Report: U.S. backing off shows of force against North Korea for fear of what Kim might do

posted at 11:21 am on April 4, 2013 by Allahpundit

This isn’t merely a failure of nerve, it’s a failure of intelligence and a failure to keep operational secrets. The White House had a “playbook,” agreed to by O, Hagel, and John Kerry, on how to rattle its saber at North Korea during the next crisis without rattling it so much that NK would get spooked and do something rash. E.g., first comes some B-52 flights over South Korea, then the B-2s make a cameo, then the F-22s, and so forth. Problem one: Kim’s gone further in his bellicosity than U.S. analysts expected and now they’re unsure if they know where his personal red line is. Problem two: The deployment of two destroyers last weekend to the Pacific wasn’t part of the “playbook” and wasn’t supposed to be publicized. That was a bona fide strategic move, not a show of muscle-flexing designed for North Korean and international consumption. But then the news leaked and the Navy confirmed it, which turned the deployment into an inadvertent, potentially war-sparking audible.

One screw-up on top of another, so now it’s time to cool things off before someone gets nuked.

Officials said publicizing the destroyers risked ratcheting up tensions with the North more than the White House had intended. Likewise, they said, White House officials became upset because the disclosure wasn’t in keeping with the orchestrated rollout it had sought to control.

The White House has put the next steps in the playbook on hold while it assesses the North’s posture, officials say, though the administration hasn’t ruled out future shows of force. On Tuesday, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the U.S. wanted to lower the “temperature” on the peninsula…

[W]ithin the administration, some officials voiced concern about unintended consequences of provoking North Korea [by following an escalation "playbook"]. Some of these officials questioned the faith the White House and Pentagon placed in the intelligence agencies, which have a mixed record of predicting North Korean behavior.

However, few objections were raised at the highest levels during the meetings, according to participants—unlike in other Obama administration deliberations about using military force abroad, including Libya, Northwest Africa and Syria, that have been marked by protracted debates. President Barack Obama gave the green light to proceed with the playbook, these people said.

The unspoken risk: What’s the effect on Kim’s already unpredictable behavior now that he knows the U.S. is willing to tear up its “playbook” for fear of pushing him too far? Does that encourage him to be bolder? Or is this Journal story the White House’s way of making it easier for him to climb down? The WSJ’s sources are “U.S. officials” — important ones too, if they’re privy to what went on during meetings “at the highest levels.” Could be that Obama wanted this leaked as an olive branch to NK: The U.S. will eat shinola publicly for having been a little too aggressive towards Kim, whereupon Kim can declare moral victory and step back from the brink with South Korea. It’s a way to let him save face while retreating. “Look how the Americans tremble!” We’ll see if North Korea’s propaganda mill has any fun with it today. They sure have been having fun lately.

Exit question: How long before China instigates a coup to put someone in the North Korean military who’s more predictable in charge?


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Comment pages: 1 2

Other leaders have been testing this president’s resolve since he came to office. But now he’s being tested by a 28 yr old punk with nuclear warheads. Super!

scalleywag on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

“weakness”

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

President Obama is being played. So are any of you who think China isn’t pulling the strings here.

troyriser_gopftw on April 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Yes, I’m quite sure that China is thrilled at the prospect of nuclear war on her border.

/wheredoesourpartygetthesepeople

JohnGalt23 on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

scalleywag on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn’t it?

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The unspoken risk: What’s the effect on Kim’s already unpredictable behavior now that he knows the U.S. is willing to tear up its “playbook” for fear of pushing him too far? Does that encourage him to be bolder? Or is this Journal story the White House’s way of making it easier for him to climb down? The WSJ’s sources are “U.S. officials” — important ones too, if they’re privy to what went on during meetings “at the highest levels.” Could be that Obama wanted this leaked as an olive branch to NK: The U.S. will eat shinola publicly for having been a little too aggressive towards Kim, whereupon Kim can declare moral victory and step back from the brink with South Korea. It’s a way to let him save face while retreating. “Look how the Americans tremble!”

Dealing with Krazy Kim the Third is a lot like dealing with a bear in the campground – you need to push him away, but you can’t push him into a corner. Right now, Krazy Kim the Third is nearly into a corner, and the prudent thing to do (unless you’re ready to shoot the bear) is to leave an opening.

Exit question: How long before China instigates a coup to put someone in the North Korean military who’s more predictable in charge?

If they couldn’t stop Krazy Kim the Third from continuing the world’s only dynastic Communist regime, I don’t think there’s too many officers willing to take a shot at the king. I recall a National Geographic special on an eye surgery team in North Korea from a few years back, and without fail, every person who got their eyesight restored thanked Krazy Kim the First and Krazy Kim the Second before thanking the doctors.

Steve Eggleston on April 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Other leaders have been testing this president’s resolve since he came to office. But now he’s being tested by a 28 yr old punk with nuclear warheads. Super!

scalleywag on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

’bout sums it up, right there…

JohnGalt23 on April 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

You don’t realize how skinny Obama is until you’re banging against him underneath the rim, his bony hips giving easily to brawnier competitors.

rogerb on April 4, 2013 at 1:12 PM

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Here’s a tissue and fervent wish that you will learn a different comeback someday. Boring!

Bradky on April 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Exit question: How long before China instigates a coup to put someone in the North Korean military who’s more predictable in charge?

China is almost certainly the quiet, behind-the-scenes instigator of this crisis. Obama is being tested. The real question is what the Chinese are thinking about his responses. Some people seem concerned China’s going to use North Korea to wreck Japan and South Korea, but I think that’s unlikely. I think they’re more interested in seeing whether the US will defend Taiwan, and whether the US will side in a meaningful way with Japan on the issue of the Senkaku Islands.

I’ve heard some people comparing China to pre-WW1 Germany, and I think that might be an apt comparison.

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

You don’t assemble a playbook and strategy without first predicting all possible counters- no matter how absurd….

Now that they’ve gone down this path stepping back is the wrong way to go. It emboldens an enemy and diminishes your effectiveness.

Marcus Traianus on April 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Hear, Hear!….But then this is how Obama rolls, along with his crackpot foreign policy “advisors”.
His avoidance of “defense being the best offense” is well known, and he hasn’t let us down this time either.

tencole on April 4, 2013 at 1:15 PM

For the good of its nation and the world, like Obama, Kim Jong-Un needs to be removed from office…

easyt65 on April 4, 2013 at 1:15 PM

If they couldn’t stop Krazy Kim the Third from continuing the world’s only dynastic Communist regime, I don’t think there’s too many officers willing to take a shot at the king. I recall a National Geographic special on an eye surgery team in North Korea from a few years back, and without fail, every person who got their eyesight restored thanked Krazy Kim the First and Krazy Kim the Second before thanking the doctors.

Steve Eggleston on April 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I saw that doc. Man, that was really creepy. Makes you wonder about just how far people can be conditioned, en masse.

That said, you don’t need that many officers to pull off a coup, especially in a dynastic regime. All you need are the right ones, who can get it done, and keep it together in the aftermath.

And I’m willing to bet there is someone in the high command of the NoKo’s for whom nuclear sabre rattling is a final straw…

JohnGalt23 on April 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Bradky on April 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Alright, Hot Air Songbirds…Sing Along…

One of thse posters is not like the others…
One of these posters just doesn’t belong.
Can you guess which poster is not like the others…
Before I finish this song?

Better, Troll?

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Yes, I’m quite sure that China is thrilled at the prospect of nuclear war on her border.

/wheredoesourpartygetthesepeople

JohnGalt23 on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

There is zero chance of nuclear war on China’s border. See my 1:14 comment. This is just the Chinese testing the Obama administration.

Even if North Korea DID nuke Tokyo or South Korea, I find it highly unlikely the Obama administration will fire back with nuclear missles. At best there will be a conventional response. The US nuclear deterrent is essentially worthless because the public (including our elites) have been indoctrinated to view using it as the absolute ultimate evil for the past fifty years.

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

China is almost certainly the quiet, behind-the-scenes instigator of this crisis. Obama is being tested. The real question is what the Chinese are thinking about his responses. Some people seem concerned China’s going to use North Korea to wreck Japan and South Korea, but I think that’s unlikely. I think they’re more interested in seeing whether the US will defend Taiwan, and whether the US will side in a meaningful way with Japan on the issue of the Senkaku Islands.

