Archive for the ‘North Korea – new option’ category

North Korea’s nuclear test site has collapsed … and that may be why Kim Jong-un suspended tests

April 25, 2018

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018 South China Morning Post

Source Link: North Korea’s nuclear test site has collapsed … and that may be why Kim Jong-un suspended tests

{Remember when the NORKS destroyed a reactor and pledged an end to their nuclear program? Remember seeing the Clinton’s and Madeleine Albright sipping champagne with Kim’s father with big smiles of accomplishment on their faces? Disgusting, wasn’t it. Well, not this time Rocket Boy. There’s a new sheriff in town. I suggest you don’t screw with him. He’s no Clinton. – LS}

North Korea’s mountain nuclear test site has collapsed, putting China and other nearby nations at unprecedented risk of radioactive exposure, two separate groups of Chinese scientists studying the issue have confirmed.

The collapse after five nuclear blasts may be why North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared on Friday that he would freeze the hermit state’s nuclear and missile tests and shut down the site, one researcher said.

The last five of Pyongyang’s six nuclear tests have all been carried out under Mount Mantap at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea’s northwest.

One group of researchers found that the most recent blast tore open a hole in the mountain, which then collapsed upon itself. A second group concluded that the breakdown created a “chimney” that could allow radioactive fallout from the blast zone below to rise into the air.

A research team led by Wen Lianxing, a geologist with the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, concluded that the collapse occurred following the detonation last autumn of North Korea’s most powerful thermal nuclear warhead in a tunnel about 700 metres (2,296 feet) below the mountain’s peak.

The test turned the mountain into fragile fragments, the researchers found.

The mountain’s collapse, and the prospect of radioactive exposure in the aftermath, confirms a series of exclusive reports by the South China Morning Post on China’s fears that Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test had caused a fallout leak.

Radioactive dust could escape through holes or cracks in the damaged mountain, the scientists said.

“It is necessary to continue monitoring possible leaks of radioactive materials caused by the collapse incident,” Wen’s team said in the statement.

The findings will be published on the website of the peer-reviewed journal, Geophysical Research Letters, likely next month.

North Korea saw the mountain as an ideal location for underground nuclear experiments because of its elevation – it stood more than 2,100 metres (6,888 feet) above sea level – and its terrain of thick, gentle slopes that seemed capable of resisting structural damage.

The mountain’s surface had shown no visible damage after four underground nuclear tests before 2017.

But the 100-kilotonne bomb that went off on September 3 vaporised surrounding rocks with unprecedented heat and opened a space that was up to 200 metres (656 feet) in diameter, according to a statement posted on the Wen team’s website on Monday.

As shock waves tore through and loosened more rocks, a large section of the mountain’s ridge, less than half a kilometre (0.3 mile) from the peak, slipped down into the empty pocket created by the blast, leaving a scar visible in satellite images.

Wen concluded that the mountain had collapsed after analysing data collected from nearly 2,000 seismic stations.

Three small earthquakes that hit nearby regions in the wake of the collapse added credence to his conclusion, suggesting the test site had lost its geological stability.

Another research team led by Liu Junqing at the Jilin Earthquake Agency with the China Earthquake Administration in Changchun reached similar conclusions to the Wen team.

The “rock collapse … was for the first time documented in North Korea’s test site,” Liu’s team wrote in a paper published last month in Geophysical Research Letters.

The breakdown not only took off part of the mountain’s summit but also created a “chimney” that could allow fallout to rise from the blast centre into the air, they said.

Zhao Lianfeng, a researcher with the Institute of Earth Science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said the two studies supported a consensus among scientists that “the site was wrecked” beyond repair.

“Their findings are in agreement to our observations,” he said.

“Different teams using different data have come up with similar conclusions,” Zhao said. “The only difference was in some technical details. This is the best guess that can be made by the world outside.”

Speculation grew that North Korea’s site was in trouble when Lee Doh-sik, the top North Korean geologist, visited Zhao’s institute about two weeks after the test and met privately with senior Chinese government geologists.

Although the purpose of Lee’s visit was not disclosed, two days later Pyongyang announced it would no longer conduct land-based nuclear tests.

Hu Xingdou, a Beijing-based scholar who follows North Korea’s nuclear programme, said it was highly likely that Pyongyang had received a stark warning from Beijing.

“The test was not only destabilising the site but increasing the risk of eruption of the Changbai Mountain,” a large, active volcano at China-Korean border, said Hu, who asked that his university affiliation not be disclosed for this article because of the topic’s sensitivity.

The mountain’s collapse has likely dealt a huge blow to North Korea’s nuclear programme, Hu said.

