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  • What to do about North Korea

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on July 5th, 2017 (All posts by )

    The North Koreans launched a new two stage missile, which signals more escalation of their part.

    The two-stage missile launched Tuesday by North Korea will be classified by US intelligence as a brand-new missile that has not been seen before, US officials told CNN.

    The first stage of the missile is believed to be a KN-17 liquid fueled missile, which is well-known to US intelligence and has been previously launched by North Korea.

    Ahead of Tuesday’s missile test, US satellites had seen evidence the KN-17 missile was being prepared for launch.
    But at some point prior to launch, the North Koreans attached a second stage atop that missile.
    The focus now is on the capability of that second stage, and how it technically contributed to making Pyongyang’s latest test its first ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch.

    The next step will be the development of a solid fuel missile which could be launched with little warning.

    NK launch

    The trajectory was high and short but the second stage could be programmed to go much longer range.

    It is apparent that the US policy going back to Bill Clinton and his “Deal” to stop the Norks nuclear program, has been a complete failure, like so many of Clinton’s deals.

    On Oct. 18, 1994, Clinton approved a plan to arrange more than $4 billion in energy aid to North Korea over the course of a decade, in return for a commitment from the country’s Communist leadership to freeze and gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons development program, according to The New York Times.

    The “complex” deal was to de-escalate the situation on the Korean peninsula, where the two Korean nations never negotiated a peace treaty after the Korean War ended in armistice in 1953.

    “This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world,” said Clinton in 1994. “It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.

    The drawing-in never happened.

    I can only imagine what Hillary Clinton would do if she were President. The mind boggles at the thought.

    Instead it looks like Trump is getting very serious.

    In the final analysis, China will either take action to remove the North Korean threat, or the United States will collapse the economy of China with the biggest set of economic actions against China in the history of economic sanctions.

    ? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will establish and highlight the action of the enablers.

    ? U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad will politely request China to stop enabling and take action.

    At the G20 – President Trump will politely ask Xi Jinping not to put him in a position of destroying the Chinese economy. Trump will remind Xi Jinping he really doesn’t want to, but he is being left no option.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are the atomic economic sledgehammer…. awaiting orders.

    Will Trump do it? We’ll see but he seems fearless. He gave China a chance to do the right thing.


    Now, it is up to the Chinese as we see little evidence the Trump will chicken out as Obama has done.

    It is also a chance for Nikki Haley to burnish her credentials in front of the world. She looks up to it.


    30 Responses to “What to do about North Korea”

    1. CapitalistRoader Says:

      It is also a chance for Nikki Haley to burnish her credentials in front of the world. She looks up to it.

      She certainly does. She’ll make a good president in 2020 if Trump decides not to run; 2024 is more likely.

    2. Mike K Says:

      Pence will have a hard time following Trump. He might but she looks good if she hangs in there,

    3. James the lesser Says:

      I wonder what is happening behind the scenes in Pakistan.

    4. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      James the lesser Says:
      July 5th, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      You can be fairly sure that if the data from the test launch and the technical specs and blueprints are not in Pakistan [and Iran] by now, they are en-route.

      This cup is not going to pass away from the West.

    5. Brian Says:

      China will do nothing, because they can do nothing. The ChiComs are the KFR writ large.

      BTW, Trump’s speech from Warsaw this morning is absolutely astonishing.

    6. PenGun Says:

      So what can he do? Not much, just run off his mouth and send fleets. Touching this little powder keg off would be a big mistake. ;)

      NK is getting good at missiles, it’s only medium high tech these days. Iran as well has some pretty good ones in it’s arsenal. Do you think ‘regime change’ has anything to do with this …. nah.

      I’m liking Nicky Haley a lot. Not quite as evil as Saint Samantha, but a whole lot of Barbie, is fun.

    7. Grurray Says:

      I just watched Trump’s speech. Quite an inspiring defense of Western Civilization. A good excerpt:

      There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.

      We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.

      We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.

      We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.

      And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.

      What we have, what we inherited from our — and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people — what we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.

      Another interesting part:

      The memories of those who perished in the Warsaw Uprising cry out across the decades, and few are clearer than the memories of those who died to build and defend the Jerusalem Avenue crossing. Those heroes remind us that the West was saved with the blood of patriots; that each generation must rise up and play their part in its defense and that every foot of ground, and every last inch of civilization, is worth defending with your life.

      Reminiscent of Jefferson’s quote ‘the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots,’ which itself was a paraphrasing of early church father Tertullian who said, ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.’

