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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

To H or not to H

There is some doubt over whether North Korea's H-bomb test was successful or not:
North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un vowed to celebrate the New Year with 'the thrilling sound of our first hydrogen bomb' when he signed to order for today's nuclear blast.

The hermit state claimed it had detonated a 'successful' hydrogen bomb this morning, triggering a 5.1-magnitude earthquake and propelling Kim on a new collision course with world powers.

But experts have been quick to cast doubt on the claims, saying the size of the explosion and resulting earthquake was far too small to have come a failed H-bomb and was likely disguised to appear like one.
I fail to see why it matters all that much either way. North Korea clearly has acquired what it wants, which is the ability to deter any U.S. aggression against it. In light of the numerous U.S. attacks on countries everywhere from Serbia to Syria, it would be very strange if governments around the world did not make a priority of acquiring similar nuclear deterrence.

22 Comments:

Blogger SS January 06, 2016 8:34 AM  

There's no Muslims or Israeli interests to defend in North Korea so I doubt this president cares anyway.

Blogger Elocutioner January 06, 2016 8:49 AM  

I'm with Vox on this - I don't care about NK getting a nuke. I am interested in how this affects us here at home.

Immediately after Hillary trots out Bill Clinton the War on Women blows up in his face followed closely by news of an NK nuke that was only achievable via Bill and not-at-Albright's stunning diplomatic "success." (Just like Iran's deal last year.) Trump even brought up NK in the 2nd debate months ago while 'serious candidate' !Jeb! shook his head in disbelief.

Is there anything that either Clinton did that they can actually run on?

The budget was accounting gimmickry cooked up and passed by the Republicans and when's the last time you heard anyone in DC so much as whisper "balanced budget?"

He claimed credit for the twice-vetoed welfare reform but Obama gutted that first thing in office.

And Hillary's foreign policy record is even worse than Bill's.

They were expecting a ringer and didn't let anyone qualified to run. Hell, Biden is a buffoon but even he could see Trump for the populist that he is and decided not to run. It's amazing how fast one strong leader can turn things around, even if it's just the mood so far.

OpenID genericviews January 06, 2016 8:49 AM  

It can't be an H bomb. They signed a treaty with the Clinton administration to not produce one. They wouldn't go back on such an important deal. The same woman negotiated the "deal" with Iran, so we KNOW it's good.

Anonymous Roundtine January 06, 2016 8:53 AM  

Korea is the only Sinophilic country in the region. There's still a core group of voters who want the U.S. there, but many are increasingly pro-China. It's the North Koreans who probably would be more willing to fight Chinese influence and defend Korean sovereignty. We should have the CIA arrange for North Korea to sell nukes to Taiwan, if only to troll China.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian January 06, 2016 9:19 AM  

Just need a (((destroyer of worlds))) to migrate over and help'em.

Blogger Ingot9455 January 06, 2016 10:22 AM  

I think we've found a place to deport our Syrian refugees to. North Korea needs the labor. It's a win-win.

Blogger bearspaw January 06, 2016 10:33 AM  

It's probably just fracking, NK style.

Blogger tweell January 06, 2016 10:37 AM  

So, NK has finally managed to get a Khan-designed fission bomb to explode properly, unlike the squib they had last time. That's enough to keep the US (and maybe China) from invading, so mission accomplished.

As I understand it, Khan's design is not reliable, but is cheap - it uses 60-70% enriched U235 instead of the 97% enriched U235 that the standard uranium fission device requires. That's a considerable savings in time and equipment, using cheap centrifuges as opposed to expensive gas diffusion plants. It works for deterrence - the bomb may not be reliable, but does your enemy want to gamble on that?

Anonymous Dave January 06, 2016 10:41 AM  

Let's get Rodman back over there to clear this up.


OT Vikings playoff game on Sunday could be one of the coldest games ever played in NFL history
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/01/06/seahawks-vikings-game-could-be-a-very-cold-one/

Blogger JP January 06, 2016 10:50 AM  

A question: why would countries be so much more scared of one nuke as opposed to, say, 10 Russian FOABs (ATBIP)?

Anonymous JI January 06, 2016 10:51 AM  

No, this will not "deter" the US as the US has no interest in taking over NK. The US military's primary mission in South Korea is to restrain the South Koreans from conquering North Korea.

Blogger kmbr January 06, 2016 11:12 AM  

It's already that time of the year again? Time it is a flyin'.

Fat Boy is just looking for his yearly supply of Western winter food aid to keep "his people" from a diet of solely tree bark soup.



