Above the parade in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital and largest city, commemorating the 105th Anniversary of Kim Il Sung. We apologise that the 4 + hour You Tube video has no English language subtitles.
When Enoch Powell made his famous “Rivers of Blood speech” he omitted, probably because of the necessary time limitations on such an oration to state that it was no ‘Roman’ who said these, but the Delphic priestess at the Greek colony of Cumae, near Naples. In a public ceremony she spoke to the imaginary Aeneas (the mythical Trojan hero son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite).
In his commentary published in today’s Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4413342/In-deadly-game-dare-Kim-Jong-suicide.html) Mark Almond of the Crisis Research Institute in Oxford (CRIOx) makes a well timed and sensible contribution to the discussions vis-à-vis the game of “Dare you!” being carried on by a certain Kim Jong-un and the man known as “The Donald” aka “POTUS”.
The Guardian also has a sound and measured commentary upon the situation.
British Gazette comment: Since we resurrected the British Gazette and published our first article online on the 21st October 2009 (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2009/10/21/a-phoenix-from-the-ashes/), we have commented upon many situations several of them serious. However in the 2,734 days or 7 years, 5 months and 26 days of our existence have we published a commentary on such a potentially serious situation.
We know that this organ, especially since the Brexit vote, has established a certain reputation as a doom sayer and a “doom and gloom merchant” especially amongst those of it’s readership who are UKIP members.
However, we have to admit we just know how one could possibility “spin” the crisis in the Korean peninsular in a positive light.
Wars happen when one or both the belligerents manoeuvre themselves into a position they cannot retreat from. Wars often happen by mistake and error of judgement not by design. The old saying that wars are easy to start but hard to finish has been a truism throughout the ages.
Mark Almond correctly points out that Beijing appears to have lost or is in the process of loosing control of the Korean despot. It is clear that years of UN sanctions has not stopped the world’s last remaining Stalinist regime from developing nuclear weapons and the missiles capable of delivering them. The alarm bells however rang with the recent murder of the despot’s half brother in Malaysia using VX nerve agent. VX as a toxin is many many times more deadly than the sarin gas which is believed to have been used in Syria.
The FACT is that the North Korean regime has for a long time been developing and equipping itself with “weapons of mass destruction” for a long time now.
It may well be the case that President Trump has or is being advised that it is important to act to stop this situation before the North Koreans have a capability to directly threaten the continental USA.
The North Koreans are developing submarine launched ballistic missiles of a similar capability of the long scrapped and obsolete Polaris A1 missile of the early 1960s. The boats that will carry them are likely to be very limited in capability and also very noisy (in comparison with modern western boats) and therefore will not be difficult to detect and destroy.
However, the State Department and the Pentagon have to be aware that the North Koreans if pushed into war will inevitably strike targets in South Korea and Japan. It is to be noted that between 1910 and 1945 Korea was under Japanese rule. The Wikipedia article gives a reliable account: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea_under_Japanese_rule
Of one thing you can be sure: There is absolutely NO love lost between the Koreans and the Japanese!
Of course the experts at the State Department will be fully aware of the full scale of the economic disruption that would ensue were war to break out on the Korean peninsular. The FACT is that the world is in a precarious economic position. Japan’s economy would be devastated were Tokyo to be subject of a nuclear or VX attack. In this interconnected world such dire consequences would spread as the speed of a broadband internet connection around the world. Already oil producers are in difficulty. The Eurozone is teetering on the brink. Truly, Brexit is a side issue! If that was not bad enough, Mr Trump will have been informed that the USA economy is floating on a sea of debt. For too long now US politicians have indulged in the unique luxury of being the world’s reserve currency and ONLY petro-currency!
Recently, the USA used a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (known as the Mother of All Bombs) to destroy an underground IS complex in Afghanistan. The GBU-43/B is not a penetrator weapon and is primarily intended for soft to medium surface targets covering extended areas and targets in a contained environment such as a deep canyon or within a cave system.
Worryingly, the military intelligence experts at the Pentagon will have concluded in their war planning in respect of North Korea, that a “pre-emptive decapitation strike” would be the most effective and least cost (for the USA and it’s allies) military solution to the problem.
This would be a simultaneous surprise attack to “take out” (many apologies for using this euphemism) the North Korean nuclear weapons stockpile, it’s nerve agent (VX and sarin) stockpile, it’s military HQ and it’s political HQ. These expert annalists will have concluded that the regime will have taken the normal precaution of using nuclear bunkers to protect themselves and their stockpiles.
Herewith a deeply worrying FACT: The GBU-43/B cannot effectively do this job! Nor can it be delivered by surprise. The USA does however have a weapon which will do the job very well and completely by surprise. It is this below:This is a Minuteman-III (LGM-30G) ICBM. It’s accuracy or CEP (circular error probable) is 220 yards or a furlong. These missiles are old but have been well maintain and progressively upgraded over time to keep them effective as front line units. The present single thermonuclear warhead is a W87.
The original yield of the W87 was 300 kilotons of TNT, the British Gazette understands this can be upgraded to a yield of 475 kilotons, presumably by using more HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) the fusion secondary stage tamper. It is not known if the upgrade was completely tested or merely designed and ready to implement.
It is hard to exaggerate the seriousness of the geopolitical outfall of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against North Korea.
Clearly the recent volte-face by the Trump administration on Syria and the use of the GBU-43/B against the IS terrorists in Afghanistan are clearly signals directed at Pyongyang.
The military intelligence experts at the Pentagon might have concluded that the balance of costs (of the geopolitical outfall) when set against the relative “lack of disruption” (when compared to a VX or nuclear attack on Tokyo and Seoul) and a general war on the Korean peninsular comes out in “the West’s” favour.
The hope (of the military intelligence experts at the Pentagon) would be that thus decapitated, the totalitarian state that is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will collapse and the ensuing chaos would allow the Republic of Korea (ROK) “the South”, to take over.
Since China appears to be stopping coal imports to North Korea it MIGHT be the case that there might be some form of an informal unwritten pact between the USA and the Chinese when the Chinese President met the US President in Florida recently.
Let us hope so!
À propos the reference at the top of the article to Aeneas British Gazette will recall Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas and the aria Dido’s Lament “When I am laid in earth”.
Readers will know the story, Aeneas falls in love with their Dido, Queen of Carthage but departs for Rome leaving her. Distraught, she orders a pyre to be built and set ablaze so that Aeneas will see from his ship that she has killed herself. She sings the lament before stabbing herself as Aeneas sails away.
Herewith a You Tube video featuring the dramatic soprano Jessye Mae Norman singing the lament: