sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Roaring Mice

North Korea is essentially a hemorrhoid to China, and there is no indication that they are genuine in their interests to reign in their stepchild. It's too bad, because they'll cross a line and it will become an American problem. And that problem may go nuclear. When that happens, it will be China's fault, but blame will rest (as it inevitably does) on the US.

On 14 June, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a(nother) lengthy rant against the US. The final few paragraphs may have interest to y'all. 
“…We have now resolutely grasped nuclear weapons. Our Republic is a nuclear power in the East that nothing can repudiate.”

“We have definitely acquired our own style of technology for the development of the ballistic rockets that can carry nuclear warheads up to not only the US military bases in the Pacific theater of operations, but also the US mainland. Our country is demonstrating its majestic appearance in a dignified manner as a leading rocket state in Asia.”

“The distance to New York in the northeast of the United States, next to the Atlantic Ocean, from our country, across the Pacific Ocean and the middle of the US mainland, is approximately 10,400 km. Today, to us, such a distance is not very far off. All areas of the United States, even if they are further away, are all within the range of our strikes.”

“The United States is trembling with fear lest this fact be proved in reality. This is because the moment we launch an intercontinental ballistic rocket that can carry out precision strikes on any part of the US mainland, the United States' hostile policy toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which is for nuclear threat and blackmail and for the provocation of a war, will come to an end.”

“Early this year, Trump blew the snobbish bugle (sic) that North Korea's nuclear weapons development to reach the United States would never reach a final stage.”

“However, the strategic weapons tests we have recently conducted have clearly showed that the day is by no means far off when chuch'e Korea will carry out the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic rocket.”

“In general, an intercontinental ballistic rocket leaves the atmosphere by the use of a multi-stage rocket and by inertial guidance and reaches outer space 1,000-3,000 km above and then flies along an elliptical orbit with the center of the Earth's gravity as a focal point, and then hits the target. In this case, the rocket is guided by a control device only during the first segment of its trajectory and, for the rest, freely flies along the mechanically calculated trajectory. When the warhead reenters the atmosphere, it does not burn because of its heat shield and can then hit the target correctly.”

“Our "Hwaso'ng-12"-type surface-to-surface medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket test launched on 14 May flew upward to reach a maximum peak altitude of 2,111.5 km along its planned flight trajectory. This shows that we have creatively resolved the high-thrust engine issue -- a pivotal issue in developing an intercontinental ballistic rocket that must fly high up to outer space.”

“At the same time, the "Hwaso'ng-12"-type accurately hit the target maritime zone set in international waters after flying 787 km. This showed that we have completely and flawlessly acquired the atmosphere reentry technology -- which is known as the core technology in intercontinental ballistic rocket development -- in other words, the heat shield technology that protects the warhead in the severe reentry environment to the atmosphere from outer space.”

“US Department of Defense officials, too, testified that our new-type medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket, after the test launch, reentered the atmosphere in a controlled state and did not burn at all during the reentry course.”

“When we succeeded in the test-firing of a "Pukku'kso'ng-2"-type surface-to-surface medium long-range strategic ballistic missile, too, the hostile forces, showing photographs of the Earth taken in real time by the camera we installed at the warhead, confessed that we had demonstrated competence in atmosphere reentry technology…”

“Justice is on our side. This fact is clearly proved by the history of the construction of a chuch'e nuclear power -- the history during which we have etched only victories and glories even in the midst of all sorts of hardships.”

“Our army and people will continue to even more persistently fight toward the day on which we will call a checkmate of final victory in the anti-US war of confrontation that has persisted century after century and decade after decade.”
This is the latest in a long series of rants in which North Korean propagandists present arguments for the US to recognize North Korea as a nuclear-armed state. North Korea craves this recognition earnestly and often.

The scientists and the engineers have learned a lot and have steadily improved the missile and the nuclear programs. However, US recognition of North Korea’s status as a nuclear-armed power is not a matter of science so much as a matter of politics. They want US recognition so badly they won’t get it.

As for ballistic missiles, in the absence of an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile test, the propagandists published technical information about North Korea’s knowledge of ICBM mechanics. 

Much of that information is readily available on the worldwide web, but in this rant technical information is included to persuade the US that the North has authentic rocket scientists and is serious about targeting mainland US cities, including New York.

If the technical information is accurate, it is impressive that one of their missiles reached a peak altitude of more than 2,000kms and still splashed down in the Sea of Japan.

