Thursday, April 4, 2013

I didn't realize that North Korea has a "few dozen" nuclear weapons

Most people have been pretty dismissive of the North Korean threats and there is a good chance that it is all just the usual periodic bluster that we get from that weird Stalinist country just north of where I get my LCD's made.  But what if that weird fat dictator with the horrible haircut is actually really crazy?  For decades, North Korean propaganda has been telling that family how incredibly impressive and wonderful they are.  Kim Il Sung probably knew the reality as he was defeated in the Korean War and probably Kim Jong Il knew it as well.  But what about "Un".  Could he be so completely cuckoo for cocoa puffs that he actually believes all the stuff he has heard since he was a kid?  Maybe he is sick of not getting the "respect" internationally he feels he deserves.  If North Korea didn't have nukes, it probably wouldn't be a big deal.  But not only do they have nuclear capability, but according to this NBC report they have dozens of warheads capable of being put on ballistic missiles.  Imagine what that could do to the people of South Korea and Japan?  Millions could perish and then we would constantly hear about how everyone kept dismissing the warning signs, warning signs that have been here for decades.  Clinton was even preparing a pre-emptive strike in 1994 against their nuclear facility.  Anyway, here is the story of their nuclear stockpile from NBC:

According to a recent analysis, North Korea has a weapon stockpile that could threaten both Japan and South Korea and, in longer term, the United States. Some of the weapons have already been deployed, say U.S. officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity. Moreover, the North has begun research into more advanced and dangerous weapons, possibly even thermonuclear weapons, they say.

At the high end of the stockpile range, U.S. officials and other researchers said North Korea may already have up to "a few dozen" nuclear weapons that could be fitted atop its vast fleet of ballistic missiles. Those missiles are limited to an intermediate range, capable of hitting targets in Japan, South Korea or elsewhere in the northern Pacific, including U.S. military bases as far south as Guam, the officials believe.


While some analysts suggested that the North planned its December rocket launch to gain attention ahead of the presidential election in South Korea , some in the U.S. non-proliferation community think otherwise. They expect that once the North feels comfortable with its ICBM technology, it will deploy the missiles.  They point to the Musudan intermediate range missile which was tested in middle of the last decade, then deployed — presumably with nuclear warheads — and aimed at Japan.

Once the North has confidence in the long-range missile based on the space rocket, U.S. officials believe they will deploy it as well, making North Korea the third nation to have nuclear weapons targeted at the United States, after Russia and China.

Many in the Obama administration see that as a more frightening prospect than Iran gaining nuclear weapons, believing that Tehran is a rational actor that will serve its own national interest and preserve the regime, compared to successive generations of North Korean leaders who have shown that they are unpredictable and erratic.

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