Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un: No One's Backing Down

Julian Borger at the Guardian: North Korea Details Guam Strike Plan and Calls Trump 'Bereft of Reason'.
North Korea has defied threats of "fire and fury" from Donald Trump, deriding his warning as a "load of nonsense" and announcing a detailed plan to launch missiles aimed at the waters off the coast of the US Pacific territory of Guam.

A statement attributed to General Kim Rak Gyom, the head of the country's strategic forces, declared: "Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him." The general outlined a plan to carry out a demonstration launch of four intermediate-range missiles that would fly over Japan and then land in the sea around Guam, "enveloping" the island.

"The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People's Army] will cross the sky above Shimani, Hiroshima, and Koichi prefectures of Japan," the statement said. "They will fly for 3,356.7 km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40km away from Guam."

The statement said the plan for this show of force would be ready by the middle of this month and then await orders from the commander-in-chief, Kim Jong-un.

...On Wednesday the US defence secretary, James Mattis, said a North Korean attack would risk the "end of its regime and the destruction of its people."

...Mattis's reminder to Pyongyang that the allied militaries "possess the most precise, rehearsed, and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth" capped an unprecedented 24 hours of sabre-rattling sparked by Donald Trump's surprise threat to rain "fire and fury" down on the Pyongyang regime.
Meanwhile... Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin, Kevin Monahan, and Kenzi Abou-Sabe at NBC News: B-1 Bombers Key to a U.S. Plan to Strike North Korean Missile Sites. "The Pentagon has prepared a specific plan for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea's missile sites should [Donald] Trump order such an attack. Two senior military officials — and two senior retired officers — told NBC News that key to the plan would be a B-1B heavy bomber attack originating from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. ...The target set, multiple sources say, would be approximately two dozen North Korean missile-launch sites, testing grounds and support facilities. The sources told NBC News they feel confident they have accurately identified a set of relevant targets."

Oh, well, as long as they feel confident, the plan sounds great. Except for a couple of little problems:

Further, as Eastsidekate noted in a private conversation, which I'm sharing with her permission: "I feel like Trump and various assholes think this will be like hitting that Syrian airbase, as opposed to ending a ceasefire on the world's most heavily armed peninsula. To do a first strike on North Korea, which lol omg no, it would have to be fucking massive. We would have to be prepared to take out all their military capabilities. Genocide, basically. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how bad this idea is."

This is the inevitable result of having a president who doesn't know anything about fucking anything; who thinks the world started when he took office. He imagines that somehow he'll reduce casualties by hitting missile sites, but has no goddamned clue about what the immediate, devastating, and reverberating consequences of that will be.

Trump (along with the dipshits with whom he's surrounded himself, who have conceived this donkey of a plan) is the worst example of someone who believes they're geniuses for thinking of strategies no one else has ever thought of — when, in reality, his "brilliant ideas" are so shitty that anyone with any sense dismissed them out of hand.

This is not going to end well. I am horrified watching all of this unfold. I know I'm not alone in that.

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