North Korea’s ICBM Test and Threat

On July 4, 2017, North Korea tested a missile which it claims to be its first intercontinental missile.  North Korea claimed, and Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary confirmed, the missile dubbed the Hwasong-14 ICBM flew for 40 minutes up to an altitude of 1,500 miles, well above the orbital altitude of the International Space Station.  A more depressed trajectory, this mid-range missile could reach Alaska.  They followed their test with threats of widespread destruction against the United States.   Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, declares that North Korea continues to “ignore the repeated warning from the international community.”

On July 5, 2017, Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, delivered the following speech to the United Nations:

Thank you, Mr. President.

To my friends on the Security Council, I must say that today is a dark day. It is a dark day because yesterday’s action by North Korea made the world a more dangerous place. Their illegal missile launch was not only dangerous, but reckless and irresponsible. It showed that North Korea does not want to be part of a peaceful world. They have cast a dark shadow of conflict on all nations that strive for peace.

Yesterday’s act came from the same vicious dictator who sent a young college student back home to his parents unresponsive and in a coma. For Americans, the true nature of the North Korean regime was painfully brought home with the images of two guards holding Otto Warmbier up as they transported him from a prison he should never have been in.

Otto Warmbier is but one person out of millions who have been killed, tortured or deprived of their human rights by the North Korean regime. To Americans, the death of one innocent person can be as powerful as the death of millions because all men and women are created in God’s image. Depravity toward one is a sure sign of willingness to do much more harm.

The nature of the North Korean regime is clear. Only the scale of the damage it does could become different. That’s why yesterday’s escalation is so alarming. If North Korea will treat an innocent young student the way it treated Otto Warmbier, we should not be surprised if it acts barbarically on a larger scale.

The United States does not seek conflict. In fact, we seek to avoid it. We seek only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an end to the threatening actions by North Korea. Regrettably, we’re witnessing just the opposite. Make no mistake, North Korea’s launch of an ICBM is a clear and sharp military escalation.

The North Korean regime openly states that its missiles are intended to deliver nuclear weapons to strike cities in the United States, South Korea and Japan. And now it has greater capacity to do so.

In truth, it is not only the United States and our allies that are threatened. North Korea’s destabilizing escalation is a threat to all nations in the region and beyond. Their actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution.

The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction. We have other methods of addressing those who threaten us and of addressing those who supply the threat.

We have great capabilities in the area of trade. President Trump has spoken repeatedly about this. I spoke with him at length about it this morning. There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging, trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Such countries would also like to continue their trade — such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That’s not going to happen.

Our attitude on trade changes when countries do not take international security threats seriously. Before the path to a peaceful solution is entirely closed, however, there remains more that the international community can and must do diplomatically and economically. In the coming days, we will bring before the Security Council a resolution that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea’s new escalation.

I will not detail the resolution here today, but the options are all known to us. If we are unified, the international community can cut off the major sources of hard currency to the North Korean regime. We can restrict the flow of oil to their military and their weapons program. We can increase air and maritime restrictions. We can hole senior regime officials accountable.

The international community has spoken frequently against the illegal and dangerous actions of the North Korean regime. For many years, there have been numerous U.N. sanctions against North Korea, but they have been insufficient to get them to change their destructive course.

So in order to have an impact, in order to move North Korea off its military escalation, we must do more. We will not look exclusively at North Korea. We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime. We will not have patience for stalling or talking our way down to a watered-down resolution.

Yesterday’s ICBM escalation requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response. Time is short. Action is required. The world is on notice. If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.

Much of the burden of enforcing U.N. sanctions rests with China; 90 percent of trade with North Korea is from China. We will work with China. We will work with any and every country that believes in peace.

But we will not, repeat, the inadequate approaches of the past that have brought us to this dark day.

We cannot forget the multiple missile tests this year, or yesterday’s escalation.

We cannot forgot Otto Warmbier and others North Korea continues to hold. We cannot forget the threats to our friends and allies around the world.

We will not forget, and we will not delay.

Thank you.

Let’s examine North Korea’s position:

“President Donald Trump has staunchly opposed North Korea’s pursuit of ICBMs, as well as its desire to develop the technology to fit them with nuclear warheads, which Pyongyang views as essential to its survival in case of foreign invasion.” – Time, July 5, 2017
Given President Trump’s 50-year history of action, it is extremely unwise to attempt to call his bluff, as he simply has none.  He researches what he can and cannot do, then does what he must in order to accomplish his goals.
 
