The North Korean Sky is Falling

By Intelligence Operative Jay Holmes

On April 15, North Korea will celebrate its 68th anniversary of independence. While the Western world will barely notice the celebration, it will undoubtedly be a big occasion in North Korea. Unlike the 4th of July in the US, there will be no hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill. Maybe there will be one half of a hot dog per person at maximum, and no ketchup. Generally, celebrations in North Korea take the form of televised military and party cadre parades with a strong dose of religious worship for whichever unimaginative Kim happens to be in charge at the moment. Other than that, it will be just another miserable day in North Korea.

USGS info poster showing intensity of Feb. 12, 2013 North Korean nuclear test.

USGS info poster showing intensity of Feb. 12, 2013 North Korean nuclear test.

On February 12, 2013, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, detonating a weapon with a seven kiloton yield. Fortunately, yields from nuclear detonations are easily measured by other nations, and we know that the explosion was one-third the size of the yield of the atomic bomb that the US dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

It was hardly the massive Armageddon weapon that North Korean dictator Kim Un’s propaganda machinery described. However, it represents a technical leap forward from previous North Korean nuclear detonations, and it is sufficient yield to cause thousands of deaths in any South Korean city or US base.

This missile test was yet another predictable violation of the latest nuclear weapons agreement between North Korea and the rest of the world. Why anyone in the US government would ever believe that North Korea would hold to an agreement remains one of the more curious mysteries of US foreign policy. My suspicion is that diplomats are instructed to pretend to believe that they have some quiet agreement in place with the Kim dynasty for political value at home in the US.

Even Madeleine Albright had to know she was talking nonsense when she pretended to be giddy with the “successes” of her miserable diplomatic efforts with Kim Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, during the Clinton era. The upshot of Madeleine’s diplomatic “victory” was to exchange US aid for the assurance that North Korea would not pursue nuclear weapons. Only the staunchest of Clinton administration supporters were able to convince themselves that Madeleine’s diplomatic performance was anything more than self-delusion. Madeleine’s “work” with North Korea did, however, fulfill one critical purpose. It allowed President Clinton to pass the buck to the next administration.

No US president since Eisenhower has wanted to deal with North Korea. Bill Clinton was no exception. Every US president arrives to his first day of work with his heart and mind filled with optimistic projections of how he will build his particular version of the “great society.” These optimistic visions generally start with something like a beautiful No Child Left Behind butterfly. Those visions then end up devolving into some ugly No Corporate Donor Left Behind parasite, but that’s a topic for yet another day.

And therein lies the second motive for the North Korean Kim Machine. If the first urgent goal of the North Korean government is to convince North Koreans to remain obedient, then the second goal is to be noticed by the US White House.

North Korea desperately needs the West for two important reasons. It needs us and the rest of the world to feed them. Like any undeveloped infant, North Korea is not grown up enough to feed itself. It’s too busy playing with military toys to learn that basic survival technique. Also, the Kim Dynasty’s entire 68-year-old Kim Marketing Plan relies on the perceived great and urgent threat to North Korea from the outside world.

Any time the North Koreans can broadcast a genuine video clip of a US president uttering the words “North Korea” without having to rely on their unskilled photo-shoppers, it’s a propaganda victory. In North Korea, a day without “international tension” is like, . . . well, we can only imagine what that would be like. Who knows? It hasn’t happened yet.

North Korea has also been developing a missile that has the ability to reach Alaska. Kim claims that missile can hit Los Angeles and Austin. It can’t. In fact, it is highly unlikely that North Korean missiles could reach the US mainland as of yet. It’s also unlikely that North Korea could equip a long range missile with a light enough nuclear weapon in a reentry device that would enable delivery to US soil and detonation.

In spite of the lack of a real threat, the US Defense Department has reinforced missile defense systems on the US West Coast. That reinforcement was intended for psychological rather than tactical benefit. Precisely what, if anything, occurred as a result of the announced reinforcement is a matter that I will leave to the Defense Department to (not) talk about. That “(not) talk” session would likely consist of a terse statement that the precise details of military deployments are classified.

For folks living in South Korea and Japan, including the 63,000 US forces stationed in those two countries, the view is less comical. For one thing, North Korea has about sixty-five percent of its military at or near the border with South Korea. Thousands of artillery pieces with hundreds of thousands of shells are within range of the South Korean capital of Seoul. While some media pundits like to point out that the US and South Korea could easily wipe out that North Korean artillery, they are assuming a massive first strike by US and South Korean forces before North Korea could launch a barrage of missiles and artillery shells against Seoul and other targets. And a preemptive strike by South Korea and the US is highly unlikely.

To people living in South Korea and Japan, the clownish threats by Kim are not just rhetoric. North Korea does represent a real threat to its neighbors, and it has a long history of attacking South Korea. Remember that in March 2010, a North Korean submarine sank a South Korean Navy Corvette in South Korean waters, killing 46 South Korean sailors. The following November, North Korea shelled a South Korean island, killing three South Koreans. The South Korean island garrison responded with their artillery and killed about ten North Korean soldiers.

