Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 30, 2017

North Korea: "The Missile Program Is Now Complete"

Last night the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched another nuclear capable missile. It was a new type never shown before. Its name is Hwasong-15 and it is a beauty.


The new missile is huge. Note Kim Jong Il in his black coat on the left. He is 5'7 or 1.70 meters. The transporter-erector vehicle with the missile must be nearly 20' or 6 meters high and the missile must have a diameter of 2+ meters.


The vehicle is a modified copy of a Chinese WS51200. North Korea once bought 5 or 6 of these to "haul lumber from the mountains". All were of course used as missile transporters. A ninth axle has been added to the original design to carry the additional load of the huge missile and its firing table. The vehicle is not a TEL, a transporter, erector and launcher, but a TE. The missile is erected and set vertical on the firing table. The vehicle is removed for the launch.

The first guestimates for the total weight of the missile currently vary between 45 and 60 metric tons. I believe it is a bit more. My thumb-rule says that a heavy military truck can haul 10 metric tons of cargo per axle. Nine axles times 10 minus the weight of the firing table and the erector system could leave some 70 tons for the missile. They did not add the ninth axle for nothing.

The missile looks like a Titan II missile shrunken by 30%. The Titan II was U.S. intercontinental nuclear missile developed in the 1960s. It is not the most modern concept but solid.

The new missile has two engines of unknown type in the first stage. These are fed their fuel by one common turbo-pump. The missile steers by moving its nozzles. The reentry vehicle (RV) in the front which carries the payload is also huge. North Korea can surely fit one of its peanut shaped hydrogen bombs inside of it.


North Korea claims that the vehicle and missile were completely locally build. It is possible that this true. North Korea also claims a maximum reach for the missile of 13,000 kilometer. That is likely the absolute maximum with no payload. With a significant payload of about 600 kilogram for a hydrogen bomb the missile might be able to reach the mid-west of the U.S. but likely not the east coast. But these are guestimates. For risk evaluation one needs to look at the worst case. One has to anticipate that this type, with maybe slight modifications, will have enough reach to flatten Manhattan.

The launch happened on 3:00 am local time after the missile was transported from the factory hall seen above (March 16th Factory, Pyongsong 39°16'52.71"N 125°52'12.89"E) to its launch place. North Korea thus demonstrated the capability for surprise launches independent of the "weather". (In military doctrine nighttime darkness is a "weather" condition.) The U.S. has no means to preempt a launch of such a missile as place and time of the launch are not discernible.

Some pictures of the launch are below. A 14 minute video of the official TV announcement of the launch shows additional details of the preparations and flight.

One hopes that it will have finally sunk in with U.S. decision makers that North Korea is a nuclear power. The U.S. has claimed for some 75 years that it needs nukes for its security. It is constantly threatening North Korea. It does not stick to its deals (just ask Ghaddafi). There is no way the the DPRK will give up on its nukes or its intercontinental missile force.

In its government statement the DPRK said that its missile development is now "complete":

.. it is the most powerful ICBM which meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development set by the DPRK.
Kim Jong Un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power.

It has achieved its aim of holding the whole continental U.S. at risk of a nuclear attack should it try to attack (or decapitate) North Korea. This likely also means that it will not build any new types of missile. It will continue to develop the existing ones.

A good agreement between the U.S. and North Korea would stop such further development of missiles and nukes in exchange for the stop of U.S. maneuvers near the country. North Korea has made such a "double suspension" offer. It is for the U.S. to accept it. But with Tillerson leaving as Secretary of State and Pompeo taking over his job the chances for negotiations and any deal are currently next to zero.






Posted by b on November 30, 2017 at 19:39 UTC | Permalink


thanks b.. how accurate are these at present??

i can't see the usa backing down from it's insane position... and the change with tillerson going is just further confirmation of this.. the usa is in the hands of crazy people unwilling to negotiate or see the insanity of their ways...

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2017 19:51 utc | 1

Thanks for the posting b.

I don't see NK necessarily standing up to the bully US but I think it will force the hands of others (China/Russia) to do so.....and it is way past time, IMO

Trump is working overtime to make America into a pariah nation and to me that means that the elite have moved their money out and are ready for the great Debt/Bankruptcy event which could be precipitated by Trump/military hubris

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 30 2017 20:03 utc | 2

Thanks for the post b. NK have done well with their missile and nuke devolpment. Not many failures. Kim seems to know what he is about.
@ james I would guess all NK has to do as far as accuracy is to be able to lob half a dozen of those peanuts into the US for deterence. Bring any US war on NK to the US, who think wars are always fought in far away places.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 30 2017 20:07 utc | 3

If the US can't read the writing on the wall--that North Korea is a nuclear power that can't be shrugged aside--and agree to Russia and China's double-freeze proposal we're in for some dangerous times. Any idiot could see the sense of this, but unfortunately the halls of power in the US are filled with dangerous idiots who are 100% sure they're smarter and more capable than the 'other guy'.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Nov 30 2017 20:15 utc | 4

This would not be complete without that neat vid from the NYT's over-their-head journos when they actually visited NK in the Fall. Even Kristof, normally way more level-headed and realistic than clowns like Friedman, is at a loss:

Posted by: fx | Nov 30 2017 20:17 utc | 5

Are the Neocons trying to pin this on Iran yet?

I've read more articles than I care to count that Iran is giving N.Korea both funds and technical assistance for their ICBMs. The funny thing is that Iran only has medium and short range missiles, so there is no particular reason to believe that they would have much to offer N.Korea but it always helps to make them the bad guy. Now it is true that Iran has purchased missiles from N. Korea in the past but that would make N. Korea the ringleader, not Iran.

I am always amazed at how the propagandists manage to drag Iran into every problem and then use that as evidence to prove that Iran is a troublemaker.

The only thing Iran has done was loft a satellite into low earth orbit at 300 miles altitude and the neocons freak that this is a cover for an ICBM program, uh-no. That doesn't get you much.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 30 2017 21:24 utc | 6

Incoming Sec of State Pompeo in July:

Q: So, are you suggesting that then the alternative is some
kind of regime change.

MR. POMPEO: You know, I think we can tackle
every piece of that. So I think we can tackle capacity
too. These weapon systems still need development, they
need testing, they need people who are willing to work on
these programs. To the extent we can convince China it's
in its best interest to help us, convince Kim it's not in
his best interest to move down that path, there are still
many tools, right. It's a big long supply chain to build
this stuff out. So there are lots of ways that one might
think to narrow the capacity band as well. Because
frankly, it's one thing for him to have one missile
capable of landing in Denver, Colorado or even this
beautiful place we find ourselves and it's another thing
for him to have an entire arsenal. And there are things
we can do to keep that capability out of his hands. And as
for the regime, I am hopeful we will find a way to
separate that regime from this system.

MR. STEPHENS: Interesting answer.

MR. POMPEO: The North Korean people, I'm sure
are lovely people and would love to see him go as well, as
you might know they don't live a very good life there.

This state of ignorance and belligerence (from Pompeo/Trump) = the problem. Jong Un was carefully groomed in the image and spirit of Kim Il Sung, his grandfather, revered by North Koreans, desperate for an effective, strong leader.

The case for "regime change" now being sold to the clueless rests on the blowhard rhetoric from Trump et al that Jong Un is "crazy" hence unpredictable, a lunatic, irrational, hence must be removed, and the North Korean people will be grateful.

No--bullying, misinformed, pompous, deluded, stupid = more like it as key to the problem coming from Washington.

Posted by: Sid2 | Nov 30 2017 21:57 utc | 7

Considering how more bloodthirsty Pompeo is in comparison to Tillerson, I expect US will get even more proactive in wars now. They wont directly attack NK or Iran, but proxy wars, sanctions and terrorism might intensify in many countries.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 30 2017 22:28 utc | 8

Thanks for your timely post, b! Twas just reading Mercouris's article about the Xi/Trump phone call over this event at The Duran and the two linked articles in the Chinese press--very informative!!

I was going to add this issue to my last post as to why the Outlaw USZ Empire has decided to publicly humiliate itself over the RT/Russiagate debacle--Russia and China are acting in tandem to force the neocons to change their tact on North Korea, effectively and publically saying the Outlaw US Empire is no longer wanted by the world in its self-assumed role as Global Policeman. What Lavrov had to say was very provocative--publically calling out the Outlaw US Empire for yet again planning a War of Aggression to affect regime change. Yes, for those not watching closely, Syria, RT/Russiagate, Ukraine, and DPRK are all interconnected, just as BRI is a Hybrid War Machine.

I must agree with The Global Times editorial's conclusion: "It must be acknowledged that US foreign policy on North Korea has been nothing but an abysmal failure."

As Mercouris notes, Trump was given an opportunity to negotiate, chose not to, and will now suffer a large loss of face in having to climb down from his numerous threats.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 30 2017 22:38 utc | 9


Kim is a puppet. The Generals are in charge of the Hermit Kingdom. They'll tell him where to stand, and when to smile for the cameras. But, I can't bring myself to believe that he has a say in drafting policies; maybe in the future with a couple of decades of coaching.


Unfortunately, having a successful space program means you also have a successful ICBM program. It's a dual-use technology.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 30 2017 23:04 utc | 10

I doubt anyone in NK has a death wish so they wont be used. Good deterrent unless the US believes their missile defense systems are solid enough or that they could eliminate all missiles with a first strike that basically turns all of NK into a crater (along with much of SK and with nuclear fall out in China, Japan , Russia and Taiwan). The collateral damage of the latter probably rules it out as an option unless they use non nuclear weapons)

Tensions with NK are convenient to keep support for the US presence SK and Japan and on China and Russias door step. I refuse to believe NK even with nuclear weapons is considered a viable threat to the US mainland

Posted by: Pft | Nov 30 2017 23:14 utc | 11

"Unfortunately, having a successful space program means you also have a successful ICBM program. It's a dual-use technology."

In what sense Ian, wouldn't that depend on the use case?

Iran is propelling the rocket up to an altitude of 300 miles, so even if you double it to guesstimate the horizontal range, that's only 600 miles. They are pushing satellites into orbit but that doesn't allow them to test warhead reentry technology. Other than the general connection to rocketry, is there anything unique to launching satellites that makes it ICBM specific, should we keep tabs on Elon Musk?

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 30 2017 23:37 utc | 12

@ Ian who wrote: Kim is a puppet.

Kim is the leader of a small country that refuses to kowtow to the private finance controlled world that Trump is a puppet for.

I am beginning to think you are a troll.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 30 2017 23:53 utc | 14

That worked well!

>>>> karlof1 | Nov 30, 2017 5:38:39 PM | 10
Nah, it's the economy and the need to continue plundering the rest of the world. That's why they loved Yeltsin, why they hate Putin and the Clintonists are too damn stupid to understand that it's capitalism that'll destroy the United States. They should have gone with Bernie Sanders.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | November 30, 2017 at 06:52 PM

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 30 2017 23:57 utc | 15


The Norks are rational but certain people would like them to appear otherwise.


What about the re-entry vehicles? I consider a successful space program to include sending people to and from space. I'm no rocket scientist, but I would imagine that the materials used for the re-entry capsules would be similar to warheads.

As for Elon Musk, you can bet your pension that the US military keeps a close eye on him.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 1 2017 0:02 utc | 16


No troll; not sure how to prove that. But, consider this, how can you expect Kim to know about policy making given his age? Look at Jared Kushner, a senior advisor to the POTUS? That kid has no experience in politics and he's a senior advisor. If the rumors of him getting advice from the Israelis are true, then it's feasible that the NK Generals / State Council are doing the same for Kim. IIRC, there was a Wikileaks about the Generals calling the shots.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 1 2017 0:09 utc | 17

Here's one to toss bout, where is N.K. getting its technology from? Considering the 3 letter outfit that has been doing business since the Cold War and continues to this day, as well as the friends too, it shouldn't be too tough to figure out.

