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Nuclear threat

 
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Today, North Korea threatened to turn the U.S. mainland into a “theater of nuclear war” if there’s any sign of an impending U.S. attack. Is this all empty talk? I doubt that the U.S. is fully missile-proof, so can North Korea bypass the U.S. missile shield and hit the U.S. mainland? I think that Kim is mad enough to attempt some kind of attack even if it destroys North Korea.
 
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From what I've read it seems that North Korean nuclear missiles could reach the US mainland. But it isn't clear that they could be aimed precisely, so maybe a North Korean missile would end up landing in the Siskiyou National Forest or something. That wouldn't be ideal and I'm sure the Americans wouldn't be happy, but they would be less happy if it happened to hit Portland, Oregon instead. For that matter they wouldn't be happy if a nuclear missile hit Hawaii (remember Pearl Harbor?) or Alaska. Whether it could penetrate the US defences, though, I don't know.

But I don't think Kim is mad enough to do something which would result in the destruction of his kingdom. A dictator is nothing without a population to dictate to, after all.
 
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I doubt that North Korea has that much skill, although I also doubt that after all the "Star Wars" stuff that the USA actually could field a truly effective deterrent to incoming missiles.

The real issue, I think is the threat. Kim has been using their nuclear program as leverage for the last few presidencies, but Trump is neither a Bush, an Obama or even Bill Clinton - who would have liked to have at least bombed Afghanistan had it not been for Monica's dress and the "wag-the-dog" opposition. Trump is actually very much like Kim himself, but if you're going to wage a testosterone battle between 2 "macho guys", the USA could probably sink the entire North Korean nation 20 meters underwater with its large nuclear arsenal, and only China and diplomacy have kept that threat at bay until now.

Consider that much of the reason that the USSR collapsed is credited to them being scared shitless that Reagan was crazy enough to unleash nukes on them and Reagan hasn't done half the mad antics that Trump does on a dull weekend. And the USSR was much richer, had a large standing nuclear arsenal, and an army that was at least occasionally fed. If Kim persists, he's crazier than Trump, because while few in the US really believed that Reagan would bomb Moscow, Few don't believe that Trump might catch a headline on Fox and Friends that could trigger him to set off a nuclear hailstorm on Pongyang at any random moment. For that matter, 3 AM indigestion would probably do it. He'd probably tweet a declaration of war.
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:the USA could probably sink the entire North Korean nation 20 meters underwater.



Should the US not be concerned with the effect that nuclear storm would have on South Korea? And for that matter Japan and the Shanghai area in China. I am not sure how much of the radioactivity would spread. And well yes, I have some friends in both South Korea and Shanghai. I would be worried about them. Selfish maybe, but nevertheless.
 
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According to the news today, North Korea talked about launching a missile towards the island Guam, which is US territory but which is very far from US mainland.

The USA is not going to drop nuclear bombs on North Korea easily. It would be one of the most dangerous and dumbest things that the USA have ever done.

China will of course be extremely unhappy if the USA would start a war with NK. The US and China may not have a warm friendship, but they are heavily dependent on each other for their economies.
 
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China knows that the USA will be forced to do something drastic if NK launches an attack, even if it isn't by responding with a nuclear counterattack. I think they will strongly pressure NK not to do anything stupid.
 
Tim Holloway
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What the US wants and what our Fearless Leader might do are, unfortunately, 2 different things. And there is considerable debate right now about that. Always before, we've assumed that the President was a reasonable person. Then again, always before we've assumed that Checks and Balances would work, since the Founding Fathers never envisioned a time when political loyalties would be considered paramount over the needs or wants of the nation as a whole.

Trump could care less about environmental fallout (no pun intended). He's already made that clear closer to home. The subtlety of what it might cost to damage others is something he might or might not consider. Subtle isn't one of his hallmarks.

China was actually beginning to pressure NK to behave, except that when Trump began to attack China verbally, they reverted to using NK as a foil.

Jesper de Jong wrote:It would be one of the most dangerous and dumbest things that the USA have ever done.



Regrettable, we're living in a dangerous and dumb time. For decades, it has been a point of pride for a large part of the populace to avoid anything that could smack of education or intelligence, instead embracing things from "magic economics" to "healthy skepticism" about our ability to leverage the ecology of the entire globe and on and on until we ended up with "alternative facts".

There are actually many people in the USA who literally want to force the Second Coming of Christ by pushing toward the literal Battle of Armageddon. Their rather narrow interpretation (mostly one-line quotes) of the Bible omits the fact that it says God doesn't like to be "forced" to do things and, for that matter that being given stewardship of the Earth wasn't a license to destroy it. I have a fantasy where once the planet is in ruins and the End Times are truly come, that God tells them all that before they can get into Heaven, they have to clean up the mess they made with their bare hands, even if it takes a million years or so. But then, I'm a nasty evil creature myself.
 
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