Opinion

Scariest part of U.S.-North Korea showdown isn’t Kim Jong-un

It’s worth remembering the only nation to have ever actually used a nuclear bomb against humans is the United States.

Military experts are eager to demonstrate how dangerous North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, right, is. But that doesn't mean U.S. President Donald Trump, left, is safer, writes Scott Taylor.Photographs courtesy of Gage Skidmore and KCNA

PUBLISHED :Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 12:00 AM

OTTAWA—With all of the fear-mongering going on these days, one could be forgiven for believing we are on the eve of a nuclear Armageddon between North Korea and the United States. Military experts are coming out of the woodwork to take to the airwaves, all of them eager to convince us just how dangerous North Korean leader Kim Jong-un really has become.

Graphic designers have hastily cobbled together detailed diagrams showing all the various ranges of his missile inventory, the latest one clearly showing that Ottawa and Toronto are inside the danger zone.

The usual list of Canadian tub-thumping Colonel Blimps have penned the expected warnings that, although the United States would be the North Korean leader’s intended target, his missiles could inadvertently strike a Canadian city. He aims for Chicago and instead wipes Winnipeg off the map. Scary stuff indeed.

One Canadian fear-monger went so far as to plot out an Austin Powers-worthy scheme wherein Doctor Evil, a.k.a. Kim, is going to use his old 1960s-era Soviet submarine to launch a nuclear torpedo into the U.S. Navy’s facility at Bangor, Washington. That port, located on the Kitsap Peninsula near Seattle, is home to the nuclear-armed Trident submarine fleet.

  

According to the doomsday theorist, Kim’s nuke will set off the U.S. Navy’s arsenal of nukes and Vancouver will be vaporized. Terrifying stuff!

Even more alarming was the rhetoric used by U.S. President Donald Trump in response to Kim’s threats. The Donald told reporters that if North Korea continues to issue threats, it will be faced with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” People took this statement to mean that Trump would launch a pre-emptive, massive nuclear strike against North Korea.

This position was foretold in 1999 by then-billionaire-businessman Donald Trump during a television interview on American public affairs program Meet the Press. In that interview Trump said that he would first negotiate with North Korea, if possible, but that time would be running out on that option. Trump would not want to wait “for five years [when there will be North Korean] warheads all over the place pointing at New York City.”

For the record, that would have been in 2004, 13 years ago, and even according to the most exaggerated of the graphic diagrams, New York would have been beyond the reach of Kim’s missiles.

  

In fact, Kim himself has only threatened to make a demonstration missile fire towards the U.S. military base on the Western Pacific island of Guam. To be clear, the North Korean madman is not suggesting he will actually hit Guam, nor has he said the missile will be armed with any warhead, be it nuclear or conventional.

The threat from North Korea is to land the rocket 30 to 40 kilometres from Guam. It behooves all of those even mildly worried about this current crisis to consult a map showing Guam’s location.

As for all the rumblings about North Korea having successfully miniaturized nuclear warheads and the speculation that Kim already possesses 60 of these miniaturized weapons, keep in mind this information is coming directly from U.S. intelligence agencies.

Yes, that would be the same U.S. intelligence agencies that lied to the world in 2003 about Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the United States’ illegal invasion of Iraq. Fool me once…

  

It would be cool if someone would contract a graphic designer to illustrate the massive U.S. and allied military countermeasures surrounding North Korea.

This infographic should also include the United States’ nuclear arsenal, which includes more than 4,000 warheads that are capable of wiping all of North Korea off the planet, hundreds of times over.

The scariest part of this whole equation is not the goofy-looking Korean with his alleged 60 tiny nukes and a wonky missile program; it is the unstable megalomaniac in possession of the U.S. nuclear launch codes who utters threats of delivering “fire and fury.”

It is worth remembering that the only nation in history to have ever actually employed a nuclear bomb against human beings is the United States. In April of this year, Trump authorized the first use of the Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB or Mother of All Bombs) against targets in Afghanistan; the MOAB is the largest non-nuclear explosive device designed to date.

Let’s hope Trump does not decide to up the ante.

Scott Taylor is editor and publisher of Esprit de Corps magazine.

The Hill Times