US sends stealth bombers to Korean peninsula for military exercises

posted at 8:41 am on March 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The US sent a very clear signal to Pyongyang today, even if they didn’t see it coming.  Stealth bombers flew 6500 miles to join military exercises with South Korea, dropped dummy bombs on target, and flew back to the US.  After the mission, the Pentagon announced the mission and its results, a deliberate answer to the recent provocations from Kim regime in North Korea.  The message? We don’t need long-range missiles to take you out.

The United States said Thursday it flew stealth bombers over South Korea to participate in annual military exercises amid spiking tensions with North Korea.

The B-2 Spirit bombers flew more than 6,500 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to South Korea, dropping inert munitions there as part of the exercises, before returning to the U.S. mainland, the U.S Forces in Korea said in a statement.

The mission by the planes, which can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons, “demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will,” the statement said.

The U.S. military’s announcement earlier this month that it was flying B-52 bombers over South Korea to participate in the routine exercises prompted an angry reaction from the regime of Kim Jong Un, which has unleashed a torrent of threats in the past few weeks.

That message is intended for a wider audience than just the DPRK, too:

Top officials tell CBS News they have also stepped-up communications with the new Chinese government, urging it to use its leverage to keep the peace when North Korea appears to be itching for war.

North Korea beats war drums every spring, when the U.S. and South Korea carry out planned military exercises. But Garrett says the recent rhetoric coming from Pyongyang has been more bellicose, and the young new leader is seen as unpredictable.

North Korea severed the last line of communication with the South on Wednesday, and placed its artillery and strategic rocket batteries on maximum alert, warning that a nuclear war could start any day.

“The intensity of the rhetoric is a lot hotter, the uncertainty is higher,” North Korea expert and former U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson told CBS News.

No word yet from Pyongyang, but don’t expect that to last long. We’re less interested in their response now than we are in Beijing’s.  The real message is that the US will take action if China can’t get Kim and his generals back on the leash, and the resultant refugee flood would be a disaster for China.  Whatever benefit Beijing gets from playing Pyongyang against Japan and the US would rapidly dissipate, and we’re getting very close to the point where a simple mistake could send things out of everyone’s control.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

LOL – this is all Israel’s fault. We need to send Chuck Hagel over there with a copy of “The Secret Relationship between Koreans and Jews.”
;P

abobo on March 28, 2013 at 8:45 AM

LOL – this is all Israel’s fault. We need to send Chuck Hagel over there with a copy of “The Secret Relationship between Koreans and Jews.”
;P

abobo on March 28, 2013 at 8:45 AM

if you have nothing to say…..

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on March 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

This administration is showing our military strength to an enemy?

Can’t be. Must be a mistake. This is something the evil hawkish Republicans do, not the koombayah peace prezzy.

tru2tx on March 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

The message? We don’t need long-range missiles to take you out.

But we’ve got those too.

The United States can launch all kinds of hurt on North Korea if it wants to. I’d suggest the real message here is less about platforms and more about capability. In other words… Not only do we have troops stationed in South Korea we also have aircraft carriers, long-range missiles, and stealth bombers. Our only weakness in what would be asymetrical warfare is the rat-eared coward in the White House.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Adding to the display, Whiteman is likely out of reach of Nork missiles. They can’t stop us from using those planes, they can’t take out the deterrent capability except possibly shooting any the planes down while they’re making a strike.

Liam on March 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM

John F’ng Kerry’s will get it all under control.

His Christmas 1952 crossing of the Korean DMZ under President Dewey’s orders are seared, seared!!!, into his memory.

So glad that Preznit Toonces has such an eye for talent. We can all rest easy.

VelvetElvis on March 28, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I’m surprised we didn’t land one in a field for them to take.

JellyToast on March 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM

And by “dummy targets”, do they mean Nork government?

Archivarix on March 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Adding to the display, Whiteman is likely out of reach of Nork missiles. They can’t stop us from using those planes, they can’t take out the deterrent capability except possibly shooting any the planes down while they’re making a strike.

