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by chazzz @, USA, Friday, April 21, 2017, 11:48 @ FordPrefect

I also was impressed and distressed when I read "Alas Babylon" the first time in the 1960's and when I re-read it more recently. I believe it is a realistic drama for its time during the Cold War.

We are not yet in a new Cold War with Russia or China and only Russia posses enough nuclear warheads and the means of delivery to make the old Cold War type maps make sense. In the case of North Korea they probably have enough nuclear material for 10 or less nuclear weapons. And they have significant limitations in their ability to deliver them. I think it's fair to say that Hawaii and the US West Coast would be the most likely US targets for North Korea if they actually were to attack, though South Korea is probably even more at risk. In the case of South Korea they already have plenty of artillary and short range rockets with conventional warheads already sighted in on Seoul, South Korea's capital.

I would suspect of US West Coast potential targets the following might be potential nuclear targets for North Korea if they could and would pull it off:

San Diego - Major US Navy and Marine Installations plus multiple defense contractors in the area.

Los Angeles area - Larget commercial ship unloading and loading facility on the US West Coast and largest metropolitan area on the West Coast. Also major airline hub.

Hawaii - Major US Navy facilities. The closest US state to North Korea for long range missile.

San Francisco area - "Silicon Valley" a bit inland from San Francisco is a center for US technical innovation. San Francisco is also a significant West Coast population center and regional transportation hub.

Seattle - Major commercial ship unloading and loading facility for northern West Coast, regional airline hub. Fairly large population. For a missile from North Korea, it might be within range.

Portland - A lesser but still important commercial ship unloading and loading facility for northern West Coast. Fairly large population. For a missile from North Korea, it might be within range.

Given the limited number of nuclear warheads North Korea might have and the aparant unreliablity of their longer range missiles, I tend to doubt they would prioritize using that delivery method. I suspect that first priority might be on submarine launched short range missiles or submarine kamikaze type nuclear attacks. And no doubt the US Navy is probably under heightened vigilance for the large Naval bases in Hawaii and San Diego. Los Angeles is such an obvious target that the US Navy and Coast Guard is likely looking closely there too. I think that leaves the last three on my list, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland as most likely targets for a North Korean nuclear attack if it came. (The East Coast is just too far away for North Korean diesel electric subs.)


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