On March 26, 2013, after listening to a month long series of nuclear threats by North Korea, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye stated that North Korea’s only path to survival was through abandonment of its nuclear weapons program. North Korea responded by cutting its “hot-line” communications system with South Korea. Given that nobody in South Korea was ever going to believe anything that was spoken by a North Korean on that hot-line system, it hardly matters.

On March 29, Pyongyang announced, “The time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists.” It then ordered North Korean missile teams to be prepared to fire on US bases in the South Pacific. We in the US could afford to laugh, but there was less laughter in South Korea and Japan.

On March 30, North Korea stopped pretending to be on the verge of all-out war with South Korea and the US and, instead, announced that it is in an actual state of war. Fortunately, Kim has remembered that he is only pretending to be at war, and no unusual troop movements or communications have been detected in North Korea. The US responded by moving high tech F-22 Raptor fighters from Japan to South Korea. Any changes in deployment of US ballistic missile submarines in the waters of East Asia would be classified, but we may reasonably assume that, in the event of a nuclear attack by North Korea, the US would respond with strikes by US submarine launched missiles.

This morning, North Korea did something interesting. It announced the appointment of Pak Pong-Ju as the new premier. The premier would not be in the top five of the power structure in North Korea, but he would formulate and present economic policies to Kim Un. Pak was fired from his post as prime minister in 2007 after proposing some very minor U.S.-style economic policies.

This appointment is seen by Western leaders as a rare, positive bit of news from North Korea. The appointment of a North Korean who has dared to utter a few non-hateful words about the US is interpreted by some as a signal from Kim Un that he would like us to remember that he knows that he cannot hope to survive any war with South Korea and the US. It is also good news because North Korea’s most serious threat to South Korea and to its ally China is the threat of the complete economic collapse of North Korea.

While an economic collapse in North Korea might seem like a welcome possibility to distant observers, it is far less appealing to South Korea, to China, and to half of the 25,000,000 North Korean people who suffer from chronic malnourishment. China and South Korea quietly agree about two things concerning North Korea. One is that Kim Jong Un is an annoying twerp. The other is that if North Korea collapses, both South Korea and China will be flooded with millions of hungry North Koreans. Neither country wants to deal with such a large humanitarian crisis or the chaos that it would introduce inside their borders.

So what does this mean to those of us fortunate enough to not live in North Korea? It means that the US and South Korea have no choice but to remain prepared for war with North Korea. To the White House, that means annoying distractions from urgent domestic economic issues. Even the most loyal Obama lovers do not believe the White House’s recent optimistic self-assessments concerning the US economy. While Los Angeles will not be destroyed by a nuclear device from North Korea any time soon, it and the rest of the nation remain under attack by a home grown economic weapon of mass destruction. With so many foreign policy challenges to deal with in the Middle East, and so many millions of Americans slipping into poverty, Obama and the rest of the nation would prefer to not have to spend time and money dealing with North Korea.

However, Iran would love a war between the US and North Korea or between the US and any nation not named “Iran.”  To the north, Russia seems confused about what it wants in Korea. It can’t tell if a war in Korea would represent a net gain or loss to the Russian economy or to Russian foreign policy goals. The rest of the world is either unaware of the situation in Korea or simply hopes that war does not erupt there.

The greatest danger in North Korea is the possibility that, based on North Korea’s complete lack of understanding of the world outside of its borders, Kim Jong Un and his hard line pals in the North Korean military might miscalculate and trigger an all-out war. This morning’s announcement of their selection of a new “pro-Western” premier may indicate that, in lieu of a reasonable diet, Kim urgently needs to keep feeding his own subjects a heavy diet of war propaganda, but that he hopes that the US continues to not take him too seriously.

Yet in his confusion about the world outside of North Korea, Kim apparently feels that the only way to be taken seriously is to remain a military threat. He wants to be taken seriously enough to rate bribes from the rest of the world in the form of desperately needed food and oil shipments. My estimate is that North Korea wishes to remain one inch from that threatened war, but wants the US and South Korea to remain able to accurately measure that ever important last inch. In an ironic twist of any intelligence service’s basic goal, North Korea desperately wants everyone outside of North Korea to know more about their intentions than their own people know at home.

So far, North Korea’s war rhetoric has not been matched by military moves. Let’s hope it remains that way.

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“Jay Holmes” is a man with experience in intelligence and covert operations who spent decades intimately involved in fighting the Soviets, the East Germans, and the various terrorist organizations they sponsored. Now, he is a Senior Mouseketeer in the intelligence community, and he writes spy thrillers with author Piper Bayard. Piper is the public face of their partnership. Their first spy thriller, APEX PREDATOR: THE LEOPARD OF CAIRO, is due out this fall through Stonehouse Ink Publishing.

For more about Jay Holmes, see No Room for Fragile Egos–A Spook’s World.

