Fire and Fury

From Alexander Mercouris:

There are now reports that the Defense Intelligence Agency – the US intelligence agency once headed by General Flynn – has reported to the US National Security Council that North Korea has successfully miniaturised a nuclear warhead and developed a re-entry vehicle for its Hwasong-14 missile.  Supposedly North Korea also now has a stockpile of up to 60 nuclear bombs – far more than previously thought.

If this information is correct then the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme has advanced much faster and much further than anyone – including the Chinese and the Russians – anticipated, further confirming my longstanding point that the perennial claim that the country is a backward economic basket-case simply cannot be true (see below).

From North Korea’s Workers Party:

It is none other than the U.S. which compelled the DPRK to have access to nuclear weapons and it is again the U.S. which persistently forced the DPRK to bolster them qualitatively and quantitatively.

The DPRK’s nuclear deterrence is not to threaten others but it is a means for self-defence to defend the sovereignty of the country from the U.S. nuclear war provocation in every aspect.

From Mercouris:

No Western leader has ever met with Kim Jong-un, and nor at the highest level have the Chinese and Russian leaderships. There is scarcely any knowledge of the institutional frame-work within which he works. We do not know who his top advisers are and how he consults them. We do not know how well-informed he is about the world or even about North Korea itself. We do not know how intelligent he is, or if there is any institution like a Politburo or a cabinet or a Security Council which he consults. We do not know what his exact relationship with his top civilian and military officials is.

From Pepe Escobar:

Beware the dogs of war. The same intel “folks” who brought to you babies pulled from incubators by “evil” Iraqis as well as non-existent WMDs are now peddling the notion that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead able to fit its recently tested ICBM…

But when we couple the guesswork with an annual 500-page white paper released earlier this week by the Japanese Defense Ministry, alarm bells do start ringing.

The white paper stresses Pyongyang’s “significant headway” in the nuclear race and its “possible” (italics mine) ability to develop miniaturized nuclear warheads able to fit on the tips of its missiles.

This “possible” ability is drowned in outright speculation. As the report states, “It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear bombs into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads.”

From the Korean People’s Army in the comments:

[T]he 82nd airborne division, the U.S. imperialist forces’ only air-dropping one, went into a large-scale airdrop and mobile drill, anticipating its involvement in the Korean front and the 25th light infantry division and the 10th mountain division are running high fever in their drills for getting familiar with the terrain of the Korean peninsula.

Navy SEAL which earned an ill-fame across the world and other special warfare units specializing in terrorist operations were urgently dispatched to south Korea. The plan for bringing strategic assets including B-52, B-1B, B-2A and F-22 formations to south Korea is in the pipeline.

At the Edward Air Force Base in California State B-52H formations are busy making preparations for a “secret operation” aimed to create chaos within the depth of the KPA, while staging a drill of dropping PDU-5/B bombs containing propaganda leaflets for psychological warfare.

The U.S. plans to bring huge naval forces including its two nuclear aircraft carrier task forces and a nuclear sub to the waters off the Korean peninsula.

From the KPA in the comments:

Recently, the U.S. test-fired ICBM Minuteman-3 at its Vandenberg Air Force Base in California State targeting the DPRK, the fourth one this year, openly staged an actual nuclear strike drill targeting the strategic objects of the DPRK by mobilizing its nuclear strategic bombers formation stationed at its Anderson Air Force Base on Guam in the Pacific. It is driving the regional situation to an extreme pitch by bringing various kinds of nuclear strategic hardware before the very eyes of the DPRK. The Strategic Force of the KPA has taken special note of such maneuvers.

Such military maneuvers of the U.S. may provoke a dangerous conflict under the present extremely acute situation prevailing on the Korean peninsula.

Typically, the nuclear strategic bombers from Guam frequent the sky above south Korea to openly stage actual war drills and muscle-flexing in a bid to strike the strategic bases of the DPRK. This grave situation requires the KPA to closely watch Guam, the outpost and beachhead for invading the DPRK, and necessarily take practical actions of significance to neutralize it.

In the morning of August 8 the air pirates of Guam again appeared in the sky above south Korea to stage a mad-cap drill simulating an actual war.

From Gregory Elich:

After three failed launches in April of this year, the intermediate-range Hwasong-12 finally achieved success on May 14. Unlike the Pukguksong-2, this missile is liquid fueled.  By all accounts, the performance of the Hwasong-12 demonstrated a significant technological advance over any of North Korea’s other missiles. In the last test, the missile flew at a steep 85-degree angle and achieved a height of 2,111 kilometers. It is calculated that a normal trajectory would give the missile a range of 4,500 kilometers, making it capable of striking the U.S. strategic bomber force in Guam. [5]

More importantly, this marked North Korea’s first successful test of a reentry vehicle…

A reentry vehicle launched by an ICBM must absorb far more punishment than is the case with shorter-range missiles, and survive temperatures of 7000˚C.  It took the United States several years to master the challenge of designing a survivable ICBM reentry vehicle, [11] and we have no solid information on the Hwasong-14’s reentry performance.

A nuclear warhead must be miniaturized to reduce the weight enough for it to be deliverable in a missile. As military technology specialists Markus Schiller and Theodore Postol point out, “It is unlikely that North Korea now has a nuclear weapon that weighs as little as 1000 kg. It is also unlikely that such a first-generation nuclear weapon would be capable of surviving the unavoidable 50 G deceleration during warhead reentry from a range of nearly 10,000 kilometers.” [12]

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