Beyond the Cusp

May 8, 2016

North Korea Threat Update


Recent satellite surveillance of North Korea has shown a greater number of vehicles parked and coming and going from the nuclear test control center just a few kilometers away from their actual test site though little activity has been photographed at the test site. The lack of photo evidence of deliveries or activity at the actual test site could be timed to only be visible between the known scheduled overfly times of the satellites which are not exactly a well-kept secret. This activity is additionally suspicious as the Party hierarchy has opened the first full congress of its ruling party since 1980. Ruling Dictator Kim Jong Un will be in attendance but the media will not as the Party Congress is being held behind closed doors. This has raised the suspicions that Kim Jong Un may be using the Congress to shuffle leadership positions and a capping of the Congress with another nuclear test of a hydrogen thermonuclear device as exclamation point launch. This would be their fifth nuclear test and possibly the third of their hydrogen bomb.


Taking all of these events and potential for a shakeup of the leadership along with the mixed but largely successful testing of launching of ballistic missile from a submerged, it has become obvious that virtually every city on Earth has now become within strike range from North Korean missiles. The size and range of such a submarine launch has not been determined but it is thought the current proven booster used in the tests only have about a two hundred kilometer range. Still, this placed most Capital Cities of Western World nations within range, particularly the United States. The progress made in new weapons and weapons delivery technologies has made North Korea a threat to many nations in their immediate area from Japan to China and Russia and beyond with their submersed launch capability. Should there be a nuclear test by North Korea then much of the bellicose sabre rattling may require a more serious consideration as to whether any of their threats may have actual substance.


Analysis from 38 North said the imagery of the Punggye-ri test site control center has shown really heavier than usual activity as noted above. The suspicions were raised as this increase in activity coinciding with the Party Congress and the fact that Kim Jung Un would be personally leading the Party Congress and that it was an all-inclusive Congress, a rarity in North Korea. The fact that both events appear to be scheduled so close together, this has raised the interest of the experts and amateurs in putting forth their thoughts on the reasoning and what the results might be. Prognostications are always a tricky business, especially for bloggers whose sources do not exactly include Pentagon experts, but we try anyways. We are expecting some shake-up of the Party mid-level officials altering the preferred individuals for future top Party positions. The high level Party officials will likely not be shuffled though some alterations of responsibilities may be switched from one department to another most likely to improve efficiency. If there are higher level changes, they will rotate around military commanders. We expect the officers who worked on the submarine submerged launch capabilities to be honored at the meeting and perhaps some leading people put on their next project while junior commanders will take charge of completing and perfecting the submerged firing capability to assure it approaches perfection and dependability and potentially attempting to attempt launches from deeper depths.


Should there actually be another test of a thermonuclear device, we can expect the leadership to perfect a miniaturized warhead deliverable through the submerged launch booster thus making the weapon truly a threat worldwide. They may also have them working on a thermonuclear warhead which will have a selectable yield programmed before deployment thus permitting selecting the desired yield such that any additional collateral damage could be minimized. The one side effect from any test will be the providing of the United States and other nations to gather more data and perhaps discern the intended use of the weapons. There are those who theorize that the hydrogen device is not being used as a thermonuclear device in the traditional blast-wave destruction mode but as a super EMP (electromagnetic pulse) device. The amount of damage a normal atomic bomb produces as an EMP would be capable of bringing down the North American electric grid blacking out Canada as well as the United States. The advantage of using a thermonuclear warhead as a super EMP device is quite frightening as the additional power for any usage would also apply to it being utilized as a Super EMP which could be detonated even at any height and simply relatively close to the optimum location and still produce sufficient EMP energy to more than make-up for any miss of the optimum location and height for the detonation.


Those whose job it is to worry and discern all things North Korea and has to keep everything updated will necessarily be watching, listening and monitoring as things progress and then making the reports, some of which will hopefully be made public so we all can use it. Meanwhile, we will keep an ear to the ground and listen for the reverberations as well as the ramifications of any nuclear test, missile launch or artillery barrages emanating from North Korea which has become less stable and even less predictable under Kim Jung Un which likely has added to their cooperation and technology sharing with Iran which makes both nations additionally dangerous. The world must contemplate Iranian missile technology married to North Korean nuclear weapons technology and additionally North Korean submarine submerged launch capability and both North Korea and Iran have become dangerous and hegemonic in their ends of Asia and the Middle East. They are a constant threat to all nations anywhere near either one and only India and Israel are capable of challenging them, and those could become hard pressed should an arms race be launched, especially in the Middle East which any such race will see Saudi Arabia buying all the devices they would initially require from Pakistan and then use whatever plans they would need from Pakistan and potentially raw materials as well. Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Oman and potentially any combination of MENA (Middle East North Africa) nations could develop or otherwise acquire nuclear weaponry and the delivery systems turning the MENA tinder box into a nuclear tinder box where everyone is smoking, heavily and too many are being careless with where they throw their lit matches. There is one situation paralleled to this which makes North Korea seem less threatening which can be found simply looking past India to the heart of the Middle East. There you find Iran threatening all and backing the worst of the worst all while making promises to wipe all of Israel from the map. Iran has recently tested some modified and improved ballistic missiles which have sufficient range to strike France but when having an exercise with testing launches of ballistic missiles they had on them “Israel should be wiped off the Earth” written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic, after all, must have the easy to read propaganda for the home front. Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t that!