Liam on March 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM

That they flew from Whiteman AFB is part of the point. “Hey North Korea, guess where these came from?” As to taking them out while they are making a strike, all I can say is good luck with that.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM

About time, if Barky had anything to do with this then he gets a moment of grudging respect.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on March 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Hmmmm, I guess some folks will always need the sarc tag.
Q: What do you call a Korean dictator’s Smegma?
A: Kim-Cheese!!
:P

abobo on March 28, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Did we really send stealth bombers or are we saying we did and nobody could see them because they were stealth bombers?

fogw on March 28, 2013 at 9:04 AM

About time, if Barky had anything to do with this then he gets a moment of grudging respect.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Makes me wonder if Valerie Jarrett dragged him in from the golf course to put this in play.

Bitter Clinger on March 28, 2013 at 9:08 AM

That is one beautiful aircraft, I’m partial to the Super Hornet but wow, the Spirit is something.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Wow..
where were these badboys when Ambassador Stevens was reporting for months about increasing violence and activities…

Electrongod on March 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM

resultant refugee flood would be a disaster for China. Whatever benefit Beijing gets from playing Pyongyang against Japan and the US would rapidly dissipate, and we’re getting very close to the point where a simple mistake could send things out of everyone’s control

Ed,

what makes you think the nation that killed more than 336 million babies gives a crap about refugees? China will simply close the border and kill anyone trying to get across it if it becomes a problem. This is a communist regime both China and NK which for some reason the entire USA gov has forgotten it seems. Think Berlin wall. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. communists regimes don’t care about refugees.

Personally I think China is using NK to test the USA and the world. The chances of a war are around 80% at this stage and a couple bombers isn’t going to change that. the USa under Obama would never use a nuclear bomb even if Soeul glows green.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Did we really send stealth bombers or are we saying we did and nobody could see them because they were stealth bombers?

fogw on March 28, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Oh, I’m sure we sent them and made sure that they were seen by design. It’s not like North Korea’s photo shopped amphibious landing.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:14 AM

About time, if Barky had anything to do with this then he gets a moment of grudging respect.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I wouldn’t be surpprised if the Air force general that was in charged of it gets court martialed when Obama comes back from his vacation if the PR goes south. deniability is Obama’s stock and trade.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM

That they flew from Whiteman AFB is part of the point. “Hey North Korea, guess where these came from?” As to taking them out while they are making a strike, all I can say is good luck with that.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM

what happens if NK gets “help” from China if the ballon goes up. 5000 miles away in unfreindly skies is not the most safe place to be. I’m sure we can defend them on the return trip but its an exercise and not a war, yet.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:18 AM

I wouldn’t be surpprised if the Air force general that was in charged of it gets court martialed when Obama comes back from his vacation if the PR goes south. deniability is Obama’s stock and trade.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Well, given the new norm, if that happens all the General would have to do is declare that he is gay and all will be forgiven.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Obama trumpets Stealth bombers. Great. So stealthy.

Philly on March 28, 2013 at 9:20 AM

what happens if NK gets “help” from China if the ballon goes up. 5000 miles away in unfreindly skies is not the most safe place to be. I’m sure we can defend them on the return trip but its an exercise and not a war, yet.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Think about what you are saying. If China openly assists North Korea in combat operations against the United States, South Korea, and (probably) Japan…… Well, we’ve got bigger problems. Not to mention a whole lot of Chinese factories idled because their markets will dry up overnight.

And don’t think that it would be possible for China to help covertly. If for no other reason than the world community isn’t going to let China sit on the sidelines as major economies are attacked by their satellite state.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Whteman Air Force Base. Sounds raaaacist to me.

HiJack on March 28, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I wouldn’t be surpprised if the Air force general that was in charged of it gets court martialed when Obama comes back from his vacation if the PR goes south. deniability is Obama’s stock and trade.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Well, given the new norm, if that happens all the General would have to do is declare that he is gay and all will be forgiven.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Gay. That’s so yesterday. Haven’t you heard? Polygamy and adultery is the new normal now. All the General has to do is trot out his new wives or girlfriends, and he will be untouchable.

HiJack on March 28, 2013 at 9:31 AM

The real message is that the US will take action

No, it won’t.

albill on March 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Oh, I’m sure we sent them and made sure that they were seen by design. It’s not like North Korea’s photo shopped amphibious landing.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I think we could have flown a scaled down model along North Korea’s coast and Lil Kim wouldn’t have known the difference. He’s about as competent as Baracky.