    8. PenGun Says:

      “In the final analysis, China will either take action to remove the North Korean threat, or the United States will collapse the economy of China with the biggest set of economic actions against China in the history of economic sanctions.”

      ROTFLMFAO The opposite is more likely.

    9. skf Says:

      If the West wants to stop North Korea from getting a nuke, the only option is war

    10. skf Says:


    11. skf Says:


    12. Mrs. Davis Says:

      I bet Trump is about to find out how much leverage we have over China, and China over the Norks. And it is more than most imagine. He’s willing to take risks to find out. The alternative is to lose Seoul.

    13. Jonathan Says:

      One alternative, which may not be available in time but which is necessary anyway, is to greatly expand our anti-missile defenses in scope and quality. Of course we should also sell as much anti-missile tech to S. Korea, Japan, Australia and (heh) Taiwan as they want to buy. We are already starting to do this again for Poland, so we’ll probably also begin to do it for our Asian allies if we aren’t already.

    14. Jason In LA Says:

      One of the great threats the Chinese had over the years was their substantial holdings of Treasury securities.

      Piss off the Chinese — the school of thought went — and they’ll sell their US bonds at bid, causing American interest rates to gap up…..That of course was before Quantitative Easing and other government asset purchase programs. The Fed, and the world knows interest aren’t really set by a market anymore…..So there goes that threat.

      However, before we get ahead of ourselves regarding a trade war, Wal-Mart stockholders, who have as much at stake with Chinese relations than anyone, seems rather complacent. Not a hiccup in their shares this week.

    15. PenGun Says:

      The Japan and the EU trade deal is a deal to make an almost free trade environment. There are others lining up, and it may be, that the world will trade around the US soon.

    16. Mike K Says:

      “Not a hiccup in their shares this week.”

      WalMart has been running an ad campaign emphasizing their purchases from US sources.

      Maybe they are setting up alternative sourcing.

      China has not nearly the inventory of US Treasuries they had.

      PeGun is hoping against hope the US will fall. He hasn’t looked at the map of Canadian population.

      I think Trump will try to force China to disgorge the Norks.

      China’s economy is much more fragile than the left thinks.

      I have see over the past five years the volume of Chinese immigrants joining the US Army to get citizenship.

      They know something Pengun, billionaire though he may be, might not.

    17. Anonymous Says:

      There are others lining up, and it may be, that the world will trade around the US soon.

      Probably not. The US is rich, with a per capita GDP $15k more than the EU-19, $16K more than Japan, and at least $10K more than our poorer English-speaking brethren in the UK, Canada, and Australia. Multiply that large per capita GDP advantage by the world’s third largest population and you’re talking about a market that’s just too rich to pass up.

    18. Brian Says:

      “The Japan and the EU trade deal”
      Ah yes, the “future economic superpower” of the 90s and the “future economic superpower” of the 00s are going to team up. Oooh, scary. Call me when they start actually having kids.

    19. PenGun Says:

      “PeGun is hoping against hope the US will fall.”

      Not at all. I expect it to fail, not the same thing.

      You are held up against your enormous debt by the fact you have the currency of record. You have scrapped mark to market as those numbers are terrible. There is so much high valued garbage unaccounted for in your system. This is just one of many tricks, that will come back to bite you.

      If you continue with your exceptional path, at some point you will lose the currency of record, and that will break your system.

      As well there are those trying to break your system. I think Vladmir Putin’s apparent plan to keep oil just on the edge of where America can frack is genius. Now you have a actual war on with him, so he will do what he can to screw you. ;)

    20. mhj Says:

      PenGun says:
      “You are held up against your enormous debt by the fact you have the currency of record. You have scrapped mark to market as those numbers are terrible. There is so much high valued garbage unaccounted for in your system. This is just one of many tricks, that will come back to bite you.”

      Yes, but the Chinese banking and shadow-banking system is worse. If it gets into a US-China confrontation (which I hope it doesn’t and do not really expect, but some people here seem to be anticipating that), it may come down to whose financial system is more vulnerable to what the other guy can do, and which regime blinks first if a financial panic occurs and starts spreading into the “real” economy.

      The answer is not at all clear, to me at least, but if I had to bet I would bet on the US being the one left standing, barely. But even if China finally says, “uncle,” that leaves unanswered the question of what exactly they can do b=about NoKo.

      As for second-order effects, only God knows, and that’s where it gets really scary. The leadership in Seoul and Tokyo must be shitting bricks about now.

    21. CapitalistRoader Says:

      You are held up against your enormous debt…

      Canada and the US are similar in that respect.