I’ve heard some people comparing China to pre-WW1 Germany, and I think that might be an apt comparison.

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Right tester, wrong testee. Obama has already been found wanting by the ChiComs; the unknown in this equation is the new South Korean President, Park Geun-hye.

I believe the analogy between Red China and historical Germany is between China and pre-WWII Germany. The Kaiser wasn’t exactly looking for Lebensraum in the decade leading up to WWI.

Steve Eggleston on April 4, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Worst President Ever.

jawkneemusic on April 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I believe the analogy between Red China and historical Germany is between China and pre-WWII Germany. The Kaiser wasn’t exactly looking for Lebensraum in the decade leading up to WWI.

Steve Eggleston on April 4, 2013 at 1:19 PM

I think pre WW1′s a better comparison because it was more about ordinary nationalism and “Great Gamesmanship” that went horribly wrong, as opposed to the kind of mass psychosis that overtook Germany in the WW2 era. I feel like China’s policy is much more like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_in_the_sun

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

The U.S. will eat shinola publicly for having been a little too aggressive towards Kim, whereupon Kim can declare moral victory and step back from the brink with South Korea.

Which is all Kim is after in the first place (unless someone out there believes that a kid who’s just gotten the keys to the mansion now wants to blow himself up). Where in the rules does it say that the US should be happy about allowing Kim to declare a moral victory, claim (rightfully) that he backed down the big, bad USA, and solidify his power?

Congratulations, BHO. Simply brilliant.

IndieDogg on April 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

In adddition to all the other (many) shortcomings this man/child has; he’s a total Wussie!

elihu on April 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

“The Pentagon has placed its national missile defense shield on heightened alert amid reports that North Korea is preparing a missile flight test, according to defense officials.

The higher alert status includes moving two Aegis-equipped missile defense ships to waters near North Korea and readying long-range ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, said officials familiar with the status.

The Pentagon also announced on Wednesday it is deploying one of its newest ground-based missile defenses to the U.S. island of Guam, a major U.S. military hub in the South Pacific.

The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) will be sent to Guam in the coming weeks “to strengthen the regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat,” a Pentagon statement said.

The increased readiness of the missile shield followed harsh threats by the communist regime in North Korea to conduct nuclear missile attacks against the United States.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said following a speech yesterday that North Korea has a “nuclear capacity now,” along with missiles…

The official said North Korea used military exercises as cover for dispatching a submarine that covertly sank the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010, killing 46 sailors on board.

The missile shield activation also follows intelligence reports indicating the North’s military recently began moving some mobile missiles around the country, the officials said.

Specifically, officials said the North Koreans appear to be planning to conduct a test flight of a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile, a relatively new road-mobile system…”

http://freebeacon.com/shield-up/

workingclass artist on April 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Wow! Is he earning his Peace Prize today or what?

Lily on April 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Dealing with Krazy Kim the Third is a lot like dealing with a bear in the campground – you need to push him away, but you can’t push him into a corner. Right now, Krazy Kim the Third is nearly into a corner, and the prudent thing to do (unless you’re ready to shoot the bear) is to leave an opening.

You have to give him an opening to save face unless the plan is to go to war.

Although I’m starting to wonder if that isn’t inevitable. The day is coming when N. Korea will have the capability of firing a missile at the continental USA and while their weapons may lack accuracy, when the target is as hard to miss as an entire continent it won’t be an idle threat.

At that point, the prospect of frequent threats and attempts at blackmail will be an ongoing problem. I doubt that Americans will have much patience that that kind of new reality, especially if analysts can’t measure the rationality of N. Korean leaders.

bayam on April 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Although Japan prohibits nuclear weapons per its Constitution, I bet if it was somehow announced that Japan intended to join the nuclear club that China and North Korea would find a way to settle this matter. Asia has a long memory and everyone is still afraid of Japan.

Special Forces Grunt on April 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

China has no reason to ratchet up the tension on the Korean peninsula, and it has every reason to maintain the status quo. NK is no Chinese marionette. Were the situation so simple.

Thank you for asking on April 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

The US nuclear deterrent is essentially worthless because the public (including our elites) have been indoctrinated to view using it as the absolute ultimate evil for the past fifty years.