The money saved in fuel required for the actual flights would allow us to reopen the White House tours for the duration of Obama’s term in office.

Win. Win.

(tongue firmly planted in cheek)

fogw on March 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Well, given the new norm, if that happens all the General would have to do is declare that he is gay and all will be forgiven.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM

that made me laugh. thanks

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

All the General has to do is trot out his new wives or girlfriends, and he will be untouchable.

HiJack on March 28, 2013 at 9:31 AM

So David Patraeus was just ahead of the curve?

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Did we really send stealth bombers or are we saying we did and nobody could see them because they were stealth bombers?
fogw on March 28, 2013 at 9:04 AM

When the Spirit is not in combat it emits a can’t-miss “HERE I AM” signal that appears as big as a football field on radar. As I heard it explained, it’s like an alley cat banging trash can lids as he walks down the alley so the mice know he’s not on the prowl. When he’s on the prowl, they don’t know the signs.

We don’t want to give adversaries practice time to try and identify its tiny stealth signature.

Akzed on March 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Think about what you are saying. If China openly assists North Korea in combat operations against the United States, South Korea, and (probably) Japan…… Well, we’ve got bigger problems. Not to mention a whole lot of Chinese factories idled because their markets will dry up overnight.

And don’t think that it would be possible for China to help covertly. If for no other reason than the world community isn’t going to let China sit on the sidelines as major economies are attacked by their satellite state.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:24 AM

it depends what China’s game is. the facotries idled hurt us more than China. they have a large untapped domestic market plus they are communists so they don’t care about profit. Ad din the trillions the gov have in surplus they could out last our and the EU’s economic implosion and come out of the chaos as the only world leaders.

china and Russia jus theld high level talks. the EU just took billions of Russia money from Cyprus with the USA’s ok. World wars tend not to start with armed conflict between major powers but skirmishes between lesser powers.

add into the equation china did intervene in the first NK/SK conflict in 1950 and there is precendent for it to do so again.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM

The money saved in fuel required for the actual flights would allow us to reopen the White House tours for the duration of Obama’s term in office.

Win. Win.

(tongue firmly planted in cheek)

fogw on March 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Don’t be silly. And don’t give these grifters any ideas!

Any money saved goes straight to Mooch’s vacation fund. I can’t wait to see just how out of control these vile people become once the mid-term elections are over and they can give up any pretense of caring about how much their pleasure trips cost.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I can’t wait to see just how out of control these vile people become once the mid-term elections are over and they can give up any pretense of caring about how much their pleasure trips cost.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM

depends how far along the effort to repeal the two term limit is or if Obama’s wife gears up to run.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Any money saved goes straight to Mooch’s vacation fund.

There’s not enough money to be had to cover all the vacation time that Mooch has been taking lately.

HiJack on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM

We don’t want to give adversaries practice time to try and identify its tiny stealth signature.

Akzed on March 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM

And it misses the point. We don’t park aircraft carriers within sight of hostile shorelines because we expect to launch sortie after sortie against them. We do it so that our enemy may think twice before doing something we don’t want them to do. Same goes for these photo-ops with the B-52s.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM

OK, folks. There’s an aspect of NoKo preparation that does not usually get a mention, and it’s crucial to an understanding of what we’d be getting into.

This LA Times article from 2003 is very, very disconcerting.

North Korea is riddled with caves like the one in which K. worked. Under its paranoid regime, virtually everything of military significance is manufactured underground, whether it’s buttons for soldiers’ uniforms or enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. A South Korean intelligence source estimates North Korea has several hundred large underground factories and more than 10,000 smaller facilities. Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., the author of three books on the North Korean military, puts the total number between 11,000 and 14,000.

These will be hardened by depth. There is no intelligence on exact locations. Bunker busters are of limited effectiveness — it has long been possible to build unbustable bunkers.

The subway system in Pyongyang doubles as a bomb shelter. Some stations in the capital are believed to be as deep as 100 yards underground, with secret tunnels designed to transport the leadership in an emergency.

One tunnel is said to lead north to Pyongyang’s international airport, which is believed to have a runway that is largely underground so that an aircraft would not be exposed to hostile fire until the moment its wheels leave the ground. Predictably, official maps of Pyongyang do not show the location of subway stations, and with the exception of two showcase stations, the system is off-limits to foreigners.

