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It’s gettin’ kinda hectic

Spooky86 sends out a Warning Report:

From today’s Financial Times comes word that North Korea may be planning a test-launch of its Tapeo Dong 2 (TD-2) missile from a test site along its northeastern coast. A test launch of the missile’s medium-range predecessor (designated the TD-1) created an international incident in 1998, when the missile overflew Japan. […]

My contacts in the intel community have essentially confirmed the FT story. At this point, preparations appear to be well underway, and a launch could occur in a matter of days. […]

KJI feeling so ‘ron ‘ree, apparently. (WAV file).

This we don’t need, but then what is life without a little excitement? Biggest potential impact: acceleration or alteration of Mullah-centric options. July or August looking more like the long term if pushing becomes shoving. Test for the two-theater war + strategy? You bet. License to print money and all associated baggage? Oh yeah.

One final (albeit remote) possibility is that the potential TD-2 launch is a giant ruse, designed to lure U.S. collection platforms to the area, and (possibly) attempt a forced landing in North Korean territory. In March 2003, the North Korean Air Force (NKAF) executed a surprise intercept of a U.S. RC-135 Cobra Ball reconnaissance aircraft, used to monitor missile tests. The Cobra Ball crew had no idea that NKAF MiGs were in the area until the enemy fighters began flying alongside the American aircraft. […]

After the first hellfire strike in Afghanistan I told a colleague: “This is just inviting another P3 force down.” If I am not mistaken recon birds are nominally armed, if at all. They’re not “combatants” per se. Once we armed Predators that gave the other side (whatever side that is) a reason to suspect that recon birds were more than just sneaking a peak. “Hey, you arm drones, how do we know that RC-135 isn’t carrying a doomsday machine?”

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.