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The North Korea Problem

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D Trump is not singling out South Korea; In case you hadn't noticed the jackass is re-negotiating NAFTA also.
And I would add, South Korea needs the US MORE than the US needs South Korea.

Edited by MigL

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All true, but conveniently evades the question of why right now?

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

D Trump is not singling out South Korea; In case you hadn't noticed the jackass is re-negotiating NAFTA also.
And I would add, South Korea needs the US MORE than the US needs South Korea.

They need us more from our perspective. How do we empirically weigh who needs whom more? It is our (U.S.) choice that we take a leadership role in the world. That comes with many caveats which leads to the feelings that relations lack parity, on all sides. 

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"China on Monday criticized President Donald Trump's threat to cut off U.S. trade with countries that deal with North Korea and rejected pressure to do more to halt the North's nuclear development.

Trump issued the threat after North Korea on Sunday exploded a thermonuclear device in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. The threat was seen as a warning to China, North Korea's main trading partner and only major ally.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, criticized Trump's stance as unfair to Beijing.

"What is definitely unacceptable to us is that on the one hand we work so hard to peacefully resolve this issue and on the other hand our interests are subject to sanctions and jeopardized," Geng said at a regular news briefing. "This is unfair."

Such an approach would be drastic if applied to China, from which the United States imports goods worth about $40 billion a month."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/china-trumps-trade-threat-korea-unacceptable-49606206

 

I understand the administrations positions regarding diplomacy with North Korea. They feel other admins have tried and it never works. A strongman only understands strength and all that stuff. I do not understand the admins position towards China and South Korea. We (U.S.) NEED China and South Korea as partners on this; they are suppose to be our allies here. Diplomacy with China and South Korea is critical/tactical here and in my opinion what other economic complaints the admin has with them needs to be kicked down the road for now.

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"Mattis then delivered the military threat outside the West Wing on Sunday afternoon. "Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies, will be met with a massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming," Mattis told reporters after meeting at the White House with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so."

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/03/trump-north-korea-nuclear-242289

This sounds like warning of a pre-emptive attack on N.Korea.  What are the "many options"?   How exactly can this be accomplished?  The US must have a number of spy satellites parked over N.Korea watching everything going on.  The US must have been able to locate all the artillery within range of Seoul.   The US could do a massive "shock and awe" attack by completely destroying the entire city of Pyongyang with a single fusion bomb of several megatons.  Maybe a few more nukes to destroy major military installations?  A few EMPs?  At the same time thousands of cruise missiles could destroy most of the artillery and missile launch sites within range of Seoul.  B2 bombers and F117s could stealthily deliver hundreds (or thousands?) of laser guided bombs on targets all along the border.  These could all be timed to explode at the same moment.  Then whatever artillery or missile launchers that are not destroyed in the first few seconds of the attack, could be destroyed with artillery that can track artillery to their source and destroy the remaining artillery within a few minutes.  Maybe most of N.Korea's offensive ability could be destroyed in seconds, with others destroyed within minutes?

The US always says they don't want to start a war, but that is to give KJU the false sense of security.

What about the potential nukes N.Korea already smuggled into the city of Seoul waiting to be detonated?

Edited by Airbrush

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2 hours ago, Airbrush said:

This sounds like warning of a pre-emptive attack on N.Korea.  What are the "many options"?   How exactly can this be accomplished?  The US must have a number of spy satellites parked over N.Korea watching everything going on.  The US must have been able to locate all the artillery within range of Seoul.   The US could do a massive "shock and awe" attack by completely destroying the entire city of Pyongyang with a single fusion bomb of several megatons.  Maybe a few more nukes to destroy major military installations?  A few EMPs?  At the same time thousands of cruise missiles could destroy most of the artillery and missile launch sites within range of Seoul.  B2 bombers and F117s could stealthily deliver hundreds (or thousands?) of laser guided bombs on targets all along the border.  These could all be timed to explode at the same moment.  Then whatever artillery or missile launchers that are not destroyed in the first few seconds of the attack, could be destroyed with artillery that can track artillery to their source and destroy the remaining artillery within a few minutes.  Maybe most of N.Korea's offensive ability could be destroyed in seconds, with others destroyed within minutes?

It would certainly be an excellent way of losing forever any claim to be a world leader positioned on the moral high ground.

