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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #691
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The NOK could be building a new SSB. 38 North have published a piece with overhead imagery suggesting a build of a Sinpo-C SSB and missile ejection testing.

North Korea’s Submarine Ballistic Missile Program Moves Ahead: Indications of Shipbuilding and Missile Ejection Testing
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #692
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North Korea launched a new missile today, which it dubbed the Hwasong-15 (HS-15 for cool kids remembering). Based off altitude, it can range the entire continental US (albeit that might not be true with a full-sized payload).

So now (sealing the deal for the people who didn't, I guess), the Norks truly have a working ICBM.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #693
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Have they closed the loop with an accurate guidance system and a warhead that can survive reentry?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #694
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North Korea launched a new missile today, which it dubbed the Hwasong-15 (HS-15 for cool kids remembering). Based off altitude, it can range the entire continental US (albeit that might not be true with a full-sized payload).

So now (sealing the deal for the people who didn't, I guess), the Norks truly have a working ICBM.
"Working" might be a bit generous. We have one launch, with an unknown payload.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #695
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Just a few 'random' observations/questions.

I wonder how much longer the 3 CBG's will be in the area?

Since the administration declared that there is no more road in which kick the can down nothing much seems to have changed in favour of the US and her allies apart from perhaps the installation and general acceptance of THAAD.

The clock is still ticking and every tick that passes favours Kim. His subs and missiles very soon may well be unstoppable.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #696
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What would happen if US decided to shoot down one of their test missiles?

If I was Trump, this is what I would do. But then again, if the THAAD was to miss, my god would that be extremely embarrassing and a political nightmare.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #697
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Have they closed the loop with an accurate guidance system and a warhead that can survive reentry?
Per this article, the US has believed since August that the RV technology is good enough.

As far as accuracy, how accurate do they really need it to be? If they're going for a countervalue strategy with their nuclear force (which, based on their talk of annihilating American cities, my opinion is they do) you don't need low double-digit meter CEP. You need single digit KMs, which even early generation ICBMs like the R-7 could do (5KM CEP on first launch IIRC). I would assume they can do that.


To use an analogy I used when I lived in the PACNORWEST, If your goal is to be able to demonstrate a threat against the US by being able to hit one of its cities and I'm aiming at the Space Needle but hit, say, the Fremont Troll...there won't be a difference in US reaction.

[Note that the assumption of being a countervalue vice counterforce strategy is only thinking about Nork usage against the CONUS. I'm not convinced that's true for either Japan or South Korea, or US forces stationed there or in Guam].

Additionally, while we who are Defence Pros/Enthusiasts tend to think there's a an important distinction between IOC and FOC, as Tom Nichols once pointed out, civilian leadership probably won't. A missile launched at the US will be assumed to be fully functional and responded to accordingly, even if it ends up not functioning 100%. It's telling to me that both the Norks and the US DoD are acting and talking like it's full up-round right now.

I think we'll see the next step (the live test over the Pacific) very shortly (eg w/in next five months, probably April at the latest).
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #698
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"Working" might be a bit generous. We have one launch, with an unknown payload.
That was enough for India and Pakistan to be considered IOC.

If the standard for the Nork's weapon to be FOC is live launch with live warhead, than only one country has a working ICBM (the US with the FRIGATE BIRD shot as part of Operation DOMINIC).
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #699
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Close up pics on the new NK missile.

Here Are The Photos Of North Korea's Monster Missile You've Been Waiting To See - The Drive
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #700
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POTUS has drawn another red line. China must cut ALL oil exports to NK OR ELSE the US will take unilateral action to deny them the oil.
He continues to paint himself into a corner with potentially disastrous outcomes.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #701
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POTUS has drawn another red line. China must cut ALL oil exports to NK OR ELSE the US will take unilateral action to deny them the oil.
He continues to paint himself into a corner with potentially disastrous outcomes.
What unilateral action? Bombing pipelines? In the territory of another nuclear power? And given that China is rapidly building pipelines to Russia, what other consequences could this sort of action have? How would the EU react to a US stance of this kind?

Think it through. Context matters. Actions have consequences beyond the intended, even if the intended goals are achieved.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #702
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POTUS has drawn another red line. China must cut ALL oil exports to NK OR ELSE the US will take unilateral action to deny them the oil.
He continues to paint himself into a corner with potentially disastrous outcomes.
No, the POTUS is not 'painting' the US into a corner. Try crayon...

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What unilateral action? Bombing pipelines? In the territory of another nuclear power? And given that China is rapidly building pipelines to Russia, what other consequences could this sort of action have? How would the EU react to a US stance of this kind?

Think it through. Context matters. Actions have consequences beyond the intended, even if the intended goals are achieved.
Unfort there are all kinds of potential unilateral actions. Part of the unfort bit is that while we and others might think it through, the person making the statements and decisions might not be...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #703
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No, the POTUS is not 'painting' the US into a corner. Try crayon...



Unfort there are all kinds of potential unilateral actions. Part of the unfort bit is that while we and others might think it through, the person making the statements and decisions might not be...

As Joshua Stanton
points out:

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Finally, an interpretive advisory for journalists: when you read Ambassador Haley’s threat to “take the oil situation into our own hands,” rather than immediately jump to alarmist conclusions and spread panic, consider a much more likely possibility — that Haley may be threatening that the U.S. will freeze and/or forfeit the assets of shippers, merchants, and refineries that deal with North Korea (see, e.g., the Treasury Department’s designation of Velmur and its corporate officers, and the Justice Department’s recent forfeiture suit against its funds).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #704
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This link quotes H.R. McMaster's comment comparing America's situation today to that at the end of the Carter administration. That is pretty debatable IMHO but what is not comparable is the dysfunctional government that exists today and the huge government debt that will slowly strangle even the most moderate budgetary decisions on virtually everything for years to come.

https://breakingdefense.com/2017/12/...-uk-pm-mocked/
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