Wars and Rumours of Wars

Wars and Rumours of Wars
Vol: 15 Issue: 28 Saturday, December 28, 2002

Unlike the situation in Iraq, there is pretty much global concensus where the North Korean nuclear threat is concerned. The European Union didn’t waste any time condemning Pyongyang, issuing a call for the North Koreans to ‘back off’ on its plans to reactivate its nuclear program.

South Korea sent envoys to Beijing and Moscow, hoping they would use their influence to get Pyongyang to reverse course. China and Russia are the only two major countries to have diplomatic relations with North Korea, which as the most closed society on earth.

The global response to North Korea is different from that of Iraq in only one respect. Saddam MIGHT have nuclear weapons . ..maybe.

But North Korea has ’em NOW.

Security experts believe North Korea made one or two nuclear weapons using plutonium it extracted from the Yongbyon reactor in the 1990s. Now there are fears it will reprocess plutonium fuel rods that were separated from the Yongbyon reactor, and later stored under supervision by IAEA inspectors.

“They’re going to be able to build four to five additional nuclear weapons within months if they begin that reprocessing operation,” Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said during a broadcast interview.

Biden, the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agreed the North Korean nuclear issue was a greater threat to U.S. interests than Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.


The news that North Korea might resume producing nuclear weapons introduces a new threat many times more dangerous than the current situation with Iraq. That isn’t to say that Iraq isn’t a threat and doesn’t need to be dealt with.

But compared to North Korea, Saddam is merely a nuisance. His arsenal of weapons of mass destruction are potent, but limited in scope.

While Iraq could supply chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaeda, neither Saddam or the al-Qaeda jihadists have an effective means of delivery.

The North Koreans have the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead to a target five thousand miles away. All of Europe is within reach of Pyongyang, as is Japan and the extreme west coast of Alaska.

And the North Koreans are as likely to supply al-Qaeda with a nuclear weapon as Saddam is to give them biological or chemical weapons.

A terrorist with a chemical or biological agent would have the potential to kill thousands.

A terrorist with a nuclear weapon is almost unthinkable.

This is the scenario, assuming a 1 kiloton ground blast somewhere in the United States. Let’s select Niagara Falls, since it is the world’s most recognizable address.

A strike against Niagara Falls would reverberate around the globe, and it is a soft target, since it borders with Canada.

Suppose a suicide jihadist detonated a nuclear device hidden in the trunk of his car somewhere beside the Falls?

Where the mighty Niagara once roared majestically, there is a crater 200 feet deep and 1000 feet in diameter.

For comparison, the water going over the falls drops 166 feet into the Niagara Gorge. The entire Falls is less than a thousand feet across, so it is entirely obliterated.

Nothing recognizable remains within about 3,200 feet (0.6 miles) from the center, except, perhaps, the remains of some buildings’ foundations.

At 1.7 miles, only some of the strongest buildings — those made of reinforced, poured concrete — are still standing. Ninety-eight percent of the population in this area are dead.

The Niagara Falls power generating plant is gone. Much of the Eastern seaboard of the United States has gone dark. Within a circle of 2.7 miles, virtually everything is destroyed.

The walls of typical multi-story buildings, including apartment buildings, have been completely blown out. The bare, structural skeletons of more and more buildings rise above the debris as you approach this ring. Single-family residences within this this area have been completely blown away — only their foundations remain.

Fifty percent of the population in this area are dead. Forty percent are injured. Both cities of Niagara Falls on both sides of the border are utterly destroyed.

Within a radius of 4.7 miles, any single-family residences that have not been completely destroyed are heavily damaged. The windows of office buildings have been blown away, as have some of their walls.

The contents of these buildings’ upper floors, including the people who were working there, are scattered on the street. A substantial amount of debris clutters the entire area. Five percent of the population in this ring are dead. Forty percent are wounded.

At 7.4 miles in all directions from what was the mighty Niagara, residences are moderately damaged. Commercial buildings have sustained minimal damage. Twenty-five percent of the population in this ring have been injured, mainly by flying glass and debris.

Many others have been injured from thermal radiation — the heat generated by the blast. The remaining seventy-five percent are unhurt.

That is based on a one-kiloton nuclear detonation with Niagara Falls at Ground Zero, according to information released in a 1979 government report entitled “The Effects of Nuclear War”.

The nuclear suitcases that went missing in 1991 from the former Soviet Union have a yield of 0.6 megatons. They weigh about sixty pounds and it is rumored that bin Laden may have bought as many as twenty of them from Chechen rebels.

North Korea currently has plutonium enough to construct four or five one kiloton nuclear devices that would fit in a car trunk.

This scenario, as horrible as it is, is entirely plausible, which is why the global reaction to the North Korean threat was instantaneous and unequivocal.

I’d like to be optimistic for 2003. But it doesn’t look good. It is highly likely that the war with Iraq could begin before the ball has reached he bottom of Times Square.

And equally likely that sometime in 2003, war will again come to the Korean peninsula.

And maybe to America.

This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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