After the 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the Korean peninsula on September 3, North Korea claimed it has successfully conducted hydrogen bomb test that could be fitted to ICBMs. This was the sixth and strongest nuclear test by North Korea. A second 4.1 magnitude quake was recorded minutes after the first quake at the same site. The test surprised the US as North Korea arriving at this capability so early was not expected; DPRK’s nuclear test on September 9, 2016 had a yield of 15-25 kilotons (similar to atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki during World War II) but the test on September 3 this year had a yield of 120 kilotons, as per Norway’s Norsar. There are indicators that DPRK is preparing for more missile tests. According to some analysts, DPRK at the moment does not have the capacity to launch an ICBM with nuclear warhead to strike US mainland. But the DPRK’s nuclear program is developing rapidly, it has threatened to strike Guam, and its capacity to acquire nukes to target US mainland may be faster than expected.
President Donald Trump’s dilemma is result of gross intransigence by erstwhile US administrations to the nuclear proliferation by China to North Korea and Pakistan, North Korea-Pakistan nuclear cooperation and unchecked growth of North Korea’s nuclear program knowing full well that sanctions on North Korea were not succeeding because of continued Chinese support. Thomas Reed, former US Air Force Secretary in his book ‘The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and its Proliferation’ pointedly states that China intentionally proliferated nuclear technology to risky regimes. In his interview with US News, Reed explained that China under Deng Xiaoping, decided to proliferate nuclear technology to communists and Muslims in the third world based on the strategy that if the West started getting nuked by Muslim terrorists or another communist country without Chinese fingerprints, it would be good for China. That is how North Korea and Pakistan became nuclear. What reinforces Chinese lies is that while China raised a host of objections to exposures in Reed’s book, all were withdrawn subsequent to discussion with Chinese scientists, as claimed by Reed.
In 1999, China came up with the concept of ‘Unrestricted Warfare’ worked out by two PLA Colonels; translated into English in printed book form titled ‘Unrestricted Warfare – China’s Master Plan to Destroy America’. The means of such warfare range from the strongest (atomic and biochemical) to ecological, electronic, psychological, ideological, networks, media, to the dirtiest (terrorism and drugs) etc to name a few. China’s hedging actions in Western Pacific are also part of this albeit actual clash has not occurred yet; this includes reclaiming and militarization of islands and reefs in disputed areas in a bid to ‘legalize’ illegal claims, and use of China’s fishermen-turned-militia. Propaganda and information warfare find important role in China’s strategy – one example being the “Peaceful Rise of China”. But what China has successfully played is the myth of break in China-North Korean relations in recent times, headlined by some as ‘Tectonic Shift’. Post the recent nuclear test by North Korea, some have even gone to the extent of saying it is to pressure China. Nothing can be more far removed from the truth. A more likely view is that DPRK’s sixth nuclear test was planned well in advance but was timed with the 9th BRICS meet at Xiamen. Last month China announced it would stop importing North Korean iron, coal and seafood in response to UN sanctions (which can hardly be monitored) but significantly China is mum on the 90% North Korean imports from China.
No one believed what HG Wells and Jules Verne wrote about journey to the moon, or centuries before them description of ‘mechanical birds’ jumping into space in Rigveda, would come true one day. Significantly, from the CIA Project MKUltra that commenced in 1950’s, research into cognitive computing and mind control has progressed exponentially. In 2012, a report in UK’s Mail Online reported that Russian Arms Procurement Program (2011-2020) encompasses introduction of genetic and psychotropic weaponry attacking brain cells and nervous system enabling transmission of suggestions and commands directly into the victim’s though process. It can be safely assumed that China would have devoted considerable research into this. Then you don’t need Wells or Verne when movies world over have been showing how humans are turned robots with a chip implant.
DPRK’s Kim Jong-Un underwent schooling in Swiss school Liebefeld-Steinholz under fictitious name albeit it is not known if he was a ‘special child’. He became DPRK’s Supreme Leader after more favoured Kim Jong-Nam was caught attempting to visit Disneyland in Japan using a forged passport stating he was from Dominican Republic. What motivated Kim Jong-Nam to do so is not known but deliberate orchestration to facilitate Kim Jong-Un’s accession is possibility. But significantly, he underwent a comprehensive cosmetic surgery to resemble his grandfather; ‘Eternal Leader’ – an abnormal move. That would have been an ideal time to give him psychotropic treatment – with the remote control in Beijing. That would explain his bizarre actions of public and private executions (his uncle including), infanticide, starvation etc, in addition to the childish glee he exhibits after every missile and nuclear test. China had hailed him becoming Supreme Leader of DPRK at the age of 30, Chinese media describing him the “sexiest man”. Kim Jong-Un is virtual Chinese pawn, with China wanting the US forces out of the region by creating a wedge between US and its allies. That is the reason sanctions and off and on six-party talks have not worked, not even recent US offer of being open to talks. China has completed its militarization of the South China Sea, and it would not mind US-DPRK conflict to divert US attention from Af-Pak and China’s consolidation in Indian Ocean, especially with daily attacks in Balochistan (kept under wraps by Pakistan) threatening the CPEC.
With Chinese mainland safe from conflict, what better if China can split the US alliance in Western Pacific through US-DPRK conflict to induce pullout / scaling down of US forces. To achieve this, China would perhaps not even mind Japan and South Korea going nuclear given her own preponderance in nuclear weapons. What of the future? Given the division of thinking on Capitol Hill, even though President Trump has said that time for talks are over, US-DPRK talks may be tried out with possible mediation by China, but latter should be expected to continue playing the double game. Trump’s idea of sanctions against countries trading with DPRK must also be viewed in context that China contributes to 90% of DPRK imports. Global diplomatic offensive is another option, but may prove eventually futile given the bizarre behavior of Kim Jong-Un, who will continue to progress the nuclear program; isn’t that what happened over the years despite all the attempted talks? A cross-section also talks of accepting DPRK as nuclear state but not only will that encourage other nations to follow suit, before such procedure is completed, DPRK assisted by China would most probably achieve the capacity to nuke mainland US.
What we are likely to see is DPRK turning the heat up – not directly hitting targets but firing missiles even in the waters close to Guam. Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to UN has already told the UNSC, “He (Kim-Jong-Un) is begging for war”. If DPRK strikes any US assets or allies, it will be on behest of China. This may even be synchronized with the 19 Congress of Communist Party of China (CPC) next month, with President Xi Jinping facing internal fissures in the CPC. Kim Jong-Un has also threatened attacking the US with an electronic bomb. But the same could happen to DPRK just prior to focused military action to take him and his nuclear capability out. Of course, in words of General Joesph Dunford, US Joint Chiefs of Staff, if war broke out, there would be heavy civilian casualties in first few days before US could mitigate DPRK’s ability to strike Seoul. But US would have weighed how Seoul would be affected in those first few days given its proximity to DPRK.
As mentioned above, cutting off trade with countries trading with DPRK will involve cutting off US-China trade that would also hurt US economy. Sanctions and isolation of DPRK is non-starter as in the past with, Kim Jong-Un sitting in the lap of China. US has left the door open for talks, and Russia and China have been in favour of talks, there has been no response from Kim Jong-Un. The ground truth is that US is now confronted with the ultimate in China’s ‘Unrestricted Warfare’. It appears that US would continue to seek China’s assistance to tame Kim Jong-Un but the question is when will the US realize it is actually confronted with the ultimate in China’s Unrestricted Warfare, and by the time US comprehends this will DPRK acquire nuke fitted ICBMs capable of striking US mainland?