Kim Jong-un Prepares for the Next Provocation on or About October 9th/10th as he Names his Sister hi
October 10th the anniversary of the founding of the North Korean Communist Party is upon us as well as the US Columbus Day and the next North Korean provocations could take several forms including:
Test-firing four nuclear-capable Hwasong-12 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM) over Guam as the North Threatened earlier. The North has proven now that the Hwasong-12 has the range to put Guam within its reach.
Launch Pukkŭksŏng-1 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile over Japan out into the Pacific to demonstrate its effectiveness and to demonstrate the potential for a survivable second-strike capability.
Test-fire a nuclear-capable Hwasong-14 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) over Japan and out into the Pacific. They have test-fired two Hwasong-12 IRBMS over Japan in the last month and there are reports of activity around sites related to Pyongyang’s ICBM program.
The Hermit Kingdom has threatened a nuclear test out into the Pacific and could do so presumably from one of its ballistic missile systems such as an IRBM, ICBM, or SLBM or more shockingly from one of their many freighters like the Chong Chon Gang and that seem to constantly evade sanctions enforcement.
Carryout a test of a much-threatened Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon. The fact that North Korea has threatened to use EMP weapons makes almost any IRBM, SLBM, or ICBM test a potential EMP attack increasing the likelihood of a shoot-down by US or Japanese systems. A shoot-down would allow the North Koreans to scream that the Allies had committed an act of war on Pyongyang.
In an interesting and potentially concerning development, Kim Jong-un has promoted his little sister Kim Yo-Jong to the nation’s Politburo making her formally the country’s most powerful woman, and his chosen successor. Up until now, Kim has enjoyed a degree of ambiguity about his successor even though many observers had pointed to his much-favored little sister sometime ago. The fact that he is formally establishing a line of succession now, ahead of provocation, means that he is taking further steps to attempt to ensure the survive-ability of the regime and his family’s dynasty, suggesting the next act could be really spectacular. The next 24-48 hours could be real nail biters.