Obama looked through binoculars toward North Korea (2012)
President Obama denies North Korea can make a nuclear strike against the U.S. or its allies, claiming they cannot make a nuclear weapon "miniaturized" (small and lightweight enough) for missile delivery.
The miniaturization myth never made sense technically and is contradicted by the defense community. But a gullible press goes along with Obama's fiction that North Korea may not have nuclear armed missiles because they have not yet mastered warhead miniaturization.
Now a CNN headline reports "Intel Officials: North Korea 'Probably' Has Miniaturized Nuke." CNN interviewed Adm. William Gortney, commander of North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD), the most outspoken senior officer warning North Korea can strike the U.S. mainland.
On Oct. 8, 2015, NORAD Commander Gortney told the Atlantic Council, "I agree with the intelligence community that we assess that they [the North Koreans] have the ability, they have the weapons, and they have the ability to miniaturize those weapons, and they have the ability to put them on a rocket that can range the [U.S.] homeland."
On April 7, 2015, Gortney said NORAD is moving back into the underground bunker inside Cheyenne Mountain, spending $700 million to further harden the bunker against nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack from North Korea and others.
In March 2016, the Pentagon confirmed North Korea recently rolled out a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) the KN-14, having longer range than North Korea's KN-08 ICBM deployed in 2012. Both missiles are armed with nuclear warheads and can strike the U.S. mainland.
The Pentagon also recently announced Gortney will be the first combatant commander replaced by a woman officer, another first for President Obama's sexual revolution in the military. Perhaps this is merely coincidence, or maybe continues Obama's pattern of punishing those who speak truth about North Korea's nuclear missile threat.
Three years ago the defense community got the message not to speak too loudly about nuclear missile threats from North Korea. In 2013, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un threatened nuclear strikes against the U.S., South Korea, and Japan.
President Obama told NBC on April 16, 2013, he did not believe "North Korea yet had the ability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon to fit atop a missile." White House spokesmen Jay Carney said on April 12,"...obviously the North Koreans have tested nuclear weapons . . . What they have not done is demonstrate . . . a capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile--attach a warhead to a missile and fire it."
Ironically, on April 16, 2013, on the very day Obama told Americans that Kim Jong Un could not strike the U.S., North Korea's KSM-3 satellite passed over Washington, D.C., and New York City at the optimum trajectory for a surprise EMP attack.
While Obama publicly dismissed North Korea's threats, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) privately briefed Congress that North Korea does have nuclear armed missiles--which leaked to the press. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, went to bat for Obama, claiming DIA "did not reflect the consensus view of the 15 other intelligence agencies," according to The New York Times.
But DIA and CIA are the lead agencies for assessing foreign missile threats (few of the 15 others have any expertise) and both reportedly agree North Korea can make nuclear missile warheads.
Obama's miniaturization myth never made technical sense.
Any nation that can make nuclear weapons and orbit a satellite can master the far easier technical challenge of warhead miniaturization.
In the 1950s, the biggest problem was reducing the size and weight of electronics. The microelectronics revolution solved most of the miniaturization problem for all nuclear aspirant nations--including North Korea.
Obama's miniaturization myth so gulled the press that, even when Kim Jong Un recently posed with apparently a miniaturized implosion-type nuclear warhead, the press derided the photo, until corrected by experts.
Ted Cruz has not been swayed by myth and press ignorance.
Cruz said North Korea's Feb. 7 launch of the KSM-4 satellite, orbiting the U.S., could practice an EMP attack that would blackout the national grid, killing millions. "Instant experts" in the Washington Post belittled Cruz, claiming (inaccurately) that EMP attack requires a high-yield H-bomb, too big for the satellite, and great accuracy.
In fact, Cruz is right and his critics wrong.
In 2004, Russian generals warned the EMP Commission the design for their super-EMP warhead leaked "accidentally" to North Korea. A super-EMP weapon would probably be small enough to fit on North Korea's satellites.
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Why the double standard for North Korea?
President Obama does not want North Korean nuclear missiles to be part of his legacy. And to acknowledge this threat, which arose despite President Bill Clinton's nuclear deal with Pyongyang, is to acknowledge the futility of Obama's nuclear deal with Iran--North Korea's strategic partner.
Nuclear North Korea Is No Paper Tiger
Twenty-four hours after the U.S. persuaded the United Nations to impose what is advertised by the Obama administration as the toughest sanctions yet on North Korea, for its illegal nuclear and missile tests of Jan. 6 and Feb. 7, on March 3, dictator Kim Jong Un responded by ordering his armed forces to be ready to use nuclear weapons "at any time" and to be prepared to make a "preemptive attack."