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@ Airbrush, how many satellites did (and still due) the U.S. have over Iraq and Afghanistan? Using force as a means to achieve international goals is nearly always easier in theory than execution. The plan where we just send in bombers and blow up all targets at once with minimal collateral damage to ourselves or allies has yet to work anywhere. It is laughable to me anyone would encourage that strategy without noting its history of leading to protracted conflicts without end. 

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On 23 September 2017, two USAF B1-B bombers flew in international airspace along North Korea's limits. They have 57t load capacity, maybe not in one chunk
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_B-1_Lancer#Specifications_.28B-1B.29

On the same 23 September 2017, an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 happened in North Korea.

This was 2.5 magnitudes less, or 180 times less energetic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_magnitude_scale
than the magnitude 5.0 tremor caused by the 10kt explosion on 06 January 2016
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2016_North_Korean_nuclear_test
so it would correspond to an explosion of 56t of TNT.

The raw figures and computations are inaccurate, hence the 57t vs 56t must not be over-interpreted.

  • The nuclear tests were carried underground, which causes a bigger shake than a surface explosion.
  • Air-breathing bombs are more powerful against soft targets than the same mass of TNT but I expect an even smaller tremor from them.
  • Big kinetic impactors or bunker breakers would produce a strong shake.

Did you see Kim Jong Un since then? I've only heard of the North Korean foreign affairs minister telling "America has declared war to us".

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9 minutes ago, Enthalpy said:

On 23 September 2017, two USAF B1-B bombers flew in international airspace along North Korea's limits. They have 57t load capacity, maybe not in one chunk
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_B-1_Lancer#Specifications_.28B-1B.29

On the same 23 September 2017, an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 happened in North Korea.

This was 2.5 magnitudes less, or 180 times less energetic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_magnitude_scale
than the magnitude 5.0 tremor caused by the 10kt explosion on 06 January 2016
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2016_North_Korean_nuclear_test
so it would correspond to an explosion of 56t of TNT.

The raw figures and computations are inaccurate, hence the 57t vs 56t must not be over-interpreted.

  • The nuclear tests were carried underground, which causes a bigger shake than a surface explosion.
  • Air-breathing bombs are more powerful against soft targets than the same mass of TNT but I expect an even smaller tremor from them.
  • Big kinetic impactors or bunker breakers would produce a strong shake.

Did you see Kim Jong Un since then? I've only heard of the North Korean foreign affairs minister telling "America has declared war to us".

!

Moderator Note

Epicenter at a depth of 5 km. That's quite a trick with a bomb.

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us2000ati7#origin

Leave the conspiracy theory somewhere else

 

 

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3 hours ago, swansont said:
!

Moderator Note

Epicenter at a depth of 5 km. That's quite a trick with a bomb.

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us2000ati7#origin

Leave the conspiracy theory somewhere else

 

 

Centre at 0 (zero) km depth according to the Chinese seismic service CENC
https://guardian.ng/news/3-5-magnitude-quake-rattles-north-korea-near-nuclear-test-site/
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/23/north-korea-earthquake-suspected-explosion-china-says.html
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2017/09/23/china-experts-say-34quake-hits-nkorea-in-suspected-explosion/
http://www.arabnews.com/node/1166141/world
(by the way, the epicentre is by definition at the surface, over the centre)

And USGS gives an uncertain depth -from the Guardian paper linked above):
"The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist," USGS said in a statement.

Edited by Enthalpy

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!

Moderator Note

I thought I was being clear. STOP WITH THE OFF-TOPIC CONSPIRACY DISCUSSION

 

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Kim Jong-un is probably among very few North Koreans that knows much about the REAL world outside North Korea.  Kim must have access to CNN and MSNBC, and the other cable news programs.  He must watch stories critical of Trump with great interest.  He must love CNN and MSNBC.  Fox News would probably confuse him and he would disapprove of the apologists for Trump, since Trump is Kim's main enemy on Earth.  Imagine what Kim is learning about the complicated US political process.  Kim knows, as a dictator, he has governing easy.  Anything he says has the force of instant law.  Easy and the task is done.  Then he laughs when he sees the contortions Trump and the US government goes through to accomplish ANYTHING!  Maybe it would be a good thing if Kim educates himself about the outside world.  He is still young and maybe he can change.

