Monday, October 09, 2006

The Race is On

The crazy commie personality cult north of the 38th Parallel popped a nuke underground yesterday. I'm not sure why the world has been hyperventilating about this occurrence--we have believed that the hermit kingdom had several nukes for nearly a decade. The only reason they tested one was to get our reaction--kind of like when my grandson makes sure I'm looking before he walks over and yanks on the leaves of one of Miss Brenda's house plants.

I guess we should be worried that this might have been a seller's demonstration of a product's capability. The cash-strapped Li'l Kim Kult could be hawking its latest war wares to would-be buyers like the jihadis. But, the reality is that having the basic technology to set off an atomic device is not the same as building a deliverable device. Remember how big our first atomic weapons were--it took the largest four-engine bomber in the world at the time (the B-29) to lift and deliver just one. Neither the north Koreans nor the jihadis have an aircraft or missile (yet) that can deliver something the size of a Buick. I'm not saying the kimche kommies couldn't eventually develop the delivery technology and miniaturize a nuke to the point that it would fit, but I don't think they have it now.

Of course, they could put an A-bomb on one of their "fishing boats" and smuggle it out to a buyer or to a target. But, my limited yet insightful experience "manning the wall" on the Korean peninsula tells me that we keep pretty good tabs on stuff getting moved around up north and on boats getting special attention. For a year, I spent every morning in an intel brief on how many of Kim's watercraft ("fishing trawlers", subs, etc...) were in port or at sea. If an nK boat leaves DPRK territorial waters, we follow it.

And, if a nuke were to pop in a western city somewhere, it would be fairly easy to determine (by the radioactive signature left behind) from whom we received the gift. Exchanging gifts is so much more fun when you have much more to give than to get.

But, the miniscule (probably smaller than what we dropped on Japan 61 years ago) nuke pop in north Korea yesterday will act as the starting gun for a race in the Western Pacific Rim. Using Kim's nukes as an excuse, Japan will probably begin building their own. Japan is already debating changing the offensive capability prohibitions in the constitution MacArthur wrote for them when he served as military governor of the defeated Nipponese nation. Having a nuclear capable Japan is probably not a bad thing in the short run--helps keep the Chicoms in check.

The real fear is whether the Nationalist Chinese on Taiwan will use Li'l Kim's weekend fireworks as an excuse to join the nuclear arms race. They would dearly love to have a nuclear deterrent against PRC aggression. The problem is China might be forced to preemptively launch the Taiwan invasion force it has been building for a couple of decades now in order to prevent the Nationalists from joining the nuke club. That event starts a real world war.

Fear not, gentle readers. The end of the world is not in man's hands.
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