These are preparations that have spanned a half-century or more.

Prufrock on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM

These are preparations that have spanned a half-century or more.

Prufrock on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM

yeap plus every sq in of Soeul and the DMZ is sighted with artillary. the avg life span of a soldier on the dmz if the ball goes up is 8 secs.

the only hope for SK is massive and quick resupply from Japan bases. If say a major power like China blocks that resupply then its a race on between NK pushing south and the USA/Japan breaking the blockade with enough supplies to stop the NK advance in time.

unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:50 AM

I’m surprised we didn’t land one in a field for them to take.

JellyToast on March 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM

…be patient!

KOOLAID2 on March 28, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Don’t be silly. And don’t give these grifters any ideas!

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Rest easy. Listening to the ideas of others is a foreign concept not likely undertaken by Barky and Moochieyonce. Their methods and manners are strictly their own, and brilliant to boot.

Like the beer summit, as an example.

fogw on March 28, 2013 at 9:53 AM

The real message is that the US will take action if China can’t get Kim and his generals back on the leash, and the resultant refugee flood would be a disaster for China.

Maybe mass refugees could start filling some of those “ghost cities” that just sit there gathering dust.

In all seriousness, this antagonizing by the NorK’s seems…different…than the usual bs. I’ve never doubted for a moment most of my life that WW3 would begin on the Korean peninsula. This “situation” has to end sometime…and my gut tells me that when it does, it won’t be pretty.

And it seems it would be in China’s best interest to keep their cool. I can’t imagine they’d want any military conflict with the US…our market, and most Western nation’s market, are their biggest money makers…not to mention the massive amount of US debt owned by them.

At this point, I believe all we can do is pray this doesn’t escalate any further.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

You mean not one of those “high alert” batteries in NK spotted them coming? Shocked, I tell you – shocked.

Seriously, tinpot despots like Young-Un need to clue up to EXACTLY what the United States is capable of and act accordingly.

When it happens, little man, you will NEVER see it coming.

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I suggest fleets of drones flying over North Korea towing signs, “Kim Wears Ladies Panties”…or something similar…
;-)

albill on March 28, 2013 at 10:08 AM

At this point, I believe all we can do is pray this doesn’t escalate any further.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

So since Kim Jong Un is the only one doing the escalating, we essentially have to rely on the sanity of a guy who hangs out with Dennis Rodman and starves his own people. Fantastic.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:08 AM

At this point, I believe all we can do is pray this doesn’t escalate any further.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Pray to whom?

The Kims are the North Korean deity and most responsible for what is going on. It would make the most sense to pray to Jong Un.

But oh my, The North Koreans have a zillion artillery tubes ready to take out Seoul in milliseconds. They have indestructible airfields and super hero powers. Chine is ready to self destruct to save the Norks. We are all doomed! Doomed the nutballs say.

Geesh, the gay threads have more folks using gray matter these days.

cozmo on March 28, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Not to mention, the Korean peninsula is the ONE place on the planet the Obimbo “Administration” CANNOT stop a reaction. By treaty, since the state of war NEVER ended there, the US forces on-site are “tripwire.” They do NOT have to wait for “permission” to respond to provocation.

NK being as desolate as it is (makes Afghanistan look like NYC) allows for SERIOUS strikes and we have EVERY inch of NK as “dialed in” as the vaunted NK artillery has Seoul.

Having been there, on-scene, SEVERAL times whil in USAF for Rolling Thunder exercises, I can tell you that discounting the US/ROK striking power already present on the peninsula is ludicrous.

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

So since Kim Jong Un is the only one doing the escalating, we essentially have to rely on the sanity of a guy who hangs out with Dennis Rodman and starves his own people. Fantastic.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Right now, the big worry isn’t about Un…as stated, it could very well be one shaky trigger-finger event that could get the war ball rolling. Who the heck knows what’s going through the minds of Un and his top generals.

