• The Gathering Storm: A game of chess – with nuclear weapons.


    Above, the 1853 oil on canvas “The Gathering Storm” by Anton Melbye.
    GOTO: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-gathering-storm-anton-melbye.html
    The statement by the regime in North Korea that it’s is planning to launch missiles to land in the sea a few miles off the coast of the US territory of Guam is the equivalent use of ballistic missiles as the traditional shot across the bows. In other words, a warning shot. The statement makes it clear that the strike plan and it’s timetable will be made but the decision to execute will be Mr Kim’s.

    Herewith the ABC report upon this latest development:And the US independent broadcaster, “Young Turks”:For the British press reaction, the Guardian is a good choice.
    GOTO: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/10/north-korea-details-guam-strike-trump-load-of-nonsense?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=238721&subid=15907465&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2
    British Gazette comment:
    This is EXACTLY what we feared would happen. Mr Kim has made the next move, upping the ante one more notch. The latest announcement by Pyongyang gives clear and precise details of what Pyongyang will do whilst at the same time making it clear that Mr Kim will make the decision on whether or not to implement the plan. The plan being to fire missiles not AT Guam but the ocean AROUND Guam.

    The other aspect one HAS to consider is this: Our own ignorance. We are not privy to the US intelligence reports. What we do know is this: IF the US Intelligence establishment (which has very great resources) has come to the conclusion that North Korea has up to 60 small nuclear weapons that can be fitted to missiles that can hit parts of the continental USA the Trump administration has a clear challenge: Do they shut down the North Korean capability or do they allow it to grow; with larger and more nuclear warheads on larger missiles with longer ranges.

    Since the North Korean regime has clearly proved immune to economic sanctions, the choice for the Trump administration is a binary one: Do they shut down the DPRK’s nuclear capability or not?

    IF the administration decides to shut down the DPRK’s nuclear capability there is only one reliable “safe” way to do it: the use of thermonuclear ICBMs. The Chinese have a saying: “If one sets out to strangle a tiger, make sure you finish the job!”

    The last time nuclear weapons were used (NOT tested) when the USA dropped “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945, respectively. The two bombings, which killed at least 129,000 people, remain the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare in history. The blast yield of “Little Boy” (Hiroshima) was 15 kilotons of TNT (63 TJ; 0.7 g mass equivalent). The blast yield of “Fat Man” (Nagasaki) was 21 kt (88 TJ; 1 g mass equivalent).

    The missiles – NB plural – used will likely be the LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM. This missile is equipped with a single W87 thermonuclear warhead with an original designed yield of 300 kilotons (TNT equivalent). However it can be upgraded to a yield of 475 kilotons, presumably by using more HEU in the fusion secondary stage tamper. It is not known if that upgrade was completely tested or merely designed and ready to implement. It is possible that President Trump has sanctioned the upgrade if it was ready to be implemented.

    Herewith a Northrop Grumman (the manufacturer) video detailing a Minuteman III launch. NB: We are perilously close to this practice becoming a reality.

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