Posted by: Eugene | Dec 1 2017 0:13 utc | 18

Posted by: Ian | Nov 30, 2017 7:09:00 PM | 18

Fuck me dead. President Kim has spent his entire life being trained in all aspects of statecraft, learning from masters who have successfully kept the most evil, rapacious and death dealing empire the world has yet seen at bay for 50+ years.
Jared Kushner is just another greedy zionist whose lessons were constructed around the best ways to gyp some poor fucker outta his home and turn maximum profit. There is no useful comparison.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 1 2017 0:25 utc | 19

@19 Originally from Pakistan probably but easier to blame Iran. Is nuclear technology even secret anymore? Your theory is a bit of a stretch.

Posted by: dh | Dec 1 2017 0:30 utc | 20

@15 psycho

Just because they need a figurehead in their cult-of-the-leader system, doesn't mean that Un couldn't be a puppet. Look at his cherubic billowing since being called back to NoKo from his turn at western schools, where he was an average student and a huge fan of the bling-show that the NBA has become. It is not hard to suspect that, at some level, he is the supreme leader out of imperative and, perhaps, at the outset, against his will. So, yes, I think he is a puppet, but that doesn't mean that I disagree with your "private finance" angle here, nor do I think that a NoKo with ICBMs is a "dangerous thing."

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 1 2017 0:35 utc | 21


I respectfully disagree. Both Kim and Kushner are in the same age group (mid-30s). There's not enough time for Kim to absorb the complexities of statecraft. I highly doubt Kim's mentor, NK ambassador Ri Choi to Switzerland had taught him everything.

Look at Putin, Xi and even his father, Kim Jong-il, and how much effort and time was spent inside the political arena to gather the necessary experience to be President of their nations.

However, can Kim Jong-un be a successful leader? Yes, when given sufficient time.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 1 2017 1:01 utc | 22

Ian, so the generals are calling the shots:
I'm glad that's clear to you!

Posted by: jsn | Dec 1 2017 1:21 utc | 23

Looks like the US shows of force, with bombers dropping bombs near the border and aircraft carriers assembling off shore, accomplished nothing except probably to spur the North Koreans to develop an impressive deterrence.

The US will have to negotiate now, to offer something in return for DPRK concessions. For one thing, the US is held hostage to its own imperialism and forward basing. The largest US overseas military base, Camp Humphreys, with tens of thousands of American soldiers and civilians, is within DPRK rocket range. More on Camp Humphreys here.

news report: What is new with the 300mm mobile multiple rocket launcher is its accuracy, its mobility, and ability to rapidly fire multiple projectiles at the target (1 truck x 8 rockets x 6 launchers in a battery=48 rockets impacting…then 18 launchers in a BN =864 rounds on target), and the difficulty of shooting down a rocket vs shooting down a ballistic missile. Probability hitting the a rocket is a lot lower, and then try hitting 864 as they rain down. Warheads vary from HE, ICM to Chemical. The KN-09 is reported to have a range of up to 190 kilometers, 118 miles. Camp Humphreys is 57 mi S of DMZ.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 1 2017 1:22 utc | 24

Ian @17, none of the Iranian launches were manned.

If they start doing manned mission than you could make that argument regarding re-entry vehicles but even then the trick is to design a re-entry vehicle specifically designed for the warhead traveling at high speed so that it can come down in a predictable location. But in any case, the Iranians haven't gone anywhere near that.

In any case, I believe them when they talk about wanting telecommunications and satellite imagery. If I was them, I'd want eyes in the sky in order to keep tabs on our navy and military bases.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 1 2017 1:22 utc | 25


How much inteligence or statecraft experiance does it take to figure out that nukes are required to hold the US off. Going by the way the nuke and missile program has gone since Kim Jong Un took over, he is at least a very good organizer and has his priorities right. As b has pointed out in the past, with nukes NK will no longer require a massive standing conventional army allowing troops to go back to manufacturing or farming or whatever that will then allow the NK economy to improve. From what I can see of NK, Kim has the final say on everything, and obviously has the ability to pick the right people to get the job done.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 1 2017 1:22 utc | 26


And how many Generals are there in NoKo? Are all Generals equal in political influence? I'm at a loss of why the puppet theory is dismissed so easily. Look at the US. If they can have a Deep State and Shadow Government, why can't other nations have their own version?

Posted by: Ian | Dec 1 2017 1:30 utc | 27

@ Ian who continues to be a tool of disinformation in my estimation

I noticed that you ignored my focus on private finance control of our world.

How about if you share with MoA folks your opinion of how the world works or find another bar to try to disrupt.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1 2017 1:41 utc | 28

In addition to these ICBMs NK has also skipped a few generations to produce state of the art standoff anti ship and antiaircraft missiles. The carriers cannot get close enough to attack the nukes milieu.

One wonders who sold them this technology.

Timor has it that it was entities in Ukraine. How do we know? When this specuowas first raised, the media immediately pinned it on Putin with no evidence circumstantial or otherwise, and there hasn't been a word about it since.

Anyway, ya make the bed you lie in.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 1 2017 1:42 utc | 29

Peter @27:

How much intelligence or statecraft experience can one have to be an effective leader? Difficult to answer that question. IMO, it depends on the individual and the company that he keeps. Clearly, Kim Jong-Un has been coached well and his advisors are not a bunch of clowns.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 1 2017 1:42 utc | 30

Ghost Ship--

Been a fan of Hudson since reading his Super Imperialism shorty after it was published in '70s, and used his blog entries to educate many about Real, as opposed to Junk, Economics. Some accuse Gorbachev of treason; Yeltsin, however, was certainly guilty of treason and cost the lives of several million Russians/Soviets. Fortunately for the world, we have Xi and Putin on the same team trying to rollback the Outlaw US Empire without too much mayhem.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 1 2017 1:48 utc | 31


There was never a doubt about the impact from the World of high finance and industry.


How about if you share with MoA folks your opinion of how the world works...

I just did. Part of it anyway. If I knew all, I probably won't be allowed to discuss anything, and would be floating face down the river if I tried.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 1 2017 1:54 utc | 32

Ghost Ship--

Did you discover Hudson's CounterPunch title of "Monetary Imperialism" is actually "Germany's Choice,"--the introduction to the German edition of Hudson's newest edition of Super Imperialism?

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 1 2017 2:06 utc | 33

I've heard the theory that Kim is a puppet before, and that the generals run it. I don't see why it makes any difference. It's what they are actually doing.

Their progress has been incredible. I did't get a good view of this new rocket, but their previous liquid fuel rockets burned extremely cleanly. After initial launch there was virtually no smoke at all. Even stranger is the precision that they achieved with the guidance systems; the things went exactly where they wanted them to go. This is all very mystifying.

Posted by: blues | Dec 1 2017 2:37 utc | 34

@ghost ship/karlofi
Great reference I wasn't familiar with Michael Hudson. But this quote really nails it, the birth of the petrodollar standard, and its looming irrelevance too:

Attention soon focused on the oil-exporting countries. After the U.S. quadrupled its grain export prices shortly after the 1971 gold suspension, the oil-exporting countries quadrupled their oil prices. I was informed at a White House meeting that U.S. diplomats had let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries know that they could charge as much as they wanted for their oil, but that the United States would treat it as an act of war not to keep their oil proceeds in U.S. dollar assets.

This was the point at which the international financial system became explicitly extractive. But it took until 2009, for the first attempt to withdraw from this system to occur. A conference was convened at Yekaterinburg, Russia, by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The alliance comprised Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. U.S. officials asked to attend as observers, but their request was rejected.

All North Korea has done is build an effective deterrent against regime change; the hypocrisy of the U.S. on this is that it supports Israel doing the same thing - although Israel is worse than North Korea, because Israel uses its nuclear arsenal not just as a deterrent, but as an excuse to launch military assaults on its neighbors and destabilize the region without fear of organized retaliation. North Korea shows no signs of going down that path, at least.

For a laugh, see this absolutely hilarious picture of Trump and Tillerson meeting the troops in Korea Nov 7 2017. The whole situation will probably just go back to normal now, once the bluster wears out. The whole imperial fantasy is on its last legs; it just costs too much to perpetuate for much longer.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Dec 1 2017 3:13 utc | 35

Christian Chuba @7 says...

...'The only thing Iran has done was loft a satellite into low earth orbit at 300 miles altitude and the neocons freak that this is a cover for an ICBM program, uh-no. That doesn't get you much...'

christian Chuba @13...

Iran is propelling the rocket up to an altitude of 300 miles, so even if you double it to guesstimate the horizontal range, that's only 600 miles...

...They are pushing satellites into orbit but that doesn't allow them to test warhead reentry technology.

...Other than the general connection to rocketry, is there anything unique to launching satellites that makes it ICBM specific...'

I understand your desire to keep some here from deflecting this 'rocket' issue onto Iran...and that is commendable...

However...your complete lack of any technical knowledge about space flight does not help the discussion...

For one thing...putting a spacecraft into orbit is a Very Big Deal...

Once a spacecraft is in low earth flies around the earth about once very 90 minutes...

That means it could hit anywhere on earth within 90 minutes...

Your second comment about the altitude reached has absolutely nothing to do with orbit...

In a's not about's all about speed...

Here is a simple primer in physics that even high-school students should know...and surely do in countries like North Korea... does a satellite in flying around the earth...stay there...?

It is explained by two forces pulling in opposite directions being in per Newton's Third Law...

In the case of a satellite the force pulling it to the earth is the acceleration of earth's gravity...which is 9.8 meters per second squared...[32.2 ft/s^2]

Obviously if there is no equal and opposite force to counter earth's gravitational pull...the satellite will come down instead of staying in orbit...

That equal and opposite force is the centrifugal force acting on the satellite...

We all know what centrifugal force is...remember the spinning a water bucket around demonstration...or the hammer throw in Olympics...where that guy spins a heavy ball on the end of a chain around and then releases it...

Well...that satellite flying around earth at Very High Speed is exactly like that ball...

The chain is like the force of gravity holding it in an 'orbit' as the guy spins around...

While he's holding on to it the two forces are in equilibrium...but at some point the centrifugal force overcomes his ability to hold on...and off she goes...

With a spacecraft in orbit we want to achieve just the right speed in order to keep the centrifugal force in equilibrium with the earth's gravitational pull...

It is a simple calculation of basic algebra...

Centrifugal force = mass x velocity squared / radius...

The gravitational pull on the vehicle = mass x g

where g is the acceleration of 9.8 m/s^2...

since the two are in equilibrium we get...

m x V^2 / r = mass x 9.8 m/s

where m is mass of the vehicle...r is earth's radius...and V is velocity of the vehicle...

since the mass of the vehicle is the same cancels out on both sides of the equation and we are left with...

V^2 / r = 9.8

We can now solve for the velocity of the vehicle by rearranging that equation...

ie...V = sqrt(r x 9.8)

the radius of the earth is roughly 6,000 km [or six million meters]

So now we find the velocity required to reach orbit...

V = sqrt( 6,000,000 x 9.8) = 7,668 m/s...or 7.67 km/s...

that's 17,153 mph...

Why is this a big deal...?

...because it has to do with the capability of the rocket propulsion to reach that Speed...

We recall from the early days of the space race that the Russians launched the first satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957...

