Trump unwisely threatens North Korea

UPDATE: And the predictable response from North Korea (click on screenshot to go to CNN story):


I swear, Trump is starting to sound like Kim Jong-un. Have a gander at this CNN bulletin about Trump’s threatening the DPRK now that intelligence shows that they may have a small nuclear warhead (my emphasis below):

President Trump has issued an extraordinary ultimatum to North Korea, warning Kim Jong Un not to make any more threats against the United States or they will “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

The harsh words followed reports that US intelligence analysts have assessed that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead, according to multiple sources familiar with the analysis of North Korea’s program. It is not believed that the capability has been tested, according to the sources.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen… he has been very threatening beyond a normal state. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before,” the President said, delivering the comments during a photo op at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Doesn’t that sound like a North Korean threat? It’s unwise, I think, because it’s only going to make Kim Jon-un more resolute, since he seems to be militantly unhinged, and of course any “fire and fury” on the part of the U.S. will result in millions of civilians killed in both North and South Korea.

The sanctions were a decent idea, I thought, and the “yes” votes of China and Russia sent a real message to the North Korean dictator. Even he has to realize that those sanctions mean trouble. I suspect they won’t work, but at least they aren’t a form of “fire and fury” that will immediately result in the annihilation of entire countries.


  1. dabertini
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the donald will score an 18 just like kim jun-un’s father did. After all it is his golf course and we all know how much he appreciates being upstaged by political opponents.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 4:26 am | Permalink

      I have heard, from a good source, that Trump does indeed cheat at golf.

      • bbenzon
        Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        Samuel Jackson said so publicly, from first-hand experience, and, wouldn’t you know, 45 tweeted a denial.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Alternative player – alternative rules.

    • Posted August 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      If he hears about that, maybe he will try to claim he scored a *17*? 😉

      (There was an old computer game from about 1993 or so called “Gopher Golf” where you *could* get a negative score or zero on a hole if you – gasp – hit the gopher, IIRC.)

  2. Mark Reaume
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    He is sounding a lot like Baghdad Bob.

  3. Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  4. Mark R.
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Nothing good can come out of this, just as nothing good has come out of this insane administration. Trump being backed in a corner only heightens the threat level.

    • eric
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      It’s an extremely sad state of affairs when we Americans must say “I hope our President is just a blustering coward.”

      I don’t know what happens in his Intel and other briefings, but surely someone has explained to him that NK is like the cat that pees in your shoe? Kim Jong-UN wants international attention, and he’ll take bad attention over no attention at all.

      Having said that, I hope Tillerson, Kelly, and Tillerson’s foreign relations staff are meeting with Russia and China to clear a path for “If they nuke Guam, we’re going to eliminate the regime, and you won’t escalate that, right?”

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted August 9, 2017 at 3:05 am | Permalink

        Ha. While Trump wants national attention, and he’ll take bad attention over no attention at all.

        Not enough difference between the peeing cats to count in this case, unfortunately.

  5. bbenzon
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    The new Trump doctrine: “Speak loudly and wag your limp d**k.”

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      After the transcript of the conversation with President Nieto leaked, a Mexican politician / diplomat said: “Trump is the opposite of Teddy Roosevelt…he speaks loudly and carries a small stick.”

      I like your version better though. 😉

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Trump doctrine: “Speak loudly and wag your limp d**k.”

      “With your tiny, tiny hands.”

  6. Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Let’s respond to the sabre rattling of a desperate dictator with nothing to lose with threats of warfare. That’s going to end well.

  7. Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    We’re all going to die 😪

    • Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      I worry a lot more about the North and South Korean civilians, because they are the ones really at risk!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        And Tokyo.

      • Pliny the in Between
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Not just ROK and Japan. With Putin in Russia the cold war has returned. Trump is such a dangerous ass that he drops comments of this gravity on the golf course. He is neither smart nor considered enough to conduct foreign policy for this country. I swear I’d prefer Rufus T Firefly at this point. Congress and the GOP need to act now or there will be no midterms to worry about. I’m a firm believer that when the first nuke goes off escalation will be inevitable.

        That a hand full of such individuals can have so much control over the fates of billions is something the rest of us need to change.

