Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Realities of going to war with North Korea

A senior US State Department official warned, "we are not going to accept a nuclear North Korea." But that, of course, is just what Washington has been doing ever since CIA disclosed in 2003 that North Korea had up to five operational nuclear weapons, and more in development.

In 2005, CIA’s then director, George Tenet, confirmed North Korea’s Taepo-dong ICBM was theoretically able to deliver a nuclear warhead to North America.

The Pentagon estimates that a US invasion of North Korea would cost 500,000 American casualties. Since North Korea has buried many vital industries and military facilities deep underground, US air strikes would have limited success.

Moreover, any attacks on North Korea would quickly make South Korea and Japan targets of North Korea’s medium-ranged missiles. Seoul’s ten million people are within range of North Korean long-ranged artillery and missiles batteries behind the DMZ.

Amid all the international hysteria over North Korea, it’s important to understand that the ‘Dear Leader’s’ nuclear programs are primarily defensive. Their goal is to protect North Korea from a long-feared US attack, not to attack the US or Japan. Kim Jong-il and his Politburo are not anxious to commit suicide or see their nation vaporised.

[Excerpt of article by Eric S Margolis, a veteran US journalist and contributing foreign editor of the Toronto Sun.]

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