Saturday, October 26, 2019

Threat Perception Run Amok

A galactic near miss over Japan should make us worry about deterring a nuclear-armed North Korea.

This is a reminder of a long-term planetary worry (tip to Instapundit):

In the early morning of April 28, 2017, a small fireball crept across the sky over Kyoto, Japan. And now, thanks to data collected by the SonotaCo meteor survey, researchers have determined that the fiery space rock was a shard of a much larger asteroid that might (far down the road) threaten Earth.

But what if that fireball crept across North Korean skies? What if if actually impacted inside North Korea?

The 2017 fireball should also be a reminder of a closer more near-term disaster looming if North Korea gets nuclear missiles:

Just how good will North Korea's early warning system be? If they have any? Just what would trigger a North Korean launch, anyway? Who in that North Korean launch chain will be the one to say "I'm not sure if nukes are heading our way. Let's wait."

Long ago I used to think that we could deter North Korea because they aren't nutball Islamists. But when I thought about it more, their paranoia and lack of technology could make deterrence something that cannot last long.

Will any North Korean technician analyzing the data who knows that nobody is attacking North Korea be brave enough to tell Kim Jong-Un that America isn't behind the fireball and/or impact?

Have a super sparkly day.