    • enl
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Yes we are. Life is an always fatal, sexually transmissible disease (an idea that goes back further than Neil Gaiman or R D Laing, and likely further than McCormick and Skrabanek).

      Unfortunately, in the current circumstance, it is likely to be fatal sooner and more unpleasantly than anticipated.

  8. Randy schenck
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    So much for his new chief of staff having this idiot under any control. We need this guy gone. Republicans in congress, try to grow some and do something.

  9. Dianne Marie Leonard
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Actually, despite people’s dislike of them, N Korea is being rational. They’ve seen what the US does to non-nuclear states (think Libya), and they remember their own history. During the Korean war in the ’50s, N. Korea was literally leveled, 3-5 million people were killed–a genocide. They don’t want this to happen again. The N Korean leader is not a madman, despite what our press says. N Korea has, many times, offered to negotiate, most recently during the Clinton years. GW Bush put a stop to that, and since then the US and S Korea have conducted yearly war games that feature an invasion and “regime change” in the north. How would we react if China and N Korea put on yearly war games featuring an invasion of our capital right off our Atlantic coast? No, I’m not saying that development of nuclear weapons is a good idea, just that N Korea is not crazy. Nor are they suicidal. With the madman in the White House, and a belligerent Congress, developing nuclear weapons may seem like the only option to avoid attack. Trump obviously doesn’t think this, but we should negotiate rather than threaten. A nuclear exchange could cease all life on Earth, except for cockroaches.

    • Brujo Feo
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      One of the things that has puzzled me about the NK situation for a long time is this: a common statement from those advocating diplomacy has been that we needn’t really fear their nuclear capabilities because, well, “they’re not suicidal.”

      My query: what’s the evidence for THAT claim?

      Nothing in Dianne Marie Leonard’s account above seems incompatible with suicide. There are MANY historical examples, some recent enough, that one can cite of people who weren’t suicidal–right up to the moment when they blew their brains out. I don’t claim any great insights here, but 35+ years as a TKD instructor has had me hanging out with more than a few North Koreans. I would recommend looking up “Juche” and “Tong-Il.” Are the NK suicidal? Maybe not. Rational? I’m dubious. In layman’s terms, I think that these people are crazy.

      And as long as we’re discussing rational responses, one could make a case that the only thing worse than attempting regime change now is waiting until next week to do it. Please note that I am NOT advocating this. I’m just saying that it’s not too hard to imagine a future where we wish that we had.

      • Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        NK leaders have not worried me much over the past 15 years because, unlike Islamic terrorists, they care whether they die. NK leaders seem like loose cannons, but this is usually posturing to impress their citizens and throw their enemies off balance. At the same time, they have to be a little bit crazy to keep these games up. While perhaps not suicidal or even having a death wish, their antics could end up costing them.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Don’t know where you are getting your background but it sounds like the comrade N. Korean news. You say a genocide on N. Korea during the Korean War? Where did this information come from? Do you know who attack who to start this conflict? And by the way, After 1951 we were mainly fighting the Chinese, not the Koreans.

      Those military exercises that the U.S. and South Korea do every year have been going on since way before this currently dear leader was born. They go back to the 60s and 70s. They are no different than the NATO exercises we did for years in Europe and still do to some extent today.

      North Korea has more men in uniform directly across the 38th parallel than South Korea and the U.S. have by far. They have the 3rd or 4th largest army in the world. Aside from the nut job we have in the white house at this time, we are not going to have any nuclear exchange with N. Korea.

    • Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      One of the most unhinged comments I’ve seen here.

      • Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Now, now, that’s uncivil!

        • Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Quite right. Retracted.

          Instead I’ll say the comment is beyond the pale…of reason. Like those who’ve defended Al Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram and others; we drove them to it.


          • Craw
            Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            And as RS showed, it’s full of untruths.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 4:31 am | Permalink

      Well said Dianne.

    • fizziks
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      In North Korea, if they suspect you of offenses such as not clapping long enough for the Dear Leader, they condemn you and your entire family, out to the fifth cousins if they can identify them, to a short life sentence of being worked, starved, and tortured to death in the horrible gulag. An estimated 10% of their population has ended up in the gulag in this way.

      Sounds pretty crazy to me.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted August 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Yep, that generational thing is off.

