Toady Turnbull, the Australian PM, is the latest Lemming to give his support for a nuclear war with North Korea. The forthcoming war will be Trump’s answer to his flagging popularity in the USA.
Make no mistake, they are talking nuclear war. Toady Turnbull said “all options are on the table” and refused to rule out military action against the recalcitrant nuclear-armed regime. Mike Loose Change Pence came up with a classic when he said “The era of strategic patience is over”, horribly reminiscent of Hitler’s Sept 1938 statement “where the Sudeten German problem is concerned, my patience is at an end.”
Toady Turnbull no doubt recalls the spirit of Gallipoli, where 8,000 Australian troops died fighting an insane campaign against the Turks because a Bosnian anarchist assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand. However, it is to be remembered that no politicians died in the First World War, and Bosnia was prevented from invading Australia.
There seems little doubt if America attacks North Korea there will be a nuclear response. There has been much talk in the press about whether North Korean nuclear missiles could hit the American Fleet or their base in Okinawa. However, it is not the Americans that would suffer badly in a nuclear exchange but their allies in South Korea. Missiles can be intercepted and bombers can be shot down, but the North Koreans have one weapon that can not be stopped. This is nuclear artillery, an old technology that has been about since the 1950s
The Koksan 170 mm Self Propelled Gun (SPG) can fire a nuclear shell to a distance of 500 kilometers. This means that more than half of South Korea will be in range without these SPGs moving across the border. Seoul is only 50 km from the border. The North could flatten Seoul with nuclear shells in a matter of minutes and there would be no defense against it.
Of course, to psychopaths like Kim, Trump and Turnbull the death of a few million Koreans does not matter at all. Trump and Turnbull can console themselves that in the forthcoming nuclear exchange no Western Politicians will be killed, and that’s the important thing isn’t it? Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Sir Robert Menzies could all sleep safe in their beds while millions of Vietnamese, tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of Australians died in the Vietnam war.
The story from the Guardian (22 April):
All options including military action are “on the table” to deal with the threat of North Korean nuclear weapons, Mike Pence has said during a trip to Australia. But the US vice-president stressed he expects China to bring its influence to bear against the regime’s nuclear ambitions.
Pence said three times during a press conference with the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, that “all options are on the table” and refused to rule out military action against the recalcitrant nuclear-armed regime.
“While all options are on the table, let me assure you the US will continue to work closely with Australian and our other allies in the region, and with China, to bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on the regime in Pyongyang until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program,” Pence said.
“But if China is unable to deal with North Korea, the United States and our allies will.”
Pence’s rhetoric was a continuation of the bombastic line he has run throughout his swing through the Pacific, visiting South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and finally, Australia.
He said a generation of “strategic patience” with the North Korean regime, under Kim Jong-Il and then his son, Kim Jong-un, had failed utterly and the Trump administration was determined to pressure North Korea to stop developing nuclear weapons.
“The era of strategic patience is over,” he reiterated.
North Korea has accused the US of warmongering on the Korean peninsula, saying the Trump administration was creating “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment”.
North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador Kim In-ryong this week said “if the US dare opt for a military action”, North Korea was “ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US”.
In Australia, Turnbull echoed the vice-president’s position, saying the responsibility for influencing North Korea lay with China, a country holding immense diplomatic and economic leverage over Kim’s regime.
Turnbull said North Korea’s “reckless and dangerous regime puts the peace and stability of our region at risk”.
The joint press conference between Turnbull and Pence was full of the usual lavish bilateral praise that accompanies a US leader’s visit to Australia. Turnbull praised the “Pax Americana” provided by long-standing US interest and intervention in the Pacific.
“And the US understand that they have no stronger, more committed, more loyal partner, ally than Australia.”
Pence said the US had no more steadfast ally than Australia, particularly in conflict, noting that Australia had fought alongside the US in every major war of the last century. “From the Coral Sea to Kandahar our friendship has been forged in the fires of sacrifice.”