Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.BrExit House Prices Crash, Flat or Rally? UK Housing Market Affordability Crisis - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Stocks Bull Market Climbs Wall of Worry, Bubble? When Will it End? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold Price Is Now On Its Way To All-Time Highs - Hubert_Moolman
4.Deutche Bank Stock Price Crash - The EU Has Problems Far Beyond the Brexit - Harry_Dent
5.UK interest Rate PANIC CUT! As Banks Prepare to Steal Customer Deposits - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Gold and Silver Bull Phase 1 : Final Impulse Dead Ahead - Plunger
7.Central Bankers Fighting An Unprecedented Global Economic Slowdown - Gordon_T_Long
8.Putin Hacking Hillary for Trump, Russia's Manchurian Candidate? - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Stock Market Insiders Are Secretly Selling, Cycle Top Next Month - Chris_Vermeulen
10.Gold Sector - Is it time to Back up the Truck? – Mortgage the Farm? - Peter_Degraaf
Free Silver
Last 7 days
Fundamentals for Uranium look great; is the Uranium Market ready to soar? - 29th Aug 16
3 Ways to Profit from the Stressed-Out American Consumer - 29th Aug 16
Have The Markets Become Too Big to Fail? - 29th Aug 16
Pakistan Booming House Prices Housing Market Mania Kabza Mafia Warning! - 29th Aug 16
Post Yellen = Market Confusion - 28th Aug 16
Theresa May Instructs Police, NHS Gp's, Public Sector To Stop Racial Discrimination in Service Delivery - 28th Aug 16
Ignore Yellen and Buy the Dip in Precious Metals - 27th Aug 16
SPX Downtrend Should be Underway - 27th Aug 16
Unraveling the Secular Economic Stagnation Story - 27th Aug 16
The Precious Metals Sector and the Fed. . . - 27th Aug 16
Stock Market - All Is Calm, All Is Not Right - 27th Aug 16
Gold Junior Stocks Q2 2016 Fundamentals - 26th Aug 16
Buy Gold’s August Dip? Gold’s Monthly Sweet Spot In September - 26th Aug 16
The IMF’s Internal Audit Reveals Its Incompetence and Massive Rule Breaking - 26th Aug 16
Commodities Are the Best Bargain Now—Here’s What to Buy - 26th Aug 16
Why I Left Canada and Became A Citizen of the Dominican Republic - 26th Aug 16
The GLD vs GOLD - 26th Aug 16
Can Stocks Survive Without Stimulus? - 25th Aug 16
Why Putin Might Be on His Way Out - 25th Aug 16
Bond Guru Gary Shilling - The Bond Market Rally of a Lifetime - 25th Aug 16
A Zombie Financial System, Black Swans and a Gold Share Correction - 25th Aug 16
OPEC’s Output Freeze: What Has Changed Since Doha? - 25th Aug 16
Merkel Prepares For a Deliberate Crisis While White House Plans For a Disastrous Succession - 24th Aug 16
Suspicious Reversal in Gold Price - 23rd Aug 16
If Trump Can’t Pull Off a Victory, Expect a Civil War - 23rd Aug 16
Ceding ICANN and Internet Control to Globalists - 23rd Aug 16
How to Spot an Oversold Stock Market - 23rd Aug 16
Gerald Celente Sees Worst Market Crash, New Military Conflict, Gold Spike to $2,000/oz - 23rd Aug 16
EU Olympics Medals Table Propaganda Includes BrExit Britain - 22nd Aug 16
BrExit Win's Britain Olympics Success Freedom Dividend, Economy Next - 22nd Aug 16
Stock Market Top Forming, but Slowly - 22nd Aug 16
(Really) Alternative Banking Systems - 22nd Aug 16
Vauxhall Zafira Fires - Second Recall Issued - Inspection Before Bursting into Flames? - 21st Aug 16
Will the Stock Market Bubble Pop Regardless if the FED Never Raises Rates? - 21st Aug 16
US Government Spending - 3 Big Stories Not Being Covered – Part III - 21st Aug 16
Silver Analysis - 20th Aug 16
SPX New Highs, Correction Next? - 20th Aug 16
Housing Bubble - The Marginal Buyer Holds The Pin That Pops Every Asset Bubble - 20th Aug 16
Gold Miners Q2 2016 Fundamentals - 19th Aug 16
Which Price Ratio Matters Most in a Fiat Ponzi? - 19th Aug 16
Big Policies, Bigger Failures - 19th Aug 16
Higher Crude Oil’s Prices and USD/CAD - 19th Aug 16
Here’s Why You Should Look for Dividend Stocks and How - 19th Aug 16
Deglobalization Already Underway — 4 Technologies That Will Speed It Up - 19th Aug 16
These 6 Charts Show Why the Average American Is Fed Up - 18th Aug 16
SPX Easing Lower - 18th Aug 16
Low / Negative Interst Rate’s Legacy - 18th Aug 16
The 45th Anniversary of The Most Destructive Event In Modern Monetary History - 18th Aug 16
USDU - An Important Perspective on the US Dollar - 17th Aug 16
SPX Completes Wave 1 Decline - 17th Aug 16
How to Quickly Spot Common Fibonacci Ratios on a Chart - 17th Aug 16
When Does a Forecast Become a Trade? - 17th Aug 16
Kondratiev Wave - The Financial Winter Is Nearing! - 17th Aug 16
Learn "The 4 Best Elliott Waves to Trade -- and How to Trade Them" - 16th Aug 16
Stock Market Bears Turning Bullish At New All Time Highs - Time to Get Worried? - 15th Aug 16
Job Seekers Sacrificed to the Inflation Gods - 15th Aug 16
A Look At Commodities and Financial Markets Trading Week Ahead - 15th Aug 16
Stock Market New Top Forming? - 15th Aug 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

US Economy - 3 Secret Charts

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