        Jailing people for life and beating them and raping them, for indulging in some mind altering substance is pretty gross.

        Privatising prisons and filling them with more prisoners than any other country in the world is pretty interesting.

        I am talking about the US justice system.

        That shining example of truth justice and the American way.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Those of us who have tried to drag North Korea into wider interaction with the global economy – so that they have more to lose and less to fear – have watched the politicians shut such efforts down and deduced that a mega-death solution has been decided upon, and it is only a pretext that is being sought.
      Kim Jong Un et al are trying to avoid that by increasing the odds that people in America, Europe and South Korea will participate in the mega-death too.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        I do hope you’re wrong.

        But it was pretty apparent that exactly that happened in Iraq, if you tracked Dubya’s posturing leading up to the invasion. It was obvious what he was going to do, whether Saddam had any weapons of mass delusion or not**.

        Trump is even wackier than Dubya, possibly fortunately he’s got more things to distract him than Dubya had. At least I hope so.

        (** Reminded me of the mouse’s tale from Alice

        “I’ll be judge, I’ll be jury,”
        Said cunning old Fury:
        “I’ll try the whole cause,
        and condemn you to death.”‘


  10. docbill1351
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    You need to view the clip and look at Trump’s body language. He’s like a big, puffing toad. All hot air and impotent.

  11. GBJames
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Lil Kim is thinking: “That guy sounds just like me!”

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure if it was intentional (inasmuch as he is an historical ignoramus), but Trump’s saber-rattling echoes the threat Harry Truman issued to Japan (“If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth”) after Hiroshima.

    We now have two very dangerous streams haunting the Trump administration — the escalation of hostility on the Korean peninsula, and Bob Mueller’s ever-tightening noose around the Trump-Russia investigation. Woe betide us should those streams cross unserendipitously.

    • Adam M.
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Total protonic reversal!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Been nice working with you, Dr. Venkman.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      There’s a reprint of John Hersey’s reports from Hiroshima on the … sorry, lost link – “New Yorker”, “New York Magazine”, something like that … website. Should be required reading.

  13. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Trump really needs to shut up
    But, perhaps his intemperate, fact-free outbursts will hasten his end. I hope it is very, very soon.

    This article suggests to me that if the U.S. wishes to strike DPRK it would require some tactical nukes [or very focussed conventional & thermobaric] to prevent retaliation. We have the worst possible POTUS for a crisis like this – somehow… he’s gotta go

  14. Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Any exchange will not only eradicate millions of people right away, the death will linger in Japan for years and this year’s crop in the US and Canada will fail. No nukes, SVP.

    And any military exchange that is conventional will have a US casualty rate equal to all ME operations in less than a few hours. No shooting, SVP.

    Somebody get that guy a Seroquel or five.

    • somer
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Assuming sanity in the military echelons (a gigantically optimistic assumption, I know), then the 1980s designs for neutron bombs are being dusted off, checked and machined up. As we type.
      Not because there’s any particular need to preserve the miserable industrial base of DPRK, but because neutrons scatter well off hydrogen nuclei, which should lead to a sharper cut-off of mortality around the blast zone. And a neutron bomb design is (by plan) low fallout. Both of which factors might reduce the chances of China and Russia joining in a nuclear “I can piss higher than you” contest.

      • Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Vous avez raison, but I was thinking of what DPRK was going to toss, and surely those weapons will be highly “dirty.”

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          They’ll be dirty, especially if ground level bursts, rather than at altitude. A likely number of warheads is 30 of around Hiroshima size. Probably only zero, one or two that fit an ICBM & they can’t yet get a delivery vehicle through the re-entry phase.

          Kim Jong-nam was assassinated with VX nerve agent. They have chem & bio weapons programs [which nobody has managed to scale up yet to worrying levels]

          NK has links with around eight countries they’ve sold weapons & tech know-how to

          All in all – a lot of unknowns, but also a lot of exaggeration of capability. i.e. some of the stuff on their military parades are basically 1:1 scale models a bit like Iran does too.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Dirt or not doesn’t matter to DPRK – these are weapons of ultimate deterence. They know they won’t survive a US (China/ Russia/ France/ UK/ Israel) strike, so they have to make their first hit unsupportably large. For which, as dirty as possible (cobalt bomb?) is good.
          Delivery … just because they have missiles, don’t assume they’re going to use missiles for their first strike.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            Not sure what you mean by ‘unsupportably large’?