The US launched its first satellite in 1957...Explorer 1...but we note that its mass was less than one fifth that of sputnik...[14 kg vs 84 kg]...

...which means the Russian rocket was more than five times as powerful...

Then in 1961...the Russians launched the first man into ORBIT...on the Vostok 1...

Then just weeks later...the US launched its first man into space...But Not Orbit...

Alan Shepard's Mercury Redstone 3 Rocket was able to achieve a maximum speed of only 5,134 mph...

...which is less than one-third the Velocity needed to reach ORBIT...

We also note the launch mass of the MR3 vehicle was less than half that of the Vostok...

It wasn't until a year later, 1962, that John Glenn became the first US man in Orbit...on the Mercury Atlas 6 rocket...

We note again that the mass of the MA6 vehicle was only 1,300 kg...barely a quarter that of the 4,700 kg Vostok 1...

those two cardinal Orbital Velocity...and Payload...speak directly to the rocket capability...

It was crystal clear that the Russians had a big lead in rocket engine technology...

The fact that the Iranians can put a vehicle in matter its mass...also speaks to an advanced rocket being able to reach Orbital Velocity...

The North Koreans are in a different league now...this is an impressive rocket and there can be little doubt that it has intercontinental range...

Incidentally ICBMs aren't designed to reach orbital velocity...there is a tradeoff between payload and maximum velocity...

Ie...cut down the payload and you get more velocity...which is what the US did in the early years to try to keep up...

A Typical ICBM will only need to reach as little as 4 to 5 km/s...but modern Russian and US typically go to over 6 km/s...

They do not enter orbit because there is a prohibition on weapons in orbit that everyone has signed...but the US considers that it is within the law if it launches a weapon that does not make one full orbit...

Of course the Russians can play that game too...

B brought to light some good technical points here including the details on the rocket engine turbopump...which is the heart of the machine...

I am curious where he got this info...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 1 2017 3:57 utc | 36

thanks guys and gals.. i like @36 nonsense factory post.. however on the topic of finance, i think it has been extractive for a longer time.. converting natural resources into money - whether it be forests, grains, oil, minerals, and etc. etc. - has been ramping up for a long time.. have to catch up to the debt that can never be paid.. everything natural on the planet must be converted into money - us$ in particular, in order for the money machine to continue to be what it is.. thus we have a planet that has become sickened by all the ways of converting nature into consumer products... and, the debt will never be paid due the way the financial system is set up...

oh and on the topic of oil quoted in #36 nf from ghostship, check this out today... reading the usa daily press briefing looking for something on rt being shut out, i read this... pay attention.. same game plan as always from the exceptional nation...

" QUESTION: I’m Marek Walkuski, Polish Public Radio.

MS NAUERT: Okay. Nice to meet you. Welcome to the State Department.

QUESTION: Deputy Assistant Secretary McCarrick told a group of European journalists that, I quote, “We don’t see the possibility that Nord Stream 2 is going to be built. That is not something that we are going to assume is going to happen.” Could you explain what is the statement based on? And I’m wondering if the topic has been discussed during the meeting between Secretary Tillerson and German foreign minister and what’s the conclusion of their discussion if, in fact, it was one of the topics.

MS NAUERT: Yeah. I can tell you that that conversation did not come up. The Secretary and the foreign minister had a very positive meeting in which they talked about the DPRK, North Korea. They talked about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the importance of Saudi Arabia opening additional ports and ways that we can get humanitarian aid into Yemen. They talked about a few other matters as well. Nord Stream 2 was not one of the topics that came up in my presence. Now, they may have had a separate sideline conversation that I did not witness, so that may have come up.

In terms of where exactly we are on Nord Stream 2 – pardon me one second – another topic related to that is the multi-line Turkish Stream, as I understand it. So our position on this would be that Europe is certainly working to try to diversify where it gets its energy. I’ve spoken with some of your colleagues before, people from that part of the world as well, and recognizing that there should be and could be more sources of energy. We have seen in the very cold winter months where Vladimir Putin – which is where a lot of your energy comes from in particular in Poland – where he will turn down, turn off those energy supplies, causing costs to go up and causing people to lose heat on occasion. So we know that Europe is working to diversify its energy sector overall. It’s also assessing projects that would undermine some of these efforts.

We agree with many of our European partners that Nord Stream 2 and a multi-line Turkish Stream would reinforce Russian dominance in Europe’s gas markets. It would reduce opportunities for diversification of energy sources. It would pose security risks in an already tense Baltic Sea region and it would advance Russia’s goal of undermining Ukraine – that’s a particular concern of ours – by ending Ukraine’s role as a transit country for Russian gas exports to get to Europe. Construction of Nord Stream 2 would concentrate about 75 percent of Russian gas imports to the EU through a single route, creating a potential checkpoint that would significantly increase Europe’s vulnerability to a supply disruption. So we believe that these two projects would enable Gazprom to cut off transit via Ukraine and still meet demand in Western Europe, which would economically undermine Ukraine by depriving it of about $2 billion in annual transit revenue. Okay?

QUESTION: But is this statement correct, that you don’t believe that the project would be built, that Nord Stream 2 would be built? And Secretary Tillerson called recently the Nord Stream 2 unwise. What are you doing to stop this unwise project?

MS NAUERT: So, sir, I don’t have the Secretary’s comments in front of me, so I hesitate to comment on having something that I --

QUESTION: Two days ago at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

MS NAUERT: I understand. I understand. I just don’t have the exact quote in front of me.


MS NAUERT: So I’m not – I’m just not going to comment on that. And the other person who made a remark, I don’t – I’m afraid I don’t have that with me either, so – okay?


QUESTION: Can we move on? Heather, can we move on please?

MS NAUERT: Thanks. Yeah, North Korea."

Posted by: james | Dec 1 2017 4:04 utc | 37

sorry...typo on the year of US first satellite in orbit...that was in 1958 not 1957...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 1 2017 4:08 utc | 38

b, I'm supremely impressed by the facts you report. You write this one very succinctly, and indeed it does seem that the very facts are themselves the supremely impressive story here.

As some have pointed out, after these facts, there's very little to analyze here.

I think North Korea has displayed great competence. In the international theater, they seem to have gauged the true capability of the US - precisely both in terms of its Pentagon realities and its domestic propaganda unrealities - with the accuracy of a micrometer. Everything they do stops exactly at the line where the US is left holding an untenable position, with no physical response possible and no rhetorical punch line as good as the one that was just landed on them by NK.

Furthermore, we understand from some analysis (that I can't find a link for at the moment) that NK is also finessing China and Russia in a similar manner, changing facts on the ground and throwing out rhetoric that walks to a red line but never crosses it. NK, this school of thought suggests, is putting Russia and China in a position of danger where they have to be involved to protect NK, but is at the same time advancing the common agenda of cutting the US down to true size, while also appearing as the wild man and giving RF and PRC lots of covering fire to appear neutral.

I confess ignorance here, but I've read casually that China, Korea and Japan have anciently been enemies and involved in intrigues against each other. For thousands of years. And of course the outward face is simply the surface layer, one of many layers. This kind of cultural training readies any person by adulthood to understand the realpolitik of this part of Asia - in ways and to depths that the US State Department no longer has any career analysts able to understand.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 1 2017 4:08 utc | 39

if they are not blaming putin directly, they are blaming iran or north korea for this, that and whatever.. it is called not having the ability to reflect on one's own nature - ever.. it is always about others and never about itself... welcome to the mindset of the exceptional nation..

Posted by: james | Dec 1 2017 4:09 utc | 40

ghostship, karlofi, nonsense factory
Yes I posted that article yesterday, glad to see you also found it. Hudson explains the link between unsustainable USA military spending and the control of world currency.
By 1950 the dollar-based global economic system had become increasingly untenable. Gold continued flowing to the United States, strengthening the dollar – until the Korean War reversed matters. From 1951 through 1971 the United States ran a deepening balance-of-payments deficit, which stemmed entirely from overseas military spending. (Private-sector trade and investment was steadily in balance.)

U.S. Treasury Debt Replaces the Gold Exchange Standard

The foreign military spending that helped return American gold to Europe became a flood as the Vietnam War spread across Asia after 1962. The Treasury kept the dollar’s exchange rate stable by selling gold via the London Gold Pool at $35 an ounce. Finally, in August 1971, President Nixon stopped the drain by closing the Gold Pool and halting gold convertibility of the dollar.

There was no plan for what would happen next. Most observers viewed cutting the dollar’s link to gold as a defeat for the United States. It certainly ended the postwar financial order as designed in 1944. But what happened next was just the reverse of a defeat. No longer able to buy gold after 1971 (without inciting strong U.S. disapproval), central banks found only one asset in which to hold their balance-of-payments surpluses: U.S. Treasury debt. These securities no longer were “as good as gold.” The United States issued them at will to finance soaring domestic budget deficits.

By shifting from gold to the dollars thrown off by the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit, the foundation of global monetary reserves came to be dominated by the U.S. military spending that continued to flood foreign central banks with surplus dollars. America’s balance-of-payments deficit thus supplied the dollars that financed its domestic budget deficits and bank credit creation – via foreign central banks recycling U.S. foreign spending back to the U.S. Treasury.

In effect, foreign countries have been taxed without representation over how their loans to the U.S. Government are employed. European central banks were not yet prepared to create their own sovereign wealth funds to invest their dollar inflows in foreign stocks or direct ownership of businesses. They simply used their trade and payments surpluses to finance the U.S. budget deficit. This enabled the Treasury to cut domestic tax rates, above all on the highest income brackets.

U.S. monetary imperialism confronted European and Asian central banks with a dilemma that remains today: If they do not turn around and buy dollar assets, their currencies will rise against the dollar. Buying U.S. Treasury securities is the only practical way to stabilize their exchange rates – and in so doing, to prevent their exports from rising in dollar terms and being priced out of dollar-area markets.

The system may have developed without foresight, but quickly became deliberate.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 1 2017 4:25 utc | 41

One can only admire what North Korea must have done over the decades as a poor nation investing as much as it can into education and technical education in particular to have achieved this level of sophistication in creating and building a nuclear-powered missile program. Isn't this what Bernhard is hinting at in his article? Bear in mind also that North Korea has laboured under Western sanctions, annual US-South Korean military exercises close to its borders and a climate of paranoia and delicate manoeuvring among opposed and hostile powers.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 1 2017 6:11 utc | 42

@ mauisufer et al about the Hudson article.

I don't want to dis what Hudson is saying but he is not being entirely honest.

What he is not framing in the correct historical context is private finance over the past couple of centuries. Let me parse a couple of Hudson quotes.
European central banks were not yet prepared to create their own sovereign wealth funds to invest their dollar inflows in foreign stocks or direct ownership of businesses. They simply used their trade and payments surpluses to finance the U.S. budget deficit.
The tools of international finance have been private forever and those Central Banks he refers to are mostly private as well. To write that the agents of private finance are not or have not always been in cahoots is agnotology at its finest.

The system may have developed without foresight, but quickly became deliberate.
This sticks in my craw. The SYSTEM of empire is not capitalism but the instantiation of private property, inheritance, hence an oligarchy and private Central Banks in all Western countries. Capitalism is a religious myth cover for our world controlled by those that own the tools of global private finance.

Hudson is still alive because he pulls his punches......just a wrong turn somewhere, not a systemic and structural problem.......BS!!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1 2017 7:12 utc | 43

Looking at blues post @35 and I have had similar thoughts.
With the advent of MAD, great powers fight through proxyies. Russia or China giving a helping hand with tech, to put a cracker up the US arse?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 1 2017 7:39 utc | 44

Nice Jim Jones connection to North Korea too.

