“Nuclear threats are not a game,” Mr. Ban said at a news conference in Andorra. “The current crisis has already gone too far.” – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Updated on 04.04.2013
Micheal Hayden: “Possibility of North Korea Launching a Nuclear Attack Somewhere Between Remote and Zero”
More Recent Developments:
Kim Jong Eun is apparently now ‘giving the finger’ to the US and the rest of the world. While the US and South Korea continue to hold a stern line [ the US sent a second nuclear warship into international waters to watch for any attempted missile launch by the north over the past few days ] Jong Eun continues to do and say ALL THE WRONG THINGS TO KEEP THE PEACE, escalating tensions most recently by announcing on 04.02.2013 that North Korea will soon revive all of it’s shuttered nuclear reactors and begin processing plutonium again for the purposes of expanding it’s nuclear arsenal.
Cited: “The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said Tuesday that North Korea appeared to be “on a collision course with the international community,” The Associated Press reported. Speaking in Andorra, where he is on an official visit, Mr. Ban said the crisis had gone too far and international negotiations were urgently needed.”
- Upping the Ante with the International Community: Photo of one of North Korea’s dilapidated nuclear reactors.
Complicating any efforts to monitor this latest development is the fact that a small scale plutonium enrichment plant [ about 600 square meters in size ] could actually be built and operated literally underground in one of North Korea’s more than 8,000 tunnels which criss-cross the nation. Should North Korea choose this route any aerial surveillance of the plant would be impossible, of course. North Korea’s underground tunnel system is elaborate. Much of it is decades old and is believed to be for both military use and for civil defense purposes. I have included some photos of the North Korean tunnel systems. In 1974 it was discovered the North Korea was tunneling under the DMZ into South Korea.
Cited: “North Korea is rich in uranium ores. Unlike the plutonium program, which included a large and easily spotted nuclear reactor, an enrichment plant composed of 1,000 centrifuges occupies a 600-square-meter space, small enough to be hidden in one of the estimated 8,000 tunnels North Korea has dug for military purposes across its mountainous terrain, South Korean military officials said.”
“On November 15, 1974 while in operation in the western DMZ near Korangpo, allied reconnaissance troops found steam rising from the earth’s surface indicating that a tunnel was present underneath the DMZ. The tunnels depth is believed to be some 45 meters, has a total length of 3,500 meters of which 1,000 meters invaded into the DMZ. The tunnel is along a course that would have exiting soldiers heading towards Korango, Uijongbu and is some 65 km from Seoul, 8 km northeast of Korangpo. It has a prefabricated wall of concrete and slate. When discovered, there were 220-volt and 60-watt lamps, electric lines, railways, and track vehicles. The ground is inclined by 5 degrees to the north to prevent water from gathering. There are turning points on the railroad. The tunnel is large enough to allow the transit of a regiment of troops and heavy artillery every hour.
On March 19, 1975 a second tunnel was discovered following the testimony of Kim Bu-sung, former official of the Liaison Bureau of the Workers’ Party of North Korea, who participated in the construction of underground tunnels and defected to the South in 1974. The South Korean Army analyzed the sound of underground explosions which started to be heard in Cholwon in 1972, and examined suspected sites. The arch-shaped tunnel is double the size of the 1st Underground Tunnel. There is a plaza where troops gather, and three exits which were to be used for both conventional and unconventional warfare. The tunnel is located some 13 km north of Cholwon and is 101 km from Seoul. It has a total length of 3,500 meters and is 50-160 meter below the surface. About 3,000 armed troops and their vehicles, artillery and tanks can pass per hour.”
Illustration of a Third 1978 Underground Tunnel Built by North Korea into South Korea
“A North Korean defector told the South Koreans that tunnels were being constructed to allow N. Korean troops to invade S. Korea. After four years of searching, this large tunnel – the 3rd – was discovered. To find the tunnel the S. Koreans sunk many water pipes into the ground, filled them with water and waited. When dynamite exploded near a water pipe, the vibrations caused the water to spill from the nearest pipe alerting the S. Koreans to underground activity. North Korea claimed the tunnel was a coal mine and even painted the walls with coal dust but the tunnel was closed. We were able to take a long underground walk to visit the end of the tunnel but no cameras were allowed.
From Wikipedia: “The third tunnel was discovered on October 17, 1978. Unlike the previous two, the third tunnel was discovered following a tip from a North Korean defector. This tunnel is about 1,600 m (1,700 yd) long and about 350 m (1,150 ft) below ground. Foreign visitors touring the South Korean DMZ may view inside this tunnel using a sloped access shaft.”
North Korea as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”
Time writer Austin Ramzy has summarized North Korea’ s bizarre historical pattern of creating an international crisis and then actually reaping a windfall from it this way:
“First, they manufacture a crisis. They behave pretty much like they’re behaving now. They drive tensions high. And sooner or later, the international community and the major players begin to feel unwell and tense and insecure. At that point, North Koreans suggest to start negotiations, and they extract aid and other concessions in exchange for their willingness to return to the status quo. So, they first manufacture a crisis, and then they get paid for resolving the crisis. This approach, these tactics have worked perfectly well for many, many years, but recently it’s losing its efficiency, because the outside world, above all the United States, have finally learned how it usually works with North Korea, and they are not really rushing with money and concessions. And this is what North Korea wants above all: money and concessions from the outside world. So, obviously, it’s quite possible that the North Korean decision makers decided to go really seriously loud this time.”
My question is this: What happens when China and the rest of the civilized world reach the breaking point of exasperation with the “boy who cries wolf” in North Korea? What actions are necessary to snap the broken record pattern? A new democratic US friendly regime change in North Korea would consolidate a broad region of American influence in Southeast Asia and secure a much longer lasting peace than the present situation. The only problem is that untold millions of people would have to die for that American led new North Korean government to be installed, including more than half of North Korea’s 24 million people. But then again: more than 3 million North Koreans have already died of starvation and torture during the so called “Armistice” period since the mid 1950s. With domestic casualties that high during peacetime, it seems clear that North Korea won’t hesitate to sacrifice as much as one third of it’s total population via war in order to continue to be “North Korea.”
Is the world going to stand by and allow that to happen? We are looking as massive human casualties either way. Catch 22 zone: North Korea, a self inflicted state of ongoing checkmate. It’s a very uncomfortable chessboard arrangement to study.
Related links photos and articles
- North Korea wants to restart nuclear reactor (energyandnuclear.com)
- North Korea vows to restart nuclear facilities – Navy ship deployed as US aims to deter N. Korea (foxnews.com)
- Bomb fears as North Korea nuclear reactor restarts (scotsman.com)
- Inside North Korea’s secret tunnels to the South (itv.com)
- North Korea to Restart Yongbyon Nuclear Reactor (voanews.com)
- NKorea’s Parliament Meets Amid Nuclear Tension (abcnews.go.com)