            Yes, as a prospective deterrent. No, as an actual attack, they must know that if they start something like that, it’s their suicide. However big they manage to make their first strike, they’ll be squashed like a bug within a few hours.

            So the sensible thing to do is keep them talking, not push them to the point where a glorious suicide seems an attractive option. And how much use is Trump in all this?
            (That was a rhetorical question. The phrase ‘second-hand toilet paper’ comes to mind).


            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted August 10, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

              Third hand toilet paper.

  15. Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    So the US President is going to nuke North Korea if they “make any more threats”?

    That is either an ultimatum or a vague and meaningless statement. He is either means nuclear destruction of half of Asia, or sending an angry tweet.

    Trump uses words for immediate effect (on his immediate environment, and only related to the way he thinks people will perceive him), rather than to communicate meaning. This is not the time for that kind of thing. Just as it was not the time to enter a protest vote last year and elect him.

    • Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      But, but, we should try to understand them, they suffer, they are so misunderstood, these are the people of the land, salt if the earth, you know…. morons.

      Gene did it better.

  16. bbenzon
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps this is how Trump sees himself in this story:

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Since we are still flying the B-52s, how about giving Trump a ride.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Major Kong dies. That’s not in Trump’s projected profit margin for being POTUS.

      • bbenzon
        Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        FAKE NEWS!

        Trump will be sublated directly to heaven without passing ‘Go”. And the earth will be covered with a ghostly orange miasma.

  17. rickflick
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    The only regime change we need is in Washington.

  18. rickflick
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Pence is a really bad dude who’s poised to replace Trump. Impeachment seems like a worthless option, but Pence would not be threatening NK with war. I vote to impeach. It’s time for the republican party to assume some maturity about Trump and dump him.

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Pence is a disaster of a politician. He was going to lose the gubanatorial race in Indiana and he’s bottom of the barrel; this is why he’s with Trump. No one respectable wanted to be Trump’s running mate. And simply being the Vp to such a toxic pOTUS tarnishes him bigly.

      So yes, impeach this wreck of a human being and let’s kick Pence’s ass in 2020, along with his dangerous colleagues.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        I was one of those who routinely asked my friends to quit assuming that Der Drumpf was so obviously vile that the ’16 election was in the bag for HRC.

        In spite of my prescience, I made three bets soon after with a Trumputo for $50 each to a charity to be selected by the winner: 1) the GOP would not pick up seats in the Congress in ’18; 2) nor in the Senate; 3) nor in the governors’ houses.

        Note that if the count remains the same, I win.

        I currently expect to lose all three bets. So I have to ask you…this “…kick Pence’s ass in 2020, along with his dangerous colleagues.” What’s your plan?

        • Mark R.
          Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          It doesn’t really matter what my plan is. What’s the DNC’s plan and Democrat’s in general? I can’t really tell, but I hope one soon emerges. Even without a majority, we should have a solid plan to retake at least the Senate in 2018. I’m glad we got rid of Wasserman-Schultz and I like her replacement(s), so that’s a start. Either way, there is a huge grassroots resistance out there and it’s growing every day. At the same time, Trump’s approval is dismal, sinking and already at historic lows for a young presidency. The failure of repealing the ACA and replacing it with something better will also dash the hopes of independents and moderate (normal) republicans who voted for him. There also won’t be a democratic “protest vote” by disgruntled Sanders supporters, and no one will have a Hillary hangover. This will translate (imo) into massive turnouts in 2018. Another positive factor is historically, the minority party wins big during an off-year election. Many polls are already showing that USians want a Congress that can check the Executive. Trump’s only solid base now is the evangelicals, and thankfully there aren’t enough of them to decide a majority of elections.

          That being said, money in politics is the cancer of our democracy, and since we got the dreadful Gorsuch instead of Garland, we’re screwed for years to come on that front.

