Will U.S. finally attack North Korea? That’s a trillion dollar question everyone is asking, and betting, as Sheriff Trump moves his war machines closer and closer to Bully Kim’s neighbourhood. If this is the Wild Wild West, both cowboys would have had their face-to-face gunfight, and the one who could draw his gun faster and shoot accurately wins the game.
Unfortunately, this is not the Cowboy World where two guys who don’t like each other solve their problem with a gunfight. And if we have to bet, we would say Donald Trump would eventually chicken out from his poker game with Kim Jong-un. Get real, if the intention was to strike North Korea, the U.S. would not have told all and sundry they’re sending aircraft carrier.
If Trump administration is serious about terminating fat boy Kim, there would have been a silent unannounced attack on North Korea, similar to Syria. There would have been a sudden volley of Tomahawk cruise missiles – possibly hundreds of them – pounding on North Korea. That’s what military strategists would do – delivering an element of surprise.
In the case of North Korea, however, the Trump announced to the world the deployment of the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 1 (CSG1) led by nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, the same strike force sent earlier to South China Sea to intimidate China. As if the party wasn’t fun enough, Trump is now planning to send two more aircraft carriers – the Ronald Reagan and the Nimitz – to the area.
Trump administration keeps bitching about a “sudden strike” on the Hermit Kingdom. Kim dictatorship keeps calling Trump bluff, and raises the stakes. If the U.S. needs three aircraft carriers to do the job, it means its fearsome strike group isn’t that deadly as the Americans want people to believe. Unless the plan was to kill every single North Korean, Trump doesn’t need three aircraft carriers.
Since the U.S. bombardment of a Syrian airbase, experts have been waiting with popcorn and Coke to see if Kim Jong-un would go into hiding. Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong Il, disappeared from public view for about six weeks in 2003 at the time of the Iraq war. Because Kim Jong-un loves the public spotlight, it’s a good indicator if he similarly goes into hiding.
Not only Kim Jong-un didn’t hide, much to Trump’s annoyance, he was also seen happily cheering a display of North Korea military force, celebrating the 105th birth anniversary of the nation’s founding president, Kim Il-sung. On the display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).
Clearly, North Korea preferred flexing its military muscles instead of caving to the U.S.’ intimidation. As aircraft carrier Carl Vinson steamed towards the Korean Peninsula, a top North Korean official – Choe Ryong Hae – issued a warning against America during the ceremony – “We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack.”
Do you really think Trump unleashed the MOAB (mother of all bombs) just to kill a bunch of ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan? It was supposed to send another scary message to Mr. Kim. However, the naughty boy responded with another missile testing, although it fails and explodes 5-seconds on liftoff. Still, it shows Kim isn’t afraid of Trump at all.
Armed with the recent U.S. military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan Vice President Mike warns the North Korea not to “test” President Donald Trump. But to Kim Jong-un, Pence’s warning is an admission that Trump does not have what it takes to strike North Korea. It was nothing but an empty rhetoric because the U.S. dares not attack North Korea.
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol, in an interview with BBC, has the following to offer – “We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.” While insisting that North Korea will keep testing ballistic missile technology as it sees fit, he also said “all out war” is possible if America continues to be “reckless enough to use military means.”
On Sunday, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, finally said that Trump was “not considering military action” for now, despite the sending to Korean waters of a carrier strike group led by the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson. Instead, Trump administration is working with its allies and China on a range of other responses.
On the table are tougher sanctions which could include an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea’s airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang. But as long as Beijing keeps dragging its feet when it comes to pressuring Kim Jong-un, there’s only so much that Sheriff Trump could do.
We have written why China will not allow U.S. to attack North Korea. Even if Beijing abandons Pyongyang, which is absolutely unlikely, Washington will not dare to strike North Korea. Unlike Iraq, Libya, Syria and other nations the U.S. had bullied and destroyed, North Korea is not an easy meat simply because the Hermit Kingdom possesses nuclear weapons.
If taking out North Korea is as easy as bombing Middle East nations until the kingdom comes, the U.S. would have done that ages ago. The problem with striking North Korea, including nuking the whole nation, is its proximity to South Korea and Japan. South Korea alone has 3-stage of defence system which includes fabulous pre-emptive strike plans.