I still think there’s rumors going around of a coup of some sort…that idea has been batted around since the guy was being groomed for the job by his father…and there’s no way on God’s green Earth the NorK’s leader will go down without bringing the entire geographic area down with him.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

How’s that Nobel Peace Prize working out for you? *snicker*

jnelchef on March 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I still think there’s rumors going around of a coup of some sort…that idea has been batted around since the guy was being groomed for the job by his father…and there’s no way on God’s green Earth the NorK’s leader will go down without bringing the entire geographic area down with him.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Kim Jong Un clearly has to establish his street cred with the real military generals who didn’t get where they are by accident of birth. But I think that rumors of a coup are more wishful thinking in some quarters than any accurate assessment of what is going on.

If I had to guess, I think this is really just trying to shake the money tree. But, I gotta say Daddy Kim never went to this extent in rattling the saber. Makes you wonder just how far lil Kim is willing to go.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

He already did that with the Cheonan and Yeonpyeong island. Even during the famine a decade plus ago things weren’t this bad. The Nork leadership is desperate, and almost destitute.

cozmo on March 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I suspect there is some massive internal strife forcing someone’s hand to try and keep control.

Either a massive famine wiping out what little food there was, someone challenging the new lil’ leader in the military, or maybe someone no-scoped a headshot on lil’ leader on CoD and he want’s revenge.

Neo on March 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

He already did that with the Cheonan and Yeonpyeong island. Even during the famine a decade plus ago things weren’t this bad. The Nork leadership is desperate, and almost destitute.

cozmo on March 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Which is why I think that all this posturing is really about getting another infusion of cash in the wake of some perceived threat. The past few US administrations were really stupid in trying to bribe their way out of dealing with the underlying problems.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

About time, if Barky had anything to do with this then he gets a moment of grudging respect.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I’ve been thinking (based on some of the things going on) that PACOM is running the diplomacy in this case. Whether they should be is another question, but it’s probably a very good thing right now.

I can tell you that discounting the US/ROK striking power already present on the peninsula is ludicrous.

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

It has to be able to get airborne, PJ. And that is only feasible for some places if they get off the ground before the first trigger is pulled on the NorK side. I’m not disagreeing that we can do what’s necessary to take it to the NorKs, but it isn’t as easy as some might make it out to be, unless we’re willing to be pre-emptive. (And, yes, I have personal experience in that theater; and, no, it’s not discussable.)

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

The last few US administrations weren’t the problem. The South Koreans were the one’s wanting to get along. The New S. Korean government has done a 180 and is driving this “no more caving” train.

South Korea has spent as much as North Korea developing usable weapons systems (not terror weapons like N. Korea).

The South Korean military is now well trained, well lead and well fed. None of which can be said about the North.

cozmo on March 28, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Having been there, on-scene, SEVERAL times whil in USAF for Rolling Thunder exercises, I can tell you that discounting the US/ROK striking power already present on the penninsula is ludicrous.

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

True dat. The salient point, however, is that air power is limited in effectiveness without good surface targets and good intelligence.

Ordnance on target requires… a target. We’re a little behind in that regard.

They have indestructible airfields and super hero powers. China is ready to self destruct to save the Norks. We are all doomed! Doomed the nutballs say.

cozmo on March 28, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Try reading the article (which was sent to me by a very well-informed acquaintance who agrees with its implications). Then sit and think. Super powers? Indestructible airfields? Not really (just bomb the egress of the runway… once you find it). Playing whack-a-mole, with no indication of which of 10,000 holes the mole has chosen? Harder.

And then, when you bomb the shoe factory three holes down from the nuclear refinement plant, be ready for all the dead kids to be lined up on live TV.

Prufrock on March 28, 2013 at 10:47 AM

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

And you remain under the impression that this has not been planned for, gamed out, and exercised since the ceasefire was signed – over and over and over?

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 10:52 AM

The B2 is one aircraft that when you see it in real life you realize it’s not if this earth. If I were the NorComs I’d be terrified.

long_cat on March 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

^of this earth

long_cat on March 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Makes you wonder just how far lil Kim is willing to go.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Or, whether he understands just how far he is going. That’s a real concern. Will he push it far enough that he thinks he can pull back, but it sets off something (like that ROK soldier who tossed a grenade the other day, thinking there were NorKs about) that snowballs?

In all seriousness, this antagonizing by the NorK’s seems…different…than the usual bs.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I agree. And, that’s worrisome.

