Sunday, September 3, 2017

North Korea claims to have tested an ICBM ready hydrogen bomb; considerable doubts remain as to credibility of claim; EMP threat reinforced in social media already


Starting Saturday night EDT there have been several provocative reports from North Korea. One is that Kim Jung Un was photographed next to what was claimed by the DPRK to be a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb supposedly miniaturized to fit on a nuclear warhead.

The second was a 6.3 Richter artificial earthquake in North Korea, felt in the South and in northeastern China, which the DPRK intends to suggest as an underground hydrogen bomb test. CNN reports here. It is possible that the underground test was deliberately conducted in a less stable area geologically to create the impression of a bigger blast.  Some observers says that this could have been an enhanced fission device.  It is possible to make a homemade fusion device to generate power (a "garage sun" as Taylor Wilson made as a teen) but not very easy (fortunately) to make a nuclear weapon from it.  


Previously stated concerns need restating.  North Korea has yet to detonate a nuclear device from a missile anywhere.  A particularly dangerous development would be such a detonation over an uninhabited area of the Pacific, possibly at higher altitude (EMP effect for some distance) and then perhaps a demand of US withdrawal from protecting South Korea.  But it is not really proven that the DPRK is capable of such a detonation or is even as close to it as some reports (the DIA in early August) claim.  In the meantime, it sounds very unlikely that the DPRK would carry out its threat against Guam. 

The very best strategy would include making US missile defenses and NORAD as impenetrable as possible (including from submarine launch or clandestine ships that have been hijacked).  Media reports on the reliability of current missile defenses vary, but I worked on this back in 1972 for the Navy!  It has been written that the US-NATO is about a year away from a major technology upgrade
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President Trump has not filled all his positions in the State Department, and needs to depend on Mattis, Pence, and Tillerson, as well as key Senators and Representatives.  McCain’s recent remarks apply. 

Trump should not be tweeting his response to this.  He may have more to say later Sunday after meetings. 

There are apt comparisons to Iran, which has not been threatening its neighbors the same way.

A Twitter account called "Resilient Societies" claims it will tweet much information about a North Korean EMP threat in the next 24 hours, and warns the established media not to deliberately hide or minimize the threat, Twitter handle.  It's well to remember that Hawaii experienced EMP effects from US hydrogen bomb tests in 1962. These were the Starfish Prime tests in July (article). This ought to be a subtle premonition. 

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