Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love, Scare Tactics, and the MMA

North Korea has been in the news for the last several days because they’ve allegedly tested a nuclear weapon. But did it really even happen?

Is anyone suspicious of the fact that the Financial Times website has overhead satellite views of the North Korean nuclear facilities, yet the North Koreans managed to test a nuclear weapon in the one pocket of the world not covered by aerial satellites?

Would Kim Jong Il try to pump up his nation’s image by creating the myth of a nuclear test? At home, he tells the North Koreans that international leaders abroad refer to him by a series of absurd honorifics including “The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love”, “Master of the Computer Who Surprised the World”, and “Present-day God”. He also claims to have scored 38 under par the first time he ever played golf, so the idea of him stretching the truth to grandiose proportions is not an unrealistic notion.

It’s certainly true that a seismic event was detected in North Korea the day the test is alleged to have happened. South Korea measured it at 3.6 on the Richter scale. To put that number into perspective, the Los Angeles earthquake of 1994 was a 6.7--- 1000 times stronger than the seismic event measured in North Korea that day. The South Koreans estimate that to trigger the kind of seismic event that took place in North Korea, the blast was equivalent to 550 tons of TNT. The bombs we dropped on Japan over half a century ago are estimated to have been the equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. If nuclear fission even took place that day, it carried less explosive power than some of our traditional munitions.

Is this cause to take this lightly? Not quite. The thoughts of a leader such as Kim Jong Il in possession of even the weakest nuclear weapon is a discomforting thought. It’s estimated (Again, assuming that what the North Koreans have told us is true) that they have enough fissionable material to make between 4 and 13 nuclear weapons, depending upon the size. In the meantime, every ship coming out of North Korea is closely watched by our intelligence agencies. Those are their only delivery systems--- Their missile that they claimed could reach the west coast of the United States crashed less than a minute after liftoff when it was tested in July, traveling only slightly less distance than a Jason Giambi foul ball before crashing.

The greatest danger of the North Korea situation is not some attack from North Korea. As much as Kim refers to himself as “the Supreme Commander at the Forefront of the Struggle Against Imperialism and the United States”, in the grand scheme of things, he’s a mosquito at worst.

The greatest danger is that while the media and the government focus their attention on this, we’re letting the greatest danger to America fester.

And no--- I’m not talking about Iran. Much like North Korea, Iran has no long range delivery options for a nuclear weapon, and a navy that consists of slightly more than three guys in a fishing boat.

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