Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Best Cash ISA Savings Account for Soaring UK Inflation - February 2018 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold Price Forecast 2018 - February Update - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Bitcoin Crypto Currencies Crash 2018, Are We Near the Bottom? - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Trump Bubble Bursts, Stock Market Panic Dow 1175 Point Crash Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Corrects, Bitcoin Markets Crash, Whilst Stocks Plunge - Nadeem_Walayat
6.US Treasury Bonds: Fuse to Light the Bonfire - Jim_Willie_CB
7.Dow Falls 666 Points As Cryptocurrencies Crash And Krugman Emerges From His Van - Jeff_Berwick
8.Stock Market Roller Coaster Crash Ride Down to Dow Forecast 23,000 - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Trading the Shadows - Oil, Dollar, Stocks, Gold Trend Analysis - B.R. Hollister
10.Stock Market Analysis: Baying for Blood - Abalgorithm
Last 7 days
How Inflation Reduces The Real Value Of Social Security Net Of Medicare Premiums - 19th Feb 18
Could Stellar Lumens be a Challenger to Bitcoin for International Payments? - 19th Feb 18
US-China Trade War Escalates As Further Measures Are Taken - 19th Feb 18
How To Trade Gold Stocks with Momentum - 19th Feb 18
Is a New Gold Bull Market on the Horizon? - 19th Feb 18
Stock Market Decision Point! - 19th Feb 18
An Inflation Indicator to Watch, Part 1 - 18th Feb 18
Get on Top Of Debt Before It Gets on Top of You - 18th Feb 18
Will the Stock Market Make a Double Bottom? - 18th Feb 18
5 Reasons Why Commodities Are the Investment Place to be in 2018 - 18th Feb 18
1 Week Later, Stock, Bond Market Risk Remains ‘On’ as 2 of 3 Amigos Ride On - 17th Feb 18
Crude Oil Prices: A Case of Dueling Narratives? - 17th Feb 18
Free 1000 Youtube Subscribers Services - YTpals, Subpals, SubmeNow Test - 17th Feb 18
How to Trade as We Near March Stock Market Top - 16th Feb 18
Bitcoin as Poison - 16th Feb 18
GDX Gold ETF Weathers Stock Market Selloff - 16th Feb 18
Casino Statistics and Demographics - 16th Feb 18
IS Today Thee Stock Market Turn Day? - 16th Feb 18
Huge SMIGGLE Shopping HAUL, Pencil Cases, Drinks Bottles, Back Packs, Toys.... - 16th Feb 18
Tesla Cash Keeps Burning at $320 a Share - 15th Feb 18
Big Conflict Ahead in the Financial Markets - 15th Feb 18
Stocks Extend Rally Off Friday's Low, But Short-Term Exhaustion Near - 15th Feb 18
Stock Market Out on a Limb... - 15th Feb 18
Things Only a True Friend Would Say About Gold - 14th Feb 18
Global Debt Crisis II Cometh - 14th Feb 18
Understanding Crude Oil Behavior - 14th Feb 18
Stock Market is Getting Scary... - 14th Feb 18
Stock Market - This Time is Different. Really?! - 13th Feb 18
Gold and Silver Long-term Buy, Short-term Sell Signal - 13th Feb 18
SPX Futures Are Sliding... - 13th Feb 18
Stock Market Topping Process Begins. The Bubble Finds its Pin - 13th Feb 18
Math Behind the Stock Market Crash and What’s Next – PART2 - 13th Feb 18
Gold Stocks Groundhog Week - 13th Feb 18
Platinum Looks Poised for Surprising Gains This Year - 12th Feb 18
Friday's S&P 500 Stock Market Bounce To Continue, But Selling May Resume - 12th Feb 18
The Inflation Trade and Bond Yields Rising Result in Equities Correction - 12th Feb 18
February 2018 Stock Market Crisis – What Next? - 12th Feb 18
How To Profit From The Bitcoin Bloodbath - 12th Feb 18
The Philippine Economic Dream Could Be Within the Reach  - 12th Feb 18
Is the Stock Market Correction Over? - 12th Feb 18
What Does the Stock Market Decline Mean for Gold - 12th Feb 18
Addicted to SMIGGLE Mega Review, Pencil Cases, Stationary, Back Packs, Drinking Bottles, Toys... - 12th Feb 18
Best Cash ISA Savings Account for Soaring UK Inflation - February 2018 - 11th Feb 18
The Fed’s Impossible Choice, In Three Charts - 11th Feb 18
US Stock Market, Gold, Silver and the Macro Backdrop - 11th Feb 18
After Two weeks of Stock Market Decline, People Are Ssking, “Are We There Yet?” - 11th Feb 18
How to Grow Tomatoes From Seeds, Homegrown Organic Money Saving Gardening - 11th Feb 18
Youtube KILLS ALL Small Channels with New DeMonetization Rules - 11th Feb 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Urgent Stock Market Message

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

© 2005-2018 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

6 Critical Money Making Rules