For Pyongyang to view nuclear weapons “as essential to its survival in case of foreign invasion” is about as blitheringly idiotic as could be, especially since 95% of all countries around the world have no nuclear weapons.  Not one of those 187 countries without nuclear weapons is invading them, so why would any one of the 8 countries with nuclear weapons want to invade North Korea?  We’ve had nukes for seventy-two years.  Most of the other 7 countries have had their nukes for at least fifty years.  If any of us had any interest in invading North Korea or using nuclear weapons against North Korea in a preemptive strike, we’d have done so long ago.  What we’ve been hoping for over the last 64 years is that North Korea would come to its senses and do what nearly all other countries have done:  Establish normal diplomatic relations and engage in free trade with others.
The U.S. (nor any other country) has absolutely no interest whatsoever in invading North Korea, unless North Korea develops and threatens to use nuclear weapons against others.  Thus, North Korea’s fearful reaction, their aggressive actions, and their threats are not only not in their best interests, they’re in their absolutely worst interests.  They’re completely irrational.  It’s downright blatantly stupid given the direct consequences which will — must — follow North Korea’s threats of using nuclear weapons against others.
 
Some FACTS about nuclear weapons:
 
1. Out of 196 countries around the world, only 9 (4.6%) of them have nuclear weapons. The other 187 countries (95.4%) around the world have no nuclear weapons.
 
2. Russia has 47.9% of all nuclear weapons. The U.S. has 44.5% of all nuclear weapons. Third on that list, France as 2.1%, followed by China at less than 2%.  North Korea might have as many as 8 nuclear weapons (0.05%), but the actual number is probably less than that due to their underground testing.  Here’s the full list
 nuclear weapons
3. When it comes to official world policy on North Korea, 98.15% of all nuclear weapons in the world can be pointed at and used against the country, should that need arise.
Bottom line, given the military might and nuclear capability of the U.S., Russia, France, China, the U.K., Pakistan, India, and Israel — ALL of whom are members of the United Nations, North Korea will NEVER succeed in using force, especially nuclear force, against any other country, as ALL other countries would wipe them off the face of God’s good, green Earth.  North Korea is about a second away from self-annihilation.  They had better find someone who isn’t bent on self-destruction to right their ship and lead their nation out of the minefield into which they’ve drifted.

Should America Apologize to Japan for Dropping Nuclear Weapons in World War II?

The White House indicated President Barack Obama may visit Hiroshima during his final visit to Japan next month.  His spokesman said “Obama would like to see the world rid of nuclear weapons,” and ” ‘symbolically’ there’s probably ‘no more powerful illustration of that commitment than the city that contained the victims of the first use of that weapon.’ ”

Put simply, Barack Obama wants to apologize to Japan for America’s use of nuclear weapons to end World War II.

The truth is, America should NEVER apologize to Japan. We ended the war in the most humane manner possible, saving SIXTY TIMES the number of Japanese casualties that would have resulted from conventional warfare.  Furthermore, casualties of war peaked in World War II.  The deterrent value of nuclear weapons is incalculable, but it’s safe to say that during the second half of the 20th century, global wartime casualties would have been between 4 and 10 times greater without nuclear deterrence.

During the summer of 1945, Operation Downfall was the conventional alternative to using nuclear weapons.  It involved the direct invasion of Japan, and comprised of two parts, Operations Olympic and Coronet, that would have resulted in Japanese casualties upwards of 20 million, as predicted by the Vice Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, Vice Admiral Takijir? ?nishi. This was based on the fact that there were 2.3 million Japanese Army troops prepared to defend the home islands, backed by a civilian militia of 28 million men and women, and the mindset at the time is that all would have fought to the death for their Emperor.

American predictions were somewhat less, estimating the invading Allies would suffer between 1.7 and 4 million casualties in such a scenario, of whom between 400,000 and 800,000 would be dead, while Japanese fatalities would have been around 5 to 10 million.

Let’s average the American estimate, 7.5 million, with the Japanese estimate, 20 million. Result: 13.75 million Japanese deaths.

Reports of casualties for Nagasaki and Hiroshima vary, but even at the highest ends of the scale, they amount to approximately 160,000 immediate deaths with another 66,000 dying by December, 1945, for a total of about 226,000.

Compare these two figures, and please note that one figure is 61 times greater than the other:

1. Casualties of NOT using nuclear weapons: 13.75 MILLION

2. Casualties of USING nuclear weapons: 226 thousand.

If we had NOT used nuclear weapons, more than SIXTY TIMES as many Japanese people, mostly civilians, would have lost their lives. As it is, both targets were specifically chosen for their military nature in an attempt to minimize civilian casualties.

If the numbers are difficult for you to imagine, consider the following representation:

Casualties as recorded, using nuclear weapons:
.

Casualties that would have occurred had we not used nuclear weapons:
…………………………………………………….

So, should America “apologize” for using nuclear weapons, thus ending the war FAR sooner and with VASTLY FEWER casualties?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

We didn’t start the war, but we certainly ended it, and in the most humane manner possible: “This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital [Kyoto] or the new [Tokyo]. He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one.” – Diary of President Harry S. Truman, from various pages on July 17, 18, and 25, 1945.

