Could North Korea Nuke the USA?

Who needs rockets? Anyone with a nuke can slip one in, for instance by a truck or a shipping container, and place it exactly where they want it.

Gotta admire anyone who names a missile the No-Dong, though.

How easy do you suppose it is to slip nukes into a country?

>How easy to slip nukes in

I just read in the print media that we are inspecting 2% of freight arriving in this country.

One would hope that nukes emit radiation and there are scanners for radiation at Customs.

Even if they could I doubt they would. A nuclear attack from NK would result in the quite sudden demise of NK. Even if they hit our troops to the south of the DMZ they would still have the same issue.

If they hit our troops in South Korea, if they hit Tokyo, if they hit anything, the nuclear submarine carrying a half dozen medium range MIRVs sure to be sitting about 20 miles off their coast will be their largest and last concern, unless anyone thinks that Bush would wait more than the amount of time it takes him to find his presidential authorization card for the launch.

The ICBMs in America and the Soviet Union were largely assurance. The first rounds of any nuclear (or even conventional) exchange would have been naval, then tactical, then strategic. If you are looking at first-strike, a ICBM can take up to 20-30 minutes to fly, which is plenty of time for the other side to see the launch via satellite and release their entire arsenal. A submarine attack has the chance to wipe out the command structure before it can make that move. That is exactly how we would strike at a smaller country.

As for them nuking us, their best bet would be to just send a small boat into a major US harbor and detonate it. Why go through customs? San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Hawaii, New York, a dozen other places (I looked mostly at the Pacific region) are all VERY vulnerable to such an attack.

In terms of missile defense, what is the difference between a single tactical missile and a single strategic missile? The incoming velocity?

there are reports that bin laden may have already done so, think i remember reading about this some time last year.

A tactical ballistic missile does not reach as high in the atmosphere or nearly the speeds of a strategic ballistic missile.

A tactical ballistic missile is anything from the German V-2s to the Iraqi SCUDs. They are ground-to-ground missiles that are short range (relatively, but you’re comparing them to ICBMs here) and follow the basic ballistic concept of being shot out of a cannon. They are fairly easy to plot an intercept for, as they do not travel as quickly as a ICBM, and on a much more conventional flight path.

A strategic ballistic missile shoots high into the atmosphere and comes almost straight down onto the target. This makes it almost impossible to stop, except at launch or apex.

According to this news item they can.

Cite? I seem to recall we tried that about 50 years ago, and there still seems to be a North Korea… or are you assuming that their launching one nuke at us or Japan would cause Dubya to lob a couple hundred at NK?

Did anyone see this news story today?

What do you think?

[obligatory Babylon 5 quote]
I’m sure you will find our firepower quite impressive, for a few seconds
[/obligatory Babylon 5 quote]

That’d be my best guess. I think you’d see virtually the same response of NK nuked Tokyo or Seattle.

He most definitely has not, as evidenced by the fact that he hasn’t detonated any. The panicmongers claim that he’s just waiting for the right time, but if you think about it, the right time would have been late September, 2001, before we had a chance to recover from the airliner attacks. He might potentially have waited to strike at an event of some significance, but in that case, the attack would have been at either the Superbowl 2002, or the Salt Lake City Olympics. Any delay would lessen the effectiveness of the strikes, and really, what other events are there that would be worth waiting for?

Sorry if I wasn’t specific, I did mean that.

I think the key word in that story is “untested”.

Well, if it is small enough, it is pretty easy: 51 pound bomb or an even smaller one

While small bombs like these are not even close to being able to destroy a whole city, they could still do a lot of damage. The 51-pound warhead on the bomb in the first site could easily be made to fit in a car, and would have an explosive yield perhaps three times that of the weapon used in the Oklahoma city bombing.

If he didn’t, the US public would remove his head and mount it on a pike. Something that people seem to like to forget is that we are psycho. When we get mad, we start killing–and the madder we get, the more indiscriminate we get.

Just to play the Korean-speaking pedant, nodong (pronounced “noh dohng” with a long O) means labor or industrial work, a worker being a “nodongja” of course. Korean adopted more than 60 percent of its vocabulary from Chinese but did not import the tones as well, the result being that Korean has a ton of homonyms. “Dong” is also a word for an urban subdistrict, so my last address in Seoul was Kukdo Apartments, Socho-gu, Banpo 4-dong. And yes, if a Korean wants to know your address, he’ll ask you “what’s your dong?” and hilarity ensues.

They talked about this on the news yesterday, but they were talking about the west coast as a target not the east coast. Mainly SF. Korea has some 5,200 mile missle that has to be fueled for days before it can launch, which would be pretty tricky.

Still why don’t they aim for LA & not SF?