China's late dictator Mao Tse-tung once derided the United States as a "paper tiger," but was reminded by Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev "that paper tiger has nuclear teeth."
Western media that regularly dismisses as mere bluster Kim Jong Un's frequent threats to make nuclear missile strikes against the United States should remember - and should report - that the North Korean dictator is capable of delivering on his threats.
North Korea has six mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), armed with nuclear warheads, capable of reaching the western United States, perhaps as far as Chicago, according to "Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea," a recent Defense Department report.
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North Korea also has 50 medium-range Nodong missiles, at least some of them nuclear armed, that can reach South Korea, Japan, U.S. military bases located there, and the U.S. mainland if launched from a freighter.
Senior national security experts from the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations have warned repeatedly in articles and congressional testimony that North Korea's KSM-3 and KSM-4 satellites orbit over the United States at the optimum trajectory and altitude to evade U.S. early warning radars and national missile defenses and make a surprise electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the contiguous 48 United States.
The Congressional EMP Commission warned that an EMP attack that blacks-out the North American electric grid for one year could kill up to 90 percent of the population through starvation and societal collapse.
The North American Aerospace Defense command (NORAD) and some other military commands are moving key assets back into the underground bunker inside Cheyenne Mountain. NORAD is spending $700 million to further harden the bunker against EMP attack from North Korea or other actors.
The U.S. nuclear deterrent can obliterate North Korea, and that factor surely has prevented Kim Jong Un from acting on his threats, so far.
However, in a supreme crisis even the formidable U.S. nuclear deterrent may fail to prevent a nuclear attack from North Korea - as it failed to prevent North Korean aggression during the Korean War.
Nuclear deterrence hinges on assured retaliation against an aggressor. But North Korea could escape retaliation if it makes a nuclear attack anonymously, by launching a missile off a freighter, for example.
An EMP attack by satellite might also be executed anonymously, since there are so many satellites in low-earth-orbit. EMP attack will destroy satellites, ground stations, and other intelligence assets necessary to identify the origins of the strike. An EMP attack could also paralyze U.S. strategic communications and forces necessary for retaliation.
Deterrence theory also assumes that the adversary is a rational actor, which Kim Jong Un is not.
The North Korean dictator is so paranoid that over the past year he has executed close relatives and dozens of his top military officers. A sadist, he watched the chief of his armed forces being blasted apart by an anti-aircraft gun in an arena, because the old man fell asleep during a meeting.
Hundreds of thousands of people are being worked to death in concentration camps because the dictator suspects they are disloyal.
Paranoid Kim Jong Un is entirely capable of imagining an international crisis where none exists. He could convince himself that the U.S. is about to attack "necessitating" that North Korea launch an all-out nuclear war.
Deterrence historically has also not worked well against megalomaniacs who think themselves to be demigods.
North Korea is officially atheist. In reality, it is a theocracy that worships Kim Jong Un.
State media describe him as having supernatural capabilities, including at some public events supposedly sporting a divine halo.
Caligula, the mad Roman emperor, is remembered to history as an example that "absolute power corrupts absolutely." Caligula's infamous reign of absolute power lasted less than four years. Kim Jong Un inherited his absolute power from his father and grandfather, scion to a reign of corrupting absolute power spanning 68 years.
Kim Jong Un is Caligula in the third generation - armed with nuclear weapons.
A more muscular response is needed than the Obama administration's warning to North Korea to refrain from provocations, and sending an aircraft carrier to reassure U.S. allies.
President Obama should immediately shoot down the KSM-3 and KSM-4 satellites, and enforce the international prohibition on missile tests by North Korea by intercepting any missiles launched, or by destroying them on the launch pad with surgical strikes.
Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) requiring the Department of Homeland Security to protect the American people from an EMP attack, passed the House unanimously and now awaits action in the Senate.
The president and Congress should work together to resurrect the Strategic Defense Initiative - that was foolishly canceled by President Bill Clinton for ideological reasons, even though the technology was ready to deploy.
Space-based missile defense can put an "iron dome" over the U.S. and its allies and is the only technological pathway toward rendering nuclear missiles obsolete.
Ironically, SDI - the much derided Star Wars - is the only realistic way to achieve President Reagan's and President Obama's shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons.
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