North Korea has a state religion which has an end of days sequence US might want to familiarize itself with.

Posted by: gut bugs galore | Dec 1 2017 8:40 utc | 45

Alea Iacta Est

Nothing less. The days of the United States terrorist empire are over. With North Korea having achieved a quantum leap like advancement in both carrier system and payload, the US empire is now facing three formidable adversaries, should it care to continue its illegal (proxy) wars to terrorize the world and to force their psychopathy of unabated predatory and crony capitalism on the rest of the world.

May the yapping begin. The internet is saturated by US regime stooges to spread lies, propaganda and intrigues to fool those who are mentally incapacitated. The people, who believe every lie they are exposed to, will now start to ridicule and discredit the advancement of North Korean resolve.

A Nation that has been carpet bombed and raped by capitalist pigs with the support of a dumbed down population. Alone the gaslighting of KJI is proof of just how perverted the US society has become. With the looming looting of the last remaining public wealth and redistribution of funds sorely needed to keep the US alive, the plutocrats are on a suicide mission. Just not their suicide, but the assisted suicide of the US society.

Having finally shown its true colors, Fascist America has now only one option to prevent a total implosion. That solution is abdication of its war of terror and/or incessant interference into the affairs of sovereign Nations, or face total annihilation.

Its arrogance, hypocrisy and on Christianity based Fascism can only come to an end, or doom the 300 million plus inhabitants of the United States. Which one it will be can at this point not be known. What goes for a free and open society has been replaced by a high tech Plutocracy that cares not the least about what it deems "useless eaters".

Blowback is a bitch and it will descend on Exceptionalistan with a vengeance. All the stinking lies by people who swore to uphold the constitution and to do everything for the wellbeing of the people are now prominently in the open for everybody but the least conscious folks to see.

The filthy rich meschpoke that hijacked this country and planted its game show host messiah into the most important position the Nation has to offer is losing ground faster than the shoreline of Big Sur. What is coming their way is their ticket for hundred plus years of exploitation of the people, the perverse arming and hegemonic treatment of the planet, as if it has written "Made in USA" on it, this utter arrogance and recklessness in regards to life everywhere, but especially now in the United States, that has degraded to a true Banana Republic with the largest stockpile of nuclear arms on Earth.

The Universe has intervened on behalf of all those who simply want to live a peaceful life, with a roof over their head, food on the table and the kids safe in bed. It is demanding equality and justice for all, not just the biggest psychopaths humanity has ever seen. The pyramid will be torn down and Nationalization of everything that was stolen from the public commence. Eminent domain shall serve to confiscate stolen common wealth from those who defrauded the Nation of its educational system, its infrastructure, affordable housing, healthy food and clean transportation.

And no, I don't think we need a bloody revolution. What we need is justice. No justice, no reconciliation, no peace. Murderers in uniform must be brought to justice, the police force demilitarized, and lobbying outlawed. A generous guaranteed basic income must be provided for every citizen on this planet. The entire capitalist ponzi scheme broken up and charging interest prohibited. The Federal Reserve abolished and replaced by a National Bank. Jail time for war criminals and corrupt politicians. The Supreme court dissolved and its lifelong appointed members brought before a people's court to answer for treason on the American people through "Citizen United", immunity for the police force and the coup d'etat of 2000.

A new dynamic has been born and it is now up to the American people to convene to create a new constitution that will make it forever impossible for the United States to wage wars against any other country. All bases the plutocrat's regime has installed over the planet will be demolished and/or converted into economic zones transferred to the Nations they were installed in.

Sounds ridiculous? Then one should look at the picture on the top again. Are Americans willing to be turned into glass for a perverted leadership cult? The boomerang of terror is homing in. What will it be? A peaceful revolution, or annihilation of the planet?

Reject Fascism, reject Plutocracy, reject racism, injustice and intolerance and for once, get this religious delusion out of government and yes, no more Nazi style "pledge of allegiance".

Game over, United States of terror and slavery. Fix the mess you have created and pay for the damages you have done to the people and Earth.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 1 2017 8:43 utc | 46

It is important to realize that the DPNK has done this in record time while under extreme sanctions to ward off yet another US mandated regime change. Having seen what happened to Gaddafi and Hussein it is a wise decision. Americans fail to recall just how many North Koreans were killed by US indiscriminate bombings which killed 20% of the population North Koreans certainly haven't forgotten it.

Another poorly reported aspect of all of this is the very probable involvement of the US puppet regime in Ukraine in the rapid and IMHO impossible rate of progress by the North Koreans. However, the Ukrainians very likely have sold to DPNK along with scientists and their families who moved there to do this work the "old" Soviet rocket technologies. Of course Kiev is actively denying this but IMHO it is real and explains the progress and design. Ukraine has a history of selling technologies to other nations regardless of world opinion. There are still somewhere between 100 and 250 old Soviet nuclear warheads unaccounted for and some believe they ended up in Iran back in the early 90's. This is part of the argument that Iran never needed to develop their own nuclear weapons. Some rumors are that they sent some or all back to Ukraine of these weapons 4 years ago. If so, where are they now? One hopes they didn't end up back in Ukraine where they are insane enough to use them against their own people.

The next game changer will be when the DPNK mounts short range solid fueled ballistic missiles onto their diesel electric subs. Then they can actively threaten rogue states like the US who use force to bully smaller nations into submission. I think the Koreans have managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat and can now rest some while the US plots against some other unfortunate country. Venezuela, Ecuador, and Cuba come to mind. There is still Iran hanging out there but the US has an extremely poor record for winning wars against countries that have real military forces. The First Gulf War took 12 months to deploy the forces necessary to attack Iraq and that capability is gone now due to lack of maintenance and decrements in both men and equipment. The US has shot it's wad and is now virtually impotent to wage war despite the massive budget being wasted on buying very expensive and mostly useless toys.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Dec 1 2017 9:30 utc | 47

A good read on the history of the Kim's of NK for any that haven't read it.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 1 2017 10:01 utc | 48

Impressive symbolism in the photo of the missile being erected.

In the night sky you can see Orion and Sirius...... the hunter and his dog.

Posted by: Whozhere | Dec 1 2017 10:27 utc | 49

@flankerbandit In xour calculation you made a deceicive error. Gravitaion depends on altitude /distance from earth and is therfore not constant as you calculated. Gravitation on Mount Everest`s top is 0,9972g, in 400km higth its around 0,9 g and at 36.000km it`s 0,023g, which seems to me not to be a linear relation. This should affect your calculation heavily.

Posted by: Hippi | Dec 1 2017 11:01 utc | 50

What is all this talk of Kim's statecraft, Chomsky once said it is possible for any competent 15 year old to master, or at least to understand world affairs. In Kim's case he can see the big bully US with a big club and rightly convinces himself thus... if I had a big club too maybe the bully will think of his own safety and not be so aggressive. Its not rocket science.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 1 2017 11:47 utc | 51

After taking completely different routes for the past 70 years, America and N. Korea have arrived at the same place with fanatical leaders running countries that have sacrificed everything to build militaries that can threaten the entire world with complete destruction. Powerful historical forces have conspired to bring these polar opposite into the same orbit on a collision course. The feeble attempts now in play to avert disaster are nothing more than the recognition this must play out.

Posted by: RenoDino | Dec 1 2017 12:07 utc | 52

>>>> karlof1 | Nov 30, 2017 8:48:29 PM | 32

If you look at the United States' GDP ($18.6 trillion) and compare it to Germany's ($3.5 trillion) and allowing for the United States having three times the population of Germany ($10.5 trillion), where does that extra $ 8.1 trillion come from? Financial services plundering the rest of the world? I suppose some might come from licensing consumer electronics and software, but who in their right mind would buy anything else manufactured in the United States in preference to stuff manufactured in Germany or Asia? I think that's what worries Washington so much, that cast off from the Eurasian land mass, the United States outside of Hollywood, the Bay Area, and Seattle would have no role in the world.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 1 2017 12:25 utc | 53

A nice unbiased article and many good comments.... Hard to find these days.

A few comments referring to the generals being in charge in NK. Has anyone paid attention to the makeup of the Trump Admin? Generals and soon spook Pompeo. Then add ugly nepotism of Jared and Ivanka! Sort of gives me that old sinking feeling....

Zerohedge recently had a post about a Russian 'buildup' and Russian Marines near NK..... What's up with that?

Posted by: ken | Dec 1 2017 15:56 utc | 54

Hippi @51 says

...'@flankerbandit In xour [sic]calculation you made a deceicive [sic] error...'

The calculation I presented has been simplified for the purpose of illustrating how orbital mechanics works...

The acceleration of gravity decreases with altitude as you noted...however to make this calculation using the continually varying gravity as a function of height would require more advanced mathematics that is not necessary [nor desirable] for a primer on the subject...

There is no 'grave error' involved...the resulting orbital velocity number of 7.67 km/s is quite precise... for a low earth orbit of 100 km...

...due to another approximation I inserted with regard to the earth's radius...

The mean radius of the earth is actually 6,370 km...[it varies from the poles to equator]...

Using the lower approximate figure of 6,000 km balances out the approximation on the decreasing gravity with altitude...[it is 9.5 m/s^2 at 100 km high LEO]

...and gives us orbital velocity quite precisely...

To make these approximations for the sake of simplifying the math, while still getting the correct velocity figure you actually have to know how to get the precise you...?

If so then please proceed with your explanation...

Or maybe you would like to run us through the more complicated math [calculus] involved in computing the result using the continually varying g with height...?

We await your response to this math challenge...[yes I know the answer...]

Posted by: FB | Dec 1 2017 16:23 utc | 55

Ghost Ship @54--

My money's on creative accounting a la Enron. It was once said "The business of America is business," but now it's primary business is criminality, primarily with drugs, weapons, and laundering drug and general corruption while inflating and deflating financial bubbles--working them up, then shorting them down in a grotesque masturbation that's debased the currency to the point of worthlessness.

In a comparison between DPNK and USA regarding the number of homeless and uninsured people, the former has close to zero while the latter has millions; which nation is actually the stronger and better guardian of its citizenry? I suggest reading The Saker's newest Unz essay before answering yes or no.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 1 2017 16:41 utc | 56

Adam Garrie at The Duran has written a very good article about the state of discussions with DPNK:

"Russia has recently sent a delegation to North Korea as part of a highly under-reported diplomatic initiative by Moscow to reach a respectful understanding with North Korea about the current situation in the region. At the same time, Moscow is developing ever closer ties with South Korea. With relations between Seoul and Moscow at an historic high, it would be completely wrong to say that Russia is playing favourites between the Korean states as one could have said during the Cold War."

Garrie allows members of that delegation to speak for themselves while outlining how a solution to this issue could happen,

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 1 2017 17:01 utc | 57

I have heard rumors that Kim built the rockets himself so its of utmost importance for NK to safeguard him as he holds all the secrets to the countries nuclear future.

Posted by: sun lu yao | Dec 1 2017 17:17 utc | 58

There's a number of comments here speculating that the North Koreans must have had a fair bit of outside assistance in advancing their rocket capabilities...

This presupposes that they could not develop these capabilities indigenously...and is a mistake in my view...

A nation's technical capability in advanced fields like rocket science [and others] is directly related to their educational potential...

Those from the West often tend to overlook the importance of concerted pedagogy that we see in communist societies...

From the moment a child enters school in such a system, they are scrutinized individually for signs of aptitude in math and science...[and other subjects like music and art etc...]

Those who show natural aptitude are systematically funneled into special programs designed specifically to keep these young minds challenged in a way that they never would be in the one size fits all system we have in the West...