102 comments on “The North Korean Sky is Falling

  1. You hit several nails on the head- Kim has no idea what the world outside is like, those of us in striking distance are scared stiff as various forms of explosive devices are thrown back and forth routinely and don`t make international headlines, and finally – and this is good news- the Chinese can`t afford to have North Korea trigger a war for many reasons. Unfortunately living in the strike zone makes one pray for sane politicians.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Emily. Any plan that depends on sane politicians requires fantastic optimism. Fortunately, the less noble but more common instincts for survival and greed may prevent NK from carelessly going too far. We already know that they don’t for a second believe their own propaganda; we just need them to not miscalculate in their provocations.

      May you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.

    • Yes,the tension can be felt. Actually, Kim knows the outside world quite well, having spent his entire schooling in a private school in Switzerland. That may be what makes him sweat – and hold back.

      • Jay Holmes says:

        Hi Yerpirategunn. I estimate that Kim understands the outside world well enough to know how nonsensical his own statements are but that he and his babysitters do not understand how Westerners will react to present and future North Korean provocations.

        The North Koreans seem to be operating on the theory that “If A=B and B=C then D= A+B+C” . Since from their perspective in 1968 they didn’t pay a price for the commando raid on the South Korean presidential palace or the hijacking of the USS Pueblo and since they didn’t pay a price for the sinking of The Cheonan in 2010 then they may more easily miscalculate the effects of their present threats and possible future actions.

        • The North Korean perspective relates only to the humiliation they received during the Korean war, in that their territory was basically flattened. We are basically, and rightly baiting them easily as much if not more than they are provoking. Incidents mentioned are insignificant, and young Un is already folding, having just appointed a more conciliatory prime minister. A fair assessment is that Un is stress-prone, reflected in his ballooning weight.We are not innocent in all of this – and nor should we be, by any means!

          • Jay Holmes says:

            There are folks that get paid to do nothing more than assess Un from a variety of perspectives, and based on a lot more than his weight, they agree with you. You are a pretty cunning pirate.

  2. tomwisk says:

    It’s nice to see China and South Korea agreeing on something. Un is the Justin Beiber of the diplomatic world. He believes he can draw enough attention to himself by acting up. Justin can go through airport security shirtless, get a monkey for a pet and pose in a hospital bed showing his BVDs. He’s still an asshat. Un can show reruns of marching soldiers, weapons being fired and his militia shooting at targets made to look like American GIs. He’s still an asshat. You deal with asshats by ignoring them and when they get too much to take you step on them. Un may have his Army on “Combat Alert” but I don’t think he’s too quick on the draw.

  3. Diana Beebe says:

    Thanks for this perspective. You know they are out of touch with reality when The Onion called his father the sexiest man alive and they ran with it.

    A friend of mine had a younger brother–the only and honored son–who could do no wrong in their parents’ eyes. The kid was trouble and had no discipline from the beginning. He had no clue how to behave with other humans, because his parents gave him everything and let him get away with anything. Where is this “honored” son now? In prison, because he couldn’t play nice as an adult either.

    Un reminds me of that kid. It doesn’t end well for somebody….

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Diana. The grandfather was a vicious psychopath who did his best to install a mind control system in North Korea and set himself up as a God. The father was a vicious psychopath who tried to further develop North Korea as a state of obedient worshipers. Now we have the third generation.

  4. Dave says:

    A lot of wars have started over something very small, a miscalculation on the part of one person that triggers a chain of events that spirals out of control. Slow-motion train wreck, as it were.

    I sincerely hope that not everyone in North Korea with any influence over Dear Leader Du Jour is completely clueless.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Dave. The sad thing about Un and his baby-sitters is that they are giddy with what they consider to be past “successes.” They have carried out some very horrible provocations in the past and gotten away with it unscathed.

      The White House is claiming that they will not tolerate another attack on South Korea and several government spokesmen have made it clear that if there is another war in Korea, we intend to “make it the last one.”

  5. Shantnu says:

    North Korea is the clown of the region – a clown armed with nukes. I can never decide if I should laugh at their antics or not.

    It’s strange – South Korea is a highly developed and industrialised country, while just a few miles across, North Koreans are living in abject poverty.

    North Korea is like unexploded ordinance(the sort that was left in many European houses after WW2)- you get used to it. You know it’s dangerous, but after some time you get careless around it, forgetting it can blow up in your face any time.

  6. Jay Holmes says:

    Hi Shantnu. “You know it’s dangerous, but after some time you get careless around it, forgetting it can blow up in your face any time.” Great point.

  7. Hi Holmes.

    Yes, lets hope they don’t do anything else more significant militarily. Unfortunately they are inching their way to bigger and bigger weapons and thats a pretty densely populated part of the world.

    You interview was a laugh though. they only time I’ve driven anything over steps it got stuck!


    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Nigel. There seems to be a shifting mood in the White House and congress this week. It seems that some folks are feeling like it’s best to settle this before they get any better at assembling nuclear weapons. Even the lowest grade of nuclear detonation would be a nightmare in Seoul.

      China clearly senses and understands that shift in the center of political gravity in the US. Let’s hope that they can convince Baby Kim’s aunt and the other ringleaders that their really is a point at which the US and SK will act with force.