And it seems it would be in China’s best interest to keep their cool.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Much more than markets are at stake for China. One of the concerns I have is their use of NorK as their Crazy Uncle Kim. He is their distractor, their “Hey, will you look at that!” while they go off poking into the “disputed” islands and such. Why this is a concern: if Crazy Uncle Kim has lost his credibility (we’ve started believing he won’t actually do anything hare-brained enough to start WW3) then China will have to find another Crazy Uncle, or rejuvenate the NorK credibility. It’s also why they really can’t let us just take out NorK – they lose their Crazy Uncle. It’s in China’s best interest to keep them hovering on the edge.

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Kim Jong Un clearly has to establish his street cred with the real military generals who didn’t get where they are by accident of birth. But I think that rumors of a coup are more wishful thinking in some quarters than any accurate assessment of what is going on.

If I had to guess, I think this is really just trying to shake the money tree. But, I gotta say Daddy Kim never went to this extent in rattling the saber. Makes you wonder just how far lil Kim is willing to go.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Remember…back in 1992 (I believe) top NorK military attempted a coup on an aging Kim Il-Sung. And in 1995, a year after Kim Jung-Il took over leadership, another military coup was foiled. So this is nothing new to them.

And if Kim Jung-Un is simply looking for eased sanctions, threatening nuclear military action is about the worst way to go about securing a better financial position.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Prufrock on March 28, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I read the article, probably back when it was new too. Along with many, many others.

Nothing in it was news.

Factories need energy which will go away when the first lanyard is pulled. North Korea is the definition of top down incompetence. The stuff that comes from those factories will be second rate, at best. When the balloon goes up logistics will be the most important factor in a North Korean offensive and the thing they are most in need of is food. It will be hard to fight when those soldiers are digging up roots to eat.

cozmo on March 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I suspect there is some massive internal strife forcing someone’s hand to try and keep control.

Either a massive famine wiping out what little food there was, someone challenging the new lil’ leader in the military, or maybe someone no-scoped a headshot on lil’ leader on CoD and he want’s revenge.

Neo on March 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Yep.

WitchDoctor on March 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

And you remain under the impression that this has not been planned for, gamed out, and exercised since the ceasefire was signed – over and over and over?

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 10:52 AM

I won’t discuss what has been planned for, gamed out, or exercised, except to say that many plans acknowledge the destruction – military and civilian – that will occur if the NorKs pull the trigger first. Overwhelming firepower or not, it won’t be AS overwhelming after that first salvo.

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Watch out for North Korea, they’re like the Supreme Court, just about the time you think you know what they’re going to do they fool you completely and do something else.

bflat879 on March 28, 2013 at 11:17 AM

The B-2 Spirit bombers flew more than 6,500 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to South Korea, dropping inert munitions there as part of the exercises, before returning to the U.S. mainland, the U.S Forces in Korea said in a statement.

The ‘inert munitions’ came from the REB’s inert foreign policy armory.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM

About time, if Barky had anything to do with this then he gets a moment of grudging respect.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I don’t doubt that he was probably lobbied hard to make an easy decision. After all, it’s my understanding it took some 16 hours to convince him to take out OBL.

freedomfirst on March 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Any money saved goes straight to Mooch’s vacation fund.

There’s not enough money to be had to cover all the vacation time that Mooch has been taking lately.

HiJack on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Any word yet if sequestration has affected the number of truckloads of Atlantic Lobshter arriving at the White House?

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Don’t you just love it when lefties try to use the military to intimidate someone? They always have to make a very public announcement about it.

Anyone think the Norks weren’t aware that we have B2s and that they weren’t aware of what they can do?

That’s now how this kind of thing is usually done. You are supposed to privately show your teeth and claws and at the same time give your foe an opportunity to save face by backing away quietly. That can’t happen when you make a very public show out of it.

And if you are actually plan to use B2s, you shouldn’t make an announcement beforehand.

farsighted on March 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM

That’s now not…

farsighted on March 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Don’t you just love it when lefties try to use the military to intimidate someone? They always have to make a very public announcement about it.

farsighted on March 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Well it’s more than that. Lefties use the military for other stuff too.

Remember when SEAL Team Six took out OBL? You would have thought that the rat-eared devil had personally HALO’d in and took the kill shot.