    22. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      One interesting thing about the Chinese economic system. They are theoretically a communist system. The government owns everything. Including land. Businesses and individuals can “lease” land for 40, 50, or 70 years. This was started by Deng Xiaopeng, as the Chinese version of capitalism was inaugurated.

      The first of those leases are expiring. There is no rule of law in China, and corruption and payoffs are the norm. It is hard to run an economy when your factories, processing plants, warehouses, and retail outlets can be confiscated by government bureaucrats, or you are forced to pay them off big time just to stay in business.

      They have their problems and they are not easy ones. If China’s ability to be a reliable trade partner is in question, being in a micturating match with us over the only fat man in North Korea is not going to be helpful.

    23. David Foster Says:

      “Businesses and individuals can “lease” land for 40, 50, or 70 years.”

      Doesn’t much…maybe most…land ‘ownership’ in the UK also take the form of long-term leases?

      Difference being that the ultimate owner is an individual/family, not the government.

    24. ErisGuy Says:

      Shame, really. From my small exposure I like [s.] Korea and Koreans. Pity about one-third of all Korean will apparently be killed in my lifetime because of a dictator and his toadies (in both the south and north). If Germany can survive it, maybe Korea can. And South Korea & USA are likely kinder occupiers than USSR.

    25. Trent Telenko Says:

      In the end, blows will have to decide this. The threat is not the DPRK’s KN-17 ballistic missile nor any nuke it might carry.

      It is the REGIME.

      This regime assassinated a dynastic threat in a foreign nation with Sarin nerve gas.

      We are facing an irrational regime with nukes.

      Either China takes out the Regime, or Pres. Trump does.

      The alternative is the death by thirst and famine of most of urban America a decade or from now after an EMP nuke from the DPRK for insufficient danegeld.

    26. Brian Says:

      “We are facing an irrational regime with nukes.”
      No we’re not. We’re facing an EVIL regime with nukes. The behavior of the KFR is completely rational, it is the actions of a small group of gangsters well aware of what it takes to maintain their hold over tens of millions of people. We need to stop using “crazy” and “irrational” and start saying “evil” because that is what they are. Why we let their pitiful game go on is beyond me. Stop giving them any aid of any sort, and put severe sanctions on any organization that does so. Stop acting like we’re afraid of them. It’s pathetic.

    27. S O Says:

      The Republican-controlled Congress didn’t allow an implementation because it didn’t provide the funds.
      Clinton’s plan was thus never implemented and thus cannot be blamed. Nobody knows what NK would have done if the plan had been implemented. The whole thing is not so much a lesson about how not to deal with tyrannic regimes as it is a reminder of the division and thus frequent indecisiveness of the U.S. government.

      I agree with Brian. The NK regime is very rational, all it does makes perfect sense as a deterrence strategy serving nobody but the tyrant and his direct line of successors. The big mistake is that too many easily frightened people fall for their bluffs and actually are concerned about those rockets and unusable nukes. I wrote so years ago already.

      skf seems to be lagging badly. NK already has nukes. Up to 20 nukes of up to 30 kt TNT yield are believed to be in their arsenal. Likely enough to ruin a couple city quarters in Japan or all of Seoul.

    28. Trent Telenko Says:

      >>The NK regime is very rational, all it does makes perfect sense as a deterrence strategy serving nobody but the tyrant and his direct line of successors.

      What is rational -inside- the DPRK monarchy is far from rational OUTSIDE it.

      I repeat, This regime used Sarin nerve agent for a political assassination.

      By the norms of international conduct, that is pure “Irrational Regime” territory.

      What the threat of what the DPRK regime will do with ballistic nukes that can reach the USA constitutes an existential threat that require regime elimination.

    29. Mike K Says:

      SO, I would like your comments on this Wki article that dos not mention the funding issue you mentioned.

      26 October 1994: IAEA Chairman Hans Blix tells the British House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Select Committee the IAEA is “not very happy” with the Agreed Framework because it gives North Korea too much time to begin complying with the inspections regime.

      Phase III

      18 March 1996: Hans Blix tells the IAEA’s Board of Governors North Korea has still not made its initial declaration of the amount of plutonium they possess, as required under the Agreed Framework, and warned that without the declaration IAEA would lose the ability to verify North Korea was not using its plutonium to develop weapons.

      Again, I see no mention of the timing of Congress “failure to pass funding .”

    30. Brian Says:

      “What is rational -inside- the DPRK monarchy is far from rational OUTSIDE it.”
      No, it is completely rational, it’s just not acceptable. Saying it’s irrational is like those who right now argue Donald Trump is mentally ill because he refuses to play by the standard rules of political behavior.

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