Anguish as North Korea Marches Into 1955 110

By nearly having an intercontinental ballistic missile and not quite nearly having a nuclear warhead and detonator small enough to fit on it, North Korea has brought its military technology almost to the point of being just sixty years out of date.

The panic this has caused is not unjustified, as nuclear weapons are a terrible thing. Hundreds of thousands of column inches have been deployed by mainstream media all round the world. This from the Economist is a fine example of the top intellectual thinking upon which the elite consensus prides itself.

It is also a perfect exemplar as it illustrates a defining characteristic of all this week’s analysis following the North Korean missile test. Nowhere at all does it mention Trident missiles. Nobody does, because they are obviously a total irrelevance and in no sense enter the calculations of Kim Jong Un.

When the establishment writes serious stuff about North Korea, they never ever mention Trident, because they would look stupid.

Yet strangely, when they write about Trident, they always mention North Korea. We need Trident, they say, to deter rogue nuclear states like North Korea.

Extraordinary, isn’t it. Apparently we have no need at all to worry about nuclear attack from North Korea, because we have the perfect deterrent by spending an astonishing amount of our national income on Trident missiles.

Except when people actually think about North Korea, when they realise that Trident is as much use as a chocolate teapot.

It is exactly the same with ISIS/Daesh. Nobody writing any of the millions of articles about ISIS/Daesh has ever written “but you don’t have to worry about them because we have Trident missiles.” Because they would look very, very, stupid.

But when Trident is under discussion, we hear it defends us against, err, North Korea and ISIS.

Now they throw in Russia. In all the reams of analysis of Putin’s Russia, nobody has ever been crazy enough to argue that nuclear attack on the UK (or even conventional invasion of the UK) is something Putin would wish to do. Because to claim that would look absolutely stupid. Plainly the desire of Russia to attack with nuclear weapons is at absolute zero. Anybody writing otherwise would rightly be written off as crazed.

Yet the Trident argument takes place in an entirely isolated political bubble, in perfect quarantine, in isolation from reality, where the elite are allowed to stand there and say it protects us from North Korea, ISIS and Russia and the mainstream media pretends this is not absurd.

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110 thoughts on “Anguish as North Korea Marches Into 1955

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  • Mark Golding

    No Phil; much as I am in great pain to do so, I can confirm the US has a mechanism, under its explicit control, to prevent British targeting of states that it doesn’t want targeted. Nuff said.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Surely the Iranian govt has always denied it was pushing to develop nuclear weapons and that its nuclear programme was entirely pacific?”


    Good afternoon Habb, I trust you’re well?

    Ah yes, in a similar fashion to Israel, who doesn’t really posses nuclear weapons, ergo no need to sign the NPT, sshhhh! It’s a secret.

  • Uphill

    Republicofscotland, thanks.

    I think under the shah it was a none issue.

    “interestingly, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who presided over the negotiations during 1974-1976, has downplayed the role of proliferation during the nuclear negotiations with Iran. In a 2005 Washington Post interview, he said that “I don’t think the issue of proliferation came up”; “They were an allied country, and this was a commercial transaction. We didn’t address the question of them one day moving toward nuclear weapons.”

    I seem to remember Chomsky talking about it, but this is just the first link I found on the web. From exert above.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    That wasn’t really an answer, was it?

    Stay focussed for a second and tell us whether you are right (Iran was “pushing to develop nuclear weapons”) or whether the Iranian govt line was correct (its nuclear programme was for “entirely peaceful purposes”).

    You can’t both be right, can you. 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Could I ask you to confirm that “Uphill” is NOT “N_” ?

    The latter used to post a lot until he appeared on my list of The Dozen plus hangers-on; and “Uphill” does not appear to have posted before under that handle.

  • Uphill

    “Stay focused for a second and tell us”

    Don’t bite ros.

    What we think is irrelevant, but it’s a ‘good’ distraction from facts on the ground isn’t it.

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmannn? RESIGN!

    Sorry Kempe, but you are wrong the targeting of each separate warhead is uploaded according to manuals which come out of a safe when the right alert status is reached, they are not programmed before and the program codes are uploaded according to the targets mad politicians and generals decide around a round table in a deep bunker. Only when the various war heads are released, just before zenith of trajectory, whatever distance, are these codes made irretrievable/live.

    a missile in flight before reaching zenith, can still abort its mission, whether our Trident museums piece is capable of this is highly questionable, too many failure reports and non shows, I can’t see one honest Navy account of these problems faced.

    Why should only old Russian submarines deteriorate?