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

OTOH, rendition, drone attacks on American Citizens, government wiretapping, etc. are not NEARLY as controversial as they were during the evil days of ChimpyBushMcHitler.

That’s what a Peace Prize gets you. Instant credibility with the brain-dead peaceniks.

Lily on April 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The White House has put the next steps in the playbook on hold while it assesses the North’s posture

Brave Sir Obama ran away.
Bravely ran away, away.
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Obama turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Obama!

RoadRunner on April 4, 2013 at 1:46 PM

The White House had a “playbook,” agreed to by O, Hagel, and John Kerry, on how to rattle its saber at North Korea during the next crisis without rattling it so much that NK would get spooked and do something rash.

This statement is terrifying. The terrifying parts are the three in charge and the admission they are only saber rattling for show.

Like pointing a gun at someone you only “rattle your saber” if you are prepared to use it. You do not do it as a bluff. If you do and your bluff is called you lose.

Comrade O has failed the first test one of the bad guys in the world decided to give him — now that they know he will be around another four years. This will embolden the others. There will be many further tests.

farsighted on April 4, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Maybe this was the plan. “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

BrideOfRove on April 4, 2013 at 1:51 PM

There is zero chance of nuclear war on China’s border. See my 1:14 comment. This is just the Chinese testing the Obama administration.

Even if North Korea DID nuke Tokyo or South Korea, I find it highly unlikely the Obama administration will fire back with nuclear missles. At best there will be a conventional response. The US nuclear deterrent is essentially worthless because the public (including our elites) have been indoctrinated to view using it as the absolute ultimate evil for the past fifty years.

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

If the North used a device on Seoul, I guarantee you within the hour 0 would be meeting with Seoul’s man in Washington and a dozen other people, some in uniform, some not, either by phone or in the WH. And some of the people in that room – not all of them – would be arguing that a nuclear attack, especially when US personnel are involved, requires a nuclear response. It’s just the way the nuclear calculus works out. Otherwise, the US will be paying nuclear blackmail until we are broke.

Now, I am equally certain there would be people in that room who would say “Give us other options”. And whether the Liar-in-Chief is one of them, I suppose depends on your view of him. Personally, I wouldn’t have any trouble believing that Barack Obama would use a nuclear weapon under those circumstances. None whatsoever.

Only time would tell on that. But the fact that there is a prospect that such discussions would even be taking place is something that would preclude China – a nation whose star, in contrast to that of North Korea, is on the rise – from “pulling the strings” in any way, shape or form in that direction.

JohnGalt23 on April 4, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Special Forces Grunt on April 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

First thing first, the Japanese would have to amend legislation and in doing so turn the SDF into a true military force. That would likely cause more panic among their neighbors than “oh, by the way, we want a few nuclear warheads in case the 糞 hits the fan.”

Ryan Anthony on April 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I think pre WW1′s a better comparison because it was more about ordinary nationalism and “Great Gamesmanship” that went horribly wrong, as opposed to the kind of mass psychosis that overtook Germany in the WW2 era. I feel like China’s policy is much more like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_in_the_sun

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

It’s a matter of whether one considers yet-to-be-fulfilled rhetoric or what has actually been done so far. In either case, it’s not good news.

Steve Eggleston on April 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The day after Benghazi Obama was headed to a fundraiser in Las Vegas. Today he’s headed to a fundraiser in California.

bw222 on April 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The White House has put the next steps in the playbook on hold while it assesses the North’s posture, officials say, though the administration hasn’t ruled out future shows of force.

The incremental approach. The slowly ratcheting up the pressure and pain approach. This is how LBJ tried make North Vietnam bend to his will.

It did not work.

The unspoken risk: What’s the effect on Kim’s already unpredictable behavior now that he knows the U.S. is willing to tear up its “playbook” for fear of pushing him too far? Does that encourage him to be bolder?

Yes. It not only encourages him to be bolder it encourages other leaders to boldly test Comrade O as well.

farsighted on April 4, 2013 at 1:54 PM

You have to give him an opening to save face unless the plan is to go to war.

