dfwjim1
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North Korea and nukes

Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:21 pm

It seems like everyday the leader of North Korea is making threats to use his nuclear weapons against the United States and/or its allies so I am curious if the threats have become such that the United States has targeted a portion of their nuclear triad at North Korea in case they are crazy enough to use their nukes. Or is targeting nuclear weapons such that they can be changed quickly and at a moment's notice?

Thanks for your responses.
 
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Stitch
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:06 pm

The US strategic arsenal of ICBM and SLBMs are currently targeted at the Arctic Ocean, I believe. Same with the Russian ICBM and SLBM force, to my knowledge. I am not sure if this is by treaty or mutual agreement. The weapons can be very quickly re-targeted so it's a symbolic gesture. I am sure OPLAN 8010 (the general plan for a nuclear engagement) includes North Korean assets.
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:20 pm

United States has targeted a portion of their nuclear triad at North Korea


If the US returns nuclear fire, it could trigger another world war.

If North Korea launches a nuclear missile, the US should be able to detect it with the Sea-based X-band Radar and eliminate the missile before it reaches the United States. Then, the NATO and China together should decide what to the with North Korea.

Just nuking each other would not be a smart move.
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TWA772LR
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:01 am

Stitch wrote:
The US strategic arsenal of ICBM and SLBMs are currently targeted at the Arctic Ocean, I believe. Same with the Russian ICBM and SLBM force, to my knowledge. I am not sure if this is by treaty or mutual agreement. The weapons can be very quickly re-targeted so it's a symbolic gesture. I am sure OPLAN 8010 (the general plan for a nuclear engagement) includes North Korean assets.

Why the Arctic? Why not into outer space?
Eat 'em up Kats!
 
mxaxai
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:44 am

TWA772LR wrote:
Stitch wrote:
The US strategic arsenal of ICBM and SLBMs are currently targeted at the Arctic Ocean, I believe. Same with the Russian ICBM and SLBM force, to my knowledge. I am not sure if this is by treaty or mutual agreement. The weapons can be very quickly re-targeted so it's a symbolic gesture. I am sure OPLAN 8010 (the general plan for a nuclear engagement) includes North Korean assets.

Why the Arctic? Why not into outer space?


Presumably because
(a) the rockets are not able to even enter a stable orbit, let alone leave earth and
(b) a detonation high in the atmosphere or just outside of it, up to the van-Allen belt, can cause strong EMP's with potentially much higher damage. Nobody lives in the arctic and the released radiation would still be manageable should someone accidentally pull the trigger on a nuke. Plus you would not cross hostile countries.
 
johns624
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:17 pm

Many of the USN Burke-class destroyers, as well as several Japanese ships, all have BMD capabilities with the Aegis system.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:00 pm

johns624 wrote:
Many of the USN Burke-class destroyers, as well as several Japanese ships, all have BMD capabilities with the Aegis system.


Yes, but intercepting a missile still means being close enough to the flight path to reach it, and while testing has been going respectably well with the SM3, a hit is not guaranteed.

The planning for a hypothetical North Korean launch is guaranteed to be more complicated than "shoot it down."

The default response is also not necessarily nuclear. The "launch on warning" policy changed under Clinton, to one of assuming the triad remains viable after an initial attack, especially a limited one. From there, the options include a conventional response or a proportionate response.

Although I don't think a proportionate response is the best option for dealing with a North Korean attack, I also don't think China is anywhere near dumb enough to start a war (or rather join the one the initial attacker started) in response to such action. That would be effectively condoning the attack.

China may see upsides to a troublesome North Korea being a buffer and distraction in the region, but I can't think what upside they would find in expending their own soldiers lives defending a North Korean nuclear massacre.
 
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Channex757
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:51 am

The policy on targeting was changed by both sides not that long after the Soviet Union ceased to exist. It's actually more symbolic than anything as nuclear weapons can be retargeted within seconds. The old hardware targeting systems no longer exist and the various delivery systems use digital-type guidance that just needs coordinates to be entered into their guidance systems.

It's a much more flexible system that can be used against emerging threats rather than just fixed targeting of assets on the "other side".

Having a default setting of the Antarctic means that should a fault launch happen then there is a less important target selected than some city of millions. ICBMs are ballistic weapons and can't steer or retarget themselves, they just fly a path set by their guidance, so can't enter an orbit or swing away once the propellant is used.

Cruise-type missiles are even more advanced as they can use multiple systems to calculate tracks and guide their flight but again they won't have hard targets locked into their memory. It's as 'simple' as uploading a fresh file then launching at the chosen target if in range.
 
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Aesma
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:37 am

ICBMs are ballistic because of a treaty signed by the US and Russia. Otherwise by now all warheads would be of the orbital type with the ability to be redirected in flight.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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moo
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:15 am

Aesma wrote:
ICBMs are ballistic because of a treaty signed by the US and Russia. Otherwise by now all warheads would be of the orbital type with the ability to be redirected in flight.


ICBMs are ballistic because thats the quickest delivery option - even with a weapon in the perfect orbit at the right time, it would take more time to deorbit that weapon onto a target than it would take for an ICBM to hit its target.

Add to that the fact that every orbital weapon would be tracked to within an inch of its life, and targeted with anti-satellite weapons at the start of any conflict... ICBMs are just easier and "safer"...
 
mpgunner
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Re: North Korea and nukes

Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:19 pm

I think a preemptive, night time, strike of several EMP cruise missiles (like Boeing's Champ") would possibly render NK useless for a while.

The US response could be: "What? Your communications systems are out? What happened? We have know idea what happened".

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