North Korea and Superbowl

I just read a news story about North Korea and a planned missile launch on or about Superbowl Sunday.

The following is a quote from that story:

“On Friday, a US government source said US intelligence agencies believed North Korea could be ready by the US Super Bowl kickoff on Sunday, which will be Monday Korea time.”

I must admit I found this story to be a little disconcerting and I’d like to ask if anyone else thinks there may be anything to this.

North Korea will launch a missile that will fall into the Sea of Japan (as all their other missiles have done), maybe before, maybe during, and maybe after the Super Bowl.

The chances of being hit by a car in the Super Bowl parking lots will be significantly higher than the chances of a N. Korea missile strike.

They do not have the range, the power, or the ability to aim/control the missile with any degree of precision.

If this is all you have to worry about, find new worries.

Nuff’ said.

The Bay Area is a major population center; a metro area of almost 8 million people.

If they did have a weapon able to reach it (which they don’t) do you suppose an extra 50,000 people = 0.6% in a stadium would matter in the slightest?

One thing’s for sure: any enemy that messes with the NFL will be pounded into oblivion with no survivors. Not too many things will move the US to merciless genocide, but know this World: You muck with the NFL at your extreme peril. If you think our Bubbas are in an uproar now over Trump, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. 'Nuff said.

Pyongyang is about 5,600 miles from the Bay area.

The North Koreans might have a missile that* might* have a maximum range of about 6,000 miles.

That would be the same type of missile that keeps blowing up almost every time they test it.

Ergo, even if they launch, and even if it doesn’t blow up, and even if it can travel far enough, there’s no guarantee that the North Koreans could reliably hit a target as big as the West Coast, much less one as small as a stadium.

If we keep letting them do these tests, though, eventually they’re gonna get better at it.

Not only this.

They don’t have to hit anywhere near the Bay area to cause a major disturbance of Superbowl Sunday. If they could launch a missile that struck a nation friendly to the US or struck some US possession or even stuck somewhere that would cause a disruption in some kind of major resource used by the US … it would be a big problem.

OK. Given they have never had any success with their missile launches, if they actually developed a nuclear bomb, how much more difficult is it to create a working missile?

I think it’s a bad idea to just close our eyes to the possibility that NK could or would do something really stupid.

I think the more important question is **WHY? **

The only answer I can come up with is because their leadership is insane. But what are the odds that all three of their most recent leaders have been insane?

There is an expression that goes something like this: When you mess with the bull, you can wind up getting the horns.

Is there no other explanation behind North Korea’s continually messing with the bull besides insanity? I fear there must be something else going on.

I understand where you are coming from and I certainly am willing to admit that all the factual statements you have made are correct.

But the attitude, “There is nothing to worry about. So don’t worry”, really scares me. If most people adopt that attitude, then these crazy F’s can go ahead and conduct their evil plans without having to worry about very much.

I may be worrying about nothing. But I’ve always felt that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sorry to speak using these silly idioms. I just can’t think of a better way to make my point.

My understanding is that it’s mainly postering for domestic consumption.

Heh. Heh.

It took me a long time to understand this. It finally dawned on me that you meant “posturing” and not “postering”.

But that is really my fault and not yours. I should have been able to figure that out hours ago.

What you say makes good sense to me. Finally, I can see some other reason for NK doing all this crazy shit aside from them being insane.

Thank you.

Did you ever see the movie Black Sunday, about an attempted terrorist strike at the Super Bowl? When it’s determined the game is the target, an Israeli agent(Robert Shaw) asks “Can’t you just cancel it?” The reaction is worse that if he’d asked them to sacrifice their firstborn. “Canceling the SuperBowl? That would be like canceling Christmas!!!”

Lots of people in lots of places are watching NK closely - nobody’s closing any eyes. In reality, it’s mostly bluster and talk of a regime that is so out of touch with reality, they create their own idiot histories. I seem to recall the father of the current whacko is reported to have scored a perfect 18 the very first time he ever played golf. That’s the kind of folks we’re looking at.

Personally, and I know little of international politics and such, I feel like NK is a toddler stamping little feet and waving little fists saying “Pay attention to meeeeeeeeeeeee!!!” Anyone who’s ever dealt with a toddler knows you can’t really reason with them, so you do what you have to do to minimize the annoyance.