Even in elite private schools where we do see some vestiges of this kind of individual attention...the eventual career goals are mostly geared to finance and law...not engineering and science...

The same kind of career choices are at work in the public and science are not as highly regarded as more lucrative professions...

The result is that a country of the population of North Korea can produce probably as many highly capable technical graduates as a much bigger country...

No child with math and science aptitude goes unnoticed...

In the West a child with such aptitudes is not noticed by anyone...and usually gets bored quickly with the unchallenging curriculum that is designed for the lowest common denominator...

How many fall through the cracks in this way...?

It is likely that North Korea has employed some experts and specialists...perhaps from places like Ukraine where the collapse of the high tech industry has left many without suitable work or compensation...

It may even be the case that North Korea has acquired some rocket engines...although this is less likely...

And even if they had...these engines would be used for study, not for actual use on missiles...

There is no reason to doubt that the North Koreans have done the heavy intellectual lifting on their rocket programs...

We saw the same thing with Russia after WW2 when the country was completely devastated and lost some 30 million people...

Yet in the space of a decade they were able to take a commanding lead in the most challenging technical flight...

bottom line is that education counts for a lot...and it doesn't happen without a plan...

This is going to be a big problem for the US and Europe going the ideology of capitalism and finance does not consider education to be of any value...

Posted by: FB | Dec 1 2017 17:20 utc | 59

A lot of Americans will not recognize that what Kim is doing is for defense not offense, while their own Department of Defense should be renamed the Department of Attack. I can see America screwing up, pushing just a little too far while not meaning to. They don't know how to deal with somebody who can and will fight back so like kids they're still pushing someone in the group forward. That's why I think we may see an exchange.

Posted by: Michael McNulty | Dec 1 2017 17:45 utc | 60

@ FB for his insightful comment about what a motivated nation can do, thanks

I would offer one upgrade to your last statement " the ideology of capitalism and finance does not consider education to be of any value...

IMO, the ideology of private finance is anathema to the concept of public education..... a much more easily manipulated public is a necessity to keep the myths vibrant and underpinnings hidden.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1 2017 17:45 utc | 61

Thanks for setting this out so comprehensively, b.
It's interesting that China and Russia are sympathetic to North Korea's insistence that the AmeriKKKans offer something substantial and watertight in exchange for NK abandoning their Nuke and ICBM programs.
Considering that China was serially raped and plundered by greedy Christian Colonial racist supremacists, and Russia was violently assaulted by a subset of the same crew, it's hard to imagine either Russia or China abandoning North Korea to Christian Colonialism's (less than) tender mercies.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1 2017 17:51 utc | 62

The US fake news tells us that North Koreans are starving puppets in a "hermit kingdom." Well as FB describes there are real people there with brains, and DPRK has diplomatic relations with 164 countries. (It's similar to Iran.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 1 2017 17:53 utc | 63

Hippi @51 also said this...

...'Gravitation on Mount Everest`s top is 0,9972g, in 400km higth [sic] its[sic] around 0,9 g and at 36.000km it`s 0,023g, which seems to me not to be a linear relation. This should affect your calculation heavily...'

It is a quadratic a body with a given mass [such as earth] will see its gravitational force reduce as a function of the square of its radius...

The curve of a quadratic function is a parabola...

Newton's universal law of gravitation tells that...

Gravitational Force = G x m1 x m2 / r^2...

Where G is the universal gravitational constant which is the same everywhere in the universe...m1 is the mass of the body [ie earth]...m2 is the mass of any object [ie a man on the earth's surface, or a satellite in orbit]...and r is the radius of the body [in this case earth...]

If we want to calculate the earth's gravitational force at any height from the earth's proportion to gravity at earth's surface we can assume a unit mass [ie 1 kg]for the object...

...the gravitational constant is not needed since we are calculating a ratio using the same constant...

...and we simply use 1 earth mass as our m1...

We get this very simple formula...

Ratio of Gravity Force = 1 earth mass / [(r + height)/ r]^2

in the case of a satellite at 400 km height we get...

F = 1 / [(6370 + 400)/ 6370]^2 = 0.885 g

Which means that the acceleration of gravity at 400 km height is 9.8 x 0.885 = 8.7 m/s^2...

At your other example of 36,000 km height the force of earth's gravity would be...

1 / [(6370 + 36,000)/6370]^2 = 0.022 g = 0.22 m/s^2

However...the higher the orbit you want to reach...the greater the velocity that the vehicle must attain...

This is evident from the equation I presented initially...

The inverse parabolic curve of decreasing gravity as one gets farther from the earth's surface means that the rocket will experience a continually decreasing force of gravity from the moment it lifts off...

To escape earth's gravity completely a velocity of of over 11 km/s is required...

this is the case for spacecraft that need to make interplanetary missions...

Posted by: FB | Dec 1 2017 18:31 utc | 64




Posted by: b4real | Dec 1 2017 18:47 utc | 65

FB - Thanks, I learned something today, thankfully without the calculus lesson.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 1 2017 19:02 utc | 66

I wonder why people doubt the possibilities of others specially when
not from the same ethnic stock.

Contrary to Chinese or Japanese, Koreans have an easily read alfabet
created by a king that wanted his subjects educated. Therefore it is
not surprising that , along with Singaporeans and Hong Kongeses,
the Koreans have the highest collective IQ in the World.

After them come the Japanese and the Chinese.

Remember that in 1865, the Japanese only built wooden galleys. Following
the affront made to them by Commodore Perry, they decided to modernise their
knowledge of ship construction and everything in between.

40 short years later the Japanese steel cruisers and battleships defeated
the Russian Navy in the battle of Tsushima. One has to marvel at the ability
of the Japanese to coalesce into matter the theories learned in western Universities.

Then, able learners bolstered by communist education, North Koreans are
showing this same ability to master new fields such as rocket construction.

Somebody mentioned Goddard as an American pioneer of Rocketry. Goddard
had an associate,, Mr. Hahn and between the two, they never got a rocket to
fly straight for a sizable amount of time. I used to know David Hahn, son of
the rocket scientist, himself a scientist (rest in peace as he died in a diving
accident in Central America0 who said that. were it not for Von Braun, the US
would have been centuries backward compared to the Russians in that field.

Must be said that the Exceptionals believe they are the only ones capable of
any scientific or academic prowess.

They will awake to painful mornings

Posted by: CarlD | Dec 1 2017 19:07 utc | 67

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 1, 2017 3:43:53 AM | 47
You can't see from where you are, but I am standing up on my chair applauding you.
Thank you for expressing such articulate and fierce anger at the US's current govt while pointing out the obvious, peaceful solution of a national return to justice. May all of us live to see such a solution take place.

Posted by: frances | Dec 1 2017 19:18 utc | 68

1 2nd frances comment to notheonly 1 as well.. thanks for that... a moment for optimism..

Posted by: james | Dec 1 2017 19:38 utc | 69

@43 Jen,

Add to that another fact, that the US usually chooses to make coincide for to develop its military drills along with South Korea preciselly the harvesting time in DPRK, with which many military personal who would have to be helping in harvesting work ( yes, in DPRK, there is no place for laziness, and when yo uare not at war you have to help the country at other works ) are oblied to be ready at their barracks in military alert, which constitutes another intend by the US of continuing starving the North Korean people. I say continuing, since the North Korean people was also starved during the Korean War, apart from being decimated in almost its half by the continuous US attacks and blockades, and so, it is a reality that the North Koreans and South Koreans, while being genetically ( and nationally )the same people, have obvious differences is size and height to the advantage of the South Koreans. Another delicacy they must thank to the US.

On the other hand, I do not agree in the statement I read the other day by Mr. Nebenzya, Russian ambassador to the UN, on that DPRK do not have the right to be nuclear. Why not, I wonder. While the world is in such state of affairs that rogue states bully continuoulsy the weakest nations without almost opposition and even achieving wide support in their "war of sanctions" even by other bullied countries, everybody has the right to try to protect their lives the best they can. It is clear that the only thing that nowadays act as a deterrent is becoming a nuclear state.

Last, but not least, @Sid2, if I were Pompeo, I would have a cold shower to calm myslef a bit, since his estimations on the ammount of people who could be dissidents from the North Korean system would be in the best case on the same range as those from the USSR, without forgetting that after almost three decades of continuous demonization of the communist system of the USSR by the main MSM , rewritting of history by well payed academics and the last and huge effort made by the "alt-right alt-media" ( with one of their favourite mottos, "communism and fascism are the same", avoiding finding themselves in the mirror ) in the developed world, included the Russian Federation, still at least half of the Russian population declares itself supporter of the Soviet system.
Not to mention that I very doubt that even the South Koreans would be so willing to attack their brother country with which they, in a, overwhelming majority, only wish to rejoin and rebuild the unique nation they were in the past. Do not forget that there are still people in both Koreas who are relatives.

As a final note, I would add something I read time ago in an article whose link I do not have at hand right now, and it is that, most probably, the main danger coming from DPRK has less to do with nuclear missiles and more with the so mentioned lately "cyberwarfare". It seems that the North Korean hackers coming out of the Computer University of Pyongyang are the best in the world ( yes, you will not hear this in the media, neither in the US, nor for that matter in Russia, being them both who always are considered by all as the "masters" in the matter ) and it seems that at least once, or more times, in the past they were able to infiltrate the Federal Reserve System.....To give it a thought, doesn´t it?

Posted by: elsi | Dec 1 2017 19:53 utc | 70

@ 47 Notheonly1,

Loved your comment, thanks a lot, sounds so rightful and hopeful.....
After so many years amongst the fascists who currently use to disguised themselves as leftist anti-Empire warriors at other supposed "alt- media", this is like a bit of fresh air....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 1 2017 20:22 utc | 71

Larry Wilkerson says this is best book if you want to comprehend DPRK:
Highly recommended, made many things very clear to me, e.g. it is ridiculous to think the people of DPRK do not fully support their leader.

also, Bacevich writes:
Seven Steps to a Saner U.S. Policy Towards North Korea
But is the Trump Administration too dysfunctional to grasp this?
By Andrew J. Bacevich • September 8, 2017

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 1 2017 21:07 utc | 72

>>>> karlof1 | Dec 1, 2017 11:41:23 AM | 57

creative accounting

Been there, done that today. Germany's population is just over 80 million so US population (323 million) is four not three times that so "creative accounting" only involves as a best guest about $4 trillion but hey what is $4 trillion?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 1 2017 21:09 utc | 73

Thank you FB. I lived in South Korea as a child and again as a young adult. I have a love of Koreans and their culture. The current situation terrifies me. The link you provided to the NYT report was an eye opener. Is that the best the NYT has? The reporter had the opportunity to question an elite soldier in the North Korean military and he starts with an insult? What most westerners don't understand is the that the division of the country was the cause of the war. Some kind of reintegration without war is the only solution.

Posted by: Magila | Dec 1 2017 21:23 utc | 74

One more vote for 'notheonly1's' essay here...

Just today we have more news on the diplomatic front...with Sergei Lavrov calling Nikki Haley's rant at the UN a 'bloodthirsty tirade'...

That's some pretty strong language there...

