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Title: NORTH KOREA - "Kim's message" is "War is coming to U.S. soil."
Source: reportingwar.com
URL Source: http://www.reportingwar.com/wts101606.shtml
Published: Oct 16, 2006
Author: reportingwar.com
Post Date: 2006-10-16 14:08:28 by TLBSHOW
Keywords: None
Views: 456

Kim, his nukes, and his army North Korea's Kim Jong Il tests nukes; threatens war with the United States

To say that North Korea presents a clear-and-present danger to our national security is understating the fact. Granted, North Korea's nuclear-missile capability – if we may call it "capable" – is crude. But the Communist state does have intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which some experts contend could reach the United States' mainland. And the North Koreans have declared a recent subterranean test of a nuclear device, which – as of this writing – intelligence analysts are trying to confirm.

What's worse is that, with the exception of an incredibly powerful and effective military force, the country is broke and its people are literally starving to death. The North Korean government needs money and lots of it if Kim is going to maintain his $5-billion per year military, and feed and provide heating fuel for his 23-million people. Consequently, the government is willing to sell what technology it has to the highest bidder. They've done so in the past. They will do so in the future. The government is in league with the Iranians. The Iranians are in league with Al Qaeda. They all hate the United States. They all would view it as an act of benevolently divine providence if one or the other were to attack American cities with nuclear weapons. And over the past week, Kim has threatened war with the U.S. if Washington levies sanctions against his country for his nuclear weapons testing.

So one of the primary questions for many Americans is: just how imminently dangerous and truly unreasonable is North Korean leader Kim Jong Il?

Kim has threatened war before. But his July 4-5 missile tests (with Iranian military observers present) and a declared nuclear-weapons test on October 9 – both of which were done in direct defiance of the international community – as well as his possible miscalculation about the U.S. having reduced military options because of our involvement in Iraq, may well have convinced the man dubbed "The Dear Leader" by his subjects that the opportunity for direct confrontation with the U.S. is now.

WHO IS KIM JONG IL?

The leader of the North Korean People's Army and the head of that country's Communist Party, 64(65)-year-old Kim Jong Il is the undisputed leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Born February 16, 1941(42) in the Russian city of Khabarosvk, Kim has since been deified by the Party. The best-known propagandized legend of his birth is that he was born in a remote mountain cabin near the Chinese border: his birth heralded by bright stars, double rainbows, mystical tree-carvings, and birds singing in human voices near the cabin.

It has been widely circulated throughout the country, that when Kim was attending Kim Il Sung University (named for Kim's father, the late North Korean President Kim Il Sung), he authored more than 1,000 books. He later, purportedly composed six operas and wrote and directed numerous films.

As a young man following in his father's proverbial footsteps, Kim became an object of lampooning interest by reporters from around the world who saw him as something of an eccentric leisure-suited Richie Rich with a penchant for racecars, fighter aircraft (he was trained as a fighter pilot in East Germany during the 1960's), and satellite technologies.

In fact, he has always had a passion for anything high-tech and dangerous.

According to Anthony C. LoBaido in a 2000 essay for WorldNetDaily: "When not drinking cognac by the gallon, watching CNN, Daffy Duck cartoons or sleeping with Swedish prostitutes, he [Kim] has been busy masterminding enough carnage to make a James Bond villain shudder."

THE DEATH OF KIM IL SUNG, AND A COUP ATTEMPT

In the summer of 1994, Kim's father – President Kim Il Sung – passed away. The younger Kim ascended to the head of the People's Army and the Communist Party, but technically the late Kim is the "eternal president" and cannot be replaced.

"This makes North Korea the only state in the world with a dead president," wrote Christopher Hitchens in a 2001 essay for Vanity Fair. " What would be the right term for this? A necrocracy? A thanatocracy? A mortocracy? A mausolocracy? Anyway, grimly appropriate for a morbid system so many of whose children have died with grass in their mouths."

Soon after the elder Kim's death, a marginally published coup d' état was attempted against the younger Kim under the leadership of a group of North Korean special forces officers. Some of the coup leaders even gained access to missiles that were temporarily aimed at the capital, Pyongyang. Kim's forces, however, quickly put down the uprising, and Kim's authority as both national leader and military commander was clearly established.

KIM'S ARMED FORCES

Today North Korea's conventional military strength – beyond its nuclear capability – is beyond formidable in both size and organization.

Boasting some one-million active duty soldiers and six-million reservists, the DPRK armed forces (including the People's Army, Navy, Air Force, and Civil Security forces) make up the fifth largest military force in the world (behind China, the U.S., Russia, and India, respectively). And 70 percent of that force is positioned less than 100 miles north of the South Korean border.

Pyongyang's army maintains approximately 2,000 tanks and 12,000 artillery pieces, most of which are pre-positioned in underground fortresses within the 100-mile zone.

