Thursday, June 25, 2009

North Korea: Clear & Present Danger

Former (and hopefully future) Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has hit it on the head again with his recent comments about the clear and present danger presented by North Korea.
I have long been saying that North Korea-not Iran or iraq- posed the greatest danger to US security and indeed the continuance of the USA as a superpower.
They have long been at the apex of the axis of evil, and with the Second Coming of Jimmy Carter in the oval office, the danger presented by North Korea should now be clear to one and all.North Korea has nuclear weapons. Iran does not... yet...
If one watches the behaviour of not only North Korea, but also the People's Republic of China, it is obvious that these countries have weighed President Obama in the balance and has been found wanting.
North Korea is now a nuclear power. They apparently don't have the means to deliver a warhead accurately to a major continental US city, nor do they have the number of warheads required to make an attack on the US anything more than a suicide bombing, however, there is one strategy i see playing out that the mainstream media is ignring to their-and our-peril: The North Koreans may well have the means to deliver an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack. The scenario would entail a nuclear warhead the size of the one that was dropped on Hiroshima be detonated 180 miles or 300 km above ground. The explosion would send out an electromagnetic pulse which would effectively knock out all electricicty and communications within a given radius.
According to an internet primer published by the Federation of American Scientists[20]

A high-altitude nuclear detonation produces an immediate flux of gamma rays from the nuclear reactions within the device. These photons in turn produce high energy free electrons by Compton scattering at altitudes between (roughly) 20 and 40 km. These electrons are then trapped in the Earth's magnetic field, giving rise to an oscillating electric current. This current is asymmetric in general and gives rise to a rapidly rising radiated electromagnetic field called an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Because the electrons are trapped essentially simultaneously, a very large electromagnetic source radiates coherently.
The pulse can easily span continent-sized areas, and this radiation can affect systems on land, sea, and air. The first recorded EMP incident accompanied a high-altitude nuclear test over the South Pacific and resulted in power system failures as far away as Hawaii. A large device detonated at 400–500 km (250 to 312 miles) over Kansas would affect all of the continental U.S. The signal from such an event extends to the visual horizon as seen from the burst point.
Since we doubt that, from a land launch in North Korea the rogue republic could hit the continental US, the likelihood that they would score a hit above Kansas , thus paralyzing the entire US, they could very effectively blow one up just east of Hawaii, and take out the west coast, and possibly some of the control centres in the western states that control the US nuclear arsenal.
The goal of North Korea has always been, as taught by Kim Il-Sung's "Juche" philosophy, is to unite all of Korea, and make sure that no foreign ever dominates them again. So what if the North Koreans launch another missile and detonate it over the Pacific, east of Japan so as to knock out Japan's power and communications, as well as that of South Korea and Taiwan?
North Korea has the fourth largest standing army in the world, more than twice as many men unde arms than South korea has. Mreover, it is a very low-tech fighting force, while South Korea, with its American re-inforcements are high tech, and thus reliant on weapons whose effectiveness would be limited by the results of an EMP blast.
This would allow North Korea to take the South very quickly.
All this begs the question as to why China continues to allow (and indeed protect) a regime such as this on its border? What can they possibly gain?
The Chinese government has also noticed the resemblance between the community organizer from Chicago and the peanut farmer from Georgia, and sees an opportunity to chane the Americans right out of east Asia and established its own hegemony.
Whether the North Koreans act or not, the situation of the freedom-loving Taiwanese is hanging precariously in the balance. The Chinese are trying to determine once and for all whether the Obama administration would be willing or able to defend Taiwan, and under what conditions. The Taiwanese are watching as well, and if they determine that the US will not honour its defense commitments, they may well accept terms from China, whereby the 'renegade province' will return to the fold, under a one country two systems arrangement such as Hong Kong now lives under. China is following tupical Sun Tzu, in that they are claiming the higher ground, using their spies well, and may be able to achieve their foreign policy goals without needlessly expending soldiers. (see Sun Tzu's "the Art of War").
While China would not likely want to "take over" Korea or Japan, by taking Taiwan, and chasing the US out of the east, they establish hegemony in the region much as in the glory days of past dynasties of the "Middle Kingdom" which was at the centre of a large web of tributary states in the region. China would thus elipse the US as the world's dominant military and economic power.
How much time remains to correct the errors that led us to this state of affairs is in question.
This cannot wait until 2010. The american PEOPLE must bring to bear massive pressure on their elected representatives and let them know that they need to make some policy changes and force Obama to grow a backbone.
Japan must be informed that they should re-arm. While many veterans of World War II might find this idea alarming, it is far less so than losing all influence in the area. Japan must remain an ally, but must have the means to deal with danger in the region without depending on the USA, which is spread out too far and wide. A strong Japan will counterbalance a strong China.
The US must make it clear that they will honour their commitment to Taiwan. Taiwan too, must be encouraged to take on more of its own defense at the same time.
If China sees that they have nothing to gain by allowing Kim Jong-il and his junta in power, they will move to bring that regime into line, in a manner that saves face. Make no mistake about it, North and South Korea will not be reunited at any time in the near future, since China, historically likes to have buffer-tributary states on its immediate borders. At the end of the day, we must learn from history the fact that Theodore Roosevelt was correct when he said "walk softly, but carry a big stick". The thug regimes of the world respect two things: Strength and resolve, and when the west puts the likes of Neville Chmaberlain, Jimmy Carter, Brack Obama and Gordon Brown in power, the dictators know that their time to act has come. Love peace? Prepare for war. Hopefully you will never have to fight it.

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