Posted by: FB | Dec 1 2017 21:36 utc | 75

Ghost Ship @74--

Outlaw US Empire propagandistic depictions of DPRK are of a nation that literally eats its own citizens, thus my example proving the reverse to be true. Someone recently wrote that the Outlaw US Empire is the most corrupt ever to appear on the planet with as much as $10 Trillion unaccounted for since 1990. Both the OKC bombing and 911 destroyed vital evidence of such corruption. The treatment my stepson's endured in Georgia for a DUI proves the allegations of the side into a full-fledged Police State to be correct. I wonder how Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly would be updated to depict the state of today's Outlaw US Empire, which only seems interested in a Fistful of A Few Dollars More gained at the expense of everyone's welfare--excepting the 1%.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 1 2017 21:52 utc | 76

Excellent long article, from before the Opium Wars in China until present day, focused on CIA in recent times.
The US Opium Wars: China, Burma and the CIA
by Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 1 2017 23:37 utc | 77


What gaslighting? Are you claiming that the North Korean regime is not a totalitarian dictatorship? All you offer are hysterical slurs against the US as a whole that read like they were written by North Korean propaganda, with clichés like "capitalist pigs" and spurious connections like "Christianity based" Fascism. The North Korean dictatorship's dogma is not about "living a peaceful life, with a roof over their head, food on the table and the kids safe in bed." There's no equality and justice in this totalitarian regime; how can you say their actions advance that then? None these "terrorist empire" imaginings have anything to do with exceptionalism; it's when the government betrays exceptionalism when they think it's alright to prop up dictators and fight illegal wars. The "game show host messiah" is the one who's attacking exceptionalism and who's been embraced by the people on this website. You demonize the whole US as "United States of Terror and Slavery"; how can your subsequent claims of caring for the well being of the 300 plus inhabitants?
And you try to silence any counterargument against you by branding rebuttals "yapping".

@69, @70, @72, @76

It's Orwellian to describe that hate-mongering and totalitarian praising article as "optimistic"

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 2 2017 1:41 utc | 78

@60 You actually praise that pedagogy? One where a regime decides what you will do and how you will live right from childhood, and where people's talents are forced to serve as cogs in a giant ideological machine that can't be questioned?

And how many well educated scientists would a government really need for a space program?

And can you actually back up your claim that "engineering and science are not as highly regarded as more lucrative professions"? I teach Physics at a local Community College. Most of my students want to move on to engineering programs after my class. I don't see any leaning towards wall-street jobs over STEM; those capitalists need engineers to make things that they can actually sell. I love the topics I cover in Physics and I try to show how physics clarifies the way our everyday life works, to all my students. I am happy to inspire STEM people and junk bond dealers and everyone else by showing how things work; and I'm glad to put that genuine enthusiasm in people instead of imprison them in the plan of a dear leader.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 2 2017 1:51 utc | 79

@58 karlof1

Yes, I like that piece by Garrie. We can expect a road map. It will involve discussion and negotiation between South and North, with Russia mediating. Will it over time grow into a plan to unite the two countries? And set as a condition that of course the US will leave the South?

It won't happen overnight, but it's very easy to visualize. The dynamic of a re-union, with NK in its independence to bolster SK in its enslavement, could give sufficient energy to the process that it could happen just that way. I don't know what complications would exist in a reunification - maybe such a thing takes decades rather than years - but the road map, and the energy of the dynamic, as the US gets weaker and weaker every day, is the thing.

Until one day, we look up and the US is gone from Korea. As if by magic, but actually only through sanity and boots on the ground, the way that Astana works for Syria, and Geneva does not. And Russia is the country with the trust, the position, and the strength of character to aid in that process.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 2 2017 2:52 utc | 80

@80 says...

'...You actually praise that pedagogy? One where a regime decides what you will do and how you will live right from childhood, and where people's talents are forced to serve as cogs in a giant ideological machine that can't be questioned?..'

This tells me you have never stepped foot in any communist you base your opinion on the propaganda available to you...

'...those capitalists need engineers to make things that they can actually sell...'

Exactly...things like iphones and other gadget 'technology' that serves what purpose exactly...?

The US can't even fly its own astronauts to the [mainly Russian built] space station for the last six years...

They need to buy Russian rocket engines because they are yet to develop a high pressure rocket engine...

You teach at a community college...when you have worked for Nasa and been to the Gromov flight test center in Zhukovsky and seen both sides up close...then come back and talk to me about engineering...

Posted by: FB | Dec 2 2017 3:33 utc | 81

Inkan1969 | Dec 1, 2017 8:41:29 PM | 79

What gaslighting?

The same bullshit gaslighting that was perpetrated by your friendly social democratic plutocrats on Saddam Hussein. It is to be expected that you believed hook, line sinker the concocted stories about babies being killed in their hospital cribs. That Saddam Hussein had WMD's and could strike the US mainland ANY MOMENT.
The same gaslighting that has been done to Colonel Qaddafi, of which your friendly secretary of regime department so eloquently twisted the words of a man this person could ever reach the water, Julius Caesar: "VENI VIDI VICI" was converted into the perverted statement of "WE came, we saw, he died" with the same sadistic smile a Barbie had for his victims.

Are you claiming that the North Korean regime is not a totalitarian dictatorship?

Absolutely and nothing compared to the totalitarian dictatorship of the United States, where flesh-less corporate persons dictate which laws are written and which demands of the population in flesh are denied. Never heard of ALEC, of course. It is obvious that you have never been in North Korea and while I can say the same about myself, I don't spread bullshit about a place I have never been to. North Korea has always fully deserved the benefit of my doubts, based on the stinking lies the US regime has spewed out over the last 60 years.

All you offer are hysterical slurs against the US as a whole that read like they were written by North Korean propaganda, with clichés like "capitalist pigs" and spurious connections like "Christianity based" Fascism.

Hysterical slurs? Let me brake it to you, hysterical is what happened today in Hawai'i where for the first time ever, nuclear attack sirens were sounded. And why would that be? Because of the
illegal, against all international laws - that do not apply to the United States - waged wars, including using depleted uranium on the Iraqi and Afghani populations. North Korean propaganda is funny, since North Korea does not need any propaganda. The one Nation that has carpet bombed North Korea and slaughtered at least a quarter of its population based on the fact that North Korea decided in self determinating fashion to chose Communism as form for its society. But for the Christo-Fascist capitalist wannabe empire, that was of course intolerable. Just like in Vietnam, where with a little help from a false flag millions of innocent people had to die for the profits of your friendly and benevolent capitalists. Cliché is the best joke I have heard in a long time. It reveals that you care not the least for the general population of the United States, that have little to no influence over the decisions their owners make for their sole benefit. That Fascism is a derivative of the Judaeo-Christian belief system is historically proven. So, the fact that you have no clue about the atrocities and genocide that Christianity is known for (I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition) and it's symptomatic for the most murderous 'religion' in human history to bless Fascist dictators and exterminate 'savages' - especially those with lots of gold and now those reformed non Judaeo-Christian Muslims with all their oil in the ground. Yes, we all know that not all Christians are bad, certainly not the few thousand that work in soup kitchen necessary because of your friendly capitalist's ideas about who deserves to prosper and who not. Leaving millions of hypocritical good Christians that have NO WHATSOEVER problems with millions of innocent women and children being slaughtered, because "You have to fight them over there, that You don't have to fight them over here." Preposterous does not cut it by the length of the Universe.

The North Korean dictatorship's dogma is not about "living a peaceful life, with a roof over their head, food on the table and the kids safe in bed."

Ah, yes, a little word twisting will do miracles and it shows that you don't even know what a 'dogma' constitutes. I would not use words like this, in absence of any understanding what they encompass. The sentence was related to the North Korean people and their desire to live in exactly the way I have written. And since you speak about 'dogma', Christian dogma is tried and proven to have worked real wonders in the stupefying of the "In god we trust" crowd. With a little nudge, believers of the Christian dogma will shoot innocent African-American youth in the back, it will wear white hoods, be full of hate when it comes to those who do not believe in their fairy tale about the person allegedly tortured to death on a cross, which is the number one symbol of Christianity. A to death tortured person on a cross. Lovely. How inappropriate for people to not buy into that and turn to the smiling, round man that told only one thing: "Do no harm, do no hurt". Compared to the slaughterers of the Native American Indian population that killed as many buffaloes as possible to starve them to death. 'Good Christians' is an oxymoron.

There's no equality and justice in this totalitarian regime;

compared to the most egalitarian and just society on Earth, the one Nation under 'god'? Are you actually believing your own fantasies? Let me tell you something about equality and justice:
Equality is, when all human beings are treated equally. Do you get that? Human beings that are treated equally, have equal opportunities, equal pay and equal rights and equal duties. Only in your little fantasy is that the modus operandi in the United States. As if African-Americans, who were not allowed to ride the same bus their white good Christians rode as little as 50 years ago and might still not walk through a white Christian neighborhood without being shot, who have a fraction of the choices white Christians proclaim for themselves. Do I have to continue about the 'equality' between white Christian men and women, whether white Christian, or African-American? Do you suffer from cognitive dissonance?

how can you say their actions advance that then? None these "terrorist empire" imaginings have anything to do with exceptionalism;

Of course not. Exceptionalism does not provide for actions that would otherwise be impossible. But how could you know that? You do not know about the history of exceptionalism in Europe and most notable by folks that proclaimed that Aryans are the sole Master Race and most others are at best tolerated, or sub-human. The prerequisite for the construction and utilization of concentration camps was the delusion of being exceptional over any other race on Earth. Aryans were more exceptional than the exceptionals themselves, gods chosen people, who have been fighting and hating each other for millenniae. My family goes back to 1648. We experienced the creation of Protestantism and the religious wars in Europe. My ancestors saw emperors come and go for hundreds of years and you care to lecture me on exceptionalism? You know nothing about what creates the delusion of exceptionalism. Hint: it is never the general population that sees itself like that from birth on. The delusion of being exceptional is programmed and conditioned into a human mind from early on. Transferred from generation to generation without the need to second guess it validity.

it's when the government betrays exceptionalism when they think it's alright to prop up dictators and fight illegal wars.

Are you writing from an insane asylum? BETRAYING EXCEPTIONALISM? Once more, exceptionalism is the precursor and prerequisite for all mayhem in the history of mankind. Exceptionalism is the basis for ENTITLEMENT. Do you know what 'entitlement' means? It means that people line up behind a dictatorial puppet to kill millions of people of color in faraway countries, because they are entitled to do so. Even without the specific approval of the United Nations Security Counsel. That is entitlement based on the delusion of exceptionalism.

The "game show host messiah" is the one who's attacking exceptionalism and who's been embraced by the people on this website.

You are on the wrong website obviously, because with the exception of the occasional equally deluded troll, nobody here has any illusions about the fact that the game-show-host turned president is just another puppet installed by the Plutocrats. There is a difference between an Oligarchy and a Plutocracy. Go read about it. To believe that this person was 'elected' is so removed from reality, that it will make my attempt to respond to you in kind absolutely futile. As if it could remain a mystery to those WHO DID VOTE for this person had not ample opportunity to figure out that they had been had. Explain, what a tax reform that will take money from people that already are whistling from the last hole of their flute of existence, to give lavish tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires? You are not one of them obviously, because you would never appear on this board to write a response of the likes you did. You are a useless eater for your game-show-host turned president. You are callous and gullible if you truly believe that this guy gives a fuck about you and those who voted for him. He did not need your vote, or anybody else's at that. If Clinton would have been a threat to the Plutocrats' ultimate takeover, they would have arrested her. If Bernie Sanders would have been a threat to the takeover, they would have popped the guy.
It must hurt to be so naive. While I do not wish any malaise on anybody but those who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity and Earth, I hope that you will wake up from your slumber about WHO IS IN CONTROL in this country. Watching the documentary "Plutocracy"
on 'Metanoia Films' might enlighten you. Hopefully you can overcome your indoctrinated mind and watch all three parts of it.

