow tightening of the Communist noose that is initially placed loosely around Hong Kong’s neck. Believe it or not, these are the very ramifications that are facing President Trump and the allies of the United States in and around the Sea of Japan as well as Taiwan further south. In our map below, North Korea, as the greatest threat, is colored in red, China, the potential secondary threat, is colored in brown and South Korea, Japan and Taiwan are colored in yellow as the targets depending on the United States to enforce their protection.


China and North Korea with Their Targets South Korea, Japan and Taiwan

China and North Korea with Their Targets
South Korea, Japan and Taiwan


There was a reaction that came initially from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who issued a statement declaring, “As the principal economic enablers of North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development program, China and Russia bear unique and special responsibility for this growing threat to regional and global stability.” After speaking with Tillerson on Saturday, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tokyo would join Washington in new appeals to China and Russia to stop North Korea’s missile program. There will be more commentary in the ensuing days, but the main truth, which need be addressed, is that now North Korea can launch a missile and strike the mainland of the United States. Initial reports claim that the extreme range for a missile matching the one launched yesterday using an optimum trajectory could reach Chicago. It was reported to be a Hwasong-14 missile that was launched (see video below), one of the missiles we talked about yesterday in Where Will You Be When Kim Jong-un Launches? What this means is actually far more reaching than most will report. Should North Korea decide they wished to decapitate the United States, they now have the means to launch a small nuclear warhead of minimal yield, which could be designed for a maximized EMP (electromagnetic pulse) which could devastate the United States electrical grid. Should such a device be detonated over the St Louis to Kansas City region, it could quite readily all but destroy the electrical grid of the United States between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains and from well into Canada above the Great Lakes through Texas in the south. Such a weapon would cripple the United States and incapacitate much of the United States military making the ability of the United States to respond to any threat to her allies limited to what could be provided by the Navy. At the moment, such an attack would leave the United States with unmatched power sitting off the North Korean coast in the form of three aircraft carrier groups.



Still, Kim Jong-un is sending the message that he does not believe that President Donald Trump has what it takes to actually do anything as if he did have such nerve, he would have already taken steps against North Korea. Kim Jong-un may not even be controllable by Russia or China, as he may have gone off the reservation and is now beyond control of anyone and only his death will prevent him from continuing to work towards his dream of weakening the United States, slowly making them powerless against him in the area around the Sea of Japan. The Sea of Japan is the pool of water over which Kim Jong-un desires control, and that makes South Korea and Japan his first natural targets. But there is one difficulty between Kim Jong-un and his goal of ruling his entire small fiefdom, the United States and its ability to crush him should he move even the slightest bit towards his goals. This is why he must first force the United States into knowing that any move made which would support either South Korea or Japan should either come under attack from Kim Jong-un, that he would not hesitate in launching ICBMs striking at the United States with sufficient numbers that they would face devastating destruction beyond what they could absorb. Kim Jong-un has already convinced the world that he cares little about anything but expanding his control and had definite delusions of grandeur and that his thoughts may not even be discernable and thus he becomes unpredictable. Some believe that Kim Jong-un has no real connection with reality and that he could do the unthinkable and begin a nuclear war by launching a nuclear strike on numerous cities within the United States plus using EMP designed warheads with special detonators that will explode them at the optimum altitude of approximately three hundred miles. We have previously told how North Korea has become even a larger problem than the Middle East or anywhere else. Even Syria is nowhere near the threat, neither is the Islamic State because, simply put, Kim Jong-un has been launching a new missile at an ever-increasing rate with each one surpassing the former. Even more distressing has been that each new missile has a greater range than the previous. There is another reality, which is even more of a worry, these newer missiles are no longer all liquid fueled missiles which take long preparations before launching which would permit the United States to detect their readying and preventing their launch; many are solid fueled missiles which can be launched without necessary preparation. These are the facts and there really is not much more that needs saying at this time, but we expect that Kim Jong-un will see to it he remains in our coverage soon. Until then, allow us a little room for levity as we quote Kim Jong-un as he would be in a Clint Eastwood movie, “These trucks carry six missiles and honestly, well, in all the excitement I’ve lost track of how many I’ve fired. Now, as one of these missiles destroys a city, you have to ask yourself a question, President Trump. Do you feel lucky? Well, do-ya Trump?”


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


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