The North Korea Thread


Ahh, I misunderstood what you were saying, and I agree. Understanding Chinese government strategy and intentions aren’t something we have historically been strong at, especially lately.


Yonhap News Agency: Six U.S. F-22 stealth fighter jets arrive in S. Korea for joint air drills

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) – Six U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets arrived in South Korea on Saturday for joint air drills between Seoul and Washington slated for next week in a show of force against North Korea.

The fighter planes will join the allies’ annual airborne exercise named Vigilant Ace to be held from Dec. 4-8, according to the South Korean Air Force.


If they’re stealth planes, how do we know they are there? Huh? Huh?




More to the point, how do the pilots find them? The president says they are invisible.


Well, it’s a cost-cutting measure, y’see? Can’t find 'em, can’t fly 'em, don’t use any fuel.


I think there is no chance that NK ICBM could hit a mobile target like a carrier group. Not to mention that wargead would have to get through a bunch of Aegis-equipped destroyers and cruiser.

ICBMs come from space. As far I know there is essentially nothing Aegis can do against them.


They can, though things are always iffy in that regard. Shooting a carrier group with an ICBM isn’t a super reliable idea. The Chinese are working on it, but they’ve also had missile tech for a hell of a lot longer and much better tech. And it’s still regarded as iffy in a lot of ways.

Aegis can maybe take out a DPRK ICBM at this point since they’ve been working to counter the threat from the Chinese for a while now. I’d worry about them hitting a moving carrier group if they’d ever hit anything resembling a target. The Pacific Ocean doesn’t really qualify.

Edit: It’s kind of like worry about someone sniping a dude at half a mile or more when they just got a working musket and haven’t shot at a target yet.


You know Aegis destroyers have actually shot down satellites and that was 9 years ago.


Mueller is getting traction, time to start a war.


I think that’s a LOT easier. Even if they add the ability to intercept ICBMs, my guess would be it’s during the boost phase rather than coming down.


True, but it’s not like the descent phase is likely going to be all that unpredictable. It’s not even like protecting a city at the end of the day. The safe zone is massive and the target is a postage stamp on a football field. That is moving. Also you probably don’t know exactly where the stamp is on the field. Now lob a marble onto it underhand.

The logistics are pretty huge, which is why the USSR didn’t just adopt it as an easy solution to carrier groups.

And they’re mostly talking about China. How good do you think NK’s intel and command and control are compared to a real nation’s? I doubt the North Korean Navy is going to be out there feeding telemetry back to some high-tech system in Pyongyang. Their entire navy is like… torpedo boats and some subs. They have 7 surface ships, of which the biggest are frigates. Not even destroyers, frigates. Most of their subs are like midget subs (none of them over 500 tons vs a Los Angeles displacing around 7k tons), their few ‘big’ ones are from the 50’s. I’m guessing they lack the capabilities to relay much up-to-the-second intel to an incoming ballistic missile. They’d be lucky to notify anyone that they even saw a cruise ship before it got to port.


I posted an earlier article that explained that we have the ability to shoot down ICBM both in the boost phase and in the terminal phase. Expert disagrees on how likely they are to actually work, which is why I think attempting to shoot down NK launches is a good strategy.

If we can shoot them down this puts us in a stronger negotiating position and prevents NK from gaining the confidence in their ICBM technology. If we can’t shoot them, then it is time to accept that NK is a nuclear power, with the ability to threaten the US. We don’t waste time trying to convince Pakistan, Indian to give up their nuclear and missile programs.


To be fair, for Graham it’s been time to start a war for quite a while now.


The problem with shooting down ICMBs, in this case, is that all of the good outcomes pretty much seem to rely on the warhead not being a nuke. Because, face it, all they have to do is get close with a nuke to EMP the hell out of things, even with hardening, not to mention the sheer psychological impact, which shouldn’t be underestimated.

Yeah, if we mean “hitting a carrier battle group” to mean, zeroing in on the CVN and detonating within a reasonable CEP, I’d agree it is a very long shot (literally). But in terns of messing stuff up, the missile would have be intercepted far enough away and with enough decisiveness that the payload did not detonate.Possible? Seems so. Certain? Far from it.


Given the carrier is going to be near North Korea, the idea of them detonating a nuclear weapon in the upper atmosphere near their own country would be pretty much absurd.


…but if you look up the definition of “absurd,” you’ll probably find pictures of both Kim Jong Un and Trump… Just sayin’.



Don’t get me wrong - I think ALL of us agree that use of nuclear weapons would be disastrous on an epic scale for the DPRK, and therefore makes no sense for them to do it.

However, I think that IF they got super stupid, attacking the fleet would make the most sense.

  • No direct civilian deaths to potentially limit proportional response options, while also keeping the Sword of Damocles hanging over Seoul (as if Trump would care)
  • Claim that they’re only fighting against the “US aggressors” (probably with a claim that the US attacked first… in 1950)
  • Out at sea, a more limited dispersal of fallout (it will still happen and still be awful, of course)

So I wonder if the US would still nuke the crap out of them or if we’d be limited to a conventional response. And if it’s a conventional response, would it be effective enough to stop more launches and what would China (and Russia) do? I think the notion that China would instantly invade the DPRK makes the most sense, preventing much in the way of retaliation from the US.


No matter how you slice it, it’s a shitshow. Which is one big reason why since 1953 it ain’t happened. So far.


Reverting to the technology, Aegis at one time was synonymous with the gun-based CIWS that could shoot down cruise missiles and similar slow close-in munitions. But really it’s an antiballistic missile suite that includes long-range standard missiles which do have far-off interception capabilities. I doubt they have a very high success rate against ICBMs, but then NK is unlikely to be able to execute a missile saturation attack, so I think it’s quite plausible that a carrier group could shoot down just one or two ICBMs before they could detonate. Mix in a couple of dozen decoys or live weapons and it might be more of a challenge.

However, I have no idea why they would want to target a carrier group with a nuke in the first place; it makes no political or military sense at all. And if you did want to blow up a carrier group with a single nuke, I think you would use an underwater weapon, not an ICBM.