[lit-ideas] Re: NK's missiles

  • From: John Wager <john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 23:48:58 -0500

Carol Kirschenbaum wrote:

On the other hand, if it's meant to lift a (small) satellite into orbit (as some have suggested), then it has no limits. Once it is in orbit, it can come down anywhere. The idea of N Korea with orbital capability is not good.

ck: This is what I heard on NPR yesterday evening. Is there credible news one way or the other? Any news could be disinformation by either side, I suppose. Once trust in the media is damaged, it's shattered.

Both Iran and North Korea have learned the lessons that Bush was teaching them: If you're going to develop
nuclear technology, do so as fast as you can, and get into the nuclear shrimp pool as soon as possible. This
will create a credible deterrent against U.S. actions, as in Iraq. A country like North Korea or Iran would
be foolish NOT to pursue going nuclear, given the current U.S. policy.

The technological problem with satellite based nuclear weapons is that they aren't so ballistic. That is, it's
fairly predictable where a "ballistic" missile will come down; this is elementary mathematical calculations that
even a slide rule can decipher. But when you get involved in satellite based weapons, I suspect that the
ability of the North Koreans to precisely predict where the weapon will land is diminished significantly. There
may be a "terrorist" satellite from North Korea orbiting, but I suspect that it won't be anything more than a
general terror threat, not a threat that can be directed with any accuracy against a particular city in the U.S.
If the North Koreans aim at Chicago with a satellite based weapon, I think they are as likely to hit Iowa.
Of course that does NOT diminish the deterrent value of the weapon, so I also think the North Koreans
would be crazy NOT to pursue orbital weapons.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence and ignorance." -------------------------------------------------
John Wager john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx
Lisle, IL, USA

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