  8. I hope Un learns to shut up. Otherwise, he’s going to find that no amount of worship for his family and no amount of bravado can stop a preemptive strike on the part of S. Korea and the US, which is what I predict will happen if he doesn’t learn.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi rami. You might be right. I hope it doesn’t go that far, but Un seems to lack impulse control or is at least parroting the bravado line that his aunt and his other babysitters prepare for him.

      • Well, he’s got to fill some very big shoes. So on the one hand it’s understandable why this oversized 12-year-old is spoiling for a fight, but on the other hand, you have to worry about what it will lead him too.
        Most likely a very ugly end.

  9. Thanks for calling Un a twerp. To name is to have power over. Now I can sleep at nigh!

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Carol. If you knew what my editor knows about my “words” you might not sleep so well after all. In the meantime, I’m glad that we could help you with a good night’s sleep. Right now, I could use one myself.

  10. You made several interesting points…from a blogging perspective, have you considered using headers to break up the text. Nevertheless, it is an outstanding and very thorough piece.

    Here’s an idea to ponder…what if the North Korean people are on the verge of overthrowing the fat clowns that are keeping them imprisoned and impoverished, and North Korea needs to manufacture this crisis to keep its people “unified”.

    Rather than flying bombs, I’d love to see us drop some leaflets on the North (like they dropped on us when I was stationed there in the mid 1990s. Here’s a starter leaflet…”Come to Pusan, it’s beautiful here and there is plenty of food” would be a good starter.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Little Bird’s Dad.

      “Here’s an idea to ponder…what if the North Korean people are on the verge of overthrowing the fat clowns that are keeping them imprisoned and impoverished, and North Korea needs to manufacture this crisis to keep its people “unified”…”

      This is the very premise on which the Kim dynasty has operated on since day one.

  11. cmeneses0385 says:

    I am such a dork! I can’t read or see anything related to Kim without thinking in 30 Rock!

  12. catchersrule says:

    Ungh – thanks for posting this update; here on the other side of the country (east coast) we’re thankfully far from the Emperor’s New Nukes, but even so, it’s disturbing (though not unbelievable), that he’s following in his dad & granddad’s footsteps. Someday, he’s going to make a big mistake and then that’ll be a rough time coming. Though I think this might actually be the first war that really IS short; if EVERYBODY in that land except maybe very high up people are living in such poverty and can’t therefore get enough to eat, then out of those 25 million, how many could be strong enough to fight and survive during a long battle? Your humor at the start has a ring of ironic truth to it.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Catchersrule. about half of NK’s population is malnourished. In support of their single strategy of regime survival, NK has pursued a “military first” economy. We won’t see overweight NK soldiers under the rank of Colonel, but their rank and file soldiers live with a harsh training regimen. Without access to outside information, they have lived on a life long diet of heavy brainwashing.

      In my opinion, the average SK soldier is more capable than the average NK soldier, but there are approximately 1.02 million North Koreans on active duty and about 8 million trained reservists eligible for call up. Although North Korea suffers from insufficient and outdated equipment, they still represent a serious dangerous to South Korea and Japan. Even if they did not employ their nuclear and suspected biological weapons, they can still inflict serious damage on South Korea. We cannot be sure of how many deep cover “sleepers” North Korea has been able to install in South Korea. Conversely, we can’t know how many of the deep cover agents would act on their orders. A few years of living in the relative freedom of South Korea may have quenched their patriotic zeal for the Kim dynasty.

      If war breaks out in Korea, it could very well be a very bloody one.

  13. susielindau says:

    Congrats Jay! Freshly Pressed!
    Great article. It is amazing how the smallest countries strike the greatest fear these days…

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Susie. Thank you. Andorra La Vella, Paraguay, and Bhutan are all small in land mass, but they are large in intellect and adult thinking. Come to think of it, I wish I were having lunch in Andorra tomorrow.

  14. davidatqcm says:

    That a nuclear missile may not reach the US mainland is a strategic advantage to the Nth Koreans. Were one or several launched the retaliatory response would be to say the least piquant.
    Not attacked, the rockets would fall harmlessly into the sea. Attacked and destroyed would be seen as a provocation, as well as a damn fine fireworks display.
    Nth Korean’s options are to not suicide by attacks on achievable targets, eg Guam etc.. The sinking of the Sth Korean destroyer shows the impotency of the US and Sth Korea.

    We underestimate Nth Korean cleverness at our peril

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi David. Thank you for your interesting perspective. “The sinking of the Sth Korean destroyer shows the impotency of the US and Sth Korea.

      We underestimate Nth Korean cleverness at our peril”

      North Korea did not sink a destroyer. They sank a corvette. While underestimating the North Korean “cleverness” would be difficult to do, underestimating their ability to be destructive and their lack of normal adult reasoning capabilities would indeed make life more dangerous for people in South Korea and Japan as well as for the many Koreans that suffer the miserable fate of being born in North Korea.

      The US Navy is easily the most potent navy in the world. My hope is that that potency will not be tested.

  15. ardenrr says:

    Great post! Most people that comment on the ‘North Korea Situation’ are just saying they aren’t worried about the US getting hit, especially since we live on the East Coast. I’m glad to see some people aren’t only worried about the US! I have a friend in South Korea now and many friends in the military. Let’s hope Kim stays within that inch!

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Thank you Ardenrr. I love your glasses 🙂
      Children everywhere deserve something better than war.

  16. Vicki Chavis says:

    I realize that when you see the satellite view of NK at night, it’s utterly dark. Internet access is of course denied. How can we get information to the people who’ve suffered so long under the hands of dictators? Dropping leaflets sounds good but over a no-fly zone? What are our options for opening their minds, Jay?

    Great blog, btw!

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Vicki. Thank You. I agree with your thinking, but I am no expert in the area of “opening their minds.” As strange as this seems, contact with even the Chinese has a big influence on North Koreans. Who would have thought that spending time in China could open one’s mind to more liberal government?

      It seems to me that the rest of the region and the West have tried to pursue what you are suggesting but with very limited success. From what I have heard, North Koreans typically lose their state religion very quickly when given the opportunity to do so.

      I have never personally worked with escapees from North Korea so my information on them is second-hand.

    • pjbrez says:

      There have been South Korean activists who have used oversized balloons to float propaganda leaflets over and into North Korea. They’ll also send radios and cell phones so that the North Koreans who find them can contact the outside world.

  17. segmation says:

    Let’s hope for peace in this area! Hopefully in my lifetime!

  18. Julie Glover says:

    Once again, I feel ever so blessed to be born in the U.S…and not a country like North Korea under the rule of a crazy villain. My heart goes out to the people under his thumb. Your analysis is so helpful in knowing what’s going on there.

  19. It’s just after 5.30am in the UK and whilst reading about the threat of another (potential) global crisis isn’t a good partner of strong tea and a croissant, your piece was excellent reading. It’s absolutely nailed the facts, the confusion and the local effects of the current situation, at the same time providing a nod to the US economic woes.
    From my perspective, I guess a majority of UK citizens are aware of a bubbling pot in North Korea, but it’s just another piece of white noise at a time if great challenges in day to day life in the country. What I think your article hints at is something that’s being missed from many other news articles – that’s the global fiscal tsunami that would result from any ballistic based war of whatever hue and with whichever ‘superpower’.
    The western economic position is so fragile that the loss of confidence caused by ‘seismic activity’ in the target range of North Korea would lead to many more tremors that undoubtedly would affect us all. It won’t be just the borders of China and South Korea that will be bulging with the poor and needy.
    Finally, some of us can recall the ‘protect and survive’ era of the 70’s and 80’s and the ‘build a shelter in the backyard’ leaflets that had us all living in perpetual gloom from a metaphorical mushroom cloud – I don’t think we want a return to this anytime soon. What still is relevant are the words I heard in my childhood – “the survivors would envy the dead”. Let us all hope we’re not faced with this renewed Cold War spectre – ever.

    David Oxendale

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi David. Thank you for pointing out the economic factors that have been true in South Korea since the Kims showed up. You are right that the economic tsunami now has a potentially greater range.

      Good leadership in North America and Europe could prevent that tsunami. Given the poor job that North American and European governments have done in dealing with economic forces in the last twenty years, I’m not feeling very cheerful about the possibilities.

      We here in the USA won’t even stop ourselves from buying the wildly overpriced, unreliable junk that arrives on our shores from communist China every day.

      The trade imbalance with Japan that the USA endured for so many years was clearly unwise, but now seems trivial compared with out current trade practices. Our current plastic addiction has us now supporting the economy of China while gutting our own industrial infrastructure. Add in our lust for petroleum and the overall picture is even uglier.

      That same addiction that we happily continue with China via their few well paid local “street dealers” here in the US helps prop up Kim in North Korea.

      ““the survivors would envy the dead”. Let us all hope we’re not faced with this renewed Cold War spectre – ever.” I agree completely.

  20. william wallace says:

    Written by well brainwashed americans as commented upon by well brainwashed americans whom truly // all living in the “Twilight Zone”.

    USA govts carried out for decades chemical warfare on americans
    as on people’ worldwide via tobacco and it’s highly added addictive
    chemicals killing millions of americans / as killing millions worldwide.

    Tobacco companoes having a yearly turnover of $billions in profits
    with which they have easly afforded fund political parties / as fund
    politicians of their choice via a media of telivision as newespapers
    & radio which they own a large share / it they deciding govt policy
    they decide which party in govt they decide whom being president.
    american people having been stripped of all rights / any individual
    can be arrested /no triall no jury but simply left rot in a prison cell
    where deprived of all rights / where torture now being accepted by
    the courts /that being military courts / if any ever being put to trial.

    At least the people of North Korea can stand proud / that they are
    still a free people / a people whom would rather die than bow unto
    USA terrorist govt’s or bow unto USA terrorist military forces / USA
    govt’s as military forces whom have slaughtered millions of people
    worldwide causing destruction suffering in bringing a river of tears.