    Another point about Dolphin class subs sold to Israel, they have ICBM capability and will be used in any strike by Israel, first or other.
    Israel might or might not have the latest miniature nuclear warhead technology, in which case they theoretically can equip cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.

    There are fast missiles that can accurately reach these big old fat creeping missiles with much slimmer faster missiles/projectiles, the moment they detect a launch, i.e within 3-5 minutes of launch.

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmannn? RESIGN!

    With the disturbing evidence of engine codes on cars being hacked, i.e. the ability to change the programmed parameters, as well as the current actual direction, engine speed, the whole engine management, it is not inconceivable that the frequencies of ICBM’s once live, can also be confused/taken over, it is after all an old system.

  • Republicofscotland

    Thank you for that link Uphill, I’ve read some of it but it’s a fair bit to digest all in one, still I got the gist of it, the US, was willing (mostly) to help Iran develop nuclear energy, the worry on their part was the development of nuclear weapons.

    If I recall correctly Russia will built up to 20 nuclear reactors in Iran, even though Iran has extensive oilfields.

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmannn? RESIGN!

    Iran has a policy of being paid in a basket of currencies, not just Euro’s RoS.

  • Njegos

    Let’s not forget the psychological damage caused by the expression “Axis of Evil”, that fantasy alliance between Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

    That notorious piece of propaganda is probably the single greatest cause of Western hysteria that accompanies any pathetic military “achievement” announced by the DPRK.

    Neocon David Frum was sensitive to allegations that he was only targetting Israel’s enemies, hence the inclusion of North Korea in his “axis”.

    One has to admit, however, that North Korea has played a miserable hand very well – the idiotic invasion of (non-nuclear) Iraq was a godsend to the North Korean regime. Perhaps that is what Donald Trump meant when he said that Kim jong-Un has “talent”.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    I read recently that underwater drone subs are on the verge of becoming so cheap and ubiquitous that they will render Trident redundant, since it will soon be nigh on impossible to hide in the sea. Anyone know about this?

  • fedup

    much as I am in great pain to do so, I can confirm the US has a mechanism, under its explicit control, to prevent British targeting of states that it doesn’t want targeted. Nuff said.

    Mark it is independence in a new sort of a way; we pay for it, we hanger it, we keep it maintained and oiled and shit, we man it, and that is it!!! Yanks then use it as and when they like included if they wish to detonate it right in the hanger!!!

    What more do you want? It is like the “special relationship” as and when required we bend over and the US does what it has to, without a reach around, and we are all happy that it is a such a “special relationship”!!

    Pitiful that still there are those deluded souls who are really living in the Alice in wonderland version of the realities.


    This weapon is being used by Iran.

    Ben in a free world can traders decide which currency they want to transact to conclude their business transactions? Unless you are implying that it is mandatory and the world must by the sheer force of the US military force trade in dollars?

    Let’s face it dollar has no value it is a fiat currency and as it stands it is a risky proposition for anyone to end up with a lot of dollars instead of their wealth and goods.

    Trade is used as weapon by the US given the numbers of the years that US has slapped sanctions on all and sundry included Iran effectively using the billions of dollars for free and without paying a cent interest. Don’t you think that kind of a conduct will eventually end up in business people leaving the dollar to the yanks and search for alternatives that will not be abused and end up in conning them out of their wealth?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    This is so disgraceful, words fail me..

    “UN initiative to protect schools in war zones vetoed by Britain”

    Britain has refused to sign up to a UN agreement on protecting schools in wartime, which has been signed by 51 states, despite the fact it was drawn up by a former UK military officer.

    The agreement was championed by the UN children’s fund UNICEF to protect schools from attack during conflicts. It aimed to set out a “safe schools declaration” and provide guidelines for military forces.

    However, it was reported on Tuesday by the Telegraph newspaper that Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond had effectively vetoed the move after having opposed it as head of two government departments.

    Already signed by 51 nations, the initiative was developed in response to deadly attacks on schools in Syria and Yemen.

    In a statement on Monday, Amnesty International senior crisis advisor Lama Fakih reported how schools were being targeted with deadly effect in Yemen, where a Sunni/Shia proxy war is currently being fought with Saudi and Iranian backing.

    “The Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a series of unlawful airstrikes on schools being used for educational – not for military – purposes, a flagrant violation of the laws of war,” she wrote.

    “Schools are central to civilian life, they are meant to offer a safe space for children. Yemen’s young school pupils are being forced to pay the price for these attacks,” she added.

    It was hoped Britain would be a leading voice in the campaign to protect schoolchildren and schools after the high-profile campaign against sexual violence in warzones led by Phillip Hammond’s predecessor William Hague and movie star Angelina Jolie.

