Sunday, April 8, 2012

The ol' one-two

Here we go again: NorKs being NorKs.

North Korea has moved its "satellite launcher" ballistic missile test into launch position, on track for a launch between 12 and 16.April.

North Korea is also reported to be likely in the final stages of preparing a third nuclear test explosion at the same site as previous fizzles... er... tests.

OK, to quote another thread, so much for negotiations.

Open question to the UNSC, the United Nations Command in Korea, and to the governments of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States: So what are you going to do about it?

Further open question to Russia and the PRChinese: What are you going to do about it, or will you let this get hung on you for aiding and abetting?


Mr. Bill said...

So what are you going to do about it?

Now's the time to sneak the mock-NorK dirty bomb on-site, timed to go off the moment exhaust is detected from the launch vehicle, fooling all the world into thinking the NorKs were actually launching on someone and were foiled in the attempt. Exit the British guy in the tuxedo.

L.Douglas Garrett said...


Actually though, wouldn't this be one of the few times where you wouldn't need deniability about taking down the site? The NorKs would know either way, and the rest of the world would see someone was actually standing up to them. After all, UNSC sanctions and resolutions don't have the best reputation these days (cf. We Will Write a Sternly Worded Letter).

Mr. Bill said...

I think you'd want some deniability just on moral grounds -- assuming anyone really pays attention to that anymore. I mean, if whoever investigates nuclear weapons accidents on the international side are half as good as the government nuclear scientists in Tom Clancy novels, I think you'd want the fissionables to look like they came from Kim's toy box and not from, say, Savannah River. Sure, it could have all the markings of someone standing up to the NorKs, but no one needs to take responsibility for it.

L.Douglas Garrett said...

If 'Mr. Bond' (or more likely a Bond villain) were to try a dirty-bomb fraud, well then yes they'd want deniability. Sorry to confuse; I'd moved on to a straight take down.

re: Yours about how good those nuclear investigators are ~ With the caveat that no one tells me secrets anymore and haven't for a long time, I'd wager that these days they are astoundingly good at signature tracing... because 20+ years ago one of things the boss at the lab was known for was previous research in radionuclide ratio identification in minute samples... and that's a big part of sourcing signature identification.

The guys over at Arms Control Wonk probably have more about the more modern techniques, if you want to dive into their archives.

Mr. Bill said...

It's sounding like they got their rocket parts at IKEA and someone forgot to use the little allen wrench to tighten the widgets. Al Jazeera and Bloomberg BusinessWeek are quoting the South Korean Defense Ministry as saying that the rocket broke up shortly after launch.

L.Douglas Garrett said...


They got about 1 minute of flight, and then failed at or just after initiating 1st Stage separation.

Here's the YONHAP verion.

The Mainichi reports related (they also carried the main story): Nothing hit Japanese territory and North Korean offical sources have 'No Information Now'.