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If N Korea could use subs to deliver nukes.....

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posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 09:30 PM
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Forgive me if this has been discussed. I'm not one to discuss warfare and weaponry.
But it seems to me that if PRNK indeed had submarines and has nuclear capability, we could be at risk in many parts of the world.
Why would we think that only a missile is needed to wreak havoc?

There was some discussion on C2C about PRNK having a sizable submarine fleet. OF course, I scoffed. Then tried to look it up:

The North has perhaps the world's second-largest special operations force (55,000), designed for insertion behind enemy lines in wartime. While the North has a relatively impressive fleet of submarines (especially small submarines for infiltrating South Korean waters), its submarines are old Russian purchases such as Golf and Romeo class submarines, hardly comparable to modern submarines in the seas today. Its surface fleet has a very limited capability. Its air force has twice the number of aircraft as the South, but except for a few advanced fighters (about 20 MiG-29s), the North's air force is obsolete.

en.wikipedia.org...

Is this an aspect of the WOT that we should worry about in the US?
Or are the subs of a class that are short range, but could harm other parts of the world?




posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 09:41 PM
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In terms of military effeciency, those subs are obsolete. As far as I can tell from googling, neither of those class of submarines are outfitted to launch a missile of sufficient size to carry an effective nuclear payload.

But I'm not an expert, so I'm not ruling it out.

On the surface at least, it seems that North Korea's fleet is more a threat to their neighbors than the CONUS. But in light of their recent nuclear activity and related threats, it's something to consider.



posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 11:04 PM
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Somethin to keep an eye on. NK could park a sub outside Japan or a US friendly country and threaten to nuke them. I could see this part of their blackmail scheme.



posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 11:13 PM
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The problem with that is if they are discovered, it can be sourrounded and held/sunk at will.

Personally, i don't think kimis stupid enpough to directly launch a nuke at anyone.

That said, I am sure he would be willing to give/sell soime to people who are will to do so.



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 12:34 AM
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Hi DTOM( I remembered!!!
)..
We have something in common to talk about here!


Anyways, the bottomline is that North Korea needs to attain the capability to develop deliverable nuclear weapons. This means that all the jazz required to generate conditions of detonation need to be minaturised so that it can happen at the click of a toggle switch or the press of a push button. When they get it down to under one tonne for a weapon then its a real nuclear capability.
Once this is done, there are a variety of systems the nuclear weapon can be adapted too.
The simplest way is using it as an aircraft launched 'free fall' bomb, and most of the newer nuclear weapons states(and even the well-established ones) use this as a key delivery mechanism.
North Korea has MiG 29s which in theory 'can' be reconfigured for N-weapons delivery, just like the F-16.
The Romeo class you mentioned has no surface missile capability, i.e. it cannot launch missiles that come up above the water and hit ships above the water.
So the only possible options are nuclear mines and nuclear torpedoes and both of these constitute subermerged detonations; something that can have a variety of results and thus requires live testing or high powered simulations.
North Korea doesn't have either. Moreover they have don't have an abundance of nuclear material as well and so I'd be betting they wouldn't risk putting nuclear weapons on subs.
Moreover I doubt the Romeo subs have a submerged range of over 400 miles so that
rules out US assets.

Summary: We can afford to not be worried about a N Korean submarine fleet with nuclear capability.
Infact I'd be betting that they'd concentrate only on missiles and maybe free fall bombs off aircraft.
Hope this helps answer some of your questions!



[edit on 17-10-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 08:25 AM
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I think the main problem here is that people are talking of conventional attacks but the problem is what happens if missiles are placed on a freighter that sits off the coast of the US. Range, payload etc would be irrelevant, as long as the missiles land on US soil they will have achieved their objective. I know some of you will say NK would get more than it gave but thats no recompence if a dozen nukes hit America, hundreds of thousands if not millions would die.