They have Operations Plan (OPLAN) 5015, “4D” operational plan (detect, disrupt, destroy, and defend), Korea Air and Missile Defence (KAMD) plan and whatnot. But those are merely plans, which may or may not work. Missile defences help reduce the threat, but they can’t eliminate it. In short, missile defence involves hitting a bullet with another bullet.
Missile defence systems will never provide 100% effectiveness. Not even the controversial but sophisticated THAAD can guarantee the protection of Seoul. In a real nuclear war, which the world hasn’t experienced before, North Korea just needs a single nuclear weapon to escape South Korea and Japan defences to kill thousands, or even millions if more than one penetrates the defences.
North Korea has been practicing firing off multiple missiles in rapid succession or simultaneously to overwhelm enemy missile defence systems. And nobody in Washington knows for sure how much cheap and fast missiles North Korea has built over the years. With enough simultaneous launches it could overwhelm the THAAD system in South Korea and Japan.
If that was not bad enough, North Korea’s missiles aren’t statically stationed like the Syrian airbase, waiting patiently for the U.S. and its allies to hit. They’re being mounted on mobile launchers and scattered around the country. When they eventually gain expertise in solid-fuelled missiles, it would be even harder to track, making them less vulnerable to pre-emptive strikes.
Mr. Kim could also attack from its fleet of submarines. North Korea maintains one of the world’s largest submarine forces, with approximately 70 submarines in service. Although mostly are obsolete with only a handful today are believed to be capable of firing submarine-launched ballistic missiles or so-called SLBMs, they could deliver great damage to South Korea and Japan.
The thought of North Korea’s fully submersible submarines firing a nuclear ballistic missile isn’t totally impossible. Missiles fired by North Korean submarines off the east coast of Japan might be able to dodge detection from Japan’s Patriot anti-missile system by launching from behind radar. Similarly, a submarine missile from the North Korean navy could evade South Korea’s THAAD defence systems.
Therefore, North Korea isn’t just a fat juicy sitting duck ready to be slaughtered by the U.S. They have 70 fully submersible submarines that could be targeting any part of South Korea and Japan. Their submarines often mocked as “old and noisy,” yet in 2015 South Korean defence officials reported a sudden disappearance of around 50 of the North’s submarines.
Many people who read about North Korea-United States current situation as a Korean War II about to explode. And they think in the event that North Korea carried out a nuclear strike, successful or not, the U.S. would use nuclear weapons to turn the North into a crater. Like Hollywood films, the audience think the good guy U.S. would win while the bad guy North Korea would be wiped out.
Yes, North Korea would be defeated ultimately but when Kim Jong-un is pushed to the wall, the crazy fat boy will unleash everything in his arsenal to bring down as many Koreans, Japanese and Americans as possible with him. The collateral damage is simply too great for even a tough Sheriff Trump to justify. Does U.S. plan to kill millions of people?
Considering that North Korea has launched satellites using Taepodong-style rockets and pre-emptively assassinated Kim Jong-nam with VX Nerve Agent, Kim Jong-un isn’t as stupid as Donald Trump thinks the dictator is. In fact, Mr. Kim is more unpredictable than Mr. Trump and could unleash not only nuclear weapons but also chemical weapons.
At the end of the day, China and Russia are still the stumbling block to a U.S. military strike against North Korea. The deployment of spy vessels by Beijing and Moscow appears to be a signal that both superpower aren’t going to keep quiet while Washington demolishing Pyongyang. It seems both China and Russia are gathering intelligence to assist North Korea.
North Korea is a guard dog to both China and Russia, the same way Japan and South Korea are to the United States. The difference is, while Japan and South Korea are poodles, North Korea is a “Rottweiler”. The U.S. can sell the idea that it is in China’s long-term interest to have a unified, demilitarized Korea. But China and Russia knew a united Korea is just another breed of America’s lapdog.
In January, 2017, Donald Trump drew a red-line, vowing North Korea would never be allowed to test an intercontinental ballistic missile. Today, White House says Trump administration won’t be drawing any “red lines” because it hasn’t really worked in the past. Obviously, there’s no good military-option for Trump. The mighty warships sent to Korean Peninsula were just to show off.