          Though it’s not a plan, I give a lot of dosh to progressive candidates I back and organizations like the ACLU, FFRF and Daily Kos. I also make a lot of calls, both positive and negative to my representatives and others. Lastly, I write letters, but only to my representatives.

          • Brujo Feo
            Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            “It doesn’t really matter what my plan is.”

            I should have made clear that that was intended to be the editorial “you.”

            “What’s the DNC’s plan and Democrat’s in general? I can’t really tell…”

            And THAT is what worries me. I live in California, which is going to go Dem no matter what, giving me the luxury of voting Libertarian, which I would not be able to afford if I lived in Ohio. But it means, for better or worse, that we’re counting on Democrats elsewhere, and just along for the ride. I wish that I could share your optimism.

            • Mark R.
              Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

              I wouldn’t say I’m optimistic per se, retaking either house of Congress in ’18 will be far from easy. But the more Trump fails legislatively and falls in the polls the more optimistic I will become.

              • Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

                It will be very, very hard for Dems to take the Senate (at least). The Republicans have only eight of their 52 Senate seats up in 2018. Democrats have to defend 25 of their 48 seats.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          It’s way too early, but from here, your bets look pretty good. If Trump’s approval ratings continue to sink from the record lows where they’re already mired, and if the Republican congress continues to come up empty on major legislation, the GOP could be in for an electoral disaster of biblical proportions in 2018 (similar to what Democrats suffered in 1994, when the GOP took out its Contract on America).

          There are two factors that make me hedge my bets: First, Republicans will be defending just 8 senate seats (Dems have to defend 25, counting the two Independents that caucus with them), and only one of those seats (Dean Heller’s in Nevada) is in a state Hillary carried last November. Second, after a decade of vicious gerrymandering in Republican-held statehouses, many GOP congressmen sit in districts drawn solely for their electoral safety.

          Ya gotta hand it to those Republicans; they play dirty, and they play for keeps. (No Democratic majority leader in Senate history would’ve had the chutzpah to subvert the spirit of the constitution the way Mitch McConnell did by blocking the Merrick Garland nomination). Those hardball tactics may be the only thing that keeps one house of congress or the other in GOP hands.

  19. Posted August 8, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    This might sound silly as I’m not a military strategist, but in Alaska we have a huge anti-ICBM capability.

    So this got me thinking. What if the five permanent members of the UN Security Council formed a special alliance agreeing to unite their anti-missile defenses to shoot down any launch from North Korea, regardless of trajectory?

    If the obstacles are only diplomatic rather than technological, it seems like an idea worth exploring even if it would take time to coordinate whatever is lacking to make it a reality.

    I emailed my senator (only Murkowski so far).

    If Alaska gets hit, just thought I would say thanks for all the great articles and conversations. :-/


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      @Mike There’s less than a handful of anti-ICBM weapon system types in operation [US, Israel & Russia] & they’re unproven against an enemy. An ICBM leaves the atmosphere & then re-enters near the target at speeds that reach up to SEVEN kilometres per second! DPKR can’t re-enter that fast [tough to design a re-entry vehicle that can take the friction heat while being light enough to put on an ICBM – oak has been used before now, imagine the weight!], but still a tough hit. I suspect the recent successful US test interceptions have been helped in various ways. i.e. exaggerated success is par for the course with missile systems you hope to sell

      A mid course hit outside the atmosphere is better

      An interception at launch during boost is even better

      Dropping a mighty hammer on the launch site while the ICBM is fuelling up is the best option of all

      The DPKR system is fortunately liquid fuel & not solid. Liquid has to be put in the missile just before launch. But, it’s possible to fuel up in secret in a Bond-style cavern or some such…

      U2 missions are flying daily

      I wonder how many U.S. subs are off the North Korean coast right now & what are they armed with? Cruise missiles too slow to target.

      • Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        So if you knew where all the missiles were, you could launch a first strike against North Korea without fear of any retaliation, at least without fear of retaliation by NK.

        What frightens me most at the moment is I am reading a web site whose community is one that I respect more than any other for its thoughtfulness and rationality (and civility) and we are talking about a nuclear war as though it is a real possibility. Dark days.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          Yeah. Nuclear isn’t going to happen.

          You don’t even have to know where all the ICBMs are – only the location of the NK nuclear warheads matter.