    But Britain, like the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, did not sign up.

    It is rumored that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Foreign Office have been put off by fears of litigation given the volume of cases brought against the military for alleged crimes in the Iraq and Afghan occupations.

    Initially it appears that of the three government departments whose support was needed only the MoD – then under Hammond – was resisting, while the Department for International Development (DFID) and Hague’s Foreign Office were supportive.

    Hammond’s subsequent shift from defense to the Foreign Office is felt to have poisoned both the military and diplomatic ministries against the initiative, despite the fact the agreement was drawn up by a former British naval officer.

    Steven Haines, who drew up the British military rulebook for the 2003 Iraq invasion, is now a professor of international law at the University of Greenwich.

    He told the Telegraph of his disappointment at the government’s response to his proposals.

    “The stumbling block was Philip Hammond at Defence,” he said.

    “It’s very frustrating.

    “There’s no way that I was going to draft something that would embarrass the British government.”

    The declaration, which was launched in Norway in 2015, commits governments to six guidelines including one which prevents military forces for using from using active schools as military bases.

    It was thought that if Britain signed up then its role as a trainer of foreign troops would help to engender respect for schools and schoolchildren among military forces globally.

    A Foreign Office spokesman defended the move, telling the paper that while they “support the spirit of the initiative, we have concerns that the Guidelines do not mirror the exact language and content of International Humanitarian Law.

    “Therefore the UK, along with several other countries, was not able to sign the Safe Schools Declaration in Oslo in May 2015,” the spokesman said.

    Britain’s concern about future legal cases may spring from its controversial military support for regional ally Saudi Arabia in the Gulf theocracy’s war in Yemen.

    That support has included both material backing, in the form of weapons and munitions traded by UK arms firms subject to government license, and the presence of British military personnel as advisors to the Saudi military.

    The UK government maintains the military advisors are present in Saudi headquarters to ensure international law is followed.

  • Republicofscotland

    Returning to North Korea, the root of Pyongyang’s decision to continue with its nuclear programme, lies in the decision of the USA, and its refusal to abide by the only international agreement ever signed between the DPRK and the USA.

    The 1994 Agreed Framework, wasn’t taken seriously by Washington, in which aide including oil, and civilian use reactors would be shipped to NK, nothing arrived.

    NK had decided that the US had reneged on the agreement, and decided to develop its own nuclear programme. Unsurprisingly no other nation held the US accountable or responsible for breaking the treaty.

    The US had effectively failed to honour its agreement with North Korea.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)



    “Don’t bite ros.

    What we think is irrelevant, but it’s a ‘good’ distraction from facts on the ground isn’t it.”

    It certainly is irrelevant – you’ve understood quickly.

    But I can think of nothing nearer the “facts on the ground” than the question of whether Iran’s nuclear programme was for entirely peaceful purposes or whether it was pushing to acquire nuclear weapons.

    Given that, why was my post a distraction?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “NK had decided that the US had reneged on the agreement, and decided to develop its own nuclear programme. Unsurprisingly no other nation held the US accountable or responsible for breaking the treaty.”

    That may of course be because no other nation holds the US responsible for breaking the treaty.

    Perhaps other nations have examined the evidence and decided that North Korea’s “decision” that the US reneged on the agreement is not persuasive.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Care to confirm or deny that you used to post as the now-vanished “N_”?

    Your content and way of expressing yourself rings a few bells.

  • DerekM

    Trident is no more than an expensive bluff,we have no need for them even the Americans think this and they are right because right now at least two American nuke subs are patrolling the coast of Scotland and have been doing so for decades.

    My concern is not with the missile system trident but with the warheads ,the Americans have been screaming at us to decommission them they are amongst the oldest warheads in the NATO arsenal,the big problem arises if we do decommission them in how to replace them as just buying them from the Americans isnt as straight forward as throwing cash at the situation.

    First off transporting Nuclear weapons to sell to another country breaks the non proliferation treaty and opens up a whole can of worms ,selling rockets is okay warheads a big no no,the Americans now faced with both Russia and China in the race to Armageddon would probably prefer the UK quota, based on the non proliferation treaty, be under their direct control and is the reason they jumped at the chance when crash broon sold them the rights to the UK warhead manufacturing.

    This raises another problem if we can no longer make warheads without breaking the treaty and we cant ship them over then unless the Americans come here and make them then the UK has no way of replacing the old with the new without breaking the treaty.

    And even if that did happen and the Americans came here the treaty would require us to decommission the old before building the new.