Hit by crippling international economic sanctions over its nuclear ambitions, the country might lack sufficient resources to soon resume testing at a new site, he said.

“But there are other sites suitable for testing,” Hu said. “They must be closely monitored.”

Guo Qiuju, a Peking University professor who has belonged to a panel that has advised the Chinese government on emergency responses to radioactive hazards, said that if fallout escaped through cracks, it could be carried by wind over the Chinese border.

“So far we have not detected an abnormal increase of radioactivity levels,” Guo said. “But we will continue to monitor the surrounding region with a large [amount] of highly sensitive equipment and analyse the data in state-of-the-art laboratories.”

Zhao Guodong, a government nuclear waste confinement specialist at the University of South China, said that the North Korean government should allow scientists from China and other countries to enter the test site and evaluate the damage.

“We can put a thick layer of soil on top of the collapsed site, fill the cracks with special cement, or remove the pollutants with chemical solution,” he said.

“There are many methods to deal with the problem. All they need [to do] is ask.”

Fat Kim threatens Trump (again)

September 5, 2017

Fat Kim threatens Trump (again), American ThinkerGary Gindler, September 5, 2017

(This is the most fascinating, and best, suggestion on dealing with North Korean nukes I have read thus far –  force China to take care of the problem. Please see also, Chinese Official Says China Might Invade Taiwan If “Peaceful Reunification Takes Too Long.” — DM)

It’s time for Trump to make an unconventional move – a move no one expects.

It is better not to increase the U.S. military potential in the region.  On the contrary, it is better to completely withdraw all American troops from both South Korea and Japan.

In fact, American troops need to be relocated not into the continental U.S., but to Taiwan.

This move by Trump will make China stop playing the role of an outside observer.  China will be faced with a choice – either China joins Trump on this issue, or she will never get back Taiwan, where the headquarters of the 7th U.S. Navy Fleet will now be located.

Of course, America’s allies in the region, Japan and South Korea, in the face of the withdrawal of U.S. troops, will quite justifiably demand new guarantees of protection from the U.S. government.  America should renew its lend-lease program from the Second World War and lease over to Japan and South Korea, for a term of 99 years, all the nuclear weapons they will ask for.  The military budgets of these countries will skyrocket.  China’s inaction toward the Fat Kim regime will lead to the fact that in addition, China will get two unfriendly nuclear powers armed to the teeth at her own border.

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After Kim Jong-un tested his hydrogen bomb, everything in the world went just as we could expect.  Someone started saber-rattling, and someone insisted that the problem of nuclear North Korea cannot be solved by military means under any circumstances.

Both use very serious arguments.  Those who support appeasement of Kim quite reasonably note that the capital of South Korea, with its 25 million-strong population, is at an artillery salvo distance from the border with North Korea.  Even a limited volley from the north will lead to hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.  Supporters of a massive blow to North Korea argue that it is better to have thousands of casualties among Koreans than to wait until the hydrogen bomb explodes over San Francisco and Americans become the victims.

Both sides have numerous supporters in the highest echelons of power in Washington.

Meanwhile, Fat Kim does not present a threat to the United States at present.  Fat Kim is a threat to President Trump.

Fat Kim is not a dumb bump.  He’s just one of the players in the next political show of the Axis countries.  The North Korean crisis allows others hostile to America – countries such as Iran, Russia, and Syria (i.e., Axis countries) – to check Trump’s resolve.  China is not a member of this Axis, but it watches Trump with great pleasure as he tries to get out of this entrapment.

All the Axis countries are linked by longstanding nuclear technology ties.  Of all the Axis countries, only Syria lacks this technology (the Syrian nuclear reactor, which was built by North Korean engineers, was bombed by Israel in 2007).

The Axis countries are waiting for Trump’s move.  A standard geopolitical analysis shows that there are many options for Trump, but they all range from bad to very bad.

It’s time for Trump to make an unconventional move – a move no one expects.

It is better not to increase the U.S. military potential in the region.  On the contrary, it is better to completely withdraw all American troops from both South Korea and Japan.

In fact, American troops need to be relocated not into the continental U.S., but to Taiwan.

This move by Trump will make China stop playing the role of an outside observer.  China will be faced with a choice – either China joins Trump on this issue, or she will never get back Taiwan, where the headquarters of the 7th U.S. Navy Fleet will now be located.

Of course, America’s allies in the region, Japan and South Korea, in the face of the withdrawal of U.S. troops, will quite justifiably demand new guarantees of protection from the U.S. government.  America should renew its lend-lease program from the Second World War and lease over to Japan and South Korea, for a term of 99 years, all the nuclear weapons they will ask for.  The military budgets of these countries will skyrocket.  China’s inaction toward the Fat Kim regime will lead to the fact that in addition, China will get two unfriendly nuclear powers armed to the teeth at her own border.