Edited by Airbrush

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6 hours ago, Airbrush said:

Kim Jong-un is probably among very few North Koreans that knows much about the REAL world outside North Korea.  Kim must have access to CNN and MSNBC, and the other cable news programs.  He must watch stories critical of Trump with great interest.  He must love CNN and MSNBC.  Fox News would probably confuse him and he would disapprove of the apologists for Trump, since Trump is Kim's main enemy on Earth.  Imagine what Kim is learning about the complicated US political process.  Kim knows, as a dictator, he has governing easy.  Anything he says has the force of instant law.  Easy and the task is done.  Then he laughs when he sees the contortions Trump and the US government goes through to accomplish ANYTHING!  Maybe it would be a good thing if Kim educates himself about the outside world.  He is still young and maybe he can change.

I don't understand what you are saying here. On one hand you seem to be antagonizing our (U.S.) democratic process as incapable of accomplishing "anything' while at the same time  characterizing Kim Jong-un as a no nothing whom uses cable TV as his main source of information. North Korea has developed ballistic missiles and nuclear war head. I think they are capable of understanding how a 3 branch govt functions without Anderson Cooper. As for Trump's inability to accomplish his policy goals; thus far he has had none. Trump campaigns for change but them expects Congress to deliver actual policy. Presidentsnormally have policies of their own they work with Congress on. Obama didn't ask Democratics in Congress to invent the ACA. Obama campaigned on the ACA and then delivered actual plans to Congress which were debated and voted on. Trump just asks Congress to do things empty of any plans. That is the reason for his inability to accomplish anything thus far.

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The Doomsday clock is a metaphorical portrayal of how close we are to a nuclear Armageddon, or other existential threat to humanity. It is a construct of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It now stands at 2 1/2 minutes to midnight, the closest it has been to disaster since the early 1950s, at the height of the cold war. Here is the latest description of the situation from the website:

2017: For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way.  See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2017 time of the Doomsday Clock.

Note that this was issued in January of this year. One suspects the second hand has moved on since then.

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7 hours ago, Ten oz said:

I don't understand what you are saying here. On one hand you seem to be antagonizing our (U.S.) democratic process as incapable of accomplishing "anything' while at the same time  characterizing Kim Jong-un as a no nothing whom uses cable TV as his main source of information. .... I think they are capable of understanding how a 3 branch govt functions without Anderson Cooper.......

I think you mean "agonizing" that our democratic process as being incapable, compared with the ease of dictatorship.   That does not mean I prefer a dictatorship.  Who in N. Korea knows much about the REAL world outside of government-controlled media?  Don't you think Kim, himself, gets to see the REAL news of the world?  He does not really believe the myths his media spouts.

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Those who craft propaganda understand it to be propaganda. Oddly, those who believe propaganda often times end up thinking all manner of things are propaganda other than those things which actually are.

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3 hours ago, Airbrush said:

I think you mean "agonizing" that our democratic process as being incapable, compared with the ease of dictatorship.   That does not mean I prefer a dictatorship.  Who in N. Korea knows much about the REAL world outside of government-controlled media?  Don't you think Kim, himself, gets to see the REAL news of the world?  He does not really believe the myths his media spouts.

Out of curiosity, what (do you think) myths do his media spouts? I am asking because: a) except for news about military affairs I have not seen anything from NK media, b) because I have some idea how media works under totalitarian regimes as I used to experience it myself. Its not really important, just trying to understand lets say the mood here.

Personally, I would prefer if the US administration would stop antagonizing the NK one as it seems to me they do not respond well to threats. 

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20 hours ago, tuco said:

Out of curiosity, what (do you think) myths do his media spouts? 

Good question, since how can we know about a closed society?  The best I could find is written about Kim Jong-Il:

"...Official records reportedly show that Kim learned to walk at the age of three weeks, and was talking at eight weeks. While at Kim Il Sung University, he apparently wrote 1,500 books over a period of three years, along with six full operas. According to his official biography, all of his operas are "better than any in the history of music." Then there's his sporting prowess. In 1994, Pyongyang media reported that the first time Kim picked up a golf club, he shot a 38-under par round on North Korea's only golf course, including 11 holes-in-one. Reports say each of his 17 bodyguards verified the record-breaking feat. He then decided to retire from the sport forever."

https://www.cbsnews.com/media/kim-jong-il-10-weird-facts-propaganda/10/

Who knows what N. Korean media says about the current great leader?

