It’s hard to believe that this level of naivete can exist in grown human beings, especially American journalists who hold themselves out as so smart and experienced. But here it is. Regarding northern Korea’s just-fired ICBM, the AP’s Foster Klug had this sort of thing:
Pyongyang may simply continue its torrid testing pace of its weapons, which, despite internal and global hype, are not yet a match for those of any of the established nuclear powers.
Testing is expensive, more so when the pace is torrid; the money is coming from somewhere. But there are no worries about that in Klug’s mind. As to the latter, it’s irrelevant. The weapons don’t have to be a match for established nuclear powers’ systems. Some of the warheads—nuclear or nuclear-triggered EMP—just have to get through. Both Little Boy and Fat Man and their delivery systems would be no match for today’s established powers’ systems; each one still devastated a city. And we’ve already seen what an accidental EMP burst did to Hawaiian cities.
Amid the speculation over what comes next, the North chose words Wednesday that suggested it was aiming to reassure, not to panic.
No, Baby Kim’s propagandists only chose words that would suck in timid or naïve journalists and “analysts” spring-loaded to see talking as the key to placating northern Korea. Never mind that talk has been tried across a multiplicity of administrations in a multiplicity of nations, and yet here we are. Never mind, too, that Baby Kim won’t be placated; he’ll just reach for more in response, as his father and grandfather did before him.
Paranoid? I’ve never bitten into an apple and seen half a worm. And today is not St Augustine’s day: we cannot absorb a nuclear first strike—especially a nuclear-triggered EMP, which needs no reentry capability—and strike back. We won’t survive that first strike.
It would be the height of immorality to sit meekly by and run the risk that Baby Kim won’t launch. It would be even more immoral to allow ourselves to be held hostage and our moves influenced, much less dictated, by a threat of nuclear strikes. Especially when those deliverables are possessed by a tempestuously mad childlike Baby Kim.
We have to act on the threatening capability, not on the rhetoric. And not on naïve assumptions about the good offices of our enemies.