    Americans be so brainwashed by govt 24/7 media they having no
    true understanding of reality / they but dwell in the “Twilight Zone”
    in their own little world of illusion / having made themselves Gods
    thus see others as mere mortals / to hunt as kill for entertainment.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t normally approve comments that are clearly from propaganda departments; however, this is an excellent example of the bizarre effects of Chinese and North Korean indoctrination about the West. We only wish we could invite this author to spend a week with us visiting Western supermarkets and national parks.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi William. Thank you for so effectively providing a North Korean perspective, It’s hard for most Westerners to imagine what so many decades of information control and brain washing can do to a society in a brutal police state like North Korea.

      Your words will help a few more Westerners understand the terrible human suffering in North Korea. I hope that one day you and all North Koreans will be able to escape the grim reality that you now suffer.

    • william wallace says:

      Your have a good sense of humor and that under the
      present cicumstances to be admired and acknowleged.

      I will write a further comment later unto the true
      need of american people’s as to the worlds peoples
      in finding and knowing true peace /thus fulfilling
      the purpose of creation the purpose of being alive.

  21. akhenkhan says:

    So that’s where Chicken Licken lives – North Korea!!!

  22. […] The North Korean Sky is Falling. […]

  23. typicalraine says:

    I’m just hoping that North Korea would soon realize that their crazy plan of bringing down South Korea is impossible. Really, the ruler of North Korea should think more of what’s going to be best for their people. He should focus more on helping his people rather than on making them obedient to him. The only way that he can win the obedience of his people is through helping him.
    Anyways, I’m still hoping for the best for NoKor.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Typicalraine. I just visited your blog. Wow, I was shocked when I read your “About” and discovered that you are 15. Writing with Piper Bayard is my hobby and my “day job” keeps me focused on some of our world’s least desirable vacation destinations. Visiting your blog was a very nice vacation for my brain.

      “Really, the ruler of North Korea should think more of what’s going to be best for their people.” I agree and will elaborate by saying that I think that this statement applies to all those in positions of power around the world. North Korea just presents a more severe case. Political despotism seems to be a matter of “degree”.

      Visiting your blog made my day. I hope that others will check out your poetry. It’s great to see someone of high school age already doing such a fantastic job as a writer. I don’t have grandchildren yet (and my children stubbornly resist the concept) but if you were my granddaughter I’d be bragging about you to all my pals.

      Keep Writing! The world needs your words.

  24. […] This blog post does a great job out outlining the situation. This also highlights why NorK feels the need to make empty threats at least once a year. By staying in the media, they’re able to show to their people that “they’re still being threatened by the outside” and that their “fearless” leader must save them! And while these threats have escalated as of late, I still don’t believe there will be an all out war. Again, that would be suicide for the country. I’m sure they are well aware of that (possibly why they’ve been all talk and no walk with past threats as it is). […]

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hello Pennies and Narwhals. I agree with your perspective.

      Thank you for kindly including us in your very well presented blog.

      I offer my humble best wishes you and all the good people of Korea.

  25. william wallace says:

    Only sensible comment mine and that has been removed
    such in telling /informs americans simply can’t face
    reality rather they stay in a state illusion fantasy.

    It an sad situation as a dangerous situation for the
    the reat of the world in americans not willing learn
    they are not willing to engage the brain / thus free
    themselves from illusion thus via true understanding
    begin to open the heart / in bringing light bringing
    compassion into a dark world which all being trapped.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Hi William. Your comment was approved and answered. I hope you will be able to come visit some day.

      • william wallace says:

        Piper / I can stand against injustice as all such wrongs of the world yet I have no defence against
        love. With a few words your having defeated me, I
        am but upon my knees reduced to a humbled servant.

        • Piper Bayard says:

          If it is true you are my humbled servant, William, then I command you to come meet us for yourself, if you can. It’s a simple fact that most Americans these days couldn’t find North Korea on a map, much less do we wish you or your people any harm. Aggression only attracts most of us in the form of computer games, and we resent having to turn them off long enough to go to a real war. Our country certainly has its issues, but they center around overeating and an educational system that refuses to hold students accountable for their work and behavior. There is a reason we have more immigrants than we can efficiently absorb into our society. I hope some day you and your family can be among them.

          • william wallace says:

            Piper / With every beath you take I’m with you
            it not that I fail in my duty / it is that you
            are too busy to notice acknowledge my presence.

            Thus the comment living in the “Twilight Zone”.

            I will write a further comment soon as how all
            can escape the “Twilight Zone” thus all coming
            to terms with reality not dwelling in illusion.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi William. How soon can you visit? I will give you a personal tour and introduce you to some real Westerners.

      • william wallace says:

        Jay / I’ll sharpen my sword and dagger…

        • Jay Holmes says:

          Okay. I am looking forward to your visit. We have lots of food here. Feel free to bring your entire family.

