Monday, October 09, 2006

Did North Korea Fake A Nuclear Test For Psychological Value?

While much of the world communinty is either concerned or alarmed about the claimed successful nuclear test by North Korea, so far the more accurate U.S. nuclear detection monitoring devices have failed to tect any measurable trace of radiation and only a small quake. This strongly suggests that North Korea may have faked the test by instead using an underground conventional explosion to wring concessions out of the world community and to present a psychological deterrent to the Pyongyang paranoia of a U.S. military invasion.

However the toothless foreign policy of George Bush that neither engages the trouble spots of North Korea or Iran directly in open one-on-one talks, has no current ability to wage yet another war against North Korea for a couple of important reasons. The worsening military failures to contain insurgent violence in both Iraq and Afghanistan prove that the U.S. military is currently stretched too thin for any serious ground combat operations against North Korea. And North Korea lacks any real mineral asets that make it valuable to the U.S. to place under some sort of control such as control of the oil assets of Iraq, thought to be the world's largest. An even larger deterrent to war in North Korea is that perhaps one million persons may die within days in both North and South Korea and such a military showdown will achieve very little constructive for the U.S. So it should be determined that U.S. military action is highly unlikely despite any paranoia by Pyongyang or dislike by Washington.

It is highly likely that North Korea may have staged this supposed nuclear test with only conventional weapons to play the world community psychologically and to inspire patriotism among the people of North Korea to take pressure off the cycle of starvation and poverty, and the failure of North Korea in nearly every area of national achievement. A "faked" nuclear test staged by North Korea could have been planned by Kim Jong Il to achieve a number of goals. He is likely a far more cunning adversary that is given credit. For whatever lack of real military capability he possesses, Kim Jong Il uses psychological warfare to magnify his shadow of fear much like that of the weak nature if terrorist organizations who plan acts heavily for the press and public fear that they will create rather than theire real military ability to win a conflict or gain control of a government. Weakness causes both Kim Jong Il and terrorists to act out psychological warfare mainly.

If North Korea did stage a successful nuclear test, then it was likely only with a very small amount of nuclear material because they have so little of it and need to be very sparing with it. This also suggests weakness. However this summer's grossly failed launch of the longer range Taepodong missile which suffered from mechanical failure almost immediately after launch was patheticly covered up by the launch of at least six insignificant short range missiles. The true nature of the North Korean nuclear threat is still not significant, only their conventional forces exhibit any real strength that is mainly a threat to South Korea and U.S. forces stauined there. But North Korea would like the world community, especially the U.S. to be fearful of their nation by projecting military power that it really does not yet possess. All of this speaks more about military weakness rather than strength.

During WWII, a popular form of Asian warfare was to have women construct useless tanks out of paper that both wasted an opponent's bomb and served the psychological purpose of projecting military power that they really did not possess. The weakness rather than real military strength of North Korea has likely forced Kim Jong Il to resort to "constructing" fear to gain world community "respect", deterrence and concessions. Kim Jong Il plays the world community much more like a shrewd chess player than the world community has yet seemed to realize. On closer examination something just isn't right about the claimed successful "nuclear test". An evaluation the next few days will tell American intelligence and security just how much of a bluff this claimed test might have been.