Although I’m starting to wonder if that isn’t inevitable. The day is coming when N. Korea will have the capability of firing a missile at the continental USA and while their weapons may lack accuracy, when the target is as hard to miss as an entire continent it won’t be an idle threat.

At that point, the prospect of frequent threats and attempts at blackmail will be an ongoing problem. I doubt that Americans will have much patience that that kind of new reality, especially if analysts can’t measure the rationality of N. Korean leaders.

bayam on April 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Who are you and what have you done with bayam?

Steve Eggleston on April 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

LoganSix on April 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

As Special Agent Oso says, it’s all part of the plan.

motionview on April 4, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Other leaders have been testing this president’s resolve since he came to office.

scalleywag on April 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

His first term they were mostly sizing him up and waiting to see if gets re-elected.

His second term is game time. Especially considering his new SoS and SoD. No one is impressed by either. Both are weaker than all of their predecessors in this admin.

To wit…

But now he’s being tested by a 28 yr old punk with nuclear warheads. Super!

farsighted on April 4, 2013 at 2:19 PM

B.O. is a pussy, and the World knows it.

JackM on April 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

B.O. is a pussy, and the World knows it.

Exactly why he is where he is. His mentors and advisers know that too.

hawkeye54 on April 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

What could possibly go wrong?

John the Libertarian on April 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM

The thing that worries me the most, (aside from having a junior in chief in the White House) is that once the 28 yr old punk has made these threats, he’s going to look like a very small and insignificant toad if he doesn’t follow through with them. How can you be a big bad a$$ otherwise?

scalleywag on April 4, 2013 at 2:57 PM

So, what’s the score now–NK 4, US 0?

1. Nork MiGs shoot down an EC-121 in international waters in the late 60s.

2. USS Pueblo seized in international waters

3. The ax incident at the border around 1978

4. Obama turning chicken

Please note, too, that in each incident we had a Democrat president.

Liam on April 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

kingsjester on April 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

My foreign policy.

Kill every living thing in North Korea and do a live video feed to Al Jazeera.

Then do a dog and pony show on how easy it would be to destroy the entire population of various oil rich states and then exploit the revenues to help our poor and blacks.

The do lots of videos of our dying poor who need medical care we can’t afford and the unemployed beating women and/or children, murders galore we can’t stop in Chicago, mounting debt about to bury us, so our desperation as a poor nation to help ourselves so a little genocide is understandable.

I wounder if Hillary would back my foreign policy?

IlikedAUH2O on April 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM

“so a little genocide” means “to a little genocide”

IlikedAUH2O on April 4, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Being President of the United States requires more then riding around on Air Force One and campaigning. To bad that the “useful idiots” didn’t vote for a Preident instead of a campaigner. Heros die but once, this guy is destined to die a thousand deaths.

savage24 on April 4, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Being President of the United States requires more then riding around on Air Force One and campaigning.

Does playing golf count?

hawkeye54 on April 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

I feel so comforted that Obutthead’s foreign policy is so coherent. I mean, what could be better than “my dick’s bigger than yours so don’t mess with me”? Fuc@ing teenage dickhead couldn’t negotiate himself out of a paper bag. When the hell are we going to get a President?

NOMOBO on April 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Having two Aegis destroyers in the vicinity of Guam or Okinawa, which must be 500-1000 miles from Korea, is hardly provocative.

kd6rxl on April 4, 2013 at 4:26 PM

He will be going to DEFCON BLINK momentarily…just as he did DEFCON RED-LINE? WHAT RED-LINE?

Resist We Much on April 4, 2013 at 12:20 PM

-
God, I feel so safe today.
BTW where is John F. Kerry.

diogenes on April 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

He violates his oath of office again. What a total disgrace. The world laughs at the United States thanks to this jug-eared, communist, pos. However, the liberals think he does a great job….. speaks volumes.

ultracon on April 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Their Dear Leader has more cajones than our Dear Leader.

ultracon on April 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

China has no reason to ratchet up the tension on the Korean peninsula, and it has every reason to maintain the status quo. NK is no Chinese marionette. Were the situation so simple.

Thank you for asking on April 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I pray that you are correct.

Interestingly. it is clear that the nation’s in the North’s gunsights are economic competition for China.