Remember all those times that the military has been used as props to leave the (false) impression that this administration doesn’t detest those in uniform?

And of course, Mooch considers the Air Force her personal airline for all those vacations.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The Norks will announce, shortly, that they too have a stealth bomber. Powered by kimchee, it has already made hundreds of flights over the US. It’s so stealthy, they don’t even have a picture of Kim looking at it.

trigon on March 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

The message? We don’t need long-range missiles to take you out.

I think even the Norks would greet that statement with a weary, “Duh.” We could have sent 40 or 50-year old B-52s to make that kind of obvious point.

What would have been really impressive would have been to have sent said B-2s to drop their inert ordnance onto the USS Pueblo. What would the Norks have to say, it’s our ship to begin with… and by doing it without their ability to even know we were coming, not to mention being able to do anything about it, would be a perfect answer to their stupid bluster and empty threats.

Spurius Ligustinus on March 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

In all seriousness, this antagonizing by the NorK’s seems…different…than the usual bs. I’ve never doubted for a moment most of my life that WW3 would begin on the Korean peninsula. This “situation” has to end sometime…and my gut tells me that when it does, it won’t be pretty.

JetBoy on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I agree. It’s like the usual bs on steroids. The NorKs are accelerating much harder and faster than normal.

What are they fishing for?

I haven’t the foggiest. I am beyond speechless that Ogabe And John F’n Kerry didn’t cave several weeks back and promise Un all kinds of aid if he would just stop talking trash. It might be that the NorKs have let our side know by way of China or Dennis Rodman that food and money aren’t the goal this time around. Maybe Un isn’t in control. Maybe one of his generals or a cabal of generals is actually in control and Un is merely the sock puppet that gets trotted out to keep the ordinary Koreans loyal to their “deity”. Maybe it’s a power struggle in the military hierarchy in which various generals are trying to win supporters to their faction by demonstrating they are the biggest badass on the block.

Whatever is going on, though, doesn’t look promising. For some reason or another, the NorKs seem more than ready to ignite an actual war this time.

catsandbooks on March 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

PJ Emeritus,
“Seriously, tinpot despots like Young-Un need to clue up to EXACTLY what the United States is capable of and act accordingly.”

The problem is, they see us sitting on our asses most of the time, and they see things like Benghazi, and they see the military cutbacks, and caving to Russia on the ABM systems, and they are willing to roll the dice, because we probably won’t actually do anything.

exhelodrvr on March 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Spurius Ligustinus on March 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Well, nice idea, but violating their airspace to pull it off would be an act of war

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 1:08 PM

I think even the Norks would greet that statement with a weary, “Duh.” We could have sent 40 or 50-year old B-52s to make that kind of obvious point.

What would have been really impressive would have been to have sent said B-2s to drop their inert ordnance onto the USS Pueblo. What would the Norks have to say, it’s our ship to begin with… and by doing it without their ability to even know we were coming, not to mention being able to do anything about it, would be a perfect answer to their stupid bluster and empty threats.

Spurius Ligustinus on March 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I’m not so sure. Is it possible that other countries see our B-2 fleet as hangar queens, so few in numbers and so incredibly expensive that we are terrified to actually risk using them?

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Why not ask the Iraqis and Arghanis?

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Just being an eeyore but 10,000 152s aren’t stoppable. It wouldn’t take 2 mins to turn Seoul into bricks. We need KimmyJr gone, for sure, but at what cost?

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Why not ask the Iraqis and Arghanis?

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Neither of which had a standing army that could hold a candle to NK, much less…oh yes…and they actually have nukes. Good Lord PJ, stop and THINK for a minute.

Just being an eeyore but 10,000 152s aren’t stoppable. It wouldn’t take 2 mins to turn Seoul into bricks. We need KimmyJr gone, for sure, but at what cost?

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:21 PM

SK has had decades to at least TRY to move people and property south, and there is no way to intercept that many artillery shells mid-flight. At this point there’s really no way at this point to take KJ down without very serious cost to them and probably some to us.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

The young South Koreans despise us, why are we doing this? Seriously, they spend all those hours playing starcraft and warcraft on their computers, let them try their hand at some real war games.

It’s time these liberal younger generations face their realities.