Is America prepared for this, is there even anybody checking the freight routes, its alright having plenty of security at airports but who's watching the coast, and a ship can carry a far more significant load of weapons to what you could get on a plane. I mean think of the Cuban missile crisis, only these weapons would not be on show to be picked up by satelite or other means of surveilance. I think this is a great weakness for America and one thats requires urgent attention to prevent any such attacks.



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 09:37 PM
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Daedalus, it's a pleasure to see you posting here.

I truly appreciate your input. It indeed help me understand what would be needed if North Korea is to have this kind of nuke capability.

As mushroom added, and as my husband relayed the story he heard, what's to stop NK from developing a suitcase bomb and putting it abroad one of these subs?
Although it sounds as if they don't really have the range to get to the Western Hemisphere?



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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exactly.

Why does everyone assume that they have to launch a missle with a warhead attached, why not just use a suicide-sub. Drive it into a port somewhere and kaablammy.



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by ewan
exactly.

Why does everyone assume that they have to launch a missle with a warhead attached, why not just use a suicide-sub. Drive it into a port somewhere and kaablammy.




This was what I thought when I saw this thread. If NK is going to use a sub to nuke something, its going to be a one way trip.

The only other thing I would have to say on this is that there exists a network of underwater hydrophones throughout the Pacific. These were place there in order to hear for Soviet Subs. I highly doubt that even if a NK sub could be modified into a suicide nuker, that it would be able to slip past all of these and make it past the waters past Japan, not that it would need to if it were just going down the road to South Korea or Japan.

Also, it would be just downright stupid for NK to try this because I'm sure we have more than a couple of our own subs in the area patrolling just in case we need to launch some missles, or to prevent this from happening.

Okay, last thing, if it is even seen that North Korea is even moving towards the ability to launch nukes (like oh say, another test) you can bet that Japan will go nuclear just to have the deterrent.

[edit on 10/17/2006 by Sir Solomon]



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 10:43 PM
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Exactly right Sir Soloman.The hydrofones have been a line of defense for decades.And i agree that n.k.ancient subs could leave their waters undetected.Not to mention hunter killer subs patroling east/west coasts.As for freighter based nukes they are a very real threat.



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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or, thinking outside the box a little bit, if you really want to hack off the western nations, pick a really big oil/gas field offshore somewhere, park a sub in the middle of it and nuke it.

Instant attention!



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by ewan
or, thinking outside the box a little bit, if you really want to hack off the western nations, pick a really big oil/gas field offshore somewhere, park a sub in the middle of it and nuke it.

Instant attention!


Closest place like that I know of would be the Spratly Islands. Question I have though would be why the heck would North Korea want to screw itself like that?

China, Japan, and many other Asian nations have claim to the Spratly's, nuke it, and North Korea's government will be a thing of the past, without US intervention.

Basically the only reasons North Korea (or should I say the government of North Korea) developed nukes would be to either a) use the technology and know-how as a bargaining chip to get money and trade/finance from other countries, or b) to sell to other nations for hard cash (in which case the subs would more likely be used to get past monitering stations and transfer the nukes in the middle of the ocean), or c) a 'necessity' to keep the world from invading their country.

What many people don't remember is that the Korean War really never ended. We are just in a very long cease fire. Even my roommate (who is a foreign exchange student from South Korea) feels pretty complacent about North Korea.



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
As mushroom added, and as my husband relayed the story he heard, what's to stop NK from developing a suitcase bomb and putting it abroad one of these subs?


Well nothing, but with their ports and waters are lined with sensors and hydrophones, and we probably have constant satellite coverage of their ports along with ongoing SIGINT operations. It would be difficult to launch such a submarine and mission unnoticed. Not to mention that there's the whole radioactive spectrum and just how much we can detect debate. And I don't think this is sort of thing can be done on a large scale.


Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
Although it sounds as if they don't really have the range to get to the Western Hemisphere?