QUIZ

What year did we almost have a second Korean war, and who was POTUS?

Refer to my Hillary Clinton snark above. Then check The Economist

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21575774-kim-jong-un-has-raised-stakes-it-time-get-tougher-nastiest-regime

IlikedAUH2O on April 4, 2013 at 5:17 PM

China has no reason to ratchet up the tension on the Korean peninsula, and it has every reason to maintain the status quo. NK is no Chinese marionette. Were the situation so simple.

Thank you for asking on April 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

The Economist disagrees with you. And really, so do I.

Now more than ever, America needs to cajole China to press for change in its satellite. Apart from humanitarian aid to the North’s stunted people, all other commercial favours towards the regime should be stopped. Sick of Mr Kim and his family racket, China signed up to fresh UN financial sanctions against North Korea after the latest nuclear test. China has the capacity to choke the most iniquitous sources of the criminal regime’s cash. Yet its commitment to enforcing the sanctions seems half-hearted and it appears to have insisted that Shanghai accounts in two of its biggest banks, holding hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of Mr Kim and his cronies, be excluded from the sanctions. Attempts at changing North Korean behaviour have so far patently failed. But then, as China shows, not everything has yet been tried.

IlikedAUH2O on April 4, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Our POTUS reaches out with the hand of friendship:

South Korean star PSY sang these lyrics:

” Kill those f–ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives and those who ordered them to torture,” and going on to say, “Kill them all slowly and painfully,” as well as “daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers.”
PSY shook hands with President Barack Obama over the weekend at “Christmas in Washington,” a charity music concert where he performed alongside stars such as Diana Ross and Demi Lovato.

Maybe PSY will sing nasty lyrics about North Korea?

I am holding my breath.

IlikedAUH2O on April 4, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Can’t we just lob one mini-nuke at Kim? Just one little, tiny, itty-bitty one?

Othniel on April 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

You have to give him an opening to save face unless the plan is to go to war.

bayam on April 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

It’s infinitely more complex than that. Clinton gave Kim Jong Il a lot of face saving concessions, and Il played Clinton like a fiddle. Where did that get us?

Bush tried hard to pull a “Nixon-in-China” policy with Kim Jong Il but asked for concessions from Il. Where did that get us?

There has to be some opening given to Kim Jong Un in a public setting for the consumption of his people. Then on the back channel Obama has to make a very private threat with no uncertain terms that if the little puke gets out of line he will be vaporized, no questions asked, don’t push me.

The problem is, Obama is no Reagan. He has weakened himself so significantly in the world that no one, not even Kim Jung Un, will take him seriously. He has so miserably failed in foreign policy that he is a eunuch on the world stage.

We need a President who can deliver on his promises, both public and private, and make the world understand this in no uncertain terms. Obama is NOT that President and never will be. That’s why war will be his only responsive option.

NOMOBO on April 4, 2013 at 5:51 PM

How much more of this stupid Smart Power can we stand?

Kenz on April 4, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Geez, I hate getting old, I forgot half my post…

Sabre rattling is for chicken sh$t little bullies. Letting another little bully know that you have an infinitely larger club, when he can already see that, is of no help and is of considerable hinder. So, not only is Obama a chicken sh$t little bully, he’s a real idiot.

Maybe he has no back channel to Kim Jong Un. Whose fault is that? Obama was so busy campaigning he never had time to develop a network connection with N. Korea. Unprepared, as usual.

When I say that Obama has no business occupying the Oval Office it’s not because of his Royal ambitions or his Marxist tendencies. No, it is because of situations like this. Reagan defeated Communism without firing a shot–that was real Presidential leadership. Obama’s only option when Kim Jong Un responds to his empty sabre rattling, will be war. That is a real lack of leadership.

NOMOBO on April 4, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Maybe someone with military intelligence can fill us in but with all the technology we have you mean we cannot eavesdrop in on NK brain trust? Come on, folks. I think we know exactly what is being discussed and what hardware is being moved strategically. I cannot believe we are this blind. Id send a drone, blast the Man with the Bad Haircut into oblivion and give the NK military 24 hours to sign a peace treaty. China won’t risk war with us over this dim wit.

stop2think on April 4, 2013 at 6:21 PM

I haven’t been paying attention, is Kerry on Vietnam or North Korea’s side this time?

