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12 April 2013


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WRC, how do you know any events on your list are "misses" by the IC?

We had to wait Fifty years to discover that the Rosenbergs really were guilty.


From where I sit, I wonder if a combined U.S Chinese operation is possible under U.N auspices?

America beheads the regime if possible and missile and defence facilities by surprise technical means.

The Chinese move South.

South Korea defends itself with U.N help.

The North Korean leadership is told the game is up and to blame everything on the Kim's.


This is a technical analytical call by the DIA analysts, most likely a combination of those from MSIC in Huntsville and the Asia Pacific regional shops.

One can make this call with the appropriate confidence levels solely from recalling the historical interactions of North Korea and Pakistan in the development of the Nodong and Ghauri ballistic missiles.


It's been long speculated what exactly AQ Khan sold the North Koreans in return for acquiring the technology to reproduce the Nodong as the Ghauri. Could it have been the plans for Pakistan's Chinese provided enriched uranium bomb? Is this why the North Koreans decided to pursue a parallel nuclear program of enriched uranium besides their plutonium extraction program at Yongbyong? Did Khan provide them the the centrifuge technology for the enriched uranium program?

What I think here is that DIA is not talking about a nuke on an ICBM that has never been flown. I think they're talking about the Nodong, which can threaten Japan and Okinawa, as well as the ROK.



I think you vastly overestimate our capability to detect NK's (or most anybody's) mobile weapons platforms and leadership movements. I don't know what kinf of 'surprise technical means' you refer to, but I think you'll be sorely disappointed at our realistic options.



In the 1st Gulf war we could not find ANY of their mobile SCUD launchers. ZERO. We hit a lot of soviet style decoys but that's all. pl



And that was in the middle of a desert with no terrain or forests to hide in. We did almost as miserable a job in Kosovo in 98. We killed a lot of decoys though.



"if people with integrity cannot realistically understand that they will be listened to then why spend $80B a year on the IC?" An excellent question. From personal experience I can tell you that it is suicide to tell any administration things they do not want to hear. They "know" what the ywant to know, and that's all folks. pl



Yup. That "maskarovka" thing works really well especially againt people as eager to believe how right we are as we are. The Iraqis started by building a dummy SCUD launch site in western Iraq. they built concretes pads, fenced it in. The leg fin things on the pads were set up to indicate direction of flight to tel Aviv and Haifa. the Israelis were pretty much all panicked and we wasted endless manpower on this. The Iraqis ran truck convoys to this place regularly. In combat they never went near it. In the event they hid their junk in underpasses, metal buildings, etc. pl

WR. Cumming

Noting for the record that even in WWII I believe the NAZI effort of the V-1s continued to launch almost unobstructed until the launch areas overrun by Allied Forces.

By the way the Pershing Missile I worked on was almost exadtly the size of the V-2! One difference--Pershing solid fueled and V-2 liquid fueled. This "fact" was pointed out to me by a German Oberst!


After reading the above, if NK nukes anyone, China should see itself in the cross-hairs as much as anyone else. Would not the best solution be for China nuke NK in self-defense while everyone else watches and for the rest of the world help China deal with the humanitarian consequences. That would be a much better outcome than for US to issue retribution.

Either way, if NK goes nuclear, it is toast--hence threatening war fear is the only course for NK to try to extort benefits from the world. Fear is NK's only usable weapon. If they cross the line to action, they are dead and they must know this. I doubt they are suicidal.

My thought is that the latest tantrum should not be rewarded and should result in a diminuition of the fuel and food aid supporting their military. Then, though nuclear, they would have a starving population and a starving military. Kim's only hope is to convert the army to some sort of productive enterprise and use the nuclear threat to get their people to support a reduction in the size of the military in reliance on the nuclear threat to keep China out and the Kim and company in control.

Kim is overplaying his hand and that the best way to weaken him is to stop the food support.

Kerry is simply being suckered into exacerbating the fear card. He and Congress just need to shut up, stop being NK's PR arm, and let hunger, cold, and UN sanctions work.

