The North Koreans have never been shy about taking life. They are not skittish about committing acts of war. And now three things seem to be confirmed:
1) North Korea possesses rockets capable of threatening U.S. territory, as well as Japan and other American allies.
2) North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads to fit into warheads, or will soon be able to do so.
3) North Korea has begun moving anti-ship cruise missiles onto a patrol boat on the peninsula’s east coast, according to Fox News.
I say these things are confirmed because the UN Security Council voted 15-0 on new sanctions against the Hermit Kingdom. Even China did not exercise its veto. This means the U.S. possessed enough foreign policy capital–carrots and sticks–to achieve this result. No small achievement.
If the world did not take seriously North Korea’s ability and lack of inhibition to conduct a bloody war, there would be no sanctions. Dealing with North Korea can be profitable to those without a moral guardrail.
That being said, the world should also take President Trump’s statement–incendiary as it was–very seriously. Literally and seriously.
He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. Thank you.
Here’s what Donald Trump believes about nuclear weapons. He said this in 1990.
I’ve always thought about the issue of nuclear war; it’s a very important element in my thought process. It’s the ultimate, the ultimate catastrophe, the biggest problem this world has, and nobody’s focusing on the nuts and bolts of it. It’s a little like sickness. People don’t believe they’re going to get sick until they do. Nobody wants to talk about it. I believe the greatest of all stupidities is people’s believing it will never happen, because everybody knows how destructive it will be, so nobody uses weapons. What bullshit.
Surely Kim Jong-un knows Trump believes this. It would be folly for him to consider attacking the U.S. with a man in the White House who fully expects to live to see nuclear Armageddon–or be the one to prevent it.
Therefore, what Trump said is perfectly consistent with what Trump believes.
However, what retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney said to Fox News Money is inconceivably stupid.
“If he gets our full nuclear retaliatory capability, within minutes after one round going into Seoul, there will be nothing left,” McInerney told Fox’s Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”
“If you go to Airborne Alert—we used to call it “Chrome Dome”—with nuclear weapons and then we start building up our other forces, et cetera, he will not last 15 minutes,” said McInerney.
Thankfully, McInerney is no longer on active duty (nor should he ever be again, after this); and the U.S. doesn’t need to go to “Chrome Dome” like this was 1962.
One Ohio class Trident submarine is enough to destroy North Korea. Each sub (we’ve got at least 2 to 4 at any given time within range of the Norks) carries 24 Trident D5 missiles, each missile with up to 14 W88 or W76 (475 kiloton and 100 kiloton respectively) MIRVed warheards. The missiles do not require GPS signal to find their targets–so jamming is out.
In short: one sub can deliver 33 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb to 14 individual targets, with a total of over 6 megatons of “fire and fury.” There’d be nothing left of North Korea and the living would envy the dead.
Of course, this would also scatter radiation all over South Korea, China, and Japan, who would be our forever enemies after Armageddon. Therefore, it’s stupid beyond belief to bring it up like McInerney did.
So what was Trump talking about?
There are many options in the U.S. arsenal short of nuclear weapons. We have B-2 bombers, F-22 stealth fighters, sea launched cruise missiles, and other classified weapons that would do incredible damage to North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities. And it would happen before the Norks knew what hit them.
They know this. Kim’s hole card is that if we do it, he’ll launch 4,000 artillery pieces with chemical weapons at Seoul, threatening 11 million lives (in addition to other cities along the DMZ). If Kim attacks Seoul, does the U.S. then go nuclear first? Probably not.
But Trump is betting we wouldn’t have to. He’s betting that we have enough of a first punch to keep the North from going into Armageddon. He’s also believing that the threat of “just crazy” will keep them from crossing a threshold from which they can’t pull back.
Again, remember we have a president who believes nuclear war isn’t something to be feared, but to be understood and conquered. The man plays everything to win. His unbelievable hubris and uninformed spontaneity may be what has pulled the Security Council into new sanctions.
Will it be enough to keep Kim from calling his bluff?
We need to hope so, because both of these men need to be taken very, very seriously and at their word.