Hening on April 4, 2013 at 6:23 PM

The problem is, Obama is no Reagan. He has weakened himself so significantly in the world that no one, not even Kim Jung Un, will take him seriously. He has so miserably failed in foreign policy that he is a eunuch on the world stage.

The North want a “special envoy” and I smell Hillary or Kerry or ??? running with it and posturing for 2016.

They will not attack. Why? Our our current POTUS does not have to worry about the Code Pink loons or the media.

He seems to like drones, too.

IlikedAUH2O on April 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM

What if North Korea explodes and EMP…?

… What then?

Seven Percent Solution on April 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

What if North Korea explodes and EMP…?

… What then?

Well, NK exploding would solve many problems…..an EMP, not so much, depending on where its detonated.

hawkeye54 on April 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM

The North want a “special envoy” and I smell Hillary or Kerry or ??? running with it and posturing for 2016.

Wathca talking ’bout? Everyone knows that “special envoy” is Lil Kim speak for Dennis Rodman. He wants him.

hawkeye54 on April 4, 2013 at 7:09 PM

I haven’t been paying attention, is Kerry on Vietnam or North Korea’s side this time?

Hening on April 4, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Hard to tell; he seems to wear two hats.

Barnestormer on April 4, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Does that encourage him to be bolder? Or is this Journal story the White House’s way of making it easier for him to climb down?

Either way it puts him, not the U.S., in control.

VorDaj on April 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

In 1999 there was a movie called Deterrence. It’s out there, you may want to see it.

North Korea has an estimate (2009) of as many as 48 Nukes of 40 kt or bigger. The fizzles we hear of were with the triggers, not the bomb. We rarely hear of the successful detonations.
48 weapons are sufficient to totally destroy a US Population of 46,650,923 People.
IS THIS A GAME WE WANT OBAMA TO PLAY.
City: State: Population:

1. New York New York 8,244,910
2. Los Angeles California 3,819,702
3. Chicago Illinois 2,707,120
4. Houston Texas 2,145,146
5. Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,536,471
6. Phoenix Arizona 1,469,471
7. San Antonio Texas 1,359,758
8. San Diego California 1,326,179
9. Dallas Texas 1,223,229
10. San Jose California 967,487
11. Jacksonville Florida 827,908
12. Indianapolis Indiana 827,609
13. Austin Texas 820,611
14. San Francisco California 812,826
15. Columbus Ohio 797,434
16. Fort Worth Texas 758,738
17. Charlotte North Carolina 751,087
18. Detroit Michigan 706,585
19. El Paso Texas 665,568
20. Memphis Tennessee 652,050
21. Boston Massachusetts 625,087
22. Seattle Washington 620,778
23. Denver Colorado 619,968
24. Baltimore Maryland 619,493
25. Washington District of Columbia 617,996
26. Nashville Tennessee 609,644
27. Louisville Kentucky 602,011
28. Milwaukee Wisconsin 597,867
29. Portland Oregon 593,820
30. Oklahoma City Oklahoma 591,967
31. Las Vegas Nevada 589,317
32. Albuquerque New Mexico 552,804
33. Tucson Arizona 525,796
34. Fresno California 501,362
35. Sacramento California 472,178
36. Long Beach California 465,576
37. Kansas City Missouri 463,202
38. Mesa Arizona 446,518
39. Virginia Beach Virginia 442,707
40. Atlanta Georgia 432,427
41. Colorado Springs Colorado 426,388
42. Raleigh North Carolina 416,468
43. Omaha Nebraska 415,068
44. Miami Florida 408,750
45. Tulsa Oklahoma 396,466
46. Oakland California 395,817
47. Cleveland Ohio 393,806
48. Minneapolis Minnesota 387,753

jpcpt03 on April 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, called Vietnam, the U.S. was engaged in a war that it didn’t quite know how to get out of. The negotiations around getting out of this war seemed to be about table size, positions at the table, and the shape of the table.

Lo and behold! A Wizard named Kissinger convinced a sitting President to bomb the hell out of the bad guys, something that had not been done before. And, in the process, mine the major harbor.