If Trump adds to this the ban on trade with all countries that have trade relations with North Korea, then China, with four fifths of its economy dependent on the U.S. market, will suffer the most.

There is every reason to believe that China will make a reasonable choice.  Most likely, she will do this much earlier than the first transport from Japan with the U.S. Marine Corps docks in Taipei.  It is unreasonable to assume that China does not have a well conceived plan for rapid regime change in North Korea.

If wisdom escapes the Chinese communists, then as the icing on the cake, they will get a united Korea at their side.  Capitalistic.  And nuclear.

 

How to neutralize the North Korea threat

July 11, 2017

How to neutralize the North Korea threat, Washington Times,  Ronald Kessler, July 10, 2017

(Here’s a May 16th video about the capabilities of the technology:

The new technology is similar to EMP but more selective and therefore more accurate. It seems excellent. — DM)

Illustration on way to neutralize the North Korean threat by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

They may sound like science fiction, but no doubt Mr. Trump has both HPM and robotic weapons in mind when he says he is contemplating “pretty severe things” to counter the North Korean threat.

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Whenever we hear about viable options for stopping North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, the answer is always the same: There are none. Any military strike against that country would result in retaliation against South Korea, we are told.

But what has gone largely unnoticed in the media is that there are viable alternatives to waiting passively until North Korea has the capability of wiping out millions of Americans with nuclear weapons. The first is the U.S. Air Force’s development of missiles that zap electronics with high-power microwaves (HPM).

That capability, which is entirely different from cyberwarfare designed to confuse computers, has been advancing secretly ever since the Air Force successfully tested use of a missile equipped with HPM in 2012.

Called the Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), the missile was built by Boeing’s Phantom Works for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at a cost of $38 million. The Boeing missile emits high power microwaves that fry computer chips so that no electronic devices targeted by the missile can operate.

On Oct. 16, 2012, the CHAMP missile flew over a two-story building on the Utah Test and Firing Range. The building in the west Utah desert was crammed with computers and security and surveillance systems. The microwaves took down the compound’s entire spectrum of electronic systems, including video cameras set up to film the test, without damaging anything else.

“We hit every target we wanted to,” Boeing’s CHAMP Program Manager Keith Colman said in a company press release. “Today we made science fiction into science fact.”

Until the announcement of the successful test, the project had been top secret. When it was announced, only a few trade publications ran the story, and since then, beyond a few mentions, the media have ignored the story. Instead, they have focused on how impossible it is to deal with the North Korea threat.

The beauty of the HPM missile is that its microwave beam can penetrate bunkers where facilities are hidden without harming humans inside. Even if a bunker is buried inside a mountain, HPM penetrates the facilities through its connections to power cables, communication lines and antennas. Thus, HPM can penetrate any underground military facility and fry its electronics.

While North Korea may attempt to shield its equipment, U.S. officials doubt that would be effective against CHAMP.

Most amazing of all, the missile renders inoperable any radar that might detect it as it flies to and from a target. Thus, a country cannot take out CHAMP before it strikes and has no way of knowing why its facilities have suddenly gone dead.

Besides underground bunkers, HPM can quickly disable fighter planes, tanks, ships and missile systems. And it can wipe out facilities for developing and testing nuclear weapons.

Unlike an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) created by detonating a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere, because it is targeted, HPM leaves intact civilian facilities needed to sustain life. Unlike any other existing system like cyber-attacks, CHAMP permanently destroys electronic equipment.

America’s national laboratories operated by the Department of Energy have been working on these capabilities for decades. Equally impressive, one of those laboratories, Sandia National Laboratories, has been developing robots the size of insects that could assassinate the North Korean leader with deadly toxins.

These robotic weapons using nanotechnology employed in surgical operations in hospitals are being developed secretly with funding by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

While President Ford banned assassinations with an executive order, that order was based on the assumption that other world leaders are rational and would refrain from trying to assassinate our president unless we tried to assassinate them. But we are dealing today with terrorist organizations and world leaders who are not rational and do not care if they are killed.

President Trump could reverse Ford’s obsolete executive order with the stroke of a pen. With robotlike weapons using nanotechnology, the CIA could wipe out Kim Jong-un without risking American lives.

They may sound like science fiction, but no doubt Mr. Trump has both HPM and robotic weapons in mind when he says he is contemplating “pretty severe things” to counter the North Korean threat.

While President Obama preached “strategic patience” in dealing with North Korea, Mr. Trump has made it clear he will not stand by while the North Korean leader threatens our survival.