Iran, Nuclear Energy and Weapons, and Common Sense

Imagine Iran detonating one of these puppies over a major U.S. city:

Iran

This is a picture of a nuclear fission detonation taken just a few milliseconds after detonation.  The mottled surface is the pressure front of the expanding fireball, traveling at a rate of roughly 112,000 mph (50 km per second).  The temperature is over 20,000 deg Kelvin, caused by superheated compression of the air at the front of the pressure wave.  That’s more than 100 times the temperature of the surface of the Sun.  Nothing survives when it’s that close, not even solid rock.  The conical spikes on the bottom are “rope tricks,” caused by x-ray vaporization of the guy wires and instrument cables attached to the detonation tower.

Keep in mind this is a relatively small, 10-20 kiloton device.  The warhead pictured to the right is capable of 10 times that energy W80_nuclear_warheadand destructive power, yet it’s less than 1 foot in diameter and less than 1 yard in length.  It was first produced in 1981.  It was designed for deployment on cruise missiles and according to Wikipedia, it’s “the warhead used in the majority of nuclear-armed US Air Force ALCM and ACM missiles, and their US Navy counterpart, the BGM-109 Tomahawk.”

Fortunately, Iranian technology is nowhere near that good, so theirs would be significantly larger.  Unfortunately, their best scientists were educated in America’s best institutions of higher learning, thanks to the uber-left entrenched in the education possessing the strange talent of being both technologically brilliant in their specialized areas of learning while remaining incredibly stupid about more pressing issues, like whether or not an ideologically dogmatic nation-state is trying to kill us, and whether it would be a wise idea to give them even the slightest edge towards succeeding.

As Benjamin Netanyahu recently noted, Iran isn’t building nukes Benjamin-Netanyahuand ICBMs to reach Israel.  They already have missiles capable of reaching Israel.  They’re building them to reach the U.S., for whom they have avowed death and destruction for the last 35+ years.

This link takes you to NukeMap, a tool you can use to determine the fireball radius, air blast radius, and thermal radiation radius of typical nuclear detonations where you live.  If detonated over the Statue of Liberty in New York City, the world’s smallest nuclear weapon, the 20 t (not kt — just ton) Davy Crockett would destroy the monument and kill everyone on the island twice over, first by heat, and a second time by radiation.

If we increase the yield by a thousand times to 20 kt, the “Fat Man” bomb used on Nagasaki, and move the location to St. John’s Cemetary, halfway between Brooklyn and Queens New York, it will kill as many people as soldiers were injured in Viet Nam, and injure a quarter of a million people.

Increasing the yield yet again to that of the previously pictured device, more than a quarter of a million people will die, and more than a million will be injured.  Given the fact that terrorists usually don’t put all their marbles in one basket (witness the 4 planes used during the 9/11 attacks), I would expect 5 such devices detonated simultaneously in our major cities, and close to 1.5 million people dead and nearly 6 million injured.  The monetary and property damage would make 9/11 look like a pinprick in comparison.  Here’s what that the destruction radius of just one device would look like:

NukeMap
Now, consider this question from Fortune:  “Everyone agrees the Iran nuclear deal is historic. But the real question is: Historic in what way?  Will the agreement avert military strikes against Iran’s facilities, while also keeping a nuclear weapon out of Tehran’s hands, as President Obama argues?  Or is the deal “historic” like the Munich Agreement of 1938, in which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Adolf Hitler? Are we naively enabling a terror-supporting regime to become a nuclear power and setting off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? That’s what most Republicans, some Democrats and Israeli leaders say.”  Source:  Easton, N. (2015, July).  What the Iran nuclear deal really means.  Fortune.  Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/07/21/iran-nuclear-sharon-squassoni/

I don’t know about you, but I’m inclined to believe that a nation-state with a long and strong history of sponsoring terrorism should NEVER be allowed anywhere near anything “nuclear,” regardless of their acclaimed purpose.  If they want energy for the generation of electricity, let them go with wind, solar, and fossil fuels like most nations around the world.

And before anyone says, “but they need nuclear power,” consider this:  “Iran has the second largest proved gas reserves in the world after Russia, with 33.6 trillion cubic metres, and third largest natural gas production in the world after Indonesia, and Russia. It Iran - More than Half Sun-drenched Desertalso ranks fourth in oil reserves with an estimated 153,600,000,000 barrels.  It is OPEC’s 2nd largest oil exporter and is an energy superpower.”  Furthermore, fully half their nation is sun-drenched desert, absolutely ripe for the use of solar power.

Iran has ABSOLUTELY ZERO “need” for nuclear energy.  They have enough fossil fuel to last them 1,000 years, and enough sunlight to last them for 5 billion years (when the Sun is expected to have exhausted its stores).  They also have access to water and mountains along two long shore fronts, so they can store daytime energy overnight using hydroelectric storage.  Long before then, however, the world will have perfected nuclear fusion, which will long outlast the Sun itself.

Again, the mere thought of allowing Iran to have any nuclear facilities whatsoever, is incredibly, blitheringly idiotic.  While that may change in a thousand years, I wouldn’t count on it.  It hasn’t changed in the last 1,400.