henrymakow.com — April 13, 2017
Kim Jung-Un Prepares for War; Orders evacuation of capital; Planning another nuclear test Saturday in defiance of US warning. Reports the US will launch a conventional strike if they do. Trump says NK “will be taken care of.” He needs to read the history of US-NK relations.
In Kim Jung Un, Donald Trump has met his match in terms of maturity, consistency and mental stability. The consequences may be disastrous for the world.
The North Korean army has 1.2 million men and is the fifth largest in the world.
Potential reserves exceed ten million. Seoul, the S. Korea capital, is just 35 miles from the border. North Korea could flatten or occupy it in a night.
by Sean Illing — (excerpt by henrymakow.com)
To understand how close we are to full-scale conflict in North Korea, I reached out to Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Lewis focuses on nuclear nonproliferation, international security, and disarmament, and he is the author of Minimum Means of Reprisal: China’s Search for Security in the Nuclear Age.
I asked Lewis to lay out some of the worst-case scenarios in North Korea.
Here’s what he told me.
Scenario 1: The North Koreans mistakenly believe that we are going to launch an attack on them, and Kim Jong Un does something crazy.
The big dilemma here is that, in North Korea at least, everything is organized around the fear that they will be invaded, and that Kim Jong Un will end up like Muammar Qaddafi in Libya or Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But unlike Qaddafi or Hussein, Kim has actually acquired nuclear weapons, and if you look at the missile testing they do, a lot of these are tests that have already been conducted. What they’re doing, in fact, is practicing hitting airfields or other targets that the US would likely use to sustain an invasion.
As far as we can tell, the North Korean theory is that on the first day of a potential war with America, if they just use a bunch of nuclear weapons — in South Korea, in Japan potentially — the damage will be so severe that we will be deterred from future aggression, or that the costs will be so high that a successful invasion will be impossible. But for this strategy to be effective, it means North Korea has to go nuclear first, to raise the stakes to an impossibly high level right at the beginning.
My worry is that Trump says or does something incautious or imprudent, as he often does, which North Korea interprets as deadly serious and decides to escalate immediately to deter a potential invasion. It’s easy to see how things could get out of hand in a hurry.
Scenario 1: …