They will test launch a ballistic missile. The rant hints that they already tested the first stage and the reentry vehicle in the Hwasong-12 flight on 14 May.

The North’s propagandists and communist ideologues in general consider warfare a form of politics. In that doctrine, politics is the ultimate arena of struggle between systems. North Korean leaders warned the US in this rant that when they launch an ICBM they will have won the political struggle against the US.

Thereafter, the US is supposed to acknowledge defeat and to end its policy of hostility, meaning withdraw its soldiers from South Korea and stop military exercises. Most senior North Korean leaders know this is a nonsense, zero-sum argument that no one takes seriously, excepting some of them and probably Kim Jong Un.

The tragedy of North Korea is that the inept leadership of three generations of well-fed and pampered Kims is responsible for the hardships that the North Korean people have had to bear. 


Geopolitics

Quote of the Day: "The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for."- Fyodor Dostoevsky

North Korea

There have been various reports (none of them particularly credible) that suggest North Korea will soon test another nuclear weapon. My reaction to that is - maybe - but unlikely. The Chinese threat of serious repercussions to that sort of thing is still fresh in the mind of the fat kid with the bad haircut who runs the place, Respected Dear Leader, pictured right.

Qatar, etc.

Iran is mounting a feeble public relations campaign in support of their ally, Qatar. The text runs something like this: Saudi Arabia has promoted Islamic faith centers around the world that have also been the breeding ground of terrorism.

Iran's point is that it's hypocritical of the Saudis to sanction Qatar for spending billions supporting terrorist organizations.

The Saudi-Qatar situation has something to do with stopping the Qatari support for terrorists, but it also has to do with Qatar's friendly relations with Iran. As is always the case, everywhere, this sort of brinksmanship is complicated. It's also polarizing as some Arab nations have been shipping food to Qatar in defiance of the Saudi mandate.
  • Morocco has decided to send airplanes loaded with food products to Qatar, according to a Moroccan foreign ministry statement. The statement said King Mohammed VI instructed the government to send the food products "in accordance with our Islamic teachings, especially in the holy month of Ramadan."
  • Italy is supporting Qatar (for a fee)...
  • Commercial maritime shipments from Oman to Qatar are replacing overland truck traffic from other Gulf States. According to Al Jazeera, a Qatari food company owner said shipments began arriving on Sunday, 11 June, from Oman. He said about 12 ships were headed to Qatar from Sohar and Salalah.
  • Maersk of Denmark announced it would accept new bookings for container shipments to Qatar from Oman. Swiss-based MSC said it would deploy a new dedicated shipping service to Qatar from Salalah.
  • On 11 June, the Iranian Navy said it was deploying two ships to Oman, as part of its continuing anti-piracy patrol. These supposedly will rotate with two Iranian ships already on station.
Some analysts have suggested that the sanctions imposed by the Saudis haven't worked, however, the point is to replace the emir with somebody more "qualified" from within the royal family, not to destroy Qatar.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

The Chinese are demanding more security for the roadway, and that Pakistan provide specific security for every Chinese person living and working in Pakistan.

Sindh Province will provide a 2,600-strong police protection unit. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will commit 4,200 police officers and Baluchistan will complete a review of current protections.

The murders in Quetta of two Chinese language teachers by Islamic State terrorists, which they announced on 8 June, is the impetus for the provincial governments to get serious about security for CPEC workers.

The forces listed above are in addition to the newly raised special security division in the Pakistan Army, whose mission is CPEC security, and the new air-sea patrol unit in the Navy, whose mission is security of Gwadar port. Up to 85,000 national and local security personnel are expected to be committed to maintaining security for CPEC.

CPEC is a mixed blessing for Pakistan. Security for Chinese workers and interests already are taking on higher or more urgent priority than Pakistani requirements.

In 2018, Chinese trucks are expected to begin more intensive use of the roads from Xinjiang in western China to Gwadar port. Pakistan is shouldering significant, unanticipated security expenses, but has yet to experience the economic benefits of CPEC.
In time China will be providing oversight of all security arrangements for CPEC, as Pakistani security ineptitude persists and as China takes control of more of Pakistan’s economy along the CPEC right of way. The published plans for CPEC include construction and operation of agro-industrial industries and of Chinese security systems and communications along the highways used by Chinese trucks, among other compromises of Pakistan’s sovereignty.