Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast 2016 Implications for Stock Market - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Odds of Winning Walkers Crisps Spell & Go olidays K, C and D Letters - Sami_Walayat
3.Massive Silver Price Rally During The Coming US Dollar Collapse - Hubert_Moolman
4.Pope Francis Calls For Worldwide Communist Government - Jeff_Berwick
5.EU Referendum Opinion Polls Neck and Neck Despite Operation Fear, Support BrExit Campaign - Nadeem_Walayat
6.David Morgan: There Will Soon Be a Run to Gold Like You've Never Seen Before - Mike Gleason
7.British Pound Soars on BrExit Hopes Despite Remain Establishment Fear Mongering - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Gold Price Possible $200 Rally - Bob_Loukas
9.The Federal Reserve is Not Going To Raise Interest Rates and Destroy Gold - Michael_Swanson
10.Silver Miners’ Q1’ 2016 Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
Free Silver
Last 7 days
EU Referendum - British People vs Establishment Elite, Vote LEAVE an Act of Defiance! - 31st May 16
Gold - Mr. Cool Cucumber is starting to Sweat - 31st May 16
AMAT Chirps, b2b Ramps, Yellen Hawks and Gold’s Fundamentals Erode - 31st May 16
Stock Market Re-Testing Overhead Resistance - 30th May 16
David Cameron Questioned on Out of Control Immigration at TEN TIMES Conservative Election Pledges - 30th May 16
Bitcoin Price Skyrockets And Is Now Up More Than 100% This Jubilee Year - 30th May 16
This Is Not The America My Parents Immigrated To In 1957 - 30th May 16
“Debt, Not The Economy, Reaches Escape Velocity” With Graham Mehl - 29th May 16
EU Referendum, Black Vote LEAVE or REMAIN? Which is Worse for Racism for Britain's Ethnic Minorities? - 29th May 16
Billionaire Gross: Jubilee Debt Relief as Prelude to New Global Economic Order - 29th May 16
Wargaming North Korea - Assessing the Threat - 29th May 16
EU REMAIN Population Forecasts - England 4.1 million Explosion, London Migration Crisis - 28th May 16
A Guide to the Trump-Sanders Debate - 28th May 16
Gold And Silver – At Significant Support. New “Story” Developing - 28th May 16
The Next Systemic Lehman Event - New Scheiss Dollar & Gold Trade Standard - 27th May 16
Energy and Debt Crisis Point to Much Higher Silver, Metals Prices - 27th May 16
Gold Junior Stocks Q1 2016 Fundamentals - 27th May 16
These Crisis Markets Are Primed to Deliver Big Gains, Platinum Never Cheaper! - 27th May 16
Operation Black Vote BrExit Warning for the Wrong EU Referendum - 27th May 16
UK Immigration Crisis Hits New Extreme, Catastrophic ONS Migration Stats Ahead of EU Referendum - 27th May 16
Many of the World’s Best Investors Made Their Fortunes This Way…And You Can Too - 27th May 16
The Ugly Truth About Stock Market Manipulation and Gold Prices - 27th May 16
Gold Price Looking Vulnerable While Gold Stocks Correct - 27th May 16
The 5 Fatal Flaws of Trading - 27th May 16
The Next Big Crash Of The U.S. Economy Is Coming, Here’s Why - 27th May 16
A New Golden Bull or Has the Market Gone Too Far Too Fast? - 27th May 16
It Feels Like Inflation - 26th May 16
Negative Interest Rates Set to Propel the Dow Jones to the Stratosphere? - 26th May 16
S&P Significant Low has Occurred – Not Likely! - 26th May 16
Statistics for Funeral Planning in UK Grave - 26th May 16
Think Beyond Oil And Gold: Interview With Mike 'Mish' Shedlock - 26th May 16
Hard Times and False Mainstream Media Narratives - 26th May 16
Will The Swiss Guarantee 75,000 CHF For Every Family? - 26th May 16
Is There A Stocks Bear Market in Progress? - 26th May 16
Billionaires Are Wrong on Gold - 26th May 16
How NOT to Invest in the Gold Market - 26th May 16
The Black Swan Spotter...Which Saw the Oil-Crash coming; now says the “Invisible Hand” will push Brent to $85 by Christmas - 26th May 16
U.S. Household Debt Still Below 2008 Peak - 25th May 16
Brexit: Wrong Discussion, Wrong People, Wrong Arguments - 25th May 16
SPX is at Strong Resistance - 25th May 16
US Dollar, Back From the Grave? - 25th May 16
Gold : Just the Facts Ma’am - 25th May 16
The Worst Urban Crisis in History Could be Upon Us - 24th May 16
Death Crosses Across The Board Are IRREFUTABLE Stock Market Sell Signals - 24th May 16
Bitcoin Trading Alert: Bitcoin Price Stays below $450 - 24th May 16
Stock Market Crash Death Cross Doom Prevails - 23rd May 16
Did AMAT Chirp? Implications for the Economy and Gold - 23rd May 16
Stocks Extended Their Rebound On Friday - Will They Continue Higher? - 23rd May 16
UK Treasury Propaganda Warns of 3.6% Brexit Recession, the £64 Billion Question? - 23rd May 16
Stock Market Support Breached, But Not Broken! - 23rd May 16
George Osborne Warns of 18% Cheaper House Prices - BrExit for First Time Buyers - 22nd May 16
Gold Bull-Phase I Continues to Confound (The Trek to “Known Values”) - 22nd May 16 r
Avoiding a War in Space - 22nd May 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Why 95% of Traders Fail

North Korean Nuclear Threat Always Imminent

Politics / Propaganda Apr 12, 2013 - 05:12 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

NUCLEAR ROULETTE
North Korea’s young president-for-life may be creating a crisis atmosphere, in a strategy to force the US and other Security Council "declared nuclear" nations to recognize his nation as a nuclear weapons power. Alternate reasons for the belligerant North Korean stance are not in short supply - and notably include internal or domestic political issues, ironically due to slowly growing, but nevertheless real economic improvement in this totally isolated country.


