Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | North Korea | NSA/Surveillance | alaska | china | kim jong-un

Talk Alone Will Do Nothing to Stop NKorea

Image: Talk Alone Will Do Nothing to Stop NKorea
People react while watching a news broadcast on a missile launch in Pyongyang, North Korea, in July of this year. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said the second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated his country can hit the U.S. mainland. (Jon Chol Jin/AP)

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Friday, 04 Aug 2017 12:12 PM Current | Bio | Archive

This column’s assessment mere weeks ago (not a prescient view from our top military commanders) was, "North Korea is getting closer each day. At some point, they’ll have the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead to Hawaii and possibly our West Coast."

And what’s happened since? North Korea shocked America’s intelligence and military communities by successfully launching two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with enough range to hit Alaska and possibly the U.S. mainland.

The only thing more frightening than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pulling off such a feat is that our government was, once again, caught so off-guard, given that their "experts" predicted such a capability was years away. Now these geniuses arrogantly claim Kim is years away from installing a nuclear warhead on his ICBM.

Maybe if the National Security Agency (NSA) was focused more on the true bad guys and less on reading the e-mails of law-abiding Americans, they wouldn’t have been so off-target.

It’s one thing to be wrong about mundane things. But we’re talking about getting it wrong on the world's biggest stage, where the global economy is at stake, and millions of American lives hang in the balance. And we only have to be wrong once. Like horseshoes and hand grenades, North Korea only has to get close.

Decades of bluster, idle threats, and failed sanctions have enabled North Korean leaders to make good on their promise to become a bona fide nuclear power.

Here’s how to eliminate that threat:

1. Stop childish responses. After North Korea launches an ICBM, America responds by firing really expensive missiles into the ocean. Wow. How impressive. Kim would be quaking in his boots, except that A. He already knew we had those missiles in South Korea, and B. He knows we won’t use them. So what the the point?!

2. Why are we using American troops as nuclear guinea pigs, giving Kim 29,000 American nuclear hostages? It makes the situation all the more complicated.

3. President Trump must ask the most basic questions. Has what we’ve done worked? Is what we are doing now working? Most important, given that it has been 11 years since the North Koreans detonated their first nuke, is there any way to resolve the crisis without decisive military action?

The answers? Unequivocally, no.

Every time North Korea takes a leap forward, America has responded timidly. Threats with no follow-through; show-of-force military exercises with zero political returns; fruitless discussions through diplomatic back channels; economic sanctions that have not worked; de facto blockades on military hardware and technology — equally unsuccessful, as the ICBM test proved; and a wholly ineffectual effort to pressure China to tgake care of North Korea.

So why are we waiting?

How can this president continue to sit idly by while the enemy grows stronger? Despite candidate Trump’s bluster about how he would "handle" North Korea, he is continuing his predecessors’ policy of headbanging against the wall, hoping for something different than a cracked skull.

The hope was that China would exert pressure on North Korea. Scratch that, as China, despite the wimpy, conciliatory tone Mr. Trump has taken with them, just blasted the U.S. for pressuring it to act.

China shirks its responsibility because it disapproves of the U.S. anti-missile system installed in South Korea, opposes U.S. sanctions against Chinese companies doing business with North Korea, and thinks U.S.-South Korean military exercises heighten tensions (like the ICBM test didn’t?). And it thoroughly enjoys the leverage this situation provides.

They stand to lose as much as anyone if North Korea launches. China can keep playing coy games, but it will have no room to complain when we act.

4. Mr. Trump refuses to draw a red line with North Korea. That’s a mistake.

He should hit them now.

We only have one shot, so it must be a massive pre-emptive first strike hitting five critical areas:

A. Kim must be taken out. Period. Then a more moderate leader could hopefully be installed (perhaps with our assistance, one who would be acceptable to China). Seeing the futility of war, such a leader would likely wave the white flag, pulling North Korea back from the brink.

B. Simultaneously, American air power must crush every aspect of North Korea’s nuclear program: launch pads, centrifuges and laboratories, both above and below ground. Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? Absolutely not. Just look at the Israeli attack against Iraq’s nuclear facilities in 1981, despite some experts’ claim that it couldn’t be done.

C. The defense headquarters, and critical strategic and communication sites, must be leveled. Loss of life cannot be a primary consideration. Instead, we should employ the "a thousand will die so that a million may live" axiom.

D. Kim’s political headquarters, as well as his closest allies, must be eliminated. 

E. And, to the greatest extent possible, the North’s massive artillery on the border must be neutralized. Kim can lob over 100,000 shells on the South per hour, but if the majority of that threat is mitigated, along with North Korea’s leadership being decimated, local artillery commanders may well surrender.

Sadly, because of Kim’s reckless ambitions, there can be no bloodless outcome. We must hope that Mr. Trump recognizes that he has but one, lest he be the president on whose watch America suffers a devastating nuclear attack.

Otherwise, America may find itself down a few states in the very near future.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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Like horseshoes and hand grenades, North Korea only has to get close.
alaska, china, kim jong-un
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2017-12-04
Friday, 04 Aug 2017 12:12 PM
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