All of a sudden, the bad guys saw their capitol being rubbled, their harbor blocked, and their position badly eroded.

Some non-magical people said that this couldn’t be done as it hadn’t been done before. Ergo, it was impossible. But, the impossible happened!

Thus, the fairy tale ended and the good guys lived happily ever after.

Now, is there any knowledge to be gained from this tale?

Special Forces Grunt on April 4, 2013 at 10:45 PM

North Korea has an estimate (2009) of as many as 48 Nukes of 40 kt or bigger.

jpcpt03 on April 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I’m curious, where did you got that estimate?

DarkCurrent on April 5, 2013 at 12:15 AM

DarkCurrent: Main info is from Wikipedia. The Cities are the 48 most populated by census of 2010. It would be impossible to hit all 48 cities. Keep in mind that our government holds to MisTwyLies (Miss-direct, twist the truth and out right lies). Anything you see or hear needs to be run through the Cover-up Test. Then you make your own mind up.

jpcpt03 on April 5, 2013 at 6:51 AM

the Asians love to play a game called paduk, it is based on assymetrical thought. The NKs know they can’t beat us conventionally so they must use our weakness to their advantage. We rely too heavily on electronics for GPS and directing firepower. The missiles the Koreans have been testing over the past few years go up but they can’t quite control where they land. I don’t think they care about that. If a missle can go up and they explode an EMP in a certain spot it would negate our vaunted tanks, airplanes, and communations in South Korea and Japan. It would take a few weeks to fix it but only a few days to drive to Pusan in the southern part of Korea. When the world sees how our boy president reacts, Russia will retake the Eastern Europe countries it lost and China will get the Spratly Islands, and Taiwan. This is being pushed by China to see the reaction by obama. Maybe it is co-ordinated with Iran since they have several thousand agents here already. Create terror in a couple of major population centers and see how we can’t feed and protect our own citizens and the chaos will spread to other cities. A lot of long haul truckers are from the middle east and all it would take is to drop a pallet of poisoned food at each distribution center up and down the highways to create more panic. the possibilities are endless for mischief.

deimos on April 5, 2013 at 7:12 AM

North Korea has an estimate (2009) of as many as 48 Nukes of 40 kt or bigger. The fizzles we hear of were with the triggers, not the bomb. We rarely hear of the successful detonations.
48 weapons are sufficient to totally destroy a US Population of 46,650,923 People.
IS THIS A GAME WE WANT OBAMA TO PLAY.
City: State: Population:

1. New York New York 8,244,910
2. Los Angeles California 3,819,702
3. Chicago Illinois 2,707,120
4. Houston Texas 2,145,146
5. Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,536,471
6. Phoenix Arizona 1,469,471

jpcpt03 on April 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

For the record, a 40 kt nuke will not completely destroy most of these cities, only a portion of them.

http://www.nucleardarkness.org/nuclear/nuclearexplosionsimulator/

farsighted on April 5, 2013 at 8:16 AM

That makes it OK?

jpcpt03 on April 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

…and Obama’s Foreign Policy record keeps its nose-dive trajectory….

easyt65 on April 5, 2013 at 10:01 AM

For the record, a 40 kt nuke will not completely destroy most of these cities, only a portion of them.

Well, that makes me feel better.

hawkeye54 on April 5, 2013 at 11:03 AM

When stupid people elected this president and the stupid senators confirmed two idiots (kerry & hagel) the three stooges were completed. And this is what “leads” America.

johnny reb on April 5, 2013 at 2:38 PM

“Look how the Americans tremble!” We’ll see if North Korea’s propaganda mill has any fun with it today. They sure have been having fun lately.

obaka is another “paper tiger”, same as Clinton…

ladyingray on April 5, 2013 at 6:43 PM

The closing of the border economic area where the norks get millions of hard currency was always considered an important trip wire. It that when the US blink the norks have pushed it even farther.

I do not think it wise when dealing with desperate despots ever, ever,ever, ever to show any weakness.

All I can do is cite Carter and Iran, The Korean war and Truman, and of course all these years of pussy footing around with the norks.

If soemthing really bad happens and our families and friends in other countries arwe murdered by the norks then all I can say is it did not have to happen.

I shall pray for everyone today.

losarkos on April 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM

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