I'm not too sure on just how much endurance these subs have in terms of supplies but I do know they would have to surface in any long range mission to target the CONUS or Hawaii. Not to mention that infiltrating military or major commercial ports to get within rage of sub kiloton nuclear device wouldn't be a walk in the park itself. So again the probability that they can pull off something like this unnoticed is slim.

However for the sake of argument, say they do, the question is what are they going to do with a .5 KT blast? It would not be able to achieve much beyond a psychological effect. It would destroy only a limited area around the detonation point, with radiation probably having more of an impact than the actual blast itself. Militarily you would not achieve any real accomplishment but again the psychological or economic impact could be significant. However on the bright side it would be the end of North Korea as we know it.



posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 11:32 PM
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N Korea Bombing the Spratly's AND claiming responsibility for it would be in my opinion as stupid as attacking China!


In response to the suitcase bomb question.
Hec.. if the N koreans can minaturize an N-weapon to the size of a suitcase, then they've
achieved the ability to put N-weapons on almost any delivery platform (missiles, aircraft, torpedoes,mines etc. etc.).
Using a suicide sub is a distant possibility since the Romeo class can actually circumnavigate the globe IF surfaced at all times. However being surfaced at all times almost certainly guarantees detection by opposing forces, and so they'd have to devise an absolutely ingenious sea route involving timely surfacings and dives, to slip through undetected.
Having said that, using a sub to surface near the harbour of a US city and then suicide detonating is not a very good idea from the attacker's point of view either. You will surely not get the same effect as a aerial/surface detonation over the city(may that be by a missile all the way from Korea or a smuggled bomb).
Nuclear mines/torpedoes may be a good option for taking out capital naval assets (carriers) etc.. but then that again requires meticulous planning to avoid opposing minesweepers etc etc..
All in all, lets not worry about N Korean subs and worry about their ability to minaturise and develop deliverable nukes..
Even if they do that, I think using nukes on subs would be very much down their list of 'things to put nukes on'!



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 04:04 AM
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Anything is possible if N Korea get/got their hands on some blueprints from their friend China or Russia



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 08:55 AM
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Question I have though would be why the heck would North Korea want to screw itself like that?


I think that Kim Jong Il sees that Hitler did the same thing, and for a time, it worked. He made threats and Europe gave into all of Germany's concessions, trying to resolve the matter through diplomatic means. Now, I am by no means saying to end the diplomatic measures, but I don't think that N.K. realizes that the rest of the world (hopefully) learned from the mistakes of that period. This is a very unprecidented time. Whatever happens from this point out must send a strong message that no country can do whatever they want without facing real world consiquencesses. The U.N has the potential to be a great organization, but they must take their work and the evolving threats seriously.

james



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 11:02 AM
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Gross miscalculation by NK as Hitler was the leader of a strong and powerful country.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 11:39 AM
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They don't have the technology...their missle technology has made no progress, they're still bombing into the ocean like the tests they did years ago. The only real threat to the US by nk is the troops we have down in south korea.

[edit on 18-10-2006 by Shoktek]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 12:36 PM
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We have one of the most sophisticated submarine tracking systems in the world. In addition to the SOSUS system of static hydrophones we deploy sensor arrays to track activity in areas of interest and have a fleet of hunter-killer subs that do nothing 24/7 but silently track subs maneuvering through the world's oceans. The possibility that NK could weasel one close to the US is pretty far-fetched. And that assumes that they've engineered a nuke into a small enough size/high enough yield that it would work.

Finally, every country in the world, including lil Kim, knows that the US has a ridiculously large nuclear arsenal. The subs in the Pacific fleet alone have enough SLBM nukes to utterly glass NK. And without virtually any warning. For that reason the only viable tactic to nuke the US would be by an organization that cannot be attached to a single country.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 04:12 PM
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Our submarine surveillance is so good that it is not possible for one to get near our ports?
Has it ever happened that a foreign sub ended up undetected in US waters?


BTW, thanks for all the great info



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