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Fish or Cut Bait

North Korea Enters the "Nuclear Club." Now, They Must Pay Their Dues
By Bob Ciminel


October 09, 2006

Having spent a good portion of my early post-adolescent adulthood pushing 16 nuclear-tipped, submarine-launched ballistic missiles around the Mediterranean Sea, I can attest to the fact that, if it already wasn't, Pyongyang, North Korea now has a plethora of computer-calculated crosshairs squarely over Kim Jong Il's presidential palace and any other building where he and his government may choose to park their sorry asses. Why any country would envy being in that position is beyond me.

jpg Nuclear explosion

Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy

I can picture the FTBs (missile fire control technicians) entering the "bal winds" data into their computers, but that's old technology. We had to transcribe the weather reports over our assigned targets into numerical values and adjust the missile gyroscopes to compensate for wind drift as the free-falling warhead(s) re-entered the atmosphere. With today's sophisticated guidance systems and geo-positioning satellites it's probably much, much simpler.

I suppose the United Nations will wring their hands; write letters strongly protesting North Korea's actions; hold a bunch of nonproductive meetings to make it look as if they're doing something; pass a resolution or two; and maybe revoke the North Korean UN ambassador's parking pass for a week. If the UN is really pissed, it might impose economic sanctions and starve the rest of the country's population, meaning those who aren't already starving because the country spends more than 12 percent of its gross domestic product on its military. As Kim Jong Il often says, "Hey, supplying 5 million people with weapons and uniforms is not cheap. We all have to make sacrifices."

I'm not holding my breath, but I hope the one or two women who have influence over Li'l Kim can convince him that he's moving in the wrong direction. There are easier ways to scam the world's leaders for money and prestige, although I don't foresee Disney opening up a theme park over there any time soon. Kim would be wise to remember that old North Korean proverb, "When one is up to his neck in kimchi, he should not make waves."


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Fish or Cut Bait by Bob Ciminel

Bob Ciminel's articles may include satire and parody, and mix fact with fiction.
He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference. Bob lives in Roswell, Georgia, and works for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.  He is also a conductor on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
Contact Bob at

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