You demonize the whole US as "United States of Terror and Slavery"; how can your subsequent claims of caring for the well being of the 300 plus inhabitants?

Demonize? Demons are for people that are utterly lost in religion. They belong to a time in which people believed that whatever harm came their way was perpetrated by a demon. There is no such thing, and if there is, show me. Until then, YES, I make responsible the entirety of the United States, because whoever is a US citizen has his/her share in the terror and slavery perpetrated in their name. Those who take responsibility SPEAK OUT about the inhumane treatment of human beings not carrying a US passport with them (whereas that will no longer protect you either). Have you ever heard about 'Guantanamo Bay'? If you are an American citizen, you own that, whether you like it or not. Do you need to be filled in into the kind of torture and utmost cruelty that was inflicted on people that had absolutely nothing to do with what they were accused of? People that were at the wrong place at the wrong time? Kept in kennel like enclosures like animals by the 'good' Christians? You own this shit if you bear a US passport as much as the Germans owned their obliterated Nation after they had exterminated 30+ million Soviet citizens.
Plus, I demand responsibility for 300+MILLION Americans, not just 300. That number shows that you actually don't really care what you are writing about. That's okay, no problem, just don't respond to any COMMENT not paying proper attention at what you respond with.

And you try to silence any counterargument against you by branding rebuttals "yapping".

REBUTTAL? Ha, ha, ha! Now you got me really giggling. You do not possess the mental capacity to rebut anything you don't know anything about. What you respond with is corporate mainstream propaganda 'knowledge. If you care to ridicule yourself, that's fine by me, but do not respond to a comment that is based on FACTS and FACTS only. It is your responsibility to inform yourself via all available information. Be it from peers, teachers, parents, friends, opposing view outlets and most important from books. There are books written about every aspect of what I commented with. If you do not care to read these books, than you need to take a hike and not fabricate a pseudo rebuttal of the inconvenient truth, the real inconvenient one.

IF your moniker is reflective of your year of birth, you should pull your head out of the sand, and I am really polite here, since the only interest on this side of the screen are in the solutions to bring about urgently required changes to a society that has not only lost its meaning, but also its mind.

The purpose of engaging in commenting is to further the understanding about what could be done to reverse the course of an already listing society named Titanic. If you like to sink with it, fine. But don't interrupt into conversations that are intended to bring about the required changes of minds in order to be best prepared for what is coming at humanity and this planet.

Last but not least, your friendly capitalists keep ordering brainwashed individuals to spray toxic aerosols in the atmosphere. Clearly visible in the sky and no longer denied, but by the most gullible people on Earth.

It is CAPITALIST PIGS as long as they continue to exterminate human life for profits. There is space for twice as many people on Earth, provided they are not subjected to for-profit-wars, for-profit health care, for-profit education and for-profit industrial agri'culture. As someone who specializes in vertical permaculture, I know that the depopulation efforts of the Plutocrats do not serve some higher morals. They are Fascist policies akin to the intended extermination of the Jewish people, the intended extermination of the Native North and South American Indian populations, and most recently the extermination of people that choose to believe in Islam. It looks like the only religion a person can choose is either way Christianity, or Judaism. How pathetically hypocritical.


George Orwell - Animal Farm:

"The Trough is always the same - only the PIGS change."

Rebut that. Oh, and yes, by all means, learn in what context the term 'Orwellian' is used and by whom.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 2 2017 4:22 utc | 82

re notheonly1 @47
Saluting {Nazi style ?] the flag in 1942...I well recall:

Here is a Ferne Jacobs photo:

If that link not work, look for Ferne Jacobs' photos

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 2 2017 4:51 utc | 83

re above @ 84
...about that time, the teacher announced that, henceforth, the new salute was right-hand-over-heart; no explanation given, tho some of us filed away the change in our mental bull-pen that is reserved for "huh? wha?" items.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 2 2017 5:00 utc | 84

@ notheonly1 with the clarity about our current human condition

The brainwashing runs deep in the America I live in. And it is built and maintained by the pace of the Rat Race most are forced to participate in to survive if they are not born rich or exceptionally smart/talented.

I am not excusing the zombie state of most Americans but describing the slippery slope that put them in the zombie state. If life does not provide you the opportunity to explore reality outside your own then you "learn" to accept the reality outside your envelope as described by those who have been given the position of power to disseminate such reality (media/TV). Americans are a sick example of how efficient the Bernays' propaganda approach can be when used with TV. America had a Fairness Doctrine about TV propaganda from 1949 until 1987 so there has been at least 30 years of unfettered brainwashing being pushed out by the owners of TV outlets.....and it shows

I guess a shorter statement would be that while many Americans are as innocent as the Germans that supported Hitler, the rest are going to take a considerable amount of effort to un-zombie if it happens at all.....I wish I could feel more optimistic but even many of my closer friends glaze over when their assumptions are that Hillary could be a war criminal.....

But we need to keep up the fight to wake up American zombies, even if is is one at a time, so thanks for your efforts which my textual white noise pales in comparison to.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 2 2017 6:21 utc | 85

psychohistorian | Dec 2, 2017 1:21:16 AM | 86

Absolutely and very well stated. This indeed a complicated matter. It is noted that You are aware of the damages the old misanthrope Bernays inflicted on the Western hemisphere, since his influence on corporate and governmental power are most often wholly underestimated, if not excused, or lauded (well, only by those benefiting from his perverted abuse of the human mind). There is a documentary (actually a number of them) that should be mandatory at school and replace the pledge of allegiance. :-D The most detailed account about what happened in the United States from the early 1920's on can be explored in the brilliant documentary "The Century of the Self" and I can imagine You might have seen it. The website "Thoughtmaybe" has been repeatedly under DDOS attack over the last few years and especially after publication of the Scott Noble docu series "Plutocracy" (which can also be had on Metanoia Film").

Whoever watches 'The Century of the Self' will be in for some nice reality check. As You said, the indoctrination form early age on was the glorious idea of Bernays, who was also revered by the Nazis. No small wonder that his works and influence continued in the US after WWI. The Plutocrats love this guy and if it would be for them, he would have a statue before every public building...

As You remarked the factual tragedy of a large number of Americans being 'zombies', it will be imperative to circumvent those who are the least receptive for the truth and a differing world view and focus instead on the dismemberment of Bernays (int he US) celebrated legacy. The man was a monster of immeasurable proportions. He sold his knowledge of the Human Mind to the corporations and to the government, which in turn lead to the first attempt of a Fascist coup d'etat in the United States.

He never gave up on the idea of the total control of the masses, whom he deemed utterly pathetic and stupid. He hated the masses and transformed them into obedient consumers, as this was the only valid function he attested them. He invented "planned obsolescence", a perverted instrument for corporations to maintain a steady demand for goods, that would otherwise be limited to the end of 'natural' life cycle of any given product. The planet is so much worse off for its implementation.

The government was happy too, since you will be able to rake in sales taxes for the same product, that has now to be replaced every few years. My Mom still has a kitchen combination machine (blender/mixer/dough maker/meat grinder/pasta maker) from 1958. I believe it to be a KRUPS. That's 60 years of flawless operation next year, my friend. Unbelievable, isn't it? Of course the same applies to automobiles. As someone who specialized on historic and classic automobiles, I cherish the degree of craftsmanship and quality that has gifted those who collect these gems with vehicles that still work without major issues after seventy years. Tucker is a good example as well. All Tuckers, but a few wrecked ones are still running and driving like new.

The young 'indoctrinate' ;-) could not understand that the reason for the one perversion goes hand in hand with the 'moronization' of the American mind - forcing it to ever increase the productivity/workload in order to 'keep up' with the purchases of replacements. There is only one other racket that generates more revenue and that is military gear - build and sold to tax payers to be destroyed.

The Century of the Self explains how the one manipulation leeches into other areas of life. The mind became a battle field for corporate and authority interests. Add to the mix, that religion was exploited insofar that the American Christian mind had no defense mechanisms against the indoctrination of Christian values in the control of the individual's personal life. The entire McCarthy era is a great example for such an indoctrination and for the manufacturing of consent in the "fight against godless communists" and the defense of Christian (Western)'values' by means of oppression of and even war on those who did not share the Christian dogmata.

A formidable adversary lives in the mind of every American citizen - without the individual even knowing it. Prepped in decades, through so called 'education', Hollywood flicks and sporting. That's a lot of components that - in their combined occurrence - can render the individual mind so helpless, that it will be next to impossible to survive outside of like-programmed individuals. A group dynamic was created that the individual cannot withdraw itself from.

That is what we are dealing with today. Paired with incessant propaganda and deception, one must expect the masses to be unable to break free from these balls and chains easily. Also a significant problem is the perpetuation of the need to 'work hard to make a living', which is in itself a blaspheme lie - since the tortured man on the cross allegedly said that "Therefore worry not about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own." Which in its consequence means nothing than to trust one's god to arrange things the way they are best for the individual. An non-trusting person therefore will have to work hard in order to preempt its continuity, as it cannot be left to the heavens to manage it. Other cultures see it different though, all the way to fatalism, but at least they do not waste their lives having to work hard.

The other problem with that lies in the demand of the group for the compliance of the individual to that delusion. It really extends to an entire Nation daring to dictate the lifestyle/society of another Nation, preferably one that is easily overrun. A holier than thou situation leading to illegal wars backed by the masses that succumbed to this lie.

Muslims are a good enemy. They are all slackers, lazy, godless people that love to drink tea and smoke hookah all day long. The secret dream of every American - to work less (hard) and spend more time with family and friends, doing things one loves to do. That's blasphemy for the good Christian, anarchy.

Thus is the mind equipped that it can not let go of this misunderstanding/indoctrination. Parents have less time for their children than ever before. A fool who thinks that this is carefully orchestrated in order to condition and program the children towards obedient servitude. The more time the children spend with employees of the authorities (teachers) the more thorough and deep the programming.

It is therefore next to impossible to drop obedience, since it is anchored at the bottom of the mind now. One has to believe what the authorities tell one. What the cop tells one. What the government worker tells one. Disobedience towards authorities is equated with disobedience towards god. That's not going to happen. The good Christian cannot but follow the shepherd called Uncle Sam, or the White House, or the 'government'. It is against his/her program.

That is therefore the reason why the Plutocrats have such an easy game with the masses. Anybody who drives a car knows that. Fifty signs per quarter mile, now "Double the Fine" in school zones. The notion that "It is against Federal Law to..." is not looked through and fended of easily. As a reminder for those who can't but help it to be obedient: Hitler never broke a German law - he wrote them to synchronize his ways with authority. There will be a new law and that is that. Do not break it.

Do never mistrust what the government tells you to do. Do never mistrust what the government tells you to believe, do never mistrust what the government wants you to believe. The government/Uncle Sam knows what's best for you. It worked for a very long time and it might not be over yet. More people are waking up though and ask themselves "What the Bleep?"

This is not what life is about. This is what corporate profits are about - stealing money and time from the individual (by paying barely enough to make it from paycheck to paycheck.

It does not come as a surprise then, that the masses are still lining up behind their Führer. They have to, they must, there is no other way.

But of course here is. There is actually only one way to live a fulfilled life: the one where the individual lives in relative anarchy to his/her inner obedience. To reject obedience an the accompanying dictates and live in the moment - letting go of the demands that others have to live the same way.

That includes North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and any other Nation that care to live differently from the American way of corporate living. While the task at hand is gargantuan, a single spark can light up the barn filled with hey. It is this spark I am dedicating my writing and my discussions to.

People that shoot the messenger, but ignore the message are in for some inconvenient confrontation. An awakened mind does not take orders. It promotes the awakening of other minds, that these other minds can enjoy true freedom, liberty and happiness.