Official announcements and newswire comments from South Korea, Japan, the US, China and Russia cover the spectrum of views, but the outlook has in past weeks constantly moved closer to military action. This would almost inevitably be nuclear.

As US and South Korean officials have many times warned, any apparent North Korean nuclear or missile testing preparations, seen by spy satellites, can always cover its real military preparations and mask its real intentions. North Korea is a master of nuclear chess games, rather than roulette.

As of April 12, US Secretary of State John Kerry has refused all consideration of allowing North Korea into the closed 5-nation "Declared Nuclear Power" group, the Security Council 5. North Korea is far from the only "non-declared" nuclear power, such as India or Pakistan, which does not accept this de facto exclusion.

One major problem is that leader Kim Jong Un’s motivation for his threatening rhetoric and military posturing may be "only economic", or mainly economic, hinged on UN sanctions against North Korea and North-South Korean economic cooperation or the lack of it. At present, averting war on the peninsula without emboldening the repressive North Korean regime and accepting its nuclear weapons is the main goal.

OUTDATED NUCLEAR RHETORIC
As we know, the global race for drone war capability now includes more than 75 nations actively developing their drone strike forces. In the US case, probably the present world leader in military drone strike capability, its approximately 7 500 armed drones already exceed its conventional USAF military airplane numbers by 50%. Attack on nuclear reactors, nuclear fuel storage facilities, nuclear waste processing centres, and other high damage potential installations, such as "Seveso-type" industrial plants, in enemy countries, is entirely feasible and relatively low cost using drones. Without massive and exorbitantly expensive "hardening" of all so-called civil nuclear facilities, and other prime high damage potential sites, any nation with such installations on its home territory is a soft target.

Nuclear war has already changed.

Claims, probably well founded that North Korea wants to be designated a nuclear power, bringing a major political victory for leader Kim, are already outdated by technology. His vaunted nuclear capabilities can be "taken out" quickly and cheaply by drones (and cruise missiles), anytime.

Allowing Kim to hype his repressive nationalism and further empower his unpopular regime are easy to see as "red lines in the sand", not only for the US, but South Korea and Japan in particular - two countries with large so-called civil nuclear facilities and almost instant "two screwdriver turns" technological capabilities of producing domestic national nuclear weapons, if they wanted.

Some U.S. intelligence officials agree. They see Kim as a Cold War-minded leader, who has likely concluded from the examples of Libya’s Muammar Khaddafi, who abandoned his nuclear program, and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Syria’s Bashr al-Assad, whose nuclear facilities were destroyed by Israeli air attacks, that having a credible nuclear and missile arsenal is necessary to ensure his family and his regime’s survival. By developing and stationing fully-fledged nuclear weapons - on his home territory - he is invulnerable to invasion, overthrow and occupation. If attacked, he blows up his own country.

Nuclear deterrence has a new meaning!

To be sure, pyschological spin can be added to the analysis. Kim may be primarily posturing in the direction of China, showing that he is in the same mould, the same lineage as Mao Zedong and possibly even further back, to the Cold War heydays of Josef Stalin. At the time, as the quickest check on global geopolitical history will show, the threat of nuclear war was permanent.

NEW TWISTS, NEW DANGERS
Since arriving in power, Kim has already developed other fodder for his propaganda apparatus. One twist can be linked to his youthfulness - all analysts agree that Kim is far more unpredictable than previous leaders, including his late father, Kim Jong Il. For them, backing down was always an option, their confrontation strategy always had an exit option. The Young Kim may have "race memory" delusions of Stalin and Mao, but he is also an fan of US Major League basketball and rap music. Playing "contrarian" is part and parcel of the new North Korea.

North Korea’s threats to carry out "pre-emptive nuclear strikes" against the US (meaning Guam), but also against South Korean and Japanese so-called civil nuclear power plants, industrial centres and major urban areas, has already created evacuation fear in case of war. In brief, this is “psychological warfare", according to South Korean President Park Geun Hye’s official spokeswoman, this week.

General Motors had $8.9 billion sales volume in South Korea in 2012, the most among US owned major publicly traded companies. Othr exposed corporations in the US include Qualcomm  semiconductors and National Oilwell Varco the Houston-based maker of oilfield equipment. In a context of rising uncertainty for business and the risk of unintended escalation, hopes that Kim does not want war remain relatively strong.

One back-out option for Kim may reside in the examples of India and Pakistan, which in 1998 simultaneously tested nuclear devices. Since the, both countries have assembled major arsenals that have brought nuclear balance of terror to the subcontinent, with all attempts at UN sanctions by the Security Council-5 sidelined by economic interests.

Unlike those nations, North Korea was a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which bars nuclear weapons development, but it withdrew in 2003, citing US threats, particularly President George W. Bush’s 2002 “axis of evil” speech. The present context of North Korean development of nuclear weapons and long-range nuclear missiles poses a threat to the US and its allies, but this threat disguises the "regime preserving" role of developing and stationing nuclear weapons on North Korean soil to stymie any attempt at military regime change attempts.

While American officials are looking to China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, to use its economic and political clout to rein in Kim and prevent armed conflict, the real context of nuclear roulette in the Korean peninsula and East Asia has to date been poorly analysed.

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2013 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

Andrew McKillop Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife