Surprisingly, there seems to be little attention to this developing story here on the Great Orange, only one diary scrolling away down the page as I write, but OMG!! North Korea has unilaterally offered to suspend its nuclear program; announcing a moratorium on testing of nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and even offering to demolish the only test site.
This is objectively good news. But it’s not like North Korea has a choice. They don’t have a test site to demolish; it’s already gone.
Something so far entirely missing from the reporting on this is an occurrence, widely reported at the time, at the Punggye-rinuclear test site immediately after the last underground warhead test. This test was conducted on September 3, 2017, and was of the largest yield yet tested by the Kim regime. It registered a 6.3 tremor and caused small landslides on the surface. Underground, the effects were far more severe. The detonation collapsed a major tunnel in the facility, killing about a hundred workers. About a hundred more were killed in a secondary collapse during a rescue attempt. There have been no tests since this accident. Thinking about it logically, that makes quite a bit of sense. A collapse big enough to kill that many people (some of which were almost certainly scientists and technicians critical to the work being done) would cripple any underground facility. The second collapse only underscores the untenable nature of any attempt to repair this bunker. It’s a goner.
North Korea isn’t known for transparency on anything, let alone its nuclear program, and especially failures in this realm. However, this embarrassing information was sent out to the world in late October of last year. That disclosure is remarkable. It is not apparent from the sources I have read exactly when the collapse occurred, but it appears to have been close to the date of the test, though not reported until nearly two months later. Again, there has been no activity at the site since this occurred. However, this disclosure provides a clue as to Kim’s sudden preemptive ‘disarmament’ prior to his play date with Twittler.
Besides obsessive secrecy, another given with North Korea is the regime will never give concessions for free, often demanding ridiculous terms before even agreeing to pick up the phone. But now, out of nowhere, Kim is generously offering to stop all testing and destroy his only test site. That is wildly out of character, as the regime has directly tied its identity in its domestic propaganda to being a nuclear state.
This offer of a moratorium is being presented as a carrot for Twittler, proof of his awesome negotiating prowess, and a win for Kim simply because he got an attention whore to come sit in front of a bunch of cameras.
I call bullshit. This sudden development has nothing to do with our criminal president, it is simply a fact on the ground that cannot be changed.
North Korea cannot test another weapon without building another test site from scratch, and they don’t have the scratch. This is in no small part because Kim squandered his inheritance on nuclear tests. The offer to destroy their test site is an utterly empty one, since it has already been destroyed. Kim is offering Drumpf a bunch of gift wrap with nothing inside. The next move is to get something from our Idiot, like say a bunch of cash, to rebuild a test site and get back to burnishing NK’s national image as a nuclear threat to all around it.
Now watch everyone act like the Dotard accomplished something.
edited for grammar