US has bombs more powerful than MOAB to attack Nork tunnels housing their nukes

Daily Beast:
Forget the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier that President Donald Trump claimed, wrongly, was steaming toward North Korea to punish Kim Jong Un’s regime for apparently testing a nuclear-capable ballistic missile last Saturday.

Forget the U.S. Marine Corps F-35 stealth fighters that practiced bombing runs on the Korean Peninsula in late March. Forget the contingent of U.S. Army soldiers—part of the 29,000-strong American ground force in South Korea—that Vice President Mike Pence visited Sunday, just a day after Pyongyang’s latest missile test failed.

No, if the United States seriously intends to punish North Korea for continuing to develop nuclear warheads and the rockets to deliver them, then the punitive blow will likely come from Missouri.

That is, in the form of stealth bombers carrying America’s biggest non-nuclear bombs.

Not the 11-ton Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) fuel-air bomb that U.S. forces dropped on suspected ISIS positions in eastern Afghanistan on April 13. Rather, an even bigger munition.

Since the 1990s, the U.S. government has been preparing to attack North Korea’s most heavily protected military facilities, specifically in order to slow or halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The American plan involves long-range, radar-evading stealth bombers hauling gigantic, earth-penetrating bombs. The scheme began in the mid-1990s, as President Bill Clinton and hawkish Republican lawmakers sparred over a nascent nuclear pact with the reclusive North Korean regime.

The plan advanced further in the early 2000s under President George W. Bush’s policy of pre-emptive military strikes—the same policy that mired the United States in Iraq for, so far, 14 years of grinding warfare.

In the early 1990s, North Korea was not yet a nuclear power—but it certainly possessed the potential to become one. The Clinton administration aimed to head off Pyongyang’s atomic ambitions and by some accounts an attack was imminent, at the risk of an enormous casualty count, until former President Jimmy Carter stepped in and offered another remedy by diplomatic means.

... In 2004, the Pentagon began development of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a 15-ton conventional bomb specifically designed to collapse all but the deepest buried facilities in Iran and North Korea.

MOP was ready for combat in 2011. Each of the Air Force’s 20 B-2 stealth bombers based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri can carry two of the 21-foot-long munitions. So, forget carriers, stealth fighters, and ground troops. The B-2s and the massive bombs are, at present, America’s only non-nuclear options for destroying Pyongyang’s best-protected weapons sites.
The US is engaged in a show of force in an attempt to get North Korea to back off its threats of nuclear war.  It is part of its diplomatic effort with China.  Unless China is willing to cut off all commerce with North Korea, it is unlikely that there can be a peaceful resolution to the problem.  That is when the MOPs will start to drop over the Hermit kingdom.


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