Oh, I just found this about the current Kim:

"....Kim Jong-un is just as amazing as his father, according to North Korea state media which revealed he was a gifted sailor as a youth — who also learned to drive at the age of three. The younger Kim is also a celebrated musical composer and artist, who is celebrated around the world."

http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/the-top-10-kooky-myths-north-koreans-are-told-about-leader-kim-jongun/news-story/80db7a6f05eed86cec7d1a82a8ade25d

We know very little about what goes on inside N. Korea.  But the internet is only available to a few officials, and shall we assume that Kim has access?  Don't you think Kim wants to know what is really going on in the world?  Cable news, such as CNN and MSNBC would be interesting to him, through a translator, whenever they are critical of Trump.

Edited by Airbrush

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By Daniel Stone

Photographs by David Guttenfelder

PUBLISHED September 1, 2017

For all of its restrictive laws, its harsh ruler, and its reputation as the Hermit Kingdom, North Korea has long been open to visitors. For years, Chinese tour companies have brought foreigners into the country—including roughly 1,000 Americans per year—for a curated tour of daily North Korean life. Americans have been able to spend time at North Korean amusement parks, schools, and subway stations. Almost all left without incident.

Before the new travel ban took effect on September 1, photojournalist David Guttenfelder joined a group of six American tourists eager to see inside the world’s most secretive nation. For almost 20 years, Guttenfelder has been one of the few western journalists allowed inside North Korea, making nearly 50 trips, some while on assignment for National Geographic, to document its political and military situation.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/08/north-korea-last-tourists-ban/

 

@ Airbrush, yes Kim Jung-un and family have lied about Kim's great many successes. That isn't entirely unusual though. After all Donald Trump had the biggest electoral victory ever, actually won the popular vote minus illegal votes, largest inauguration crowd ever, has already accomplished more than Obama did in 8yrs, and the Boyscouts loved his speech :mellow:.... Despite being "closed society" it isn't as if people have not visited; we do have insights to their society. Journalists have been allowed in, had internet access while their, and have reported on what daily life in North Korea is like.

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A big difference between N. Korea and the USA is the USA has a constant critical examination of the US presidency, and N. Korea has no critical examination of Kim, at all.

We do not have any real insights into the Kim regime based on their media. "Visits" to N. Korea by Americans does nothing to reveal it.

So when Kim asks his intelligence service to give him the dirt on Trump, all they need to do is turn the TV on to CNN and provide an interpreter.

Edited by Airbrush

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2 hours ago, Airbrush said:

Good question, since how can we know about a closed society?  The best I could find is written about Kim Jong-Il:

"...Official records reportedly show that Kim learned to walk at the age of three weeks, and was talking at eight weeks. While at Kim Il Sung University, he apparently wrote 1,500 books over a period of three years, along with six full operas. According to his official biography, all of his operas are "better than any in the history of music." Then there's his sporting prowess. In 1994, Pyongyang media reported that the first time Kim picked up a golf club, he shot a 38-under par round on North Korea's only golf course, including 11 holes-in-one. Reports say each of his 17 bodyguards verified the record-breaking feat. He then decided to retire from the sport forever."

https://www.cbsnews.com/media/kim-jong-il-10-weird-facts-propaganda/10/

Who knows what N. Korean media says about the current great leader?

Oh, I just found this about the current Kim:

"....Kim Jong-un is just as amazing as his father, according to North Korea state media which revealed he was a gifted sailor as a youth — who also learned to drive at the age of three. The younger Kim is also a celebrated musical composer and artist, who is celebrated around the world."

http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/the-top-10-kooky-myths-north-koreans-are-told-about-leader-kim-jongun/news-story/80db7a6f05eed86cec7d1a82a8ade25d

We know very little about what goes on inside N. Korea.  But the internet is only available to a few officials, and shall we assume that Kim has access?  Don't you think Kim wants to know what is really going on in the world?  Cable news, such as CNN and MSNBC would be interesting to him, through a translator, whenever they are critical of Trump.

I do agree the administration knows well about outside world.

As for local populace, I imagine as I have not done my research .. ok just googled this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_North_Korea_Radio, drawing from my experience, that local populace is coerced more by police state than propaganda. Propaganda is important when getting to power, than it becomes more or less necessity rather than effective tool.

What North Koreans probably understand, whether they believe state propaganda or not, is that in case of war they will suffer even more.  Which is another reason I believe in deescalation rather than escalation we are witnessing these days.  