While I have never worked within the intelligence community, I had a job that required me to to work with them on occasion, and I know that NK is definitely an area of interest. And classified information is classified for many reasons, some of which are truly legitimate, hence you don’t want to share that info outside certain channels. So most of the world will never know a lot of details.

The NKs want nukes for exactly the same reason the Iranians do. Absent nukes they are at risk of getting the Iraq or Libya treatment: regime change at the whim of somebody else. With nukes they are far less likely to be challenged that way. There is nothing insane about wanting to deter what looks from your POV like a bully or group of bullies. In statecraft (but not so much in warcraft) nukes are a great equalizer.

So their only challenge is getting from “no nukes” to “some nukes” without being stopped. And our (read as either the US alone, or the free world, or the whole UN as you see fit) the challenge is to stop them.

We have had a lot more levers to pull with Iran than with NK. One advantage to being hermetically sealed is you’re more or less a porcupine; there’s nothing exposed for contenders to grab or pull on, and there’s nothing the porcupine wants from the contenders either.

It becomes a game of chicken: are you, President Wayne, prepared to unilaterally attack NK (& largely destroy Seoul) today? if not, how about tomorrow? Anything less than that will not produce prompt regime change. So what combination of circumstance, provocations, etc. *will *be enough for you to start that fight? Tough decision. Doubly (quadruply?) so unless you can convince the Chinese (in advance no less!) to help, not hinder.

Most of all the rest of what’s being done every day is behind the scenes. There is spying, economic undermining, pressure & cajoling applied to China, military prep, sanctions, talk, and talks about talks, and talks and talks. All of which has some effect, although it’s always difficult to know how well any of that stuff works. In all of statecraft you can never re-run the experiment.

In all there is persistent (and IMO well-founded) belief in the halls of power that NK can be contained without bloodshed almost indefinitely until it collapses of its own contradictions. Which collapse might produce a wargasm of its own, but at least it’ll be a weak one with the huge moral and propaganda benefit that they started it, not the Good Guys.

Even better if instead of collapse it takes the Myanmar or Soviet route and goes through internal regime change and reform. Exactly the process we hope will occur in Cuba in the next few years post the ever older Castro brothers. And which process we are actively fostering whenever US domestic politics doesn’t get in the way.

TL;DR: NK wants nukes to ensure they won’t be regime-changed. Pretty sensible goal from their POV. Them actually firing one at the US or Japan ensures they’ll be regime-changed a few minutes later at several thousand degrees C. That is inimical to their interests. Ergo, they won’t fire one. Caveat: unless insane. Welcome to statecraft; a complex and nasty business.

I find your post reassuring. Thank you.

I’ve never seen you post anything before and it’s nice to meet you.

I found your post to be extremely intelligent and knowledgeable.

It scared the shit out of me.

But if the North Koreans launch a missile will it delay the showing of Heidi right after the Super Bowl?

It’s the Superbowl, they’re throwing the long bomb.


North Korea isn’t on Korea time now; they’re on Pyongyang time.

There’s no more and no less to it than there has been for every other time NK has done anything, anything at all, relating to its nuclear program: (1) whip up nationalistic frenzy at home, (2) “saber rattling” to coerce concessions from foreign powers.

Yes, when you land there, set your watches back 50 years…

Charlie Wayne, my apologies if I offended with my first posting; I was perhaps too blunt in my dismissal of your concerns. And there is reason to be concerned about actions taken by North Korea and their attempts to develop a true intercontinental missile.

But throughout life, we evaluate risks and determine if something is worth devoting time to worry about. Worry about our health, our family and how they are doing, other drivers, being mugged…all are legitimate worries. And we tend to rank them, based on (our) perceptions of their danger to us.

And right now, worries about a North Korean missile anywhere near the Super Bowl, given the status of N. Korean development and the precision needed for such a launch, not to mention the obvious consequences to the North Koreans (who, deluded as they appear to be, can figure that much out), simply puts my (and I hope your) worries of this event in the category of “so low as to be non-existant”.

IMHO as always. YMMV.

If the OP is trul concerned about one missile being shot at the Super Bowl, it’s worth mentioning that the missile defense system deployed in Alaska and California has actually made some decent progress in the last few years.

Now, the odds are still probably against us killing an incoming missile with one shot. But one missile, inbound? I’d bet we’d fire a hella expensive salvo of missiles at it, and my guess is that one interceptor in that salvo has pretty solid odds of connecting.

But if there were a few incoming missiles?Well, disasters do seem to strike California quite frequently…