Daemonocracy on March 28, 2013 at 2:33 PM

The world, and American neocon foreign policy is trying desperately to get us into another war. They wanted one with Iran, that’s quieted down so now it’s on to North Korea. Expect some sort of “event” soon, via the CIA and their covert warfare to fully get us embroiled.

fatlibertarianinokc on March 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

General MacArthur was right.
Shame Truman was so political and egotistical.

losarkos on March 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

General MacArthur was right.
Shame Truman was so political and egotistical.

losarkos on March 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

MacArthur was a brilliant general, but there’s a reason he didn’t get everything he wanted.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 2:38 PM

fatlibertarianinokc on March 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Show us the personnel in the current gov’t with the Neocon cred to order those bombers to SK. Double dog dare you.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Our only weakness in what would be asymetrical warfare is the rat-eared coward in the White House.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Unfortunately, you are correct.

I would hope that if it comes to it that we topple the entire NoKo government and liberate those hopeless people.

But that will never happen with the paper tiger in the Whitehouse.

davidk on March 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Show us the personnel in the current gov’t with the Neocon cred to order those bombers to SK. Double dog dare you.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

He didn’t say anything about the personnel, he said the policy and he is right, the status quo remains.

Daemonocracy on March 28, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Daemonocracy on March 28, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Really? Policy issues orders? Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:43 PM

fatlibertarianinokc on March 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

And your brilliant plan to stop it is…?

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Watch out for North Korea, they’re like the Supreme Court, just about the time you think you know what they’re going to do they fool you completely and do something else.

bflat879 on March 28, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Yep. You can’t outguess crazy people. I mean “crazy” literally.

davidk on March 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

About time, if Barky had anything to do with this then he gets a moment of grudging respect.

Bishop on March 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Guaranteed, he was leaned heavily on by military types. This didn’t come out of a community organizer’s noggin.

Cleombrotus on March 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Daemonocracy and fatlibertarianinokc had established, without a single doubt, that the leaders don’t lead.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Nuclear anti-aircraft batteries. Please refer to the question I was answering – whether the B2 is a hangar queen.

PJ Emeritus on March 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

It just takes one person, Deamon and Fatlib, to bring the bombers home. Just one. Wonder who that is? I haven’t a clue. Let us know if you find out.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

fatlibertarianinokc on March 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

*hands you a fresh roll of ReynoldsWrap Heavy Duty*

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM

plus they are communists so they don’t care about profit.
unseen on March 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Hmmm. Have you heard of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” — first attributed to Deng Xiaoping? It has much in common with what, in the rest of the world, is called “capitalism”.

YiZhangZhe on March 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Hmmm. Have you heard of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” — first attributed to Deng Xiaoping? It has much in common with what, in the rest of the world, is called “capitalism”.

YiZhangZhe on March 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

The biggest use they have for “capitalism” (which as about as much crony-capitalist as it can GET) is to sell cheap cr@p to the West.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The world, and American neocon foreign policy is trying desperately to get us into another war.

fatlibertarianinokc on March 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Bad neocons!

Bad! Bad! Neocons!!

Stop it! Right this instant!

Ya hear?

Solaratov on March 28, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Really? Policy issues orders? Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 2:43 PM

You are no longer making sense to me, so i will just restate what is going on:

Obama is continuing the same Foreign Policy from the Bush and Cheney era. Obama is an interventionist, this is demonstrated in his support for the Arab spring and arming of Syrian and Libyan rebels in addition to his desire for unchecked power on drone policy. These are Neocon policies on auto pilot.

Daemonocracy on March 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Daemonocracy on March 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

The auto pilot? Hilarious. Barry has no control because of the auto pilot. Right fuzzy feeling that must give everyone.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Daemonocracy on March 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Interventionism =/= NeoCon
There are a broad spectrum of interventionist policies. Obama’s is more of the “throw stuff from as far away as possible and hope you don’t get any ick on you”, rather than the Bushian “all hearts yearn for freedom, if we can just kill their cultural leaders first”. Whether you think they’re both wrong or not, they definitely AREN’T the same.

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

To add to your point, President George W. Bush pushed democracy whenever he could, the REB pushes rule by the muslim brotherhood.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Comment pages: 1 2