          ** It is very difficult to get an ICBM re-entry vehicle onto an assigned target. It can’t ‘see’ where it is during the radio silence [caused by the plasma of heated air around it] of re-entry, thus they are prone to going miles off target. They are blind for the last 50 km or so. I wouldn’t be shocked if every side is lying about the accuracy of their ICBMs, but even if they aren’t then it will take years for NK to get close to a weapon that can hit a city from across the ocean [In My opinion only]. So an ICBM with a conventional warhead is not worth using in anger.

          ** NK *might* have 60 nuclear warheads maximum, but none of them suited [light & compact enough] to an ICBM, but they are very usable against S. Korea. ‘We’ know where they are made & we can be sure the warheads aren’t distributed here & there & everywhere in NK, because the Dear Leader wouldn’t have enough trusted units to guard them from being turned against himself. I obviously don’t know, but there’s a high likelihood that ‘we’ know where all the nuclear weapons are – which exact military bases.

          ** The problem is if he launches an ICBM on a non-test trajectory [low & long] instead of a test trajectory [high & short] what do we do? Wait to see what happens at the other end? Trump isn’t “Presidential” enough for that responsibility & his gut instincts have led him into four corporate bankruptcies. Don’t want him playing call my bluff in a #MAGA red hat.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          So if you knew where all the missiles were

          What’s that important little word? “if”
          Regardless of the protestations of Kim Jong Un’s insanity, what matters is the sanity of his staff. Since they first got reliable nuclear detonation, I think they’ll have had their agents at work, surreptitiously moving parts and materials.
          Are you really, really sure that there isn’t an DPRK nuke in a shipping container in New York/ Orleans already? How many lives are you willing to bet on the correctness of your opinion?

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, it long ago occurred to me that that was the way (if you had a nuke) to deliver it. No need to hijack airliners (or even build ICBM’s).

            Just get DHL to deliver it for you.

            But I think the real risk there isn’t the Norks, who know it would be suicide, but ISIS.


            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

              Tell the ISIS smugglers that it’s nerve gas, on a 3 hour fuse. Put nerve gas booby-traps in the outer casings, to provide some convincing deaths for the excessively nosy ; make the fuse 3 minutes, not 3 hours.

          • Posted August 10, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            What do you think my opinion is?

            I do not think that that nuking North Korea is a defensible idea in any sense but, if you were devoid of humanity (I’m sure that does not apply to anybody in the US government), the rational thing to do (ignoring China) would be to launch a first strike against NK. Yes, they might have a device hidden somewhere in the US so there might be some collateral damage.

            I think it’s plausible, if unlikely, that somebody could convince Trump that they know where all the nukes are and that any reaction from the rest of the World could be handled and that the threat from NK must be neutralised and the people of NK don’t matter. Then what would Trump do?

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted August 10, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

              Then what would Trump do?

              Tell his PR consultant (Ivanka, Melania, Jared, DonJr?) to write the Tweets, because he’s go buttons to press.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        “U2 missions are flying daily”

        I saw that too.

        And it struck me as, a bit pathetic. Why not a SR-71? (Yes, we know, that was a rhetorical question, the SR-71 was retired – allegedly to pay for the F-111. Anybody remember the F-111?).

        But anyway, to get to the point, that says to me that the Norks haven’t got any advanced anti-aircraft capability. Which means the Russians and the Chinese haven’t been supplying them with anything useful for quite a while.


        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted August 9, 2017 at 3:17 am | Permalink

          I got curious.

          As I suspected, the SR-71 role has been taken by modern UAVs [ ].

          (And the F-111 role by the B-1: .]

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 9, 2017 at 3:45 am | Permalink

            In that case, what are the daily U2 flights doing?


            • Michael Fisher
              Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

              @infinite The U2S [12 hrs endurance] is cheaper to run than it’s replacement the UAV RQ-4 Global Hawk [32 hrs endurance]. It is my guess that BOTH are operating in NK airspace in slightly different roles.

              The U2S pilots & support crews have a great depth of experience versus ISIS [tracking meat targets, their vehicles & their mobile phones from 70,000′] that it’s probably smart to keep them active in N. Korea. The way the paranoid/terrified of the leader NK hierarchy operates – nothing happens without authority from above & the right people being present – this must make it easy to gauge that some event is due to happen.

