Joe Is Headed For South Korea And Pyongyang Plans To Welcome Him With An Atomic Bomb
Joe Biden heads for meetings in South Korea today and then will travel to Japan for discussions with leaders of Japan, Australia, and India. Intelligence reports indicate that it is likely North Korea will perform a nuclear test while Biden is in the region.
Preparations for the nuclear test have been underway for some time and have been closely monitored by Western intelligence and open-source analysis centers like Beyond Parallel a North Korea analysis portal operated by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Photos of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site– the only known nuclear testing facility in North Korea – show “continued activity outside the new portal” for a tunnel leading into an underground test site. Support equipment around the tunnel's entrance indicates ongoing work inside the tunnel. Other activity at the test site is consistent with what has been seen in the past prior to a North Korean nuclear detonation.
The satellite imagery analysis is consistent with U.S. Government statements
"The United States assesses that the DPRK is preparing its Punggye-ri test site and could be ready to conduct a test there as early as this month, which would be its seventh test," said State Department deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter at a regular press briefing, referring to the North by the acronym for its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“This assessment is consistent with DPRK's own recent public statements. We've shared this information with allies and partners and will continue closely coordinating with them as well,” Porter said.
Korean Joongang Daily
Since 2006, Pyongyang has carried out six known nuclear tests, with the last test being conducted at the Punggye-ri testing site in North Hamgyong Province in September 2017.
A nuclear test by North Korea would be consistent with a rapid escalation in activity related to nuclear weapons and long range missiles. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently warned that his country might use nuclear weapons in a preemptive strike, and the regime has launched a series of missile tests, the most recent of which occurred on Saturday, May 7. During the military day parade on April 25th, Kim Jong stated that Pyongyang would "continue to enhance and develop nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace."
In advance of Biden’s trip newly installed South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed to take a harder line with North Korea and has asked the United States to strengthen its "extended deterrence" against the North. This translates into a desire that the United States station more nuclear-capable "strategic assets" such as long-range bombers, submarines, and aircraft carriers in the region.
'200 dead' in North Korea nuclear test site collapse, Daily Pakistan (English),Punggye-ri test site (2017).
North Korea has meanwhile resumed construction at a long-dormant nuclear reactor that could increase its production of plutonium for nuclear weapons by a factor of 10, researchers at the U.S.-based James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) reported last week, citing satellite imagery.
The satellite images, which were captured by Maxar in April and May of this year, show North Korea has restarted construction of the second reactor at its Yongbyon nuclear complex after years of inactivity, experts at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who analyzed the photos said.
The reactor is about 10 times larger than the existing nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, which has been operating since the late 1980s.
To add to the threatening nature of recent developments, North Korea launched a new ballistic missile test from a submarine off the country's east coast on May 7th, according to military officials in South Korea. The missile flew about 372 miles (600 kilometers) and reached a maximum altitude of 37 miles (60 km). It landed in the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
That launch marked North Korea's 15th missile test this year
As if things were already complicated enough North Korea continues to work on completion of the 8.24 Yongung (August 24th Hero) experimental ballistic missile submarine (SSBA). This vessel when finished is expected to be able to carry three missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.
Collectively, all of these actions on the part of North Korea are obviously highly concerning. It would be a mistake, though, to simply pass them off as more mad antics on the part of an often erratic and ridiculous dictator.
What Kim Jong understands is that this is a time of historic weakness for the United States and opportunity for him. Biden is a weak, mentally incompetent man fatally compromised by Chinese Communist Party money. All over the world dictators and enemies of the United States are licking their chops and preparing to capitalize on this opportunity. Kim Jong is no exception.
Kim understands that his ability to move against South Korea is fatally compromised by the possibility that the United States may preemptively act to disarm him or may even resort to nuclear weapons if things get dire enough. As it stands now, this is a one-way street. Washington can hit him any time it wants. He cannot counter with any threat that would be taken seriously.
So, Kim is determined to change all that. He is serious about fielding nuclear weapons, adopting what amounts to a hair-trigger policy on their use, and, if humanly possible, putting them on submarines at sea where their survivability would be greatly enhanced. This does not mean he thinks he can win a nuclear exchange with the United States. It just means he thinks he can up the pain threshold in any conflict to the point where Washington’s willingness to go to war on behalf of Seoul would be severely diminished.
Kim is betting he can make us blink, and he is betting that with Joe in the Oval Office the time has never been better to push the envelope. Joe is headed for South Korea, and Pyongyang is going to welcome him with an atomic bomb.