The DPRK Navy maintains more than 800 ships, including surface vessels and submarines. The DPRK Air Force has more than 1,600 serviceable aircraft. All ground, sea, and air forces are capable of striking en masse on a moments notice. And effective command-and-control is achieved by a solid military communications infrastructure that includes everything from frequency hopping radios to a network of hardened underground posts connected by fiber optics.

Kim knows he can't win trading shot-for-shot with U.S. forces, so his focus has long been on North Korea's "asymmetrical capabilities," which would include hundreds of short, medium, intermediate-range missiles and ICBMs tipped with weapons of mass destruction or WMDs (chemical, biological, and now nuclear).

Of particular concern to the West is the Taepodong-2 missile, an ICBM that could certainly strike any of Kim's East Asian neighbors, but could – if all systems were functioning properly – theoretically strike most mainland American and European cities.

Another of Kim's perceived aces in the hole is his country's special operations forces.

NORTH KOREAN SPECIAL FORCES

As with any nation's armed forces, North Korea's special operations soldiers are considered to be the best-trained, best-led, most resourceful troops within their military. And like all other nations' special operators, the DPRK commandos are men who can do a zillion pushups, live off the land, go weeks without bathing, kill a physically fit opponent with a ballpoint pen, and – if need be – personally deliver a backpack nuke. What makes North Korean special operators even more dangerous are their sheer numbers.

At 100,000 men – roughly the total number of U.S., British, and Canadian troops who came ashore at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944 – the North Korean special operations force is the largest single body of commandos in the world.

"An army with the killing skills of Navy SEALs but large enough to populate a small city," is how Newsweek described them in a 2003 article, Warriors from the North by George Wehrfritz, Hideko Takayama, and B. J. Lee. "… Most soldiers couldn't handle even one of these warriors in a foxhole."

All are martial artists and have the rifle marksmanship skills of U.S. Marines. And like U.S. Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces, DPRK Special Forces are trained to use all manner of navigational aids and fight in all environments. They operate at night and in poor weather conditions, independently of regular units, and deep behind enemy lines.

To test their skills, North Korean commandos are often directed to slip undetected into South Korea – and have done so over the years – gather any immediate intelligence of the disposition of South Korean and U.S. forces, and then snag a souvenir road sign as proof of their infiltration success.

If North Korean commandos fail to complete a mission or are discovered by the enemy, they are prepared to kill their comrades and themselves without hesitation.

WAR WITH THE NORTH

The Korean War – which lasted from 1950 to 1953 – was the first war fought under a United Nations (UN) flag. It was the first "limited war" fought by the United States. It was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the 20th-century (An estimated three-million soldiers and civilians died as a result of the fighting.), and technically the war never ended.

On July 27, 1953, a cease-fire agreement was signed between UN forces (led by the U.S.) supporting South Korea, and the DPRK supported by China. It was a tenuous agreement to be sure, and for the past 53 years two huge armies – a joint U.S.-South Korean force and that of the DPRK – have faced-down one another across the most heavily fortified border on earth, the 151-mile long demilitarized zone (DMZ). And there has been some cross-border shooting between the two sides over the decades.

But a full-blown, high-intensity war with North Korea in the 21st-century would not resemble any war in previously recorded history. In fact, such a war would for all intent-and-purposes destroy the entire peninsula if not much of northeastern Asia

Kim's massive artillery force would unleash a hailstorm of high-explosive – perhaps WMD – shells against U.S. and South Korean defenses below the DMZ with an estimated half-million artillery shells striking targets every hour without let-up for several hours. Meanwhile, his conventional army would attack south across the DMZ in huge waves. His airborne commandos would be parachute-delivered – by way of several-hundred transport aircraft – to various points across the peninsula. Naval commandos, ferried by submarines and surface vessels, would simultaneously strike in great numbers.

Kim's Air Force would probably be wiped out in short order by the U.S.'s overwhelmingly superior Air Force, but if even one or two nuclear-armed planes were to get past U.S.-South Korean air defenses (and being pre-positioned as close to the border as they are, they probably would) the damage would be beyond the scope of imagination.

Moreover, if Kim is unable to deliver his new nuclear weapons from the air or on the tip of a missile, you can bet his artillery gunners could lob them over the DMZ, and his commandos are more than capable of hand delivering them to who knows where.

The greatest fear for Americans however, is that North Korea's ICBMs would strike the continental U.S., or that Kim's pals – the Iranians – or a terrorist organization like Al Qaeda, would blindside us with a Kim-sold nuke that our intelligence agencies were not aware of.

It seems either would please Kim. For as his unofficial spokesman, Kim Myong Chol, wrote in the October 6 edition of Asia Times (three days before the nuclear test), "Kim's message" is "War is coming to U.S. soil."

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