Miniaturizing a warhead to fit on a missile is not an overwhelming technical obstacle. Far greater technological challenges are building and testing nuclear weapons and developing a long-range missile that can send a satellite into orbit. Compared with these feats, warhead miniaturization is easy.
North Korea needs only one ICBM capable of delivering a single nuclear warhead in order to pose an existential threat to the U.S. The Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission and several other U.S. government studies have established that detonating a nuclear weapon high above any part of the U.S. mainland would generate a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse.
An EMP attack would collapse the electric grid and other infrastructure that depends on it—communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water—necessary to sustain modern civilization and the lives of 300 million Americans.
Tag Archives: North-Korea
According to the then-Russian Chief of the General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov, in 2009, “The strategic nuclear forces for us are a sacred issue…” Senior Russian officials often make nuclear threats, including threats of direct targeting and threats of preemptive nuclear attack, against US allies. There are only two countries in the world that do this routinely – Russia and North Korea. China is a poor third in this arena, but is swiftly moving in their direction.
Russia routinely exercises its nuclear forces against NATO and the U.S. Two weeks before the 2012 US election, the Kremlin announced “strategic nuclear forces’ exercises,” in which President Putin “oversaw test launches of strategic and cruise missiles which reached set targets at various military testing grounds.” Moreover, Russia routinely flies nuclear capable bombers into the air-defense identification zones of the U.S., NATO nations, and Japan.
Russia has virtually ceased eliminating legacy strategic forces. Russian data, released by the State Department in April 2013, record that Russia has increased its strategic delivery vehicles in the two years since New START has been in effect. The number of deployed warheads has decreased by 57, but this is apparently largely the result of New START’s not counting warheads on submarines that are being overhauled.
China’s stance has everything to do with its growing ambitions in the Asia-Pacific. As authors Sarah Raine and Christian Le Miere conclude in their new book “Regional Disorder,” China “is almost singlehandedly driving” the growing conflict with Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia over the energy and mineral resources of this huge area. China now claims all of the islands therein, and 80 percent of the maritime area.
China’s play is more than merely economic, however. In addition to securing oil and gas resources for its energy-starved economy, it also would control the South China Sea, and the strategic waterway known as the Malacca Strait, through which flows 70 percent of the crude oil used by the economies of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. But for China to acquire this coveted hegemony, U.S. military capabilities in the region will need to be severely cut.
North Korea’s 950,000-troop military remains dangerous as Pyongyang’s long-range Taepodong-2 missile can reach parts of the United States with a nuclear warhead, according to a Pentagon report made public on Thursday.
The report said North Korea’s Taepodong-2, last used as a satellite launcher, is continuing to be developed as a long-range missile. The missile “could reach parts of the United States if configured as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear payload,” the 26-page report says.
While the United States has been preoccupied with North Korea’s confrontational rhetoric, Iran has stepped up threats in its region. It has long been the stated wish of Iran’s leadership to be rid of what it calls the “Little Satan”: Israel. Iran’s rivalry with Sunni allies of the United States in the Gulf is long-standing. But earlier this month, Iranian lawmakers opened up a new front, threatening another American ally: Azerbaijan, insinuating that it, like Israel, might be “wiped off the map” as an independent country.
Start thinking the unthinkable. We as a nation have to start talking about the prospects for nuclear war.
President Barack Obama says Iran might have a bomb in a year. To hold back the day, the United States and Israel have conducted cyberwar, and Israel apparently has assassinated Iranian scientists. Even if Israel attacks to stop Iran’s bomb making now, however, the day will dawn.
What will we do if Israel threatens Tehran with nuclear obliteration? What if North Korea aims a warhead at Seoul? And what if the missiles start flying?
Two dozen North Korean nuclear weapons fired at Seoul and Toyko could kill more people than all the Allied bombings of Germany and Japan in World War II. A nuclear battle in the Middle East, one-sided or not, would be the most destabilizing military event since Pearl Harbor.
Few American military and political leaders have thought seriously about nuclear strategy since the end of the Cold War. No president has had a serious talk with the nation about the world’s nuclear arsenal since Ronald Reagan took a long hard look into the abyss 30 years ago.
A new Pentagon assessment of Iran’s military power maintains that in two years time, Iran could flight-test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States, given “sufficient foreign assistance”, is provided to Tehran. The new assessment reiterated a longstanding estimate of the U.S. intelligence community. Iran could test such a missile by 2015 with assistance from nations like North Korea, China or Russia. Pyongyang is already in the process of developing the KN-08, an extended range ballistic missile that can reach the US West Coast. The missile’s range could be extended to provide the missile an intercontinental strike capability. Pyongyang and Tehran have been collaborating and exchanging technologies regarding ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons for many years; both countries are seeking to match the two technologies to acquire nuclear weapons delivery capabilities. U.S. experts agree that North Korea and Iran could be capable of developing and testing few ICBM class missiles based on liquid propellants, but doubt they could acquire solid-propelled weapons in the near future. The lengthy pre-flight procedures required for fuelling liquid-propelled missiles means that such weapons cannot be mass-fired without warning, as the shorter range missiles could, therefore, providing the defender time to respond, employ missile defense or conduct preemptive attack.
Top US military officer tell troops in Japan the ‘best way to avoid war is to prepare for it’ – The Washington Post
The top U.S. military officer told American troops based in Japan on Thursday that “the best way to avoid war is to prepare for it.”
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, made the comments at Yokota air base amid heightened tensions in the region after repeated threats from North Korea.