At one point in my career, I was in charge of certain weapons technologies for the US Navy. I witnessed the advances of energy weapons, non-lethal devices and some really strange things that are far too sensitive to discuss. One thing that concerned me was the transfer of sensitive technology to the Chinese. That transfer is now coming back to haunt us.
First, I don’t believe that Kim Jong Un is crazy or even calculatingly clever. He reminds me of a Roman God King like Caligula. There is no one to check his ambitions. He feels perfectly at home dispensing with people who don’t properly applaud or smile at the right time. He has absolute power within his sphere and intends to expand that power outside that sphere using any and all means.
Second, when Kim Jong Un launched a missile over Japan, he went beyond a threat to provocation, and the Japanese know it. Would we be content to have him launch a missile over California and Texas and into the Gulf of Mexico? I think not. Realistically, there must be practical consequences for his act – and talk is no longer sufficient.
Third, Kim is protected by China regardless of what they say. His technological advance has come by way of China, and China is loath to stop his aggressive actions. Our freezing of the North Korean economy hasn’t stopped anything because the Chinese willing make up most of the deficit. It appears that the USA will have to confront China economically with the full weight of the world’s banking community – if that is possible and it probably isn’t.
Fourth, Kim is trading weapons technology for economic advantage with Iran. This is very troubling as the Obama administration gave all kinds of money and perks to the Iranian leadership. Iran is bent on having a nuclear weapons capability, and it appears that this could very well include a version of a North Korean hydrogen bomb. Israel is now faced with a substantially greater danger and their warfare preparation must change accordingly.
Fifth, is there a reasonable response to provocation? To me, I would shoot down any missile launches from this point on, overfly North Korea with drones, and blockade sea-lanes temporarily. While I cannot predict the response, I point out that none of these actions damage anything on the North Korean mainland. Of course, it will be necessary to have defensive plans and postures in the works in case the God King takes real offense. Hopefully, we can call his bluff short of war. However:
“I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God.” If Kim Jong Un thinks like this then there is no way to predict anything and nothing is beyond him.