My apologies. But with the nuclear attack sirens sounding today in the ALOHA state, a change of the collective American mind is of utmost importance. Even though I do look forward for people to run back from where they came from. Especially those that came here for profits and ruined the prices for the local population.

Greetings to You. Somehow I remember a time when I posted on Thinkprogress and Common Dreams, before they drifted into corporate censorship, of which Your writing reminds me. Same with others here. Wishing You the best time to be had.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 2 2017 9:56 utc | 86

=>> Inkan1969 | Dec 1, 2017 8:41:29 PM | 79

You say:
"What gaslighting? Are you claiming that the North Korean regime is not a totalitarian dictatorship? All you offer are hysterical slurs against the US as a whole that read like they were written by North Korean propaganda, with clichés like "capitalist pigs" and spurious connections like "Christianity based" Fascism."

Of course the United States is a totalitarian dictatorship. You should actually try and come and live in this hellhole sometime. Walk carefully or the potholes will break your ankles. Vote for your next Republican-democrat company-owned war monger. Give a quarter to the homeless veteran, and ask him about how bad it is in that awful North Korea.

The capitalists are actual pigs, it's not a "cliche". Very few capitalist pigs seem to be homeless. They can afford to "go to college" and stay out of their own fascist wars too.

Posted by: blues | Dec 2 2017 10:25 utc | 87


North Korean people only want to be left alone to develop their lives in the system they esteem is the best for them without external interferences. What North Koreans are so determined to do today is to not allowing being decimated, undermined while getting their country reduced to ashes, like "those of always" have been able to do to non nuclear nations like Lybia, Syria, Afghanistan, and so on.

Sound quite hyprocritical, for not to say shameless, hearing you talking about "totalitarain dictatorship", obviously with the same eternal aim coming from your country, and, obvioulsy, from a great part of its citizens, on your "divinely otorged" right to go anywhere to "liberate" people and spread your "democracy and liberties", when one can see the current state of affairs in Lybia, where a well stablished slave market keeps functioning without anybody caring in the so called "international community",not ot mention you, the so rightfully entitiled citizens of the US, who were the main perpetrators of the destruction of a nation which once enjoyed the higuest level of life standards in Africa. Living in Spain, I can asure you that I had never met in my whole life any Lybian refugee/immigrant here.

To illustrate my point, and you yourself a bit, I will leave some videos: some are on illustrating the real aim on peace, but at the same time the determination of the DPRK people right now on at least bringing you with them to the hell in case they could anytime be bombed again by you to the stone age ( you will be able to test, btw, as well, that another myth about North Korea, that there everybody wears the same hairstyle, is simply false, as anything else ). The others are about the kind of "democracy" you and your government brought in to Lybia. Thank you for your "contribution" to peace and well being of peoples and countries in the world:

Now, let´s go to the "madre del cordero", after Kim Jong Un hs opened the DPRK´s economy a bit to diversify it, the fact is that DPRK, in spite of sanctions, international slandering and isolation, has managed to grow this year even in a score superior than South Korea and other "capitalist meccas" of East and South Asia. This is the kind of "propaganda" the US and their predator allies, who remain looting their own people by sending them in increasing number to poverty while they become richer and richer, can not allow, that in a context of generalized and neverending crisis of the capitalist system and consequent increasing discontent of the masses we could anytime test that another kind of sytem works. In this aim, take into account that it could be possible that they could be interested in hiding this fact other countries not precisely alligned with the US, like Russia and China, which are alligned around the capitalist system which allows to built an uncontested caste of priviledged billionaires at the top ruling everything while the rest hardly manages to survive, even when having a job, or even two.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 2 2017 11:27 utc | 88

Someone raised the issue that North Korea is a "totalitarian regime". From the little that I know, it is, and it makes large, and probably largely successful efforts to brainwash the population. That said, how can we compare North Korea with KSA in terms of individual and political rights? We can recall an American columnist of NYT visiting the kingdom and EVERYBODY who talked with him was gushing with enthusiasm about the newest purges personally supervised by His Highness Crown Prince. I guess he could as well poll citizens of North Korea about their impressions concerning the latest achievements of their leader.

As Hillary Rodham Clinton said "You will not see me singing praises of a foreign dictator or a strongman who does not love America". There you have it: KSA loves America and North Korea does not. In some abstract way, it would be better if there did not have nuclear weapons. However after Khaddafi of Libya closed his nuclear program and few years later, he was personally killed, with considerable brutality, and as a country, Libya was smashed into small components, so it would be irrational for North Korean leadership to drop their nuke program. 20 years ago, or perhaps even 15 years ago there was some room for negotiating with North Korea, now it is impossible.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 2 2017 13:11 utc | 89

Piotr Berman | Dec 2, 2017 8:11:28 AM | 90

"From the little that I know, it is, and it makes large, and probably largely successful efforts to brainwash the population."

It is here, were the irony lives, that most American people are - without knowing it - unable to detect.

When we look at what happened to North Korea in the Korean war, one should be allowed to note, that the North Korean population MIGHT NOT need to be "brain washed", in order to not forget what the US military did to the North Korean 'soul'.

In a time of a well acknowledged witch hunt of every Nation that dared to turn to communism, or even socialism, the US empire unleashed harm not exponentially less than Nazi Germany. The US had just dropped two nukes on Japan, although the Russians had defeated Japan in the North and thus made it unnecessary for Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be obliterated.

The hate of the American capitalists for any Nation was honed and refined to be unleashed upon the American population. McCarthy was able to do what he did (in community with the US capitalist inquisition), because the American people were brainwashed into fearfulness of an enemy that did not exist. It was carefully groomed in the minds of the population. The so called "RED SCARE".

Out of this red scare, arose numerous military interventions to prevent Nations from choosing which ideology their societies would prefer. The mere affiliation with the Soviet Union was reason enough to be bombed into the stone age, or simply having the governments of these Nations toppled.

Therefore, the irony is so massive and actually an expression of psychological projection, that was always bought by the American population hook, line sinker. Notable exceptions do exist.

It is therefore safe to say, that the American regime did the greatest brainwashing of them all. A heavy duty brain wash cycle, at times removing anything that resembled freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from the fabric of National identity.

This brainwashing was most successful in the United States and its devastating effects and consequences are festering like an infested wound on the National body. If anybody has ever been brainwashed to perfection - it is the American population, assisted in its program by 'Operation Paperclip' imports, that should have executed at Nuremberg, but since that was a ruse in the first place, the imported Nazis and their ideology would shape the future of the society in the United States.

In the light of the crimes against humanity, war crimes and atrocities carried out by the US, (see Clinton, as you stated correctly), the pointing of the American fingers (especially by the gullible part of the population) is what accounts for PREPOSTEROUS and can only described as such. A Nation sitting in a glasshouse where all the windows have already been smashed - due to the incessant throwing blame at other entities/Nations/people. This only works via psychological projection.

An honest review of the state of the world and North Korea at that, will reveal, that this tormented and illegally sanctioned Nation is not one iota worse than the United States in the treatment of its people, whereas I cannot even verify any accounts of the people in North Korea being as oppressed as those living in the Unites States, where capitalism does the unmitigated oppression of its people.

In the end it could boil down to the preference of which way one wants to be oppressed. But oppression is not limited to those Nations that SEEM to do that via a state induced ideology. But again, capitalism in itself is an ideology and nothing else.

The good Christians in the Unites States eagerly dismiss one of the most important notions their 'savior' has allegedly voiced:


Is that rocket science? Hardly. It is a rather simple concept that has been proven throughout human history to be spot on. "What goes around comes around" is a variation of the same magnitude.

It is for this Universal law, that the United States has it coming. The accumulated injustice, the hatred, the for profit wars, the crippling and disenfranchisement of its own people, the incessant spying, torture, financial Fascism - too many 'goes around' to remain unanswered by Universal laws.

Until this imbalance has been re-calibrated towards a fair, equitable and just society, the United States is indeed doomed.

As Nostradamus noted in one of his centurions: The Eagle will fall from the Sky and the Bear will bring peace and prosperity for all mankind.

Edgar Cayce had 'readings' to this development as well, even though he missed badly when it came to Hitler.

Let's rejoice that 'regime change' in North Korea is now off the table indefinitely and focus on the replacement of the American regime with an open, free and equitable society governed by reason and empathy.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 2 2017 21:34 utc | 90

@ psychohistorian

After I had written the response to You in which we mentioned Bernays, I am just now watching an episode of "Redacted Tonight" that focuses on Cuba and the re-reinstatement of sanctions by the Trump regime.

You cannot make stuff like this up, correct?

In the episode #173, Lee Camp speaks about "Assault On The Internet, Egypt, Cuba & Workers' Rights (27min)

You might not have seen this episode, so I don't want to spoil it. It is pertaining to a lot we were writing about. Aloha!

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 3 2017 6:11 utc | 91

When we look at what happened to North Korea in the Korean war, one should be allowed to note, that the North Korean population MIGHT NOT need to be "brain washed", in order to not forget what the US military did to the North Korean 'soul'. Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 2, 2017 4:34:31 PM | 91

I do not know Korean, but when I was in high school in then Communist Poland, I found a book that someone dropped, a hardcover on the life of Kim Ir-Sen (Kim Il-Sung in English) translated into Polish in North Korea. The translation was remarkably correct, "no effort was spared". The degree of idealization of the founding leader was almost hilarious, now I understand that it was a mixture of Marxism and native Korean mysticism: his father, grandfather and great grandfather (I am not sure about the last one) were heroes in the fight against feudalism and Japanese colonialism, and the leader himself was born on the slopes of Korean holy mountain (which is seriously important to Korean). Just one aspect illustrates the degree of brainwashing: in the account of Korean War there was no single word about the help of Chinese Communist government which was absolutely enormous.

That said, that quality of brainwashing had two reactions in USA: condemnation and indefatigable efforts to reproduce it. Roughtly starting with the time of Korean War, CIA investigated brainwashing technique, complete replacement of memory and opinions, using drugs, deprivation and other conditioning, and with quite a few victims. On legislative level, a poem was selected and improved (by adding "under God") and school children across the country even today have to recite it, "pledging allegiance", that roughly imitates schools from Soviet Union of 1950-ies. And "improvement efforts" never ceased. Alas, it is somewhat harder to control inputs to human brains in a (relatively) open society, so the success is merely statistic.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 3 2017 12:25 utc | 92

@ Piotr Berman #93
Not only children, many US adults at community functions are regularly "pledging allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands" and then many of these same people are openly and greatly disdainful to the president, and less so to the Congress, which proves your point that the brainwashing is somewhat ineffective. The fact is that we are all individuals and a hundred people will have a hundred opinions. That's what makes horse races, as they say. (Some people don't get it and refer to others as "sheeple.")

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3 2017 14:34 utc | 93

The sheeple are the 80% of any population that never question the predominant narrative.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 3 2017 15:24 utc | 94

@Peter AU 1 #95
Source of 80%?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3 2017 15:33 utc | 95

@flankerbait post 37

"The fact that the Iranians can put a vehicle in matter its mass...also speaks to an advanced rocket being able to reach Orbital Velocity..."

No matter its mass? The payload for Iran's most recent satellite launch (no word on whether or not it has maintained orbit) was 550lb. So this puts them at the very small end of the payload category. It's a great engineering accomplishment but does it mean that they now have a system that can be converted into an ICBM? As you mentioned, an ICBM is a different beast, it doesn't go into orbit, it takes a parabolic trajectory.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 3 2017 19:53 utc | 96

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