Thursday, March 8, 2018

Kim Jong Un will successfully test atomic ICBM before 2019

Kim Jong Un is now closing in on the finish line of its long march towards becoming an atomic superpower: successfully testing an atomic ICBM, which is capable of threatening the U.S.A..  By “threatening”, I have in mind an atomic ICBM capable of destroying Los Angeles, San Francisco or Chicago.  Or an EMP weapon, wrecking havoc with the electronic infrastructure of the U.S., with potentially devastating consequences.  A successful test is to let such a weapon detonate somewhere in neutral waters, with sufficient warning time ahead of times for ship routes and airplanes, but leaving no doubt about North Korean capabilities.  Kim Jong Un knows that this is a dicey step.  So far, the U.S.A. leaders could tell themselves, that North Korea is not and will not be capable of producing such a weapon, or that sufficient sanctions or sufficient rewards could deter it from trying.

But this final step is in a new league entirely.  The U.S.A. now realizes that it may need to contemplate first strike scenarios to destroy these weapons.  So, Kim Jong Un will have to both be fast and smart to cross that line.  Fast will go like this: the successful test will probably conclude before the end of 2018, before the U.S.A. has gotten its act together fully in terms of figuring out a successful, preventive strategy, before their rocket scientists realize that North Korea can make this happen faster than they have allowed for.  Smart will go like this: make sure the U.S.A. would look really, really bad in a first strike, preventing them from carrying it out in the first place.  How do you do that?  Three steps.  First, play nice at the South Korean Winter Olympics: check.  Second, reach out to South Korea, offer peace negotiations: check.  Third, reach out to the U.S.A, and offer to negotiate to stop nuclear armament for security promises etc.: check.  Heck, invite Donald Trump for a visit!  So smart.  Even Donald Trump will (probably) not dare to launch a first strike, putting millions of lives at risk, under such circumstances. And so obvious. We have seen this many times with North Korea before.  It always instead took a step forward to that finish line, anyhow.  Anyone who thinks that North Korea will not now finish the program they started many years ago, is delusional.  If they really do, if Donald Trump can be convincing enough in his visit, then Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.  Unlikely, I say.

We better get used to the new reality, one year from now. North Korea will then be a full-fledged atomic superpower, capable of striking the U.S.A..  The commitment of the U.S.A. to South Korea will then be just skin deep, except perhaps for the most dire of circumstances.  And with that, the real negotiations of North Korea with South Korea will commence (more about that, some other time).  This was the North Korean master plan, all along.  


  1. "Heck, invite Donald Trump for a visit! So smart. Even Donald Trump will (probably) not dare to launch a first strike, putting millions of lives at risk, under such circumstances." - nice analysis, and I'm for a first strike, but this scenario was indeed once discussed in a leaked DoD memo back in the 1980s: it was concluded that the best time for a first strike by the USA vs the USSR would be when Reagan (or an actor playing Reagan, is that a contradiction?!) is in the USSR or in the process of going to the USSR for nuclear peace talks. But unfortunately the US DoD is not smart enough to do this. They even did away with a useful prediction market that anticipated nicely many real world events.

    1. Art imitating life of course, with the Sony film on the same theme.