December 2, 2017

Merry Christmas to one and all from North Korea.  Glorious Leader Kim Jong-un unwrapped a wonderful new intercontinental missile, the Hwasong-15, which experts believe might be capable of reaching Los Angeles, New York and Washington, depending on the weight of its nuclear warhead.

This was the big, earth-shaking story until Gen. Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in Washington seemed an even bigger bombshell than North Korea’s nukes.  As of now, the Flynn scandal looks like a tempest in a teapot – unless FBI Inquisitors can produce real evidence that the wicked Russians were doing anything more in cahoots with Trump & Co. than all major powers, including the US, routinely do.

As a former French prime minister so well put it, ‘all government is permanent conspiracy.’

The best thing to come out of ‘l’affaire Flynn’ is that this loopy, wildly anti-Muslim general is out of government.  But many more cranks and crazies still infest the Trump administration.

After last week’s nasty exchange of tweets between British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump, and his posting of spurious anti-Muslim hate films made by Brit neo-Nazis, the depths of this administration’s hatred of Muslims was on view to the world.   Previously, it had been kept somewhat below the surface.

Trump, a non-stop viewer of Fox TV `news’, has clearly become a zombie-like follower of Fox’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, who is a notorious hater of Islam and ardent supporter of Israel’s rightwing government.  In the Fox view, any bad news about Muslims is good news for Israel – a very foolish way of thinking since the anti-Islamic prejudice now being spread throughout the US, Russia, and Europe is just one step away from 1930’s anti-Semitism.

Back to Glorious Leader Kim.  It is astounding that his Hwasong-series missiles work so well.  One recalls all those embarrassing US tests of the 1960’s, with missiles toppling over and blowing up or being destroyed right after launch.

Somehow, North Korea’s missiles have become so reliable that their launch is shown on TV, with you know who watching – from a safe distance of course.

A sure-fire way of gauging a missile’s efficiency is studying its tail’s exhaust pattern.  The Hwasong-14 and now 15 appear strong, steady and totally effective.  How did a threadbare nation of only 25 million people develop such a powerful weapon?

Of course, there were launch failures in the past, and even launch-pad explosions. But the new Hwasong series looks potent and reliable, and has caught Washington’s attention when it is not fussing about Donald Trump.  South Korea’s 50 million citizens must have growing admiration for the North while their own government dances to Washington’s tune.

As a long-time military analyst, I suspect that North Korea has had a big helping hand from abroad in engine technology, electronics and systems integration. Who could have provided it?  China, Russia, India or Israel.

The first two nations are the logical suspects.  Either could have supplied the necessary technology as a very clever way of diverting Washington from its own imperial plans, which are now in disarray.

The Trump administration now has the choice of a total naval blockade of North Korea, mining its ports, and destroying the Yalu River bridges, over which flows oil, food and strategic materials.  It sounds simple on paper but North Korea is quite capable of vigorous responses, like bombarding parts of Seoul or mining South Korean and Japanese ports.

It’s not the kind of spitting match in which any thoughtful American leaders ought to become engaged.  Over 90% of Americans cannot name or locate the capital of North Korea or explain the reasons for a major war against this strategic but remote nation.  But, of course, the US Imperium has been warring in remote Afghanistan for sixteen years for reasons few understand.

Afghanistan can’t shoot back. North Korea now can.  Trump has put the US on a path to war in the Korean Peninsula that few want, neoconservatives and crazies aside, and that could poison the entire planet.

Copyright  Eric S. Margolis 2017

This post is in: North Korea, USA


  1. You cannot get away from the horsesh*t:

    “South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has credited Donald Trump for creating the political backdrop to this week’s inter-Korea talks, and echoed the US president’s warning that Pyongyang faced more pressure if it continued to conduct missile and nuclear tests.”

    Trump has been the biggest obstacle… If I were the Kim, I’d decide to postpone the meeting.

