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The West consistently and unwittingly cooperates with North Korea and Iran by underestimating the advancement, sophistication, and strategic implications of their nuclear weapon and missile programs.
Despite North Korea's successful long-range missile test in December 2012, and now its third successful nuclear test on February 12, 2013, the Obama administration and the press keep reassuring the American people that North Korea is not yet a fully fledged nuclear weapons state - that a North Korean nuclear missile threat to the United States is still years in the future.
The facts do not support this judgment. North Korea is already a major nuclear threat to the United States--an existential threat.
Common wisdom in the press, encouraged by the Obama Administration and North Korea, is that North Korea has not yet miniaturized nuclear warheads for missile delivery, and that its nuclear tests are in pursuit of designing a nuclear missile warhead. Indeed, the Obama administration and the western press both naively took at face value and parroted North Korea's public claim that their third nuclear test is for nuclear warhead miniaturization.
Yet this claim is almost certainly disinformation designed to conceal that North Korea's nuclear weapon program is advanced far beyond warhead miniaturization. Miniaturization to develop a nuclear warhead is not difficult to do, and can be accomplished even without nuclear testing.
North Korea and Iran both have strategic reasons to mislead and conceal from the West the true status of their nuclear and missile programs. They intend that the U.S. and its allies will underestimate those programs, fail to act in time to stop them, and be strategically surprised when North Korea and Iran become nuclear super-powers, and progenitors of a dystopian new world order.
I served on the congressional North Korea Advisory Group during the Clinton administration. We warned the White House, the press, anyone who would listen, that North Korea was cheating on the Agreed Framework. During the Clinton years, North Korea forged full speed ahead on its nuclear weapons program--including with a clandestine uranium centrifuge program, to supplement the known plutonium program for North Korea's advancing nuclear arsenal.
Unfortunately, the press was not interested and our NKAG Report went virtually unreported.
So, North Korea achieved a nuclear weapons capability during the Clinton administration in 1994, and not during the Bush administration with their first test in 2006. We know from our own experience, and from that of other nations, that nuclear testing is not necessary to develop a nuclear weapon. Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever built, was developed and used successfully by the U.S. to destroy Hiroshima, without nuclear testing. Hiroshima was the test.
We also know from our own experience, and from that of other nations, that it does not take 20 years to miniaturize a nuclear warhead for missile delivery.
Today, however, North Korea and other nuclear weapon states are not re-inventing the nuclear wheel. They can draw on a vast treasure trove of declassified information about U.S. nuclear weapons development. Moreover, North Korea and other nuclear weapon states are using modern 21st Century technology, and do not have to rely upon primitive 1930s and 1940s era technology, as did the United States during the Manhattan Project and its early nuclear weapons program. Further, North Korea and other nuclear rogues help each other, and also get help from China and Russia.
For these reasons, North Korea and other states like Pakistan and Israel have nuclear weapon programs far more sophisticated than is widely recognized by the press.
A Super-EMP warhead does not weigh much, and could probably be delivered by North Korea's Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, successfully tested in December 2012, against any nation on Earth. Thus, North Korea already possesses an ICBM and poses a mortal nuclear threat to the United States, and to all nations on Earth--right now.
North Korea, during the successful test of its ICBM on December 12, 2012, orbited a satellite weighing 100 kilograms (about 200 pounds). One design of a Super-EMP warhead would be a modified neutron bomb, more accurately an Enhanced Radiation Warhead (ERW) because it produces not only many neutrons but also many gamma rays. As noted earlier, gamma rays cause the EMP effect. One U.S. ERW warhead (the W-82) deployed in NATO during the Cold War weighed, including its heavy casing, less than 50 kilograms. Since the EMP attack entails detonating the warhead at high-altitude, above the atmosphere, the warhead does not even need a heavy re-entry vehicle and heat shield.
North Korea's ICBM does not have to be accurate to make an EMP attack against the United States.
The EMP field is so large that detonating anywhere over the U.S. would have catastrophic consequences. North Korea orbited its satellite around the Earth at an altitude of about 500 kilometers. The trajectory of North Korea's satellite is no accident--they deliberately aimed for and achieved this orbit and altitude, as announced before their launch.
An altitude of 500 kilometers would be ideal for making an EMP attack that places the field over the entire lower 48 United States.
North Korea's ICBM, delivering an EMP attack by means of an inaccurate satellite warhead, would likely miss its horizontal aimpoint over the geographic center of the U.S. by tens of kilometers. Bursting the warhead at an altitude of 500 kilometers would compensate for this inaccuracy by creating an EMP field big enough to cover everything. North Korea's satellite did not pass over the United States--but a slight adjustment in its trajectory would have flown it over or near the U.S. bull's eye for a high-altitude EMP burst.
Originally posted by ImpactoR
reply to post by BlueAjah
I don't follow how developed NK weapons are but those statements there have a good point. It sounds naive how Obama administration belittles what NK has and yet the words are often 'we do not know of'
'we do not know of' means never seen what they have, that does not mean 'exclude', because like other articles, no1 knows what NK has and what they do not in terms of nuclear weapons.
It should not be even surprising that they already have enough to do big damage to the world...