Kim Jong-un has decided to increase the tension between North Korea and the U.S. by threatening a nuclear missile strike against Guam, an American territory with a huge air base located in the Pacific Ocean. President Trump responded by indicating that NOKO would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Kim made the threat against Guam through the state-controlled news agency, KCNA. The island territory is American soil and over 200,000 citizens live in Guam and surrounding areas.
Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo” [reassured] the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas.” Presumably the confidence he has is based upon the actual capability of NOKO to actually direct a missile to Guam. Additionally the island is protected by THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system. It is designed to shoot down short and medium range ballistic missiles.
This crisis has reached epic proportions. The most important question still remains unanswered. Can NOKU attach a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile and send it accurately to a target many thousands of miles away? The U.S. must concern itself with a strike against not only Guam but also South Korea, Japan and the continental U.S.
For years American presidents were comforted the fact that NOKO would never be able to develop the technology to deliver a missile effectively over a long distance. Based upon recent tests by NOKO military analysts now believe the country may be capable of doing so.
This site recently discussed the options available to the U.S. to discourage further development of NOKO’s missile technology. They included convincing China to step in and stop its ally before it actually uses a nuclear weapon. The U.S. has recently increased economic sanctions, which will devastate further the economic stability of the country. In the medium term economic hardships may foment a regime change in NOKO. And finally there is military action.
Of course NOKO’s current technology is the most important consideration given that the U.S. appears to be considering a military strike. But there are many issues that can have a huge effect on the outcome of a U.S. strike. Here are the most important questions relating to a U.S. invasion.
- If the U.S. attacks NOKO will Kim launch nuclear weapons against the U.S., South Korea and/or Japan?
- Will the U.S. be able to destroy NOKO’s nuclear capabilities before the country can launch?
- If the U.S. attacks NOKO will Kim unleash his million man army and its significant conventional power against South Korea?
- If the U.S. attacks NOKO how will China react?
NOKO has about 25 million citizens. Many are located near Pyongyang (2.6 million). A U.S. strike would surely include a barrage of firepower directed at the capital city. NOKO has 1 million men in its military, the majority of which are probably located near the border of South Korea. Similarly the U.S. would likely direct significant firepower to obliterate the NOKO army. The casualties could easily be near 1 million based upon this assessment.
If the NOKO army was not eliminated quickly, South Korea would be vulnerable to a conventional military attack. South Korea has 51 million citizens and its capital city has 10 million citizens. The devastation to South Korea from either a nuclear or conventional attack would be epic.
Because American presidents have kicked the can down the road for decades, the U.S. is now in the unenviable position of having to deal with a heavily armed NOKO. There are no good options aside from convincing the Chinese they must reason with Kim. This in fact may not have any impact. Military action is around the corner, and the world should prepare for it.