Nork Nukes

So the Norks went and blew something up, which they claim is a nuclear device of some kind. I am reasonably confident that we can tell if said device was really a nuke. If not, more bluster from the crazy man in Pyongyang. If so, well, what did you expect? The technology to build a simple fission device is not that damned complicated. It’s 50 year old technology available to anyone with access to a decent university research library. There are a few quirks in dealing with your materials, but an organization with the resources of a government should be able to dig through the unclassified literature and figure it out.

Given that nobody really did anything concrete to stop the Norks from doing this, why is everybody acting surprised? All anybody did was stern finger-wagging and speaking in a serious tone of voice about how upset we would all be if they did this. Some of the more feckless countries didn’t even use the serious tone of voice. “Oh, bad, unspecified consequences await if you defy the world consensus on this issue.” The Norks, quite rightly, listened to that and gave the big “WTFever!” in response. So now they have a nuke and no apparent delivery system. What next?

We could bomb the crap out of them. If we do, they hit Seoul with everything they can. The South Koreans are understandably not keen on this approach. Effectively, Seoul is a hostage for the free world’s lack of activity. I have no idea what the Norks would do if China started lobbing missiles. Probably crater Seoul anyway, just for the hell of it. I doubt the South Koreans are going to attack the North. I don’t think Japan has the capability, even if they had the political will. I bet if we offered Putin enough cash, a stray missile from Mother Russia might find its way down there. Who knows? I certainly don’t.

I really don’t have a clue what to do in this situation. My gut instinct says find and destroy their nuclear facilities. Of course, I am a comfortable 7,050 miles from where the artillery shells are gonna land. This, while an appropriate distance to be from exploding ordnance, colors my perception. I’m not one of the 8 million people who will have to watch a city burn down around them. There are no easy answers and I’m glad I don’t have to make the call. Rest assured, whatever decision is made, a vast collection of people will immediately be on hand to pronounce, at length, why the decision was the wrong one. Expect much finger pointing and recriminations from the usual suspects.

Update: Yes, we're all going to get together in our World Debate and Dictator Appreciation Society and call for sanctions. The UN will call for sanctions! My pet fish will fart! Both will be equally as effective in changing the course of action of the Norks.


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