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 MON4DEC 2017
War with North Korea (DPRK) would be an unmitigated catastrophe that could turn nuclear very soon. While some questions exist as to the exact capabilities of the DPRKs recently – tested Hwasong15 nuclear missiles, it cannot be simply assumed that the DPRK CANNOT reach the US West Coast, and possibly the US East Coast, right now, with a 200Kt thermonuclear warhead. This means of course, that the DPRK can also target Sydney, Australia.
It also must be assumed that the DPRK CAN – explode a 200Kt nuclear warhead in space above the continental US, 'taking out' US nuclear command and control (as well as the entire cyberspace and the global financial system), and taking the US back to the 18th century.
Whatever nagging questions exist as to the adequacy of DPRK re-entry vehicles, prudent military planners must assume that the DPRK can hit US cities right now.
They must also assume that the DPRK will try to 'pre-pre-empt' a US pre-emptive strike – i.e., that if the DPRK believes a US strike is likely, they will seek to strike first, and disable US command and control so that the US CANNOT retaliate and cannot make the rubble in Pyongyang bounce. The US is uniquely vulnerable to such an attack on its command facilities.
They may or may not be successful, but they believe that in such a gamble lies their only change of survival.
Talk of war, and threats of war, and moves to for example, remove US military families from South Korea, however prudent, may be seen by Pyongyang as signals that a strike against it is imminent – and persuade it to roll the dice and strike first.
The military option just is not an option. On the most optimistic assumptions, millions will die. On the most pessimistic assumptions, the number will be tens of millions, and the entire US infrastructure and the global economy will be crippled.
The most pessimistic assumption of all – that the conflict spreads to involve China and Russia – just doesn’t bear thinking about as that will be the end of what we call 'civilisation'.
Talking about war with the DPRK as if it is a realistic option is mindbogglingly irresponsible. It can end with catastrophe, for the US, for Australia, for the world.
The only way forward, as PND and Human Survival Project have many times repeated, is for a graduated process of taking down the temperature and then of enabling open-ended, preconditions- free negotiations to take place, based on asking the DPRK what it would take to enable peaceful, stable, and mutually respectful relations to replace the current confrontation.
John Hallam
Last Updated on Monday, 04 December 2017 16:13