          • william wallace says:

            Jay / my entire family consists of all nations
            all people’s of all faiths / america is but an
            little small for / all in gatheing at one time
            however such a welcoming offer gladly received

  26. thevallog says:

    How many of North Korea’s tanks and AFVs do you suppose are actually in A1 running order? Not that it matters much – if they ever tried to use them it would be like shooting frogs in a barrel for S.Korean/US air forces – provided of course they can protect their airbases from surprise attack.
    I think your overall assessment is spot on – that “Fat Brother” (aka Kim Jong-un) needs to ramp up the internal hysteria for Orwellian internal reasons (and to suck up to his generals) without actually bringing down Armageddon on his head.
    But as Andrea Berger of the Royal United Services Institute points out:

    “This concerning pattern occurs in the absence of any regular engagement between the US and North Korea. Should it persist, the risk of miscalculation by either side will rise.

    North Korea could read a future US move incorrectly and determine that an imminent and existential threat to the regime exists – then choose to pre-empt it. Or, if too many of its bluffs are called, Pyongyang may feel that its rhetoric no longer deters. It may decide that more aggressive action is needed to match its words.”

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hello Thevallog.

      “…’Should it persist, the risk of miscalculation by either side will rise’…”

      To your point, one US Congressman from our opposition party has openly stated that a preemptive strike against North Korean military assets will be justified if it becomes clear to the USA that an attack by North Korea is imminent.

      On the surface, it may seem like an offhand angry statement by the opposition. I doubt that it is. It’s more likely carefully choreographed cooperation between the White House and the Republican leadership. My guess is that the cooperation was facilitated by members of the Intelligence and Defense Committees.

      This was likely a signal from Republican leadership asking their followers to be prepared to accept an escalation and back up the White House along with Democrats. It was also a message to those people who are most carefully studying US news reports and blogs these days (North Korean government employees). The intended message to North Korea is that they should not count on political discord or peace activists in the USA to prevent a first strike.

      The fact that NK leaders understand so little about the world outside of North Korea greatly complicates the task of avoiding war with them.

  27. Reblogged this on My Thoughts Uncensored and commented:
    Really good relevant content on the situation in North Korea. For those concern themselves with small things such as WW3.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hello Vishnu. Thank you for kindly reblogging us.

      Let us not give up hope that WW3 will be avoided.

  28. Very relevant article. There are far too many influences to what happens in North Korea. Too many nations vested with interests in the region. As in Russia, China and the USA. Granted no one wants a nuclear war military intervention may be the needed if only as the last resort. You really can not put it beyond N Korea to actually use the Nuclear warheads they have.

    Isn’t the UN/ NATO/EC supposed rule on issues like these before it becomes a full blown catastrophe ? Their acquiescence can attributed only to disinterest and with the stakes as high as they are now, can they really afford to not be pro active in seeking out a solution military or otherwise?

  29. jackgoldberg says:

    Well organized and well written. I think this post is right on regarding the situation. Thanks!

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Thank you for your kind assessment.

      I enjoyed your article on your blog concerning the Republican party.

  30. pjbrez says:

    I really enjoyed this read and feel it’s spot on. I live in a southern suburb of Seoul. It’s amazing how indifferent most South Koreans seem to be about the current situation. I feel they’re used to tolerating aggression from the North. I was here when Yeonpyeong was shelled and the Cheonan Corvette was torpedoed and sunk in 2010. Sure, Koreans seemed a bit tense at those times, but that mood quickly faded. People went about their business and continued living day to day. This is the current atmosphere in Korea that I’ve come to see. People wake up, go to work as normal, perhaps enjoy dinner and drinks at night. What else would one expect from a culture on the verge of war?

    Koreans are resilient folks, having to defend their land numerous times through history, even being occupied and brutalized by the Japanese for 35 years. After tremendous economical growth, the last thing most Koreans want to do is go to war. They can’t be bothered. So they put up with the North’s violent outbreaks and threats because actually going to war, uniting the countries, and taking over means a huge economic hit. Despite knowing that their own blood across the border is suffering and starving, most are unwilling to do anything about it. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs, and I find that no unification will come without violence. Anyhow, let’s hope that North Korea eases up a bit and we can go on living peacefully.

    • Jay Holmes says:

      Hi Pjbrez. Thank you for the compliment.

      “What else would one expect from a culture on the verge of war?” Your description of South Korea sounds like a description of life in Singapore AFTER the Japanese had already landed at Kota Baru and captured most of the peninsula.

      South Koreans probably expect that terrible casualties will come with any renewed warfare, but unlike the colonials in Singapore in February of 1942, most South Koreans expect that, after absorbing those terrible losses South Korea would prevail against the North Korean military machine.

      Like most South Koreans I am hoping that a major war can be avoided.

  31. Thank you for your clear summary of the issues that a non military strategist can follow.

  32. Greg Probst says:

    Very informative and I thank you for sharing. I feel like I have a much tighter grasp on the situation as a result.

  33. Jay Holmes says:

    Thank you for your kind assessment Greg. I hope that your filmmaking career continues well.

  34. As someone living in South Korea, I sincerely hope that no one (or no Kim) does anything stupid to ignite the whole powder keg. From where I stand, it would be a huge lose-lose scenario.