Kim should seek an apartment on the Riviera and a UN pension. It is his best prospect for survival. Otherwise, he will be dead and gone soon.


"The question of today seems to me is whether China has had enough or soon will?"

I believe they have had enough. The straw being when they formally asked Kid Kim for no extraordinary fireworks during Spring Festival and he sets off the bomb.

The current line is denucleariszation of the peninsula through the Six Party talks and an end of this constant pyscho drama hurting peaceful commerce (especailly at the port of Dandong which they have been heavily promoting the past couple of years). When this crisis passes and everyones at the table, I think they will tell Kim to put all the cards on the table and settle this.

And in my view, I take Kim to be calculating over crazy so will be interested to see what he says on the April 15th birthday bash and where Korean relations are come September.


This may be a case of too many "Allens." The writer of the journal article was George Allen. You are thinking of Charlie.



Hey. It's not me who cited George Allen's article. Who IS George Allen? In any event I would have preferred Joan Allen as a colleague. pl


It has been reported that the North Korean Army is generally mobilized to get the crucial spring planting done. What food aid has been granted to the regime in the past in response to their tantrums and blackmail has apparently often been diverted to feed the army, leaving whatever is left from the sporadically successful efforts at agriculture to feed the population in general. Not much of a recipe for success if the tantrums finally elicit no response from the outside world.



I rather think that China is quite happy to have NK as a client state and a buffer between themselves and the US/ROK military. I really doubt that they want anything substantive to do with dealing with 24 million starving and brainwashed North Koreans.

They may not be particularly happy with the youngest Kim's behavior and they are probably letting him know that privately, but I don't think they see anything in the recent excitement as being anywhere near actionable in that sense.


OTOH, as long as CNN plays (and replays) footage of the decoy being destroyed, that counts for nearly the same in political points!

William R. Cumming

Correction and addition to my list of misses!

Of course the Soviet invasion of Hungry was 1956 and Cechoslovaki [sic] 1968. Both missed by the IC community.

Neil Richardson

"It has been reported that the North Korean Army is generally mobilized to get the crucial spring planting done."

The KPA has its winter training cycle that usually begins in December and ends in March. Whether they continue the current configuration or not we'll know soon enough.



I would imagine it is because we have three branches of government. Classification is on one branch, congress is another. Assuming that the constitution remains more than toilet paper, one branch cannot "discipline" another, there are complex procedures in place to prevent that in either direction. If the admin wants to keep something secret, they should keep it secret. If congress wants to know it, they should cut funding until someone blinks or pass a law. If the law passes court review, then congress should cut funding if it is not applied.

I prefer our system to the one branch alternatives, although it is not moving in the right direction - for example, signing statements that a spineless congress refuses to challenge.

Charles I

Just a throwaway that struck me yesterday. This whole affair has been a tremendous opportunity for the Chinese to ping U.S. force deployment and reactions as the system lights up under newly sequestered operational conditions.


I accept the idea that the NK Army is required to help with the planting every spring.

If it doesn't prepare to do it this year then we must assume its going to be used for another purpose


Subsequently read that the Congressman got the data from a 'source' in DoD..that is the person who should be very worried. Apparently that source wanted to 'get out the information' because the Department wasn't acting the way he/she wanted.

William R. Cumming

Charles I! Apparently census data on Chinese nationals resident in either N. or S. Korea are restricted data!

But the population in both countries of resident Chinese is significant.



Don't be so bloody dramatic. this was a perfectly legitimate DIA paper disseminated to this committee of congress. DIA publishes papers separate from the rest of the community as does every other agency. now the BHO government can decide whether or not it wants to suppress DIA's analysis as did Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. pl


Surely the top of the list for intelligence failures would be not foreseeing the possibility of something like the 1989 collapse of the Soviet empire? It did happen fast: I spent October/November of that year in Japan with no access to any news I could read--when I came back to the US I felt like Rip van Winkle.

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