Blogger DeadHeadDiver January 06, 2016 11:19 AM  

OK, so NK has nukes. Some of them may even work, some of the time. And they have missiles, that may go where they want them to, some of the time. Still, as horrible as nukes are, these aren't what makes NK a threat, at least to South Korea.
The two things that do make them a threat are:
1) They're insane
2) They have an estimated 10,000 artillery pieces just north of the DMZ, all aimed at Seoul and its environs, which contains roughly half of the population of South Korea.
Anyone who war games a conflict with NK is immediately faced with this question: How much damage to Seoul am I willing to accept?
Even knowing that an unknown but likely large percentage of NK's artillery pieces are old and likely poorly maintained, you're still faced with the old maxim "quantity has a quality all its own". You're going to lose 15 to 20 percent of your population, and 25 to 50 percent of the infrastructure you've painfully built up over the years to make you a candidate member of the first world. Even if China allows you to topple the Kim dynasty and "win", does this qualify as victory?
Nukes? They're the least of your worries.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 06, 2016 11:28 AM  

@8 tweell:

As I understand it, Khan's design is not reliable,

We discovered it and his network when Qaddafi's son, looking at the stark object lesson of Saddam, convinced his father to surrender his WMD program (a Bush triumph Obama made sure wouldn't happen again). What I heard was that it is a PRC implosion design, with shop floor details down to the types of thread locker and torque to use on each bolt.

Reliability? The Pakistanis sure seem to have nailed that (but they have serious mechanical talents), and NK is in fact the only state known to have not gotten it right on the first try, going back to the US. Probably more an indication of just how crazy the DPRK is, for example, when you starve everybody but the nomenklatura including almost all who are in the Army, you're going to find doing a lot of things very difficult.

but is cheap - it uses 60-70% enriched U235 instead of the 97% enriched U235 that the standard uranium fission device requires.

It gets you less than you'd think, if you're at 60% you've already done 65% of the work required to get to 90%, if at 70% you've done 77%.

That's a considerable savings in time and equipment, using cheap centrifuges as opposed to expensive gas diffusion plants.

That's really a technology sophistication issue, the US tried centrifuges for the Manhattan Project, but the control and perhaps bearing technology just wasn't up to it. To produce the gun assembly Little Boy, we primarily used calutrons (production cyclotrons), then augmented them first with a thermal diffusion plant (to get to 0.85%) then the huge gaseous diffusion plant in between the thermal plant and the calutrons.

Best I can tell, we suspect they're trying plutonium weapons, which requires implosion, but arguably less production effort (natural or low enriched uranium and chemical separation) to produce critical masses 1/5 of uranium.

Anonymous KoranBurningFaggot January 06, 2016 12:03 PM  

Is there anything that either Clinton did that they can actually run on?

There is a recording of HilLIARy laughing about how she got a child rapist off on a technicality. That should go over well with likely democrats.

The US military's primary mission in South Korea is to restrain the South Koreans from conquering North Korea.

If all the US forces left, even with leaving all their gear for the South, SK would be overrun in less than a week. Who would win in a fight of GRRM with a turkey leg or 8 Somalia's with knives.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett January 06, 2016 12:26 PM  

Where is Remo Williams when we need him? Probably listening to Chuin bitch about the duck.

Anonymous Quartermaster January 06, 2016 1:00 PM  

The NORKs never had to worry about US aggression. The ROKs had to worry about the NORKs and Red Chinese, however. I look for both Japan and the ROKs to nuclearize in the not too distant future. They'd be fools not to.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 06, 2016 1:45 PM  

@17 Quartermaster:

The NORKs never had to worry about US aggression. The ROKs had to worry about the NORKs

No past tense about it for the NORKs, every few years they viciously attack the South, reaching a peak in 1983 when they came close to killing the President in the Rangoon bombing, killed several members of his cabinet, a couple dozen advisers and aides. In 2010 they torpedoed a corvette, killing nearly half the crew of 100, and shelled an island, killing 2 Marines and 2 civilians, and doing a great deal of damage to it. Fired another shell a few months ago, and they abduct people all the time, as of late, I've heard it's very dangerous to be on the PRC side of the boarder with the DPRK. They're still officially at war with the South and the US.

Blogger tz January 06, 2016 2:06 PM  

Now NK has a single resource worth a lot of cash to some. Iran may get the bomb sooner, if it does, "Ayatollah you so!".
This is the writ large version of a point I try to get over to clueless talk-only libertarians about the 2nd Amendment.
South Korea might be prosperous, but North Korea might be in a position to demand tribute. You don't have to be smart, savvy, charismatic, or anything else. If you have both the will and means to rob (which means killing if the demands are not met), you can obtain anyone else's wealth who would rather be a live slave than dead.

And sometimes I think I got out of the freak show just in time.
http://dailysignal.com/2016/01/04/washington-quietly-adopts-new-transgender-bathroom-locker-room-policies/

Blogger Anthony January 07, 2016 10:26 AM  

Japan will have its own device, transistorized and half the price.

Blogger Anthony January 07, 2016 10:26 AM  

Japan will have its own device, transistorized and half the price.

Blogger Unknown January 10, 2016 1:03 PM  

North Korea is deterring US aggression, yes, but they're also deterring China at the same time.

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