  35. […] a congratulation to Holmes for being Freshly Pressed this past Wednesday. The North Korean Sky is Falling. Some excellent discussions in the comments, including a few remarks from a North Korean gentleman […]

  36. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Apropos the North Korean situation – I am kind of glad I live in the southern hemisphere & out of the northern wind systems. One hopes that they are not stupid enough to (re)start their war. I think a lot of what they’re doing is driven by brinksmanship (foolishly), but to me a lot of the rhetoric is also symptomatic of the way totalitarian regimes collapse – characterised by an increasing divorce from reality and dalliance with foreign ventures. The wider problem, I fear, is that whichever way things go, there will be a huge humanitarian crisis – either because of renewed warfare; or because if their regime collapses, the problem of having to deal with their starving populace will certainly fall upon South Korea and, thence, likely the west. A bad situation all round, and we can but hope that a way will be found to navigate out of this morass of lose-lose scenarios, Uh – somehow.

  37. Smplefy says:

    Just got off the cruise and really appreciate this report.

  38. mattblackwellmetro says:

    Very interesting analysis of what many feel could be the next Cuban Missile Crisis. The shred of comfort we can gain from this is that any regime sufficiently calculating to play at the brink of warfare without entering overt conflict must also be sufficiently aware that it will be utterly destroyed if it does cross the line. Method in their madness? Friggin’ well hope so!

  39. Joseph C Kim says:

    The sad reality is that most people living in North Korea have no idea what is really happening in the rest of the world. Imagine living in a sheltered, isolated culture where information is filtered and changed to distort reality.

  40. william wallace says:

    The purpose of creation of the human frame being that
    via heart brain comes understanding as experience….

    Such understanding experience answering all questions
    to life as universe /it’s purpose be the ultimate aim.

    One reaches a stage where further needed understanding
    as experience comes only from meditation / one turning
    the senses inwards in having very practical experience
    of the power of creation thus clarity in understanding.

    Throughout the history of humanity there always being
    a “Teacher of Teachers” whom will then guide aid when
    one reaching such stage meditation is needed in their
    further understanding /thus completion of the journey
    in answering questions unto life of it’s ultimate aim.

    Present time such “Teacher of Teachers” is Prem Rawat
    Prem has dedicated his life in being the aid as guide
    to all in reaching an stage where meditation required
    for the vital needed understanding experience of life.

    On one’s PC search put (words of peace ) or (words of
    peace global) on site an selection of videos in which
    Prem explains meditation / as the open offer to guide
    as aid all whom be prepared for such stage upon their
    learning /in gain of knowledge as their understanding
    of life /which be complete in one knowing the creator
    complete in clarity of understanding such the purpose
    of creation one going beyond ideas beleifs to knowing
    and knowing there’s no conflict / only that of peace.

  41. Gerry Charb says:

    Man over time has crawled out of the cave, became civilized, socialized, mechanized , terrorized, politicised and at times revolutionized. No matter how much his religious,political and economic doctrines and beliefs have evolved he is still a creature seeking the comfort of the cave. Humanity publicly fears that an alien race armed with Unidentified Flying Objects and weapons as yet undreamed of will lay waste to the planet. We should be more concerned about countries on our own planet wielding atomic weapons and military might based on archaic philosophical ramblings and jingoistic beliefs and tenets. May sanity always prevail in the end.

    • william wallace says:

      Gerry / at the top of such list should be the USA
      a nation whose govts have long since stopped being servants of the people and having made themselves master of their people / and now try mastering all nations through torture murder injustice suffering.

      Such situation where one nation masters the world
      is not achievable /which history teaches it being
      a USA does not learn from history /it too busy in
      trying to make history thus they in having had to
      learn the hard way as other nations through times
      having had to learn. It being as always such same lesson. The nations wealth is being ploughed into
      it’s ever expanding military forces / over a time
      the nations social structure / being ever starved
      of funding starts to collapse / the people’s turn
      agin their govt in turn govt turns their military
      against their own people /rather than they being
      the master race /they can’t even feed or provide
      the basic minimum services for the people’s need.

      Such being the present state of the USA a nation
      but lost in the “Twilight Zone” whom need return
      to reality before more acts of mass murder being
      carried out /the suffering the injustice already
      great thus it be common sense need /must prevail.

      Nations need abide by domestic as international
      law / such should be respected as the rights of
      all people’s all nations respected. / It should
      not be that one nation can just murder /plunder
      as please using its military might to terrorize
      such action behaviour being born where greed of
      wealth greed of power but corrupts /in blinding
      to the wrong as great injustice that then done.

  42. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  43. Great stuff. I lived in Seoul, South Korea for 4 years, and my wife is Korean. Most residents of the south tend to ignore his rhetoric (most meaning 99%.) I truly wonder what would occur if he did have a lapse in judgment and fire an artillery barrage…

  44. observastory says: (I’ve nominated you! Please see the rules on my page to get involved!)

  45. screenshot says:

    Reblogged this on Screenshots News and commented:
    This discovery is re-blogged two weeks late, as the North Korean holiday was in mid April, but the author has many interesting things to note about the dismal history between North Korea and the rest of the free world. I thought readers would enjoy his take on the issue.

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