              The close relatives of NK political/military officials are housed & ‘guarded’ near the leader – if an individual takes an action that’s not approved then it’s bye bye family. You could probably learn a lot watching the compounds where these unfortunates are housed.

              HERE IS A BIT FROM WIKI

              n March 2011, it was projected that the fleet of 32 U-2s would be operated until 2015. In 2014, Lockheed Martin determined that the U-2S fleet has used only one-fifth of its design service life and is one of the youngest fleets within the USAF.

              In 2011 the USAF intended to replace the U-2 with the RQ-4 before fiscal year 2015; proposed legislation required any replacement to have lower operating costs. In January 2012 the USAF reportedly planned to end the RQ-4 Block 30 program and extend the U-2’s service life until 2023. The RQ-4 Block 30 was kept in service due to political pressure over USAF objections, who state that the U-2 costs $2,380 per flight hour compared to the RQ-4’s $6,710 as of early 2014.

              Critics have pointed out that the RQ-4’s cameras and sensors are less capable, and a lack of all-weather operating capability; however, some of the U-2’s sensors may be installed on the RQ-4. The RQ-4 Block 30’s capabilities were planned to match the U-2’s by FY 2016, the replacement effort is motivated by decreases in the RQ-4’s cost per flying hour.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

                I just find it ironic that the U2, which was superseded by the SR-71 specifically because it was no longer adequate for the role, is still flying when the SR-71 was retired years ago.

                Must be a niche market for it.


              • Michael Fisher
                Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

                The SR-71 can’t loiter & is maybe 50 times more expensive to run than the U-2. A lot of what the SR-71 could do was taken up by something not predicted at the time: smarter & smarter, cheaper & cheaper manoeuvrable satellites.

  20. Veroxitatis
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Shades of Rummy’s “Shock and Awe”.

  21. Kevin
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Kim Jong-un is a psychopath. Trump is lower.

    The most sickening part about Trump is he stands for no respect behind his own words. He does not give a shit about America. He only says things that stroke his ego. Only idiots follow this man.

  22. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Just when I started thinking that progress was being made with the UN and the yes votes of Russia and China, Trump messes it all up.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts *exactly*.

      China and Russia BOTH voted against North Korea? That’s real progress.

      And then that moron Drumpf goes and tips the table over…


  23. Suri Sierra
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    He definitely got that idea from The Mother Of Dragons 🤔… except, she said “ and blood..”. Very unoriginal this Trumty Dumpty.

  24. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    One more thing I was meaning to say – The U.S. is the big guy on the block in this issue. When this is so, why would you mimic the little guy with this kind of talk? It is absolute stupidity. Trump is a moron and his party needs to say this.

    Something covered by Lawrence O’Donnell last night on MSNBC. He was mostly referring to one republican congressman at the time but said it applied to all of them. Back about 6 years ago when Trump started his birther movement claiming Obama was not a U.S. citizen, both a lie and racist, the republicans should have jumped all over that. Yet not one of them did. Not one. If they had, he may not have ever gotten where he ended up today.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 8, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, Trump’s political ambition should’ve been strangled in its cradle back there. The failure of the GOP establishment fixers and powerbrokers to do so makes them complicit in his rise. They didn’t do anything because he energized the ugliest portions of their base against Obama, and they knew they couldn’t win without them.

      They will rue that choice, because when Trump goes down hard, it’s going to tear the GOP apart.

    • scottoest
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      The reason they didn’t is simple: The Republicans fear their base. The Democrats hate theirs.

      The GOP rode them to electoral wins for years by cynically playing to their fears and prejudices with wedge politics – not bothering to see what that strategy was slowly turning their base into.

      Now they are “forced” to placate people with absurd beliefs, lest they be primaried in their district/state by people willing to go even further out on a limb than they are.

      Multiple decades of lazily slagging the “liberal media”, has created a substantial portion of the population who now think reality is all just “fake news”.

      It’s a monster they made, which they can’t control, and now they fear it.