  2. Living in interesting times… From the BBC and Guardian… from earliest comments to latest comments. [My comments in square brackets]:
    Statement 01
    The statement follows a visit to Pyongyang by Jeffrey Feltman, the highest-level trip by a UN official to the isolated nation in six years.
    North Korea says it has agreed to regular communication with the UN [No regular communication with the US].
    Statement 02
    Tillerson said Washington was ready to talk without preconditions, whenever Pyongyang was ready, and that first chat could be about anything, even the weather.
    Statement 03
    On Friday, Mr Tillerson also urged Russia and China to put more pressure on Pyongyang by taking action beyond mere compliance with UN Security Council resolutions. Both countries rejected this [Really sounds unconditional, and does Tillerson know what he’s doing?].
    Statement 04
    The secretary of state omitted his line from earlier in the week on US openness to talks ‘without pre-conditions’ following a rebuke from the White House .
    Rex Tillerson has said that the US was keeping channels of communication open with North Korea but said Pyongyang would have to “earn its way back to the table” with a “sustained cessation of threatening behaviour” [adding more confusion to an issue they should not be involved with].
    Statement 05
    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said North Korea must “earn its way back to the table” for negotiations between the two countries to restart.
    Mr Tillerson said Pyongyang had to carry out a “sustained cessation” of weapons testing before any talks [even more conditions… if the Americans continue to set up road blocks, North Korea will never come to the table. Rex will have to be very careful, else, he may be looking for another job].

    • Statement 06
      US National Security Adviser HR McMaster said that the United States has “to be prepared, if necessary, to compel the denuclearisation of North Korea”, with or without their cooperation [Sounds like a threat to me].

  3. I’m just wondering if the Donald with his capital idea Jerusalem and his subsequent maligning the UN for being anti-Israel isn’t shifting the focus from Korea.
    He has attack aircraft in the vicinity on the pretext of wargames and sabre rattling… and they could easily be used for a real attack.
    I’m not really paranoid, but, just don’t trust the Donald.

  4. I’m still concerned that the Donald will try to sneak up on the Kim with bombers and rockets, some Wednesday morning about 2:00AM. Depending on who becomes involved, it could unleash WWIII. I don’t think the Donald is intelligent enough to know the seriousness of his actions.
    I cannot see China and Russia sitting back to ‘just let things happen’, even if the Kim does not ‘get off a shot’. It’s too close to their backyard. I still remember the Cuban missile crisis where Khruschev sensibly held back to prevent WWIII. Up to that time, I thought Kennedy was a decent human being. He showed his true colours and paid the price.
    The Kim’s nuclear deterrent is the reason he is still alive and Gaddafi and Hussein are languishing in their respective afterlives.
    The Kim’s determination is to be admired. He has advanced North Korea’s nuclear program to being a serious nuclear power. He has done this in a decade and his weapon delivery system has improved dramatically within the last couple of years. The balance of the work is a little fine tuning and improvements in delivery.
    I don’t know if the Kim really states that areas of the US are now within range or if the western newspapers are quoting American government fearmongers to villify him. He should stick to long range tests and let others determine the threat level. Dropping one in the ocean in international waters outside of Indonesia should ‘draw a picture’.
    It’s a shame when two megalomaniacs go at it… I consider Kim as the winner of ‘one upsmanship’ and am rooting for the chubby little guy; I’m surprised he doesn’t trip over his cajones. I hope he realises just how dangerous, is the game he is playing.
    I’m also very disappointed that the rest of the world hasn’t said ‘diddly’. I guess it’s somewhat like climate change and the rest of the world is prepared to ‘go it alone’ with some large American states and cities deciding that they have to match the Paris accord even though the head of the American EPA is a climate change denier; you can thank the Donald for that appointment.
    There are times when the existence of the world, as we know it, should weigh heavier than politics. I can see Canada fall in line if the Americans attacked North Korea early Wednesday AM. We would send troops (I was thinking troupes, and originally spelled it as such.) to assist our ‘friend’. The TTUN (Toothless Tiger UN) should have a serious talk with the Americans, and how they threaten the safety of the world at large.
    White House National Security Adviser HR McMaster says the US is “in a race” to address the threat from North Korea. More saber rattling. The truth is that the Americans are creating this threat. I don’t lay awake at night thinking of Armageddon, but, am more troubled by the American threat than I am by the Korean one. To make matters worse (from the BBC), “South Korea and the United States launched their largest-ever joint aerial drills on Monday, officials said, a week after North Korea said it had tested its most advanced missile as part of a weapons program that has raised global tensions.” Russia and China have noted this recklessness of the Americans.

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