    But than maybe we are just going to paint “nuke bomb” on a tube of metal.

    Frankly i want to see them gone from my country ,if you English want them so bad then i have no problem with that but i can tell you living next door to them isnt fun but then when we leave not if but when you will probably stick them in Wales cant have all that radiation and danger upsetting the English daily mail reader can we now, they would need to go on an even bigger tirade about Muslim fascist nazi terrorists coming over here and claiming the dole and using our heath service need nukes in Wales to stop them rule Britannia.

  • Ben-Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of Feminism

    The anxiety over proliferation of nukes is not as war-worthy as economic war. Most are concerned with psychopaths having access to the launch codes, but a suit-case bomb is more likely than ICBM’s going up in concert. Arguably, the concern over Iran/bomb has more to do with the threat to Petrodollar and it is a handy justification for undermining the regime.

    The Paks (thanks to Khan) are more of a exigent threat than Iran, but I don’t hear similar alarm.

    The Norks are about as likely to use nukes as they are the Zika virus to vex the West.

  • fred

    I wonder what the world would be like now without nuclear weapons. We wouldn’t be chatting here like this, packet switching was designed to keep communications open in a nuclear war, a web of computers all interlinked which could send packets of information along any of a vast number of routes. The internet led to the boom in personal computing and changed the way we live. Would we have satellites by now? Those rockets that put satellites into orbit are ICBMs, designed to carry nuclear weapons round the world. Would private enterprise have spent the vast amounts on research and development? Would anyone have had the foresight, the funds, the resources with the technology we had then? Without the satellites would the technology have been developed to utilise it. Would we have GPS or mobile phones by now.

  • PhilE

    Judging from the comments here there is quite likely a failure rate for Trident missiles on launch. What about at the other end? Moscow is protected by allegedly the best ABM system in the world based on S400/S500 technology. If we can’t be sure our missiles will hit Moscow because they will be shot down in space; and I’m sure Putin has a much better idea than me or David Cameron about this, whats the point? The whole deterrence issue in so far as it relates to UK, is a con. I am sure there must be a cheaper method to achieve uncertainty in the mind of a potential aggressor than Trident.

  • Republicofscotland

    Stay focussed for a second and tell us whether you are right (Iran was “pushing to develop nuclear weapons”) or whether the Iranian govt line was correct (its nuclear programme was for “entirely peaceful purposes”).

    Both explanations can be seen as correct, Habb, government do change their policies.

    Iran’s nuclear programme began as a result of the Cold War alliance between the United States and the shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who emerged as an important American ally in the Persian Gulf.

    Under the Atoms for Peace programme, Iran received basic nuclear research facilities from the United States. In return, Tehran signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968.

    Fuelled by high oil prices in the 1970s, Iran sought to purchase large-scale nuclear facilities from Western suppliers in order to develop nuclear power and fuel-cycle facilities with both civilian and potential military applications.

    In March 1974, the shah established the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran. Sensing a heightened risk of nuclear proliferation, the United States convinced Western allies to limit the export of nuclear fuel-cycle facilities to Iran.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Perhaps other nations have examined the evidence and decided that North Korea’s “decision” that the US reneged on the agreement is not persuasive.”


    Habb old boy, neither Russia nor China would’ve complained about the USA’s refusal to honour the agreement. Both probably didn’t want Americans involved in North Korean affairs.

    Even the likes of you a die-hard Western/Israeli apologists can see that surely.

  • BrianFujisan


    “UN initiative to protect schools in war zones vetoed by Britain”

    WTF.. Are they so immune.. after their helping to target Schools all over the M.E.. Iraq, Libya Syria, Yemen, Gazza…And still their evil ability to Still Shock us.

    Re Trident.. Remember when Former Tory Defence Minister Michael Portillo gave a damning verdict on Britain’s nuclear weapons programme on BBC This Week. In response to the question “Should Trident be renewed?”, he replied “No, I think it is all nonsense”. Then when asked “Should we have any kind of nuclear deterrent?” Portillo said, “No, it’s completely past its sell by date. It’s neither independent, because we couldn’t possibly use it without the Americans, neither is it any sort of deterrent, because now largely we are facing enemies like the Taliban and Al Quaeda, who cannot be deterred by nuclear weapons.
    It’s a tremendous waste of money. It’s done entirely for reasons of national prestige and at the margins it is proliferation”.

  • Ben-Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of Feminism

    Did the Russians ever convert their liquid-fuel to solid rockets? Those ICBM’s are heavily whiskered and would have a high percentage of failure no doubt.

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