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1 hour ago, Airbrush said:

A big difference between N. Korea and the USA is the USA has a constant critical examination of the US presidency, and N. Korea has no critical examination of Kim, at all.

We do not have any real insights into the Kim regime based on their media. "Visits" to N. Korea by Americans does nothing to reveal it.

So when Kim asks his intelligence service to give him the dirt on Trump, all they need to do is turn the TV on to CNN and provide an interpreter.

You post as if no one but those living in North Korea have every seen their media. Several thousand westerners, a thousand from the U.S. alone, visit North Korea every year. For the Chinese the number visiting North Korea each year is over half a million:

China’s tourism authority has not published a breakdown of the total number of Chinese visitors to North Korea since 2012, when it said 237,000 made the trip.But the number traveling just from Dandong spiked to 580,000 in the second half of 2016 alone, according to the state-run China News Service."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-tourism/undaunted-by-tensions-chinese-tourists-flock-into-north-korea-idUSKBN1AR09G

 

In 2013, North Korea  allowed foreigners access the Internet through the 3G networks. Foreignerscan upload posts or photos on Twitter and Instagram from North Korea via their mobile phones, laptops, and ect. Do you think none of these hundreds of thousands of visiters are traveling to and from North Korea without seeing what's on TV or interacting with citizens of North Korea? Do you think people from China aren't from "real world"?  A half million visitors walking around North Korea with their mobile phones using social media most certianly does provide some insight to what life is like in North Korea and vice versa.

 

Now, none of that is meant to imply the world doesn't have itself a serious problem on its hands regarding Kim Jong-un. Rather I just don't see what good inaccurate caricature of North Korean society does. Sec Of State Rex Tillerson said that the U.S. is currently in direct talks with the North Korea govt. We know South Korea, China, and Russia are in direct talks with the North Korean govt as well. So I seriously doubt Kim Jong-un is watch Don Lemon and Chris Hayes every night to get dirt on Donald Trump. Let not forget that prior to Russia meddling with the 2016 election is was North Korea who hacked Sony and banks in the Bangladesh and the Philippines. They aren't a group of inept idiots. If we consider the sophistication of their cyber attacks and nuclear program it is obvious some segment of their population has access to "real world" knowledge less you think Kim Jong-un himself and a handful of loyal followers do everything on their own?

6 minutes ago, tuco said:

What North Koreans probably understand, whether they believe state propaganda or not, is that in case of war they will suffer even more.  Which is another reason I believe in deescalation rather than escalation we are witnessing these days.  

Right, they aren't uninformed zombies knowing nothing beyond what their dear leader says but rather are a struggling populace that understands annihilation doesn't help their plight.

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"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man..." Trump said on Twitter. He continued, "...Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!"

 

Sec Of State works for the President. So is the Sec Of State negotiating with a foriegn adversary behind the President's back our is he doing as directed and the President is just spouting nonsense? Both possibilities are very troubling in my opinion.

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On ‎10‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 9:43 AM, Ten oz said:

 ....So is the Sec Of State negotiating with a foriegn adversary behind the President's back our is he doing as directed and the President is just spouting nonsense? Both possibilities are very troubling in my opinion.

Both are true.  It's just business as usual, Tillerson is good cop and Trump is always bad cop, spouting nonsense.  This is common knowledge to everybody interested.  There is nothing surprising about Trump spouting nonsense.

Kim is young and he has access to all the info in the world.  His security services will find the most credible stories for him.  He can learn and change, Trump cannot.

We should send a delegation which includes Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan.

"The Washington Post reported in 2009 that Kim Jong-un's school friends recalled he "spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan".[125] He was obsessed with basketball and computer games.[27][126] On 26 February 2013, Kim Jong‑un met Dennis Rodman,[127] leading many reporters to speculate that Rodman was the first American that Kim had met.[128"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-un#Personality

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“The U.S. should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time.”

The rabid man in the White House … will first face the immense volley of nuclear fire if he hopes to settle (this) confrontation with nukes,” KCNA said."

An unimaginable strike could very well be a "boat-bomb" parked just off the coast of Washington DC.  That would face "the rabid man in the W.H.... the immense volley of nuclear fire."

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/north-korea-vows-to-unleash-unimaginable-nuclear-strike-on-us/ar-AAtJjP8?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

 

Edited by Airbrush

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