  25. Vaal
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Very bad time to have the worst POTUS ever.

    Since Trump won, and until he’s out, I feel I’m stuck as a passenger in his van as he crazily careens on a white knuckle ride around the narrow mountain cliff roads with blind corners, and a drop straight into a valley the other side. I feel like closing my eyes until the next election, murmuring “please, just tell me when we get there and I can get out!”

  26. loren russell
    Posted August 9, 2017 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Per difference between kim and drumpf: kim never says ‘frankly’

    That said, drumpf is now the first national leader of the ‘traditional’ n-powers to directly threaten to use the nukes.

    as I just heard on the tv,

    ‘unpredictable liar’ #1 vs ‘unprectable liar’ #2.

    Oh, and per accuracy — if they have the range, nk will not go for guam, but mainland us. They wouldn’t need to hit Seattle or Denver, anywhere in between would be fine.

  27. Posted August 9, 2017 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    I fear that Trump sees NK as the perfect distraction from Mueller, so don’t expect anything he does to make any tactical or strategic sense militarily. It makes perfect sense from the point of view of someone who doesn’t know his own military or political strength.

    Instead of briefings this is what he gets–

    “Twice a day since the beginning of the Trump administration, a special folder is prepared for the president. The first document is prepared around 9:30 a.m. and the follow-up, around 4:30 p.m. Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer both wanted the privilege of delivering the 20-to-25-page packet to President Trump personally, White House sources say.

    ….the folders are filled with screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.”

    I guess Kelly has taken over the role of giving him this now.

    • bbenzon
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 3:57 am | Permalink

      So, that’s the story of the Trump administration so far, from the daily briefing to vanity packets and Tweet storms.

  28. Kevin
    Posted August 9, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Jeffress quoted in the Independent:

    “The biblical passage Romans 13 gives the government authority to deal with evildoers, Jeffress said. “That gives the government to the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong-un,” he said.”

    Christianity is a religion of peace, don’t worry everybody!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      He’s gotta be joking.

      As I read it (I just Googled it), it gives the Gummint authority to whack ‘muricans who won’t pay their taxes – like, say, the ‘militias’ or some ‘survivalists’ – but does NOT mention citizens of other countries**.

      Can of worms…

      ** Except possibly with the authority of the United Nations. That’ll go down well…

  29. Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    North Korea has now called Trump’s bluff. Is Trump going to rain down fire and fury or is he going to show the World how weak willed and weak minded he is again?

    Pretty sure it will be the latter.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Holy Christ, you don’t want him to show the world how strong willed he is, do ya?



      • Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Not right now. I’m firmly in favour of Trump being shown up to be weak minded and weak willed.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 9, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

          Me too.

          Though he can do the fury thing if he wants – might be fun to watch, in the same morbid way ppl a century ago used to go to asylums to laugh at the inmates – so long as the fire gets left out of it.

  30. Posted August 9, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “Trump unwisely threatens North Korea”

    Pardon me, but I thought North Korea was unwisely threatening the American people.

    The media seem to agree that the American people prefer to wait until North Korea drops a nuclear missile on Anchorage or Seattle or San Francisco.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The post headline, “Trump unwisely threatens North Korea” is accurate & JAC does explain why – that’s the subject of this post.

      Everybody implicitly understands that there’s a history behind this of NK threatening the entire region & North America – that doesn’t make Trump’s blustery flapping of his gums yesterday less embarrassing. Especially as Trump will take no action that remotely resembles “fire & fury” – thus ant remaining credibility he has will vanish.

      Can you show me a media report that supports your claim about the American people Frederick? This claim: “The media seem to agree that the American people prefer to wait until North Korea drops a nuclear missile on Anchorage or Seattle or San Francisco”

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 9, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Correction: “…thus ANY remaining credibility he has will vanish”

  31. Posted August 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I think it is time I start combing the translation services to see if NK is saying anything about traditional US allies (like Canada) …

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      They probably won’t bother. There’s one country they can reliably get a rise out of, every time, why dilute the message?


  32. Posted August 9, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I suspect both Trump and Kim are more talk than action, but this is exactly what one of the main worries was regarding a Trump Presidency. We just don’t know where the line is with Trump, or if a line even exists. About the only predictable aspect of his Presidency thus far is he rarely fails to take the most bizarre (and unhinged) course of action possible.

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