Israel must be wiped out written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic after all must have the easy to read propaganda for the home front Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t thatWhen having an exercise with testing
launches of ballistic missiles they had on them
“Israel should be wiped off the Earth”
written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic,
after all, must have the easy to read propaganda
for the home front. Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t that!

Beyond the Cusp


December 14, 2012

The Real Consequences of the Korean Missile Launch

There is much about the Korean reportedly successful launch of a three stage ballistic rocket which placed a satellite into orbit that much of the news reporting has been omitting. There has also been a slight misdirection of faint praise lauded on the North Korean rocket scientists for overcoming their previous problems which had caused numerous previous failed launches. I can assure you that as supposedly talented and innovative the North Korean scientists may be, they had another group of rocket scientists whose experience and knowledge they tapped in overcoming their previous shortcomings, the Iranian rocket scientists. What has been not actually a guarded secret, but has been only minimally mentioned, the North Koreans and the Iranians entered an agreement a number of years ago as a response to both countries having similar aims and under similar world sanctions. Since then they have shared jointly all research into building rocketry with an aim at developing a useable ICBM and the nuclear device to place on top of it. Under this agreement each country’s scientists work on a particular problem and then share their results so that both teams can move forward. This has allowed for an accelerated pace of advancing their research and knowledge as this method removes redundancies and allows virtually all research to be accomplished by one team but benefit both programs. From what we have been able to discern the Iranian area of specialty has been the development of rocketry while the North Koreans have spearheaded the nuclear weaponry side of the equation. This may have been partially the reason behind the Parchin Military Base being decommissioned and destroyed and cleansed as the North Koreans had already finished research and designing the necessary explosive charges necessary in a high yield nuclear device.

So, when evaluating the ramifications of the North Korean missile test and its relative success, one has to figure that this was actually a dual success with Iran as a mutual winner besides the North Koreans. The North Koreans gaining the ability to launch a three stage rocket and place a satellite into orbit now an ability which we need to grant to the Iranians. The only solace we can take from this accomplishment is that the satellite the North Koreans placed into orbit was apparently tumbling and as such completely useless and would also not allow for a stable placement of a warhead. Mind you, taking much solace from this fact may prove to be a short lived comfort as this little difficulty will probably not take very long to correct and then the North Koreans and their allies, the Iranians, will have pretty much a fully functioning ICBM. We already know that both countries have fully functioning CBMs with sufficient range to make many countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and much of Europe nervous and easily within range of these missiles. The Iranian Shahab series of missiles appear to me mostly exact copies of the North Korean Nodong missiles. So, we can now assess that both Iran and North Korea have the basic plans for ballistic missiles and at least a rudimentary nuclear weapon as well as very possibly a nuclear triggered EMP device. That sure is a comforting set of thoughts for the holidays, well, not exactly.

The most troubling fact about this entire North Korean launch is that the sanctions in place on North Korea, sanctions considered to be even more all-encompassing and strict than those on Iran, has not deterred the North Koreans from moving ahead with their nuclear and rocket programs. With this knowledge, exactly how much faith can anybody be expected to place on President Obama’s statements that we need to give sanctions a chance to work on Iran. Really now, wait for the lesser sanctions on Iran to cripple Iran while more stringent sanctions have had little effect in slowing North Korea from their nuclear or their missile development. The people in Iran are suffering under the sanctions despite efforts by Turkey, India, China and other allies and friends who get exemptions or find other ways around the sanctions and are providing some amount of relief from the sanctions. This has not allowed Iran to completely avoid the restrictions and difficulties sanctions are supposed to apply but these transactions have allowed at least some funds and relief. The most important and critical piece of information from this mostly successful launch by the North Koreans is the nearly total uselessness of sanctions against a dedicated, military, faux-electoral dictatorship at preventing military and WMD development. This is total proof that Israel has been correct all along stating that sanctions will not be sufficient in preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons capabilities. Whatever else you take from these pieces of information, the one most important is that United States President Obama is completely in the tank depending on sanctions and will not resort to a military option unless there is no other choice and the American people actually call for such actions universally. President Obama does not realize the full ramifications of the Iranians going nuclear and never will. He has a permanent blind spot that forces him to disregard and oppose anything that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu mentions. Now we just have to figure out how the world can survive and go ahead once Iran has nuclear weapons and can apply nuclear terrorism using Hezballah, Hamas, the IRGC and all the rest of their terror proxies. Such a world will not be a good place, not a good place at all. Sometimes one really wishes they could find a Hobbit hole and settle down to some real peace and comfort.

Beyond the Cusp

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